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1:05 PM ET, December 14, 2018

memeorandum

 Top Items: 
Washington Post:
Trump's claim that he didn't violate campaign finance law is weak — and dangerous  —  The case against the president would be far stronger than the case against John Edwards was.  —  Last week, in their case against Michael Cohen, federal prosecutors in New York filed a sentencing brief concluding that …
RELATED:
George Stephanopoulos / ABC News:
Ex-Trump lawyer Michael Cohen says Trump knew it was wrong to make hush-money payments during campaign  —  Donald Trump directed Michael Cohen to arrange hush-money payments with two women because then-candidate Trump “was very concerned about how this would affect the election” …
George Stephanopoulos / ABC News:
Michael Cohen talks to George Stephanopoulos: TRANSCRIPT  —  Michael Cohen, the president's former personal attorney and fixer, said Donald Trump directed him to make payments to two women who said they had affairs with the then-candidate because Trump “was very concerned about how this would affect the election.”
Ronn Blitzer / Law & Crime:
Trump Cites John Edwards Case in His Defense, But His 2012 Comments About It Seriously Undermine That Argument (VIDEO)
Discussion: Mediaite
Oliver Darcy / CNN:
The Weekly Standard, a conservative magazine critical of Trump, to shutter after 23 years  —  New York (CNN Business)The Weekly Standard, the magazine that espouses traditional conservatism and which has remained deeply critical of President Donald Trump, will shutter after 23 years …
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John Podhoretz / Commentary:
The Murder of the Weekly Standard  —  The Weekly Standard will be no more.  There is no real reason we are witnessing the magazine's demise other than deep pettiness and a personal desire for bureaucratic revenge on the part of a penny-ante Machiavellian who works for its parent company.
Discussion: RedState and The Daily Beast
The Daily Beast:
Jared Kushner Replaced Michael Cohen as Trump's National Enquirer Connection  —  The president's son-in-law grew tight with David Pecker during the early months of the administration.  —  Shortly after the 2016 presidential election, Donald Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner was handed …
Yvonne Wingett Sanchez / Arizona Republic:
Jon Kyl will resign from the U.S. Senate on Dec. 31, setting up another appointment by Ducey to John McCain's seat  —  U.S. Sen. Jon Kyl will resign from the U.S. Senate on Dec. 31, The Arizona Republic has confirmed, setting up a second appointment by Gov. Doug Ducey to the seat once occupied by the late John McCain.
RELATED:
James Arkin / Politico:
Arizona Sen. Jon Kyl to resign, prompting new appointment to McCain seat
Discussion: Associated Press and ABC News
Washington Post:
Kyl plans to resign Arizona Senate seat, clearing the way for another GOP appointment
Washington Post:
7-year-old migrant girl taken into Border Patrol custody dies of dehydration, exhaustion  —  A 7-year-old girl from Guatemala died of dehydration and shock after she was taken into Border Patrol custody last week for crossing into the United States illegally with her father and a large group …
RELATED:
CNN:
CNN Poll: Looking to 2020, Beto O'Rourke on the horizon  —  WASHINGTON (CNN)As candidates for the Democratic nomination for president in 2020 begin to declare their intentions, a handful of potential candidates hold on to most of the early support, according to a new CNN poll conducted by SSRS …
Discussion: Political Wire and Vox
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Des Moines Register:
Iowa Poll on potential presidential candidates in the 2020 Iowa caucuses coming soon  —  Results of the first Des Moines Register/CNN/Mediacom Iowa Poll on potential presidential candidates in the 2020 Iowa caucuses will be released online at 7 p.m. CST Saturday.
Discussion: Seymour Tribune
Veronica Stracqualursi / CNN:   CNN and The Des Moines Register to release first 2020 Iowa caucus poll Saturday
Steve Holland / Reuters:
Trump's chief of staff search centers on Kushner, Christie, Lighthizer: source  —  WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump's search for a new White House chief of staff is centering around former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, senior adviser Jared Kushner and U.S. Trade Representative …
Discussion: Political Wire
RELATED:
HuffPost:
Trump Considering Son-In-Law Jared Kushner For Next Chief Of Staff
Jennifer Jacobs / Bloomberg:   Christie Is Trump's Top Candidate for Chief of Staff, Sources Say
Eli Stokols / Los Angeles Times:
Trump urged to consider a young White House insider as he struggles to find a new chief of staff
Discussion: Talking Points Memo
Murray Waas / Vox:
Exclusive: Paul Manafort advised White House on how to attack and discredit investigation of President Trump  —  We now have details as to how the indicted former campaign manager worked with the president to undermine federal law enforcement.  —  Paul Manafort, who served as the manager …
Discussion: Raw Story
Lisa Girion / Reuters:
Johnson & Johnson knew for decades that asbestos lurked in its Baby Powder  —  A REUTERS INVESTIGATION A REUTERS INVESTIGATION  —  Facing thousands of lawsuits alleging that its talc caused cancer, J&J insists on the safety and purity of its iconic product.
Discussion: CBS Los Angeles and KXLF-TV
New York Times:
Trump Inaugural Fund and Super PAC Said to Be Scrutinized for Illegal Foreign Donations  —  WASHINGTON — Federal prosecutors are examining whether foreigners illegally funneled donations to President Trump's inaugural committee and a pro-Trump super PAC in hopes of buying influence over American policy …
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Wall Street Journal:
Trump Inauguration Spending Under Criminal Investigation by Federal Prosecutors
Susan B. Glasser / New Yorker:
“This Is Not a Normal Time”: Trump and the Rapidly Expanding “Witch Hunt”  —  The criminality of the key figures in the President's inner circle is now established, and they have started to implicate Trump himself.  —  Shortly after 11 a.m. on Thursday, Senator Jeff Flake, of Arizona, took to the Senate floor for his farewell speech.
George Packer / The Atlantic:
The Corruption of the Republican Party  —  Why has the Republican Party become so thoroughly corrupt?  The reason is historical—it goes back many decades—and, in a way, philosophical.  The party is best understood as an insurgency that carried the seeds of its own corruption from the start.
Lawfare:
The Steele Dossier: A Retrospective  —  The dossier compiled by former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele remains a subject of fascination—or, depending on your perspective, scorn.  Indeed, it was much discussed during former FBI Director Jim Comey's testimony in front of the House Judiciary Committee on Dec. 7.
RELATED:
Donie O'Sullivan / CNN:
Facebook reveals bug exposed 6.8 million users' photos
Discussion: VentureBeat and CBS Chicago
Dan Morain / CALmatters:
Chief justice of the California Supreme Court leaves the Republican Party, citing Kavanaugh  —  California Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye has quietly given up her Republican registration and re-registered as a no-party-preference voter, saying Thursday she had become increasingly uncomfortable …
RELATED:
Morgan Gstalter / The Hill:
Chief Justice of California Supreme Court leaves GOP over Kavanaugh confirmation
Nidhi Prakash / BuzzFeed News:
The Trump Administration Is Quietly Denying Federal Housing Loans To DACA Recipients  —  WASHINGTON — Two days before Thanksgiving, Edith Aguirre Vazquez got a phone call she wasn't expecting — it was a home loan officer telling her she wouldn't be able to close on the house she was about to buy because of her immigration status.
New York Times:
Behind CBS's Secret $9.5 Million Settlement With the Actress Eliza Dushku  —  In March 2017, Eliza Dushku, an actress known for her work on “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” signed on to play a major role in three episodes of the CBS prime-time drama “Bull,” and there were plans to make her a full-time cast member.
Glenn Kessler / Washington Post:
The biggest Pinocchios of 2018  —  It's time for our annual roundup of the biggest Pinocchios of the year.  —  Once again, we face the challenge posed by President Trump, who could easily dominate this list if we're not careful.  There has been no serial exaggerator in recent American politics like the president.
Greg Bluestein / politics.myajc:
Ossoff strikes populist tone as he mulls Senate bid  —  Cornelia - Jon Ossoff's bid for Georgia's 6th District brought him to all corners of Atlanta suburbs, but late Thursday he arrived at a new setting: A crowded library meeting hall in deeply-conservative Habersham County.
Chuck Ross / The Daily Caller:
Mueller Target Raised $25,000 In Charity To Pay Cancer Doctor Who Doesn't Appear To Exist  — Business records and evidence from social media raise questions about a cancer fundraiser touted during the summer by Jerome Corsi, the right-wing author ensnared in the Mueller probe.
NECN:
Sandy Hook School Students Sent Home After Receiving Threat on Shooting Anniversary  —  The school where the shooting happened on Dec. 14, 2012, was knocked down and a new building was constructed at the same site  —  Sandy Hook Evacuated After Threat on Shooting Anniversary
Discussion: Raw Story
 
 
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 More Items: 
HuffPost:
Emails Show Trump Administration Was Told Obamacare Ad Cuts Could Hurt Enrollment
Laura Meckler / Washington Post:
NYC plan to diversify elite high schools challenged in court
Amy Walter / The Cook Political Report:
A Most Unpredictable Road to the 2020 Democratic Nomination
NBC News:
Top secret report: North Korea keeps busting sanctions, evading U.S.-led sea patrols
Wall Street Journal:
GE Powered the American Century—Then It Burned Out
Christina Patterson / The Guardian:
We are the eggs being broken for this rotten Brexit omelette
Discussion: National Review
Mark Joseph Stern / Slate:
New Jersey Democrats' Diabolical Gerrymandering Scheme Is an Affront to Democracy
Dylan Scott / Vox:
Medicare-for-all's big problem
 Earlier Items: 
Eric Levenson / CNN:
Inside the secret US military mission that located the Titanic
Tamar Auber / Mediaite:
Don Lemon Calls Out Cuomo for Kellyanne Interview: A ‘Defective, Dismissive and Histrionic Display of Non-Answers’
Sohrab Ahmari / New York Post:
A fare-beater crackdown is just what New York needs
Wall Street Journal:
U.S. Navy Is Struggling to Fend Off Chinese Hackers, Officials Say
Discussion: Task & Purpose and Washington Post
Katie Lobosco / CNN:
Betsy DeVos will cancel $150 million in student debt after being sued for delays
Discussion: VICE News, Axios and Politico
Washington Post:
‘Her skills are real’: How Pelosi put down a Democratic rebellion in bid for speaker
Discussion: New York Times and Politico