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10:40 PM ET, December 14, 2018


 Top Items: 
Trump's Inauguration Paid Trump's Company — With Ivanka in the Middle  —  As the inaugural committee planned the landmark celebration, internal concerns were raised about whether Trump's Washington hotel was overcharging for event space.  The spending could be a violation of the law.
Christina Wilkie / CNBC:
The Trump inaugural committee's fundraising was a mess from the start, but a new investigation could finally provide some answers  —  Federal prosecutors have reportedly opened a criminal investigation into President Donald Trump's inaugural committee's finances, but its funding was a mess from the start.
Washington Post:
Schiff says House Intelligence panel will examine possible foreign funding of Trump's inaugural committee
Pro Publica / Raw Story:
REVEALED: Trump's inaugural committee paid the Trump Organization — and Ivanka negotiated the price
Discussion: POLITICUSUSA, Politico and Daily Kos
Obamacare Thrown Out by Judge, Raising Insurance Uncertainty  — U.S. judge in Texas dismantles Obama's Affordable Care Act  — Decision threatens health coverage for millions of Americans  —  Obamacare was struck down by a Texas federal judge in a ruling that casts uncertainty …
Amy Goldstein / Washington Post:
Federal judge in Texas rules Obama health-care law unconstitutional  —  A federal judge in Texas threw a dagger on Friday into the Affordable Care Act, ruling that the entire health-care law is unconstitutional because of a recent change in federal tax law.  —  The opinion by U.S. District …
Sarah Kliff / Vox:
Federal court rules Obamacare unconstitutional — but the law stands for now  —  The lawsuit — backed by the Trump administration — threatens to overturn Obamacare's ban on preexisting conditions.  —  A federal judge in Texas has ruled the Affordable Care Act unconstitutional …
Discussion: Mother Jones
New York Times:
Texas Judge Strikes Down Obama's Affordable Care Act as Unconstitutional  —  WASHINGTON — A federal judge in Texas struck down on Friday the entire Affordable Care Act on the grounds that its mandate requiring people to buy health insurance is unconstitutional and the rest of the law cannot stand without it.
Peter Sullivan / The Hill:
Federal judge in Texas strikes down ObamaCare
Chris Mills Rodrigo / The Hill:
Chris Christie declines White House chief of staff role  —  Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) declined the White House chief of staff role on Friday, making him the latest high-profile candidate who's no longer in the running for the influential post.
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 …
The Daily Beast:   Trump's Next Chief of Staff Called Him ‘A Terrible Human Being’ Just Before He Was Elected President
New York Times:
Trump Names Mick Mulvaney Acting Chief of Staff
Discussion: CNN and ThinkProgress
Washington Post:
Trump names budget director Mick Mulvaney as acting White House chief of staff
Discussion: Mediaite and Splinter
Niels Lesniewski / Roll Call:
Donald Trump Names Mick Mulvaney Acting Chief of Staff
Discussion: Vox, Daily Wire and
Matthew Choi / Politico:
Trump names Mulvaney acting White House chief of staff
Discussion: RedState, NPR and Power Line
Mystery Mueller mayhem at a Washington court  —  Washington (CNN)Fridays at the DC federal courthouse are typically days of high alert for the press corps trying to discern what special counsel Robert Mueller's next legal action will be.  —  But this Friday, court officials went to extreme measures …
Josh Gerstein / Politico:
Reporters shooed away as mystery Mueller subpoena fight rages on
Discussion: Joe.My.God. and Raw Story
Zoe Tillman / BuzzFeed News:   There Was Drama At Court Today And Maybe It Involved Mueller's Investigation But Who Knows
Washington Post:
Trump's claim that he didn't violate campaign finance law is weak — and dangerous
CNN:   Hatch says he regrets his 'I don't care' comment about Trump allegations
George Stephanopoulos / ABC News:
Ex-Trump lawyer Michael Cohen says Trump knew it was wrong to make hush-money payments during campaign
Associated Press:
Too old to run?  Biden wrestles with age as he eyes 2020 run  —  As he considers running for president, Joe Biden is talking with friends and longtime supporters about whether, at 76, he's too old to seek the White House, according to several sources who have spoken with the former Democratic vice president.
David Siders / Politico:
The left blindsides Beto
Discussion: Breitbart
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 …
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.
Rod Dreher / The American Conservative:
Weekly Standard, RIP
Discussion: Power Line and The Daily Beast
NBC News:
Seven-year-old girl who died at border did not receive medical care for 90 minutes  —  The incident raises questions about the Border Patrol's emergency procedures and the Trump administration's policy of delaying immigrants at legal ports of entry.  —  WASHINGTON — A seven-year-old Guatemalan girl …
Nick Miroff / Washington Post:
Hours before her collapse in U.S. custody, a dying migrant child's condition went unnoticed
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 …
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.
Steve Benen / MSNBC:
Republicans complete their power grabs in Wisconsin, Michigan  —  Wisconsin GOP rushes to subvert power of new Democratic officials  —  At roughly this point eight years ago, Wisconsin's Scott Walker (R) was a governor-elect, just weeks ahead of taking the oath of office, and he made one thing clear …
Dow dives about 500 points to its lowest close since May  —  Stocks fell sharply on Friday after weaker-than-expected data in China and Europe exacerbated concerns of a global economic slowdown.  —  The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 496.87 points to 24,100.51, its lowest level since early May …
Wall Street Journal:   Sharp Decline Puts Dow in Correction Territory
Jeffrey Toobin / New Yorker:
Adam Schiff's Plans to Obliterate Trump's Red Line  —  With the Democrats controlling the House, Schiff's congressional investigation will follow the money.  —  President Trump said some time ago that he believes his personal finances should be off limits to investigators.
Marc Fisher / Washington Post:
THE PARTISAN WARRIOR … What happened to Michael Flynn?  —  Before he pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI, before he became a folk hero to many of President Trump's most loyal supporters, before he pivoted from accomplished military officer to purveyor of shocking stories about the evils of Islam …
Scott Stedman:
FBI actively investigating Papadopoulos days after his release from prison  —  Federal authorities out of Washington DC, working in coordination with Robert Mueller's team, have in recent days sought to arrange an interview with the author of a letter sent to Congress last month that claimed …
Discussion: The Gateway Pundit and CANNONFIRE
Washington Post:
Trump routinely says things that aren't true.  Few Americans believe him.  —  Take the quiz to see how your fact-checking skills stack up against others nationwide.  —  For months, President Trump has claimed that U.S. Steel has announced plans to build more than six new plants.
Chris Sommerfeldt / New York Daily News:
New Jersey AG probes Trump golf club after undocumented maids claim racially-charged harassment, threats  —  New Jersey's top law enforcement agency is looking into claims of widespread harassment and immigration fraud at President Trump's Garden State golf club after several former …
Discussion: Joe.My.God.
Aja Romano / Vox:
YouTube's 2018 “Rewind” is the site's most disliked video ever.  The implications are huge.  —  PewDiePie is YouTube's most popular user.  He doesn't appear in the video, and his followers are waging war in his name.  Here's what's at stake.  —  YouTube's most popular (and controversial) …
Discussion: Breitbart and Mashable
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 More Items: 
Kassy Dillon / Daily Wire:
West Virginia University Student Investigated For Border Patrol Halloween Costume
Discussion: RedState and The College Fix
Kyle Mustain / Slate:
Helping a Brother Out  —  BateWorld hosts a vibrant community …
Dan Alexander / Forbes:
How Wilbur Ross Lost Millions, Despite Flouting Ethics Rules
Andrew M Harris / Bloomberg:
U.S. Fears for Safety of Russian Cooperator Butina, Filing Says
Discussion: The Daily Caller
Ross Todd / The Recorder:
Alex Kozinski Returns to the 9th Circuit (as a Lawyer)
Discussion: The Daily Caller
Ted Hesson / Politico:
Ryan pushes for thousands of Irish visas before leaving office
Discussion: Breitbart
Nick Ochsner / WBTV-TV:
Exclusive: Mark Harris addresses voter fraud allegations in race for 9th Congressional District
Campbell Robertson / New York Times:
Lists of Priests Accused of Sexual Abuse Are Spilling Out Across the Country
Discussion: The Crime Report
 Earlier Items: 
Jesselyn Cook / HuffPost:
U.S. Tech Giant Cloudflare Provides Cybersecurity For At Least 7 Terror Groups
Jeremy Barr / Hollywood Reporter:
Pacific Life Insurance Will Pause Ads on Tucker Carlson's Fox News Show, “Reevaluate” Relationship
Discussion: Contemptor
Washington Post:
Warren seeks to connect with minority communities in commencement address
Dan Lamothe / Washington Post:
Former Trump chief of staff Reince Priebus selected to join Navy with backing from Mattis
Discussion: CNN and Task & Purpose
The Steele Dossier: A Retrospective
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