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12:25 PM ET, December 19, 2018


 Top Items: 
Kate Sullivan / CNN:
Trump signed letter of intent for Trump Tower Moscow project despite Giuliani insisting he didn't  —  (CNN)A newly obtained document shows President Donald Trump signed a letter of intent to move forward with negotiations to build a Trump Tower in Russia, despite his attorney Rudy Giuliani claiming …
New York Daily News:
Rudy Giuliani admits President Trump signed ‘bulls—t’ letter of intent for Moscow tower during 2016 campaign  —  President Trump signed a “bulls—t” letter of intent to build a Trump Tower in Moscow during the 2016 campaign, Rudy Giuliani conceded Tuesday - just two days after the former …
Zachary Basu / Axios:
CNN: Trump signed letter of intent to build Trump Tower in Moscow
Discussion: AOL
New York Times:
Trump Considering Full Withdrawal of U.S. Troops From Syria  —  WASHINGTON — President Trump is considering pulling 2,000 United States ground troops out of Syria in a move that would seek to describe the four-year American-led war against the Islamic State as largely won, officials said Wednesday.
Dion Nissenbaum / Wall Street Journal:
U.S. Military Preparing for a Full Withdrawal of Its Forces From Northeastern Syria  —  Move throws campaign against Islamic State into question  —  WASHINGTON—In an abrupt reversal, the U.S. military is preparing to withdraw its forces from northeastern Syria, people familiar with the matter …
Missy Ryan / Washington Post:
Trump administration plans to pull U.S. troops from Syria immediately, defense official says  —  The Trump administration has decided to pull all U.S. troops out of Syria, a defense official said on Wednesday.  —  The official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss a decision …
U.S. weighs complete withdrawal of troops from Syria: U.S. officials  —  WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States is considering a total withdrawal of U.S. forces from Syria as it nears the end of its campaign to retake all of the territory once held by Islamic State, U.S. officials told Reuters on Wednesday.
Discussion: Washington Post and Mediaite
NBC News:
U.S. troops to leave Syria as President Trump declares victory over ISIS
The Former National Security Advisor's Sentencing Hearing: Flynncompetent Judging  —  A number of years ago, a group of singing lawyers put together an excellent parody song about the egomania of federal district judges.  Set to the tune of the old Turtles song, “Happy Together,” it opens: “Imagine me as God—I do.
Wall Street Journal:
The Flynn Fiasco  —  A sentencing hearing devolves into a spectacle of misinformation.  —  By The Editorial Board  —  Well, that was bizarre.  We're referring to the fiasco Tuesday of what was supposed to be the sentencing of Michael Flynn.  The sentencing was postponed until next year …
Discussion: Power Line
Samantha Vinograd / Politico:
Why You Shouldn't Feel Sorry for Michael Flynn  —  I spent almost two years working from a closet in the West Wing that was part of the national security adviser's suite of offices.  The Suite, as we called it, almost never slept.  My boss, national security adviser Tom Donilon …
Discussion: Raw Story
Stephen Collinson / CNN:
Reality deals more blows to Trump's alternative narrative  —  Washington (CNN)Almost daily, reality deals another blow to the alternative narrative that President Donald Trump has constructed around his scandal-plagued presidency, campaign and business legacy.
Ken White / The Atlantic:
Note to Michael Flynn: Federal Court Is Not Twitter
Discussion: Raw Story and TalkLeft
Byron York / Washington Examiner:
Judge's accusations mar Michael Flynn sentencing hearing
Discussion: Power Line and Instapundit
New York Times:
As Facebook Raised a Privacy Wall, It Carved an Opening for Tech Giants  —  Internal documents show that the social network gave Microsoft, Amazon, Spotify and others far greater access to people's data than it has disclosed.  —  For years, Facebook gave some of the world's largest technology companies …
Washington Post:
D.C. attorney general sues Facebook over alleged privacy violations from Cambridge Analytica scandal  —  The attorney general for the District of Columbia filed a lawsuit on Wednesday against Facebook for allowing Cambridge Analytica, a political consultancy, to gain access to the names …
openDemocracy:   Revealed: Arron Banks Brexit campaign's ‘secret’ meetings with Cambridge Analytica
Washington Post:
Senate to pass bill that would keep government open, deny Trump wall funding  —  The Senate prepared Wednesday to pass a short-term spending bill that would keep the government open through the New Year but deny President Trump the money he wanted for his border wall — a stark retreat …
Sarah Ferris / Politico:
McConnell moves to avert shutdown disaster
Jon Ward / Yahoo News:
Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet says he is considering a run for Democratic presidential nomination
Discussion: Political Wire
Eli Yokley / Morning Consult:
For Voters, Trump's Border Wall Is at the Bottom of Proposed Priorities
Discussion: ThinkProgress
Kate Riga / Talking Points Memo:
In Party Switch, 3 Kansas Lawmakers Will Start The New Session As Democrats  —  When the Kansas state government reconvenes in January, three of its formerly Republican members will report as freshly minted Democrats.  —  The two state senators and one state representative, all women …
Discussion: Shawnee Mission Post
Jonathan Shorman / Wichita Eagle:
More Kansas lawmakers switch parties: Sykes, Clayton leave GOP, become Democrats
Discussion: Axios
David M. Drucker / Washington Examiner:
South Carolina GOP could scrap 2020 primary to protect Trump  —  The South Carolina Republican Party could cancel its marquee presidential nominating contest in 2020 in a move to protect President Trump from any primary challengers.  —  Drew McKissick, chairman of the South Carolina GOP …
Jason Schwartz / Politico:
Ousted NPR news chief, ex-Fox News execs team up on new site  —  One was ousted from NPR amid allegations of sexual harassment.  The other left Fox News shortly after writing a column widely panned as racist and anti-gay.  Now they've been recruited to help launch a digital news startup …
New York Times:
Hacked European Cables Reveal a World of Anxiety About Trump, Russia and Iran  —  WASHINGTON — Hackers infiltrated the European Union's diplomatic communications network for years, downloading thousands of cables that reveal concerns about an unpredictable Trump administration and struggles …
Ed Pilkington / The Guardian:
Sealed v Sealed: ruling sheds light on mystery case thought to involve Mueller  —  Secretive dispute over subpoena revealed to concern an unnamed corporation, but many questions remain  —  A mysterious case playing out in Washington amid tight secrecy - and presumed to involve …
Discussion: Vox and Washington Post
Domenico Montanaro / NPR:
Warning To Democrats: Most Americans Against U.S. Getting More Politically Correct  —  Heading into the 2020 Democratic primaries, a new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll has a warning for Democrats: Americans are largely against the country becoming more politically correct.
Washington Post:
Senate overwhelmingly backs overhaul of criminal justice system  —  The Senate on Tuesday overwhelmingly passed a sweeping overhaul of the criminal justice system, after a remarkable political shift from Republicans who voted in large numbers to save money by reducing prison sentences …
Roula Khalaf / Financial Times:
FT Person of the Year: George Soros  —  For a man facing daily attacks for his activism and liberal vision of the world, George Soros was in a curiously buoyant mood on a sunswept afternoon in Marrakesh.  He had just visited South Africa, home to his first philanthropic foray in the late 1970s …
Discussion: Breitbart and Talking Points Memo
Andrew Kerr / The Daily Caller:
Revealed: Antifa Leader Relied On Anonymity To Push Radical, Violent Communist Agenda  —  Editor's note: The subject of this story is being identified because he's pushed radical rhetoric and has advocated for politically-motivated violence from behind a mask.
Discussion: Instapundit
Alana Goodman / Washington Examiner:
Exclusive: Nation of Islam receiving federal cash to teach prisoners  —  The Nation of Islam and its leaders have received hundreds of thousands of dollars from the U.S. government since 2008 to teach religious study programs for federal prison inmates, according to records reviewed by the Washington Examiner.
Discussion: The Daily Caller and Geller Report
Center for Public Integrity:
Why did Donald Trump's national security adviser want to meet with a Ukrainian billionaire?  —  An aide to National Security Adviser John Bolton sought to schedule a meeting for him with a Ukrainian billionaire Victor Pinchuk during Bolton's official trip to Ukraine last August …
Sapna Maheshwari / New York Times:
Advertisers Flee Tucker Carlson's Fox News Show After He Derides Immigrants  —  The Fox News host Tucker Carlson has lost advertisers after saying on the air last week that allowing certain immigrants into the United States “makes our own country poorer and dirtier and more divided.”
John Bresnahan / Politico:
Cummings puts Trump on notice for wave of investigations  —  Democrats still have two weeks until they take control of the House, but a top Democratic investigator is already putting President Donald Trump on notice.  —  Incoming House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings …
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 More Items: 
Jeff Clabaugh / WTOP:
DC-area federal government workforce continues to shrink
Jonathan Oosting / Detroit News:
GOP bid to strip power from Democratic secretary of state likely dead
Discussion: ThinkProgress
Sacramento Bee:
Key Kamala Harris aide moves, sending a signal about her 2020 plans
Geoff Brumfiel / NPR:
Open Scientific Collaboration May Be Helping North Korea Cheat Nuclear Sanctions
Paul Dallison / Politico:
Jeremy Corbyn accused of calling Theresa May ‘stupid woman’
Alan Fram / Associated Press:
In farewell, Ryan sees solutions if ‘politics will allow it’
 Earlier Items: 
Elisabeth Malkin / New York Times:
In Home Village of Girl Who Died in U.S. Custody, Poverty Drives Migration
Discussion: NPR and Media Matters for America
Ben White / Politico:
How Trump the ‘Tariff Man’ could lose to ‘Dow Man’ Trump
Discussion: Raw Story
Thomas L. Friedman / New York Times:
The End of Europe?  —  France is pivotal in holding the European Union together.
Sherrilyn Ifill / Washington Post:
It's time to face the facts: Racism is a national security issue
Discussion: Raw Story, and Roll Call
Harold Meyerson / American Prospect:
Imperatives for Democrats
Roger Kimball / Wall Street Journal:
The National Gallery of Identity Politics
Discussion: Instapundit
The Economist:
Our pick of the decade's eight best young economists
Discussion: Marginal REVOLUTION
Washington Post:
Judiciary dismisses ‘serious’ misconduct complaints against Brett M. Kavanaugh
Discussion: Shareblue Media