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10:15 AM ET, January 14, 2019


 Top Items: 
Betsy Woodruff / The Daily Beast:
Kremlin Blessed Russia's NRA Operation, U.S. Intel Report Says  —  When Maria Butina and Alexander Torshin's brought NRA bigwigs to Moscow, it wasn't a rogue mission.  It was okayed from the very top, according to a report reviewed by The Beast.  —  Betsy Woodruff
Discussion: Joe.My.God., POLITICUSUSA and Raw Story
Max Boot / Washington Post:
Here are 18 reasons Trump could be a Russian asset  —  On Friday, the New York Times reported that “in the days after President Trump fired James B. Comey as F.B.I. director, law enforcement officials became so concerned by the president's behavior that they began investigating whether …
Discussion: East Bay Times
Strobe Talbott / Politico:
It's Already Collusion
Washington Post:   Revelations about Manafort's 2016 interactions with Russian associate show special counsel's …
Transcripts detail how FBI debated whether Trump was ‘following directions’ of Russia  —  (CNN)In the chaotic aftermath at the FBI following Director James Comey's firing, a half-dozen senior FBI officials huddled to set in motion the momentous move to open an investigation into President Donald Trump …
Jonathan Swan / Axios:
Scoop: Trump dressed down Mulvaney in front of congressional leaders  —  President Trump chastised his new chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, over his handling of shutdown talks, creating an awkward scene in front of congressional leaders of both parties, according to two sources who were present.
Washington Post:
‘They screwed this whole thing up’: Inside the attempt to derail Trump's erratic Syria withdrawal  —  President Trump dispatched national security adviser John Bolton on a cleanup mission a week ago, with a three-day itinerary in Israel that was intended to reassure a close ally …
Atlanta passenger gets gun through TSA, alerts officials in Japan he still has it  —  ATLANTA - Channel 2 Action News has learned that a man carried a gun through the TSA checkpoint at Atlanta's airport and carried it all the way through to his destination: Tokyo.
Andrew Kaczynski / CNN:
Tulsi Gabbard once touted working for anti-gay group that backed conversion therapy  —  (CNN)Rep. Tulsi Gabbard in the early 2000s touted working for her father's anti-gay organization, which mobilized to pass a measure against same-sex marriage in Hawaii and promoted controversial conversion therapy.
Allyson Chiu / Washington Post:
'A 10 isn't enough': This UCLA gymnast's flawless floor routine just broke the Internet  —  As the first strains of Tina Turner's “Proud Mary” filled the Anaheim Arena on Saturday, Katelyn Ohashi came alive.  —  As she executed a quick body roll with a giant smile plastered across her face …
Discussion: KTLA, Los Angeles Times and
Annie Lowrey / The Atlantic:
The Truth About the Gig Economy  —  The workforce is getting Uberized.  The gig economy is taking over the world.  Independent contractor jobs are the new normal.  In the post-recession years, this became conventional wisdom, as more and more Americans took jobs—well, “jobs” …
Jonathan Chait / New York Magazine:
What Happens When Elizabeth Warren Sells Out to Powerful Interests?  —  Last September, I wrote about Elizabeth Warren's smart platform, which has harnessed the most politically attractive elements of the populist agenda while avoiding the most politically vulnerable parts.
Discussion: Lawyers, Guns & Money
Holly Otterbein / Politico:
Bernie Sanders staffs up for 2020  —  Bernie Sanders is adding firepower to his political team ahead of a potential 2020 campaign, locking down digital alumni who were key to his surprise performance in 2016 and recruiting the media production company that helped launch Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to prominence.
Washington Post:
First snowstorm of 2019 packs a wallop: How much snow fell and how it happened  —  The long-duration storm dumped 6 to 12 inches, enough to set some records  —  This was not a heavy snowstorm of typical origin — not a nor'easter, which most often delivers the memorable snow events such as …
Cara Lombardo / Wall Street Journal:
Hedge-Fund-Backed Media Group Prepares Bid for Gannett  —  Digital First Media has taken 7.5% stake in USA Today publisher, seeks other bids  —  A hedge-fund-backed media group known for buying up struggling local papers and cutting costs is planning to make an offer for USA Today publisher …
David French / The Atlantic:
The Unmanning of Conservatism  —  In Trump's view of masculinity, cheap shots replace bravery and hostility replaces honor.  —  Donald Trump wants everyone to know that he's a tough guy.  In 2017, the congressional candidate Greg Gianforte “body-slammed” the Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs …
Ariel Edwards-Levy / HuffPost:
Most Americans Hold Trump Responsible For Government Shutdown, New Polls Show  —  The latest surveys find the public increasingly concerned about the standoff and unhappy with everyone in Washington.  —  Most Americans hold President Donald Trump responsible for the partial government shutdown …
Discussion: Townhall, Contemptor and The Week
Matt Ford / New Republic:
Five Dealbreakers for Confirming Trump's Next Attorney General  —  Bill Barr is no stranger to the Senate confirmation process.  President Donald Trump's nominee to be the next attorney general already went through it twice before, first to serve as deputy attorney general in 1990 and then to become attorney general from 1991 to 1993.
Associated Press:
2020 Democratic primary set to intensify  —  DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — After months of speculation and secrecy, the 2020 presidential primary season is about to explode.  —  With several Democrats already in the race, a half dozen more are locking down final travel, staffing and strategy to launch White House bids in the coming weeks.
Fred Hiatt / Washington Post:
China has detained an old man and tormented his daughter.  Trump thinks this is ‘honorable’?  —  Not long before President Trump expounded on how “honorable” he finds China's Communist regime, my friend Ti-Anna Wang found herself and her 11-month-old baby in custody in the Hangzhou airport.
Monica Hesse / Washington Post:
How ‘traditional masculinity’ hurts the men who believe in it most  —  My grandfather is traditionally masculine in most senses of the word: He was a soldier, then a bait-shop owner, then a garbage collector; he rose before dawn most days of his life and I never heard him complain about it.
Discussion: The Federalist
Jonathan V. Last / The Bulwark:
2020 Republican Primary Power Rankings  —  Get ready for the Trump primary!  —  Since 1964, nine sitting presidents have stood for re-election.  —  Five of them were challenged in the primaries.  —  If 2020 obeys the normal rules of political physics, President Trump will face a primary challenger.
Wall Street Journal:
Shutdown Pinches Economic Growth  —  The effects aren't yet widespread, but a lasting impasse would begin curtailing the rate of expansion  —  A Vermont mead brewery has delayed a major expansion because the owners can't get a business loan.  A craft-burger joint in Utah has sent employees home because sales are down.
Discussion: Politico
New York Times:
Stung by Florida Midterm Losses, Democrats See a Swing State Drifting Away  —  PEMBROKE PINES, Fla. — After a painful midterm election for Florida Democrats that showed this crucial swing state drifting away from them, a group of party activists gathered at a Cuban restaurant last month …
Dalton Ross /
Anthony Scaramucci among 12 new Celebrity Big Brother houseguests  —  Former White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci will be among 12 new contestants competing on season 2 of Big Brother: Celebrity Edition when the reality show hosted by Julie Chen Moonves premieres Monday, Jan. 21 on CBS.
Discussion: Breitbart, Mediaite and
Wall Street Journal:
PG&E Prepares for Bankruptcy Amid Wildfire Fallout  —  State's largest utility says it faces more than $30 billion in fire-related liability costs  —  PG&E Corp. PCG -48.66% plans to file for bankruptcy protection by the end of the month as it faces more than $30 billion …
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 More Items: 
Elissa Nadworny / NPR:
Los Angeles Teachers Are Moving Forward With A Strike
Discussion: CNN, Hullabaloo, Los Angeles Times and Vox
Grant Schulte / Associated Press:
Industry wary of alternatives tries to protect a word: meat
Ian Geoghegan / Politico:
Liam Fox: No-deal Brexit would be ‘default policy’ if MPs reject deal
Jon Ralston / The Nevada Independent:
Harry Reid unplugged
Discussion: Political Wire
Shane Dixon Kavanaugh / Oregonian:
Gone: More cases emerge of Saudi students vanishing while facing Oregon charges
Wall Street Journal:
Wall Impasse Frustrates Many Newly Elected House Democrats
Associated Press:
Canada air traffic controllers buy pizza for US colleagues
Discussion: Splinter
 Earlier Items: 
John Hinderaker / Power Line:
We the Press  —  Frank Bruni, formerly the New York Times's …
Discussion: NewsBusters and Instapundit
Marisa Kendall / Mercury News:
Landlord rents $1,500 studio to two cats, hits ‘peak Silicon Valley’
Discussion: FiveThirtyEight
Melissa Etehad / Los Angeles Times:
Is Tehran spying on Southern California?  Feds say O.C. waiter and ‘Chubby’ from Long Beach were agents of Iran
NBC News:
Federal worker forced to ration insulin because of government shutdown
Discussion: Splinter and The Root
Catherine Lucey / Associated Press:
Analysis: Stagecraft won't win shutdown battle for Trump
Discussion: ThinkProgress
Associated Press:
Judge blocks Trump birth control coverage rules in 13 states
Jonathan Swan / Axios:
“There isn't a clear path to an exit”: Officials see Washington stuck in shutdown mode
Discussion: Breitbart and Politico
Walker Bragman / The Intercept:
The Union Fight That Defined Beto O'Rourke's City Council Days