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7:25 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: 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
Tom Nichols / USA Today:
All signs point the same way: Vladimir Putin has compromising information on Donald Trump  —  Trump's behavior toward Russia has always been a security concern, and the FBI had no choice but to open a counterintelligence operation.  It did its job.  —  CONNECT
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 …
Strobe Talbott / Politico:
It's Already Collusion  —  On Friday, the New York Times revealed an FBI investigation whether Candidate Trump had colluded—the word he hates and denies—with Russians to help his campaign.  The next day, the Washington Post probed into President Trump's refusal to let his own government …
Andrew McCarthy / Fox News:
FBI Russia investigation was always about Trump
Jennifer Rubin / Washington Post:
No president has ever been asked: Are you a Russian agent?
Peter Baker / New York Times:
Trump Confronts the Prospect of a ‘Nonstop Political War’ for Survival
Catherine Herridge / Fox News:
Republican uncovered secret FBI debate over Trump motivation for Comey firing during House questioning
Discussion: The Gateway Pundit
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 …
New York Times:
Pentagon Officials Fear Bolton's Actions Increase Risk of Clash With Iran  —  WASHINGTON — Senior Pentagon officials are voicing deepening fears that President Trump's hawkish national security adviser, John R. Bolton, could precipitate a conflict with Iran at a time when Mr. Trump …
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.
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 …
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
John Hinderaker / Power Line:
We the Press  —  Frank Bruni, formerly the New York Times's White House reporter and now a columnist for the paper, has a long, long op-ed that is unintentionally revealing.  It is headlined, “Will the Media Be Trump's Accomplice Again in 2020?”  As though the press were pro-Trump in 2016!
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
Marisa Kendall / Mercury News:
Landlord rents $1,500 studio to two cats, hits ‘peak Silicon Valley’  —  San Jose studio even has an Apple TV  —  SAN JOSE — Looking to make some extra cash, David Callisch found the perfect tenants for the $1,500-a-month studio apartment behind his Willow Glen home — a pair of cats.
Holly Otterbein / Politico:
Bernie Sanders staffs up for 2020  —  The Vermont senator is making additions to his digital operation, which already surpasses the rest of the field.  —  Bernie Sanders is adding firepower to his political team ahead of a potential 2020 campaign, locking down digital alumni who were key …
Ian Geoghegan / Politico:
Liam Fox: No-deal Brexit would be ‘default policy’ if MPs reject deal  —  International Trade Secretary Liam Fox says exiting the EU without a deal is the U.K. government's “default policy” if there is no agreement in parliament on the prime minister's Withdrawal Agreement.
Associated Press:
Canada air traffic controllers buy pizza for US colleagues  —  MONTREAL (AP) — Canadian air traffic controllers have bought hundreds of pizzas for their American counterparts over the past few days in what has become an industry-wide show of support during the U.S. government's partial shutdown.
NBC News:
Federal worker forced to ration insulin because of government shutdown  —  “I can't afford to go to the ER.  I can't afford anything.  I just went to bed and hoped I'd wake up,” Mallory Lorge said about her blood sugar going high.  —  Mallory Lorge, who suffers from Type 1 diabetes …
Discussion: Splinter and The Root
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 …
Washington Post:
Revelations about Manafort's 2016 interactions with Russian associate show special counsel's intense focus on Russia contacts  —  New revelations about Paul Manafort's interactions with a Russian associate while he was leading President Trump's campaign provide a window into how extensively …
Associated Press:
Judge blocks Trump birth control coverage rules in 13 states  —  OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — A U.S. judge in California on Sunday blocked Trump administration rules, which would allow more employers to opt out of providing women with no-cost birth control, from taking effect in 13 states and Washington, D.C.
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 More Items: 
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
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
Jillian Jorgensen / New York Daily News:
Mayor de Blasio won't rule out running for President in 2020
Discussion: Breitbart
Catherine Lucey / Associated Press:
Analysis: Stagecraft won't win shutdown battle for Trump
Jonathan Swan / Axios:
“There isn't a clear path to an exit”: Officials see Washington stuck in shutdown mode
Discussion: Breitbart and Politico
Edward Luce / Financial Times:
The Clinton-Obama era ends as US Democrats seek a radical new voice
 Earlier Items: 
Walker Bragman / The Intercept:
The Union Fight That Defined Beto O'Rourke's City Council Days
Shane Goldmacher / New York Times:
Ocasio-Cortez Pushes Democrats to the Left, Whether They Like It or Not
Discussion: Power Line and
Los Angeles Times:
FBI corruption probe goes beyond L.A. Councilman Jose Huizar to include other City Hall figures
Louise Matsakis / Wired:
MacKenzie Bezos and the Myth of the Lone Genius Founder
Judy L. Thomas / Kansas City Star:
They roam public buildings, making videos. Terrorism experts say they may be dangerous
Mitch Smith / New York Times:
Students in Rural America Ask, ‘What Is a University Without a History Major?’
Janet Hook / Los Angeles Times:
Old, young, liberal, centrist: Democrats will have no end of choices for president in 2020