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7:55 AM ET, January 15, 2019


 Top Items: 
New York Times:
Trump Discussed Pulling U.S. From NATO, Aides Say Amid New Concerns Over Russia  —  WASHINGTON — There are few things that President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia desires more than the weakening of NATO, the military alliance among the United States, Europe and Canada that has deterred Soviet and Russian aggression for 70 years.
New York Times:
Steve King Faces Loss of House Committee Seats Over White Supremacy Remark  —  House Republican leaders will try to remove Representative Steve King of Iowa from the powerful Judiciary Committee and his other panel assignments on Monday night as the party officials scrambled to appear tough …
NBC News:
House GOP leaders vote to strip Steve King of committee assignments following ‘white supremacy’ remarks  —  “I think we spoke loud and clear that we will not tolerate this in the Republican Party,” said House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif.  —  WASHINGTON — House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy …
The Hill:
GOP leaders strip Steve King of committee assignments  —  House GOP leaders moved Monday to remove Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) from all of his committee assignments following a firestorm over remarks considered racist.  —  House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) told reporters …
Michael Gerson / Washington Post:
Republicans need to condemn Trump's brazen bigotry
Al Weaver / Washington Examiner:   McCarthy strips Steve King of committee assignments after accusations he backed white supremacy
Washington Post:
Rep. Steve King's inflammatory remarks roil a GOP already struggling on race
Discussion: Political Wire
NPR:   How Damaging Are Rep. King's Comments To The GOP?
Emma Ockerman / VICE News:
Democrats are about to punish GOP Rep. Steve King for his “rabid racism”
Discussion: CNN, The Week and Axios
John Bresnahan / Politico:
Steve King stripped of committee seats — with more punishment coming
Discussion: ABC News and Breitbart
James Arkin / Politico:   Romney calls on Steve King to resign after white supremacy remarks
The Daily Beast:
Mueller Probes an Event With Nunes, Flynn, and Foreign Officials at Trump's D.C. Hotel  —  Devin Nunes has been a pitbull for the president, growling at the prosecutors investigating Trumpworld.  Now an event that Nunes himself attended is under Mueller's microscope.
Trump's legal team rebuffed request for Mueller interview in recent weeks  —  (CNN)President Donald Trump's legal team rebuffed special counsel Robert Mueller's request in recent weeks for an in-person session with Trump to ask follow-up questions.  —  The request was made after Trump's …
New York Times:
At Trump's Inauguration, $10,000 for Makeup and Lots of Room Service  —  WASHINGTON — Private donors put up $107 million to usher Donald J. Trump into office in style two years ago, and it is now clear just how enthusiastically his inaugural committee went to town with it.
Discussion: AOL, The Week and Raw Story
POLITICO Playbook: Trump amps up Dem pressure campaign  —  DRIVING THE DAY  —  SHUTDOWN ... DAY 25 ... THE WHITE HOUSE sent a bunch of moderate House Democrats invitations to meet with the president, as Heather Caygle and Jake first reported late Monday afternoon.
John Santucci / ABC News:
President Donald Trump's inaugural fund spent lavishly at his DC hotel, new docs show  —  President Donald Trump's inaugural committee spent more than $1.5 million at the Trump International Hotel in Washington ahead of his 2017 swearing-in, according to internal documents reviewed by ABC News.
Annie Karni / New York Times:
Ivanka Trump to Help Choose New World Bank President
Ariane de Vogue / CNN:
Barr sent or discussed controversial memo with Trump lawyers  —  Washington (CNN)Attorney General nominee William Barr shared a controversial memo last year with nearly all of President Donald Trump's lawyers concluding that an aspect of special counsel Robert Mueller's case could be “fatally misconceived,” Barr acknowledged Monday.
Discussion: KTLA
Lessons from Watergate: What the Senate Judiciary Committee Should Ask Bill Barr  —  Secretary of Defense (designate) Elliot L. Richardson and Sen. John C. Stennis of Miss., January 1973 (Source: Wikimedia/U.S. National Archives)  —  William Barr, President Trump's nominee to head the Justice Department …
Luke Barr / ABC News:
AG nominee Barr promises he won't interfere with Mueller as confirmation hearing set to begin
Discussion: The Daily Beast
John Solomon / The Hill:
Rosenstein, DOJ exploring ways to more easily spy on journalists
Senior Trump Official / The Daily Caller:
I'm A Senior Trump Official, And I Hope A Long Shutdown Smokes Out The Resistance  —  The Daily Caller is taking the rare step of publishing this anonymous op-ed at the request of the author, a senior official in the Trump administration whose identity is known to us and whose career would be jeopardized by its disclosure.
Discussion: Daily Wire
Matt Shuham / Talking Points Memo:
‘Senior Trump Official’ On Shutdown: ‘We Do Not Want Most Employees To Return’
Discussion: Hullabaloo
New York Times:
With New Voting Laws, Democrats Flex Newfound Power in New York  —  ALBANY — After years of lagging behind other states, New York radically overhauled its system of voting and elections on Monday, passing several bills that would allow early voting, preregistration of minors, voting by mail and sharp limits on the influence of money.
Discussion: Axios
Richard L. Hasen / Slate:   The House Democrats' Colossal Election Reform Bill Could Save American Democracy
Ari Berman / Mother Jones:
New York Has Some of the Worst Voting Laws in the Country. That's About to Change.
Discussion: Splinter
Betsy Woodruff / The Daily Beast:
Joe Lieberman Called Chinese Telecom Giant ZTE a National Security Threat.  Now He's a Lobbyist for It.  —  The former Senator says he can better serve his new client precisely because he was once a critic.  —  Betsy Woodruff  —  Joseph Lieberman, the former Connecticut senator …
Discussion: Raw Story
Tom Vanden Brook / USA Today:
Pentagon to send more active-duty troops to southwest border  —  President Trump once said Mexico would pay directly for a wall; now he says his trade deal would do it.  But experts say that's a long shot.  —  CONNECT  —  WASHINGTON - The Pentagon will send a fresh deployment …
Discussion: CNN and Townhall
Associated Press:
Pentagon agrees to extended role on Mexico border mission
Discussion: ABC News
Rosalind S. Helderman / Washington Post:
Conservative writer Jerome Corsi says Mueller has summoned his stepson to testify before grand jury  —  The stepson of conservative writer Jerome Corsi has been summoned by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III to testify before a grand jury, according to Corsi, a sign that Mueller's team remains focused …
Discussion: Associated Press
Washington Post:
Trump and lawmakers paralyzed over shutdown as both sides remain dug in  —  President Trump's dismissals of his own party's calls for compromise and his seeming indifference to shuttered federal agencies left the snowbound capital paralyzed Monday, with lawmakers in both parties scrambling …
Both parties aim to woo defectors as shutdown drags on
Emma G. Fitzsimmons / New York Times:
Leaks, Cancer-Causing Dust: L-Train Plan Similar to Cuomo's Was Rejected Over Safety  —  The key to Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo's surprise decision this month to call off the L-train shutdown is a new repair plan that relies on mounting subway cables to the tunnel wall — a less disruptive approach …
The Sun:
BREX FROM THE DEAD Theresa May will force SECOND vote on her Brexit deal despite facing huge defeat  —  Allies claim that German Chancellor Angela Merkel has offered Theresa May last minute help after saying the EU could grant extra concessions if MPs shoot down the her deal
Discussion: Politico, Reuters, Bloomberg, RT and The Local
Brian Stelter / CNN:
Welcome to the Stephen Colbert primary  —  (CNN)Iowa.  New Hampshire.  Donor enclaves on the coasts.  And... the Ed Sullivan Theater?  —  Yes, the home of Stephen Colbert's “Late Show” is proving to be a key stop for Democrats who are positioning themselves for 2020 presidential bids.
Washington Post:
Justice Department issues new opinion that could further restrict online gambling  —  The Justice Department late Monday issued a legal opinion that could further restrict online gambling even as some states have been moving to embrace it — a restriction long sought by GOP megadonor Sheldon Adelson …
Discussion: Raw Story
David French / National Review:
Lawless Federal Judges Are Winning Their War against the Trump Administration  —  Sunday's injunction against Trump-administration religious-freedom rules is nothing but judicial #Resistance.  —  It's déjà vu all over again.  A federal judge has blocked a lawful Trump-administration policy …
Discussion: Townhall
Amy Goldstein / Washington Post:   Judge blocks Trump effort to roll back birth control mandate nationwide
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 More Items: 
Bruce Haring / Deadline:
‘Family Guy’ Is Phasing Out Jokes About Gay People, Executive Producers Say
Discussion: Louder With Crowder
Peter Holley / Washington Post:
Giant Food Stores will place robotic assistants at 172 locations, company says
Discussion: Mashable
Jeff Kosseff / USA Today:
Dear 2020 candidates, cybersecurity chief is your most important hire. Don't screw it up.
Matthew Choi / Politico:
White House spokesman Raj Shah will join lobbying firm
Discussion: Splinter
Michael Kranish / Washington Post:
Old land deal quietly haunts Mick Mulvaney as he serves as Trump's chief of staff
Washington Post:
The shutdown is giving some Trump advisers what they've long wanted: A smaller government
Discussion: The Daily Beast
 Earlier Items: 
Kyle Smith / National Review:
Philadelphia's Soda War
Richard N. Haass / Project Syndicate:
THE YEAR OF TRUMP?  —  The second truth is that peace negotiations are unlikely to work.
David Dayen / The Intercept:
Shuttered IRS Is Sending Automated Warnings of Asset Seizures, With Nobody to Call to Stop Them
Discussion: Boing Boing
Lyz Lenz / HuffPost:
You Should Care That Richard Spencer's Wife Says He Abused Her
Discussion: Splinter
Margaret Sullivan / Washington Post:
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is freaking out the news media. And it's working for her.
Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul is going to Canada for surgery