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9:55 AM ET, January 16, 2019

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 Top Items: 
Axios:
Exclusive excerpt: Chris Christie torches Jared  —  Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie settles scores in “Let Me Finish,” a memoir out Jan. 29 from Hachette Books, writing that President Trump “trusts people he shouldn't, including some of the people who are closest to him.”
Jim Tankersley / New York Times:
Shutdown's Economic Damage Starts to Pile Up, Threatening an End to Growth  —  WASHINGTON — The partial government shutdown is inflicting far greater damage on the United States economy than previously estimated, the White House acknowledged on Tuesday, as President Trump's economists doubled projections …
Des Moines Register:
The Register's editorial: Steve King should resign for the good of Iowa  —  Some may argue that 4th District voters are getting what they deserve.  But the entire state needs a healthy rural economy.  Low commodity prices and President Trump's tariffs have hit farmers hard.  —  CONNECT
RELATED:
Michael Gors / siouxcityjournal.com:
OUR OPINION: Steve King should resign
Discussion: Axios
Washington Post:
Republicans finally noticed Steve King's bigotry. What about Trump's?
Rebecca Klein / HuffPost:
Karen Pence Is Working At A School That Bans LGBTQ Employees And Kids  —  The school discriminates against LGBTQ people in its job application and says LGBTQ kids aren't welcome.  —  Karen Pence, wife of Vice President Mike Pence, started at a job this week teaching art at Immanuel Christian School in Northern Virginia.
RELATED:
Eli Rosenberg / Washington Post:
The school that hired Karen Pence requires applicants to disavow gay marriage, trans identity  —  The school where Vice President Pence's wife, Karen Pence, has accepted a part-time job teaching art requires potential employees to affirm certain religious beliefs that seek to exclude homosexual …
Discussion: Mediaite and LGBTQ Nation
David M. Drucker / Washington Examiner:
Hoping to keep his seat and wary of angering the base, McConnell defers to Trump on the shutdown  —  During former President Barack Obama's tenure, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., first as the Senate minority leader and later majority leader, assumed the mantle of lead policy maker and negotiator for his party.
RELATED:
Burgess Everett / Politico:
‘The gang concept almost never works’: Senators struggle to end shutdown
Discussion: Talking Points Memo
Peter Baker / New York Times:
Trump and Putin Have Met Five Times.  What Was Said Is a Mystery.  —  WASHINGTON — The first time they met was in Germany.  President Trump took his interpreter's notes afterward and ordered him not to disclose what he heard to anyone.  Later that night, at a dinner …
Kenneth P. Vogel / New York Times:
Republicans Break Ranks Over Move to Lift Sanctions on Russian Oligarch's Firms  —  WASHINGTON — A group of 11 Republican senators broke ranks with their leadership and the administration on Tuesday to side with Democrats in a showdown over sanctions on Russia, underscoring the political sensitivity …
RELATED:
The Daily Beast:
Deripaska's Rusal Flouts Sanctions Pledge With New Kremlin Stooge
Discussion: Washington Post
Washington Post:
T-Mobile announced a merger needing Trump administration approval.  The next day, 9 executives had reservations at Trump's hotel.  —  Last April, telecom giant T-Mobile announced a megadeal: a $26 billion merger with rival Sprint, which would more than double T-Mobile's value and give it a huge new chunk of the cellphone market.
Discussion: Daily Kos
Eliot Brown / Wall Street Journal:
WeWork's CEO Makes Millions as Landlord to WeWork  —  Adam Neumann has bought properties and leased them to his co-working startup, sparking conflict of interest concerns  —  For more than two months after employees at International Business Machines Corp. moved into a Manhattan building managed …
Jeffrey M. Jones / Gallup:
Trump Job Approval Sets New Record for Polarization  —  WASHINGTON, D.C. — The average 79-percentage-point difference between Republicans' and Democrats' job approval ratings of President Donald Trump during his second year in office is the largest Gallup has measured in any presidential year to date.
Jonathan Swan / Axios:
“He's not a guy who likes a plan”: How Trump takes his strategic cues from Mike Tyson  —  When a frustrated adviser once tried to convince President Trump to consider a strategic plan, the president launched into a story about his friend Mike Tyson, the former world heavyweight boxing champion.
Discussion: Raw Story and Political Wire
Spencer S. Hsu / Washington Post:
New court filing indicates prosecutors have extensive details on Manafort actions not yet made public  —  Prosecutors working for special counsel Robert S. Mueller III have intensively scrutinized Paul Manafort's activities after President Trump's election — including after Manafort was criminally charged …
RELATED:
Wall Street Journal:   Jerome Corsi, Target of Mueller Probe, Says Stepson Faces Subpoena
Pew Research Center:
Most Border Wall Opponents, Supporters Say Shutdown Concessions Are Unacceptable  —  Partisan divide on whether shutdown is ‘very serious’ problem  —  With the partial shutdown of the federal government in its third week, both opponents and supporters of expanding the U.S.-Mexico border …
Discussion: Washington Post, Vox and Politico
John Bresnahan / Politico:
Pelosi gets revenge against one of the Dem rebels  —  House Speaker Nancy Pelosi exacted revenge against one of her most outspoken detractors Tuesday night, blocking Rep. Kathleen Rice from landing a seat on the high-profile House Judiciary Committee.  —  Pelosi lobbied for other members …
Discussion: Townhall
Elizabeth Dexheimer / Bloomberg:
Ocasio-Cortez Said Poised to Join Panel Overseeing Wall Street  — Socialist Democrat recommended for House finance committee  — 29-year-old New Yorker has called for breakup of biggest banks  —  Wall Street, get ready for a lot more scrutiny from U.S. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
Discussion: ABC News and Axios
RELATED:
Louisa Loveluck / Washington Post:
Islamic State claims blast in U.S.-patrolled city in Syria; monitoring group, local media report casualties  —  BEIRUT — The Islamic State claimed responsibility Wednesday for a suicide blast in Syria's U.S.-patrolled city of Manbij, marking the first such attack since President Trump …
Dana Milbank / Washington Post:
Why would William Barr take this job?  The answer should alarm Trump.  —  It was William P. Barr's confirmation hearing.  But it was Robert S. Mueller III's affirmation hearing.  —  President Trump had nominated Barr to be his new attorney general to shield him from Mueller's hoax of a rigged witch hunt.
RELATED:
Aaron Blake / Washington Post:
William Barr tries to clean up his Clinton comments — but stumbles into a new Mueller problem
Barry Meier / New York Times:
Sacklers Directed Efforts to Mislead Public About OxyContin, New Documents Indicate  —  A filing in a Massachusetts lawsuit contains dozens of internal Purdue Pharma documents suggesting the family was far more involved than the company has long contended.  —  Members of the Sackler family …
Discussion: The Week
CBS News:
U.S. troops reportedly killed in Syria suicide attack claimed by ISIS  —  A handful of U.S. troops have reportedly been caught up in an attack in northern Syria, and a monitoring group says Americans are among the dead.  The U.S.-led military coalition in Syria, Operation Inherent Resolve …
Discussion: RT
Daniel Strauss / Politico:
Abrams and Gillum are likely 2020 kingmakers  —  Stacey Abrams and Andrew Gillum — two of the Democratic Party's breakout candidates of 2018, despite losing their elections for governor of Georgia and Florida — are looking to parlay their near-success into the defeat of Donald Trump in 2020.
Discussion: Talking Points Memo
Financial Times:
America has never worried about financing its priorities  —  There is nothing inherently socialist about government debt.  A government can issue debt to pay for whatever it likes.  It can pay to fight a war, to lower taxes for a preferred group, to soften the sharp edges of a recession.
Discussion: AOL and InsideSources
New York Times:
After Her Brexit Deal Is Crushed in Parliament, Theresa May Faces a No-Confidence Vote  —  LONDON — Prime Minister Theresa May on Tuesday suffered a humiliating defeat over her plan to withdraw Britain from the European Union, thrusting the country further into political chaos with only 10 weeks …
RELATED:
Lili Bayer / Politico:
German minister says UK should be given more time on Brexit
Kate O'Neill / Wired:
Facebook's ‘10 Year Challenge’ Is Just a Harmless Meme—Right?  —  If you use social media, you've probably noticed a trend across Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter of people posting their then-and-now profile pictures, mostly from 10 years ago and this year.  —  WIRED OPINION
Jonathan V. Last / The Bulwark:
Is AOC the Future of Politics?  Is Trump?  —  Do these two represent the future of politics?  —  Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Donald Trump could not be more different as people.  Old vs. young; glamorous vs. fat; making ends meet vs. ultra-rich; democratic-socialist vs. populist-conservative.
Mike Pence / USA Today:
Democrats refuse to compromise on border wall funding to end the shutdown  —  As the partial government shutdown continues, President Trump tweeted about the new caravan heading for the southern border.  Veuer's Sam Berman has the full story. … CONNECT  —  America has a national security …
Discussion: Townhall
John Wagner / Washington Post:
Trump blasts Democrats, points to border wall construction elsewhere in the world  —  President Trump lashed out Wednesday at Democrats as “a Party of open borders and crime” and pointed to a surge in construction of border walls by other countries as a standoff continued over his demand for funding a wall at the U.S.-Mexico border.
Anton Troianovski / Washington Post:
The Russians know exactly what Putin and Trump talked about, but we probably won't find out for decades  —  MOSCOW — The United States has no detailed record of President Trump's five face-to-face interactions with Russian President Vladimir Putin over the past two years, The Washington Post reported last week.
Addy Baird / ThinkProgress:
Small businesses near national parks say shutdown has left them struggling to survive  —  “Everyone is worried about buying groceries and paying their bills.  It's horrible.”  —  Federal employees aren't the only ones nervous about making ends meet during the government shutdown.
Discussion: Raw Story
Fox News Insider:
Tucker Carlson Battled Obama Adviser Over Trump Bashing NATO, Russia  —  Tucker Carlson debated an Obama foreign policy adviser over whether it is a civic offense to consider withdrawing the United States from NATO or discussing whether the alliance should be altered.
Discussion: twitchy.com
Seth Abramovitch / Hollywood Reporter:
Steven Spielberg Met With Puerto Ricans About ‘West Side Story’ Concerns  —  At a town hall with University of Puerto Rico students and faculty, the director, flanked by screenwriter Tony Kushner, said his remake of the musical will strive for authenticity.  Critics say the problems go deeper than that.
Discussion: Daily Wire
Daniel Dale / Toronto Star:
Trump's tales about gagged women are misleading Americans about human trafficking, experts say  —  WASHINGTON—U. S. President Donald Trump has been painting a wildly inaccurate picture of human trafficking in his effort to sell a border wall that would not make a meaningful difference …
 
 
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 More Items: 
Bloomberg:
Russia's Lavrov Mocks Suggestion That Trump Worked for the Kremlin
Discussion: Politico
Aaron Rodriguez / CREW:
CREW Files Ethics Complaint Against Andrew Wheeler
Discussion: Washington Post
Washington Post:
The shutdown threatens the promise of government jobs — and a way of life
Paul Mirengoff / Power Line:
Talk show host calls out black commentator for his “white privilege”
Discussion: The Daily Caller and Mediaite
David Rothkopf / The Daily Beast:
My Mother Worked to Make America Great. She Lived to See Trump Make It Worse.
 Earlier Items: 
Henry J. Gomez / BuzzFeed News:
Sherrod Brown Is Taking His Possible Presidential Campaign To The Early Primary States
Discussion: Splinter
Glenn Harlan Reynolds / USA Today:
Donald Trump is a symptom of a new kind of class warfare raging at home and abroad
Discussion: Power Line and The Moderate Voice
Mark Joseph Stern / Slate:
The Supreme Court Just Handed a Big, Unanimous Victory to Workers. Wait, What?
Discussion: Above the Law
Jared Holt / Right Wing Watch:
Did the Wall Street Journal Fall for a Prank Directed at Laura Loomer?
Discussion: Newsweek
Associated Press:
APNewsBreak: Feds say ‘star’ DEA agent abroad stole millions
Discussion: RT