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6:35 PM ET, January 22, 2019

memeorandum

 Top Items: 
Azeen Ghorayshi / BuzzFeed News:
Trump's Lawyer Said There Were “No Plans” For Trump Tower Moscow.  Here They Are.  —  Trump's lawyer claims the Moscow tower was barely more than a notion.  “There were no drafts.  Nothing in the file.”  Documents obtained by BuzzFeed News tell a different story.
RELATED:
Isaac Chotiner / New Yorker:
“Even if He Did Do It, It Wouldn't Be a Crime”: Rudy Giuliani on President Trump  —  On Sunday, Rudy Giuliani, one of President Trump's lawyers, made a startling admission to the Times and NBC's “Meet the Press” that Trump had been involved in discussions to build a Trump Tower Moscow throughout …
Ross Douthat / New York Times:
The Covington Scissor  —  Welcome to another controversy algorithmically designed to tear America apart.  —  In a short story published last October, “Sort by Controversial,” Scott Alexander imagines a Silicon Valley company that accidentally comes up with an algorithm to generate what it calls a “Scissor.”
RELATED:
Molly Roberts / Washington Post:
Everyone is still wrong about the Covington kids  —  Your opinion on the Covington Catholic fracas depends on the angle you choose to see it from.  Literally.  —  A clash captured on video among a group of white MAGA-wearing schoolboys, a Native American activist and a handful …
Melissa Reinert / Cincinnati.com:
Nathan Phillips rejects Jeff Ruby's offer to ‘break bread’ with CovCath students  —  Nathan Phillips has turned down Cincinnati restaurateur Jeff Ruby's invitation to “break bread and make amends” with Covington Catholic High School students.  —  On Monday, Ruby offered to fly Phillips …
Jennifer Edwards Baker / WXIX-TV:
CovCath, Diocese release statement following school closure Tuesday  —  PARK HILLS, KY. - (FOX19) - Covington Catholic High School and the Diocese of Covington released a statement about the progress of the investigation into the incident at the March For Life 2019 event.
David French / National Review:
Covington Catholic Is the Terrible Sequel to the Kavanaugh Case
Discussion: Hot Air and twitchy.com
James Varney / Washington Times:   Vietnam Veteran status of Native American at center of viral encounter in D.C. in question
New York Times:
Senate Leaders Plan Competing Bills to End Shutdown  —  Senate Leaders Plan Competing Bills on Shutdown  — Most Republicans remain united behind President Trump's insistence that any legislation to reopen the government include money for a border wall.  — But most Democrats are opposed …
Katherine Faulders / ABC News:
Trump preparing two State of the Union speeches for different audiences: Sources  —  President Donald Trump is preparing for two different State of the Union speeches - one a more traditional address delivered to Congress in the House chamber or some other location in D.C. …
RELATED:
Rachael Bade / Politico:
Congress agitates to end relentless shutdown  —  There's a flurry of movement to end the shutdown on both sides of the Capitol, but no signs that either President Donald Trump or GOP and Democratic leaders are budging enough to end the standstill now on its 32nd day.
Seung Min Kim / Washington Post:
Trump prepares two versions of State of the Union address as shutdown tensions escalate
Discussion: Shakesville
Des Moines Register:
Divorce filing: U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst says her husband physically attacked her  —  Years before her divorce, U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst was assaulted by her husband after she confronted him about his alleged affair with their daughter's babysitter, she wrote in court filings.
Discussion: Political Wire
RELATED:
Brent Antisdel / CITYVIEW:
Sen. Joni Ernst says she was in an abusive marriage.  Mayor Frank Cownie is raising money for re-election.
Charles Homans / New York Times:
Mitch McConnell Got Everything He Wanted.  But at What Cost?  —  The president whom the Senate Republican leader helped elect has turned out to be the one thing he can't control.  —  At sunrise, there it was: a red-tailed hawk, its gyre widening over the United States Capitol building …
RELATED:
Carol Morello / Washington Post:
Top diplomat for European affairs resigns from State Department  —  A. Wess Mitchell, the top diplomat in charge of European affairs, will resign from the State Department next month, creating a key vacancy at a time when European leaders are questioning President Trump's commitment to historic alliances.
Sara Murray / CNN:
Mueller wants to know about 2016 Trump campaign's ties to NRA  —  Washington (CNN)Special counsel Robert Mueller's team has expressed interest in the Trump campaign's relationship with the National Rifle Association during the 2016 campaign.  —  “When I was interviewed by the special counsel's office …
Bloomberg:
McConnell to Allow Votes on Competing Bills to End Shutdown  — Democratic bill would temporarily reopen shuttered agencies  — Trump's bill calls for $5.7 billion in border wall funding  —  Senate leaders have agreed to votes on rival proposals for reopening the government …
RELATED:
Clare Malone / FiveThirtyEight:
The Young Left's Anti-Capitalist Manifesto  —  A few months ago a friend wrote me an email with the subject line, “What is Sean McElwee.”  —  This is the kind of question that occurs to a person who spends a lot of time on Twitter.  In 2018, McElwee's tweets seemed to abound in liberal cyberspace.
Discussion: twitchy.com, Politico and IJR
RELATED:
Media Matters for America:
MSNBC contributor Hugh Hewitt: Joe Biden has “transgendered into Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez”
Discussion: Mediaite
Adam Liptak / New York Times:
Supreme Court Revives Ban on Transgender Military Service  —  WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Tuesday revived the Trump administration's policy of barring most transgender people from serving in the military.  In a brief, unsigned order, the justices lifted nationwide injunctions that had blocked the policy.
RELATED:
CNN:
Power struggle paralyzes ‘irrelevant’ White House press shop  —  Washington (CNN)White House press briefings, in steady decline even before the partial government shutdown, have now ground to a halt as a prolonged power struggle among President Donald Trump's aides leads to a muddled messaging strategy …
Joe Concha / The Hill:
Fox News anchor Baier, family in car crash, released from hospital  —  Fox News anchor Bret Baier and his family were in a car accident while vacationing in Montana on Monday, which CBS late-night host Stephen Colbert described as serious.  —  “We just found out that he and his family …
RELATED:
Cody Derespina / Fox News:
Fox News anchor Bret Baier and family in car crash, released from hospital
Discussion: National Review and Mediaite
Christopher Flavelle / Bloomberg:
Corporate America Is Getting Ready to Monetize Climate Change  — Storms, floods, drought and heat waves worry largest companies  — Merck, Apple, Home Depot also see new revenue opportunities  —  Bank of America Corp. worries flooded homeowners will default on their mortgages.
Discussion: Mashable
Will Doran / The Charlotte Observer:
Judge denies Mark Harris request to certify his win despite election fraud investigation  —  The state's investigation into alleged election fraud by the Mark Harris campaign will continue, a judge ruled Tuesday morning.  —  Harris is the Republican candidate who appeared to narrowly win …
Discussion: Political Wire, Axios and Joe.My.God.
Politico:
Trump's liaison to Congress eyeing exit  —  White House legislative affairs director Shahira Knight is preparing to leave what many insiders call a thankless job.  —  Shahira Knight, the president's legislative affairs director and a central figure in the White House's shutdown negotiations with Congress …
Public Policy Polling:
Trump Polling At Only 41-42% Against Possible Democratic Foes  —  PPP's newest national poll finds that at the midway point of Donald Trump's term as President, he's a clear underdog for reelection.  —  Trump gets just 41 or 42% in head to head match ups against 7 likely Democratic candidates for President.
Discussion: Althouse
Kurzius / DCist:
Dan Snyder Buys $100 Million Yacht As D.C. Officials Work To Woo Back His Football Team  —  Dan Snyder, the owner of Washington's football team, has purchased a $100 million superyacht that its builders say will “redefine the boundaries of luxury yacht construction,” including a two-deck Imax theater and a helipad.
New York Post:
El Chapo planned to flee authorities in his car while naked … He didn't want to be exposed.  —  After Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman escaped authorities by running nude through a secret underground tunnel in 2014, the Mexican drug lord wanted to steal a car — while still butt naked, his former mistress testified Tuesday.
Olivia Nuzzi / New York Magazine:
How Trump Offered NASA Unlimited Funding to Go to Mars in His First Term  —  Donald Trump nearly derailed a televised call to the International Space Station after he got distracted, first by a sudden fantasy of going to Mars before the end of his first term in the White House …
Discussion: Joe.My.God.
United States Courts:
Judiciary Has Funds to Operate Through Jan. 31  —  The Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts (AO) now estimates that federal courts can sustain funded operations through Jan. 31, 2019.  The Judiciary continues to explore ways to conserve funds so it can sustain paid operations through Feb. 1.
Discussion: Bloomberg
Dan Diamond / Politico:
Trump's health secretary refuses Democrats' request to testify on separated kids  —  HHS Secretary Alex Azar has declined a request to testify on the Trump administration's policy of separating migrant families at the border, angering House Democrats who accused the administration of …
 
 
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 More Items: 
Ellie French / VTDigger:
Welch bill would prohibit forcing federal employees to work without pay
Washington Post:
Democrats and their voters have shifted left as 2020 nears.  They're betting the rest of the country follows.
Sherman Smith / Topeka Capital-Journal:
Kris Kobach used state funds to pay for court-ordered class
Discussion: Talking Points Memo
Jaclyn Cashman / Boston Herald:
Three hard-left women is a recipe for Democratic disaster in 2020
Anand Giridharadas / The Guardian:
The new elite's phoney crusade to save the world - without changing anything
Katherine Miller / BuzzFeed News:
The Big Design Change For 2020: An Explosion Of Colors Beyond Red And Blue!
Michael Graham / InsideSources:
Is “Vice” The Worst Best-Picture Nominee EVER?
Discussion: The Daily Beast
 Earlier Items: 
Michael C. Bender / Wall Street Journal:
Former Aide Depicts Chaotic Decision-Making Process in Trump White House
Bloomberg Law:
Death to Scabby: Trump Labor Counsel Wants Protest Icon Deflated
Discussion: Splinter
K.T. Nelson / VICE:
What I Learned Inside the Lonely, Sad World of QAnon Facebook Groups
Discussion: Raw Story
Matthias Gafni / Mercury News:
“5 minutes of sheer terror”: Hackers infiltrate East Bay family's Nest surveillance camera …
Matthew Mosk / ABC News:
US banker with ties to Putin's inner circle sought access to Trump transition: Sources
Discussion: Deadline and Shakesville