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2:25 PM ET, January 23, 2019


 Top Items: 
CBS News:
Pelosi has edge over Trump on budget negotiations, CBS News poll shows  —  Seven in 10 Americans don't think the issue of a border wall is worth a government shutdown, which they say is now having a negative impact on the country.  But partisans don't want their own side to budge …
Rebecca Morin / Politico:
Poll: Shutdown, Russia drive Trump to all-time high disapproval  —  President Donald Trump's disapproval rating is at an all-time high amid a historically long partial government shutdown and concerns about the president's relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin, according to a new POLITICO/Morning Consult poll.
Aaron Blake / Washington Post:
The GOP is in a very familiar shutdown position: Losing it badly  —  Today's polls look very similar to when Republicans caved during the 2013 and 1995-96 shutdowns  —  History is not a good predictor of President Trump.  He defies convention in nearly every way.
Greg Sargent / Washington Post:
Trump's position is weakening fast.  Here's how Democrats can exploit that.  —  The forces arrayed behind President Trump in the government shutdown fight are now sending out decidedly conflicting signals.  Some want Trump to dig in more firmly behind the xenophobic nationalism symbolized by his wall …
Discussion: Daily Kos and New York Times
Eli Yokley / Morning Consult:
Trump's Disapproval Hits Record High Amid Government Shutdown
Discussion: Washington Post
Jonathan Swan / Axios:
A “go big” idea to end the shutdown  —  A new immigration idea has been circulating over the past 24 hours at senior levels inside the White House and on Capitol Hill: Give a path to green cards to the 700,000 current DACA recipients, three sources familiar with the conversations tell Axios.
Ken Dilanian / NBC News:
House Democrats probe how Jared Kushner got security clearance  —  The probe was launched “in response to grave breaches of national security at the highest levels of the Trump administration,” said Rep. Elijah Cummings.  —  The House Oversight Committee is launching an investigation …
Discussion: Mediaite and Raw Story
Zachary Basu / Axios:
Michael Cohen postpones House testimony, blames Trump “threats”
Paul Kiernan / Wall Street Journal:   White House Economist Says Economy May Not Grow In First Quarter
Rachael Bade / Politico:
House Dems launch investigation into Trump administration's use of security clearances
Discussion: Axios and Joe.My.God.
Damian Paletta / Washington Post:   Trump's top economist says shutdown could stall the economy completely
Associated Press:
Giuliani's media blitz draws ire of Trump and some allies  —  NEW YORK (AP) — Rudy Giuliani's latest media blitz, which was filled with a dizzying array of misstatements and hurried clarifications, agitated President Donald Trump and some of his allies, who have raised the possibility …
Discussion: Mediaite and The Week
USA Today:
Trump pursued a deal in Russia and hid it from voters
Discussion: Washington Post
Azeen Ghorayshi / BuzzFeed News:
Trump's Lawyer Said There Were “No Plans” For Trump Tower Moscow. Here They Are.
Jonathan Cohn / HuffPost:
Medicare For All Looks Good In New Poll, But There's A Big Asterisk  —  Some of the most popular counter-arguments make voters skittish.  —  Americans are pretty keen on the idea of creating a new government-run insurance program, or at least expanding an existing one …
Discussion: Washington Post
Jeffrey Young / HuffPost:   The Uninsured Rate Is The Highest It's Been In 5 Years
Sarah Kliff / Vox:
Under Trump, the number of uninsured Americans has gone up by 7 million
Discussion: Splinter
Felicia Sonmez / Washington Post:
Trump says he'll deliver State of the Union at the Capitol despite Pelosi's request to postpone  —  President Trump said Wednesday that he is pressing ahead with plans to deliver his State of the Union address at the Capitol next week, despite House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's request that he postpone …
Discussion: ABC News, Breitbart and Althouse
The White House:
A Letter from the President to Speaker Pelosi  —  Speaker of the House of Representatives  —  Dear Madam Speaker:  —  Thank you for your letter of January 3, 2019, sent to me long after the Shutdown began, inviting me to address the Nation on January 29th as to the State of the Union.
Discussion: RedState, POLITICUSUSA and Splinter
Alexander Burns / New York Times:
Biden's Paid Speech Buoyed the G.O.P. in Midwest Battleground  — A speech by Joe Biden in October helped Fred Upton, a vulnerable Republican, win re-election in Michigan.  — Mr. Biden, who earned $200,000 for the speech, stunned Democrats and elated Republicans by praising Mr. Upton …
Washington Post:
Venezuelan opposition leader declares himself president; U.S. promptly recognizes him as interim president  —  CARACAS, Venezuela — President Nicolás Maduro on Wednesday faced the gravest challenge to his authority since assuming power in 2013, as the U.S.-backed opposition claimed …
Discussion: Vox and Florida Politics
Conor Finnegan / ABC News:
In escalation of tensions, Trump recognizes Venezuela's opposition leader as head of government
Discussion: Politico
Jason Williams /
Who knew?  Trump's top White House attorney is Covington Catholic High School graduate  —  The nationwide firestorm surrounding Covington Catholic has brought to light that one of the Greater Cincinnati high school's most prominent graduates happens to be President Trump's top White House attorney.
Ben Kesslen / NBC News:
Gay valedictorian banned from speaking at Covington graduation ‘not surprised’ by D.C. controversy
Darren Sands / BuzzFeed News:
Sheila Jackson Lee Is To Step Down As Chair Of The Congressional Black Caucus Foundation
Discussion: The Week
Maxwell Tani / The Daily Beast:
Gawker 2.0 Implodes as Its Only Reporters Quit  —  The new site's only two full-time writers exited Wednesday in protest of editorial director Carson Griffith's offensive remarks about everything from race to penis size.  —  Gawker 2. is blowing up on the launchpad just two weeks after the site's …
Michael Gold / New York Times:
4 Arrested and 23 Guns Seized in Plot Against Muslim Enclave in Upstate N.Y.  —  [What you need to know to start the day: Get New York Today in your inbox.]  —  A seemingly offhand remark in a high school lunchroom set off an investigation that uncovered an arsenal of weapons and a plot …
Discussion: Joe.My.God. and RT
Will Sommer / The Daily Beast:
Islamberg Muslim Massacre Plot Suspect Invited Trump to His Eagle Scout Ceremony  —  One of four teens police say planned to attack an Islamic community in New York was an adamant supporter of the president and a wall on the southern border.  —  At first glance, 18-year-old Vincent Vetromile appeared …
Discussion: The Daily Beast and FOX 61
Adam Serwer / The Atlantic:
The Trump-Era Overcorrection  —  It was like a scene out of left-wing protest literature: a group of white, parochial-school boys in “Make America Great Again” gear taunting an American Indian protester, jeering and laughing, on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial after attending the anti-abortion March for Life.
Nicole Goodkind / Newsweek:
Federal Employees Going Through ‘a Little Bit of Pain’ but Border Wall Is ‘Bigger Than’ Them Says Lara Trump  —  The 800,000 furloughed federal employees and 400,000 working without pay due to the government shutdown over $5 billion dollars in funding for a wall on the U.S. southern border are going through …
Cathleen Decker / Washington Post:
Pete Buttigieg joins the Democratic race for the 2020 presidential nomination  —  South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who has signaled for months that he would try to leap from local to presidential politics, announced Wednesday that he will join the burgeoning cast of Democratic candidates in the 2020 race.
Edward-Isaac Dovere / The Atlantic:
Pete Buttigieg Thinks All the 2020 Democrats Are Too Old
Discussion: CNN, WTKR-TV, LGBTQ Nation and Axios
Alex French / The Atlantic:
‘Nobody Is Going to Believe You’  —  Over the past two decades, Bryan Singer's films—The Usual Suspects, Valkyrie, Superman Returns, four of the X-Men movies—have earned more than $3 billion at the box office, putting him in the top tier of Hollywood directors.
Caitlin Oprysko / Politico:
Jeffries says Trump isn't a racist but defends ‘grand wizard’ comparison  —  House Democratic Caucus Chairman Hakeem Jeffries said Wednesday that he does not believe President Donald Trump — whom he referred to earlier this week as “the grand wizard of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue” — is a racist …
Discussion: TheBlaze
John Wagner / Washington Post:
Rep. Jeffries defends characterization of Trump as ‘grand wizard of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue’
Discussion: Breitbart
Richard Cowan / Reuters:
No. 3 House Democrat floats possible $5.7 billion in border funding  —  WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The No. 3 Democrat in the U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday raised the possibility of approving $5.7 billion in funding to secure the U.S. border though various means but not by building a wall.
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 More Items: 
Tim Murphy / Mother Jones:
Here's Video of Beto O'Rourke Singing “Blitzkrieg Bop” in a Sheep Mask and Onesie
Stephen Gruber-Miller / Des Moines Register:
Sen. Joni Ernst denies ex-husband's allegation that she had an affair, says she is ‘a survivor’
Discussion: Washington Post, CITYVIEW and The Week
Robert Kagan / Foreign Policy:
Springtime for Strongmen
Rebecca Ratcliffe / The Guardian:
Record private jet flights into Davos as leaders arrive for climate talk
Discussion: Boing Boing and
Matthew Yglesias / Vox:
Elizabeth Warren's book, The Two-Income Trap, explained
Discussion: Althouse
Greg Mankiw / Greg Mankiw's Blog:
Who is the prototypical rich person?
Discussion: New York Times
 Earlier Items: 
Jeffrey A. Trachtenberg / Wall Street Journal:
Magazine publisher Condé Nast said it would put all its titles behind paywalls by the end …
Natasha Bertrand / The Atlantic:
The Wheels of Justice Are Grinding to a Halt
Discussion: Shakesville and Beloit Daily News
Brian Klaas / Washington Post:
For two years, Trump has been undermining American democracy. Here's a damage report.
Nicole Lafond / Talking Points Memo:
WH Bashes Media: 'Never Seen People So Happy To Destroy A Kid's Life'
Discussion: Raw Story
Natalie Nanasi / Slate:
The Trump Administration Quietly Changed the Definition of Domestic Violence and We Have No Idea What For
Discussion: Raw Story
Sean Roman Strockyj / New York Post:
New York law is an open invitation to home invaders
Washington Post:
Hundreds of IRS employees are skipping work. That could delay tax refunds.
Discussion: The Week, CBS Baltimore, KTLA, CNN and Axios
Washington Post:
‘Knock them in the teeth.’ How Trump turns crises into leverage.
Discussion: The Week