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2:45 AM ET, January 30, 2019

memeorandum

 Top Items: 
Isaac Chotiner / New Yorker:
Cliff Sims Is Proud to Have Served Trump  —  In August, 2016, Cliff Sims, the C.E.O. of an Alabama-based conservative news site, joined the Trump campaign.  He then followed Trump to the White House, where he worked as the special assistant to the President and as the director …
RELATED:
New York Times:
The Many Ways to Leave the White House  —  WASHINGTON — In an interview on Monday on “Good Morning America,” Cliff Sims, a former White House aide promoting a tell-all book about life inside the West Wing, wanted to make clear that he had left his job on his own terms.
Michael Brice-Saddler / Washington Post:
Chris Christie rips Kushner's dad: ‘One of the most loathsome, disgusting crimes that I prosecuted’  —  Former New Jersey governor Chris Christie took several shots at White House senior adviser Jared Kushner in his new book “Let Me Finish,” alleging that in an act of spite …
Discussion: New York Times and Mediaite
RELATED:
Hot Air:
Jared Trying To Broker A Major Immigration Compromise For Some Reason  —  The words “grand bargain” aren't used here by Axios but that's the upshot.  Kushner's thinking big — not “DREAM for wall” but bigger, trying to see if he can cobble something together that brings everyone aboard a la his success on criminal justice reform.
Mary Louise Kelly / NPR:
Chris Christie: There Is No One With More Influence Over Trump Than Jared Kushner
Discussion: Splinter
Axios:
Kushner driving effort to replicate criminal justice success with immigration reform
Discussion: Breitbart
Alex Thompson / Politico:
Tulsi Gabbard campaign in disarray  —  Tulsi Gabbard's presidential campaign hasn't officially launched yet but it's already melting down.  —  Two-and-a-half weeks after the Hawaii Democrat told CNN she had decided to run for the White House—an announcement that even her own staff didn't know was coming …
Financial Times:
Trump sat down with Putin at G20 without US note-taker  —  Donald Trump sat down with Vladimir Putin for several minutes of conversation at the end of an evening event at the G20 summit in Buenos Aires in November, with no translator or note-taker from the US side to record the dialogue between the leaders …
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Alex Ward / Vox:
Trump met Putin without staff or note takers present — again  —  Trump reportedly keeps finding a way to meet the Russian leader privately.  —  If you're a US president, it's probably not a great idea to meet with a foreign leader who meddled in your country's elections without some way to record what's being discussed.
Billy House / Bloomberg:
GOP Lawmaker Tells Ocasio-Cortez Congress Isn't Just ‘Eating Bonbons’  — Leading House conservative addresses New York Democrat  — Two lawmakers mix it up at first meeting of Oversight panel  —  A leading House conservative backer of President Donald Trump decided …
Discussion: Raw Story
RELATED:
Scott Wong / The Hill:
Some Dems float idea of primary challenge for Ocasio-Cortez
CNN:
Kamala Harris is open to compromise on private insurers' role during ‘Medicare for all’ push  —  Kamala Harris backs ‘Medicare-for-all’ plan  —  (CNN)By stating she would eliminate private insurers as a necessary part of implementing “Medicare-for-all,” California Sen. Kamala Harris during …
RELATED:
CNN:
Democrats distance themselves from Harris' call to eliminate private health plans
Discussion: twitchy.com and Daily Wire
Jonathan Cohn / HuffPost:
Kamala Harris Backs Medicare For All And She Isn't Messing Around
Discussion: Common Dreams, IJR and The Resurgent
Annie Linskey / Washington Post:
Democratic candidates face political risks and policy challenges when pressed on health-care specifics
Discussion: Vox, Washington Monthly and CNN
TMZ.com:
‘Empire’ Star Jussie Smollett Tells Cops His Attackers Touted MAGA  —  4:00 PM PT — Chicago PD confirms to TMZ Jussie told them, in a follow-up interview, about the attackers yelling, “MAGA country.”  —  They add Jussie still had the rope around his neck when he made contact with cops at 2:42 AM.
RELATED:
Sister Toldjah / RedState:
Media Shouldn't Make The Same Mistakes in Jussie Smollett Attack Stories As The Mistakes …
New York Times:
Mother Carrying Baby in Stroller Dies After Falling Down Subway Stairs  —  [What you need to know to start the day: Get New York Today in your inbox.]  —  A young mother died on Monday night when she fell down a flight of subway stairs in Midtown Manhattan while carrying her baby daughter in a stroller, the police said.
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Arizona Republic:
Phoenix restaurant says this is a photo of coal miners.  But I see offensive blackface  —  Opinion: Who determines what's offensive?  A photo in a downtown Phoenix restaurant raises this key question.  —  CONNECT  —  A few weeks ago, I attended a holiday party at a downtown Phoenix restaurant.
Discussion: Instapundit and The Resurgent
Jon Schlosberg / ABC News:
Deep space radio waves baffle astronomers; aliens not ruled out  —  Aliens!  —  Astronomers can't rule out that possibility after an exciting new discovery.  A team in Canada recently stumbled upon ultra-brief repeating waves from deep space for only the second time in history.
Ashley / Chicks On The Right:
Chuck Schumer Wants A LITERAL LOSER To Deliver The Democratic SOTU Response  —  ShareTweetSubscribe to the Chicks!  —  Email address:  —  Leave this field empty if you're human:  —  WATCH: Chuck Schumer Wants A LITERAL LOSER To Deliver The Democratic SOTU Response  —  I'm sorry, but...what?
RELATED:
Rebecca Shabad / NBC News:
Stacey Abrams to deliver Democratic response to Trump State of the Union
Discussion: The Week, EBONY and Balloon Juice
Josh Constine / TechCrunch:
Facebook pays teens to install VPN that spies on them  —  Desperate for data on its competitors, Facebook has been secretly paying people to install a “Facebook Research” VPN that lets the company suck in all of a user's phone and web activity, similar to Facebook's Onavo Protect app …
CNN:
Graham urges Trump to tie debt limit to border security funding  —  Manchin: Stop Washington's paychecks, stop shutdowns 01:16  —  Washington (CNN) — An influential Republican senator is urging President Donald Trump to up the ante in talks over his border wall: To push for an increase …
Discussion: The Daily Caller, Vox, AOL, Hullabaloo and CNBC
RELATED:
Washington Post:
‘Whatever works’: Lawmakers negotiate to avert another shutdown absent signal from Trump
Discussion: Raw Story
Michael Harriot / The Root:
Exclusive: Clemson's Black Players Refused to Accept Donald Trump's Invitation to the McCookout  —  When Filet-O-Fish aficionado Donald Trump invited the Clemson Tigers to enjoy the White House's first Presidential Value Meal, most of Clemson's national championship football team members jumped …
Discussion: The Guardian, Raw Story and Breitbart
Tim Burke / The Daily Beast:
The Starbucks Music Store Under Howard Schultz Was Painfully White  —  The one ‘hip-hop’ album sold featured songs by U2 and The Dave Matthews Band.  —  Howard Schultz, the former Starbucks CEO now actively contemplating an independent presidential bid, has had a tricky history dealing with race issues.
RELATED:
Josh Marshall / Talking Points Memo:
Has Howard Schultz Really Thought This Through?
Discussion: Balloon Juice
Daniel Strauss / Politico:
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti will not run for president  —  LOS ANGELES — Eric Garcetti will not run for president in 2020, he confirmed late Tuesday, saying that being mayor of Los Angeles is “what I am meant to do.”  —  Garcetti, who traveled extensively for months as he mulled a presidential run …
Discussion: Raw Story and ABC News
Sophie Lewis / CBS News:
Illinois police “arrest” Elsa for bringing polar vortex  —  Let her go!  An Illinois police department has placed Elsa — the Queen of Arendell from the Disney movie “Frozen” — under arrest Tuesday for bringing frigid cold temperatures to the Midwest.  For the first time in forever, Elsa is being punished for her crimes.
New York Times:
U.S. Intelligence Chiefs Contradict Trump on North Korea and Iran  —  WASHINGTON — A new American intelligence assessment of global threats has concluded that North Korea is “unlikely to give up” all of its nuclear stockpiles, and that Iran is not “currently undertaking the key nuclear weapons …
RELATED:
Guy Taylor / Washington Times:   Team Trump quietly filling ‘pot of gold’ encouraging Kim Jong-un to denuclearize
Bloomberg Law:
Labor Secretary's Role in Epstein Plea Deal Under DOJ Scrutiny  —  The Justice Department's inspector general wants lawmakers to give him the authority to investigate a decade-old plea deal in which Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta allegedly helped an accused sex offender skirt the harshest punishment for crimes against teens.
Discussion: Raw Story
Holly Otterbein / Politico:
Schultz slammed by coffee mate  —  Howard Schultz has a problem with his base.  —  Not only are Democrats ripping the former Starbucks CEO's flirtation with an independent bid for president — now a fellow coffee mogul is, too.  —  “I first met Howard in 1984 and he's done a lot for coffee …
Washington Post:
Trump's company plans to expand check of employees' legal status following report that it hired undocumented workers for years  —  President Trump's company plans to institute E-Verify, a federal program that allows employers to check whether new hires are legally eligible to work in the United States …
Discussion: Mother Jones, New York Times and Axios
Michael R. Sisak / Associated Press:
APNewsBreak: Schneiderman used campaign cash for legal bills  —  NEW YORK (AP) — Former New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman used nearly $340,000 in political campaign funds to pay the law firm that represented him during an investigation of allegations that he physically abused several women …
Discussion: Splinter
Peter Baker / New York Times:
Why Did Soviets Invade Afghanistan?  Documents Offer History Lesson for Trump  —  WASHINGTON — One day in October 1979, an American diplomat named Archer K. Blood arrived at Afghanistan's government headquarters, summoned by the new president, whose ousted predecessor had just been smothered to death with a pillow.
Gabby Orr / Politico:
Why Trump is still beefing with ‘Da Nang Dick’  —  He's not a household name.  He's not running for president.  Yet Richard Blumenthal keeps getting under President Donald Trump's skin.  —  Every few months, the president unleashes on the Connecticut Democrat by ridiculing his military service record …
Discussion: Raw Story and Vox
Deanna Paul / Washington Post:
Whitaker says Mueller's decisions will be reviewed.  It's unclear what that even means.  —  A Justice Department news conference — to announce criminal charges related to Chinese telecommunications conglomerate Huawei — has left a lot of lawyers scratching their heads.
Adam Looney / Brookings:
Ocasio-Cortez wants to raise the tax rate on high earners.  The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act already did  —  Joseph A. Pechman Senior Fellow - Economic Studies, Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center  —  Ever since Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the new congresswoman from New York, advocated marginal tax rates …
Discussion: The Atlantic
 
 
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 More Items: 
Joe Pompeo / Vanity Fair:
“We're Trying to Grab People by the Collar Every Day”: Axios, the Fast-Twitch Media Darling …
Alicia A. Caldwell / Wall Street Journal:
Illegal Migrant Crossings Surge in Remote New Mexico Desert
John Binder / Breitbart:
Watch—Defense Official: Nothing Stopping Trump from Authorizing Military to Build Border Wall
Marisa Kendall / Mercury News:
Go into debt to pay rent? California startup finances your rent with high-interest loans
Tom Bissell / New York Times:
An Anti-Facebook Manifesto, by an Early Facebook Investor
Greenville News:
TAKEN: How police departments make millions by seizing property
Discussion: Hit & Run
Drew FitzGerald / Wall Street Journal:
AT&T Wants to Be Big in Entertainment. First, It Has a $49 Billion Problem to Fix.
 Earlier Items: 
Philip Klein / Washington Examiner:
CBO report shows that spending, not Trump tax cuts, are primarily driving the nation's deficits
Oregonian:
Portland man charged with stalking The Oregonian/OregonLive editor
t.e2ma.net:
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez May Face Challenger, Eric Holder Inches Closer to Run, and Magic Johnson Names New President
Sarah Ferris / Politico:
House Democrats taunt GOP with vote to oppose shutdowns
David French / National Review:
What Kamala Harris Doesn't Understand About Gun Owners
Discussion: Washington Post
Alexa Ura / The Texas Tribune:
Texas quietly informs counties that some of the 95,000 voters flagged for citizenship review don't belong on the list
Discussion: The Week and Splinter
Washington Post:
Gone in a Generation  —  Across America, climate change is already disrupting lives