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3:50 PM ET, February 2, 2019


 Top Items: 
New York Times:
Virginia Governor Ralph Northam Defies Calls to Resign  —  RICHMOND — Gov. Ralph Northam of Virginia, facing pressure from his own party to resign, said Saturday he would not quit and denied that he appeared in Ku Klux Klan robes or in blackface in images from his medical school yearbook that have upended his governorship.
Washington Post:
Va. Gov. Northam is refusing to step down, despite flood of calls for his resignation for ‘racist and offensive’ photo, party says  —  RICHMOND — Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) is refusing to resign despite overwhelming pressure from within his own party and has told at least one lawmaker …
Associated Press:
The Latest: Virginia governor to speak again about photo  —  RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — The Latest on Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam and racist photo in 1984 yearbook (all times local):  —  Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam is planning a news conference where he's expected to say he's not resigning …
POLITICO Playbook: DNC convention buzz ...  DRIVING THE DAY  —  DNC CONVENTION BUZZ ... Our sources tell us MILWAUKEE is the odds-on favorite for the 2020 Democratic National Convention.  (John Bresnahan's sources tell him this too.)  Houston and Miami are also still in the hunt …
Aaron Blake / Washington Post:
Ralph Northam is done, whether he knows it or not  —  Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) may not know it yet, but in all likelihood he is done.  —  On Friday, images emerged of Northam's medical school yearbook page, on which there is a photo of a man in blackface next to a man in a Ku Klux Klan robe.
Virginian-Pilot:   Bonds of trust broken, Northam must resign
Fenit Nirappil / Washington Post:
Justin Fairfax would become Virginia's 2nd black governor if Northam resigns
Tal Axelrod / The Hill:
Northam says he will not resign over blackface, KKK photo
Discussion: Washington Post, Breaking911 and IJR
Tyler O'Neil / PJ Media Home:   Reminder: Ralph Northam Won After Calling Ed Gillespie Racist
New York Times:
Trump Sought a Loan During the 2016 Campaign.  Deutsche Bank Said No.  —  Donald J. Trump was burning through cash.  —  It was early 2016, and he was lending tens of millions of dollars to his presidential campaign and had been spending large sums to expand the Trump Organization's roster of high-end properties.
Discussion: CNN, CNBC and Raw Story
Wall Street Journal:   Trump Organization Sought Loan From Deutsche Bank in 2016, Was Rebuffed
The Schultz effect: Liberals own 2020  —  The rising Democratic enthusiasm for big government liberalism is forcing a trio of leading 2020 contenders to rethink jumping in, several sources tell Axios.  —  What's happening: Michael Bloomberg and former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe …
Discussion: The Mahablog and Splinter
Kristen Soltis Anderson / Washington Post:
Sorry, Howard Schultz.  You're not the centrist American voters are looking for.  —  Kristen Soltis Anderson is a Republican pollster and columnist at The Washington Examiner.  —  “How many of you would consider yourselves fiscally more conservative but socially more liberal?”
Discussion: Common Dreams and National Review
Change Research:
Polling on Howard Schultz for President
Bret Stephens / New York Times:
Howard Schultz Derangement Syndrome
Discussion: Outside the Beltway
Aaron Blake / Washington Post:
Why Putin won't be mad about Trump pulling out of the INF treaty  —  Given Russia's interference in the 2016 election, this question has stalked Trump throughout his presidency: Why hasn't he taken tougher action against Moscow, beyond the occasional sanction?
Anton Troianovski / Washington Post:
Following U.S., Putin suspends nuclear pact and promises new weapons
INF nuclear treaty: Russia follows US in suspending pact
Discussion: The Week and Gizmodo
John Walcott / TIME:
‘Willful Ignorance.’ Inside President Trump's Troubled Intelligence Briefings  —  In the wake of President Donald Trump's renewed attacks on the U.S. intelligence community this week, senior intelligence briefers are breaking two years of silence to warn that the President is endangering American security …
Discussion: Raw Story
Katie Rogers / New York Times:
In the Pale of Winter, Trump's Tan Remains a State Secret  —  WASHINGTON — The trees in the capital are barren, spindly things.  The temperature has dipped, requiring puffy coats.  With the government open — for now — President Trump has left the frigidity of governing for a weekend in Palm Beach.
Discussion: Joe.My.God.
Dan Lamothe / Washington Post:
Trump taps Ronny Jackson to receive promotion and be his doctor, despite open investigation  —  The Pentagon's inspector general opened a case against Rear Adm. Ronny Jackson in June.  —  President Trump has tapped a senior Navy officer that he considered last year to be his Veterans Affairs secretary …
Discussion: Task & Purpose
Marlow Stern / The Daily Beast:
Bill Maher Makes Racist ‘Popeyes Chicken’ Remark to Black Congressman Will Hurd  —  On ‘Real Time’ Friday night, the HBO host did the unthinkable... again.  —  Marlow Stern  —  Two years ago, comedian Bill Maher got in hot water after using the N-word on his HBO program Real Time.
NBC News:
Russia's propaganda machine discovers 2020 Democratic candidate Tulsi Gabbard  —  Experts who track websites and social media linked to Russia have seen stirrings of a possible campaign of support for Hawaii Democrat Tulsi Gabbard.  —  The Russian propaganda machine that tried to influence …
Discussion: Raw Story and HuffPost
Yashar Ali / HuffPost:
Top Schumer Aide Was Pushed Out After Inappropriate Sexual Encounters With Staff  —  The sudden departure of Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer's communications director followed reports of sexual misconduct.  —  When Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer's longtime communications director …
Morgan Gstalter / The Hill:
Colorado Senate passes bill favoring popular vote over Electoral College  —  The Colorado Senate this week passed a bill that would award the state's electoral votes to the presidential candidate who wins the nationwide popular vote.  —  The Senate passed the measure along party lines …
Anne Applebaum / Washington Post:
Regulate social media now.  The future of democracy is at stake.  —  A few days ago, ProPublica, an independent, nonprofit newsroom, discovered that a tool it was using to track political advertising on Facebook had been quietly disabled — by Facebook.  The browser extension …
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 More Items: 
Los Angeles Times:
Immigrant rights attorneys and journalists denied entry into Mexico
Discussion: ImmigrationProf Blog
Alex Thompson / Politico:
‘Wrong and naïve’: Bullock apologizes for handling of harassment
Discussion: Steve Bullock
GM to start laying off 4,000 salaried workers on Monday
Discussion: theGrio and
Kathleen Joyce / Fox News:
Groundhog Day: Punxsutawney Phil doesn't see his shadow, predicts an early spring
Discussion: USA Today and Breitbart
New York Times:
McKinsey Advised Purdue Pharma How to ‘Turbocharge’ Opioid Sales, Lawsuit Says
Discussion: VICE News
Alison Flood / The Guardian:
JD Salinger's unseen writings to be published, family confirms
Discussion: Deadline
Megan McArdle / Washington Post:
What the push for legal-until-birth abortion tells us about the abortion debate
 Earlier Items: 
Natasha Bertrand / The Atlantic:
Russia Is Attacking the U.S. System From Within
Discussion: Politico
Andrew C. McCarthy / National Review:
Fever Dream: Mueller's Collusion-Free Collusion Indictment of Roger Stone
Brendan Skwire / Raw Story:
Fox Business host thinks black people are jealous that white Patriots players come from ‘two-parent families’
Author of controversial Nunes memo joining National Security Council
Discussion: Talking Points Memo and Raw Story
Matthew Glassman / New York Times:
How Republicans Erased Trumpism
Washington Post:
Zinke told police a Post reporter caused a fracas at his house. Here's what really happened.
Discussion: Raw Story
Washington Post:
McConnell privately cautions Trump about emergency declaration on border wall
Kansas City Star:
‘Astonishing development’: Hawley AG office may have violated Mo. open records laws
Discussion: Raw Story