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2:50 PM ET, February 4, 2019


 Top Items: 
Theresa Vargas / Washington Post:
Va. Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax denies sex assault allegation from 2004  —  Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax issued a statement early Monday denying a sexual assault allegation that appeared on the same conservative website that posted a racist photograph from Gov. Ralph Northam's medical school yearbook page.
Patrick Howley / Big League Politics:
Stanford Fellow Hints At Possible Justin Fairfax Sex Assault  —  A woman named Vanessa Tyson, who is a fellow at Stanford University, says that a man who allegedly sexually assaulted her at the 2004 Democratic National Convention is now an office-holder about to get a “very big promotion,” …
Jonathan Martin / New York Times:
Justin Fairfax, Virginia's Lieutenant Governor, Denies Sexual Assault Allegation  —  Justin Fairfax, Virginia's lieutenant governor, issued a statement denying an unsubstantiated claim of sexual assault.  —  PRESIDENT TRUMP  —  Will the Mueller Report Be Made Public?  Trump Won't Commit
Caitlin Oprysko / Politico:
Virginia lieutenant governor says timing suspect for ‘smear’ allegations against him  —  Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax said Monday that it's no coincidence an uncorroborated sexual assault accusation from over a decade ago has emerged right as he could potentially be elevated to the state's governorship.
Discussion: National Review
New York Times:
Virginia Capitol in Chaos as Pressure on Northam Intensifies
Discussion: Vox and Conservative Review
Ashe Schow / Daily Wire:
Washington Post Refused To Run Sketchy Sex Assault Allegation Against A Democrat.
Discussion: Big League Politics
Ben White / Politico:
Soak the rich?  Americans say go for it  —  The prospect of 70 percent tax rates for multimillionaires and special levies on the super-rich draw howls about creeping socialism and warnings of economic disaster in much of Washington.  —  But polling suggests that when it comes to soaking the rich …
Discussion: Raw Story and Common Dreams
Claire Williams / Morning Consult:
Warren's Proposed Tax on Wealthy Draws More Support Than Ocasio-Cortez's  —  63% of voters think upper-income people currently pay too little in taxes  —  Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) at a Nov. 1, 2017, rally protesting the Republican tax plan outside the U.S. Capitol.
Discussion: Vox
Aída Chávez / The Intercept:
Ana Maria Archila, Who Confronted Sen. Jeff Flake, Will Be Ocasio-Cortez's SOTU Guest  —  Ana Maria Archila, the Queens woman who famously confronted Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake in a Capitol Hill elevator, will be Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's State of the Union guest on Tuesday.
Jack Crowe / National Review:
Ocasio-Cortez Invites Woman Who Confronted Flake in Kavanaugh Fight to SOTU
Discussion: Daily Wire and The Gateway Pundit
Jamelle Bouie / New York Times:
Blackface Is the Tip of the Iceberg  —  The structural problems we need to solve lie at the roots of American society.  —  Over the last month, we've learned just how much racism is too much to sustain a career in American politics.  —  It took almost 16 years for House Republicans …
Jonathan V. Last / The Bulwark:   The Awful Game Theory Behind Ralph Northam
Monmouth University Polling Institute:
Dems Prefer Electability in 2020  —  Some GOP voters want a primary challenge but most would back Trump  —  West Long Branch, NJ - In the run-up to 2020, fewer than 4-in-10 voters back a second term for President Donald Trump.  The Monmouth University Poll finds a sizable number of GOP voters …
Discussion: Political Wire and POLITICUSUSA
Greg Sargent / Washington Post:
If Trump declares a national emergency, Pelosi can jam Republicans.  Here's how.  —  Senate Republicans appear to be in a panic about President Trump's threat to declare a national emergency to realize his unquenchable fantasy of a big, beautiful wall on the southern border.
Ian Parker / New Yorker:
A Suspense Novelist's Trail of Deceptions  —  Dan Mallory, who writes under the name A. J. Finn, went to No. 1 with his début thriller, “The Woman in the Window.”  His life contains even stranger twists.  —  Dan Mallory, a book editor turned novelist, is tall, good-looking, and clever.
Jim Morrison / Washington Post:
Northam's med school banned yearbooks in 2013 — after students posed in Confederate garb  —  NORFOLK — The first person Richard V. Homan hired after becoming provost of Eastern Virginia Medical School President seven years ago was Mekbib Gemeda, in the newly created position of vice president for diversity and inclusion.
Discussion: Vox and Rewire.News
Washington Post:
‘Democracy Dies in Darkness’  —  When we go off to war. When we exercise our rights. When we soar to our greatest heights.  —  When we mourn and pray. When our neighbors are at risk. When our nation is threatened. There's someone to gather the facts.  —  To bring you the story. No matter the cost.
Tony Rizzo / Kansas City Star:
Kansas judge calls children the ‘aggressor’ in sex abuse case with 67-year-old man  —  Can children aged 13 and 14 years old be the aggressors in a sexual encounter with a 67-year-old man?  —  A Leavenworth County judge recently said he thought so when he reduced the prison sentence for a man …
Discussion: Law & Crime, Raw Story and
Eli Yokley / Morning Consult:
Virginia Voters Quickly Sour on Northam Amid Blackface Scandal  —  Democrat sees 41-point drop in net approval after yearbook photo emerges  —  Northam spoke to reporters Saturday, denying that he is in the picture on his medical school yearbook page.  (Alex Edelman/Getty Images)
Discussion: The Guardian
Washington Post:
'It's way too many': As vacancies pile up in Trump administration, senators grow concerned  —  From the Justice Department to Veterans Affairs, vast swaths of the government have top positions filled by officials serving in an acting capacity — or no one at all.
Discussion: Daily Kos, Raw Story and The Week
Edward-Isaac Dovere / The Atlantic:
Biden's Anguished Search for a Path to Victory  —  Joe Biden reliably blows through every public and private deadline for making a decision about running for president.  But he's giving everyone he's seen in recent weeks the feeling that he's very close to saying yes.
Mike Allen / Axios:
A big leak rattles the White House  —  The massive leak of President Trump's private schedules, which dropped yesterday in the weekly Axios Sneak Peek newsletter, set off internal finger-pointing and speculation more fevered than any since the New York Times' anonymous op-ed.
Detained Iranian environmentalist says she was tortured  —  Niloufar Bayani is shown in this undated photo.  —  A year has passed since Iran arrested a number of environmentalists over accusations of spying and other serious crimes.  The arrests shocked the Iranian activist community …
Associated Press:
Trump campaign takes steps to prevent a challenge within GOP  —  WASHINGTON (AP) — Worried about a potential Republican primary challenge, President Donald Trump's campaign has launched a state-by-state effort to prevent an intraparty fight that could spill over into the general-election campaign.
Discussion: Daily Kos and Joe.My.God.
J. David Goodman / New York Times:
Senate Appoints Critic of Amazon Deal to Key Board (With Veto Power)  —  [What you need to know to start the day: Get New York Today in your inbox.]  —  When Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio crafted a deal to bring a major new Amazon campus to New York City late last year, they tried to make it hard to block.
Justin Sink / Bloomberg:
Trump Era's Biggest Winner Is Jeff Bezos, Presidential Nemesis  — Bezos fortune has grown $66.2 billion, making him richest man  — Wealth doubled even as Trump threatened action against Amazon  —  Two years into Donald Trump's presidency, the man who has profited most from the era …
Steven Shepard / Politico:
Poll: Democrats have reason to fret Schultz  —  Democrats have broken into a panic over Howard Schultz's talk of an independent bid for president.  A new poll suggests they have reason to be worried.  —  The POLITICO/Morning Consult poll shows anti-Trump and Democratic voters are more open …
Jill Abramson / Washington Post:
Will the media ever figure out how to cover Trump?  —  Jill Abramson is a journalist and author of the new book “Merchants of Truth.”  —  The news media's collective shock that Donald Trump won in 2016 was evidence of how out of touch most reporters were with the less affluent, less educated …
Discussion: Power Line
Rebecca Morin / Politico:
Christie won't rule out presidential run in 2024  —  Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie on Monday said he isn't ruling out a presidential run in 2024, adding that he would only do it if he could “see a pathway to victory.”  —  Christie, who is promoting his new book “Let Me Finish,” …
Discussion: Political Wire
Washington Post:
Iraqi president rejects Trump's plan to ‘watch Iran’ from military bases in Iraq  —  Iraqi President Barham Salih on Monday rejected a plan floated by President Trump that calls for keeping U.S. forces in Iraq to “watch” neighboring Iran, saying the United States should not burden Iraq with its own “policy priorities.”
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 More Items: 
Manafort Judge Clears Courtroom to Hear Sealed U.S. Evidence
Todd S. Purdum / The Atlantic:
The Second Coming of Nancy Pelosi
Patriots' Duron Harmon Says He Won't Visit Trump's White House
The Bulwark Podcast:
Social Justice in America
Shibani Mahtani / Washington Post:
Myanmar's Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi could release 2 jailed journalists. She has not.
Discussion: The Guardian
Fred Hiatt / Washington Post:
It's open season on the wealthy. But not every tycoon should be flattened.
Nomaan Merchant / Associated Press:
US prepares to start building portion of Texas border wall
Alexandra DeSanctis / The Atlantic:
Democrats Overplay Their Hand on Abortion
 Earlier Items: 
Clémence Michallon / The Independent:
Liam Neeson interview: Rape, race and how I learnt revenge doesn't work
Ian Millhiser / ThinkProgress:
Republican judges are fabricating a right not to be accused of racism
Discussion: Justia Law
Iran's first president says Khomeini betrayed 1979 Islamic revolution
USA Today:
Watergate's lesson? If Democrats want to heal America, Trump must be held accountable
Discussion: POLITICUSUSA and Raw Story
Anita Kumar / Politico:
Dems hope to draw blood from potential Trump SCOTUS pick
Discussion: The Intercept
Adam Liptak / New York Times:
Attacking a Pay Wall That Hides Public Court Filings
Discussion: Politico
CNN Poll: 4 in 10 call this the worst governing of their lifetimes
Discussion: The Week
Steven L. Hall / Washington Post:
I was in the CIA. Trump's petty fights and insults will make us all less safe.
Discussion: POLITICUSUSA and Raw Story