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3:45 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
New York Times:
Virginia Capitol in Chaos as Pressure on Northam Intensifies
David French / National Review:   Comparing the Allegations against Brett Kavanaugh and Justin Fairfax
Ashe Schow / Daily Wire:   Washington Post Refused To Run Sketchy Sex Assault Allegation Against A Democrat.
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)
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  —  History shows he might be better off staying the course.  —  Let's stipulate that Governor Ralph Northam is a bad person—or at least a person who, as an adult, did something really stupid and hurtful by dressing in blackface and/or Klan garb.
Alan Suderman / Associated Press:
Virginia governor meets with Cabinet amid pressure to resign
Discussion: KTLA
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 …
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
Aaron Blake / Washington Post:
Republicans call Ocasio-Cortez's and Warren's tax-the-wealthy plans ‘radical.’ Trump's were even more radical.
Discussion: CNBC
Jordain Carney / The Hill:
Graham: There could be GOP ‘war’ over border wall
Discussion: Bloomberg, ABC News and Political Wire
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Clémence Michallon / The Independent:
Liam Neeson interview: Rape, race and how I learnt revenge doesn't work  —  Exclusive: Sitting down with Clémence Michallon to discuss his latest action film ‘Cold Pursuit’, the actor recounts a disturbing incident from his past  —  Liam Neeson is sitting in an armchair with a flask of tea at his side.
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
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.
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.
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: Breitbart and Political Wire
Adam Liptak / New York Times:
Attacking a Pay Wall That Hides Public Court Filings  —  WASHINGTON — The federal judiciary has built an imposing pay wall around its court filings, charging a preposterous 10 cents a page for electronic access to what are meant to be public records.  A pending lawsuit could help tear that wall down.
Discussion: Politico
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.
Jared Holt / Right Wing Watch:
The Anti-Muslim Hate Group Backing Laura Loomer's ‘Independent Journalism’  —  Laura Loomer, a once-prominent right-wing activist, frequently solicits donations from her followers so that she may create what she calls “independent journalism.”  She hasn't disclosed to her supporters …
Manafort Judge Clears Courtroom to Hear Sealed U.S. Evidence  —  The federal judge who must decide whether Paul Manafort lied to investigators after pledging to cooperate with Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Russia probe began a hearing Monday in a sealed courtroom to discuss secret evidence gathered by the government.
Discussion: Raw Story
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 …
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 More Items: 
Trump taps David Bernhardt to be Interior secretary
Mark Zuckerberg:
Fifteen years ago today, I launched the first version …
Will Sommer / The Daily Beast:
Gavin McInnes Sues Southern Poverty Law Center for Branding Proud Boys ‘Hate Group’
Discussion: Breitbart and Joe.My.God.
Katie Glueck / McClatchy Washington Bureau:
As Beto mulls 2020 bid, Dems warn he has major challenges
Anna Giaritelli / Washington Examiner:
Border residents fear retaliation from cartels if they report crimes
Todd S. Purdum / The Atlantic:
The Second Coming of Nancy Pelosi
Patriots' Duron Harmon Says He Won't Visit Trump's White House
Fred Hiatt / Washington Post:
It's open season on the wealthy. But not every tycoon should be flattened.
 Earlier Items: 
Alexandra DeSanctis / The Atlantic:
Democrats Overplay Their Hand on Abortion
Iran's first president says Khomeini betrayed 1979 Islamic revolution
Washington Post:
Iraqi president rejects Trump's plan to ‘watch Iran’ from military bases in Iraq
Jill Abramson / Washington Post:
Will the media ever figure out how to cover Trump?
Discussion: Power Line
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
CNN Poll: 4 in 10 call this the worst governing of their lifetimes
Discussion: The Week