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7:35 AM ET, February 7, 2019


 Top Items: 
Kaitlyn Folmer / ABC News:
Rep. Bobby Scott learned of sexual assault allegation against Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax a year ago from the accuser: Aides  —  Virginia Democratic Congressman Bobby Scott was made aware of allegations of sexual assault against now-Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax over a year ago by the alleged victim herself, ABC News has learned.
Rich Lowry / Politico:
The Bonfire of the Democrats  —  All statewide officials in the Commonwealth of Virginia should resign if Democrats are held to their own standards.  —  Even if Gov. Ralph Northam didn't appear in blackface in an image on his medical-school yearbook, he confessed to once darkening his face as part of a Michael Jackson costume.
Discussion: The Daily Beast
Washington Post:
Ralph Northam must resign
Discussion: The Week, Instapundit and Balloon Juice
Karen Tumulty / Washington Post:
Democrats rallied around Christine Blasey Ford. Will they do the same with Vanessa Tyson?
Associated Press:
Virginia Attorney General Says He Wore Blackface at College Party
Paul Schwartzman / Washington Post:
On a political roll, Virginia Democrats now awash in scandal
Ben Paviour / Community Idea Stations:
Fairfax Retained Kavanaugh's Lawyers After Allegations Surfaced
Bloomberg Law:   Racial Gerrymander Defender Next in Line if Va. Dems Go
Betsy Woodruff / The Daily Beast:
Paul Erickson, Russian Agent Maria Butina's Boyfriend, Indicted for Fraud  —  The federal indictment in South Dakota alleges that he ran a criminal scheme from 1996 to 2018 using a chain of assisted living homes.  —  Betsy Woodruff  —  Paul Erickson, the American political operative …
Discussion: Raw Story, Joe.My.God. and The Guardian
U.S. Department of Justice:
Sioux Falls Man Charged with Wire Fraud and Money Laundering
Discussion: Rapid City Journal
Sen. Amy Klobuchar's Mistreatment Of Staff Scared Off Candidates To Manage Her Presidential Bid  —  At least three people withdrew from consideration to lead the senator's nascent campaign — in part because of Klobuchar's history of mistreating her staff.  —  At least three people …
John Bresnahan / Politico:
‘Too hot to handle’: Pelosi predicts GOP won't trigger another shutdown  —  Speaker Nancy Pelosi is vowing that the federal government will not shut down again, even as President Donald Trump ratchets up pressure for his border wall ahead of a fast-approaching deadline.
Danielle Kurtzleben / NPR:
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Releases Green New Deal Outline  —  Whether it's a deadly cold snap or a hole in an Antarctic glacier or a terrifying new report, there seem to be constant reminders now of the dangers that climate change poses to humanity.  —  Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez …
Discussion: Axios and Mother Jones
Brian Schwartz / CNBC:
Trump campaign looks to beef up communications team to battle big Democratic field in 2020  — President Donald Trump's team has been interviewing dozens of candidates for positions ranging from communications director to press secretary, according to people with direct knowledge of the matter.
Discussion: Political Wire
Monica Hesse / Washington Post:
The exquisite shade of Nancy Pelosi's applause at the State of the Union  —  The lasting visual image from Tuesday night's State of the Union address was captured by photographer Doug Mills.  It featured House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) applauding President Trump in a way that can only be described …
Spencer Ackerman / The Daily Beast:
House Intel Democrats Just Restarted and Supercharged the Trump-Russia Probe
Discussion: Hullabaloo
Nicholas Fandos / New York Times:
Asked to Stop Investigations, House Digs In
Julie K. Brown / miamiherald:
Justice Department opens probe into Jeffrey Epstein plea deal  —  The Department of Justice has opened an investigation into Secretary of Labor Alex Acosta's role in negotiating a controversial plea deal with a wealthy New York investor accused of molesting more than 100 underage girls in Palm Beach.
Discussion: Splinter
Matt Flegenheimer / New York Times:
Beto O'Rourke Was Once Adrift in New York City.  Now He's Searching Again.  —  As the former Texas congressman weighs a run for president, his rebel-in-moderation youth offers revealing parallels to his search for direction now.  —  All at once, New York City seemed to be conspiring against Beto O'Rourke.
Discussion: The Week and Jezebel
Stacy Cowley / New York Times:
Consumer Protection Bureau Cripples New Rules for Payday Loans  —  Payday lenders won a major victory on Wednesday after the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau moved to gut tougher restrictions that were to take effect later this year.  —  The industry has spent years trying to fend off the new rules …
Washington Post:
‘It will take off like a wildfire’: The unique dangers of the Washington state measles outbreak  —  VANCOUVER, Wash. — Amber Gorrow is afraid to leave her house with her infant son because she lives at the epicenter of Washington state's worst measles outbreak in more than two decades.
Discussion: Los Angeles Times
Joe Pompeo / Vanity Fair:
Delay, Deny, and Deal Flow: Two New York Times Reporters Cash in on Seven-Figure Facebook Opus  —  The book, acquired by HarperCollins, suggests the extent to which the publishing industry is willing to bet on politically adjacent reportorial blockbusters.  —  Over the past few months …
Discussion: Mediaite
Laura Spitalniak / ABC News:
Rep. Joe Kennedy III rules out 2020 bid, but encourages ‘big, broad field’  —  U.S. Rep. Joe Kennedy III, D-Mass., has ruled out a 2020 presidential run, despite being the subject of speculation.  —  “I've got enough on my plate,” the three-term House member said on ABC News' “Powerhouse Politics” podcast.
Discussion: Outside the Beltway and IJR
Biden mounts Capitol Hill charm offensive ahead of 2020 decision  —  The former vice president is looking to lock down establishment support as he nears a decision on a presidential run.  —  Joe Biden is working one of his most important constituencies as he closes in on a decision about running for president: Capitol Hill Democrats.
Discussion: BuzzFeed News
Joseph Cox / Motherboard:
Big Telecom Sold Highly Sensitive Customer GPS Data Typically Used for 911 Calls  —  A Motherboard investigation has found that around 250 bounty hunters and related businesses had access to AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint customer location data.  —  Around 250 bounty hunters and related businesses …
Discussion: The Verge
Joseph Cox / Motherboard:
Hundreds of Bounty Hunters Had Access to AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint Customer Location Data for Years
Discussion: RT, more at Techmeme »
Jane Lytvynenko / BuzzFeed News:
This Altered Photo Of Women Lawmakers In KKK Hoods Is Spreading And Twitter Is Refusing To Stop It  —  Twitter is allowing an altered photo comparing women members of Congress who wore white to the State of the Union to the KKK to continue to circulate on its platform on Wednesday despite …
Wall Street Journal:
‘This One Here Is Gonna Kick My Butt’—Farm Belt Bankruptcies Are Soaring  —  Throughout much of the Midwest, U.S. farmers are filing for chapter 12 bankruptcy protection at levels not seen for at least a decade, a Wall Street Journal review of federal data shows.
Discussion: Axios
Tim Mak / NPR:
Trump Ally Tries To Remove Parkland Fathers From Gun Violence Hearing  —  A longtime Trump ally pushed to have two fathers of Parkland victims tossed out of a congressional hearing on gun violence — a reflection of the vociferous nature of the debate Democrats have made a priority in the new Congress.
Discussion: Newsweek, The Hill and Washington Post
Will Sommer / The Daily Beast:
Hillary Clinton Blackface Hoax Explodes After Virginia Scandals  —  The photo is clearly not the 2016 Democratic nominee.  And yet, it's finding its way around pro-Trump Twitter.  —  See What's Happening in Right-Wing Media From the Safety of Your Inbox.  —  Blackface scandals …
David Gauvey Herbert / New York Magazine:
The Five Families of Feces The porta-potty business is as dirty as you'd think.  But one man keeps coming up smelling like roses.  —  Charles W. Howard is the porta-potty king of New York City.  The seat of his vast empire is Broad Channel, Queens; from this windswept rock in Jamaica Bay …
Zack Whittaker / TechCrunch:
Many popular iPhone apps secretly record your screen without asking  —  And there's no way a user would know  —  Many major companies, like Air Canada, Hollister and Expedia, are recording every tap and swipe you make on their iPhone apps.  In most cases you won't even realize it.
Sophie Tatum / CNN:
CNN to host town hall with Howard Schultz  —  Howard Schultz: Both parties have failed at immigration  —  Washington (CNN)CNN will host a town hall next week in Houston with former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz as he mulls a presidential bid in 2020.  —  Schultz, who said last month …
Richard Sandomir / New York Times:
Christine Kay, Editor on Prizewinning Times Projects, Dies at 54  —  Christine Kay, a veteran editor at The New York Times who had a strong hand in shaping prizewinning articles and investigative projects and who helped conceive “Portraits of Grief,” a celebrated series of remembrances …
Laura Davison / Bloomberg:
The Battle Over Trump's Tax Return Begins  — Political tax fight could halt health care, retirement work  — Outside groups are running ads pressuring Democrats to act  —  House Democrats are facing off with Republicans for a battle that could turn intensely personal for Donald Trump …
Discussion: Raw Story
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 More Items: 
Ariel Edwards-Levy / HuffPost:
Republicans Split On Whether Blackface Is A Problem
Discussion: FITSNews, New York Daily News and RT
New York Times:
A Desperate Exodus From ISIS' Final Village
Ciara O'Rourke / @politifact:
Viral image falsely identifies U.S. congressman as El Chapo
Pentagon sending 250 troops to Texas due to migrant caravan
Discussion: Washington Monthly
Introducing Dear Talia, Alma's New Advice Column
Washington Post:
Inaugural probe puts spotlight on prolific Democratic donor who rapidly remade himself into a major Trump booster
Andrew Desiderio / Politico:
Waters negotiating with Mnuchin to testify on Russia sanctions
Discussion: Axios
Anna Merlan / Splinter:
Prosecutors: Border Protection Agent Illegally Sold Dozens of Guns In Private Deals
Discussion: Raw Story
 Earlier Items: 
Nick Wadhams / Bloomberg:
U.S. Erupts in Fury as Germany Deports Terrorist to Turkey
Chris Stirewalt / Fox News:
Dems grow uneasy with their new moralism
Discussion: USA Today and Associated Press
John Solomon / The Hill:
Mueller hauled before secret FISA court to address FBI abuses in 2002, Congress told
Discussion: The Gateway Pundit
Debra J. Saunders / Las Vegas Review-Journal:
Trump: Dean Heller lost re-election because he didn't excite voter base
Discussion: Joe.My.God.