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9:15 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.
Washington Post:
Ralph Northam must resign  —  GOV. RALPH NORTHAM (D) can no longer effectively serve the people of Virginia who elected him.  His shifting and credulity-shredding explanations for the racist photograph on his medical school yearbook page, and the silence into which he then succumbed for days …
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: Althouse and The Daily Beast
Karen Tumulty / Washington Post:
Democrats rallied around Christine Blasey Ford. Will they do the same with Vanessa Tyson?
Ben Paviour / Community Idea Stations:
Fairfax Retained Kavanaugh's Lawyers After Allegations Surfaced
Washington Post:   After new document is revealed, Warren struggles with questions of identity
Laura Spitalniak / ABC News:
Rep. Joe Kennedy III rules out 2020 bid, but encourages ‘big, broad field’
Discussion: Outside the Beltway and IJR
Bloomberg Law:   Racial Gerrymander Defender Next in Line if Va. Dems Go
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.
Discussion: Talking Points Memo and The Week
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 …
Dino Grandoni / Washington Post:
The Energy 202: Ocasio-Cortez, Markey unveil Green New Deal with backing of four presidential candidates
Discussion: The Hill and Axios
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 …
Øptimus Consulting:
2020 General Election Survey - February 2019  —  From January 30th through February 1st, we conducted a national survey of 2020 general election likely voters to have an early baseline read of potential match-ups in the Fall of 2020, including the potential independent candidacy of Howard Schultz.
Joshua Green / Bloomberg:
Schultz's Independent Bid in 2020 Would Help Trump, Poll Finds
Discussion: Political Wire, CNBC and Contemptor
Sophie Tatum / CNN:
CNN to host town hall with Howard Schultz
The Daily Beast:
Phoenix Police Refute Cindy McCain's Story of Human Trafficking at Airport  —  Phoenix police on Wednesday disputed Cindy McCain's account of human trafficking at an Arizona airport.  McCain had told local news station KTAR on Monday that she intervened at Sky Harbor International Airport …
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:
Sergei Millian, identified as an unwitting source for the Steele dossier, sought proximity to Trump's world in 2016  —  Around the time of President Trump's inauguration, two of his supporters met to toast the new administration at the Russia House, a Washington restaurant known among Russian diplomats …
Discussion: Raw Story
Antonia Noori Farzan / Washington Post:
A Florida politician allegedly made a habit of licking men's faces.  She's now resigned.  —  It was supposed to be a fun, lighthearted alternative to typical government meetings, and one befitting a laid-back beach town.  The city commission of Madeira Beach, Fla. — a coastal community …
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
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
New York Times:
Virginia Police Sergeant Suspended After Antifa Ties Him to White Nationalism  —  A police sergeant in Virginia who was assigned to monitor the protests related to Gov. Ralph Northam was suspended Wednesday after being identified by an anti-fascist group as having an “affinity with white nationalist groups.”
Olivia Gazis / CBS News:
Richard Burr on the Senate Intelligence Committee's Russia investigation, 2 years on  —  The investigation into Russian intelligence activities by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence turned two years old, without fanfare, last month.  —  For almost as long, the inquiry …
Farhad Manjoo / New York Times:
Abolish Billionaires  —  A radical idea is gaining adherents on the left.  It's the perfect way to blunt tech-driven inequality.  —  Last fall, Tom Scocca, editor of the essential blog Hmm Daily, wrote a tiny, searing post that has been rattling around my head ever since.
Avery Anapol / The Hill:
Ohio city to stop observing Columbus Day, make Election Day holiday instead  —  Officials in the city of Sandusky, Ohio, have decided that the city will no longer observe Columbus Day as a holiday, switching it for Election Day.  —  City commissioners made the change at a recent meeting, according to the Sandusky Register.
Discussion: Breitbart
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.
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 …
Heather Caygle / Politico:
Biden closes in on 2020 decision  —  Joe Biden is working one of his most important constituencies as he closes in on a decision about running for president: Capitol Hill Democrats.  —  In recent weeks, the former vice president and longtime Democratic senator has spoken …
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 …
Joseph Cox / Motherboard:
Hundreds of Bounty Hunters Had Access to AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint Customer Location Data for Years  —  In January, Motherboard revealed that AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint were selling their customers' real-time location data, which trickled down through a complex network of companies until eventually ending …
Discussion: Engadget and RT, more at Techmeme »
Joseph Cox / Motherboard:
Big Telecom Sold Highly Sensitive Customer GPS Data Typically Used for 911 Calls
Discussion: The Verge
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.
Mathew Ingram / Columbia Journalism Review:
Researchers say fears about ‘fake news’ are exaggerated  —  It's so widely accepted that it's verging on conventional wisdom: misinformation, or “fake news,” spread primarily by Facebook to hundreds of millions of people (and created by Russian agents), helped distort the political landscape …
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 …
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 …
Ariel Edwards-Levy / HuffPost:
Republicans Split On Whether Blackface Is A Problem  —  Democrats overwhelmingly say it is.  —  Democrats lead the American public in condemning blackface, a new, national HuffPost/YouGov poll finds, putting the Democratic politicians who have admitted to wearing it perilously out of step …
Eli Yokley / Morning Consult:
Trump's Popularity Slumps to Record Low in January  —  (Photo by Jim Lo Scalzo-Pool/Getty Images)  — A majority of voters in 12 states approved of Trump's job performance, while a majority disapproved in 27 states.  — Trump's best numbers came in Wyoming and West Virginia …
Discussion: Political Wire
Anchal Vohra / Foreign Policy:
A Deadly Welcome Awaits Syria's Returning Refugees  —  As the war in Syria dies down, the torture and mistreatment of returnees are ramping up.  —  As the Syrian war draws to an end and the barrel bombs stop terrorizing the country, Syrians are being encouraged to return home by the countries to which they have fled.
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
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 More Items: 
Cory Shaffer / Plain Dealer:
Rep. Marcia Fudge gets restraining order against woman who accused her of assault: 'If I had hit her …
Discussion: Roll Call and Raw Story
Josh Constine / TechCrunch:
Facebook will reveal who uploaded your contact info for ad targeting
Sahil Kapur / Bloomberg:
Trump Calls for More Legal Immigration After Pushing to Cut It
Discussion: Breitbart
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: NBC News and Washington Monthly
Monica Hesse / Washington Post:
The exquisite shade of Nancy Pelosi's applause at the State of the Union
Introducing Dear Talia, Alma's New Advice Column
 Earlier Items: 
Richard Sandomir / New York Times:
Christine Kay, Editor on Prizewinning Times Projects, Dies at 54
Washington Post:
Inaugural probe puts spotlight on prolific Democratic donor who rapidly remade himself into a major Trump booster
David Gauvey Herbert / New York Magazine:
The Five Families of Feces The porta-potty business is as dirty as you'd think. …
Nick Wadhams / Bloomberg:
U.S. Erupts in Fury as Germany Deports Terrorist to Turkey
Tim Mak / NPR:
Trump Ally Tries To Remove Parkland Fathers From Gun Violence Hearing
Discussion: Newsweek, The Hill and Washington Post
John Solomon / The Hill:
Mueller hauled before secret FISA court to address FBI abuses in 2002, Congress told
Discussion: The Gateway Pundit