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9:55 AM ET, February 11, 2019

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 Top Items: 
Lachlan Markay / The Daily Beast:
Mistress' Brother Leaked Bezos' Racy Texts to Enquirer, Sources Say  —  Multiples sources tell The Daily Beast that Michael Sanchez, a Trumpworld associate and brother to Bezos' lover, gave the couple's texts to The National Enquirer.  —  The brother of Jeff Bezos' mistress, Lauren Sanchez …
RELATED:
Eleanor Clift / The Daily Beast:
Steve Schmidt Storms Off Own Podcast When Asked About Advising Howard Schultz  —  “This is bullsh*t,” Schmidt exclaims.  “I'm not doing this.”  —  Anti-Trump strategist and pundit Steve Schmidt is feeling the heat from all sides since his client, Starbucks founder Howard Schultz …
Politico:
POLITICO Playbook: Beds and barriers at issue, as Washington barrels toward another shutdown  —  DRIVING THE DAY  —  OK, WELL WE'RE NOW IN A SHUTDOWN WEEK.  Negotiations between Republicans and Democrats have broken down, and they are on the brink of being beyond repair.
New Yorker:
Private Mossad for Hire  —  Inside a plot to influence American elections, starting with one small-town race.  —  One evening in 2016, a twenty-five-year-old community-college student named Alex Gutiérrez was waiting tables at La Piazza Ristorante Italiano, an upscale restaurant in Tulare, in California's San Joaquin Valley.
Discussion: emptywheel
Jeffrey Toobin / New Yorker:
Roger Stone's and Jerome Corsi's Time in the Barrel  —  Why the mismatched operatives matter to Trump—and to the Mueller investigation.  —  Roger Stone's house, in Fort Lauderdale, is situated between a quiet street and one of the city's canals, which are the only feature Fort Lauderdale shares with its Italian sister city, Venice.
David Leonhardt / New York Times:
Trump's Nightmare Opponents  —  Amy Klobuchar, Sherrod Brown and how to be a middle-class fighter.  —  A few weeks ago, the pollsters at Monmouth University asked Democrats across the country to choose between two different kinds of nominees.  One was a candidate whom the voter agreed …
RELATED:
Paul Mirengoff / Power Line:   Don't sleep on “Spartacus”  —  In every presidential election cycle …
Alexander Burns / New York Times:   Democrats' 2020 Choice: Do They Want a Fighter or a Healer?
Erick Erickson / The Resurgent:
I'll Be Voting for President Trump and Vice President Pence in 2020  —  This week in 2016, I declared I would be “Never Trump.”  A friend suggested I use a hashtag that had started circulating on Twitter, i.e #NeverTrump.  The piece exploded and pushed me into a whirlwind of coverage.
Alex Roarty / McClatchy Washington Bureau:
‘Weaker candidate than Hillary’: Democrats cast deep doubt on Biden's 2020 value  —  Joe Biden is everything a Democratic political consultant should love: He's experienced, well-liked, and his poll numbers look great against Donald Trump.  —  And yet many party strategists have a bleak assessment …
Washington Post:
Devastated by one shutdown, dreading the next  —  FRESNO, Calif. — The federal government had finally called her back to work after 35 days, but now Vicki Ibarra wondered how she could afford to get there.  Her used sedan had been repossessed by the bank a few days earlier.
Brian Murphy / Raleigh News & Observer:
Walter Jones, who worked to atone for his Iraq war vote, is dead at 76  —  Rep. Walter B. Jones Jr., an Eastern North Carolina congressman who made it his mission to atone for his vote sending U.S. troops into Iraq in the early 2000s, died Sunday on his 76th birthday.
RELATED:
Felicia Sonmez / Washington Post:
Walter Jones, ‘freedom fries’ congressman who became Iraq War critic, dies at 76
Discussion: Hullabaloo, The Guardian and Politico
New York Times:
In Closed Hearing, a Clue About ‘the Heart’ of Mueller's Russia Inquiry  —  WASHINGTON — Of the few hints to emerge from the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, about evidence of possible collusion between President Trump's campaign and Russia, one of the most tantalizing surfaced almost …
Discussion: The Week
RELATED:
John Solomon / The Hill:   The case for Russia collusion ... against the Democrats
Alexei Koseff / San Francisco Chronicle:
Newsom pulling National Guard troops from border to fight ‘real threats’  —  SACRAMENTO — Gov. Gavin Newsom will withdraw most of the California National Guard troops who were deployed to the U.S.-Mexico border last year, saying the state needs them to prepare for wildfires …
RELATED:
Jose A. Del Real / New York Times:
California Is Expected to Pull National Guard Troops Out of Border Duty
John Bresnahan / Politico:
Omar ignites new anti-Semitism controversy with comments on AIPAC  —  Freshman Minnesota Democrat Ilhan Omar ignited a new controversy on Sunday night when she suggested GOP support for Israel is driven by campaign donations from a prominent pro-Israel group.
RELATED:
Ron Kampeas / Haaretz:
Kevin McCarthy Promises ‘Action’ Against Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib
Marianne LeVine / Politico:
Republicans gush over Klobuchar  —  Amy Klobuchar has an unusual constituency behind her as she launches her run for president: Senate Republicans.  —  In a Democratic caucus filled with presidential hopefuls taking a hard line against Donald Trump's presidency, the Minnesota senator's brand of pragmatic politics stands out.
Trey Yingst / Fox News:
Trump administration's Middle East peace plan finished, officials say  —  JERUSALEM - The Trump administration's Middle East peace plan is finished and President Trump has been briefed on its contents, two senior administration officials told Fox News on Sunday.
Jonathan Swan / Axios:
Scoop: More Trump schedules leaked as enraged officials launch internal hunt  —  Our lead item in Axios Sneak Peek last week — a leak of three months of Trump's private schedules — enraged White House officials.  —  The president's secretary Madeleine Westerhout tweeted that the leak was “a disgraceful breach of trust.”
Wall Street Journal:
Trump Heads to Border for First Rally of Year  —  President Trump will return in earnest to campaign posture, holding his first rally of the year in the shadow of the Mexican border and in the hometown of a potential rival, former Democratic Rep. Beto O'Rourke.
Heather Long / Washington Post:
Millions of Americans could be stunned as their tax refunds shrink  —  Most Americans received a tax cut in 2018, but their refunds aren't necessarily staying the same.  —  Millions of Americans filling out their 2018 taxes will probably be surprised to learn that their refund is less …
Raphael Satter / Associated Press:
AP Exclusive: Undercover spy exposed in NYC was 1 of many  —  LONDON (AP) — When mysterious operatives lured two cybersecurity researchers to meetings at luxury hotels over the past two months, it was an apparent bid to discredit their research about an Israeli company that makes smartphone …
Kate Zernike / New York Times:
‘Progressive Prosecutor’: Can Kamala Harris Square the Circle?  —  Ms. Harris seemed to try to be all things to all people as a district attorney and state attorney general.  Now, as she runs for president, her record faces a chorus of critics, especially on the left.
Discussion: The Root and Althouse
Victor Davis Hanson / American Greatness:
Progressives Bearing Gifts  —  Donald Trump in 2016 did not only run against the planted rumors of the fake Steele dossier, 90 percent negative media coverage, his own boisterous past, and the “Access Hollywood” tape.  He also was campaigning against Hillary Clinton—and the nation's quarter-century weariness …
Kark-Tv / WATE-TV:
Heaven has a wall: Grocery store ad mailer stirs controversy  —  CAMDEN, Ark. (KARK) - A family-owned Christian grocery store with several locations in Southeast Arkansas is dealing with backlash as customers argue a weekly ad mailer included a controversial political message.
Discussion: The Gateway Pundit
Lisa De Pasquale / The Federalist:
Why The Anti-Men 'Galentine's Day' Is Nothing To Celebrate  —  I'm just as materialistic and greedy for gifts as the next gal, but why has this sitcom-created faux holiday morphed into an anti-men celebration?  —  Festivus isn't the only holiday that has transitioned from sitcom punch line to real-life marketing opportunity.
David Edwards / Raw Story:
Fox & Friends host says he hasn't washed hands in 10 years: 'Germs are not a real thing — I can't see them'  —  Don't miss stories.  Follow Raw Story!  —  Fox News host Pete Hegseth explained on Sunday that he doesn't wash his hands because “germs are not a real thing.”
Discussion: Splinter
 
 
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 More Items: 
Julie Kelly / American Greatness:
The Indecent Inquisitors
Thomas Erdbrink / New York Times:
The Iran Revolution at 40: From Theocracy to ‘Normality’
David M. Drucker / Washington Examiner:
Disorganized Virginia Republicans scramble to capitalize on Democratic scandals
Ted Hesson / Politico:
The Border Patrol's recruiting crisis
Discussion: Talking Points Memo
Lissandra Villa / BuzzFeed News:
Rep. Seth Moulton Is Thinking About Running For President
Discussion: The Hill and Talking Points Memo
Washington Post:
On Virginia's rural Eastern Shore, Northam's views of race took root
 Earlier Items: 
Damian Carrington / The Guardian:
Plummeting insect numbers ‘threaten collapse of nature’
Discussion: Common Dreams
Jonathan Swan / Axios:
Advisers float Mar-a-lago summit as Trump plots next moves with Chinese President Xi
Jennifer C. Braceras / The Hill:
Who's afraid of Neomi Rao?
Jennifer Senior / New York Times:
Our Brains Aren't Designed to Handle the Trump Era
Discussion: Hullabaloo