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8:45 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.
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: Politico
Paul Mirengoff / Power Line:
Don't sleep on “Spartacus”  —  In every presidential election cycle, there's a sleeper — a candidate not expected to get far who catches fire.  Sometimes that candidate goes all the way.  Barack Obama and Donald Trump did.  Other times the candidate falls short, but only after exceeding expectations and …
RELATED:
David Leonhardt / New York Times:   Trump's Nightmare Opponents
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.
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
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
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.
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.”
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.
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 …
Charles Sykes / The Bulwark:
Lots of People Had a Worse Week Than Howard Schultz  —  Donald Trump, Kamala Harris, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez ... just to name a few.  —  The conventional wisdom is that Howard Schultz's presidential roll out was largely a face plant.  “Everybody Hates Howard,” read the headline in The Ringer …
Discussion: POLITICUSUSA
RELATED:
Damian Carrington / The Guardian:
Plummeting insect numbers ‘threaten collapse of nature’  —  Exclusive: Insects could vanish within a century at current rate of decline, says global review  —  The world's insects are hurtling down the path to extinction, threatening a “catastrophic collapse of nature's ecosystems”, according to the first global scientific review.
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.
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 …
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 …
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.
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
Lissandra Villa / BuzzFeed News:
Rep. Seth Moulton Is Thinking About Running For President  —  WASHINGTON — Massachusetts Rep. Seth Moulton is thinking about running for president, he told BuzzFeed News in an exclusive interview.  —  The Democrat, best known for being a vocal critic of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi …
 
 
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 More Items: 
Jose A. Del Real / New York Times:
California Is Expected to Pull National Guard Troops Out of Border Duty
Discussion: Washington Post and Common Dreams
Marianne LeVine / Politico:
Republicans gush over Klobuchar
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
John Hinderaker / Power Line:
Northam on “Indentured Servants”
Washington Post:
On Virginia's rural Eastern Shore, Northam's views of race took root
Fenit Nirappil / Washington Post:
Va. Democrats weigh initiation of impeachment proceedings against Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax
 Earlier Items: 
Jonathan Swan / Axios:
Advisers float Mar-a-lago summit as Trump plots next moves with Chinese President Xi
Discussion: CNBC and The Week
Jennifer C. Braceras / The Hill:
Who's afraid of Neomi Rao?
Quint Forgey / Politico:
Warren: Trump ‘may not even be a free person’ by 2020
Discussion: The Bulwark and Washington Post
Michael Goodwin / New York Post:
The Democrats' disastrous week highlights Trump's sanity
Vivian Yee / New York Times:
A Princess Vanishes. A Video Offers Alarming Clues.
Mark Fainaru-Wada / ESPN:
Bob Costas, unplugged: From NBC and broadcast icon to dropped from the Super Bowl