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9:35 AM ET, February 21, 2019


 Top Items: 
Garrett M. Graff / Wired:
7 Scenarios for How the Mueller Probe Might ‘Wrap Up’  —  THE BREAKING NEWS hit a snowy Washington on Wednesday: Newly installed attorney general William Barr appears to be preparing to announce the end of special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation.  —  But what would “Mueller wrapping up” actually mean?
Justice Department preparing for Mueller report as early as next week  —  Washington (CNN)Attorney General Bill Barr is preparing to announce as early as next week the completion of special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation, with plans for Barr to submit to Congress soon after a summary …
Jacqueline Alemany / Washington Post:
Power Up: ‘By the Book Bob:’ Prosecutors say Mueller will tightly hug Justice guidelines in report
Discussion: Vox
Washington Post:
Justice Department preparing for Mueller report in coming days
Stephen Collinson / CNN:
Bombshell Mueller report may never be fully revealed
Discussion: Raw Story and Breitbart
Lynh Bui / Washington Post:
Self-proclaimed white nationalist planned mass terror attack, government says.  ‘I am dreaming of a way to kill almost every last person on earth.’  —  A U.S. Coast Guard lieutenant and self-identified white nationalist has been arrested after federal investigators uncovered a cache of weapons …
Dave Philipps / New York Times:
Coast Guard Officer Plotted to Kill Democrats and Journalists, Prosecutors Say
Discussion: Outside the Beltway
Nina dos Santos / CNN:
Senate investigators pursue Moscow-based former Trump associate  —  London and Moscow (CNN)Senate investigators want to question a Moscow-based American businessman with longstanding ties to President Donald Trump after witnesses told them he could shed light on the President's commercial …
Discussion: Political Wire and Raw Story
BuzzFeed News:
Trump Said He Ordered His Administration To Withhold Wildfire Aid To California.  FEMA Says He Never Did.  —  The president tweeted that he was cutting off disaster assistance to wildfire survivors to punish California officials.  But no record of such an order exists.
Discussion: Bloomberg
Brett Murphy / USA Today:
Blackface, KKK hoods and mock lynchings: Review of 900 yearbooks finds blatant racism  —  In one of the most extensive searches of college yearbooks ever, we found blackface and Ku Klux Klan photos like Ralph Northam's far beyond Virginia.  —  The old yearbook photos capture the lighthearted moments …
Discussion: The Tennessean, The Week and Splinter
Nicole Carroll / USA Today:
I became part of our story on racist images in college yearbooks.  I'm here to apologize for publishing that photo
Discussion: Raw Story
Washington Post:
Allies decline request to stay in Syria after U.S. troops withdraw  —  As the deadline approaches for the withdrawal of U.S. forces fighting the Islamic State in Syria, America's closest European allies have turned down a Trump administration request to fill the gap with their own troops, according to U.S. and foreign officials.
Discussion: Bloomberg and
Actor Jussie Smollett now a suspect in criminal investigation  —  “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett has been “officially classified” as a suspect in a criminal investigation for allegedly filling a false police report, according to a tweet from Chicago police communications Officer Anthony Guglielmi.
CBS Chicago:
Video Shows Brothers Linked To Jussie Smollett Attack Buying Items Allegedly Worn In Assault
The Biggest Field Yet.  No Frontrunner.  A Divided Base.  Welcome to the 2020 Democratic Primary  —  Almost a year before the first votes of the 2020 -presidential contest, Democratic candidates are all over the map.  There's Elizabeth Warren in a drafty warehouse in Des Moines, Iowa …
Jennifer Rubin / Washington Post:
Why Sanders's money haul doesn't mean very much
Discussion: Wall Street Journal
Joe Pompeo / Vanity Fair:
“She Was Pitching Her Intimate Knowledge of the Mueller Probe”: Sarah Isgur Flores, Former Trumper, Talked to MSNBC Before Signing with CNN  —  The former Jeff Sessions spokesperson is now a power player at a network she once called the “Clinton News Network.”  How'd she close the deal?
The Daily Beast:
CNN in Damage-Control Mode Over GOP Operative Hire
Philip Klein / Washington Examiner:
Government report reveals CBO was scandalously off in Obamacare estimates  —  A new report from government actuaries has revealed that the Congressional Budget Office was scandalously off in its estimates of the impact of Obamacare's individual mandate, a miscalculation that has had significant ramifications …
Amy Gardner / Washington Post:
Candidate's son warned father of N.C. political operative's alleged tactics  —  RALEIGH, N.C. — The son of Republican congressional candidate Mark Harris testified Wednesday that he warned his father repeatedly that he believed a political operative now at the center of an election-fraud investigation …
John Solomon / The Hill:
FBI's top lawyer believed Hillary Clinton should face charges, but was talked out of it  —  For most of the past three years, the FBI has tried to portray its top leadership as united behind ex-Director James Comey's decision not to pursue criminal charges against Hillary Clinton …
Sarah Ferris / Politico:
Pelosi: House moving ‘swiftly’ to block Trump's emergency declaration  —  Speaker Nancy Pelosi is throwing her muscle behind a legislative effort to block President Donald Trump's national emergency declaration, the first formal step to counter Trump and squeeze Republicans on the border wall.
Rachael Bade / Washington Post:   Pelosi says House will vote on resolution opposing Trump's emergency declaration
Jim Geraghty / National Review:
It's Not a Disinformation Campaign if the Facts Are True  —  Is It Really a Disinformation Campaign If It Uses Verified Facts?  —  Politico reports that certain Democratic presidential candidates are already the target of “wide-ranging disinformation campaign” with “signs that foreign state actors …
Discussion: Hullabaloo, Booman Tribune and Politico
Erik Wemple / Washington Post:
Dutch professor exposes Tucker Carlson's fraud  —  “Tucker Carlson Tonight” is a binary production.  Here's how it breaks down: The host, Tucker Carlson, either welcomes a guest with whom he agrees, in which case the segment is a facile lovefest, or he welcomes a guest with whom he disagrees …
Reid Wilson / The Hill:
Obama political arm to merge with Holder-run group  —  President Obama's political organization is merging with Eric Holder's National Redistricting Action Fund, giving it control of the vaunted list of supporters, donors and volunteers that Obama and his team built over more than a decade.
Discussion: Political Wire
Isaac Chotiner / New Yorker:
The Classicist Who Sees Donald Trump as a Tragic Hero  —  Many of the books written in support of Donald Trump's Presidency have been authored by Trump family hangers-on or charlatans looking to make a buck.  (Examples include “Trump's Enemies: How the Deep State Is Undermining the Presidency …
Jeremy Barr / Hollywood Reporter:
Why Sean Spicer Joined ‘Extra’ as a TV Correspondent  —  “The idea is to give people a different angle on some of the people they see on the cable news channels every day,” says the former Trump White House spokesperson.  —  Surprise, surprise: Sean Spicer is now officially a member of the mainstream media.
New York Times:
A U.S. Ambassador Promises a Global Push to Decriminalize Homosexuality  —  BERLIN — The American ambassador to Germany plans to lead what his embassy said Wednesday was a new and “specific push” to decriminalize homosexuality worldwide.  —  The ambassador, Richard Grenell …
Discussion: NBC News and Shareblue Media
David M. Drucker / Washington Examiner:
Optimism in Trump camp grows as Democrats embrace their inner socialist  —  Republicans toiling to re-elect President Trump are freshly optimistic, confident a Democratic Party dominated by ambitious progressives is scaring wayward factions of the conservative coalition back into the fold.
Discussion: New York Times
Christopher Cadelago / Politico:
Kamala Harris shamed by Jamaican father over pot-smoking joke  —  Kamala Harris made headlines last week when she joked in a radio interview that of course she smoked marijuana in her younger years: “Half my family's from Jamaica, are you kidding me?”  —  But the crack didn't go over well with at least …
Michael Grunwald / Politico:
Trump's War on California  —  President Donald Trump loves bashing California—its “ridiculous” sanctuary cities, its “gross mismanagement” of its forests, even the “disgusting” streets of San Francisco.  He also enjoys slagging California liberals, like House Intelligence Committee Chair …
American Democracy in Crisis: The Fate of Pluralism in a Divided Nation  —  The 2018 Election  —  Views of President Trump  —  After two years in office, the public's view of President Trump remains negative.  As of late December 2018, when this survey was conducted …
Discussion: The Atlantic
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 More Items: 
Glenn Kessler / Washington Post:
Stephen Miller's claim that ‘thousands of Americans die year after year’ from illegal immigration
Daniel Henninger / Wall Street Journal:
The Democrats' Socialist Gene
Transnational Emergency
Discussion: Raw Story
Laura Kayali / Politico:
Macron vows measures to tackle online hate speech and anti-Semitism
Discussion: BBC and One America News Network
Marc Caputo / Politico:
Florida aims to torpedo Milwaukee 2020 convention bid
Alex Ward / Vox:
Andrew McCabe claims Trump wanted war in Venezuela because “they have all that oil”
Hamilton Nolan / Splinter:
Rich People Have Been Taking Your Money For 40 Years And They Still Are
White House talks U.N. post with John James
Discussion: Talking Points Memo and Fox News
 Earlier Items: 
Brianne Pfannenstiel / Des Moines Register:
Iowa Poll: Joni Ernst's approval rating hits new high as she readies for 2020 re-election bid
Jennifer Schuessler / New York Times:
The Obama Presidential Library That Isn't
Discussion: Chicago Tribune and AOTUS
The Guardian:
'He's learned nothing': Zuckerberg floats crowdsourcing Facebook fact-checks
Franco Ordoñez / McClatchy Washington Bureau:
Jared Kushner privately working on reshaping legal immigration
Discussion: Breitbart
Sean Hannity:
MANUFACTURED CRISIS? Border Agents Seize $13 MILLION of Meth Hidden in Frozen Strawberries
Discussion: CNN