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2:55 PM ET, February 21, 2019


 Top Items: 
Neal K. Katyal / New York Times:
The Mueller Report Is Coming.  Here's What to Expect.  —  A concise report will probably act as a “road map” to investigation for the Democratic House — and to further criminal investigation by other prosecutors.  —  Mr. Katyal was an acting solicitor general under President Barack Obama.
Discussion: Althouse
Jacqueline Alemany / Washington Post:
Power Up: ‘By the Book Bob:’ Prosecutors say Mueller will tightly hug Justice guidelines in report
Wall Street Journal:
Trump Inaugural Committee Challenged Vendor Requests and Budgeting, Documents Show  —  In the weeks before his inauguration, top officials on President Trump's inaugural committee repeatedly sounded alarms about the budgets submitted by several vendors, according to correspondence, committee records and draft budgets.
Discussion: Talking Points Memo and Raw Story
Asawin Suebsaeng / The Daily Beast:
Trump White House Is Forcing Interns to Sign NDAs and Threatening Them With Financial Ruin  —  Not even the interns are exempt from the legally dubious rite of passage practiced by the Trump White House.  —  Asawin Suebsaeng  —  When the Trump White House welcomed its newest batch …
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: Washington Post and The Atlantic
Emma Green / The Atlantic:
These Are the Americans Who Live in a Bubble  —  Most Americans do not live in a totalizing bubble.  They regularly encounter people of different races, ideologies, and religions.  For the most part, they view these interactions as positive, or at least neutral.
Khadeeja Safdar / Wall Street Journal:
Meet Under Armour CEO's Unusual Adviser: An MSNBC Anchor  —  Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank was questioned last year by the company's board over his ties to MSNBC anchor Stephanie Ruhle, who has traveled on his private jet and provided input on a range of business matters, according to current and former executives.
Discussion: Contemptor, TVNewser, Deadspin and Mediaite
New York Times:
Jussie Smollett, Upset Over Salary, Staged Assault, Police Say  —  CHICAGO — Jussie Smollett, upset by his salary and seeking publicity, staged a fake assault on himself a week after writing himself a threatening letter, the Chicago police said Thursday after the “Empire” …
CBS Chicago:
Video Shows Brothers Linked To Jussie Smollett Attack Buying Items Allegedly Worn In Assault
Leigh Ann Caldwell / NBC News:
Republican candidate's son shakes up North Carolina hearing with surprise testimony  —  John Harris said he warned his father about potentially illegal activities of a political operative the candidate eventually hired.  —  RALEIGH, N.C. — The son of Republican congressional candidate Mark Harris testified …
Caleb Melby / Bloomberg:
Trump's Inaugural Team Scrambled to Defend Staff and Record Haul  — Tricky question a year after party: What did Rick Gates do?  — Staffers came from Barrack's Colony Capital, Manafort's circle  —  The leaders of President Donald Trump's inaugural committee saw trouble coming and tried to get ahead of it.
Discussion: Politico and Raw Story
Trump, Inc.:   Trump Inauguration Chief Tom Barrack's ‘Rules for Success’
Jared Keller / Task & Purpose:
Trump claims border wall is under construction ‘right now’ using fence repair footage from 5 months ago  —  With a legal fight challenge mounting from state governments over the Trump administration's use of a national emergency to construct at the U.S.-Mexico border, the president has kicked his push for the barrier into high gear.
Discussion: Vox and New York Times
Nick Bilton / Vanity Fair:
“She Never Looks Back”: Inside Elizabeth Holmes's Chilling Final Months at Theranos  —  At the end, Theranos was overrun by a dog defecating in the boardroom, nearly a dozen law firms on retainer, and a C.E.O. grinning through her teeth about an implausible turnaround.
Sam Dean / Los Angeles Times:
Facebook decided which users are interested in Nazis — and let advertisers target them directly  —  Facebook makes money by charging advertisers to reach just the right audience for their message — even when that audience is made up of people interested in the perpetrators of the Holocaust or explicitly neo-Nazi music.
Nina dos Santos / CNN:
This man could shed light on Trump mystery, Senate witness says  —  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 …
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.
Ronald Brownstein / The Atlantic:
Bernie Sanders Will Hit Huge Obstacles in 2020  —  Bernie Sanders's entry into the 2020 race amounts to a big stone in a lake: It will generate ripples that touch every other candidate.  But his own path to the nomination remains rocky unless he can attract a broader coalition than he did in 2016.
Discussion: Hot Air, CNN and ThinkProgress
Jim Brunner / The Seattle Times:
Howard Schultz didn't vote on latest Seattle school levies  —  The no-show was in line with Schultz's pattern of ignoring many elections over the decades, even while urging increased civic and political involvement by Americans.  —  Even after facing public criticism over his spotty voting record …
David Armstrong / STAT:
Purdue's Sackler embraced plan to conceal OxyContin's strength from doctors, sealed deposition shows  —  In May 1997, the year after Purdue Pharma launched OxyContin, its head of sales and marketing sought input on a key decision from Dr. Richard Sackler, a member of the billionaire family that founded and controls the company.
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 …
Discussion: Daily Wire, RedState and
Jennifer Schuessler / New York Times:
The Obama Presidential Library That Isn't  —  The Obama Presidential Center promises to be a presidential library like no other.  —  The three-building, 19-acre “working center for citizenship,” set to be built in a public park on the South Side of Chicago, will include a 235-foot-high …
Astead W. Herndon / New York Times:
2020 Democrats Embrace Race-Conscious Policies, Including Reparations  —  From the very first day of the 2020 presidential race, when Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts blamed “generations of discrimination” for black families earning far less than white households …
Alan Gomez / USA Today:
The Trump administration keeps breaking up migrant families.  Here's how they do it  —  Amid public outcry over the thousands of migrant children separated from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border, President Donald Trump signed an executive order to keep families together.
Discussion: NBC News and Daily Kos
New York Times:
Advertisers Boycott YouTube After Pedophiles Swarm Comments on Videos of Children  —  SAN FRANCISCO — Nestlé, Epic Games and other major brands said on Wednesday that they had stopped buying advertisements on YouTube after their ads appeared on children's videos where pedophiles had infiltrated the comment sections.
Kevin D. Williamson / National Review:
Where to Go on Health Insurance?  —  The rap on Americans is that we are inward-looking and don't know very much about the rest of the world.  Of course there are good reasons that Belgians know more about American affairs than Americans know about Belgian affairs.  That's just the way it is.
Indianapolis Star:
Road rage, hate crime or both: Shooting death of Muslim man could draw FBI scrutiny  —  Crime Stoppers of Central Indiana allows Indianapolis residents to share anonymous tips with law enforcement.  Here are a few things Crime Stoppers wants you to know before you call.  —  CONNECT11  —  TWEET11
Discussion: Advocate and ThinkProgress
Deconstructed / The Intercept:
Crazy in Gov: Why Won't the Media Discuss Trump's Mental Instability?  —  Photo illustration: Soohee Cho/The Intercept, Getty Images  —  Subscribe to the Deconstructed podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Radio Public, and other platforms.  New to podcasting?  Click here.
Dave Philipps / New York Times:
Coast Guard Officer Plotted to Kill Democrats and Journalists, Prosecutors Say  —  A Coast Guard lieutenant and self-described white nationalist who was arrested in Maryland last week was plotting to kill a long list of prominent journalists and Democratic politicians, as well as professors …
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 …
Discussion: Daily Wire and The Resurgent
Fox News:
Former FBI general counsel thought Hillary Clinton should be prosecuted until ‘pretty late’ in email investigation
Discussion: RedState
Jonathan Swan / Axios:
Scoop: McConnell recommends Kelly Craft to Trump for UN ambassador  —  Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has spoken to President Trump and recommended U.S. Ambassador to Canada Kelly Craft as the next UN ambassador, according to two sources familiar with the situation.
Discussion: Political Wire
Alex Linder / shanghaiist:
Uniqlo says its new spring jacket was not inspired by Mao Zedong  —  Is 2019 the year that the Mao suit makes a comeback!?  —  Searching for a new look for this spring that's light, simple, and proletarian?  Well, Uniqlo has just the thing!  —  The Japanese fashion brand has introduced a new …
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 …
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 More Items: 
Adam Klasfeld /
Airline Intrigue With Mueller Tie Lands in US Court
Discussion: Raw Story
Darren Samuelsohn / Politico:
Manafort's Virginia sentencing set for March 8
Justin Sink / Bloomberg:
Trump Plans One-on-One Meeting With North Korea's Kim, Officials Say
Lauren Hilgers / New York Times:
The New Labor Movement Fighting for Domestic Workers' Rights
Anne Gearan / Washington Post:
Pence to address Latin American leaders Monday as Venezuela crisis deepens
Nogales International:
Town says it's ‘taken action’ after marshal's encounter with young journalist
Discussion: Hit & Run
Mike Memoli / NBC News:
Biden gets closer to a White House bid but serious concerns remain
Discussion: The Week, Politico and AOL
 Earlier Items: 
Just Security:
Stop Using the Word “Collusion”—How to Frame the Critical Question at the Heart of Trump-Russia
New York Times:
Alabama Woman Who Joined ISIS Can't Return Home, U.S. Says
Natalie Allison / The Tennessean:
Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee says he regrets participating in ‘Old South’ parties at Auburn University
Discussion: USA Today and Outside the Beltway
Glenn Kessler / Washington Post:
Stephen Miller's claim that ‘thousands of Americans die year after year’ from illegal immigration
Jeremy Barr / Hollywood Reporter:
Why Sean Spicer Joined ‘Extra’ as a TV Correspondent
Jim Geraghty / National Review:
It's Not a Disinformation Campaign if the Facts Are True
Discussion: Hullabaloo, Booman Tribune and Politico
Michael Grunwald / Politico:
Trump's War on California
Washington Post:
Allies decline request to stay in Syria after U.S. troops withdraw
Discussion: Bloomberg and