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11:50 AM ET, May 16, 2019

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 Top Items: 
Aaron Blake / Washington Post:
The very political pattern of Trump's pardons  —  Trump pardons his own hagiographer and a family ‘friend’ who criticized Mueller.  —  President Trump's pardons were self-serving before, and they became even more so Wednesday night, after he pardoned two prominent conservatives who had already completed their sentences.
RELATED:
Aaron Rupar / Vox:
Trump pardons billionaire fraudster who wrote glowing book about him  —  In 2015, Trump assured Conrad Black he “won't forget” his support for him.  He followed through on his promise.  —  On Wednesday, President Donald Trump followed through on a campaign promise he made to Conrad Black …
Colby Itkowitz / Washington Post:
Trump pardons billionaire friend Conrad Black, who wrote a book about him  —  Black was convicted in 2007 on fraud charges, including alleged embezzlement, and obstruction of justice.  — Colby Itkowitz -  ·  —  The Fix  — The Fix - Analysis  —  Alabama's abortion ban will make abortion a key issue in 2020.
Jim Waterson / The Guardian:
Trump pardons fraudster Conrad Black after glowing biography  —  Former media mogul who owned Daily Telegraph spent more than three years in prison  —  Conrad Black, the former media mogul who owned the Daily Telegraph and the Spectator before being jailed for fraud, has been pardoned by Donald Trump …
Discussion: Deadline, The Daily Caller and Mediaite
Ben White / Politico:
Grassley on what Trump really believes on trade
Discussion: CNBC and New York Post
Conrad Black / American Greatness:   A Full Presidential Pardon
Lori Jhons / Kay Ivey:
Governor Ivey Issues Statement After Signing the Alabama Human Life Protection Act  —  MONTGOMERY - Governor Kay Ivey on Wednesday signed into law the Alabama Human Life Protection Act, after both houses of the Alabama Legislature passed HB314.  —  Upon signing the bill, Governor Ivey released the following statement:
RELATED:
Popular Information:
The corporations backing Alabama's war on women  —  On Wednesday, Alabama Governor Kay Ivey signed a draconian bill that would effectively ban all abortions in the state.  The radical legislation would be a dramatic step backward for women's rights and gender equality — banning abortion even in cases of rape or incest.
Discussion: NPR
Sarah Pulliam Bailey / Washington Post:
Televangelist Pat Robertson: Alabama's abortion ban is ‘extreme’ and has ‘gone too far’  —  Longtime televangelist Pat Robertson decried Alabama's new abortion ban as “extreme,” saying on his show on Wednesday that the state legislature has “gone too far.”  —  Alabama's law …
Bill de Blasio / YouTube:
Working People First |  Bill de Blasio 2020  —  When we put working families first in New York City, the city got stronger.  That can happen for our country, too.  Learn about my candidacy for president of the United States of America to put working families first.
RELATED:
Isaac Stanley-Becker / Washington Post:
A 17-year-old politics junkie scooped Bill de Blasio on news of his own presidential launch
Alex Seitz-Wald / NBC News:
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio to announce presidential bid
Rick Klein / ABC News:
The Note: Democrats seek out offense on culture wars
Discussion: Politico, Axios and The Week
Chris Sommerfeldt / New York Daily News:
Company owned by Brazilian crooks received $62 million in Trump bailout cash meant for struggling U.S. farmers  —  The Trump administration has forked over more than $62 million — taxpayer cash that was supposed to be earmarked for struggling American farmers — to a massive meatpacking company owned …
Discussion: Mediaite
Washington Post:
Trump, frustrated by advisers, is not convinced the time is right to attack Iran  —  The Trump administration has been on high alert in response to what military and intelligence officials have deemed specific and credible threats from Iran against U.S. personnel in the Middle East.
RELATED:
New York Times:
Iran Threat Debate Is Set Off by Images of Missiles at Sea
William J. Burns / The Atlantic:   We Led Successful Negotiations With Iran. Trump's Approach Isn't Working.
Daniel Larison / The American Conservative:
The Iran Obsession Has Made War Much More Likely
Discussion: LobeLog
Summer Ballentine / Associated Press:
Missouri Senate passes bill to ban abortions at 8 weeks  —  JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri's Republican-led Senate has now passed a bill to ban abortions at eight weeks of pregnancy.  —  Senators approved the legislation 24-10 early Thursday with just hours left before a Friday deadline to pass bills.
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Eliana Johnson / Politico:
‘Get Scavino in here’: Trump's Twitter guru is the ultimate insider  —  Shortly after President Donald Trump announced plans to yank U.S. troops out of Syria last December, a group of lawmakers came to the White House to talk him out of the idea, which critics called a threat to national security.
RELATED:
Politico:
POLITICO Playbook: What Dianne Feinstein's phone told us
Douglas Belkin / Wall Street Journal:
SAT to Give Students ‘Adversity Score’ to Capture Social and Economic Background  —  New score comes as college admissions decisions are under scrutiny  —  The College Board plans to assign an adversity score to every student who takes the SAT to try to capture their social and economic background …
Discussion: Fox News, The Daily Caller and TheBlaze
Associated Press:
Facebook busts Israel-based campaign to disrupt elections  —  JERUSALEM (AP) — Facebook said Thursday it banned an Israeli company that ran an influence campaign aimed at disrupting elections in various countries and has canceled dozens of accounts engaged in spreading disinformation.
Adolfo Flores / BuzzFeed News:
A Two-Year-Old Boy Detained At The Border Has Died After Weeks In The Hospital  —  AUSTIN, Texas — A two-year-old boy from Guatemala who was detained by US agents at the border died Tuesday night after being hospitalized for weeks in Texas, Guatemalan consulate officials said.
Discussion: Splinter
RELATED:
Roque Planas / HuffPost:   How Fox News Anointed Trump's Pick For ICE Chief
Margaret Sullivan / Washington Post:
Trump won't stop coining nasty nicknames for his foes — but the media must stop amplifying them.  —  I was talking to an acquaintance recently about Elizabeth Warren's presidential campaign.  —  He liked the Massachusetts Democrat's detailed policies and was impressed with her recent CNN town hall presentation.
Nate Silver / FiveThirtyEight:
Silver Bulletpoints: Why Did All The White Guys Stampede Into The Race So Late?  —  Today is Thursday, May 16, 2019, which means we have 538 days4 worth of #content to bring you until the 2020 presidential election.  In today's edition of Silver Bulletpoints, we'll ask the age-old question …
Elizabeth Nolan Brown / Reason:
White House Seeks Social Media Sob Stories from Conservative Snowflakes  —  Was someone mean to you on Twitter?  The White House wants to know about it.  As of Wednesday, a new tool on the White House website allows visitors to report suspected “political bias” from social media companies.
Elizabeth Warren / Team Warren:
It's Time to Reduce Corporate Influence at the Pentagon  —  I've made the short trip between the Washington DC airport and the United State Senate more times than I can count — sometimes just barely catching my flight back to Boston, Bailey and Bruce.
Discussion: Vox and Washington Times
Stacey Abrams / New York Times:
Why I Am Determined to End Voter Suppression  —  As more people of color claim political power, efforts to block them will accelerate — unless we act.  —  Ms. Abrams is the founder of the voting rights group Fair Fight Action.  —  ATLANTA — In the mid-1960s, when my father was a teenager, he was arrested.
Discussion: IndieWire
The Daily Beast:
How Hillary Clinton's Press Secretary Self-Radicalized and Became a Resistance Leader  —  Once a fixture of the Democratic Party's institution, Brian Fallon has taken a new approach fighting from the outside.  —  Brian Fallon was once one of the most sought after operatives in Democratic politics …
RELATED:
Fox News:
Dispute erupts over whether Brennan, Comey pushed Steele dossier, as DOJ probe into misconduct begins
Greg Sargent / Washington Post:
Democrats are badly blowing it against Trump.  A brutal new TV ad shows how.  —  Nancy Pelosi has succeeded in stifling impeachment talk.  The Post reports that the House Speaker privately told Democrats to stick to policy and forget about an impeachment inquiry, and not a single Democrat uttered a word in protest.
Discussion: Raw Story
Marc Caputo / Politico:
'We won't tell you': DeSantis, a onetime firebrand, is stonewalled by the FBI  —  TALLAHASSEE— Gov. Ron DeSantis shaped his political identity in Congress by taking on the FBI and criticizing its Russia investigation.  —  But as Florida governor, not only has DeSantis toned down the FBI bashing, he's even doing the bureau's bidding.
Discussion: POLITICUSUSA, Florida Politics and IJR
Sadie Gurman / Wall Street Journal:
Barr Says He Isn't Blocking Mueller's Testimony to Congress  —  Attorney General William Barr denied he is standing in the way of special counsel Robert Mueller's testimony before Congress.
Andrew Desiderio / Politico:
Trump lawyers adopt Jim Jordan's playbook to fight Dem oversight  —  Rep. Jim Jordan has frequently defended President Donald Trump on cable news and gone to the mat for him on Capitol Hill.  Now, the Ohio Republican's hard-line playbook is making its way into federal court.
Discussion: Raw Story
Theodoric Meyer / Politico:
Kasich adviser will lobby against potential Russia sanctions  —  John Weaver, the top strategist for John Kasich's presidential campaign in 2016, has registered as a foreign agent and plans to lobby against potential sanctions on Russia.  —  Weaver signed a contract last month to lobby …
 
 
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 More Items: 
Larry J. Sabato's Crystal Ball:
Extended term for Trump? No way, most Americans say
Discussion: Political Wire
Byron Tau / Wall Street Journal:
Half of 10 Biggest Federal Law Agencies Lack Permanent Chiefs
Discussion: Raw Story
Glenn Kessler / Washington Post:
Joe Biden's defense of the 1994 crime bill's role in mass incarcerations
Discussion: The Root and CNN
Paul Waugh / HuffPost UK:
One Million Londoners Set To March Against Trump During UK State Visit, New YouGov Poll Suggests
Bloomberg:
Macron's Answer to Trump's Threat: Europe Won't Block Huawei
 Earlier Items: 
Bret Stephens / New York Times:
What's Our China Endgame?
Jonathan Tamari / Philly.com:
Joe Biden chooses Philadelphia for 2020 presidential campaign headquarters
Owen Daugherty / The Hill:
Cruz warns ‘Space Force’ needed to prevent space pirates
Discussion: Daily Wire, Task & Purpose and Mediaite
Zogby Analytics:
The Zogby Poll®: Trump's job approval tops 50%; A majority of Millennials approve of Trump …
Discussion: Daily Wire and Power Line
Reuters:
China's Huawei, 70 affiliates placed on U.S. trade blacklist
ProPublica:
Intuit CEO in Internal Video: Hiding Free TurboTax Was In “Best Interest of Taxpayers”
Discussion: YouTube