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1:25 PM ET, September 9, 2019


 Top Items: 
Jim Sciutto / CNN:
Exclusive: US extracted top spy from inside Russia in 2017  —  Washington (CNN)In a previously undisclosed secret mission in 2017, the United States successfully extracted from Russia one of its highest-level covert sources inside the Russian government, multiple Trump administration officials with direct knowledge told CNN.
Washington Post:
NOAA's chief scientist will investigate why agency backed Trump over its experts on Dorian, email shows  —  National Weather Service Director Louis Uccellini has also broken with NOAA leadership  —  The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's acting chief scientist said in an email …
Jay Reeves / Associated Press:
NWS chief backs forecasters who contradicted Trump  —  HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (AP) — The head of the National Weather Service issued a strong public defense Monday of forecasters who contradicted President Donald Trump's claim that Hurricane Dorian posed a threat to Alabama as it approached the United States.
Discussion: Raw Story
Timothy L. O'Brien / Bloomberg:
On Trump, Sharpiegate, Turnberry, the Taliban and Chaos  —  Good government decays when compromised by a cult of personality.  —  Close to midnight on Saturday, the leader of the free world tweeted a loopy and nearly inscrutable video that included his doctored, Sharpie-enhanced weather map …
Jonathan Chait / New York Magazine:
Trump Has Figured Out How to Corrupt the Entire Government  —  Donald Trump came to the presidency a complete novice to government and often found his corrupt, authoritarian impulses frustrated by its bureaucracy.  But he is slowly learning how to control the machine that has stymied him.
Discussion: Raw Story and Gizmodo
Aaron Blake / Washington Post:
Trump suggested his Alabama deception was a big joke.  But NOAA isn't laughing — and neither should we.
Brandon Ambrosino / Politico:
'Someone's Gotta Tell the Freakin' Truth': Jerry Falwell's Aides Break Their Silence  —  At Liberty University, all anyone can talk about is Jerry Falwell Jr. Just not in public.  —  “When he does stupid stuff, people will mention it to others they consider confidants and not keep it totally secret …
Peter Wehner / The Atlantic:
Trump Is Not Well  —  During the 2016 campaign, I received a phone call from an influential political journalist and author, who was soliciting my thoughts on Donald Trump.  Trump's rise in the Republican Party was still something of a shock, and he wanted to know the things I felt he should keep …
Elaina Plott / The Atlantic:
Fox News Isn't Worried About Trump's Attacks
Discussion: Talking Points Memo
Nick Grube / Honolulu Civil Beat:
Why Is Tulsi Gabbard Paying This Obscure Consultant Big Bucks?  —  STEHEKIN, Wash. — Deep in the Washington state wilderness, a highly paid political consultant is raking in hundreds of thousands of dollars from U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard's presidential campaign.
New York Times:
How Trump's Plan to Secretly Meet With the Taliban Came Together, and Fell Apart  —  WASHINGTON — On the Friday before Labor Day, President Trump gathered top advisers in the Situation Room to consider what could be among the profound decisions of his presidency — a peace plan with the Taliban …
Daniel DePetris / The Federalist:
Don't Believe These Tired Myths About Ending The 18-Year War In Afghanistan
Discussion: Instapundit and Bloomberg
Maxwell Tani / The Daily Beast:
Mark Halperin ‘Threatened’ MSNBC Chief Phil Griffin for Nixing His Comeback  —  Sources said the disgraced political reporter became hostile in a phone chat with his ex-boss after reports emerged that MSNBC brass axed plans for Halperin to return to punditry.
Discussion: Talking Points Memo
Patrick Svitek / The Texas Tribune:
Elizabeth Warren endorses Texas U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar's Democratic primary challenger  —  The Democratic presidential candidate backed Jessica Cisneros, the immigration lawyer running to unseat Cuellar. … Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren is wading into one of Texas …
Elena Schneider / Politico:
'It's a deceptive lead': Why Biden's rivals are planning around his big collapse  —  He continues to outdistance the rest of the Democratic primary field in most polls.  And his head-to-head lead over President Donald Trump are stronger than anyone else's.  —  No one should be surprised next year if Joe Biden becomes the nominee.
The Daily Beast:
Trump Privately Tells Confidants That ‘Socialism’ Won't Be ‘So Easy’ to Beat in 2020
Natasha Bertrand / Politico:
Air Force leaders order probe of Trump resort stays  —  The U.S. Air Force has ordered a world-wide review of how it chooses overnight accommodations on long flights following revelations that air crews had occasionally stayed at President Donald Trump's Scotland resort while refueling at a small commercial airport nearby.
McKay Coppins / The Atlantic:
The Heir  —  The empire begins with a brothel.  It stands, sturdy and square, at the heart of a gold-rush boomtown in northwest British Columbia, a monument to careful branding.  The windows of the Arctic Restaurant have no signs offering access to prostitutes—even in a lawless Yukon outpost in 1899 …
Associated Press:
North Korea says it's willing to resume nuke talks with US  —  SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea said Monday it's willing to resume nuclear diplomacy with the United States in late September, but only if the U.S. comes to the negotiating table with satisfactory new proposals.
Discussion: Politico
Quint Forgey / Politico:
Judge restores nationwide block of asylum ban
Discussion: Axios
Terry Spencer / Associated Press:
Trespassing trial of Chinese woman stalls over underwear  —  FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — The trial of a Chinese businesswoman charged with lying to a Secret Service agent and trespassing at President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago club bogged down Monday before jury selection over her lack of underwear …
Steven Shepard / Politico:
Trump heads to N.C. for House special election — and 2020 test run  —  WEDDINGTON, N.C. — The last, lingering piece of the 2018 election is about to preview the fundamental dynamic shaping the fight for the White House in 2020.  —  Tuesday's do-over election for a congressional seat marred …
Julie Hirschfeld Davis / New York Times:   In North Carolina Do-Over Vote, a Reliable Republican District Is Up for Grabs
Shane Goldmacher / New York Times:
How Elizabeth Warren Raised Big Money Before She Denounced Big Money  —  Ms. Warren wooed wealthy donors for years, stockpiling money from fund-raisers, and has used $10.4 million from her 2018 Senate race to underwrite her 2020 bid.  —  On the highest floor of the tallest building in Boston …
Matti Friedman / New York Times:
The One Thing No Israeli Wants to Discuss  —  The decisive factor in next week's election — and the reason for Benjamin Netanyahu's durability — is a repressed memory.  —  Mr. Friedman is a contributing opinion writer and the author of “Spies of No Country: Secret Lives at the Birth of Israel.”
Discussion: Jewish Insider
Andrew Desiderio / Politico:
Adam Schiff lashes Michael Flynn for refusing to cooperate  —  Former national security adviser Michael Flynn has refused to cooperate with the House Intelligence Committee's demand for testimony and documents, Chairman Adam Schiff wrote in a letter released Monday.
Discussion: Raw Story
“Undercover” — Valerie Plame for Congress  —  I'm running for Congress because we're going backwards on national security, health care, and women's rights.  We need to turn our country around. https://val...
Discussion: National Review and
The New York Times Company:
Staff Changes in Washington  —  Julie Hirschfeld Davis, Thom Shanker and Justine Makieli are taking on new roles in the Washington bureau.  Read more in this note from Elisabeth Bumiller and Bill Hamilton.  —  Julie Hirschfeld Davis, who has been one of our spectacular congressional correspondents …
Greg Sargent / Washington Post:
The push to impeach Trump just got more serious.  But there's a problem.  —  House Democrats are dramatically expanding their inquiry into whether to bring articles of impeachment against President Trump.  That inquiry, which is being run out of the Judiciary Committee …
Discussion: Vox, New York Times and Slate
Glenn Kessler / Washington Post:
Biden's claim that he opposed the Iraq War the ‘moment it started’  —  “I did make a bad judgment, trusting the president saying he was only doing this to get inspectors in and get the U.N. to agree to put inspectors in.  From the moment ‘shock and awe’ started, from that moment …
Discussion: Daily Wire and Political Wire
U.S. House of Representatives Permanent …:
Three House Committees Launch Wide-Ranging Investigation into Trump-Giuliani Ukraine Scheme  —  Engel, Schiff, and Cummings Demand Records about Efforts to Pressure Ukraine's Government to Assist Trump's Reelection Campaign  —  f t # e  —  Washington, DC—Today, three House Committees launched …
Discussion: CNBC and Mediaite
Lisa Mascaro / Associated Press:
Congress returns to McConnell's legislative ‘graveyard’  —  WASHINGTON (AP) — Facing criticism that the Senate has become little more than what one member calls an “expensive lunch club,” Congress returns for the fall session Monday with pressure mounting on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell …
Mark Hemingway / RealClearInvestigations:
Trump-Russia and Clinton-Libya: A Story of 2 Probes and the FBI  —  Records recently posted online by the FBI indicate that it did little to investigate allegations from private sources connected to Republicans about a scheme in which associates of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton tried …
Discussion: Real Clear Politics
Quint Forgey / Politico:
Mnuchin says administration will consider new round of tax cuts in 2020  —  Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Monday that the Trump administration would consider proposing a package of tax cuts in 2020, trumpeting the strength of the U.S. economy despite the ominous financial indicators of recent weeks.
Richard L. Hasen / Vox:
Michigan has a smart idea for fixing gerrymandering.  Conservatives want to crush it.  —  Michigan state Rep. Dan Kildee speaks outside the Supreme Court against partisan gerrymandering on Oct. 3, 2017.  Olivier Douliery/Getty Images  —  The legal threat against independent redistricting commissions, explained.
Lessig / Medium:
On Joi and MIT  —  A couple of weeks ago, I signed a petition (the site has since been taken down, but you can see it at expressing my support for Joi Ito.  Not unexpectedly, that signing produced anger and outrage among many, and among some of my friends.
Trent Spiner / Politico:
Internal Kamala Harris document acknowledges ‘Summer Slump’  —  MANCHESTER, N.H. — A briefing memo accidentally left behind at a restaurant here showed Kamala Harris' staff expected her to be grilled on her lack of presence in the state as well as her campaign's “summer slump.”
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 More Items: 
Brian Bennett / TIME:
Trump's New Math: Inside the Plan to Flip Blue States in 2020
Karol Markowicz / New York Post:
Save us from the pointless burdens of the TSA
Patrick Svitek / The Texas Tribune:
Texas Democrats plot path to flipping state in 2020
Matthew Yglesias / Vox:
The Trump administration's new plan to privatize Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, explained
The Guardian:
Brexit: MPs debate move to force publication of no deal reports amid insider claims of ‘scandal’ - live news
Discussion: Balloon Juice
Philip Bump / Washington Post:
Trump hopes his made-up approval rating will scare potential primary challengers
Kevin Landrigan /
Sununu vetoes ‘no excuse’ voting by absentee
Discussion: Political Wire
Washington Post:
Poor and middle-class Americans are much less likely to survive into their 70s than the wealthy, federal report says
 Earlier Items: 
Joy Pullmann / The Federalist:
How Long Must American Kids Emit ‘Primal Screams’ About Family Chaos Before We Hear Them?
Marc Bennetts / Politico:
Putin's party takes hit in Moscow election
Washington Post:
Americans of both parties overwhelmingly support ‘red flag’ …
Shawn Donnan / Bloomberg:
Recession Already Grips Corners of U.S., Menacing Trump's 2020 Bid
Discussion: Raw Story
Sam Brodey / The Daily Beast:
Trump Raids Funds Meant to Deter Russia to Pay for His Wall
David Leonhardt / New York Times:
Democrats, Stop Helping Trump
Discussion: National Review