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11:15 AM ET, January 18, 2021

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 Top Items: 
Ben Smith / New York Times:
Fox Agreed to Pay for Telling Lies.  But It Insisted on One Unusual Condition.  —  Why did the network insist its hyping of a conspiracy theory stay secret until after the election?  —  On Oct. 12, 2020, Fox News agreed to pay millions of dollars to the family of a murdered Democratic …
Lolita C. Baldor / Associated Press:
FBI vetting Guard troops in DC amid fears of insider attack  —  WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. defense officials say they are worried about an insider attack or other threat from service members involved in securing President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration, prompting the FBI to vet …
RELATED:
CNN:
Trump to issue around 100 pardons and commutations Tuesday, sources say  —  (CNN)President Donald Trump is preparing to issue around 100 pardons and commutations on his final full day in office Tuesday, according to three people familiar with the matter, a major batch of clemency actions …
RELATED:
Washington Post:
Trump prepares to offer clemency to more than 100 people in his final hours in office  —  President Trump is preparing to pardon or commute the sentences of more than 100 people in his final hours in office, decisions that are expected to be announced Monday or Tuesday, according …
Jonathan Swan / Axios:
Off the rails: Inside the disintegration of Trump's relationship with Bill Barr  —  Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term.
Discussion: The Hill, IJR, Mediaite, emptywheel and Raw Story
RELATED:
Axios:
Off the rails: Trump mainlines election conspiracies as Oval Office descends into madness  —  Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term.
Discussion: Mediaite
CNN:
Melania Trump's disappointing break with tradition  —  Kate Andersen Brower is a CNN contributor and the author of “First Women: The Grace and Power of America's Modern First Ladies,” “Team Of Five: The Presidents Club in the Age of Trump,” “First in Line: Presidents, Vice Presidents and the Pursuit of Power …
Discussion: Raw Story and Crooks and Liars
Kyle Cheney / Politico:
FBI investigating whether woman stole laptop from Pelosi's office to sell it to Russia  —  The FBI is investigating evidence that a woman who entered the Capitol on Jan. 6 stole a laptop or hard drive from Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office and intended to sell it to Russians.
Karen Heller / Washington Post:
Attorney Roberta Kaplan is about to make Trump's life extremely difficult  —  On the other side of Donald Trump's turbulent presidency, the lawyers are waiting.  —  Leaving aside his Senate impeachment trial, mounting government investigations include a civil probe by New York Attorney General Letitia James …
Discussion: Raw Story and Reason
Washington Post:
FBI moves on alleged members of extremist groups Oath Keepers, Three Percenters  —  A heavy-metal guitarist and the alleged leader of a Colorado paramilitary training group have been charged with allegedly taking part in the riot at the Capitol last week, as the FBI ratchets up its investigation …
Discussion: NBC News
McKay Coppins / The Atlantic:
The Coming Republican Amnesia  —  As Donald Trump lurches through the disastrous final days of his presidency, Republicans are just beginning to survey the wreckage of his reign.  Their party has been gutted, their leader is reviled, and after four years of excusing every presidential affront to …
Discussion: Real Clear Politics, Raw Story and Vox
New York Times:
Russian Court Orders Aleksei Navalny Held for 30 Days  —  Mr. Navalny, Russia's most prominent opposition leader, was arrested at a Moscow airport after five months in Germany.  The hearing took place inside the police station where he was being detained.  —  MOSCOW — A judge ordered …
Discussion: CBS News, Al Jazeera, KIFI-TV and WTOP
RELATED:
CNN:
Army reservist with security-level clearance among the latest charged in connection with Capitol riot  —  (CNN)An Army reservist who federal investigators say has secret-level security clearance and a long record of posting his extremist views online was among the latest wave of rioters charged …
RELATED:
Andrew J. Goudsward / Asbury Park Press:
Colts Neck man, ‘an avowed white supremacist,’ charged with involvement in Capitol riot, feds say
Elle:
Four Years in the Front Row  —  The country's best female political reporters go on the record about what it was really like covering Trump's America.  —  Savannah Guthrie was in downward dog when it hit her: QAnon.  The  —  anchor was 48 hours away from her famous election townhall-turned-grilling …
Laura J. Nelson / Los Angeles Times:
Another new coronavirus variant found across California, including L.A. County  —  As the total number of coronavirus infections in California approaches 3 million, health officials said Sunday that a new strain — different from a highly contagious variant first identified in the United Kingdom …
Discussion: New York Post and KTLA
Ed Morrissey / HotAir:
Maher: Don't Confuse 5,000 Rioters With 74 Million Voters  —  Words of wisdom from Bill Maher, who certainly doesn't express any sympathy for or with Donald Trump within them.  It's a couple of days old, but the wrap-up of his Real Time episode on Friday addresses some important points, especially in the near future.
Discussion: RealClearPolitics
Kyle Bakx / CBC News:
Biden indicates plans to cancel Keystone XL pipeline permit on first day in office, sources confirm  —  ‘Rescind Keystone XL pipeline permit’ appears on transition briefing note list of executive actions  —  U.S. president-elect Joe Biden has indicated plans to cancel the Keystone XL pipeline …
Eric Mack / Newsmax:
CNN Pushes to Close Down Newsmax TV  —  CNN “Reliable Sources” host Brian Stelter (Dennis Van Tine/AP)  —  CNN is making no mistake about it: It wants to censor and close Newsmax from broadcasting as a cable news channel.  —  Apparently jolted by the fact Newsmax has skyrocketed to become …
Discussion: RedState
Trip Gabriel / New York Times:
In Minnesota, a G.O.P. Lawmaker's Death Brings Home the Reality of Covid  —  Minnesota Republicans celebrated election victories with a gala party.  A state senator's death from Covid-19 underlined the consequences of the G.O.P.'s rejection of health experts' guidance.
CBS News:
“Cowboys for Trump” founder, who vowed to return with guns to Capitol for inauguration, arrested by FBI  —  Santa Fe, New Mexico — A New Mexico county official and founder of the group Cowboys for Trump, who vowed to return to Washington after last week's riot at the U.S. Capitol to place …
NBC News:
Texas realtor on Capitol riot: 'I'm glad I was there' … Jenna Ryan says it all began with an invitation from a “very cute guy” on Facebook: Would she join him on a private plane to the Jan. 6 Trump rally in Washington, D.C.?  —  The decision was easy.  Ryan, a Dallas-area real estate agent …
Discussion: Business Insider and Metro.co.uk
Washington Post:
The Trump administration bailed out prominent anti-vaccine groups during a pandemic  —  Five groups got more than $850,000 in PPP loans to help small businesses through the pandemic.  —  Five prominent anti-vaccine organizations that have been known to spread misleading information …
Mike Levine / ABC News:
The Trump letter his lawyers said should never see ‘light of day’  —  The president's draft was scrapped by White House legal counsel.  —  James Comey calls threat of riots on Inauguration Day ‘very concerning’  —  The former FBI chief says President Donald Trump is to blame for attacks …
Sabrina Tavernise / New York Times:
Why Rage Over the 2020 Election Could Last Well Past Trump  —  The vast majority of Americans do not approve of the riot at the Capitol.  But experts warn that the widespread belief there was election fraud, while false, could have dangerous, lasting effects.
Discussion: spectator.us
Rosie Gray / BuzzFeed News:
The Trump Movement's Break With Reality Will Outlive His Presidency  —  In December, I wrote that Trump supporters I spoke to were increasingly “comfortable with the idea of a bloody uprising against their fellow citizens.”  Whipped up by President Trump's ceaseless torrent of lies about the election …
Discussion: Politico and The Gateway Pundit
Associated Press:
Records: Trump allies behind rally that ignited Capitol riot  —  WASHINGTON (AP) — Members of President Donald Trump's failed presidential campaign played key roles in orchestrating the Washington rally that spawned a deadly assault on the U.S. Capitol, according to an Associated Press review of records …
Eric Boodman / STAT:
Sharon Begley, path-breaking science journalist who spun words into gold, dies at 64  —  Trying to write a lede about the loss of Sharon Begley feels a little like being asked to sing a song at Aretha Franklin's grave.  Sharon would have hated that sentence.  She didn't settle for similes that needed qualifying.
Conrad Black / National Post:
Trump's incomparable presidency … Many readers have asked that I comment on the American political scene and President Trump, most noisily veteran Toronto Star plagiarist Bob Hepburn, who for 40 years has been intermittently snorting out of the undergrowth foaming biliously about some alleged turpitude of mine.
ProPublica:
What Parler Saw During the Attack on the Capitol  —  ProPublica is a nonprofit newsroom that investigates abuses of power.  Sign up to receive our biggest stories as soon as they're published.  —  As supporters of President Donald Trump took part in a violent riot at the Capitol …
Discussion: The Verge
Tonya Riley / Washington Post:
The Cybersecurity 202: Biden has options to remove former GOP operative as NSA top lawyer  —  The National Security Agency's move to install former GOP political operative and White House official Michael Ellis as the agency's top lawyer has raised concerns that President Trump is making …
John Nichols / The Nation:
A $2,000 Check Is a Good Start, but Struggling Americans Need $2,000 Every Month  —  Dr. King taught us that direct cash payments are a smart response to poverty and mass unemployment.  In this crisis, we need to heed to call.  —  The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s posthumous message …
 
 
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 More Items: 
Rohit Kachroo / ITV:
Rohit Kachroo … Video report by ITV News Global Security Editor Rohit Kachroo
Nic Rowan / The American Spectator:
The Political Theater of the National Guard's D.C. Occupation
Discussion: Vox and NBC4 Washington
Julia Ainsley / NBC News:
Capitol riot exposed flaws of Trump's DHS, focused on immigration and not extremists, say ex-officials
Discussion: Raw Story and Townhall
Tucker Higgins / CNBC:
Biden plans immediate executive actions to roll back Trump era after inauguration speech
Nathaniel Fischer / The American Mind:
The Life of Sasse  —  The Republican congressman plays politics but avoids ruling.
Marianne Goodland / Colorado Politics:
Former state Rep. Bri Buentello sues U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert for blocking her on Twitter
Discussion: Crooks and Liars
Matt Lewis / The Daily Beast:
Trump Remade the GOP Into the Doomed Party of White Identity
Discussion: Raw Story
 Earlier Items: 
New York Times:
Behind a Secret Deal Between Google and Facebook
New York Times:
One Year, 400,000 Coronavirus Deaths: How the U.S. Guaranteed Its Own Failure
Discussion: Balloon Juice
Adam Rawnsley / The Daily Beast:
Baseball Bat-Wielding Far-Right Militiaman Charged Over Capitol Riot
Dan De Luce / NBC News:
Iran jails U.S. businessman, possibly jeopardizing Biden's plans for diplomacy with Tehran
Discussion: Bloomberg
Wall Street Journal:
Proud Boys, Seizing Trump's Call to Washington, Helped Lead Capitol Attack
Discussion: Rolling Stone
Todd A. Heywood / Michigan Advance:
New: Michigan GOP Senate leader advised militias on messaging, says they've gotten ‘a bad rap’