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5:15 PM ET, December 9, 2022

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 Top Items: 
Kyrsten Sinema / Arizona Republic:
Sen. Kyrsten Sinema: Why I'm registering as an independent  —  The Arizona senator explains why she has left the Democratic Party.  —  There's a disconnect between what everyday Americans want and deserve from our politics, and what political parties are offering.
RELATED:
Burgess Everett / Politico:
Sinema switches to independent, shaking up the Senate  —  Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema is changing her party affiliation to independent, delivering a jolt to Democrats' narrow majority and Washington along with it.  —  In a 45-minute interview, the first-term senator told POLITICO …
Jeremy Herb / CNN:
Sinema leaving the Democratic Party and registering as an independent  —  Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema is leaving the Democratic Party and registering as a political independent, she told CNN's Jake Tapper in an exclusive TV interview.  —  “I've registered as an Arizona independent.
Jonathan Chait / New York Magazine:
Kyrsten Sinema Is Playing Chicken … The biggest loser of the 2022 election other than Donald Trump was Kyrsten Sinema.  The Arizona senator and now-former Democrat desperately needed Democrats, especially fellow senator Mark Kelly, to lose.  Only such a setback would make the party desperate enough …
Discussion: The Hill and The Liberty Loft
Politico:
POLITICO Playbook PM: Sifting through the Sinema fallout  —  The decision triggered a bevy of questions, some which we're starting to get answers to:  —  Q: Will she keep her committees in the upper chamber?  —  A: Yes.  Just before noon, Senate Majority Leader CHUCK SCHUMER said in a statement …
Discussion: Associated Press
Hailey Fuchs / Politico:
Top progressive firm drops Sinema as a client  —  The leading progressive digital firm Authentic has dropped Kyrsten Sinema as a client, after the Arizona senator announced she was leaving the Democratic Party, according to a person close to the firm.  —  Sinema announced Friday …
Discussion: New Republic, CNN and Political Wire
Aaron Blake / Washington Post:
The politics of Kyrsten Sinema's party switch
New York Times:
Kyrsten Sinema Says She Will Leave the Democratic Party
CNN:
Russia demanded that a spy held in Germany be freed in exchange for Paul Whelan  —  Russia refused to release Paul Whelan alongside Brittney Griner unless a former colonel from Russia's domestic spy organization currently in German custody was also released as part of any prisoner swap …
RELATED:
Associated Press:
Brittney Griner back home in US after Russian prisoner swap  —  Brittney Griner returned to the United States early Friday, nearly 10 months after the basketball star's detention in Russia made her the most high-profile American jailed abroad and set off a political firestorm.
Alex Gangitano / The Hill:
White House responds to criticism of Griner prisoner deal
Washington Examiner:
Joe Biden made a bad, deadly deal to free Brittney Griner
CNN:
House Republicans brace for doomsday scenario if McCarthy falls short of 218 votes for speaker  —  As a right-wing faction threatens to tank his speakership ambitions, House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy delivered a promise: “I'll never leave,” making clear he has no plans to drop out of the race …
Discussion: American Greatness and Raw Story
RELATED:
Nathaniel Rakich / FiveThirtyEight:
How Kevin McCarthy Could Lose The Election For Speaker Of The House  —  Six Republicans have already come out against him, and several others share their very conservative, anti-establishment views.  —  By Nathaniel Rakich  —  Dec. 9, 2022, at 6:00 AM  —  Rep. Kevin McCarthy …
New York Times:
Judge to Hear Justice Dept. Contempt Request in Trump Documents Case  —  The department wants the court to force a representative of Donald J. Trump to swear under oath that there are no more classified documents at any of his properties.  —  A federal judge in Washington was set to hear arguments …
RELATED:
Robert Tracinski / The Bulwark:
The Lesson of Trump: Character Matters
Discussion: Raw Story
Susan B. Glasser / New Yorker:
Trump's 2024 Campaign So Far Is an Epic Act of Self-Sabotage
Discussion: Bloomberg and Raw Story
Meridith McGraw / Politico:
Private RNC member emails reveal anger at Trump, frustration with McDaniel's response to him  —  A handful of Republican National Committee members denounced former President Donald Trump, with one pushing for fellow members and RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel to forcefully condemn his decision …
RELATED:
NBC News:
Ronna McDaniel locked down votes for RNC chair despite the midterm debacle. Here's how she did it.
Discussion: IJR and RedState
Adam Serwer / The Atlantic:
Why Conservatives Invented a ‘Right to Post’  —  Early December might have marked the first time anyone ever asserted a First Amendment right to see the president's son's penis, an argument that the Framers likely did not anticipate.  —  In November, the billionaire Elon Musk purchased Twitter …
Discussion: Lawyers, Guns & Money and CMary
Brian Bushard / Forbes:
GOP Jump On Biden Official Sam Brinton's 2nd Theft Allegation—Blames ‘Wokeness’ For Their Hire  —  The Biden Administration has come under fire from Republican lawmakers after Energy Department official Sam Brinton, who identifies as nonbinary, was charged in two separate instances …
Discussion: The Daily Caller, Twitchy and Insider
RELATED:
Allie Griffin / New York Post:
Non-binary Biden nuclear official Sam Brinton accused in second luggage heist
Washington Post:
War has tamed Ukraine's oligarchs, creating space for democratic change  —  Ukraine may have the opportunity to rebuild a postwar society that is more democratic, less corrupt and more economically diversified  —  BURSHTYN, Ukraine — Over two days in October, eight Russian cruise missiles screamed …
Sara Fischer / Axios:
Exclusive: SBF secretly funded crypto news site  —  The Block, a media company that says it covers crypto news independently, has been secretly funded for over a year with money funneled to The Block's CEO from the disgraced Sam Bankman-Fried's cryptocurrency trading firm, sources told Axios.
Bryan Curtis / The Ringer:
This Secret Society in Washington, D.C., Has One Agenda: Fly, Eagles, Fly  —  The most passionate fan base in D.C. political media belongs to the NFL's league-leading team  —  Last Sunday, while Washington, D.C., was wondering about the composition of the Senate or watching the Commanders, a dozen emails flew back and forth.
Daniel W. Drezner / Drezner's World:
Is the Country Getting.... Better?  —  Things have been pretty weird in the USA over the past few years.  Are things returning to normalcy?  —  The last six years or so have felt like one of those video boxing games in which the announcer yells “body blow” on repeat, but for the entire country.
Karen Townsend / HotAir:
Judge tosses first “bounty hunter” lawsuit filed using Texas abortion law  —  A state judge Thursday dismissed a case against a San Antonio abortion provider that is a first.  The lawsuit was the first test of a provision in Texas abortion law that allows private citizens to sue over any illegal abortion they discover.
Steve Benen / MSNBC:
Charges from DeSantis' election crimes office keep falling apart  —  The arrests from Ron DeSantis' election crimes office appeared ridiculous over the summer.  As the criminal cases keep collapsing, they now look even worse.  —  The pattern is unmistakable: Cases from Gov. Ron DeSantis …
Discussion: Miami Herald and susiemadrak.com
 
 
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 More Items: 
Brett Samuels / The Hill:
Biden to call for African Union to be added as G-20 member
Arya Sundaram / Gothamist:
NYC public libraries say proposed budget cuts may ‘push us over the edge’
Steven Dilakian / The Real Deal New York:
How special are these permits? No one got any
Emily Reddy / WPSU:
Altoona school resource officers may soon have AR-15s in case of threats
Discussion: The Root
Alexander Smith / NBC News:
Spiraling costs and crumbling public services leave millions in Britain struggling to live
 Earlier Items: 
Brandon Gillespie / Fox News:
‘TAKE OUR NATION BACK’: Rising GOP star Katie Britt has a game plan for Republicans to rebound in 2024
Discussion: RedState
Jennifer Bendery / HuffPost:
Tim Scott Is Fundraising By Emailing People That Their Heat Will Be Cut Off
Discussion: Political Wire
Jonathan Mattise / Associated Press:
Tennessee suspends ex-senator's law license over guilty plea
Discussion: Political Wire
Mississippi Free Press:
Texts: Gov. Reeves Talked to Brett Favre About Using State Funds For Volleyball Facilities
CNN:
CNN Poll: Views of the state of the country are slightly improved, but Americans' economic concerns remain
Washington Post:
Advocate tells lawmakers of ‘stealth’ efforts to influence Supreme Court