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3:15 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.
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: Political Wire
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 …
Aaron Blake / Washington Post:
The politics of Kyrsten Sinema's party switch  —  Four days ago, we wrote about a few reasons the Georgia Senate runoff — and whether Democrats' majority would grow to 51-49 — mattered, practically speaking.  One of those reasons?  The possibility of a party switch.
Politico:   POLITICO Playbook PM: Sifting through the Sinema fallout
Sahil Kapur / NBC News:
Sinema's decision to quit the Democratic Party jolts Arizona 2024 Senate race
Axios:
Kyrsten Sinema goes independent, scrambles Senate
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: Raw Story and American Greatness
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 …
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.
RELATED:
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
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:
Susan B. Glasser / New Yorker:
Trump's 2024 Campaign So Far Is an Epic Act of Self-Sabotage
Discussion: Bloomberg, Raw Story and The Hill
Robert Tracinski / The Bulwark:
The Lesson of Trump: Character Matters
Discussion: 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 …
Discussion: Raw Story and Just The News
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
Brian Bushard / Forbes:
GOP Jump On Biden Official Sam Brinton's 2nd Theft Allegation—Blames ‘Wokeness’  —  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 of stealing suitcases at U.S. airports …
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
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.
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: CMary
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.
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 …
Alexander Smith / NBC News:
Spiraling costs and crumbling public services leave millions in Britain struggling to live  —  MORECAMBE, England — A dire and potentially deadly humanitarian emergency is endangering millions across Britain.  —  It is playing out as the seats of politics and power are reeling from months of chaos, farce and opulent pageantry.
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 …
NBC News:
Russia is providing ‘unprecedented’ military support to Iran in exchange for drones, officials say  —  Russia is now providing an “unprecedented level” of military and technical support to Iran in exchange for Tehran supplying weapons for the war in Ukraine, senior Biden administration officials say.
 
 
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 More Items: 
Steven Dilakian / The Real Deal New York:
How special are these permits? No one got any
Daniel W. Drezner / Drezner's World:
Is the Country Getting.... Better?
Emily Reddy / WPSU:
Altoona school resource officers may soon have AR-15s in case of threats
Discussion: The Root
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
 Earlier Items: 
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
Alex Brook Lynn / New York Magazine:
I Lost My Brother Twice
Politico:
Biden earned political capital this fall. He's quietly spending it.
Discussion: Associated Press
Nate Raymond / Reuters:
Making PACER court records system free wouldn't add to deficit, CBO says
Discussion: Washington Examiner
Washington Post:
Advocate tells lawmakers of ‘stealth’ efforts to influence Supreme Court