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7:15 PM ET, December 9, 2022


 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.
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 …
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 …
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.
Aaron Blake / Washington Post:
The politics of Kyrsten Sinema's party switch
POLITICO Playbook PM: Sifting through the Sinema fallout
Discussion: Associated Press
Steve Benen / MSNBC:
What happens now that Arizona's Kyrsten Sinema is no longer a Democrat
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
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 …
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 …
Associated Press:
Brittney Griner back home in US after Russian prisoner swap
Washington Examiner:
Joe Biden made a bad, deadly deal to free Brittney Griner
New York Times:
Judge Declines to Act on Justice Dept. Contempt Request in Trump Documents Case  —  The department had asked a federal judge to force a representative of Donald J. Trump to swear under oath that there are no more classified documents at any of his properties.
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.
New York Times:
This Case Should Never Have Made It to the Supreme Court  —  The editorial board is a group of opinion journalists whose views are informed by expertise, research, debate and certain longstanding values.  It is separate from the newsroom.  —  “The most important case for American democracy” …
Matt Dixon / Politico:
Florida GOP donor, DeSantis ally under ‘active investigation’ weeks before death, authorities say  —  TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Kent Stermon, a prominent Jacksonville-area Republican donor and friend of Gov. Ron DeSantis found dead in his car Thursday night, was under “active investigation” by the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office.
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
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
Allie Griffin / New York Post:
Non-binary Biden nuclear official Sam Brinton accused in second luggage heist
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 …
‘The Lord of War is back in the game’  —  With help from Lara Seligman and Daniel Lippman  —  At least one law enforcement official who in 2008 worked to track down VIKTOR BOUT, the Russian traded for BRITTNEY GRINER Thursday, is saying the release of one of the world's most notorious criminals threatens national security.
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 …
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 …
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.
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.
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 More Items: 
Andrew Roth / The Guardian:
Russian opposition figure Ilya Yashin jailed for denouncing Ukraine war
Peter Baker / New York Times:
Glimpses of Democracy  —  Dissent carries power even in repressive, authoritarian states.
Lawrence B. Solum / Balkinization:
Progressives Need to Support Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson
Discussion: Politico and Reason
The New York Times Company:
Karoun Demirjian Joins The Times as a Congressional Correspondent
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’
 Earlier Items:
Health Department Issues a Commissioner's Advisory As NYC Faces High Levels of COVID-19, Influenza, and RSV
Steven Dilakian / The Real Deal New York:
How special are these permits? No one got any
Robert Tracinski / The Bulwark:
The Lesson of Trump: Character Matters
Discussion: Raw Story
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
CNN Poll: Views of the state of the country are slightly improved, but Americans' economic concerns remain