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7:35 AM ET, June 23, 2017


 Top Items: 
Barack Obama:
Our politics are divided.  They have been for a long time.  And while I know that division makes it difficult to listen to Americans with whom we disagree, that's what we need to do today.  —  I recognize that repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act has become a core tenet of the Republican Party.
Rand Paul / U.S. Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky:
Sens. Paul, Cruz, Johnson, and Lee Issue Joint Statement on Senate Health Bill  —  WASHINGTON - Sens. Rand Paul (R-KY), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Ron Johnson (R-WI), and Mike Lee (R-UT) issued the following statement Thursday responding to the release of the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017:
Mark Murray / NBC News:
NBC News/WSJ Poll: Public Overwhelmingly Disapproves of House Health Care Bill  —  Americans overwhelmingly disapprove of the House plan to repeal and replace Obamacare, according to a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll.  —  This new poll comes as Senate Republicans unveil their own health care legislation on Thursday.
Dylan Scott / Vox:
What the health insurance industry gets out of the Senate health care bill  —  “It's positive for health insurers.”  —  The major health insurance companies made a tactical decision to work with Republicans on their plan to repeal and replace Obamacare rather than lobby to stop it.
Discussion: Balloon Juice
Winners and losers from the Senate repeal bill
Discussion: The Hill
Sarah Kliff / Vox:
The Better Care Reconciliation Act: the Senate bill to repeal and replace Obamacare, explained
Center for American ProgressCenter …:
Coverage Losses Under the Senate Health Care Bill Could Result in 18,100 to 27,700 Additional Deaths in 2026
Discussion: MattBruenig
Patrick Smith / Telegraph:
Johnny Depp slams Donald Trump at Glastonbury and asks: ‘When was the last time an actor assassinated a president?’  —  In a year that he would like to forget, which included his acrimonious divorce to Amber Heard, Johnny Depp appeared at a Q&A at the new Cinemageddon stage at Glastonbury.
Press Association:
Johnny Depp jokes about killing Trump in Glastonbury appearance  —  ‘When was the last time an actor assassinated a president?’ star asks crowd at a drive-in cinema at the festival … Johnny Depp joked about assassinating Donald Trump during an appearance at Glastonbury.
Ian Mason / Breitbart:
Johnny Depp: ‘When Was the Last Time an Actor Assassinated a President?’
Andrea Ruth / RedState:   Johnny Depp On Trump: ‘When Was The Last Time An Actor Assassinated A President?’ (Video)
Mark Savage / BBC:
Glastonbury 2017: Johnny Depp talks of Trump ‘assassination’
Ashley Parker / Washington Post:
Trump is struggling to stay calm on Russia, one morning call at a time  —  President Trump has a new morning ritual.  Around 6:30 a.m. on many days — before all the network news shows have come on the air — he gets on the phone with a member of his outside legal team to chew over all things Russia.
Discussion: Politico
The Daily Beast:
Trump Aides Respond to His Latest Conspiracy Tweets: ‘FML.’ … After a cascading series of controversies created in large part by Donald Trump's Twitter account, the president took to his preferred medium again on Thursday to float another conspiracy theory: the Oval Office itself could be under surveillance.
Discussion: Bipartisan Report and Raw Story
Dylan Byers / CNNMoney:
White House-media relations at breaking point as Spicer searches for replacement  —  Five months into Donald Trump's presidency, White House-media relations are hanging by a thread.  —  The White House is facing daily criticism from the news media over its decision to reduce the frequency …
Fox News:
Trump says Comey-Mueller friendship ‘bothersome’  —  President Trump, in an interview to be broadcast Friday morning on “Fox and Friends,” said it is “very bothersome” that the man investigating possible ties between his presidential campaign and Russia is good friends with fired FBI director James Comey.
Discussion: Raw Story and The Last Tradition
Mike Allen / Axios:
One of the dumbest political mistakes in the modern era  —  President Trump's firing of FBI Director James Comey is rightly seen as a terrific legal blunder: He undercut an investigation that might have shown he never colluded with the Russians, and spawned one that could result in obstruction of justice charges.
Trump Said to Not Have Recordings of Conversations With Comey
Jennifer Smith / Daily Mail:
EXCLUSIVE - James Comey visits The New York Times as President Trump admits he did NOT record their conversations and questions what else ousted FBI director leaked to the press  — The former FBI director was spotted at The New York Times' Times Square office on Thursday He was accompanied …
Discussion: Raw Story and The Gateway Pundit
Sam Stein / HuffPost:
All That Stands Between Democrats And A Massive Freakout Is This Man  —  The pressure is on Ralph Northam to score a win in his race for Virginia governor.  Barack Obama is going to come off the sidelines to help.  —  Having lost a series of tantalizingly close congressional elections …
Discussion: Washington Post
Betsy Woodruff / The Daily Beast:
Republican Coal King Sues HBO Over John Oliver's Show … A Republican coal baron is suing John Oliver, HBO, Time Warner, and the writers for Oliver's show over the most recent episode of Last Week Tonight.  —  The suit, filed on June 21 in the circuit court of Marshall County, West Virginia …
Jennifer Steinhauer / New York Times:
McConnell's Calculation May Be That He Still Wins by Losing  —  WASHINGTON — When it comes to managing Republicans' best interests, Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the majority leader, rarely loses.  So it is possible that Mr. McConnell views the potential failure of a hastily written health care bill as an eventual boon.
Adrian Carrasquillo / BuzzFeed:
Trump Told Democrats He Wants To Do Something About Deported Veterans.  His Staff Was Less Open.  —  Sources say Democrats raised the issue of deported veterans in a private dinner last week.  The president expressed support for doing something but his staff quickly told him it was complicated.
Discussion: ABC News and Raw Story
Dino Grandoni / Washington Post:
‘How else can a Kenyan creampuff get ahead?’ is just one of the disturbing tweets sent by this Trump Energy Department agency head  —  Before William C. Bradford was appointed by the Trump administration to run the Energy Department's Office of Indian Energy, he tweeted a slew of disparaging remarks …
Wall Street Journal:
Getting an Edge in the Long Afghan Struggle  —  Trump's early approach holds promise if backed with a sustained, and sustainable, commitment.
Cliff McCollum /
Spanish Fort High AP reading list pulled after concerns from residents  —  Posted online, this copy of Spanish Fort High teacher Gene Ponder's summer reading list includes a majority conservative and right-leaning authors, a point that concerned local residents and led to several complaints …
Discussion: The Daily Caller
Allie Yang / ABC News:
Bloomberg says America should ‘get behind’ Trump because ‘the public has spoken’  —  Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said America should “get behind” President Trump because “the public has spoken, whether you like the results or not,” during an appearance on ABC's “The View.”
Boys at Exeter academy wear skirts in uniform protest  —  Some 30 boys have worn skirts to school in protest at being told they were not allowed to wear shorts.  —  The pupils from ISCA Academy in Exeter asked permission to modify their uniform because of the hot weather.
Tony Lee / Breitbart:
Elizabeth Warren on McConnell Bill: ‘These Cuts Are Blood Money... People Will Die’  —  Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) accused Senate Republicans of using “blood money” to give wealthy Americans tax cuts after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) released the draft of the Senate's healthcare bill on Thursday.
Discussion: The Week and CBS Philly
Morgan True / VTDigger:
Sanders lawyered up in federal probe of Burlington College  —  BURLINGTON — Jane Sanders has hired attorneys to represent her in a Justice Department probe of a land deal she orchestrated while president of the now-defunct Burlington College.  —  A former college employee who coordinated …
Amy Sherman / @politifact:
Following Trump voter fraud allegations, claim that 5.7 million noncitizens voted is wrong  —  President Donald Trump's unfounded allegations that millions voted illegally in 2016 is back in the news, with his supporters pointing to a new analysis that claims millions of undocumented immigrants voted in 2008.
Alex Seitz-Wald / NBC News:
Pelosi Strikes Back: 'I Think I'm Worth the Trouble'  —  WASHINGTON — Pushing back on criticism from fellow party members after the Democratic loss in a Georgia special election this week, Nancy Pelosi said Thursday that she's “worth the trouble” as Democrats' leader in the House.
Discussion: The Week, IJR and The Daily Caller
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 More Items: 
Sonia Saraiya / Variety:
NBC's Megyn Kelly Problem (Column)
Discussion: Breitbart and Raw Story
Bill Chappell / U.S. : NPR:
Census Finds A More Diverse America, As Whites Lag Growth
Aaron Bandler / Daily Wire:
This Quiznos Employee Thwarted An Armed Robbery With A Gun
Discussion: SARAH PALIN and
Alex Griswold / Washington Free Beacon:
30 GOP Congressmen Have Been Attacked or Threatened Since May
Aaron Klein / Breitbart:
WATCH - Pulitzer-Winning Novelist Michael Chabon Expresses ‘Hope’ that Trump Has ‘Massive Stroke’
Discussion: Daily Wire
Michael A. Memoli / Los Angeles Times:
In the Trump era, Obama nostalgia is a booming industry
Olivia Nuzzi / New York Magazine:
Sarah Palin's Latest Business Venture: Running a Right-Wing Content Farm
Discussion: Raw Story
 Earlier Items: 
Abby Phillip / Washington Post:
How Trump's dubious claims make the entire government react
David Wren / Post and Courier:
Layoffs announced for first time at Boeing's 787 Dreamliner campus, other North Charleston operations
Discussion: Raw Story
Rachel Weiner / Washington Post:
Former CIA officer accused of selling top secret information to China
Discussion: ZeroPointNow, Politico and Axios
Tae Kim / CNBC:
McDonald's hits all-time high as Wall Street cheers replacement of cashiers with kiosks
Discussion: Breitbart
John Harwood / CNBC:
Half of Americans want Democrats to control Congress as Trump struggles, poll shows
Alabama residents serve as Bill Cosby spokespeople
Scott Cohn / CNBC:
Trump's Carrier jobs deal is just not living up to the hype