Michael Avenatti claims innocence after arrest on suspicion of domestic violence

I have never struck a woman. I never will strike a woman. I have been an advocate for women’s rights my entire career and I’m going to continue to be an advocate… I am looking forward to a full investigation at which point I am confident that I will be fully exonerated.

Michael Avenatti


Another debt-burdened New York City cabbie has committed suicide — the eighth for-hire driver to kill himself in the past year, Taxi and Limousine Commission officials confirmed on Wednesday.

Roy Kim, 58, of Bayside, Queens, hanged himself with a belt in his home on Nov. 5, according to the city’s medical examiner’s office. There was no immediate sign of a suicide note.

Kim, who had just purchased his taxi medallion last year, was more than $500,000 in debt from the deal and struggling to stay afloat, say friends.

“He was in a lot of debt from that,” said fellow driver Young Lee, who made friends with Kim while picking up fares from airports. “For a while he was making money but then it just went slowly down and down and down. All drivers are really struggling.”

Trump will nominate Lana Marks, a handbag designer and Mar-a-Lago member, for ambassador to South Africa. She’ll be the fourth member of the club to be picked by Trump for an ambassadorship.

Photo: Stephen Shugerman/Getty Images

Don’t cross Melania

Deputy national security adviser Mira Ricardel is leaving the White House, one day after first lady Melania Trump’s office issued an extraordinary statement calling for her dismissal.

No replacement was named. Aides said Ricardel clashed with the first lady’s staff over her visit to Africa last month. Yet it is highly unusual for a first lady or her office to weigh in on personnel matters, especially the president’s national security staff.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Ricardel will have a new role in the administration.

Yet another Democratic pickup in California

Projection: Katie Porter (D) has defeated Rep. Mimi Walters (R) in #CA45.

Who could have seen this coming?

From his earliest days in office, HUD Secretary Ben Carson has repeatedly said he joined the Trump administration to fix the “rats, roaches, bed bugs, mold, lead and violence” that he witnessed as a surgeon in low-income communities. Under the Trump administration, the number of HUD apartments cited for unsafe, unhealthy and physically deteriorating living conditions has been on the rise.

An NBC News investigation has found that more than 1,000 out of HUD’s nearly 28,000 federally subsidized multifamily properties failed their most recent inspection — a failure rate that is more than 30 percent higher than in 2016, according to an analysis of HUD records.

Here are the 17 House Democrats prepared to go public with thier opposition to Nancy Pelosi’s speakership

- Tim Ryan (D-Ohio)

- Seth Moulton (D-Mass.)

- Kathleen Rice (D-N.Y.)

- Ed Perlmutter (D-Colo.)

- Kurt Schrader (D-Ore.)

- Filemon Vela Jr. (D-Texas)

- Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio)

- Bill Foster (D-Ill.)

- Brian Higgins (D-N.Y.)

- Stephen Lynch (D-Mass.)

- Linda Sanchez (D-Calif.)

- Jim Cooper (D-Tenn.)

- Jeff Van Drew (D-N.J.)

- Joe Cunningham (D-S.C.)

- Max Rose (D-N.Y.)

- Anthony Brindisi (D-N.Y.)

- Ben McAdams (D-Utah)

life in pixels
life in pixels
Fake News Isn’t Just a Problem for Facebook. It’s Also a Solution!
Having learned about the dangerous effects of “fake news” influence campaigns, Facebook has finally landed on a solution: Create its own.

Avenatti arrested

Michael Avenatti, the attorney representing porn actor Stormy Daniels in her legal pursuit of President Trump, has been arrested on suspicion of domestic violence in Los Angeles, police confirmed.

Avenatti had not yet been booked, but a report on the alleged incident was taken on Tuesday, Los Angeles police said.

Georgia’s Amazon Bid Featured an ‘Amazon U’ and a Dedicated Amazon Transit Car
What Georgia’s Amazon bid tells us about the state’s priorities.
criminal justice reform
criminal justice reform
Trump Finally Supports Kushner’s Compromise Criminal-Justice Reform Bill
It’s not a done deal just yet, but Jared Kushner did get his father-in-law across the line after more than two years of delays.

Should Trump’s Democratic opponent just ignore him?

mitch mcconnell
mitch mcconnell
Mitch McConnell Blocks Bipartisan Bill to Safeguard Mueller Probe
Jeff Flake threatened to block Trump’s pending judicial nominees in response.

Dark times for the GOP in Jersey

Republicans only won 1 seat in New Jersey’s House delegation (out of 12). The last time they won less than 3 seats there was 1912.
In 20 Years, China Will Be on Mars — and the U.S. Will Be an Island
On this week’s episode of 2038, writer Bruno Maçães lays out a future in which America marginalizes itself as China builds a new world order.

Perhaps the most damning passage from the Times’s new Facebook exposé

While Mr. Zuckerberg conducted a public apology tour in the last year, Ms. Sandberg has overseen an aggressive lobbying campaign to combat Facebook’s critics, shift public anger toward rival companies and ward off damaging regulation. Facebook employed a Republican opposition-research firm to discredit activist protesters, in part by linking them to the liberal financier George Soros. It also tapped its business relationships, persuading a Jewish civil rights group to cast some criticism of the company as anti-Semitic.

Kevin McCarthy Easily Wins Bid to Lead Diminished House Republicans
The congressman from California finally won the job he nearly got in 2015 — though thanks to the midterms, it did not come with the Speaker’s gavel.

Death toll at 48 and still rising from fires in Northern California

Photo: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Finally, at long last, Jeff Flake takes a stand

Flake says: “I have informed the majority leader I will not vote” for 21 judicial nominees pending in the Senate Judiciary Committee or vote to confirm 32 judges awaiting confirmation on floor

Mitch McConnell is never going to pass this bill

McConnell objects to Jeff Flake’s request to quickly pass bipartisan bill to protect special counsels like Robert Mueller

May squeezes Brexit deal through Cabinet – now comes the hard part

Prime Minister Theresa May won the backing of her senior ministers for a draft European Union divorce deal on Wednesday, freeing her to tackle the much more perilous struggle of getting parliament to approve the agreement.

the national interest
the national interest
Trump: Photo ID Is Needed to Legally Purchase Cereal. (It Isn’t.)
The president is sure vote fraud is rampant; does not have a clear sense of how it works.
White Evangelicals Keep Standing Up for Their (Grand Old) Party
When it comes to politics, the big gap isn’t between the religious and the irreligious, but between white Evangelicals and everyone else.

Another Dem Congressional pickup made official

Trenton, N.J. (AP)—Political newcomer Andy Kim defeats two-term Republican Rep. Tom MacArthur in New Jersey to widen Democrats’ House edge.

Fact check: Wait, what?

TRUMP: “If you buy a box of cereal — you have a voter ID”
vision 2020
vision 2020
Democrats Shouldn’t Be Afraid to Run an Anti-Trump Campaign in 2020
Some Democratic operatives appear to have badly mislearned the lessons of 2016.

The rebellion against Nancy Pelosi may be more serious than it appeared

Multiple Democratic members who publicly support Pelosi are speculating to me on background that she doesn’t have the numbers and can’t get there.

This afternoon’s Twitter talking point

Best U.S. airports according to WSJ: 1. Denver 2. Orlando 3. Phoenix…


Some Queens residents aren’t thrilled about Amazon setting up shop

Seems like a completely logical use of resources

The Sec of Defense, the Sec of DHS and the commissioner of CBP are all walking around in a barren field in south Texas touring a military deployment for a migrant caravan that is arriving 1,500 miles away in Tijuana
marijuana legalization
marijuana legalization
From Drug War to Dispensaries: An Oral History of Weed Legalization’s First Wave
In the 1990s, state policies on marijuana were draconian. Then, an unlikely alliance that included George Soros and the Men’s Wearhouse CEO emerged.
Don’t Be a Miranda, Come See Cynthia Nixon at Vulture Fest
The actress turned politician appears on November 18 at the Hollywood Roosevelt for a conversation with New York’s Adam Moss.

An ill-advised thing to say from a possible 2020 contender

“If Stacey Abrams doesn’t win in Georgia, they stole it,” @SherrodBrown says at @NationalAction. “It’s clear.”

That’s a lot of Acosta supporters

New:: The AP; Bloomberg; First Look; Fox News; Gannett; National Press Club; NBC News; The New York Times; Politico; Press Freedom Defense Fund; E.W. Scripps; USA Today; and The Washington Post have filed joint friend-of-the-court briefs to support CNN’s and Jim Acosta’s lawsuit.
life in pixels
life in pixels
Fox News’ Silent War on Twitter
The network has found a way to treat Twitter with the same bitter contempt it’s always treated the New York Times.
naked capitalism
naked capitalism
Fake ‘Unicorns’ Are Running Roughshod Over the Venture Capital Industry
A study finding that venture capital-backed companies are pervasively overvalued might be an existential threat to the venture capital industry.
2018 midterms
2018 midterms
Overheated Machines, Deadlines, and Other News From the Latest Florida Recount
A statewide machine recount is supposed to end on Thursday, followed by a hand recount that could upset apparent Republican victories.

Alt-right extremist arrested in DC has ties to Twitter conspiracy theorist Jack Posobiec

The Clark brothers appear to have been trying to find their footing in the far-right political scene over the past several years, showing up at “Build the Wall” rallies outside the White House or at events with Spencer. One of them tried to join Identity Evropa, a prominent white nationalist organization, but was rejected, according to a source in the organization.

In May 2017, the Clark brothers teamed up with far-right “Pizzagate” propagandist Jack Posobiec, who was then the D.C. bureau chief for the far-right website Rebel Media, to shoot footage for a film Posobiec was working on about Seth Rich, the Democratic National Committee staffer whose murder near the Clarks’ home in Bloomingdale has spawned numerous far-right conspiracy theories.

Even Fox News is leaping to Jim Acosta’s defense

Fox News issues statement supporting CNN in its lawsuit against the White House. “We intend to file an amicus brief with the U.S. District Court. Secret Service passes for working White House journalists should never be weaponized.”

DOJ goes to bat for Matt Whitaker

New: Justice Department has issued a defense of President Trump’s controversial appointment of Matt Whitaker as acting attorney general Wednesday, offering several reasons why the appointment is consistent with the constitution, federal statutes and past precedent.

Interesting Twitter thread from Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager about the best way to take on Trump

After 16, no one thinks holding up a mirror to Trump - or engaging him tit for tat- is a winning strategy. However, sticking to a plan of ignoring Trump is a lot harder in a one-on-one matchup than for House challengers running individualized races

Things are going great down in Florida

Palm Beach County’s race to recount votes is heating up — literally.

The county’s decade-old ballot-counting machines overheated and gave incorrect totals, forcing the county to restart its recount of about 175,000 early votes, supervisor of Elections Susan Bucher said Tuesday night.

The department has flown in mechanics to repair the machines.

just asking questions
just asking questions
Tim Wu on How Enforcing Competition Law Could Have Stopped Big Tech
His new book argues that it’s time to revive the trustbusting tradition.

Another illustration of 2018’s prodigious turnout

Can Dems beat the president by not taking his bait?

A week out from a midterm election that saw the Democratic Party gain the majority in the House of Representatives, two Senate seats in the Southwest, and governorships across the nation, candidates, party officials, and the party’s largest super PAC took away a clear message going into 2020: Focusing time and attention on President Trump and the activities of the White House alone is not going to cut it.

“To succeed in 2020, a Democrat will need to have the skill and discipline to deftly pivot from Trump’s BS to the issues that matter,” Dan Pfeiffer, a former senior adviser to President Barack Obama, told The Daily Beast. “If you are trying to get retweets and social engagement, you are going to optimize for all things Trump and in doing so, you are playing his game.

Brooklyn Students Are Protesting Silicon Valley’s Favorite Education Program
Students at the Secondary School of Journalism staged a walkout to get the “personalized learning” regimen removed from their classrooms.

At least someone in U.S. government is still concerned about this kind of thing

Vice President Mike Pence confronted Myanmar’s leader Aung San Suu Kyi on Wednesday over the “violence and persecution” of her country’s Rohingya Muslims.

Sat next to Suu Kyi and with the news media present, Pence said her country’s atrocities were “without excuse.” The vice president also called on her to hold those responsible to account.

Report finds that U.S. is killing a lot of innocent people in Yemen

There is no comprehensive count of civilian deaths because of the difficulty of confirming identities and allegiances of those killed. But in an examination of drone strikes this year alone, The Associated Press found that at least 30 of the dead likely did not belong to al-Qaida.

That is around a third of all those killed in drone strikes so far in 2018. The Pentagon does not release its assessment of the death toll, but an independent database considered one of the most credible in tracking violence in Yemen counted 88 people — militants and non-militants — killed by drones this year.

the national interest
the national interest
Forget Impeachment. Mueller’s Real Threat to Trump Is in 2020.
Trump won’t be impeached, but he does face more legal peril than any president in history.
Tales From the Impending L-Train Apocalypse
How locals are preparing for April’s L-train shutdown.
Maybe It’s Time for America to Split Up
The country is hopelessly split. So why not make it official and break up?

Mr. Ventura goes to Saint Paul

Four seats have now flipped from Republican to Democrat in California this year, and more might be coming

BREAKING: Democrat Josh Harder wins U.S. House seat in California farm belt, defeats 4-term Republican Rep. Jeff Denham.

A tenuous cease-fire is reached in Gaza

Hamas and other militant groups said Tuesday they had accepted an Egyptian-brokered cease-fire to end two days of intense fighting with Israel that had pushed the sworn enemies to the brink of a new war.

The sudden announcement brought relief to a region that had been paralyzed by hundreds of Palestinian rocket attacks in southern Israel and scores of Israeli airstrikes on targets in the Gaza Strip. But it did not address the deeper issues that pushed Israel and Gaza’s Hamas rulers toward their latest violence and left doubts about international efforts to forge a broader truce agreement.

The type of ballot that was rejected by a machine in Florida but would be counted for Senator Bill Nelson during a manual recount

Photo: @angie_angers

48 dead, hundreds more missing

The number of deaths from California’s worst fire rose to 48 Tuesday as authorities and family members mounted desperate searches for the hundreds still missing.

The Camp fire has scorched 130,000 acres since Thursday, ripping through mountain towns in Butte County. More than 8,800 structures — mostly homes in Paradise — were leveled as the blaze charred the region.

Marco Rubio makes a fool of himself in a four-part Twitter thread

Imagine if NFL team was trailing 24-22 but in final seconds hits a 3 pt kick to win. Then AFTER game lawyers for losing team get a judge to order rules changed so that last second field goals are only 1 point

Well that’s how democrat lawyers plan to steal #Florida election 1/4

Bloomberg to decide if he’s running for president by February

Thanksgiving, Christmas and then maybe a few weeks into January — that’s when you really gotta sit down, talk to your advisers and say, ‘Look, do I have a chance?’ I think I know why I would want to run. I think I know what I think this country should do and what I would do. But I just don’t know whether it’s possible.

Michael Bloomberg

Theresa May got an earful from a grumpy Trump

As he jetted to Paris last Friday, President Trump received a congratulatory phone call aboard Air Force One. British Prime Minister Theresa May was calling to celebrate the Republican Party’s wins in the midterm elections — never mind that Democrats seized control of the House — but her appeal to the American president’s vanity was met with an ornery outburst.

Trump berated May for Great Britain not doing enough, in his assessment, to contain Iran. He questioned her over Brexit and complained about the trade deals he sees as unfair with European countries. May has endured Trump’s churlish temper before, but still her aides were shaken by his especially foul mood, according to U.S. and European officials briefed on the conversation.

2018 midterms
2018 midterms
2018 Turnout Was the Highest of Any Midterm in More Than a Century
Looks like a combative political culture, a lot of close races, and Donald J. Trump get voters out to participate.

Democrats keep gaining ground in California

Just in: Katie Porter (D) now beating Mimi Walter (R) by 261 votes in #CA45, 50.1-49.9%.

Gil Cisneros (D) has gained ground vs Young Kim (R) in tight race for #CA39 as Orange County reports more ballots, but trails by 711 votes 49.8 to 50.2.

More late ballots to favor dems.
migrant caravan
migrant caravan
For Trump and the Republicans, the Migrant Caravan Served Its Political Purpose
The Central American migrant caravan dominated Trumpland for weeks. Its political value expired after the midterms.

Really, what’s the rush?

More than a month after Jamal Khashoggi’s disappearance and nearly 2 years into term, Trump nominates a U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia: Retired Army General John Abizaid, a former commander of CENTCOM.
the national interest
the national interest
McConnell: The American People Didn’t Vote for What They Voted For
Republican senator sees election as a mandate to continue policy of not investigating any Trump crimes.
the top line
the top line
Why New York Is Paying Amazon $3 Billion to Do What Google Will Do for Free
The idea is that it’s very important that Amazon is going to Queens, and that by doing so, it will serve two key goals for the city. But is that true?

An important first for Harvard’s student newspaper

Kristine E. Guillaume ’20 will lead the newly elected 146th Guard of The Harvard Crimson, the organization’s President announced on Monday. Guillaume is the first black woman to serve as President of The Crimson in the paper’s 145-year history.

Guillaume, a joint African American Studies and History and Literature concentrator, is currently one of The Crimson’s Central Administration reporters. In that capacity, she interviewed two successive University Presidents — Drew G. Faust and Lawrence S. Bacow — and worked as part of the reporting team that covered Harvard’s 2018 presidential search.

Did Amazon fleece New York?

Republicans could claw back a House seat that was thought to be lost

#UT04 update: Salt Lake County gives Ben McAdams (D) 5,059 new votes, Rep. Mia Love (R) 4,722. McAdams’s overall lead stands at 1,357, but the latest batches have skewed slightly more R than the initial, making this a nail biter.
More Evidence That Welfare Work Requirements Don’t Lift People Out of Poverty
A new report suggests that poor people just tend to get poorer when they lose their benefits.

Bad news for some vape-loving teens

Juul Labs Inc, the U.S. market leader for electronic cigarettes, said Tuesday it will pull popular flavors such as mango, cucumber and fruit from retail store shelves in an effort to reduce surging teenage use of its products.

The move comes as Juul and other e-cigarette makers have faced heightened scrutiny from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration amid a sharp increase in high school use of the devices, which look like a USB flash drive and vaporize a flavored liquid containing nicotine.

In a statement on Tuesday, Juul Chief Executive Kevin Burns said the company wants to be “the off-ramp for adult smokers to switch from cigarettes, not an on-ramp for America’s youth to initiate on nicotine.”

May Has Sold a Brexit Deal to the E.U. (But Not to the U.K.)
The British prime minister just reached a divorce agreement with Brussels — and her partners in London are already in revolt.