Kerry Howley, New York Magazine: When the envelope [from Reality Winner] first arrived at the Intercept, there was considerable doubt that the document within it was real. The reporters decided, per standard journalistic practice, to contact someone who could verify its authenticity. What is less standard -- what Thomas Drake calls "abhorrent" and Tim Shorrock calls "just shameful" and investigative journalist Barton Gellman called "egregious" -- is for a reporter to provide a copy of the document itself, which could help reveal precisely who had provided it. read more
Dunkin' Donuts is brewing more than coffee for the shortest and darkest day of the year. The Canton, Massachusets-based coffee and doughnut chain said Monday it has teamed up with Wormtown Brewery to launch DDark Roasted Brew. The beer's release is being timed to coincide exactly with the winter solstice at 11:28 a.m. Thursday. ... Dunkin' Donuts says the stout-style suds feature "full-roasted coffee flavor reminiscent of freshly ground beans with a creamy mouthfeel."
More than 4 out of 5 people who have signed up for health care coverage under ObamaCare this year live in states that Donald Trump won in 2016, according to an AP analysis. People in Trump states total 7.3 million of the 8.8 million signed up so far. The four states with the highest sign-ups are Florida, Texas, North Carolina and Georgia. "There's politics, and then there's taking care of yourself and your family," said analyst Chris Sloan of Avalere Health. "You can have political views about a program like the Affordable Care Act, but when you get an opportunity to get subsidized health insurance for you and your family ... politics is a distant consideration."
Bess Levin, Vanity Fair: [D]espite the fact that [Donald] Trump stands to financially benefit from the bill beyond his wildest, most self-serving dreams, and that its passage represents his first concrete "achievement" since entering office, the Queens-born billionaire wasn't in as jolly a mood as one might've expected; apparently the lack of media praise for a bill that will hurt large swaths of the American populous was really getting to him. The amazing thing here is not that the president of the United States is stomping around like a spoiled child who received 39 of the 40 big-ticket items he asked for from Santa. It's that he can't fathom a scenario in which his tax bill wouldn't be universally hailed by the media and the public, outside of a "Fake News" conspiracy. read more
Jennifer Rubin, Washington Post: She's a walking advertisement for the danger of nepotism, an exemplar of class privilege and a perfect representative for Republican know-nothingism. She was supposed to be the brains of the family and the moral ballast; instead, she's a self-righteous enabler. We're speaking of Ivanka Trump, as you might have divined. She was out talking nonsense again on Thursday: "I'm really looking forward to doing a lot of traveling in April when people realize the effect that this has ... The vast majority will be [doing their taxes] on a single postcard." Thunk. There's no postcard. That was a prop. And the filing for the first year under the new tax code will be in 2019. read more