Good Wednesday morning. Catch up quick: A task force is considering a per-ride fee on Uber and other for-hire vehicles in Manhattan, to be paid by passengers (N.Y. Times) ... Far-right extremists have embraced Bitcoin as PayPal and other platforms reject racists (WashPost) ... Pro-Trump singer Joy Villa plans to meet with D.C. detectives next week about a complaint against Corey Lewandowski, who she says slapped her twice on the rear at a November event (AP) ... The Justice Dept. has "systemic" problems handling sexual harassment complaints (WashPost).
Top Democrats are exploring the idea that Big Tech designed products that were intentionally addictive, Axios' David McCabe reports:
Why it matters: The briefing is among the growing signs that the industry will be forced to engage more with Washington:
Real talk: Skepticism of tech has yet to yield concrete policy changes. Franklin Foer, author of "World Without Mind: The Existential Threat of Big Tech": "[A] lot of the policy thinking that is necessary to actually apply some sort of solution hasn't yet been hatched."
What to watch: Congressional Democrats built tougher antitrust enforcement into their midterm platform. On the other side of the aisle, Republican Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley is conducting an investigation into Google as he challenges U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill.
Former President Obama urges responsible social-media use by "all of us in leadership," in an interview with Prince Harry that was broadcast on today's BBC Radio 4's "Today":
Rochelle Carlotti, 28, shovels steps near her home after a record snowfall yesterday in Erie, Pa. — 34 inches, an all-time daily record for Erie.
"In the heart of Trump Country, his base's faith is unshaken," by AP's Claire Galofaro in Sandy Hook, Ky.:
"Homeowners across the nation are rushing this week to prepay their property taxes for 2018 before the Republican tax law kicks in Jan. 1 and effectively raises the levy on higher-end homes," the Wall Street Journal reports on A1:
U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley said in a Christmas Eve statement that the U.S. had negotiated a $285 million reduction of the U.N. budget for 2018-2019, compared to 2016-2017.
"Cokie and Steven Roberts: A Half-Century of Changing Together," as part of a new N.Y. Times feature, "It's No Secret," highlighting couples who share thoughts about commitment and what they have learned:
Reliving 2017 in 30 images ... #MeToo: The women who initially spoke out against sexual misconduct in Hollywood this fall, inspiring millions to tell their own stories of harassment and illegality on social media, were named AP's Entertainers of the Year.
"Most Anticipated Movies of 2018" ... 6 of the 20 answers from Variety's international team of critics: