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1:30 AM ET, February 21, 2018


 Top Items: 
Jeff Tavss / Associated Press:
Florida House votes down motion to take up weapons ban with Douglas students present  —  Final vote was 36-71 on first day of lobbying for students  —  TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - On their first full day lobbying Florida lawmakers in Tallahassee to change the state's gun laws …
Alex Leary / Tampa Bay Times:
Parkland students come under attack for their outspokenness  —  Critics begin to question their motives.  —  The grieving students in Parkland have been praised for their articulate, emotional and forceful response to the tragedy.  —  Now they are coming under attack from the far-right …
Jerry Iannelli / Miami New Times:
Here Are the Eight Miami GOP Dirtbags Who Just Voted Down Assault Weapon Ban … Perhaps no piece of news illustrates how depraved and broken the Florida political system is than what just went down in Tallahassee.  Just six days after Nikolas Cruz used an AR-15 assault rifle to murder 14 teenagers …
Discussion: ThinkProgress
Lisa Respers France / CNN:
George and Amal Clooney to attend March For Our Lives  —  Survivor: I'm terrified to return to school  —  (CNN)George and Amal Clooney have stepped up in support of the survivors of the deadly shooting in Parkland, Florida.  —  The superstar couple announced Tuesday that they are donating $500,000 …
Charles Rabin / miamiherald:   Parkland students face new attack, this time from the political right on social media
Jennifer Smith / Daily Mail:
Donald Trump Jr. ‘likes’ tweet attacking Florida school shooting survivor, 17, which suggests …
Discussion: The Gateway Pundit
Mike Fleming / Deadline:
Oprah Winfrey Answers Call & Joins Clooneys, Katzenbergs, Spielberg And Capshaw In Donating $500,000 …
Matt Pearce / Los Angeles Times:   A spreading movement?  How Florida school shooting survivors are inspiring other students to demand gun control
Maane Khatchatourian / Variety:
Clooneys, Spielbergs, Katzenbergs, Oprah Donate to Parkland Students' March for Our Lives
Discussion: Business Insider and IJR
Hundreds of students walk out of class and are marching to Stoneman Douglas High
Discussion: ThinkProgress
Donald Trump Jr. Liked Tweets Promoting A Conspiracy Theory About A Florida Shooting Survivor
New York Times:
Kushner Resists Losing Access as Kelly Tackles Security Clearance Issues  —  Jared Kushner, President Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser, is resisting giving up his access to highly classified information, prompting an internal struggle with John F. Kelly, the White House chief of staff …
Gideon Resnick / The Daily Beast:
Democrat Linda Belcher Takes Deep-Red Kentucky Seat, the 37th Flip Since Trump's Inauguration … Democrat Linda Belcher triumphed in a special election on Tuesday night in a deep-red Kentucky district where President Trump previously won by a whopping 50-point margin.
Matthew Yglesias / Vox:
Democrats just flipped a Kentucky state legislature seat in a district Trump won by 49 points  —  Democrat Linda Belcher regains her old seat.  —  Democrat Linda Belcher was just pronounced the winner of the special election in Kentucky's House District 49, a seat that Donald Trump carried …
Discussion: Lawyers, Guns & Money and Jezebel
Dan Johnson's widow and former lawmaker clash in special House election to replace him
Discussion: Mother Jones, Daily Kos and Splinter
Courier-Journal:   Dan Johnson's widow claims voter fraud after losing seat to Linda Belcher in District 49 race
David Weigel / Washington Post:
Democrat wins state House race in Kentucky after a Republican's scandal and suicide
Linda Belcher defeats Rebecca Johnson to reclaim District 49 seat
Senior HHS official placed on leave for promoting unfounded claims and conspiracy theories on social media  —  (CNN)A top official at the Department of Health and Human Services has been placed on administrative leave after a CNN KFile inquiry while the agency investigates social media postings …
Discussion: Talking Points Memo and Axios
Ashley Parker / Washington Post:
Pence was set to meet with North Korean officials during the Olympics before last minute cancellation … PYEONGCHANG, South Korea — Vice President Pence departed for a five-day, two country swing through Asia earlier this month having agreed to a secret meeting with North Korean officials …
Washington Post:
Mueller probe: London-based son-in-law of Russian businessman to plead guilty to false statements … The London-based son-in-law of one of Russia's wealthiest men is set to plead guilty Tuesday afternoon in Washington to making false statements in special counsel Robert S. Mueller III's probe …
Discussion: TheBlaze
Associated Press:
The Latest: Law firm says it fired van der Zwaan last year
Discussion: ABC News and Breitbart
Sports Illustrated:
Exclusive: Inside the Corrosive Workplace Culture of the Dallas Mavericks  — More than a dozen current and ex-employees characterize the Mavs' hostile work environment—ranging from sexual harassment to domestic violence—as an “open secret.”  Sports Illustrated details the allegations in a special investigation.
Arizona candidate got topless selfie from legislative staffer, messages reveal  —  A legislative staffer sent Steve Montenegro a topless photo via text message, according to a series of messages between Montenegro and the staffer that were reviewed by 12 News.  —  Author: Brahm Resnik
Discussion: Political Wire
Jim Jamitis / RedState:
WHOA: CPAC Totally Disowns Former Featured Speaker Dinesh D'Souza  —  Wow.  CPAC dropped the hammer on one of their formerly favorite speakers.  They threw Dinesh D'Souza so far under the bus that he's now probably tasting transmission fluid.  —  Whatever credibility Dinesh D'Souza once …
Josh Feldman / Mediaite:
CPAC Says Dinesh D'Souza Not Going to Speak This Year, Condemns ‘Indefensible’ Remarks
Discussion: RedState
Chris McDaniel / BuzzFeed:
Missouri Fought For Years To Hide Where It Got Its Execution Drugs.  Now We Know What They Were Hiding.  —  The state of Missouri did everything it could to keep secret where it got the drugs it used to put 17 inmates to death.  Now, BuzzFeed News has discovered the supplier …
Discussion: Daily Kos
The Daily Beast:
NRA Usually Shuts Up After Mass Shootings.  Not This Time. … Immediately following the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, the National Rifle Association did what it always does: It shut up.  —  The biggest gun rights group in the nation didn't put …
The unwitting: The Trump supporters used by Russia  —  Rosenstein: Russians paid, recruited Americans  —  A Donald Trump supporter who unwittingly helped a Kremlin-linked operation to meddle in American politics says he only learned of his part in the Russian plot when the FBI showed up at his doorstep months later.
Libby Watson / Splinter:
You Dumb Motherfuckers, John Kelly Was Always Bad  —  FiveThirtyEight, a website that apparently still exists, has a deeply depressing story out Tuesday on White House Chief of Staff John Kelly by politics writer Perry Bacon Jr. The piece is essentially a mea culpa, where Bacon admits …
Discussion: The Week and FiveThirtyEight
Byron York / Washington Examiner:
Devin Nunes' 10 questions about the Trump dossier  —  House Intelligence Committee chairman Devin Nunes has sent a series of questions about the Trump dossier to a number of current and former government officials.  The committee did not specify to whom Nunes sent the questions …
Catherine Herridge / Fox News:
House Republicans launch ‘Phase 2’ of Trump dossier probe
Andrew Sullivan / New York Magazine:
The Poison We Pick  —  This nation pioneered modern life.  Now epic numbers of Americans are killing themselves with opioids to escape it.  —  It is a beautiful, hardy flower, Papaver somniferum, a poppy that grows up to four feet in height and arrives in a multitude of colors.
Discussion: Instapundit
Philip Elliott / TIME:
Inside Donald Trump's Twitter-Fueled Weekend Meltdown  —  White House aides prayed for rain.  Inclement weather would mean President Donald Trump would have to take the motorcade to the waiting plane to Florida.  That would mean he couldn't take the helicopter from the South Lawn to Joint Base Andrews …
Victor Mather / New York Times:
Winter Olympics 2018 Results: Sofia Goggia Wins Downhill  —  Lindsey Vonn earns the bronze medal in downhill; Sofia Goggia of Italy takes gold.  —  Lindsey Vonn Earns Bronze in Downhill  —  Lindsey Vonn, the American skiing superstar, won the third Olympic medal of her career, but it was a bronze, not a gold, in the downhill.
‘I was almost a school shooter’  —  That's not a sentence many people ever hear, or read.  It's also not a sentence many people would ever say publicly.  —  Author: Next with Kyle Clark  —  “I was almost a school shooter.”  —  That's not a sentence many people ever hear, or read.
Discussion: NBC News, thecut, Axios and KXAN-TV
Dominic Holden / BuzzFeed:
In Emails, Trump's Top General Said The Transgender Military Ban Was “Unexpected” And He Was “Not Consulted”  —  Emails newly obtained by BuzzFeed News reveal the surprise for Joint Chiefs of Staff.  —  Less than 24 hours after President Trump tweeted that “after consultation with my Generals …
Discussion: Politico
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 More Items: 
David G. Savage / Los Angeles Times:
Supreme Court leaves in place California's 10-day wait for gun buyers, rejects 2nd Amendment challenge
Discussion: TheBlaze
Washington Post:
Trump's ‘tougher on Russia’ claim fits a pattern of striving to one-up Obama
Discussion: New York Magazine and Axios
Maxwell Tani / The Daily Beast:
Newsweek Staffers Threaten to Resign, Claiming Company Tried to Silence Investigation of Owners
Arthur Allen / Politico:
Shulkin says he has White House backing to purge VA
John Ruch / Reporter Newspapers:
Bill would kill Sandy Springs' wood-frame apartments restriction, mayor complains
Paul Farhi / Washington Post:
Tavis Smiley sues PBS for firing him over sexual misconduct allegations
Kate Aurthur / BuzzFeed:
Natalie Portman Doesn't Want To Live In Oblivion
Discussion: IndieWire and Mashable
 Earlier Items: 
Josh Eidelson / Bloomberg:
Trump Appointee ‘Conflict’ Throws Key Labor Ruling Into Doubt
Ernesto Semán / Washington Post:
Comparing Trump to South American authoritarians reveals a dangerous misunderstanding of democracy
Libby Watson / Splinter:
New York Times Editorial Board: Person Published by Times a Week Ago Is ‘Disreputable’ and Untrustworthy
EXCLUSIVE: Amazon Employees Are Very Interested in a Particular Article About Arlington
Discussion: AOL and Mashable
Travis Fain / WRAL-TV:
NC couple pitching dating site for Trump supporters