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10:40 PM ET, February 20, 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 …
Florida legislators vote down attempt to revive ban on assault rifles  —  Less than a week after 17 people were fatally shot at a Florida high school, the state House has voted down a motion to take up a bill that would ban assault rifles, effectively killing the measure for this session.
West Point posthumously admits shooting victim Peter Wang to Class of 2025
Donald Trump Jr. Liked Tweets Promoting A Conspiracy Theory About A Florida Shooting Survivor
Cameron Cawthorne / Washington Free Beacon:
MSNBC's Katy Tur: ‘Kids or Guns, What Do You Value More?’
Discussion: miamiherald, Rewire and Shareblue Media
Media Matters for America:
Pro-Trump media launch attacks on student survivors of Florida school shooting
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 …
Discussion: Political Wire, Raw Story and Daily Kos
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: FiveThirtyEight and The Week
White House says Trump son-in-law Kushner can do job without security clearance
Discussion: Raw Story
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.
Discussion: Associated Press
David Weigel / Washington Post:
Democrat wins state House race in Kentucky after a Republican's scandal and suicide
Dan Johnson's widow and former lawmaker clash in special House election to replace him
Discussion: Mother Jones, Splinter and Daily Kos
Linda Belcher defeats Rebecca Johnson to reclaim District 49 seat
Matthew Yglesias / Vox:   Democrats just flipped a Kentucky state legislature seat in a district Trump won by 49 points
Courier-Journal:   Dan Johnson's widow claims voter fraud after losing seat to Linda Belcher in District 49 race
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
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 …
Hundreds of students walk out of class and are marching to Stoneman Douglas High
Discussion: ThinkProgress
Maane Khatchatourian / Variety:
Clooneys, Spielbergs, Katzenbergs, Oprah Donate to Parkland Students' March for Our Lives
Discussion: Business Insider and IJR
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
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
Travis Fain / WRAL-TV:
NC couple pitching dating site for Trump supporters  —  RALEIGH, N.C. — A married couple from Guilford County have become the faces of a new Donald Trump-themed dating website.  —  Barrett and Jodi Riddleberger's smiles, beneath Trump campaign baseball caps, are the first thing greeting visitors at
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 …
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
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.
Kate Aurthur / BuzzFeed:
Natalie Portman Doesn't Want To Live In Oblivion  —  In an interview with BuzzFeed News, Portman discusses Annihilation, Hollywood's Time's Up revolution, learning from Reese Witherspoon, and her regret over signing the Roman Polanski petition.  —  Over the course of Natalie Portman's career …
Discussion: IndieWire and Mashable
Libby Watson / Splinter:
New York Times Editorial Board: Person Published by Times a Week Ago Is ‘Disreputable’ and Untrustworthy  —  Remember last week, when the New York Times ran an op-ed from the gun ‘researcher’ John Lott, who has been thoroughly and consistently debunked by basically everyone else who researches gun violence?
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 …
‘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
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 …
Serena Williams / CNN:
What my life-threatening experience taught me about giving birth  —  Serena Williams shares scary birth experience  —  Serena Williams is a professional tennis player, businesswoman and UNICEF goodwill ambassador.  The views expressed in this commentary are her own.
Ernesto Semán / Washington Post:
Comparing Trump to South American authoritarians reveals a dangerous misunderstanding of democracy  —  Such comparisons fundamentally misunderstand Latin American populism.  —  It's en vogue for enraged liberals to compare Trumpism to Argentine Peronism, wielding the analogy as a warning …
Remy Smidt / BuzzFeed:
Here's What It's Like At The Headquarters Of The Teens Working To Stop Mass Shootings  —  Just days after surviving a mass shooting, a team of teens are trying to start a revolution from their parents' living rooms.  —  Reporting From Parkland, Florida  —  PARKLAND, Florida …
Maxwell Tani / The Daily Beast:
Newsweek Staffers Threaten to Resign, Claiming Company Tried to Silence Investigation of Owners … Several Newsweek staffers threatened to resign earlier this week, accusing the company of attempting to muzzle the publishing of a story further detailing internal turmoil at the magazine and ties to a controversial Christian college.
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 More Items: 
Arthur Allen / Politico:
Shulkin says he has White House backing to purge VA
Andrew Sullivan / New York Magazine:
The Poison We Pick  —  This nation pioneered modern life.
Discussion: Instapundit
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
Robert Pear / New York Times:
Trump Moves to Relax Rules on Cheaper Health Insurance
Discussion: Daily Kos and New York Magazine
New York Times:
On Social Media, Lax Enforcement Lets Impostor Accounts Thrive
Jared Keller / Task & Purpose:
The View From Afghanistan: The Dark Stain Of American Gun Exceptionalism
 Earlier Items: 
Josh Eidelson / Bloomberg:
Trump Appointee ‘Conflict’ Throws Key Labor Ruling Into Doubt
Rong-Gong Lin II / Los Angeles Times:
Trump again seeks to end funding for earthquake early warning system
Garrett M. Graff / Wired:
Inside the Mueller Indictment: A Russian Novel of Intrigue
Discussion: VICE
Gabriel Debenedetti / Politico:
AR-15 auction removed from fundraiser with McMorris Rodgers
Miranda Blue / Right Wing Watch:
Focus On The Family Has Declared Itself A Church, Avoiding IRS Disclosure Rules
Discussion: Joe.My.God.
Joseph Ax / Reuters:
Republicans will sue to block court-drawn Pennsylvania congressional map
EXCLUSIVE: Amazon Employees Are Very Interested in a Particular Article About Arlington
Discussion: AOL and Mashable