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4:10 PM ET, December 23, 2018


 Top Items: 
Helene Cooper / New York Times:
Trump, Angry Over Mattis's Rebuke, Considers Removing Him 2 Months Early  —  WASHINGTON — President Trump, angry over days of news coverage characterizing the resignation of Defense Secretary Jim Mattis as a rebuke of the president, has told administration officials that he is considering removing …
Philip Rucker / Washington Post:
Trump forces Mattis out two months early, names Shanahan acting defense secretary  —  President Trump, who aides said has been frustrated by news coverage of Defense Secretary Jim Mattis's scathing resignation letter, abruptly announced Sunday that he was removing Mattis two months …
Allan Smith / NBC News:
Mattis to leave two months early, as Trump announces Patrick Shanahan will replace him  —  Trump announced that Deputy Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan, a former Boeing executive, will take over.  —  President Donald Trump announced in a Sunday tweet that Defense Secretary James Mattis …
Discussion: NPR, Associated Press and Raw Story
David Cohen / Politico:   Senators begged Mattis to stay, Durbin says
Nancy A. Youssef / Wall Street Journal:
Departing Defense Secretary Jim Mattis to Leave Jan. 1
Discussion: ABC News, CNN and Bloomberg
Kris Schneider / ABC News:
Mick Mulvaney says DHS can't ‘spend money from Mexico’ for wall: ‘We have to get it from the treasury’  —  The president's incoming chief of staff said Sunday that any money for the border wall would have to come from the Treasury Department, saying “the Department of Homeland Security can't actually spend money from Mexico.”
USA Today:
Government shutdown, day 2: White House makes ‘counter-offer,’ asks for less than $5B for border wall funding  —  WASHINGTON - The partial government shutdown could go on for potentially many more days - and perhaps weeks - but the White House indicated Sunday that it was backing …
Michael Burke / The Hill:
Mulvaney: ‘Very possible’ shutdown will go into the new Congress
Discussion: Politico, The Week and Breitbart
David Cohen / Politico:
Merkley: Border wall ‘a fourth-century strategy’
Discussion: ABC News and POLITICUSUSA
Washington Post:
‘Very possible’ shutdown could last into new year, White House budget director Mick Mulvaney says
Discussion: CNN
ABC News:
‘This Week’ Transcript 12-23-18: Mick Mulvaney and Sen. Jeff Merkley
Quinn Scanlan / ABC News:
President Trump not going to change his mind on Syria, even after resignations: Mick Mulvaney
Discussion: Axios
Eli Watkins / CNN:
Mulvaney: ‘Very possible’ shutdown goes into 2019
Discussion: Axios, Washington Times and Daily Kos
Trump says he had a “long” call with Turkish president Erdogan  —  Days after announcing the U.S. would exit Syria, President Trump tweeted: … Why it matters: Turkey is also the country that was most active in sharing information about the Saudi killing of Jamal Khashoggi.
Eli Watkins / CNN:
Schiff: ‘Prepared’ to force Mueller report release if White House blocks  —  (CNN)California Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff said if President Donald Trump's attorneys try to assert executive privilege to stop the public release of special counsel Robert Mueller's eventual report, he would likely compel publication in some form.
Discussion: Axios, POLITICUSUSA and Mother Jones
Alexander Bolton / The Hill:
Schiff: Democrats will subpoena Mueller report if Trump tries to hide it
Katelyn Polantz / CNN:
Mystery company involved in Mueller investigation appeals to Supreme Court
Discussion: Joe.My.God.
Salena Zito / Washington Examiner:
Trump forgets his base is populists and conservatives  —  When candidate Donald J. Trump steamrolled American politics in 2016, he seemed to understand the coalition available to him was an eclectic bunch that felt its issues had been ignored.  —  They were both populists and conservatives, and they placed him in office.
Discussion: Booman Tribune
Washington Post:
Syria's once-teeming prison cells being emptied by mass murder  —  Assad's government is doubling down on the killing of political prisoners as the civil war heads toward its conclusion.  —  BEIRUT — As Syria's government consolidates control after years of civil war …
NBC News:
Inside Bernie-world's war on Beto O'Rourke  —  As the Texas congressman's star rises, Sanders supporters turn up the heat: 'Reading Karl Marx is cool.  Doing a livestream while you're doing your laundry is a gimmick.'  —  WASHINGTON — Forces loyal to Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders are waging …
Discussion: Political Wire and The Guardian
Niniek Karmini / Associated Press:
Tsunami set off by volcanic eruption kills 222 in Indonesia  —  CARITA BEACH, Indonesia (AP) — An eruption of one of the world's most infamous volcanic islands is believed to have triggered a tsunami that killed at least 222 people in Indonesia during a busy holiday weekend.
Stanley Widianto / Washington Post:   Indonesia tsunami kills at least 222 after striking without warning
Deepa Seetharaman / Wall Street Journal:
Facebook's Lonely Conservative Takes on a Power Position  —  Joel Kaplan has emerged as the social-media site's protector against allegations of political bias  —  After more than a year of research and discussion, Facebook Inc. FB -6.33% late this summer shelved a project called “Common Ground” …
Washington Post:
Trump can launch nuclear weapons whenever he wants, with or without Mattis  —  No defense secretary can stop an impulsive president.  —  The abrupt and pointed resignation of Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis on Thursday alarmed official Washington.  Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-Va.) called him an …
Discussion: POLITICUSUSA and Raw Story
Farah Stockman / New York Times:
Women's March Roiled by Accusations of Anti-Semitism  —  Within days of Donald J. Trump's election, a diverse group of women united by their concern about the incoming administration gathered at a restaurant in New York to plan a protest march in Washington.
Billie Winner-Davis / The Intercept:
My Daughter Reality Winner Faced Severe Punishment, but Key Figures in the Trump-Russia Scandal Are Getting Off Easy  —  Photo: Michael Holahan/The Augusta Chronicle/AP  —  Let me introduce myself.  I am the mother of Reality Leigh Winner, a 27-year-old U.S. Air Force veteran who is in prison …
Discussion: Boing Boing
Adam Gabbatt / The Guardian:
Trump's ‘Merry Christmas’ pledge fails to manifest at his own businesses  —  Despite railing against political correctness, the word ‘Christmas’ is curiously absent from Trump's stores, restaurants and hotels  —  During Donald Trump's presidential campaign he talked often about his determination to win one particular war.
Discussion: Contemptor and Althouse
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 More Items: 
Ross Douthat / New York Times:
Staying Catholic at Christmas
Sarah El Deeb / Associated Press:
Turkey masses troops near Kurdish-held Syrian town
Darren Sands / BuzzFeed News:
Andrew Gillum's Done Feeling Sorry For Himself. A Presidential Run Could Come Next.
Nick Miroff / Washington Post:
Hundreds of migrant families arrive at remote border crossings, overwhelming U.S. agents
France 24:
Spiegel to file criminal complaint against cheating reporter
Discussion: The Gateway Pundit
Nancy Cook / Politico:
‘Bushies’ creep into Trump's administration
Discussion: Raw Story
 Earlier Items: 
Jenn Bentley / Big Easy Magazine:
Charter Schools and Race in New Orleans
Andrew C. McCarthy / National Review:
A Weak Attack on William Barr's Nomination to Be Attorney General
Anne Applebaum / Washington Post:
The lure of chaos is leading Britain straight into the abyss
Kelly Weill / The Daily Beast:
Christmas Is the Loneliest Time for Qanon Fans
Discussion: Raw Story
Paul Sperry / RealClearInvestigations:
John Huber, Justice Dept. Sheriff Who Never Quite Rode Into Town
Ashe Schow / Daily Wire:
Here's Everything That's Wrong With The Vanity Fair Hit Job On Brett Kavanaugh's Alma Mater
Beto O'Rourke / Beto O'Rourke:
Closed until further notice
Discussion: Mother Jones