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12:35 PM ET, December 23, 2018


 Top Items: 
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.”
David Cohen / Politico:
Merkley: Border wall ‘a fourth-century strategy’  —  In explaining Democratic opposition to border wall funding, Sen. Jeff Merkley on Sunday dubbed the wall “a fourth-century strategy” that his party would not support.  —  “Thirty-foot concrete wall, 30-foot steel spikes, that's not the smart way …
Discussion: ABC News and POLITICUSUSA
Quinn Scanlan / ABC News:
President Trump not going to change his mind on Syria, even after resignations: Mick Mulvaney
Discussion: Fox News and Axios
David Cohen / Politico:
Senators begged Mattis to stay, Durbin says
Eli Watkins / CNN:
Mulvaney: ‘Very possible’ shutdown goes into 2019
ABC News:
‘This Week’ Transcript 12-23-18: Mick Mulvaney and Sen. Jeff Merkley
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 …
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
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  —  JAKARTA — At least 222 deaths have been reported in Indonesia on Sunday after a tsunami struck the Sunda Strait without warning, the latest disaster to befall a Pacific nation repeatedly stricken this year.
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 …
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
Katelyn Polantz / CNN:
Mystery company involved in Mueller investigation appeals to Supreme Court  —  Washington (CNN)An unnamed, foreign government-owned company in a mystery court case is asking the Supreme Court to pause a grand jury subpoena it received related to special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation.
Discussion: Joe.My.God.
Josh Gerstein / Politico:   Mystery firm takes Mueller-linked subpoena fight to Supreme Court
Greg Stohr / Bloomberg:
Mystery Filing Appears to Ask High Court to Act in Mueller Probe
Discussion: Raw Story
Ben Kesling / Wall Street Journal:
Marines Deployed Abroad Seek Answers Amid Washington's Turmoil  —  Commandant faces questions on the troop drawdowns.  His answer: ‘I have no idea.’  —  Bost Air Field, Afghanistan—On a holiday visit to American troops overseas, Gen. Robert Neller, the Marine Corps commandant …
Discussion: CNN and Washington Post
Nancy Cook / Politico:
‘Bushies’ creep into Trump's administration  —  President Donald Trump uses the term “Bushie” as shorthand for anyone he considers too establishment, thinks too conventionally, or is just, in the president's mind, a pain.  —  But a strange thing has been happening within his administration lately.
Discussion: Raw Story
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” …
Paul Sperry / RealClearInvestigations:
John Huber, Justice Dept. Sheriff Who Never Quite Rode Into Town  —  John Huber has developed almost mythical status among pro-Trump tweeters since former Attorney General Jeff Sessions directed him to investigate why the FBI spied on Trump's aides and whether they protected Hillary Clinton and her foundation over alleged misdeeds.
Josh Campbell / CNN:
Trump's relationship with Whitaker imperils the rule of law
Discussion: Axios, POLITICUSUSA and Mother Jones
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: The Guardian
Kelly Weill / The Daily Beast:
Christmas Is the Loneliest Time for Qanon Fans  —  The Daily Beast spoke to four Q believers who claim to have been isolated from loved ones, as well as a former Q believer who thinks the isolation helps reinforce QAnon support.  —  Kimberly's boyfriend was tired of hearing the QAnon videos she watched around their small apartment.
Discussion: Raw Story
Darren Sands / BuzzFeed News:
Andrew Gillum's Done Feeling Sorry For Himself.  A Presidential Run Could Come Next.  —  His meeting with Barack Obama went over schedule.  He and Beto O'Rourke have spoken.  Not long ago, he thrilled 300 well-heeled political donors hungry to win in 2020.
The Hill:
GOP discord on wall prolongs shutdown fight  —  The government shutdown fight is increasingly shaping up as a battle among Republicans for the president's ear.  —  President Trump summoned a group of Republicans to lunch at the White House Saturday afternoon as negotiators struggled to reach an agreement to reopen the government.
Josh Lederman / NBC News:
White House says Erdogan promised Trump he'd finish off ISIS in Syria  —  What took place during Trump's phone call with the Turkish leader has been a central question in the debate over Trump's decision to pull all U.S. troops out of Syria.  —  In his phone call with President Donald Trump …
The Times of Israel:   Departing Mattis said to cancel Israel trip, as Israel feels ‘betrayed’ on Syria
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 More Items: 
Adam Gabbatt / The Guardian:
Trump's ‘Merry Christmas’ pledge fails to manifest at his own businesses
Discussion: Contemptor and Althouse
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
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
 Earlier Items: 
Ashe Schow / Daily Wire:
Here's Everything That's Wrong With The Vanity Fair Hit Job On Brett Kavanaugh's Alma Mater
New York Sun:
Mattis Was Always on Borrowed Time
Beto O'Rourke / Beto O'Rourke:
Closed until further notice
The Times of Israel:
Simcha Rotem, last surviving fighter in Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, dies at 94
Discussion: The Daily Caller
Philip Rucker / Washington Post:
‘A rogue presidency’: The era of containing Trump is over
Discussion: Politico