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10:55 PM ET, December 28, 2018


 Top Items: 
The Federalist:
Bre Payton, Beloved Staff Writer At The Federalist, Has Passed Away  —  Bre Payton, our beloved staff writer for The Federalist, passed away on Friday in San Diego, California following a sudden illness.  —  Bre was born in California on June 8, 1992, to George and Cindy Payton.
Bre's Story  —  Around 8:30 this morning, December 27th, Bre's friend went into her room and found her unresponsive and barely breathing.  She immediately called 911 and Bre was taken to the hospital where she was admitted to the ICU, sedated & intubated, and doctors began working up a diagnosis.
Jon Levine / The Wrap:
Bre Payton, Staff Writer for The Federalist, Dies at 26  —  “It is with a heavy heart that I type this.  Unfortunately Bre has passed.  Please send prayers to her family,” reports friend Morgan Murtaugh  —  Bre Payton, a staff writer at the right-wing website The Federalist, died on Friday at age 26 after a brief and sudden illness.
Philip Klein / Washington Examiner:
May the wonderful Bre Payton rest in peace  —  It's simply devastating to learn that Bre Payton has died at the young age of 26 after the shocking and sudden onset of swine flu that hit her after Christmas.  —  Many of you may have known Bre as a feisty, funny, and sarcastic Federalist author …
Discussion: The Federalist
Paul Kane / Washington Post:
Congress ends with Trump's fight for wall, shutdown and GOP leaders hard to find  —  Republicans are ending the 115th Congress in an all-too-familiar spot: standing on the sidelines while President Trump picks a fight they wanted to avoid as he ignores what they consider major conservative accomplishments.
Discussion: Raw Story
The Daily Beast:
Team Trump Gleeful That Shutdown Will Hijack Pelosi's Big Moment
Alex Seitz-Wald / NBC News:   'We're in this for the long haul': Both sides brace for a lengthy shutdown
Jonathan Chait / New York Magazine:
Why the Bernie Movement Must Crush Beto O'Rourke  —  The first skirmish of the 2020 Democratic primary, a wave of attacks on Beto O'Rourke by supporters of Bernie Sanders, took almost everybody by surprise.  On the outside, it looks like one of those inscrutable, personality-driven online spats that characterize the Twitter era.
Discussion: Towleroad Gay News
Alan Blinder / New York Times:
North Carolina Elections Board Dissolves, Adding New Chaos in House Race  —  The North Carolina state elections board dissolved on Friday under a court order, two weeks before its much-anticipated hearing to consider evidence of possible absentee ballot fraud in the disputed November election for the Ninth District's seat in Congress.
Discussion: Axios, Raw Story and Joe.My.God.
Ashley Feinberg / HuffPost:
The Thinnest Skins In Media In 2018  —  What follows is a list of our favorite media piss-babies and corncobs of the past year.  A quick note to the piss-babies and corncobs themselves: Any communication with me regarding this post will be considered on the record.
Discussion: Instapundit
Jeremy Herb / CNN:
House Republicans wrap their investigation into FBI's handling of Clinton and Russia probes  —  (CNN)The Republican leaders of two House committees say their investigation into the FBI's handling of Hillary Clinton's email server and its probe of alleged coordination between the Trump campaign …
Juliet Linderman / Associated Press:
Shutdown could block federal aid to farmers hit by trade war  —  WASHINGTON (AP) — The end of 2018 seemed to signal good things to come for America's farmers.  Fresh off the passage of the farm bill, which reauthorized agriculture, conservation and safety net programs …
Taffy Brodesser-Akner / New York Times:
Margot Kidder Played Every Character, No Matter How Small, With a Vivid Inner Life … Her fierce portrayals were informed — if not powered — by personal upheaval.  —  B. 1948  —  MARGOT KIDDER'S ONLY child, Maggie McGuane, wasn't sure she wanted to talk with me.
Peter Gosselin / ProPublica:
If You're Over 50, Chances Are the Decision to Leave a Job Won't be Yours  —  Tom Steckel hunched over a laptop in the overheated basement of the state Capitol building in Pierre, South Dakota, early last week, trying to figure out how a newly awarded benefit claims contract will make it easier for him do his job.
Discussion: Urban Institute
Grant Stern / Washington Press:
The Trump team just gave weird, insulting advice to furloughed federal workers who can't make rent  —  The Trump Administration just offered up bizarre and insulting advice for furloughed federal workers, proposing that they beg their landlords to exchange manual labor instead of rent …
Pelosi / Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi:
Pelosi Names Douglas N. Letter New General Counsel of the House  —  San Francisco — Speaker-designate Nancy Pelosi announced today that she will appoint Douglas N. Letter to be the new General Counsel of the House of Representatives.  —  Until February 2018, Letter served as the Director …
John R. Schindler / Observer:
What Do Mueller and the Kremlin Know About Michael Cohen's Alleged Prague Trip?  —  No aspect of the scandal surrounding President Donald J. Trump's hidden relations with Russia has been more controversial than the reputed summer 2016 trip to the Czech Republic by Michael Cohen, Trump's longtime consigliere.
Jenna Amatulli / HuffPost:
Rep. Louie Gohmert: Let Shutdown Run ‘Until Hell Freezes Over’ If Wall Isn't Funded  —  The GOP congressman suggested to “Fox & Friends” that building a border wall would be an act of “compassion” toward Mexico.  —  Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) told “Fox & Friends” on Friday that he thinks …
Discussion: Mediaite, CNBC and Raw Story
John Stanton / BuzzFeed News:
Immigration Advocates Are Alarmed By The Rising Numbers of Asylum-Seekers Crossing The Arizona Border  —  Hundreds of people from Central America have begun turning up in a remote stretch of desert between Yuma and Ajo, Arizona, in an apparent response to Trump administration policies …
Sarah Ruiz-Grossman / HuffPost:
Shutdown Leaves Government Contractors Without Work And Likely No Back Pay  —  While federal employees will likely get retroactively paid, many contractors will not.  —  Six days into the government's partial shutdown, with no end in sight, hundreds of thousands of federal employees …
Discussion: ThinkProgress, Daily Kos and Splinter
The Daily Beast:
Tucker Carlson's Show Sheds Advertisers After Immigration Comments: Report  —  Tucker Carlson's nightly show on Fox News has been hemorrhaging advertisers since the conservative host said that immigration makes the United States “poorer and dirtier and more divided” on Dec. 13, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Discussion: Hollywood Reporter and Contemptor
Matthew Rozsa / Salon:
Rudy Giuliani now wants Robert Mueller to be investigated  —  Rudy Giuliani is now calling for special counsel Robert Mueller to be investigated for “destruction of evidence”  —  Former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, who has worked as President Donald Trump's lawyer since April …
Discussion: The Hill
David D. Kirkpatrick / New York Times:
On the Front Line of the Saudi War in Yemen?  Child Soldiers from Darfur  —  KHARTOUM, Sudan — The civil war in Darfur robbed Hager Shomo Ahmed of almost any hope.  Raiders had stolen his family's cattle, and a dozen years of bloodshed had left his parents destitute.
Terrence McCoy / Washington Post:
Trump used her slain daughter to rail against illegal immigration.  She chose a different path.  —  BROOKLYN, Iowa — The letters began immediately.  Dozens at first, then hundreds, each day bringing more: from a Texas man telling her this was why we needed to build the wall.
Discussion: Breitbart, IJR and Hit & Run
Trump Hasn't Ordered Afghan Troop Withdrawal, White House Says  — Official last week said 7,000 U.S. troops were coming home  — Latest Pentagon report describes conflict as at ‘an impasse’  —  Donald Trump hasn't ordered the Pentagon to withdraw troops from Afghanistan …
Discussion: Breitbart and Axios
Barack Obama:
As 2018 draws to a close, I'm continuing a favorite tradition of mine and sharing my year-end lists.  It gives me a moment to pause and reflect on the year through the books, movies, and music that I found most thought-provoking, inspiring, or just plain loved.
Lisa Friedman / New York Times:
New E.P.A. Plan Could Free Coal Plants to Release More Mercury Into the Air  —  WASHINGTON — The Trump administration proposed on Friday major changes to the way the federal government calculates the benefits, in human health and safety, of restricting mercury emissions from coal-burning power plants.
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 More Items: 
BuzzFeed News:
These Are 50 Of The Biggest Fake News Hits On Facebook In 2018
Dave Jamieson / HuffPost:
The Government Shutdown Will Close The Smithsonian Museums And National Zoo
Discussion: Boing Boing
UNPREPARED AND OVERWHELMED  —  Failures by the Broward County …
Discussion: Mediaite
Tyler Durden / Zero Hedge:
Angela Merkel: Nation States Must “Give Up Sovereignty” To New World Order
New York Times:
A Woman's Rights  —  You might be surprised to learn …
Discussion: Tampa Bay Times
David French / National Review:
The Frustrating Necessity of Staying in Syria and Afghanistan, Explained
 Earlier Items: 
Joyce White Vance / Slate:
The Justice Department's Integrity Is at Stake
Discussion: The Daily Beast
Carol Morello / Washington Post:
Pompeo heading to Brazil for inauguration of far-right president
Discussion: Joe.My.God.
Keith Humphreys / Washington Post:
Beto's towering advantage in the 2020 Democratic primary
Discussion: Washington Monthly
Ben Hubbard / New York Times:
Syria's Kurds, Feeling Betrayed by the U.S., Ask Assad Government for Protection
Discussion: ABC News, NPR and Booman Tribune
Dan Cadman /
Why Is a Physical Border Barrier Important?