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1:15 AM ET, February 20, 2016


 Top Items: 
Gideon Resnick / The Daily Beast:
Cruz, Carson Held Secret Meeting About Dirty Tricks in a Closet  —  Ted Cruz called a private meeting with the former neurosurgeon in South Carolina on Thursday night, the Carson campaign told The Daily Beast.  It did not go as planned.  —  Two grown men running for president met in a storage closet last night.
Benjy Sarlin / MSNBC:
Trump hails torture, mass killings with ‘pigs blood’ ammo in SC  —  North Charleston, SC - Donald Trump closed his South Carolina campaign on Friday with a rambling speech highlighted by a giddy, almost childlike, enthusiasm for torturing and summarily executing the suspected enemies of America in the name of safety.
Associated Press:
The Latest: Trump leads GOP race with a third of the votes  —  MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. — The Latest on campaign 2016 ahead of Saturday's South Carolina Republican primary and Nevada Democratic caucuses (all times Eastern Standard Time):  —  Donald Trump has emerged as the front-runner …
Discussion: TalkLeft
McKay Coppins / BuzzFeed:
Pro-Cruz Robocall Slams Trump Over Exchange With Lesbian Reporter  —  CLEMSON, S.C. — A new robocall going out to South Carolina voters on the eve of the state's Republican primary blasts Donald Trump as a culture war appeaser in the battle between gay rights and religious freedom …
Katherine Krueger / Talking Points Memo:
Cruz, Carson Reportedly Had Secret Meeting In A Closet: 'It Didn't Go Well'  —  Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Ben Carson walked into a closet in South Carolina on Thursday night.  —  That's not a joke.  —  The two Republican candidates for president convened for a mano-a-mano meeting …
Gary Legum / Salon:
Ted Cruz declares war on gluten-free meals (because we are living through the dumbest election in history)
Discussion: Slantpoint and
Marist Poll:
2/19: Trump in Close Race in South Carolina... Clinton with Wide Lead
Discussion: Politico, Fox News and Washington Post
Katie Zezima / Washington Post:
Pro-Cruz super PAC ad criticizes Trump for supporting removal of Confederate flag
Discussion: and NPR
Steven Shepard / Politico:
Insiders predict Trump win in South Carolina, Clinton in Nevada
Discussion: Politicus USA
Molly Ball / The Atlantic:
The Great Republican Stalemate
Discussion: CBS News, ThinkProgress and ABC News
Allegra Kirkland / Talking Points Memo:
Pro-Cruz Robocall Knocks Trump On ‘Our’ Confederate Flag In South Carolina
Discussion: The Bob and Chez Show
Henry Olsen / National Review:
I Don't Believe The Latest SC Polls - Here's Why  —  Two polls, one from Clemson University and the other from Opinion Savvy, have been released since I wrote my blog post on SC.  Both have Trump in the high 20s, suggesting tomorrow night will be closer than I predicted.  Here's why I discount each poll.
Discussion: The Right Scoop
Marc Caputo / Politico:
Bush staff float resumes with Florida consultants  —  Several Jeb Bush campaign workers are already shopping their résumés with Florida political consultants as expectations mount inside his team that their candidate won't push on after South Carolina.
MA Towery / Opinion Savvy:
Rubio Surges in South Carolina ahead of Saturday's Primary
John Gouch / Newsstand:
Palmetto Poll: Frequent voters in South Carolina favor Trump
Discussion: Raw Story, RedState and Hot Air
Mark Murray / NBC News:
Donald Trump's Lead Slashed in South Carolina: Poll
Daniel Strauss / Politico:
Harry Reid accuses Republicans of ‘trickery and gimmicks’ in Nevada caucuses  —  Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) accused members of the Republican Party of resorting to “trickery and gimmicks” to spoil his state's Democratic caucuses.  —  “These Republican plans to interfere …
Sarah Jones / Politicus USA:
Republicans Are Trying To Rig The Nevada Democratic Caucus To Hurt Hillary Clinton  —  The party that screams about voter fraud while getting busted for voter fraud is at it again.  This time, it's a plot to hurt Hillary Clinton with an organized effort to rig the Democratic caucus.
Discussion: The People's View and Joe.My.God.
Harper Neidig / The Hill:   Nevada Dems threaten to prosecute people who vote in both caucuses
Dolores Huerta:
On Immigration, Bernie Sanders is Not Who He Says He Is.  —  If you've been following the Democratic primary, you may have noticed that Bernie Sanders has positioned himself as a champion of the immigrant community.  From the letter he sent to Barack Obama last week, to the work he …
Daily Mail:
Hillary Clinton gets BOOED at MSNBC town hall when she says Bernie Sanders 'wasn't really a …
Discussion: TPNN
Julia Hahn / Breitbart:
On Eve of South Carolina Vote, Nation's ICE Officers Detail How Marco Rubio Betrayed Them  —  In an exclusive Q&A with Breitbart News, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Council President Chris Crane provides never-before-heard details about the 2013 Gang of Eight immigration fight …
Discussion: The Gateway Pundit
Katherine Skiba / Chicago Tribune:
Arrest photo of young activist Bernie Sanders emerges from Tribune archives  —  A Chicago Tribune archival photo of a young man being arrested in 1963 at a South Side protest is Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders, his campaign has confirmed, bolstering the candidate's narrative about his civil rights activism.
Andrew Kaczynski / BuzzFeed:
Trump One Day Into Iraq Invasion: “It Looks Like A Tremendous Success”  —  And the stock market would continue to soar as a result, Trump said.  —  —  Donald Trump, faced with his own words from 2002 that directly contradict his claim he opposed an Iraq invasion early on …
Liam Stack / New York Times:
In Defense of Trump, Some Point (Wrongly) to Vatican Walls  —  Supporters of Donald J. Trump were quick to suggest on Thursday that Pope Francis was being hypocritical to criticize as un-Christian Mr. Trump's proposal to build a wall between the United States and Mexico because the pontiff himself lives …
Connor Sheets /
Harper Lee dead at age of 89: ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ author passes away  —  Author Nelle Harper Lee, who won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1961 for her book, “To Kill a Mockingbird,” passed away in her sleep Friday morning at the age of 89, her family has confirmed.  —  “This is a sad day for our family.
Joanne Kaufman / New York Times:
My Parents, My Landlords  —  Enter neighborhood, city, zip or address  —  When Jessica Sanderoff graduated from college a decade ago and began searching for Manhattan apartments in her price range, she saw many things.  Fourth-floor walk-ups and fifth-floor walk-ups.
Discussion: Gothamist
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 More Items: 
Kevin Rawlinson / Guardian:
Italian author Umberto Eco dies aged 84
Richard Fausset / New York Times:
Supreme Court Won't Intervene in North Carolina Election Fight
Jesse Walker / Hit & Run:
The Southern Poverty Law Center Strikes Again
Courtney Couillard / Columbia Daily Spectator:
Columbia should pay for my period
Discussion: Weasel Zippers
Dana Hull / Bloomberg Business:
Musk Gets Domain Name After Waiting a Decade
Peter Stone / The Huffington Post:
The Kochs Are Plotting A Multimillion-Dollar Assault On Electric Vehicles
Discussion: Washington Post and Daily Kos
 Earlier Items: 
Baltimore Sun:
State's highest court intervenes in Freddie Gray case, halting trials pending review
Sara Sjolin / MarketWatch:
Apple's iPhone sales fall for the first time, says Gartner
Donald Trump / Yahoo Politics:
Trump is accused of financially threatening woman during secret deposition
David Brooks / New York Times:
A Little Reality on Immigration