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1:25 PM ET, February 20, 2016


 Top Items: 
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.
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 …
Patrick O'Connor / Wall Street Journal:
In Football-Mad South Carolina, Rubio Offers the Greatest Pander of All  —  University of Florida graduate said all his rivals rooted against Clemson in the championship  —  CLEMSON, S.C. - Florida Sen. Marco Rubio came up with a new reason for South Carolina voters to back him on Saturday …
Discussion: RedState
Andrew Prokop / Vox:
South Carolina Republican primary 2016: poll closing time and what to expect  —  Today, South Carolina will become the third state to cast its ballots in the Republican nomination contest.  Polls in the state will be open until 7 pm Eastern.  Democrats in the state, however, won't vote today …
Philip Rucker / Washington Post:
Kasich's chief strategist: ‘No path forward’ for Jeb Bush  —  COLUMBIA, S.C. — John Kasich is claiming a scalp in the Republican presidential race: that of Jeb Bush.  —  Kasich's chief strategist, John Weaver, predicted Saturday morning that Bush's campaign would end with the day's South Carolina primary …
Discussion: The Hill
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.
Associated Press:   The Latest: Trump leads GOP race with a third of the votes
USA Today:   Ted Cruz: South Carolina will be like Iowa
John McCormick / Bloomberg Business:   South Carolina, Nevada Votes to Test Anti-Establishment Mood
Dan Balz / Washington Post:
Contests in South Carolina, Nevada to test the appeal of the outsiders
Discussion: Politico
Alan I. Abramowitz / Sabato's Crystal Ball:
Who Will Win the Nominations? Lessons From Iowa and New Hampshire
Discussion: Taylor Marsh
Byron York / Washington Examiner:   In South Carolina, Bush family, friends gather as end nears
Gary Legum / Salon:
Ted Cruz declares war on gluten-free meals (because we are living through the dumbest election in history)
Discussion: Slantpoint and
Caitlin Yilek / The Hill:
Report: Cruz, Carson met secretly in storage closet to discuss feud
Discussion: The Gateway Pundit
Katherine Krueger / Talking Points Memo:
Cruz, Carson Reportedly Had Secret Meeting In A Closet: 'It Didn't Go Well'
Colton Lochhead / Las Vegas Review-Journal:
Attempt to place Review-Journal obituary for Hillary Clinton prompts report to Secret Service  —  The Las Vegas Review-Journal on Friday reported a possible threat related to Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton after a man tried to place an obituary notice for the former secretary of state.
New York Times:
Superdelegates, Clarify Your Role
Discussion: VTDigger and Prairie Weather
Olaf Ekberg / The American Mirror:   PHOTOS: Small Clinton crowd on NV caucus eve
Los Angeles Times:
Analysis Timing is everything — and Hillary Clinton's timing is awful
Discussion: Mother Jones and RedState
Liz Goodwin / Yahoo Politics:
Hillary Clinton's week-long sprint to save Nevada
Discussion: Politico
Robert Stacy McCain / The Other McCain:
The #FreeStacy Story: Why Was My @rsmccain Account Suspended?  —  Unexpectedly, and without explanation, my @rsmccain Twitter account was suspended Friday evening.  Based on past experiences, my guess would be that this resulted from a complaint by one of the leading “social justice warriors” …
Datechguy / Da Tech Guy Blog:
The Twitter Star Chamber Suspends Stacy McCain  —  Before there was Milo Yiannopoulos there was Robert Stacy McCain.  A chain smoking, beer drinking, coffee guzzling hard nosed reporter who rather than simply going with the flow and repeating the conventional wisdom dared to go out into the field …
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.
Scott Eric Kaufman / Salon:
Paul Krugman: For wonks like me, Bernie Sanders is frankly horrifying  —  Sanders is just as delusional when it comes to the economics as those vying for a spot on the GOP ticket  —  Paul Krugman pulled no punches in his Friday New York Times column, claiming that Democratic presidential …
Gregory Katz / Associated Press:
CAMERON: BRITAIN'S REFERENDUM ON EU MEMBERSHIP TO BE JUNE 23  —  LONDON (AP) — A historic referendum on whether Britain should stay in the European Union will be held on June 23, Prime Minister David Cameron announced Saturday, even as he declared his belief that the U.K. would be …
Discussion: Associated Press
Washington Post:
European leaders strike deal to try to keep Britain in the E.U.
Discussion: Mother Jones and Reuters
Michael Gove / Coffee House:
Why I'm backing Brexit
Discussion: National Review
Clare Malone / FiveThirtyEight:
Why Nevada Polls Are Bad  —  The whiplash induced by the American presidential primary season is harrowing.  One week we are inundated by the snowy charms of Iowa and New Hampshire, beholden to king corn and, wrenchingly, dark prince heroin, and the next we are thrown headlong into Nevada …
Discussion: Deadline and Politico
New York Post:
Two NYPD cops shot in Brooklyn  —  Two Brooklyn cops were shot early Saturday in a wild standoff with a man who led them on a car chase before ramming a marked patrol vehicle head-on, sources said.  —  Police Officer William Reddin was struck in the hip and Police Officer Andrew Yurkin …
Discussion: Gothamist and Weasel Zippers
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 …
Jonathan Kandell / New York Times:
Umberto Eco, 84, Best-Selling Academic Who Navigated Two Worlds, Dies  —  Umberto Eco, an Italian scholar in the arcane field of semiotics who became the author of best-selling novels, notably the blockbuster medieval mystery “The Name of the Rose,” died on Friday in Italy.  He was 84.
Discussion: Slantpoint
Kevin Rawlinson / Guardian:
Italian author Umberto Eco dies aged 84
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 More Items: 
Washington Post:
The IRS gives up on fighting ‘dark money’
Jonathan D. Salant / New Jersey Online:
Christie's Bridgegate bills now top $10M
Discussion: The Week
Jon Campbell /
No food stamps for steak or lobster, bill says
Discussion: ThinkProgress, WCMH-TV and
Ben Kamisar / The Hill:
Clinton faces tough questions on Wall Street speeches
Discussion: Daily Wire
 Earlier Items: 
Richard Fausset / New York Times:
Supreme Court Won't Intervene in North Carolina Election Fight
Discussion: SCOTUSblog and Common Dreams