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12:30 PM ET, February 16, 2019


 Top Items: 
Jonathan Turley / The Hill:
Why Trump will win the wall fight  —  Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes once said, “If my fellow citizens want to go to hell, I will help them.  It is my job.”  What he was expressing is the limited role of courts in challenges to federal law.  It is not their task as judges to sit …
New York Times:
Phony Wall, Phony Emergency  —  The president plans to manage the border crisis from the golf course at Mar-a-Lago this weekend.  —  The editorial board represents the opinions of the board, its editor and the publisher.  It is separate from the newsroom and the Op-Ed section.
Dahlia Lithwick / Slate:
Trump Isn't Just Defying the Constitution.  He's Undermining SCOTUS.  —  The president defended his national emergency by boasting that he'll win at the Supreme Court because it's full of his judges.  —  In a Rose Garden speech Friday morning announcing that he was declaring a national state …
Discussion: Lawfare, Just Security and The Bulwark
Charlie Savage / New York Times:
Presidents Have Declared Dozens of Emergencies, but None Like Trump's  —  WASHINGTON — President Trump on Friday pointed to nearly five dozen previous instances in which presidents of both parties have declared emergencies as justification for his invocation of extraordinary powers to build his border wall.
Annie Karni / New York Times:
Trump Follows Familiar Playbook When Confronted by a Loss: Distract and Digress
Discussion: Toronto Star
Michael Goodwin / Fox News:
Andrew McCabe is a national disgrace - and we owe him a big, fat thank you  —  Andrew McCabe is a national disgrace.  He was part of the most corrupt and most partisan leadership team in FBI history and was fired for being dishonest under oath.  —  And yet, America owes him a big thank-you.
Discussion: Fox News Insider
Andrew C. McCarthy / National Review:
Collusion: The Criminalization of Policy Disputes  —  The word covers every contact between anyone connected to Trump and anyone connected to Russia, with no need to show that a crime was committed.  —  W  —  hat a weasel word “collusion” is.  —  In Washington, Senator Richard Burr …
USA Today:
Mueller's office seeks prison sentence of 20 years or more for ex-Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort
Discussion: The Gateway Pundit
Zachary Basu / Axios:
Mueller says Paul Manafort should serve 19-24 years in prison
Exclusive: WH press secretary Sarah Sanders interviewed by special counsel's office
Chico Harlan / Washington Post:
Ex-cardinal McCarrick defrocked by Vatican for sexual abuse  —  ROME — The Vatican on Saturday said it had stripped ex-cardinal Theodore McCarrick of the rights of the priesthood, leveling a historic penalty against a onetime church power broker and former archbishop of Washington who has been credibly accused of sexual abuse.
Associated Press:
Vatican defrocks former US cardinal McCarrick over sex abuse  —  VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis has defrocked former U.S. Cardinal Theodore McCarrick after Vatican officials found him guilty of soliciting for sex while hearing confession and sexual crimes against minors and adults, the Holy See said Saturday.
Robyn Kanner / New York Times:
Esquire's Cover Boy and Our Culture of Shame  —  I'm a trans woman living in Brooklyn.  And I have tremendous empathy for the conservative teen in Wisconsin.  —  Ms. Kanner is a writer and designer living in Brooklyn.  —  I have an embarrassing secret.  One I have long feared the internet would out for me.
Paul Sonne / Washington Post:
Trump looks to raid Pentagon budget for wall money using emergency powers  —  President Trump plans to take more than $6 billion from the military budget for the construction of a wall on the U.S. border with Mexico, and possibly mobilize reservists under emergency powers …
Discussion: Foreign Policy, AAF and The Daily Beast
David French / National Review:
Trump's Emergency Declaration Is Contemptuous of the Rule of Law
Andrew Desiderio / Politico:
Dems prepare to force Trump to reveal private talks with Putin  —  House Democrats are taking their first real steps to force President Donald Trump to divulge information about his private conversations with Russian President Vladimir Putin, setting up an extraordinary clash with the White House over Congress' oversight authority.
Katelyn Polantz / CNN:
Special counsel prosecutors say they have communications of Stone with WikiLeaks  —  Washington (CNN)Prosecutors said for the first time that they have evidence of Roger Stone communicating with WikiLeaks, according to a new court filing from special counsel prosecutors.
Fox News:
Judge imposes partial gag order in Roger Stone case
Anne Applebaum / Washington Post:
‘Never again?’  It's already happening.  —  Because I write books about Soviet history, and because I often speak about them to U.S. or European audiences, I am frequently forced to confront the problem of Western indifference.  Why, I am asked over and over, did British diplomats who knew …
Discussion: Hullabaloo
Matt Stoller / The Guardian:
It's not enough to beat back Amazon from New York.  We must do more |  Matt Stoller  —  Simply saying ‘no’ to its headquarters isn't enough - Amazon should be investigated for abusing monopoly power  —  This week, Amazon abandoned a plan to open a second “headquarters” in New York City …
Washington Post:
At least 5 civilians dead and 5 officers wounded in shooting in Aurora, Ill., officials say
Discussion: Splinter
Christopher Cadelago / Politico:
California's move to Super Tuesday hands Harris a big edge in 2020  —  Kamala Harris is building a wall around California.  —  The Democratic senator has been activating her forces on the home front since launching her White House bid last month — cornering some of the state's most prolific donors …
Washington Post:
‘A recipe for disaster’?  Trump's border emergency drags the GOP into a risky fight ahead of 2020.  —  President Trump's decision to unilaterally attempt to build his promised wall at the Mexico border is pulling his party into a tailspin of drama and unease — a move that could help …
Shannon Vavra / Axios:
House Judiciary to investigate Trump's emergency declaration
José Cárdenas / New York Post:
Omar's attack on Elliott Abrams was cribbed from the anti-American playbook  —  SEE ALSO  —  The House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on the Trump administration's policy toward Venezuela this week descended into farce when controversial freshman Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) …
Henry Olsen / Washington Post:
Words are a president's strongest weapon.  Trump is terrible at words.  —  The lawyers will fight over the legality and constitutionality of President Trump's national emergency declaration.  What his legal team can't salvage is the American people's assessment of his ability to do his job.
Discussion: Raw Story
John Hinderaker / Power Line:
How Dumb Is Ocasio-Cortez?  —  The two hottest commodities in the Democratic Party are Ilhan Omar and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.  Earlier this week, Omar exhibited stunning ignorance in her hostile questioning of Elliott Abrams.  Similarly, Ocasio-Cortez has often displayed a surprising lack …
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 More Items: 
Kait Bolongaro / Politico:
Spain could get right-wing government, survey suggests
Discussion: Breitbart
Amy Gardner / Washington Post:
N.C. election officials will consider fate of congressional seat at Monday hearing
Discussion: Political Wire and WRAL-TV
Will Sommer / The Daily Beast:
Border Wall GoFundMe Leader Brian Kolfage is Now Selling Coins With His Face on Them
Lindsey Bever / Washington Post:
‘Bring back our #ChildHoodDiseases,’ White House official's wife says as she criticizes vaccines
Discussion: Daily Wire
Russia is backing a viral video company aimed at American millennials
 Earlier Items: 
Steve Benen / MSNBC:
A quote Trump may come to regret: 'I didn't need to do this'
Discussion: Althouse
Washington Post:
Angry over campus speech by Uighur activist, Chinese students in Canada contact their consulate, film presentation
Katherine Tully-McManus / Roll Call:
Capitol Police crackdown on press escalates to physical altercation
Discussion: Common Dreams
Tim Mak / NPR:
Senate Panel Launches Bipartisan Probe Into Think Tank Linked To Butina, Torshin
Discussion: The Topline and Raw Story