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3:00 AM ET, February 22, 2019


 Top Items: 
Julie K. Brown / miamiherald:
Federal prosecutors broke law in Jeffrey Epstein case, judge rules  —  A judge ruled Thursday that federal prosecutors — among them, U.S. Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta — broke federal law when they signed a plea agreement with a wealthy, politically connected sex trafficker and concealed …
Daniel Holloway / Variety:
‘Empire’ Producers Consider Suspending Jussie Smollett (EXCLUSIVE)
Jussie Smollett Accused Of Staging Attack Due To Salary Woes: Chicago Police
Marc Caputo / Politico:
‘He is not going to be the nominee’: Dems slam Sanders over Maduro stance  —  Florida Democrats are denouncing Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders for refusing to call Venezuelan strongman Nicolas Maduro a dictator — a politically explosive issue in the nation's biggest swing state.
Discussion: Crooked Media, Axios, Mediaite and IJR
Jamelle Bouie / New York Times:
Sanders Has an Advantage, and It's Not About Economics
Discussion: The Atlantic
Nate Silver / FiveThirtyEight:   How Bernie's 2020 Map Might Change Without The #NeverHillary Vote
Neal K. Katyal / New York Times:
The Mueller Report Is Coming.  Here's What to Expect.  —  A concise report will probably act as a “road map” to investigation for the Democratic House — and to further criminal investigation by other prosecutors.  —  Mr. Katyal was an acting solicitor general under President Barack Obama.
Discussion: Raw Story, Washington Post and Althouse
Katie Benner / New York Times:
Mueller Report Expected to Go to Justice Department Within Weeks
Discussion: Washington Post and The Week
Adam B. Schiff / Washington Post:
An open letter to my Republican colleagues  —  Adam B. Schiff, a Democrat, represents California's 28th Congressional District in the House and is chairman of the Intelligence Committee.  —  This is a moment of great peril for our democracy.  Our country is deeply divided.
UMass Amherst:
Early Poll of New Hampshire Voters Shows Potential Problems for Trump a Year Out from 2020 Presidential Primary Season  —  UMass Amherst Poll Finds GOP Voter Support for Primary Challenge  —  AMHERST, Mass. - With nearly 40 percent of likely Republican primary voters in New Hampshire saying …
Alex Isenstadt / Politico:
Hogan rips RNC for shielding Trump from primary challenge
Discussion: Raw Story and Washington Post
Raleigh News & Observer:
Mark Harris suddenly calls for a new election in the 9th District, leaves hearing
Discussion: WSOC-TV and Breitbart
Alan Blinder / New York Times:
New Election Ordered in North Carolina Race at Center of Fraud Inquiry
Discussion: Shareblue Media and Raw Story
Kara Scannell / CNN:
IRS analyst charged in leak of Michael Cohen's bank records  —  (CNN)An analyst with the Internal Revenue Service was charged with disclosing confidential reports about Michael Cohen's bank records that revealed the President's former lawyer sought to profit from his proximity to the White House.
Who is Nomiki Konst?  —  Nomiki Konst, the 35-year-old TV pundit casting herself as the Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of the New York public advocate's race, readily acknowledges that her background is politically unconventional.  —  She's wandered from Tucson to Buffalo to Florida to Los Angeles …
Matt Pearce / Los Angeles Times:
National Enquirer's biggest investors include California taxpayers and state workers  —  The National Enquirer has been one of President Trump's most controversial allies, delivering scathing coverage of his opponents to super market check-out lines and funneling $150,000 to one of his alleged mistresses to buy her silence.
Jared Keller / Task & Purpose:
Trump claims border wall is under construction ‘right now’ using fence repair footage from 5 months ago  —  With a legal fight challenge mounting from state governments over the Trump administration's use of a national emergency to construct at the U.S.-Mexico border, the president has kicked his push for the barrier into high gear.
Discussion: Washington Press and Vox
Michael Tackett / New York Times:
Trump Claims His Wall Is Being Built. It's Just a Replacement of Old Barriers.
Discussion: The Daily Caller and RedState
David Armstrong / ProPublica:
Sackler Embraced Plan to Conceal OxyContin's Strength From Doctors, Sealed Testimony Shows  —  In May 1997, the year after Purdue Pharma launched OxyContin, its head of sales and marketing sought input on a key decision from Dr. Richard Sackler, a member of the billionaire family that founded and controls the company.
Discussion: The Daily Caller and STAT
David Armstrong / STAT:   Purdue's Sackler embraced plan to conceal OxyContin's strength from doctors, sealed deposition shows
Adam Sabes / Campus Reform:
VIDEO: Conservative suffers blow to the face at Berkeley  — A conservative was punched in the face while helping students recruit for a conservative group at UC-Berkeley.  —  A conservative helping students recruit at the University of California-Berkeley was punched in the face this week.
Michael Hiltzik / Los Angeles Times:
It's time to take John Wayne's name off the Orange County airport  —  Most people familiar with the life story of John Wayne are aware that the late movie star was a dyed-in-the-wool right-winger — after all, he was still making a movie glorifying America's conduct of the Vietnam War …
Matthew Choi / Politico:
Judge broadens gag order against Roger Stone after Instagram post  —  Roger Stone must shut up about Robert Mueller and the Russia investigation.  —  That was the mandate from a federal judge on Thursday, who slapped a gag order on the longtime Donald Trump associate just days after he posted …
Tierney Sneed / Talking Points Memo:
Stone Testifies In Off-The-Rails Hearing About Instagram Post
Discussion: Hullabaloo and Balloon Juice
Julia Arciga / The Daily Beast:
Ex-Fox News Quack Doctor Keith Ablow Accused of Sexually Exploiting Patients  —  The infamous TV huckster allegedly lured multiple female patients into sexual relationships, according to lawsuits, before engaging in physically abusive behavior.  —  A former member of Fox News' “Medical A-Team” …
Discussion: and Raw Story
Kimberley A. Strassel / Wall Street Journal:
Schiffting to Phase 2 of Collusion  —  Conspiracy theorists look for something new, anticipating a Mueller letdown.  —  There's been no more reliable regurgitator of fantastical Trump-Russia collusion theories than Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff.  So when the House Intelligence Committee chairman sits …
The Daily Beast:
Every 2020 Candidate But Trump Promises: No Stolen Data  —  There is high sensitivity among Democratic candidates about the use of hacked material after the 2016 election.  But the one campaign that used it last time, did not comment.  —  Nearly three years after hacked materials upended …
Washington Post:
Residents of another Manhattan building vote to remove ‘Trump Place’ name  —  For the second time in four months, the name “Trump Place” will come down from a New York building's facade, after condo owners at 120 Riverside Blvd. voted to have the name removed.
Discussion: Raw Story and POLITICUSUSA
Khadeeja Safdar / Wall Street Journal:
Meet Under Armour CEO's Unusual Adviser: An MSNBC Anchor  —  Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank was questioned last year by the company's board over his ties to MSNBC anchor Stephanie Ruhle, who has traveled on his private jet and provided input on a range of business matters, according to current and former executives.
Astead W. Herndon / New York Times:
2020 Democrats Embrace Race-Conscious Policies, Including Reparations  —  From the very first day of the 2020 presidential race, when Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts blamed “generations of discrimination” for black families earning far less than white households …
Josh Rogin / Washington Post:
Biden calls on candidates not to ‘aid and abet’ foreign election interference  —  U.S. intelligence agencies confirm that Russia and other bad actors are continuing to interfere in U.S. democracy and will want to have their say in our next presidential contest.
Julia Carrie Wong / The Guardian:
Anti-vaxx propaganda has gone viral on Facebook.  Pinterest has a cure  —  As pressure mounts on Facebook to explain its role in promoting anti-vaccine misinformation, Pinterest tries different approach  —  On Wednesday morning, Adam Schiff, the powerful chair of the House intelligence committee …
Karen Tumulty / Washington Post:
What does Pete Buttigieg bring to the table?  Experience — really.  —  MERRIMACK, N.H.  —  When 50 or so curious people gathered in a living room here the other day to meet Pete Buttigieg, the first question he got was: What makes a 37-year-old mayor of a modest-size Midwestern city …
Jim DeRogatis / New Yorker:
Federal Authorities Are Weighing Charges Against R. Kelly  —  Accusations of sexual misconduct against R. Kelly date back to the early nineteen-nineties, when the R. & B. superstar began a sexual relationship with a fifteen-year-old girl he met while visiting her high-school choir class.
Discussion: NPR and New York Times
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 More Items: 
Erik Wemple / Washington Post:
CNN has really done it now  —  Sarah Isgur has spent …
Sui-Lee Wee / New York Times:
China Uses DNA to Track Its People, With the Help of American Expertise
Discussion: Boing Boing
Tom Hamburger / Washington Post:
Republicans blast Cummings over ‘irresponsible’ claims regarding Trump ethics disclosure
Discussion: Axios
Nick Wadhams / Bloomberg:
Get Trump Alone: Kim Jong Un's Game Plan Ahead of Vietnam Summit
Discussion: Raw Story
Felicia Schwartz / Wall Street Journal:
What's the Hot Device in Startup Nation? The Fax Machine
Marie Claire:
One of These Women Could Be Our Next President
Discussion: The Daily Caller
 Earlier Items: 
Marc A. Thiessen / Washington Post:
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is an economic illiterate — and that's a danger to America
Discussion: Jacobin
Tony Leys / Des Moines Register:
Steve King: ‘I have nothing to apologize for,’ plans to run for re-election
Bryan Lowry / Kansas City Star:
‘Wide open race’ and open wallets in Kansas after Pompeo rules out 2020 Senate run
Brian Schwartz / CNBC:
Russian-backed US energy company hires lobbying firm with connections to Trump to help with China deal
Charles Duhigg / New York Times:
America's Professional Elite: Wealthy, Successful and Miserable
Benjamin Parker / The Bulwark:
Laura Ingraham Goes All In on the Duke
Sam Dean / Los Angeles Times:
Facebook decided which users are interested in Nazis — and let advertisers target them directly