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2:15 PM ET, January 23, 2020


 Top Items: 
PBS NewsHour:
From Judy Woodruff: Longtime PBS NewsHour Anchor and Co-Founder Jim Lehrer Has Passed Away  —  Washington, DC (January 23, 2020) — It is with great sadness that I share the news that co-founder and longtime anchor of the PBS NewsHour Jim Lehrer died today, Thursday, January 23, 2020, peacefully in his sleep at home.
Discussion: The Wrap, The Hill, The Week and WTVR-TV
PBS NewsHour:
Remembering Jim Lehrer  —  PBS NewsHour co-founder Jim Lehrer, a giant in journalism known for his tenacity and dedication to simply delivering the news, died Thursday at the age of 85.  —  For Jim, being a journalist was never a self-centered endeavor.  He always told those who worked with him: “It's not about us.”
Robert D. McFadden / New York Times:   Jim Lehrer, Longtime PBS News Anchor, Is Dead at 85
Greg Sargent / Associated Press:
Schiff asked GOP senators a tough question.  The answer is awful.  —  As Rep. Adam Schiff continued building his case against President Trump late into Wednesday evening, Trump fired off one angry Twitter missive after another, until he finally crossed the 140 mark, perhaps his most prolific day of tweeting and retweeting ever.
Discussion: Washington Post and New York Times
Dems unload ‘overwhelming’ impeachment case on the Senate — even as they press for more
Jason Easley / POLITICUSUSA:   Senator Confirms Republicans Are Leaving And Not Listening To Evidence Against Trump
Mollie Hemingway / The Federalist:   6 Democratic Senators To Watch In Impeachment Trial
POLITICO Playbook: How one top Democrat's impeachment fears came true
Discussion: New York Post, CNBC and Washington Post
Charlie Nash / Mediaite:
Fox & Friends Airs Brutal Bloomberg Ad Highlighting Trump's ‘Erratic and Out of Control’ Attacks on the Military  —  Fox News' Fox & Friends, often reported to be one of President Donald Trump's favorite shows, aired an attack ad on the president from 2020 Democratic presidential candidate …
Discussion: Fox News, IJR and Contemptor
Mike Bloomberg copies Trump to beat Trump  —  To beat President Trump, Mike Bloomberg wants to be candidate Trump.  —  The state of play: Axios visited Bloomberg's new campaign HQ in Times Square yesterday, and we were struck by how much his 1,000+-person team is learning from …
Discussion: Raw Story
Zachary Petrizzo / Mediaite:
Trump Goes Off on ‘Mini Mike Bloomberg’ After Fox & Friends Airs Attack Ad
Maria Cramer / New York Times:
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin Takes Jab at Greta Thunberg at Davos  —  At a Swiss economic forum, Mr. Mnuchin dismissed criticisms by Ms. Thunberg, the teenage environmental activist.  —  Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin dismissed criticisms by the climate activist Greta Thunberg on Thursday …
Coral Davenport / New York Times:
Trump Removes Pollution Controls on Streams and Wetlands  —  WASHINGTON — The Trump administration on Thursday will finalize a rule to strip away environmental protections for streams, wetlands and other water bodies, handing a victory to farmers, fossil fuel producers and real estate developers …
Annie Snider / Politico:
Trump EPA curbs water protections
Discussion: ABC News
Tresa Baldas / Detroit Free Press:
Detroit man settles race discrimination lawsuit, then bank won't cash his check  —  Sauntore Thomas is reeling from a one-two punch.  —  First, the Detroiter sued his employer alleging racial discrimination in a lawsuit that settled confidentially.  Then he went to the bank this week to cash …
Discussion: New York Post, TheBlaze, VICE and Raw Story
Anthony Brooks / WBUR:
Sanders Widens Lead In N.H. In New WBUR Poll  —  With the New Hampshire presidential primary less than three weeks away, a new WBUR poll suggests Bernie Sanders might be peaking at just the right time.  The survey of more than 426 likely Democratic primary voters finds Sanders in the lead …
Darren Samuelsohn / Politico:
Trump's lawyers are also on trial  —  They've been accused of orchestrating a criminal conspiracy.  They've been dubbed ethically compromised.  They've been labeled liars.  They could even be called to testify in the impeachment case they were hired to combat.
Discussion: The Hill and Raw Story
Dareh Gregorian / NBC News:
Executive privilege can't stop John Bolton from testifying, House manager says
Discussion: Politico, Breitbart and MSNBC
Los Angeles Times:   Trump shows anxiety as Democrats lay out case against him in Senate impeachment trial
Trump's Doral Resort Spikes Its Room Rates Ahead Of His RNC Visit  —  The near doubling of rates may have increased taxpayer costs for housing Secret Service and other staff who traveled there ahead of the president's trip.  —  DORAL, Fla. ― The president's Miami golf resort that puts money …
Discussion: Politico and Daily Kos
Zolan Kanno-Youngs / New York Times:
Trump Moves to Block Visas for Pregnant Women on ‘Birth Tourism’  —  The Trump administration grants visa officers more power to block pregnant women from visiting the United States if applicants are believed to be traveling to give birth.  —  WASHINGTON — The State Department on Thursday moved …
Michelle Hackman / Wall Street Journal:
State Department to Issue Rules Restricting U.S. Travel for Pregnant Foreigners
Joe Garofoli / San Francisco Chronicle:
San Francisco Mayor London Breed endorses Mike Bloomberg for president  —  San Francisco Mayor London Breed endorsed Mike Bloomberg for the Democratic presidential nomination, boosting the billionaire's chances in a delegate-rich state where he got off to a late start but is now spending millions to try to win.
Discussion: The Week and The Hill
Philip Bump / Washington Post:
Republicans: The case for impeachment is terrible — and the portions are so small  —  Consider Sen. John Cornyn (R-Tex.), assistant leader of the Republican caucus in the Senate.  —  On Sunday, he appeared on CBS News's “Face the Nation” to provide his thoughts on the then-imminent launch of President Trump's impeachment trial.
Republican Voters Increasingly Back The GOP's Move To Block Impeachment Witnesses
Discussion: IJR
Scott Bixby / The Daily Beast:
Bernie Sanders Once Compared Vermont Workers to Black ‘Slaves’  —  As the leading member of a self-described “radical political party” in the 1970s, Bernie Sanders repeatedly compared Vermont workers to enslaved black people.  —  In recent weeks, Sen. Bernie Sanders has criticized his rivals …
Discussion: TheBlaze and Sara A. Carter
Louise Boyle / Daily Mail:
Ghislaine Maxwell's personal emails were HACKED sparking fears that damaging information about high-profile individuals linked to Jeffrey Epstein's sex trafficking case, including Prince Andrew, could be leaked  — Lawyers for the British socialite revealed the hack while discussing …
Sarah Ellison / Washington Post:
Trumpworld has converted the nation's regional talk radio hosts into a loyal army  —  RICHMOND — With breakfast from McDonald's in his left hand and his softsided briefcase rolling behind him, John Fredericks strolled into his radio studio, housed in a small, isolated building on the south side of this city.
Snakes could be the source of the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak  —  (CNN)Snakes — the Chinese krait and the Chinese cobra — may be the original source of the newly discovered coronavirus that has triggered an outbreak of a deadly infectious respiratory illness in China this winter.
Stephanie Mencimer / Mother Jones:
Evangelicals Love Donald Trump for Many Reasons, But One of Them Is Especially Terrifying  —  The enemies of Israel have unleashed a massive air attack on the Promised Land.  Hundreds of fighter jets streak across the sky.  But before Israel can be destroyed, fire rains from the heavens …
Discussion: Raw Story
NBC News:
Trump impeachment defense lawyers Ken Starr and Alan Dershowitz share disturbing problem  —  While the president still stands accused of sexual misconduct by more than 20 women, two of his lawyers are embroiled in their own sexual misconduct and assault scandals.
Discussion: The Atlantic
Aaron Rupar / Vox:
Fox News devised a way to cover the impeachment trial without covering it at all  —  The News Corp. building on Sixth Avenue in New York City, home to Fox News, pictured in 2019.  Kevin Hagen/Getty Images  —  Viewers were shown video without the audio, allowing hosts to spin the proceedings in real time.
Discussion: The Wrap
George Packer / The Atlantic:
The Enemies of Writing  —  Editor's Note: The Hitchens Prize is awarded annually by the Dennis & Victoria Ross Foundation to an author or a journalist whose work, in the spirit of the late Christopher Hitchens, “reflects a commitment to free expression and inquiry, a range and depth of intellect …
Jim Hanson / The Investigative Journal:
The Failure of Iran's Shia Crescent  —  Iran is facing major challenges to its position as a regional power.  Economic problems brought about by mismanagement and corruption and increased by U.S. sanctions have made funding its network of proxy forces difficult.
Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian / Axios:
University of Minnesota student jailed in China over tweets  —  A University of Minnesota student has been arrested in China and sentenced to six months in prison for tweets he posted while in the United States, according to a Chinese court document viewed by Axios.
New York Daily News:
Annabella Sciorra stares Harvey Weinstein down in court, details her alleged rape by the disgraced movie mogul  —  An emotional Annabella Sciorra, her voice cracking and eyes tearing, delivered a devastating account Thursday of her alleged rape by hulking producer Harvey Weinstein inside her Manhattan apartment.
Washington Post:
Trump is preparing to release his Middle East peace plan, will brief Israel's Netanyahu in Washington, Pence says  —  JERUSALEM— President Trump is preparing to release his long-awaited Middle East peace plan this spring and will discuss details of it in Washington next week …
Harriet Sherwood / The Guardian:
Sex is for married heterosexual couples only, says Church of England  —  Pastoral guidance also calls for Christians in gay or straight civil unions to be abstinent  —  The Church of England has stated that sex belongs only within heterosexual marriage, and that Christians in gay …
Discussion: PinkNews
Pete Buttigieg / Jewish Telegraphic Agency:
My administration will devote $1 billion to combat anti-Semitism and other violent extremism  —  (JTA) — This is the second op-ed in a series of pieces about anti-Semitism and Jewish issues written by 2020 presidential candidates.  This one is by Pete Buttigieg, 38, the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana.
Dan Primack / Axios:
MBS' alleged Bezos phone hack touches the highest levels of American power  —  If it weren't for impeachment, the country's biggest story would be allegations that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) hacked Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos' phone.  —  Why it matters: This would be the nominal leader …
New York Times:
The Saudi Connection: Inside the 9/11 Case That Divided the F.B.I.  —  A small team of agents spent years investigating whether one of Washington's closest allies was involved in the worst terror attack in U.S. history.  This is their story.  —  This article is a partnership between ProPublica …
Peter Nicholas / The Atlantic:
The Self-Perpetuating Chaos of Trump's White House  —  False statements and West Wing disorder are not only inseparably linked; they're mutually reinforcing.  —  Donald Trump faces the diciest moment of his presidency, a Senate impeachment trial, with a pair of distinct handicaps …
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 More Items: 
Emily Kokot / Campus Reform:
UKansas professor indicted for working for Communist Party of China
Discussion: Breitbart
New York Times:
New York City to Force Stores to Accept Cash
Camilo Montoya-Galvez / CBS News:
Migrant parents deported without their children make historic return to the U.S.
Discussion: Daily Kos
Issues & Insights:
Here's A Tipping Point The Left Wants You To Ignore
Discussion: Instapundit
Josh Rogin / Washington Post:
Trump's lawyers don't understand how foreign aid works
Discussion: MSNBC
Elisha Fieldstadt / NBC News:
Michelle Carter, convicted in texting suicide case, released from jail
Dana Rubinstein / Politico:
Byford, Cuomo's popular subways chief, resigns (for good this time)
Discussion: Gothamist and CBS New York
Roger Parloff / Newsweek:
Reagan's solicitor general says ‘All honorable people’ …
 Earlier Items: 
Napp Nazworth / The Bulwark:
Donald Trump, Pastor-in-Chief
Discussion: Raw Story
Molly Hennessy-Fiske / Los Angeles Times:
Ready to move, Californians tour their top destination: Texas
Discussion: Fox News and American Greatness
Simon Romero / New York Times:
An Ex-Spy Who Wants to Represent New Mexico Can't Hide From Criticism
Washington Post:
Trump promised his mileage standards would make cars cheaper and safer.  New documents raise doubts about that.
Jennifer Rubin / Washington Post:
Republicans, think about this carefully
Discussion: The Hill
Alex Isenstadt / Politico:
Club for Growth works to defeat House GOP incumbent
Discussion: The Hill
Facebook's big 2020 fear is a Democrat in the White House