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12:40 PM ET, February 16, 2020


 Top Items: 
Katie Benner / New York Times:
Former Justice Dept. Lawyers Press for Barr to Step Down  —  More than 1,100 former prosecutors and officials who served in Republican and Democratic administrations signed an open letter condemning the president and the attorney general over the Stone case.
DOJ Alumni Statement / Medium:
DOJ Alumni Statement on the Events Surrounding the Sentencing of Roger Stone  —  We, the undersigned, are alumni of the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) who have collectively served both Republican and Democratic administrations.  Each of us strongly condemns President Trump's …
George Conway / Washington Post:
There is no one to stop Trump now  —  When the subject of Attorney General William P. Barr comes up these days, it's hard not to think of John S. McCain.  Not the late senator, mind you, but the USS John S. McCain, the naval destroyer named after his father and grandfather.
Discussion: Althouse and Raw Story
Washington Post:
Barr's internal reviews and re-investigations feed resentment, suspicion inside Justice Dept.  —  The Justice Department in the Trump era has repeatedly tasked U.S. attorneys from far-flung offices to parachute into politically explosive cases in Washington, raising concerns among current …
Jacob Knutson / Axios:
Over 1,100 former DOJ officials call for Barr's resignation
Discussion: The Hill
New York Times:
Fearful of Trump's Attacks, Justice Dept. Lawyers Worry Barr Will Leave Them Exposed
Garrett Haake / NBC News:
Klobuchar declines to set expectations for New Hampshire  —  EXETER, N.H. — Amy Klobuchar declined to set expectations for Tuesday's primary here, saying in an interview that it would be for “many others” to decide what constitutes success, adding that she has “kept meeting every single standard” set before her thus far.
Discussion: Fox News and The Hill
How Joe Biden's free fall puts Bernie in command
Discussion: Common Dreams
Trevor Hunnicutt / Reuters:
Sanders says presidential rival Bloomberg will not excite voters
Discussion: Axios, Fox News and The Hill
Philip Rucker / Washington Post:
‘Something has to be done’: Trump's quest to rewrite history of the Russia probe  —  The U.S. intelligence community long ago produced evidence of Russia's illegal interference in the 2016 presidential election to try to boost Donald Trump's candidacy.  Then the special counsel investigating …
Andrew C. McCarthy / National Review:
Why Wasn't Andrew McCabe Charged?  —  The proof that he willfully deceived investigators appears strong, but the Justice Department likely felt there were too many obstacles to convicting him.  —  The Justice Department announced Friday that it is closing its investigation of Andrew McCabe …
Zach Everson / NBC News:
Trump's Secret Service hotel racket is hiding in plain sight.  And he's getting away with it.  —  A complete accounting of how much taxpayers have forked over to the Trump Organization since its CEO's election is as likely as a Trump pardon for Michael Cohen.
The Guardian:
'The only uncertainty is how long we'll last': a worst case scenario for the climate in 2050  —  The Future We Choose, a new book by the architects of the Paris climate accords, offers two contrasting visions for how the world might look in thirty years (read the best case scenario here)  —  It is 2050.
Discussion: Breitbart
Mike Bloomberg in 2010 called Obamacare legislation ‘a disgrace’ and 'another program that's going to cost a lot of money'  —  (CNN)Former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg said the final Obamacare bill would do “absolutely nothing to fix the big health care problems” and also called the program …
Yanan Wang / Associated Press:
Xi's early involvement in virus outbreak raises questions  —  BEIJING (AP) — A recent speech by Chinese President Xi Jinping that has been published by state media indicates for the first time that he was leading the response to a new virus outbreak from early on in the crisis.
Amy Qin / New York Times:
China's Leader, Under Fire, Says He Led Coronavirus Fight Early On
Discussion: The Week and Bloomberg
Alex Isenstadt / Politico:
Trump drives massive turnout in primaries despite token opposition  —  President Donald Trump doesn't have much of a primary fight on his hands — but Republican voters are nevertheless turning out in droves for him, a warning sign for Democrats in November.
Cameron Peters / Vox:
Why there aren't more polls about the Nevada caucuses  —  Democratic candidates for president at a Nevada Democratic Party even in Las Vegas last year.  Bridget Bennett/30240120A/AFP/Getty Images  —  Nevada is hard to poll, and new caucus rules are only making it harder.
Discussion: The Atlantic and Fox News
Anita Bennett / Deadline:
Bloomberg Campaign Shuts Down Report He's Considering Hillary Clinton As Running Mate  —  Michael Bloomberg's campaign is downplaying a report claiming the billionaire presidential hopeful is considering former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as his vice presidential running mate.
Discussion: Spectator USA
Andrew Duehren / Wall Street Journal:
Democrats Weigh Whether to Pursue New Investigations as Election Looms  —  Some call for probe into Roger Stone sentencing, while others are wary of another drawn-out fight with White House  —  WASHINGTON—House Democrats are grappling with whether to pursue further investigations …
Dallas Morning News:
We won't recommend a candidate for president in 2020 and here's why  —  The Dallas Morning News will recommend policy ideas to help prompt much-needed civil discourse to guide our leaders. … If asked to identify one thing that has made this country unique and a model for the world …
Amanda Carpenter / The Bulwark:
Trump Is Why You Got Michael Avenatti  —  Trump World went into overdrive dunking on Michael Avenatti after the lawyer was convicted of extortion against Nike on Friday.  Fox Newsers, members of the Trump 2020 campaign, and the Republican National Committee took a victory lap mocking media personalities …
Karen Tumulty / Washington Post:
Bloomberg should face a reckoning on his treatment of women  —  When it comes to dealing with race relations, former New York City mayor Mike Bloomberg wants us to believe that he has grown and changed.  —  In November, just days before he officially made his late entry into the 2020 presidential race …
Discussion: CNN and POLITICUSUSA
Zeeshan Aleem / Vox:
A new report raises more questions about Bloomberg's alleged sexism and sexual harassment
Discussion: Politico, NBC News, CNN and The Hill
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 More Items: 
Patrick Kingsley / New York Times:
Highly Secretive Iranian Rebels Are Holed Up in Albania. They Gave Us a Tour.
Jake Johnson / Salon:
Audio shows GOP Sen. Joni Ernst telling donors she wants “changes” to Medicare, Medicaid
New York Times:
To Tame Coronavirus, Mao-Style Social Control Blankets China
Discussion: Balloon Juice
Washington Post:
Trust and consequences … It was time for another hearing …
NBC News:
Trump pushed CIA to find, kill Osama bin Laden's son over higher priority targets
Natasha Korecki / Politico:
Bloomberg in 2013: Civil libertarians and teachers union are like NRA ‘extremists’
Thaddeus G. McCotter / American Greatness:
Spygate: The Villains Aren't the Victims
Discussion: Redstate
 Earlier Items: 
Washington Post:
Killing of ISIS leader has not hurt group's operations, says Iraqi Kurdish prime minister
Discussion: The National Interest
Colby Itkowitz / Washington Post:
Trump eliminates funding for program honoring Ambassador Stevens, who was killed in Benghazi
Ross Douthat / New York Times:
The Bloomberg Temptation
Discussion: Nonzero Newsletter
New York Times:
A Presidency Increasingly Guided by Suspicion and Distrust
Mike DeBonis / Washington Post:
Ted Cruz once called Trump ‘utterly amoral’ and a ‘sniveling coward.’ Then he worked to save his presidency.
Discussion: Raw Story