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5:00 PM ET, February 18, 2020


 Top Items: 
Domenico Montanaro / NPR:
Poll: Sanders Leads The Field, Bloomberg Qualifies For His 1st Debate  —  Toggle more options  —  Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders has opened up a double-digit lead in the Democratic nominating contest, according to a new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll.  —  Sanders has 31% support nationally …
Gary He / Eater:
The Lavish Spreads of Mike Bloomberg's Food-Filled Campaign  —  Billionaire presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg is enticing voters with unprecedented amounts of free food and booze — and not the cheap stuff, either  —  Last week, on the first day of early voting in North Carolina …
Discussion: Raw Story, Vox and Washington Examiner
Monmouth University Polling Institute:
Only 1 In 4 Voters Firm About Choice  —  Bloomberg, Sanders, and Biden lead field  —  West Long Branch, NJ - Mike Bloomberg, Bernie Sanders, and Joe Biden top the field in Virginia, one of the states that holds their Democratic presidential primary on Super Tuesday.
Bloomberg campaign writes off Biden  —  TALLAHASSEE — Mike Bloomberg's campaign said the Democratic presidential race is down to a two-man contest — and Joe Biden isn't one of the men in the mix.  —  The former vice president's fortunes have plummeted so much since his back-to-back losses …
Washington Post:
Klobuchar scrambles to turn her magic moment into something more
Discussion: Reuters and Politico
Dan Mangan / CNBC:
Trump pardons Michael Milken, face of 1980s insider trading scandals  — President Donald Trump pardoned Michael Milken, the former junk bond king who was a face of the insider trading scandals of the 1980s.  — Trump cited the “incredible job” that Milken has done supporting cancer research …
Discussion: Raw Story
Nihar Kabinittal / Associated Press:
Trump pardons ex-San Francisco 49ers owner DeBartolo Jr.  —  President Donald Trump has pardoned Edward DeBartolo Jr., the former San Francisco 49ers owner convicted in a gambling fraud scandal  —  WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump has pardoned Edward DeBartolo Jr. …
New York Times:
Trump Commutes Corruption Sentence of Governor Rod Blagojevich of Illinois  —  The president also pardoned Bernard Kerik, the former New York City police commissioner, and Edward DeBartolo, a former owner of the San Francisco 49ers.  —  WASHINGTON — President Trump commuted the 14-year prison sentence …
Mairead McArdle / National Review:   Trump Pardons Former 49ers Owner Eddie DeBartolo Jr. in Gambling Fraud Case
ABC News:
Trump says he's commuted the sentence of former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich  —  Blagojevich was expected to be released in 2024.  —  President Donald Trump has commuted the sentence of former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich.  —  Blagojevich, a Democrat, was convicted in 2011 by a federal jury …
Trump commutes sentence of ex-Illinois Gov. Blagojevich, pardons ex-NY police commissioner Kerik …
Discussion: Raw Story
Siobhan Hughes / Wall Street Journal:
Susan Collins Faces Tough Re-Election Race in Maine, Poll Suggests  —  Survey shows her slightly behind expected Democratic rival in November race  —  WASHINGTON—The polarized political climate is taking a toll on Sen. Susan Collins (R., Maine), who is facing a competitive race …
Rebecca Traister / New York Magazine:
The Immoderate Susan Collins After a long career voting across the aisle, why did the Maine senator gamble her legacy on Trump?  —  Photo: Rod Lamkey Jr./SIPA USA/AP Images  —  Last fall, Erik Mercer, a Maine social worker and psychotherapist, saw one of his senators, the Republican Susan Collins …
Discussion: Balloon Juice
Tom Kludt / Vanity Fair:
Fox Has Been “More Fair”: Why Bernie's Team Has Had It With MSNBC  —  The liberal network's talk of “digital brown shirts” and Fidel Castro admiration has Sandersworld seeing red.  (More like “MSDNC,” says Glenn Greenwald).  The blowback is classic Sanders-campaign ref-working—and a sign of a deepening Democratic divide.
Discussion: Mediaite and The Daily Caller
James B. Comey / Washington Post:
Justice is supposed to be blind.  Bill Barr can't see that.  —  James B. Comey is a former director of the FBI and former deputy attorney general.  —  Recent events have prompted a lot of talk about the Justice Department and threats to its credibility.  Many alumni of the department believe …
Just Security:   Three Dozen Questions for Congress (and News Media) to Ask Attorney General Barr
Senator Chris Murphy:
Behind the Scenes of My Trip to Ukraine and Munich  —  I just got back from a return trip to visit President Zelensky in Ukraine and a stop at the important Munich Security Conference in Germany.  As is my habit, on the long plane ride home I wrote a candid, behind-the-scenes summary of my trip.
Tom Nichols / USA Today:
Sanders was ridiculously naive about the Soviet Union.  The Trump ads write themselves.  —  Sanders was amazed at the open ‘self-criticism’ of his Soviet hosts, but they were playing him.  I hope I'm not forced to vote for him to oust Trump.  —  Sen. Bernie Sanders and I don't have a lot in common.
Kyle Cheney / Politico:
Top intel office lawyer who handled Ukraine whistleblower complaint resigning  —  The top lawyer for the intelligence community, whose decision to block a whistleblower's complaint about President Donald Trump and Ukraine from reaching Congress helped jumpstart the impeachment inquiry, is resigning from his post, officials confirmed.
Discussion: CNN, Talking Points Memo, Axios and The Hill
Michelle Lee / Washington Post:
Buttigieg and super PAC improperly coordinated on Nevada ads, watchdog group says  —  A campaign-finance watchdog group has filed a complaint alleging the presidential campaign of Pete Buttigieg improperly coordinated with VoteVets, a super PAC supporting the campaign of the former mayor of South Bend, Ind.
Discussion: Axios
The Hill:
Limbaugh: Trump advised me to ‘never apologize’ for Buttigieg remarks  —  Conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh said President Trump advised him to “never apologize” for his comments on Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg's sexuality.  —  Limbaugh said on his Monday show …
Harper Neidig / The Hill:
Judge refuses to delay Stone sentencing  —  A federal judge on Tuesday refused to delay Roger Stone's sentencing amid the fallout over the Trump administration's decision to intervene in the case against the president's longtime ally.  —  The sentencing will move forward on Thursday …
Clare Sibthorpe / Sky News:
NHS staff can refuse to treat racist or sexist patients under new rules  —  The NHS will soon bar discriminatory patients from non-critical care - powers that currently only cover aggression or violence.  —  Created with Sketch.  —  Sexist and racist patients could be barred from non-emergency care …
Hayley Miller / HuffPost:
Stephen Miller's Uncle Donates To Pro-Refugee Group As ‘Wedding Gift’ To Nephew  —  The Trump administration's immigration policies, spearheaded by Miller, are “a danger to everybody in our country,” David Glosser told HuffPost.  —  Stephen Miller, the senior White House adviser behind …
Discussion: Mediaite, Reuters and David S. Glosser
Nate Silver / FiveThirtyEight:
Does Sanders Have A Ceiling?  Maybe.  Can He Win Anyway?  Yes.  —  The Bernie Sanders rally that I attended on the evening before the New Hampshire primary drew a reported 7,500 people — about twice as many as his actual 3,867-vote margin of victory in the primary the next day.
Discussion: Washington Post
David Rutz / Washington Free Beacon:
MSNBC Panelist to NeverTrumper: If You Can't Vote Sanders, Trump Isn't ‘Emergency’ You Say He Is  —  An MSNBC panelist called out NeverTrumper Steve Schmidt Tuesday for declaring President Donald Trump an “emergency” but expressing strong criticism for 2020 Democratic frontrunner Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.).
Discussion: Common Dreams and LewRockwell
Jan Ransom / New York Times:
Weinstein's Lawyer Wrote an Article Addressing Jurors.  The Judge Is Livid.  —  The film producer's lawyer urged jurors to do “what they know is right,” prompting the prosecution to complain of jury tampering.  —  Over the weekend, just days before jurors in the Harvey Weinstein case …
Elliot Spagat / Associated Press:
Homeland Security waives contracting laws for border wall  —  SAN DIEGO (AP) — The Trump administration said Tuesday that it will waive federal contracting laws to speed construction of a wall at the U.S.-Mexico border.  —  The Department of Homeland Security said waiving procurement regulations …
Andrew O'Reilly / Fox News:
Trump claims he knows identity of anonymous administration official who penned scathing tell-all  —  President Trump on Tuesday claimed he knows the identity of the anonymous administration official who penned a scathing tell-all about his White House but said he won't reveal the name publicly.
Discussion: Associated Press
Washington Post:
U.S. designates 5 major Chinese media outlets as government entities  —  BEIJING — The State Department on Tuesday designated five Chinese media outlets as official government entities under the Foreign Missions Act, meaning they will treated as though they are diplomatic outposts …
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 More Items: 
Alex Kane / Jewish Currents:
The Rise and Fall of The Israel Project
Mark Sanford / New York Times:
Why Do My Fellow Republicans Make Excuses for Trump's Deficits?
Discussion: Daily Kos and Raw Story
Putin officially fires top political aide Vladislav Surkov
Peter Nicholas / The Atlantic:
The Coronavirus Outbreak Could Bring Out the Worst in Trump
Discussion: Raw Story
Joseph Trevithick / The Drive:
DARPA Wants Millions To Design An Unmanned ‘Flying Gun’ Under Its New Gunslinger Program
Discussion: Fox News and Task & Purpose
Jake Novak / CNBC:
OpEd: Think Trump is tough on Twitter? Meet Ambassador Richard Grenell
 Earlier Items: 
James Hohmann / Washington Post:
The Daily 202: Conservative intellectuals launch a new group to challenge free-market ‘fundamentalism’ on the right
Discussion: Econlib, Power Line, NPR, Cafe Hayek and VICE
Matt Lewis / The Daily Beast:
It's Suddenly Obvious: Amy Klobuchar Is the Democrats' Best Bet
Ajit Solanki / Associated Press:
India hastily builds wall along slum ahead of Trump visit
Astead W. Herndon / New York Times:
How Elizabeth Warren's Camp Is Seeking to Regain the Spotlight
Discussion: The Week
Mark Hemingway / RealClearInvestigations:
FBI Raids James Biden-Tied Business