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7:20 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 …
Aaron Zitner / Wall Street Journal:
Sanders Leads Democratic Primary Field as Biden Slips, WSJ/NBC News Poll Finds  —  Four candidates essentially tied for second place, while Trump's approval hits higher marks  —  Sen. Bernie Sanders has taken sole possession of the lead in the Democratic primary race, a new Wall Street …
Mark Murray / NBC News:
NBC News/WSJ poll: Sanders opens up double-digit national lead in primary race  —  The Vermont senator's lead in the Democratic race comes as former Vice President Joe Biden's standing has dropped by 11 points since January.  —  LAS VEGAS — Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders has jumped …
Mark Niquette / Bloomberg:
Bloomberg Campaign Says It's a Two-Man Race for the Nomination
Discussion: Twitchy
NBC News:
Here's what Michael Bloomberg joining the debate stage means for Wednesday night
The Daily Beast:
Trump Grants Clemency to Another Round of Convicts He Saw on Fox News  —  “I watched his wife on television,” Trump said of his decision to pardon Blago after seeing his spouse on Fox.  The network seems to have influenced several of Tuesday's pardons.  —  President Donald Trump …
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
Dominic Holden / BuzzFeed News:
Mike Bloomberg Once Again Called Transgender People “It” And “Some Guy Wearing A Dress”  —  Bloomberg suggested transgender rights would sink Democratic campaigns in comments recorded last year in New York.  He's tried to distance himself from similar comments he made in 2016.
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 …
WRAL News poll: 3 tied atop Democratic presidential field in NC  —  RALEIGH, N.C. — Two weeks out from North Carolina's March 3 primary, three Democrats are in essentially a dead heat for the state's presidential nomination, according to a new WRAL News poll.
Discussion: FiveThirtyEight
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 …
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 …
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. …
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.
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 …
Discussion: Contemptor
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 …
Leta Hong Fincher / The Intercept:
When Bloomberg News's Reporting on China Was Challenged, Bloomberg Tried to Ruin Me for Speaking Out  —  I am one of the many women Mike Bloomberg's company tried to silence through nondisclosure agreements.  The funny thing is, I never even worked for Bloomberg.
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.
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 …
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 …
Washington Post:
Roger Stone will be sentenced Thursday despite his ongoing bid to overturn conviction
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: The Hill, CNN, Talking Points Memo and Axios
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.
The White House:
The Executive Branch  —  The power of the Executive Branch is vested in the President of the United States, who also acts as head of state and Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces.  The President is responsible for implementing and enforcing the laws written by Congress and, to that end …
Discussion: Raw Story
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 …
Cristina Gallardo / Politico:
UK shuts the door to unskilled migrants  —  British government tells employers to ‘adjust’ to not being able to recruit low-skilled workers from Europe.  —  LONDON — The U.K. government will not create a visa route for low-skilled migrants and temporary workers in its post-Brexit immigration system …
Megan Messerly / The Nevada Independent:
Nevada Democrats begin demonstrating live caucus calculator tool to campaigns, volunteers  —  With four days until the first in the West caucus, the Nevada State Democratic Party is finally debuting a live, hands-on version of a new iPad-based calculator tool that precinct chairs will use …
Discussion: Protocol
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 and NBC News
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
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
Bill Allison / Bloomberg:
Trump Backers Want Extra $1 Billion to Blunt Bloomberg Spending  — Campaign, party officials in talks about raising more money  — Bloomberg's spending could negate Trump's incumbent advantage  —  Members of President Donald Trump's re-election team and some of the GOP's biggest fundraisers …
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 …
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 More Items: 
Sean Davis / The Federalist:
So God Made A Bloomberg
Discussion: New York Post
Steven Overly / Politico:
Court rejects Huawei's lawsuit over federal defense spending law
Alex Kane / Jewish Currents:
The Rise and Fall of The Israel Project
Andrew O'Reilly / Fox News:
Trump claims he knows identity of anonymous administration official who penned scathing tell-all
Discussion: Associated Press
Mark Sanford / New York Times:
Why Do My Fellow Republicans Make Excuses for Trump's Deficits?
Discussion: Raw Story and Daily Kos
Peter Nicholas / The Atlantic:
The Coronavirus Outbreak Could Bring Out the Worst in Trump
Discussion: Raw Story
 Earlier Items: 
Joseph Trevithick / The Drive:
DARPA Wants Millions To Design An Unmanned ‘Flying Gun’ Under Its New Gunslinger Program
Discussion: Fox News and Task & Purpose
James Hohmann / Washington Post:
The Daily 202: Conservative intellectuals launch a new group to challenge free-market ‘fundamentalism’ on the right
Discussion: NPR, Econlib, VICE, Power Line and Cafe Hayek
Matt Lewis / The Daily Beast:
It's Suddenly Obvious: Amy Klobuchar Is the Democrats' Best Bet
Astead W. Herndon / New York Times:
How Elizabeth Warren's Camp Is Seeking to Regain the Spotlight
Discussion: Daily Kos and The Week
Nate Silver / FiveThirtyEight:
Does Sanders Have A Ceiling? Maybe. Can He Win Anyway? Yes.
Discussion: Washington Post