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4:15 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 …
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.
Gary He / Eater:
The Lavish Spreads of Mike Bloomberg's Food-Filled Campaign
Discussion: Raw Story, Vox and Washington Examiner
Washington Post:
Klobuchar scrambles to turn her magic moment into something more
Discussion: Reuters and Politico
Matt Trotter / Public Radio Tulsa:
Bloomberg Leads Democrats in Oklahoma Going into Super Tuesday
Discussion: Washington Post and Mediaite
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
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. …
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 …
Adam Edelman / NBC News:
Trump expected to grant clemency to former Ill. Gov. Rod Blagojevich, ex-NYPD commissioner Bernard Kerik  —  Blagojevich was sentenced in 2011 to 14 years in federal prison on corruption charges related to his solicitation of bribes in an attempt to “sell” Barack Obama's open Senate seat.
Trump commutes sentence of ex-Illinois Gov. Blagojevich, pardons ex-NY police commissioner Kerik …
Discussion: Raw Story
Kaitlan Collins / CNN:   Trump commutes sentence of former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich
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
Discussion: Washington Examiner
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
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 …
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 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.
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
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 …
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.
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
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 …
Justin Baragona / The Daily Beast:
Fox News Keeps Rudy Giuliani On-Air Despite Internal ‘Disinformation’ Docs  —  Fox's own research team accused Giuliani and John Solomon of trafficking in “disinformation,” The Daily Beast revealed.  And yet the news channel keeps booking them.  —  Even though internal Fox News documents caution …
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
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 …
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
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 …
James Hohmann / Washington Post:
The Daily 202: Conservative intellectuals launch a new group to challenge free-market ‘fundamentalism’ on the right  —  Oren Cass believes conservatives have blundered by outsourcing GOP economic policymaking to libertarian “fundamentalists” who see the free market as an end unto itself …
Discussion: Power Line, Econlib, NPR, Cafe Hayek and VICE
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 More Items: 
Alex Kane / Jewish Currents:
The Rise and Fall of The Israel Project
Hayley Miller / HuffPost:
Stephen Miller's Uncle Donates To Pro-Refugee Group As ‘Wedding Gift’ To Nephew
Discussion: Reuters and David S. Glosser
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
Justice News:
Massachusetts State Representative Charged with Embezzling Campaign Funds, Bank Fraud and Tax Fraud
Discussion: The Hill and The Gateway Pundit
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: 
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