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8:15 AM ET, February 19, 2020

memeorandum

 Top Items: 
The Daily Beast:
Trump Got Tons of Campaign Cash Before Handing Out Pardon  —  “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 on Tuesday granted clemency …
RELATED:
Natasha Korecki / Politico:
I Covered Blago's Trial From Start To Finish.  Trump's Commutation Isn't Crazy.  —  CHICAGO - The day of Rod Blagojevich's sentencing in late 2011, I was a federal courts reporter for the Chicago Sun-Times.  I was also extremely pregnant, days from my due date.
Associated Press:
President Trump goes on clemency spree, and the list is long  —  WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump went on a clemency blitz Tuesday, commuting former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich's 14-year prison sentence and pardoning former New York City police commissioner Bernie Kerik, among a long list of others.
New York Daily News:
Trump grants clemency to Rod Blagojevich, ex-NYPD commissioner Bernie Kerik and financier Michael Milken
Discussion: The Week
Eli Stokols / Los Angeles Times:
Trump grants clemency to 11, including former junk bond king Michael Milken
Discussion: Vox
The White House:
Statement from the Press Secretary Regarding Executive Grants of Clemency
Associated Press:
AP source: Barr tells people he might quit over Trump tweets  —  WASHINGTON (AP) — Attorney General William Barr has told people close to him he's considering quitting his post after President Donald Trump wouldn't heed his warning to stop tweeting about Justice Department cases, an administration official told The Associated Press.
Discussion: CNN, PJ Media Home and New York Post
RELATED:
Washington Post:
Barr has told those close to Trump he is considering quitting over the president's tweets about Justice Dept. investigations  —  Attorney General William P. Barr has told people close to President Trump — both inside and outside the White House — that he is considering quitting over Trump's tweets …
ABC News:
Barr mulls resigning over Trump's tweets: Sources  —  Barr previously said that Trump's tweets make it “impossible” to do his job.  —  Just hours after President Donald Trump openly defied his public pleas to stop tweeting about criminal matters in the Justice Department …
ABC News:
Democrat Pete Buttigieg overstated pledges of support from black leaders, public figures  —  Polls show he faces an ongoing challenge finding support from voters of color  —  When Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg touted support from African American comedian and actor Keegan-Michael Key …
Discussion: Fox News
RELATED:
Washington Post:
Sanders surges into national lead in new Post-ABC poll  —  Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), on the strength of his performances in Iowa and New Hampshire, has surged nationally and now holds a sizable lead over all of his rivals for the Democratic presidential nomination, according to a Washington Post-ABC News poll.
Discussion: Slate
Mark Murray / NBC News:
NBC News/WSJ poll: Sanders opens up double-digit national lead in primary race
Michael Finnegan / Los Angeles Times:
Bernie Sanders takes wide lead in California primary, new poll finds  —  Bernie Sanders has opened a wide lead in California's Democratic presidential primary, and four rivals are virtually tied for a distant second place, according to a poll released Tuesday.
Discussion: The Hill and HuffPost
RELATED:
Aaron Zitner / Wall Street Journal:   Sanders Leads Democratic Primary Field as Biden Slips, WSJ/NBC News Poll Finds
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.
RELATED:
Matt Flegenheimer / New York Times:
Michael Bloomberg Has to Debate Without a Net  —  Candidates are not permitted to haul field organizers or canapés or record-reframing ad campaigns onstage with them.  So the former mayor will stand on his own.  —  For months, he has muscled into the Democratic primary …
Discussion: Fox News
Wall Street Journal:
China Expels Three Wall Street Journal Reporters  —  China's Foreign Ministry says move was punishment for a recent opinion piece published by the Journal  —  China revoked the press credentials of three Wall Street Journal reporters based in Beijing, the first time in the post-Mao era …
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 …
RELATED:
Rebecca Traister / The Cut:
The Immoderate Susan Collins After a long career voting across the aisle, why did the Maine …
Discussion: Balloon Juice
U.S. Department of Justice:
Individual Arrested for Acting Within the U.S. on Behalf of the Russian Government Without Notifying the Attorney General  —  Hector Alejandro Cabrera Fuentes, a Mexican citizen residing in Singapore, was arrested based on a Complaint charging him with acting within the United States on behalf …
RELATED:
Jay Weaver / Miami Herald:   Mexican accused of being Russian agent after photographing U.S. informant's car in Miami
Leo Shane III / Military Times:
Veterans coalition condemns Trump's continued attacks on Army officer who testified against him  —  A coalition of more than 1,100 veterans on Tuesday condemned President Donald Trump for his continued attacks on an Army officer who testified against him in the impeachment inquiry …
Discussion: Raw Story
RELATED:
R.D. Hooker Jr / Washington Post:   I can think of no more honorable soldier than Alexander Vindman
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 …
RELATED:
Nolan D. McCaskill / Politico:   Buttigieg blasts Trump: My marriage never involved ‘hush money’
Zach Montellaro / Politico:
Buttigieg, Sanders separated by thousandths of a point after Iowa recanvass  —  Pete Buttigieg's already narrow state delegate equivalent lead over Bernie Sanders has reduced further, to less than a hundredth of a percentage point, after the Iowa Democratic Party announced the results …
Discussion: Fox News, New York Times, The Hill and UPI
RELATED:
Alexandra Jaffe / Associated Press:   Bernie Sanders' campaign to request recount of Iowa caucuses
Will Doran / Raleigh News & Observer:
Another court blocks NC voter ID law, citing ‘racially discriminatory intent’  —  North Carolina's new voter ID law appears to have been enacted with racially discriminatory intent and will be at least temporarily blocked during the 2020 elections, the N.C. Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday.
Discussion: Daily Kos
RELATED:
Elise Viebeck / Washington Post:
State appeals court temporarily blocks voter ID law in North Carolina
Discussion: The Hill
Alexis Clark / New York Times:
After Fighting Nazis, Black G.I.s Faced Racism in U.S. Military  —  In commemoration of Black History Month, the latest article from “Beyond the World War II We Know,” a series by The Times that documents lesser-known stories from World War II, focuses on the challenges of black troops stationed in Germany in the aftermath of the war.
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.
Michael Rezendes / Associated Press:
After learning of Whitey Bulger LSD tests, juror has regrets  —  EASTHAM, Mass. (AP) — One of the jurors who convicted notorious crime boss James “Whitey” Bulger says she regrets her decision after learning that he was an unwitting participant in a covert CIA experiment with LSD.
CNN:
Top Pentagon policy official expected to depart administration  —  (CNN)The Pentagon's top policy official is expected to depart his post soon, according to two sources familiar with the matter.  John Rood, Under Secretary of Defense for Policy at the Pentagon, lost support among senior …
Erik Larson / Bloomberg:
Trump Rape Accuser Slams Effort to Stall Her Defamation Case  — A stay would delay a request for a sample of Trump's DNA  — The president has denied raping or defaming E. Jean Carroll  —  A New York advice columnist who claims President Donald Trump raped her two decades ago asked …
Discussion: Raw Story
Chris Kahn / Reuters:
Exclusive: Ahead of 2020 election, a ‘Blue Wave’ is rising in the cities, polling analysis shows  —  NEW YORK (Reuters) - As Republican President Donald Trump seeks a second term in November, Americans' interest in voting is growing faster in large cities dominated by Democrats …
 
 
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 More Items: 
Martin Longman / Washington Monthly:
How to End the Democrats' Health Care Demolition Derby
Discussion: Balloon Juice
Ruairí Arrieta-Kenna / Politico:
Could Higher Turnout Actually Help Trump?
Chuck Ross / The Daily Caller:
Emails: Burisma Consultant Linked To Hunter Biden Approached Top State Department Official To Arrange Ukraine Meeting
Discussion: Instapundit
Alex Isenstadt / Politico:
Trump campaign hires alum of controversial data company
Joshua Green / Bloomberg:
Harry Reid Tells Candidates Hoping to Stop Sanders to ‘Speak Up’
Jacqueline Alemany / Washington Post:
Power Up: Joe Manchin visits Mike Bloomberg's campaign headquarters in New York
Discussion: The Daily Wire, Axios and The Week
Nihar Kabinittal / ABC News:
Sanders and Bloomberg rise, Biden falls, with sharp shifts in views of electability
Alex Seitz-Wald / NBC News:
Bloomberg and Obama: A more ‘complicated’ relationship than the ads suggest
Discussion: Politico, MSNBC and New York Post
 Earlier Items: 
Nolan D. McCaskill / Politico:
Klobuchar gets second chance to name Mexico's president
Discussion: NBC News
Sarah Jones / New York Magazine:
This Obscure Foundation Helped Fund The Alt-Right
Julia Azari / Washington Post:
It's time to give the elites a bigger say in choosing the president
Washington Post:
The Saudi crown prince has learned he can persecute Americans with no pushback from Trump or Pompeo
Vandana Rambaran / Fox News:
Pennsylvania Democrat apologizes for old pro-Trump, anti-Hillary Clinton Facebook posts
Discussion: The Gateway Pundit
Charles Bethea / New Yorker:
The Party Raiders of South Carolina
Nilesh Christopher / VICE:
We've Just Seen the First Use of Deepfakes in an Indian Election Campaign
Bill Allison / Bloomberg:
Trump Backers Want Extra $1 Billion to Blunt Bloomberg Spending