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10:10 AM ET, February 19, 2020


 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 …
Jeffrey Toobin / New Yorker:
The Trouble with Donald Trump's Clemencies and Pardons  —  Authoritarianism is usually associated with a punitive spirit—a leader who prosecutes and incarcerates his enemies.  But there is another side to this leadership style.  Authoritarians also dispense largesse, but they do it by their own whims …
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.
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.
Tyler Olson / Fox News:
Sanders takes double-digit lead in new national poll, as Biden crumbles and Bloomberg rises
Discussion: Politico, The Nation and The Hill
Nihar Kabinittal / ABC News:   Sanders and Bloomberg rise, Biden falls, with sharp shifts in views of electability
Mark Murray / NBC News:
NBC News/WSJ poll: Sanders opens up double-digit national lead in primary race
Savannah Behrmann / USA Today:
Bernie Sanders says he won't release full medical records  —  WASHINGTON - Bernie Sanders said Tuesday night that he is not planning to release any additional medical records.  —  Sanders, 78, suffered a heart attack in October during a campaign event.  He had a blockage in one artery …
Discussion: The Week and CNN
Julia Arciga / The Daily Beast:   Bernie Sanders: I Won't Be Releasing Any More Medical Records
Joshua Green / Bloomberg:   Harry Reid Tells Candidates Hoping to Stop Sanders to ‘Speak Up’
Mike Allen / Axios:
Bloomberg camp's “dire” warning: Bernie Sanders will soon be unstoppable
Discussion: Associated Press
Megan McArdle / Washington Post:
Bernie Sanders is not just a garden-variety social democrat
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 …
Discussion: Politico
Pentagon Policy Chief in Ukraine-Aid Case Exits Under Pressure  — Under Secretary Rood said to have faced pressure to resign  — Rood is latest in a wave of Trump administration departures  —  John Rood has stepped down as the top policy official at the Defense Department, according to two people familiar with the matter.
Leo Shane III / Military Times:
Veterans coalition condemns Trump's continued attacks on Army officer who testified against him
Discussion: Raw Story
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.
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 …
Stephen Collinson / CNN:
Trump's pardon spree deepens crisis gripping American justice
Discussion: The Hill
The Hill:
The Hill's review of John Solomon's columns on Ukraine  —  On Nov. 18, 2019, The Hill announced it was reviewing John Solomon's opinion columns on Ukraine after State Department diplomats criticized several of those columns during House impeachment hearings.
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 …
Molly Hensley-Clancy / BuzzFeed News:
Why Elizabeth Warren Got Dropped From A Poll Question About General Election Matchups  —  Elizabeth Warren was left out of a national poll question Tuesday that pitted Democratic candidates against Donald Trump, angering supporters who have protested that the media has erased her candidacy …
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
Quint Forgey / Politico:
New poll shows Bernie with another double-digit lead over Dem field
Discussion: The Daily Beast
Devan Cole / CNN:
Andrew Yang joins CNN as a political commentator  —  Yang: I will support whoever the Democratic nominee is  —  Washington (CNN)Former Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang is joining CNN as a political commentator, the network announced Wednesday.
Discussion: Axios, Mediaite, Deadline and The Hill
Naomi Lim / Washington Examiner:
Klobuchar tries to explain forgetting Mexican president and mispronounces his name  —  Amy Klobuchar offered an excuse on why she couldn't name the Mexican president in an interview with Telemundo, clapping back at Pete Buttigieg, who has turned her blunder into a punchline on the campaign trail.
Discussion: The Hill
Nolan D. McCaskill / Politico:
Klobuchar gets second chance to name Mexico's president
Discussion: NBC News
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.
Matt Flegenheimer / New York Times:
Michael Bloomberg Has to Debate Without a Net
Discussion: Fox News
Jay Weaver / Miami Herald:
Mexican accused of being Russian agent after photographing U.S. informant's car in Miami  —  As he stood in Miami federal court, Hector Cabrera Fuentes didn't exactly look like an “international man of mystery.”  —  But Cabrera, a short and stocky Mexican citizen, was charged Tuesday with being an …
Julia Azari / Washington Post:
It's time to give the elites a bigger say in choosing the president  —  Julia Azari is an associate professor and assistant chair in the Department of Political Science at Marquette University.  This is the third op-ed in a series about how to improve the presidential nominating process.
Discussion: Townhall and The Daily Caller
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 …
Discussion: Raw Story
Nolan D. McCaskill / Politico:
Buttigieg blasts Trump: My marriage never involved ‘hush money’  —  Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg invoked President Donald Trump's porn star scandal Tuesday, reviving a line of attack that helped catapult his longshot campaign into a viable contender last year.
Alex Isenstadt / Politico:
Trump campaign hires alum of controversial data company  —  President Donald Trump's campaign is bringing on an alum of the controversial data firm Cambridge Analytica, a move likely to raise alarms among Trump critics and data privacy advocates who worry the president will push the technological envelope to get reelected in 2020.
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 …
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 More Items: 
Emily Jashinsky / The Federalist:
Comedian Or Historian, The White House Correspondents' Dinner Is Still A Silly Orgy Of Elitism
Adam Serwer / The Atlantic:
The First Days of the Trump Regime
Margot Cleveland / The Federalist:
Campaign Donations Show Letter Demanding Barr's Resignation Comes From Leftist Hacks Pretending To Be ‘Bipartisan’
Chris White / The Daily Caller:
Billionaire Allegedly Behind A False Flag Operation In Alabama Helped Finance The Group Behind Iowa Caucus Chaos
Emily L. Mahoney / Tampa Bay Times:
Ron DeSantis may be quiet, but his fingerprints are all over Florida's legislative session
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?
 Earlier Items: 
Alexis Clark / New York Times:
After Fighting Nazis, Black G.I.s Faced Racism in U.S. Military
Alex Seitz-Wald / NBC News:
Bloomberg and Obama: A more ‘complicated’ relationship than the ads suggest
Discussion: Politico, MSNBC and New York Post
Sarah Jones / New York Magazine:
This Obscure Foundation Helped Fund The Alt-Right
Michael Rezendes / Associated Press:
After learning of Whitey Bulger LSD tests, juror has regrets
Erik Larson / Bloomberg:
Trump Rape Accuser Slams Effort to Stall Her Defamation Case
Discussion: Raw Story