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9:30 PM ET, February 18, 2021


 Top Items: 
New York Times:
Ted Cruz's Cancún Trip: Family Texts Detail His Political Blunder  —  The Texas senator faced fierce blowback for fleeing his state as a disaster unfolded.  Text messages sent by his wife revealed a hastily planned trip away from their “FREEZING” family home.
Fox News:
Ted Cruz flew to Cancun with his family amid power crisis in Texas: source  —  Millions in Texas without power, at least 20 dead  —  Texas outages is proof we need to expand energy options: Wesley Hunt  —  Sen. Ted Cruz flew to Cancun, Mexico, with his family this week as Texas dealt …
Ted Cruz has repeatedly slammed politicians for vacationing during crisis  —  (CNN)Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who is facing backlash for traveling to Mexico as a winter disaster ravages his home state, has repeatedly criticized politicians who vacationed or took part in leisure activities during times of crisis, a CNN KFile review finds.
Lauren Larson / Texas Monthly:
13 Curses to Mutter Against Ted Cruz While You Boil Snow to Drink  —  May you make direct eye contact with your neighbor during your yard pee.  —  NOTES  —  This week, as millions of Texans were left without power and water as temperatures dropped to record lows, one man said no—not me.
Cruz responds to fury over his Cancun trip  —  (CNN)Sen. Ted Cruz and his family flew to Cancun, Mexico, he confirmed in a statement to CNN, as a winter disaster in his home state left millions without power or water.  —  Analysis: Cruz's Cancun trip violates an unwritten rule of politics.
Associated Press:
AP source: Sen. Cruz went to Mexico on vacation amid storm  —  DALLAS (AP) — Texas Sen. Ted Cruz has traveled to Mexico for a family vacation as his home state struggles with a weather crisis that has left much of Texas without power.  —  The high-profile Republican lawmaker went with his family …
Michael Hardy / New York Magazine:   Ted Cruz Abandons Millions of Freezing Texans and His Poodle, Snowflake
Christopher Hahn / Occupy Democrats:
Ted Cruz's Cancun scandal is a second Alamo for Texas Republicans
Discussion: Washington Post
Todd J. Gillman / Dallas Morning News:
Barbs fly at Ted Cruz for heading to Cancun as millions in Texas freeze without power
New York Times:
Senator Ted Cruz left Texas for Cancún as the state was battered by a brutal winter storm.
Washington Post:
Sen. Ted Cruz faces storm of controversy for flying to Cancun as Texas grapples with power outages caused by severe weather
New York Times:
Manhattan D.A. Recruits Top Prosecutor for Trump Inquiry  —  The Manhattan district attorney has enlisted a former federal prosecutor who is an expert on white-collar crime to join the team investigating the Trump family business.  —  As the Manhattan district attorney's office steps …
Erin Douglas / The Texas Tribune:
Texas was “seconds and minutes” away from catastrophic monthslong blackouts, officials say  —  Officials with the Electric Reliability Council of Texas said that grid operators implemented blackouts to avoid a catastrophic failure that could have left Texans in the dark for months.  —  Copy link
Whitney Wild / CNN:
6 Capitol Police officers suspended, 29 others being investigated for alleged roles in riot  —  (CNN)Six US Capitol Police officers have been suspended with pay, and 29 others have been placed under investigation, for their actions in the January 6 riot, a department spokesman said Thursday.
Lindsay Watts / WTTG-TV:
6 Capitol police officers suspended, 35 under investigation after Capitol riot, spokesperson says
Discussion: Washington Examiner
Maggie Haberman / New York Times:
Ivanka Trump will not run against Marco Rubio for one of Florida's Senate seats.  —  Ivanka Trump will not run for the U.S. Senate from Florida in 2022, according to people close to her as well as an aide to Senator Marco Rubio, who holds the seat.  —  Since the final days …
Michael D. Shear / New York Times:
Immigration Overhaul Would Offer 8-Year Path to Citizenship for Millions
Joe Cirincione / Responsible Statecraft:
Why hasn't Biden returned to the Iran nuclear deal?
Discussion: Politico
Michelle Nichols / Reuters:   U.S. rescinds Trump White House claim that all U.N. sanctions had been reimposed on Iran
Conor Friedersdorf / The Atlantic:
Don't Read This If You Were a Rush Limbaugh Fan  —  As a radio broadcaster, Rush Limbaugh, who died yesterday, was a great success: He pioneered his genre, attracted millions of listeners for several decades, and grew fantastically wealthy.  Many good people were used to his daily company …
Leah Barkoukis / Townhall:
What Rush Limbaugh Discussed on His Final Radio Show
Jim Geraghty / National Review:
Why We're Taught to Not Speak Ill of the Dead
Trump snubs Haley  —  SCOOP: NIKKI HALEY reached out to former President DONALD TRUMP on Wednesday to request a sit-down at Mar-a-Lago, but a source familiar tells Playbook that he turned her down.  The two haven't spoken since the insurrection on Jan. 6, when Haley blasted Trump for inciting his supporters to storm the Capitol.
Joe Sneve / Argus Leader:
AG Jason Ravnsborg charged with three misdemeanors in crash that killed Highmore man  —  South Dakota's Attorney General will face misdemeanor charges for his role in a crash that killed a Highmore man more than five months ago.  —  The Hyde County State's Attorney's Office announced Thursday …
Discussion: TheBlaze and The Hill
Greg Sargent / Washington Post:
Republicans think they've found Biden's big weakness.  But there's a problem.  —  In recent days, Republicans have tried to project confidence that they've found a killer attack line on President Biden: They can use the increasing anger of parents over the failure of schools to reopen to win back the suburban voters they've lost.
Discussion: HotAir and Raw Story
Chuck Ross / The Daily Caller:
James Murdoch, Who Publicly Broke With Family Over Climate Change, Took $2.2 Million In ‘Personal’ Flights On Corporate Jet  — James Murdoch, the son of media mogul Rupert Murdoch, took $477,000 in personal flights on his family company's corporate jet in 2018, his last year as CEO of 21st Century Fox, records show.
Jessica Testa / New York Times:
Ella Emhoff Drops a Small (Very Small) Collection of Knits  —  The second daughter turned model released a five-piece collection.  Only one of each item was made.  —  Ella Emhoff, the 21-year-old knitwear designer who signed a major modeling contract in January, has released …
Discussion: The Daily Beast and Washingtonian
Rosie Gray / BuzzFeed News:
Trump Can Still Be The Republican Party's Future.  Just Look To Arizona.  —  Arizona Republicans keep losing.  But the Arizona Republican Party has already turned itself into a Trump machine, still trying to win an election that's long over.  And that might be the future of conservatism.
Discussion: Common Dreams
‘Recipe for disaster’: Dem fears mount over immigration overhaul  —  “Biden is going to be dealing with a minority in Congress if he continues down some of these paths,” said one Democratic congressman.  —  Migrants are loaded onto a bus by U.S. Border Patrol agents after being detained …
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 More Items: 
McKinsey Insights & Publications:
The future of work after COVID-19
Discussion: Fortune
Emma Briant / Wired:
The Grim Consequences of a Misleading Study on Disinformation
Biden privately tells governors: Minimum wage hike likely isn't happening
Discussion: Townhall and Washington Examiner
Brian Schwartz / CNBC:
Lincoln Project paid ex-Obama spokesman's consulting firm to appeal to Black voters in Pennsylvania
Randy Wimbley / WJBK-TV:
Grosse Pointe Park man hangs KKK flag in window facing Black neighbor sparking outrage
Discussion: The Root and Raw Story
 Earlier Items: 
Roger McNamee / Washington Post:
America has experience curbing dangerous industries. We can do the same with tech.
Tom Kludt / Vanity Fair:
“My Job Is Not to Protect ‘the Squad’”: Briahna Joy Gray Wants to Upend Democrats' Political Strategy
Washington Post:
Michael Roston / New York Times:
NASA Lands Its Perseverance Rover on Mars
A U.S. Vaccine Surge Is Coming, With Millions of Doses Promised
Discussion: KFF
Sam Seder / FAIR:
Open Letter to John Mulholland, US editor of The Guardian