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1:00 PM ET, February 21, 2021

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 Top Items: 
BuzzFeed News:
“Mark Changed The Rules”: How Facebook Went Easy On Alex Jones And Other Right-Wing Figures  —  In April 2019, Facebook was preparing to ban one of the internet's most notorious spreaders of misinformation and hate, Infowars founder Alex Jones.  Then CEO Mark Zuckerberg personally intervened.
BBC:
How Trump offered Kim a ride on Air Force One  —  President Trump's meetings with Kim Jong-un were among the most eye-catching moments of his presidency.  —  In the third and final episode of a new BBC series Trump Takes On the World, directed by Tim Stirzaker, we discover new details …
Julie Bosman / New York Times:
A Ripple Effect of Loss: U.S. Covid Deaths Approach 500,000  —  CHICAGO — A nation numbed by misery and loss is confronting a number that still has the power to shock: 500,000.  —  Roughly one year since the first known death by the coronavirus in the United States, an unfathomable toll is nearing …
Discussion: Washington Post and Politico
RELATED:
Patrick Semansky / ABC News:
‘This Week’ Transcript 2-21-21: Jen Psaki, Rep. Steve Scalise  —  This is a rush transcript of “This Week” airing Sunday, February 21.  —  Catch up on the developing stories making headlines.  —  A rush transcript of “This Week with George Stephanopoulos” airing on Sunday, February 21, 2021 on ABC News is below.
Marcus Weisgerber / Defense One:
That Settles That: White House Is Keeping Space Force
Discussion: ABC News
Ivan Penn / New York Times:
His Lights Stayed on During Texas' Storm.  Now He Owes $16,752.  —  After a public outcry from people like Scott Willoughby, whose exorbitant electric bill is soon due, Gov. Greg Abbott said lawmakers should ensure Texans “do not get stuck with skyrocketing energy bills” caused by the storm.
Ronn Blitzer / Fox News:
Pence declined CPAC invitation: source  —  Trump is expected to address the conference Feb. 28  —  Trump to speak at CPAC in first public appearance since leaving office  —  Former Vice President Mike Pence has declined an invitation to attend this year's Conservative Political Action Conference, Fox News has learned.
RELATED:
Chris Strohm / Bloomberg:
Garland Pledges to Prosecute ‘Heinous Attack’ on the Capitol  — Attorney general pick says he won't work for ‘any individual’  — Biden's nominee to testify at confirmation hearing on Monday  —  Merrick Garland, President Joe Biden's nominee for attorney general …
RELATED:
John Harwood / CNN:
Biden faces the $1.9 trillion question: Is it too much?  —  (CNN)Is President Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion Covid relief package too big?  Plenty of economists across the ideological spectrum think so.  —  But economics was only one of several considerations in its assembly.
RELATED:
David J. Lynch / Washington Post:
U.S. economy may have its best chance in years to break from era of subpar growth
Discussion: Kevin Drum
Dante Chinni / NBC News:
The GOP is rapidly becoming the blue-collar party.  Here's what that means for future.  —  WASHINGTON — The exit of Donald Trump has brought a more normal rhythm to back to politics in Washington, but outside the Beltway deeper forces are reshaping partisan landscape.
Discussion: New York Magazine
Nick Robins-Early / HuffPost:
Michael Flynn's Wild Ride Into The Heart Of QAnon  —  In the weeks before the Capitol siege, Trump's former national security adviser went on a far-right media blitz to promote wild conspiracy theories.  —  Michael Flynn stood in front of a cheering crowd of QAnon believers …
Discussion: Raw Story
Frank Bruni / New York Times:
Must We Dance on Rush Limbaugh's Grave?  —  Speaking ill of the dead needn't mean cackling over their demise.  —  Opinion editor Kathleen Kingsbury wrote about this package in Saturday's edition of the Opinion Today newsletter.  —  “Not proud of this,” a friend wrote to me in a text message mere minutes …
RELATED:
Ben Shapiro / New York Times:
The House That Rush Built
Discussion: Mediaite
Alex Yablon / NBC News:
Trump made Cuomo a Covid hero.  A nursing home scandal proves the honeymoon's over.  —  In Britain, soldiers and politicians who came out of the world wars with enhanced reputations were said by their peers to have “had a good war.”  Similarly, in coronavirus America, some politicians have had a “good pandemic.”
Christian Schneider / The Bulwark:
Will ‘Almond Milk’ and ‘Plant-Based Meat’ Exist Under a Biden FDA?  —  Big Dairy and the meat industry have had enough of the competition and want the government to regulate the language used by imitation marketing.  —  For years, the FDA has been embroiled in a debate over the ability of companies to name their products.
Jonathan Martin / New York Times:
How Democrats Are Already Maneuvering to Shape Biden's First Supreme Court Pick  —  The president's promise to nominate a Black woman to the court has set off efforts to champion candidates and convince the White House to forego the usual elite credentials.  —  WASHINGTON — After meeting …
Discussion: CNN and The Week
Susan Edelman / New York Post:
Bronx educator claims she was fired after sharing Holocaust story, refusing ‘Wakanda’ salute  —  A veteran Bronx superintendent once praised by Chancellor Richard Carranza for her successes in the classroom claims her career was derailed by his “equity” agenda — forcing her to take a demotion …
RELATED:
Kathianne Boniello / New York Post:
Veteran Bronx educator claims she was fired after refusing ‘Black Panther’ salute
Discussion: The Gateway Pundit and Fox News
Alexander Burns / New York Times:
Democrats Beat Trump in 2020.  Now They're Asking: What Went Wrong?  —  Disappointed by down-ballot losses, Democratic interest groups are joining forces to conduct an autopsy of the election results.  Republicans do not yet seem willing to reckon with the G.O.P.'s major defeats.
Discussion: Reuters and Daily Kos
Katelyn Polantz / CNN:
Oath Keeper claims she was VIP security at Trump rally before riot and says she met with Secret Service agents  —  (CNN)A leader in an alleged Oath Keepers conspiracy in the US Capitol insurrection claims she was given a VIP pass to the pro-Trump rally on January 6, had met with Secret Service agents …
Matthew S. Schwartz / NPR:
Ocasio-Cortez Fundraising Drive For Texas Relief Raises $4 Million  —  A fundraising effort spearheaded by New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to help storm-battered Texans has raised more than $4 million in just a few days.  —  On Saturday, Ocasio-Cortez was on the ground in Texas …
Josh Siegel / Washington Examiner:
‘China is going to play them’: Trump energy secretary says Biden plan won't work  —  Dan Brouillette, the Energy secretary in the Trump administration, says President Biden's climate envoy John Kerry is “misguided” to think he can set aside the biggest confrontations with China to cooperate on combating climate change.
Discussion: Politico and Washington Post
 
 
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 More Items: 
Nick Miroff / Washington Post:
Biden administration tries to transition from campaigning on immigration to managing a dysfunctional immigration system
Discussion: CNN, Sara A. Carter and Raw Story
Jazz Shaw / HotAir:
Nuclear Power In Texas Mostly Stayed Online During The Blackouts
Glenn Greenwald:
Congress Escalates Pressure on Tech Giants to Censor More, Threatening the First Amendment
American Greatness:
No Proof January 6 Was an ‘Armed Insurrection’
Discussion: The Gateway Pundit
Taylor Barnes / The Intercept:
Thirsty, Cold, and Scooping Feces With Their Hands: Crisis in Reality Winner's Texas Prison
Naomi O'Leary / The Irish Times:
Israel destroys Irish aid to Palestinian village community
 Earlier Items: 
Week / Al-Monitor:
Can Turkey fit into the Biden administration's Syria policy?
Jane Mayer / New Yorker:
Meet SG3: The Élite Legal Squad That Vowed to Safeguard the Election
Discussion: Raw Story
Alexander C. Kaufman / HuffPost:
4 More States Propose Harsh New Penalties For Protesting Fossil Fuels
Charles Hilu / The College Fix:
It's time to starve colleges of students and money, conservative scholars argue
Tyler Pager / Politico:
The jockeying to replace Neera Tanden has begun
Discussion: USA Today and Liberty Unyielding
Jeremy Blum / HuffPost:
Chris Christie Has No Sympathy For Ted Cruz: ‘Ted Has Just Not Been A Very Likable Guy’