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7:55 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.
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 …
Discussion: Bloomberg and Insider
RELATED:
Linda So / Reuters:
Oath Keeper claims she met with Secret Service before Capitol riot
Discussion: Boston Herald
Ben Smith / New York Times:
How Investigative Journalism Flourished in Hostile Russia  —  A new wave of news outlets has used conventional, and unconventional, methods to pierce the veil of Putin's power.  —  The Russian language has introduced a few words that in recent years have been widely used and misused in English: disinformation, kompromat, Novichok.
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: Lawyers, Guns & Money
RELATED:
Washington Post:
500,000 dead, a number almost too large to grasp
Discussion: Politico and Mother Jones
USA Today:
Exclusive: Defeated and impeached, Trump still commands the loyalty of the GOP's voters  —  If there's a civil war in the Republican Party, the voters who backed Donald Trump in November's election are ready to choose sides.  —  Behind Trump.  —  An exclusive Suffolk University/USA TODAY …
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 …
Discussion: Mediaite
Dirk VanderHart / opb:
Oregon GOP ousts chair, taps state Sen. Dallas Heard as new leader  —  A conservative state senator from Myrtle Creek is the new chair of the Oregon Republican Party, following an event Saturday in which Republicans overhauled their top party leadership.According to multiple Republican sources …
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
Naomi Klein / New York Times:
Why Texas Republicans Fear the Green New Deal  —  Small government is no match for a crisis born of the state's twin addictions to market fixes and fossil fuels.  —  Ms. Klein is a senior correspondent at The Intercept and the Gloria Steinem Endowed Chair at Rutgers University.
Tampa Bay Times:
Pro-Trump Miami doctor charged with hate crime for attacking Hispanic man  —  Angered when he asked her to socially distance at a Publix, she followed him out, called him racial slurs, keyed his vehicle and punched him, police said.  —  HIALEAH — A Mount Sinai Medical Center anesthesiologist …
Discussion: Raw Story
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.
The Hill:
Biden seems set to pick fight over Rahm Emanuel  —  Former Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel appears poised to take on a high-profile ambassadorship for President Biden, a step likely to trigger contention with progressives who've balked at him taking a Cabinet role.
Discussion: BizPac Review
Stacey Plaisance / Associated Press:
Customers, staff fired back in gun store shooting; 3 dead  —  METAIRIE, La. (AP) — A person entered a gun store and shooting range in a New Orleans suburb and fatally shot two people Saturday, prompting customers and staff to open fire on the shooter, a sheriff said.  The shooter also died.
Bill Whitaker / CBS News:
Federal judges call for increased security after threats jump 400% and one judge's son is killed  —  Judge Esther Salas was in her New Jersey home when a gunman targeting Salas opened fire on her family, killing her son and wounding her husband.  Now she's fighting for better protection of judges.
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.
RELATED:
Marcus Weisgerber / Defense One:
That Settles That: White House Is Keeping Space Force
Discussion: Crooks and Liars and ABC News
Sarah Chaney Cambon / Wall Street Journal:
Blue-Collar Jobs Boom as Covid-19 Boosts Housing, E-Commerce Demand  —  Residential construction, package delivery and warehousing jobs exceed pre-pandemic levels, and some companies can't find enough workers  —  America's blue-collar workforce is filled with signs of a strengthening job market.
Scarlet Howes / Daily Mail:
Now even The Muppets are branded racist: Disney slaps popular show with an alert about ‘offensive content’ and it can only be seen on an adult account  — Disney's streaming service puts ‘offensive content’ alert on The Muppet Show  — The show can only be seen on an adult account after Disney released five series
Discussion: TheBlaze, IJR, Breitbart and New York Post
Will Bunch / The Philadelphia Inquirer:
How Biden got it wrong about Penn, the Ivies, student debt, and America's ‘college problem’ |  Will Bunch  —  A generation ago, when Bill Clinton wanted to prove to Middle America that he wasn't a cartoon leftist, he publicly bashed a previously obscure Black woman hip-hop artist named Sista Souljah.
Glen Johnson / Axios:
Scoop: Cruz's Cancún trip included college roommate  —  In explaining his disastrous Cancún trip, Sen. Ted Cruz failed to mention his college roommate also was along for the visit.  — Axios has learned Cruz (R-Texas) invited David Panton, his longtime friend and former roommate …
Gabriela López / San Francisco Chronicle:
S.F. school board president: Renamings are on hold, reopening is our priority  —  As a credentialed teacher serving as a volunteer school board member, I make every effort to respond to every email.  Every single day I am talking to parents on the phone, answering their questions about distance learning …
Nina Golgowski / HuffPost:
Merrick Garland Vows To Oversee Prosecution Of Capitol Rioters As Attorney General  —  President Joe Biden's nominee puts a bull's-eye on white supremacists and upholding the rule of law in his confirmation hearing prepared testimony.  —  Judge Merrick Garland plans to tell senators on Monday …
Discussion: CBS News
RELATED:
E.J. Dionne / Washington Post:
We can't let the gun imperialists win again  —  In a quieter time, what President Biden said on Feb. 14 about his hopes for combating the scourge of violence in our country might have been much bigger news.  —  “Today,” Biden said in a statement marking the third anniversary of the shootings …
Anne Applebaum / The Atlantic:
A Real Place Deserves Real Rights  —  A couple of years ago, in the halcyon days before the pandemic, I went with a small group of friends to visit Cedar Hill, Frederick Douglass's house in the southeastern corner of Washington, D.C. On the way there, we drove past the rowhouses of what used …
Reuters:
Texas freeze led to release of tons of air pollutants as refineries shut  —  NEW YORK/HOUSTON (Reuters) - The largest U.S. oil refiners released tons of air pollutants into the skies over Texas this week, according to figures provided to the state, as one environmental crisis triggered another.
Discussion: The Hill
Reuters:
Analysis: Road to renewed Iran nuclear deal likely to be long and bumpy  —  WASHINGTON (Reuters) - It took seven years from the summer's day in 2008 when a top U.S. diplomat first sat down with his Iranian counterpart until the two sides sealed the 2015 Iran nuclear deal that aimed to keep Tehran from acquiring nuclear weapons.
Discussion: Politico and National Review
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 More Items: 
D.J. Tice / Star Tribune:
The challenge of a fair trial for Chauvin
Rosalind Helderman / Washington Post:
Impeachment is over. But other efforts to reckon with Trump's post-election chaos have just begun.
The Intercept:
What Drove the Historically Large Murder Spike in 2020?
CNN:
Black women's roles in the civil rights movement have been understated — but that's changing
Washington Post:
As Biden seeks end to Yemen war, rebels press offensive for strategic province
Monica Medina / USA Today:
Texas winter storms: Repeated climate disasters do not have to be our destiny
 Earlier Items: 
Daniel Arkin / NBC News:
U.S. reaches 500,000 deaths from the coronavirus
Discussion: NBC 6 South Florida
Jonathan Cohn / HuffPost:
What Democrats Can Learn From Obamacare, According To Barack Obama
Discussion: Politico and Amazon.com
Christian Schneider / The Bulwark:
Will ‘Almond Milk’ and ‘Plant-Based Meat’ Exist Under a Biden FDA?
Nick Robins-Early / HuffPost:
Michael Flynn's Wild Ride Into The Heart Of QAnon
Discussion: Digby's Hullabaloo and Raw Story
Jazz Shaw / HotAir:
Nuclear Power In Texas Mostly Stayed Online During The Blackouts
Jonathan Martin / New York Times:
How Democrats Are Already Maneuvering to Shape Biden's First Supreme Court Pick
Discussion: Raw Story, The Week and CNN