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9:30 PM ET, February 22, 2021

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 Top Items: 
Taylor Goldenstein / Houston Chronicle:
AG Ken Paxton and wife Sen. Angela Paxton went to Utah during Texas freeze  —  While millions of Texans languished in their homes last week without heat, many of them racking up astronomical electricity bills, the state official in charge of consumer protection left to take an out-of-state trip.
Discussion: KXAN-TV
RELATED:
Dallas Morning News:
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton traveled to Utah during last week's power outages  —  A spokesman for Paxton, a Republican, said the Utah trip was planned before the winter storm and included meetings with his counterpart in that state.  —  AUSTIN — Attorney General Ken Paxton left Texas …
Joseph Choi / The Hill:
Texas attorney general and wife went to Utah amid winter storm crisis
Discussion: POLITICUSUSA, Insider and Off the Kuff
Jonathan Chait / New York Magazine:
Donald Trump Is Extremely Mad Prosecutors Will See His Tax Returns  —  Donald Trump's yearslong quest to prevent the public, Congress, or law-enforcement officials from seeing his tax statements came to a resounding end with a unanimous Supreme Court ruling.  He did not take the defeat in stride.
RELATED:
Rafi Schwartz / Mic:
Trump's tax records are finally headed to the Manhattan DA
Discussion: CNN, Mother Jones and Forbes
Adam Liptak / New York Times:
Supreme Court Denies Trump's Final Bid to Block Release of Financial Records
Robert Barnes / Washington Post:
Supreme Court ends Trump's bid to shield his tax returns and effort to challenge election losses
Eric Hananoki / Media Matters for America:
Featured CPAC speaker said Judaism is a “complete lie” and referred to Jewish people as “thieving fake Jews”  —  Leading Republican officials are set to speak at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) this week along with a virulently anti-Semitic speaker named Young Pharaoh.
RELATED:
Max Greenwood / The Hill:
CPAC disinvites speaker over ‘reprehensible views’
Discussion: IJR and Twitchy
Washington Post:
Now Republicans are offended by mean tweets?  —  NEERA TANDEN, President Biden's pick to run the Office of Management and Budget, is in hot water.  Sen. Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va.) announced last week that he would oppose her nomination, meaning she needs at least one Republican vote to obtain Senate confirmation.
Discussion: Forbes
RELATED:
Aaron Blake / Washington Post:
So what is the Neera Tanden standard?
Discussion: HuffPost, Raw Story and Townhall
Politico:   ‘A double standard going on’: Democrats accuse GOP and Manchin of bias on Biden nominations
Washington Post:
Biden faces first potential Cabinet defeat as opposition grows to budget pick
Discussion: New York Post
Politico:
Neera Tanden in deeper jeopardy as 2 Republicans oppose her nomination
Alexa Corse / Wall Street Journal:
Dominion Sues MyPillow, CEO Mike Lindell Over Election Claims  —  The voting-machine maker's lawsuit alleges defamation, seeks more than $1.3 billion in damages  —  WASHINGTON—One of the largest makers of voting machines in the U.S. on Monday sued a prominent supporter of former President Donald Trump …
RELATED:
Katie Rogers / New York Times:
Did Washington Just Have an Actual Weekend?
Discussion: BizPac Review and Insider
Burgess Everett / Politico:
Trump taunts don't shake McConnell's hold on Senate GOP  —  Sen. Rick Scott challenged the certification of Donald Trump's reelection loss, bashed Trump's second impeachment trial and recently spoke with the former president about Senate races.  But don't take that as the Florida Republican siding with Trump over Mitch McConnell.
RELATED:
Jordain Carney / The Hill:
Graham, Trump huddle to talk GOP's 2022 strategy
Discussion: POLITICUSUSA
Kelsey McKinney / Defector:
Slate Podcast Host Mike Pesca Suspended Following Internal Discussion About Use Of Racial Slur  —  Mike Pesca, host of Slate's daily podcast, The Gist, has been suspended from the company indefinitely according to an internal memo sent to staffers late last night that has been obtained by Defector.
U.S. Department of Justice:
Wife of “El Chapo” Arrested on International Drug Trafficking Charges  —  The wife of Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman Loera, leader of a Mexican drug trafficking organization known as the Sinaloa Cartel, was arrested today in Virginia on charges related to her alleged involvement in international drug trafficking.
The Intercept:
FBI Seized Congressional Cellphone Records Related to Capitol Attack … Within hours of the storming of the Capitol on January 6, the FBI began securing thousands of phone and electronic records connected to people at the scene of the rioting — including some related to members of Congress, raising potentially thorny legal questions.
Mike Allen / Axios:
Scoop: Trump to claim total control of GOP  —  In his first post-presidential appearance, Donald Trump plans to send the message next weekend that he is Republicans' “presumptive 2024 nominee” with a vise grip on the party's base, top Trump allies tell Axios.
Mark Joseph Stern / Slate:
Clarence Thomas Promotes Trump's Voter Fraud Lies in Alarming Dissent  —  Justice Clarence Thomas is not backing down from the fight to legitimize Donald Trump's claims that the 2020 election was rife with fraud.  On Monday morning, Thomas issued a startling opinion ranting against the alleged dangers …
William Kristol / The Bulwark:
What About Joe?  —  Why can't anti-Trump become work-with-Biden?  —  There's an interesting piece in Politico today which raises interesting questions.  Its headline: “Anti-Trumpers are done with the GOP.  Where do they go now?”  The subhed: “Scores of Republicans are bolting the party in the wake of the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.
Mollie Walker / New York Post:
Artemi Panarin taking Rangers leave of absence after Russian hit piece  —  New York Rangers star Artemi Panarin is taking a leave of absence from the team in wake of a politically motivated article from Russia, in which his former Vityaz head coach alleges that the ex-forward …
The New York Times Company:
Maggie Haberman's Next Beat  —  Elisabeth Bumiller, Dick Stevenson and Patrick Healy share Maggie's new role, which will span investigative/enterprise in Washington and Politics.  —  After a phenomenal run covering Donald Trump from his escalator ride in Trump Tower through his second impeachment …
RELATED:
The New York Times Company:
New White House Team
Discussion: The Hill
Morgan Pehme / New York Post:
Cuomo's office terrorized me for doing my job as a journalist  —  It was 4:30 a.m., so I pulled the bathroom door shut in my one-bedroom Brooklyn apartment to answer the phone without waking my then-5-year-old.  On the line was Melissa DeRosa, Gov. Cuomo's then-communications director, now his second-in-command.
CNN:
Aurora Police did not have basis to stop, frisk or restrain Elijah McClain, investigation finds  —  (CNN)The Aurora, Colorado, police officers involved in the fatal confrontation with Elijah McClain in August 2019 did not have a legal basis to stop him, frisk him or physically restrain him …
Discussion: Denver Post, Insider and TheGrio
Joel B. Pollak / Breitbart:
Merrick Garland: Portland Riots May Not Be ‘Domestic Terrorism’ Because Courthouse Was Closed  —  Judge Merrick Garland told the Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday that Antifa's attacks on the U.S. courthouse in Portland last year may not have been “domestic terrorism,” because unlike the Capitol riot …
RELATED:
Larry Getlen / New York Post:
Lee Harvey Oswald ordered to kill JFK by Soviets, ex-CIA chief claims  —  Lee Harvey Oswald was a KGB associate who was personally instructed by Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev to assassinate President Kennedy.  Sometime shortly thereafter, the Soviets changed their minds, and Oswald was told to drop the plan.
Megan Brenan / Gallup:
Biden Gets High Marks for COVID-19 Response  —  WASHINGTON, D.C. — Several weeks into his first term in office, 67% of Americans approve of President Joe Biden's handling of the coronavirus.  Although not as high as his rating on the pandemic, approval of Biden is at the majority level on his overall job …
Discussion: Political Wire and CNN
Your Side / WFLA-TV:
Nikki Fried says she won't lower flags to honor Rush Limbaugh despite DeSantis' order  —  TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried says she will disregard Gov. Ron DeSantis' order to lower Florida flags at half-staff in honor of conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh who died last week.
Marc Caputo / Politico:
DeSantis crushes Rubio, Scott in Florida GOP poll  —  In Florida's shadow Republican primary for president, Gov. Ron DeSantis is starting to dominate his once-better-known home state colleagues, Sens. Marco Rubio and Rick Scott.  —  DeSantis's popularity among Republicans has been steadily rising …
Laurie Roberts / Arizona Republic:
Do Arizona's Republican lawmakers really think we're dumb enough to let them vote for us?  —  Opinion: Arizona legislators are assaulting democracy again, this time with an astonishing bill that would ask voters to allow them to select Arizona's presidential electors.  —  View Comments
Natasha Bertrand / Politico:
Biden readies his first major penalties on Russia  —  The U.S. is preparing to respond to Russia's poisoning and jailing of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, and is expected to coordinate a sanctions rollout with European allies in the coming weeks, according to people familiar with the matter.
Sarah Mucha / Axios:
Missing Marine sparks White House questions  —  The absence of a Marine sentry outside the West Wing on Monday raised questions about whether President Biden was keeping the schedule publicly outlined by his aides.  —  Why it matters: A sure way to tell if the president is inside the Oval Office …
Jordan Weissmann / Slate:
Democrats Are Waltzing Toward an Easily Avoidable Political Disaster With Their COVID Bill  —  At the moment, Democrats in Washington appear to be in danger of sleepwalking their way toward a major policy and public relations debacle.  —  The problem?  With tax season underway …
Jimmy Jenkins / KJZZ:
Whistleblowers: Software Bug Keeping Hundreds Of Inmates In Arizona Prisons Beyond Release Dates  —  According to Arizona Department of Corrections whistleblowers, hundreds of incarcerated people who should be eligible for release are being held in prison because the inmate management software cannot interpret current sentencing laws.
Carl O'Donnell / Reuters:
Pfizer to ship 13 million COVID-19 vaccine doses per week to U.S. by mid-March, says executive  —  (Reuters) - Pfizer Inc expects to deliver more than 13 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine per week to the United States by the middle of March, more than doubling its shipments from early February …
Good Morning America:
‘They were terrorists’: Capitol Police officer recounts Jan. 6 attack  —  “Is this America?  They beat police officers with Blue Lives Matter flags.”  Capitol Police Officer Harry Dunn exclusively told ABC News.
 
 
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 More Items: 
Politico:
Will the first bilat turn bromantic?
Discussion: Al Jazeera
Scott Detrow / NPR:
Watch: President Biden Delivers Emotional Remembrance Of 500,000 COVID-19 Victims
Alex Isenstadt / Politico:
Trump to attend RNC spring donor summit
Discussion: Political Wire
Wall Street Journal:
China Deploys Covid-19 Vaccine to Build Influence, With U.S. on Sidelines
Spencer Ackerman / The Daily Beast:
Biden Launches Classified Review of Drone Strikes and Counterterror Raids
CREW:
Trump reported making more than $1.6 billion while president
Laura Collins / Daily Mail:
SICKNICK DEATH TIMELINE
Discussion: Big League Politics
John Finnerty / The Tribune-Democrat:
Pa. Republicans pushing bills to roll back election changes
Discussion: HuffPost
 Earlier Items: 
Kevin Landrigan / UnionLeader.com:
Sununu says ‘definitely open’ to 2022 Senate bid
Luke Savage / Jacobin:
Pete Buttigieg Is Bootleg Obama in the Worst Ways Possible
Rachel E. Greenspan / Insider:
TikTokers are trying to prove that snow in Texas is ‘fake,’ pushing a false conspiracy theory
Discussion: Earther and Snopes.com
Perry Bacon Jr / FiveThirtyEight:
Nine Lessons I Learned About Political Reporting While Covering Trump