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1:10 PM ET, February 23, 2021

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 Top Items: 
Insider:
We identified the 125 people and institutions most responsible for Donald Trump's rise to power and his norm-busting behavior that tested the boundaries of the US government and its institutions … - Insider compiled this database of the 125 people and institutions essential to Donald Trump's rise …
RELATED:
Joe Scarborough / Washington Post:
No amount of disaster can shake the GOP loose from Trump  —  Five years ago, Donald Trump seized control of the Republican Party by attacking conservative icons, insulting former GOP presidents and disregarding Ronald Reagan's 11th commandment that warned against criticizing other party members.
Douglas Schoen / The Hill:
Republicans face an identity crisis
Stephen Rex Brown / New York Daily News:
Rudy Giuliani tried dodging getting served with $1B Dominion Voting Systems suit: source  —  Rudy Giuliani spent a week dodging service of a $1.3 billion lawsuit filed by Dominion Voting Systems after publicly declaring he was ready for the legal fight, a source told the Daily News.
RELATED:
Jacob Shamsian / Insider:
MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell says he's losing $65 million over election-fraud claims and it proves he's not pushing conspiracy theories for the money
Politico:
‘A double standard going on’: Democrats accuse GOP and Manchin of bias on Biden nominations  —  Women's rights activists and allied Democrats are growing increasingly vocal about what they call the unfair targeting of women and people of color nominated by Joe Biden to top posts in his administration.
RELATED:
Olivia Beavers / Politico:
Manchin'd  —  FOR JOE MANCHIN, IT'S ‘NOT PERSONAL’: The Democratic Senate has hit …
Adam Gabbatt / The Guardian:
Al Jazeera to launch rightwing media platform targeting US conservatives  —  Rightly will be led by a former Fox News journalist and is aimed at Republicans who ‘feel left out of conservative media’  —  Al Jazeera, the Qatar-based news network that has previously sought to become …
Politico:
Security officials in charge on Jan. 6 tell Congress conflicting stories  —  The officials in charge of securing the Capitol on Jan. 6 say a tangled mess of conflicting orders and unanswered calls culminated in an hourslong delay by the Pentagon in deploying National Guard troops to quell …
RELATED:
Santi Ruiz / Washington Free Beacon:
Amazon Pulls Bestseller on Transgender Issues From Store Without Explanation  —  Amazon steps up censorship campaign against conservative content  —  Amazon pulled a bestseller on transgender issues from its online store on Sunday without explanation.  —  Author Ryan T. Anderson tweeted …
RELATED:
Jeremy Beaman / Washington Examiner:
Amazon: Buy anything you could ever want, except this book challenging transgenderism
Discussion: The Daily Caller
Wall Street Journal:
Tech Censorship Is Accelerating
Discussion: Power Line
New York Times:
Slate Suspends Podcast Host After Debate Over Racial Slur  —  Mike Pesca of “The Gist” said he was suspended after defending, in a Slack discussion with colleagues, the use of the slur in some contexts.  —  The online publication Slate has suspended a well-known podcast host after he debated …
RELATED:
Greg Sargent / Washington Post:
Ted Cruz's latest Cancún spin shows the rot of GOP victimization runs deep  —  Mark it down.  Republicans have hit on a new way to spin away their own screw-ups and scandals: By claiming the media focus on their political travails is driven by the press' search for a new Republican victim …
Washington Post:
Vaccine makers Pfizer and Moderna pledge massive boost to U.S. supply after sluggish rollout  —  The increases needed to meet March delivery targets will be steep, however, and Biden administration officials expect the companies could come up slightly short  —  Drug companies told lawmakers Tuesday …
RELATED:
Cassidy Morrison / Washington Examiner:
Johnson & Johnson prepared to ship out 20M COVID-19 vaccines as it nears FDA authorization
Discussion: Bloomberg, Politico and WISC-TV
David M. Drucker / Washington Examiner:
David Perdue pulls himself out of 2022 Georgia Senate race  —  Former Sen. David Perdue has opted not to mount a comeback in Georgia, with the Republican saying in an email to supporters that he will not challenge Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock in 2022.  —  Perdue, 71, was ousted …
RELATED:
Jonathan Chait / New York Magazine:
The Future of Conservatism Is Flight 93 Elections Forever  —  Michael Anton has been confronted with a dilemma few writers have ever contemplated: how to handle catastrophic success.  Anton's 2016 essay, “The Flight 93 Election,” made a then-shocking case to the right-wing intelligentsia in favor of Donald Trump's election.
Steven Mufson / Washington Post:
The battle over climate change is boiling over on the home front  —  Municipalities want new buildings to go all electric, spurning gas-fired stoves and heating systems.  The gas industry disagrees  —  A new front has opened in the battle over climate change: The kitchen.
Discussion: NPR
Melissa Healy / Los Angeles Times:
California's coronavirus strain looks increasingly dangerous: ‘The devil is already here’  —  A coronavirus variant that emerged in mid-2020 and surged to become the dominant strain in California not only spreads more readily than its predecessors, but also evades antibodies generated …
Discussion: KTLA
Christopher Cadelago / Politico:
Bloomberg's 2020 aides got an unwelcome surprise in their tax forms  —  Nearly a year after Mike Bloomberg's $1 billion presidential campaign crashed into Super Tuesday, his staffers are still dealing with the aftershocks.  —  In recent weeks, aides to the former Democratic candidate started …
Discussion: HotAir
The Bulwark:
Wisconsin Republicans Refuse To Condemn Political Violence  —  Nothing that might be taken as criticism of Donald Trump can be allowed.  —  We are long-time Republicans who have served in GOP leadership at the county, district, and state levels in Wisconsin.
Discussion: Raw Story
Julia Wick / Los Angeles Times:
Vaccine access codes for Black, Latino communities improperly used in affluent L.A. areas  —  A California program intended to improve COVID-19 vaccine availability to people in hard-hit communities of color is being misused by outsiders who are grabbing appointments reserved for residents of underserved Black and Latino areas.
Ellen Nakashima / Washington Post:
Biden administration preparing to sanction Russia for SolarWinds hacks and the poisoning of an opposition leader  —  The Biden administration is preparing sanctions and other measures to punish Moscow for actions that go beyond the sprawling SolarWinds cyber espionage campaign to include …
Discussion: Politico and Raw Story
Bonchie / RedState:
Does Merrick Garland Even Know What Day It Is?  —  Merrick Garland had his confirmation hearing yesterday.  The formerly deceased (ok, not really) Supreme Court nominee from the Obama era is being seen as a shoe-in for Attorney General.  The expectation is that many Republican Senators will vote to confirm …
Ben Casselman / New York Times:
For Women in Economics the Hostility is Out in the Open  —  Studies have found that the field is plagued by a singular problem of gender bias.  The latest evidence comes from the types of questions posed at seminars.  —  A few years ago, the economists Alicia Sasser Modestino and Justin Wolfers sat …
Hans Nichols / Axios:
Scoop: Biden's OMB Plan B  —  House Democratic leaders are quietly mounting a campaign for Shalanda Young, a longtime congressional aide, to replace Neera Tanden as nominee for director of the Office of Management and Budget, people familiar with the matter tell Axios.
Bret Stephens / New York Times:
Woke Me When It's Over  —  In the humorless world of Woke, the satire is never funny and the statute of limitations never expires, even when it comes to hamantaschen.  —  In 2015, Bon Appétit ran an article by the food writer Dawn Perry about hamantaschen, the triangular cookies …
Washington Post:
Trump's former treasury secretary expected to launch investment fund, seeking backing of Persian Gulf state funds  —  Steven Mnuchin has begun hiring staff for an investment fund likely to focus on the financial technology and entertainment sectors, people familiar with the plans said.
Benjamin Wermund / Houston Chronicle:
President Joe Biden, First Lady Jill Biden to travel to Houston on Friday  —  WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden are heading to Houston on Friday as Texas recovers from winter storms that left millions without power and water.  —  The White House announced the trip on Tuesday with no additional details.
Discussion: Mediaite, IJR and Political Wire
Faiz Siddiqui / Washington Post:
Elon Musk moved to Texas and embraced celebrity.  Can Tesla run on Autopilot?  —  Investors fear a world where Musk no longer leads the company.  But his attention is already going elsewhere.  —  SAN FRANCISCO — Elon Musk says he is stretched too thin.  —  The chief executive …
Silvia Foster-Frau / Washington Post:
First migrant facility for children opens under Biden  —  CARRIZO SPRINGS, Tex. — Dozens of migrant teens boarded vans Monday for the trip down a dusty road to a former man camp for oil field workers here, the first migrant child facility opened under the Biden administration.
CNN:
‘Where is everyone?’:  Inside Trump's DC hotel post-presidency  —  Washington (CNN)A sprawling lobby and bar with only a handful of people.  Confused guests asking where everybody went.  Elegant, but empty hallways.  These are the scenes CNN observed inside the Trump International Hotel in Washington …
Katelyn Polantz / CNN:
Oath Keeper now says she didn't meet with Secret Service around the January 6 rally  —  (CNN)Jessica Watkins, a leader in an alleged Oath Keepers conspiracy in the US Capitol insurrection, changed her story Monday about meeting with Secret Service agents in describing her actions on January 6.
Daniel Nichanian / The Appeal:
Illinois Delays End of Prison Gerrymandering By a Decade  —  A hard-fought reform will stop the state from distorting political power at the expense of communities that bear the brunt of incarceration.  But it won't take effect for a long time.  —  For years, State Representative La Shawn Ford …
Bryan Bender / Politico:
Tester outlines defense budget strategy  —  Editor's Note: Morning Defense is a free version of POLITICO Pro Defense's morning newsletter, which is delivered to our subscribers each morning at 6 a.m. The POLITICO Pro platform combines the news you need with tools you can use to take action on the day's biggest stories.
CNN:
Inside a ‘Patriot Party’ rally where Trump loyalists search for a path forward  —  (CNN)The “Patriot Party” is somewhere between a meme and a movement of Trump loyalists.  —  The idea and, perhaps just as important, the logo, have been circulating on social media since last summer.
Discussion: Raw Story
Ledyard King / USA Today:
Republican plan would raise minimum wage to $10 but only if businesses are required to ensure worker legality  —  WASHINGTON - Republican Sens. Mitt Romney and Tom Cotton are proposing to raise the federal minimum wage to $10, but only if businesses are required to use the internet-based E …
Helen Raleigh / The Federalist:
As Americans Turn Left, We Should Remember Socialism Killed 36 Million Chinese  —  Chinese whistleblower Yang Jisheng's book, ‘Tombstone: The Great Chinese Famine 1958-1962,’ is a powerful reminder that collectivism is evil.  —  After I finished reading Yang Jisheng's book, Tombstone …
 
 
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 More Items: 
Politico:
Biden considers regulating ‘ghost guns,’ other executive actions to curb gun violence
Discussion: The Daily Caller
The White House:
Press Briefing by White House COVID-19 Response Team and Public Health Officials
Discussion: HotAir, TheBlaze and Breitbart
Jeffrey M. Jones / Gallup:
Congressional Job Approval Highest in Nearly 12 Years
Discussion: The Hill and Political Wire
The Guardian:
Revealed: 6,500 migrant workers have died in Qatar as it gears up for World Cup
Discussion: The Daily Beast
 Earlier Items: 
Lauren Sarner / New York Post:
Harry Shearer will no longer voice black ‘Simpsons’ character
Discussion: TheBlaze and Variety
Rich Lowry / National Review:
Andrew Cuomo Is Everything the Press Accused Ron DeSantis of Being
Discussion: Wall Street Journal and ABC News
Andrew Kerr / The Daily Caller:
Media Matters Study On Fox News ‘Misinformation’ Is Riddled With Misrepresentations, Flagged Objectively True Statements
Mike Allen / Axios:
CDC meets “Deadliest Catch”
Jonathan Easley / The Hill:
Former Trump officials eye bids for political office
Sarah Mucha / Axios:
Missing Marine sparks White House questions