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6:40 AM ET, January 18, 2022

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 Top Items: 
NBC News:
Trump's advisers point the finger at McConnell as reports of DeSantis feud swirl  —  MIAMI — When Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis went on a top political podcast last week, he panned the Covid lockdowns encouraged by former President Donald Trump early in the pandemic.
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Jonathan V. Last / The Triad:
Ron DeSantis Is Going to Get Trump Trucked  —  1. Fake Versus Real  —  I wrote about the brewing Trump-DeSantis feud back in July, when it was clear that DeSantis was Single White Female-ing Trump to a degree that was going to get super uncomfortable.  —  Now the fight is almost out in the open …
Meridith McGraw / Politico:
Trump superfans dream of a run again, and of JFK Jr. on the ticket  —  FLORENCE, Ariz. — Ray Kallatsa is a die-hard Trumper who “definitely” wants to see former President Donald Trump run for office again in 2024.  —  So it was natural that he'd travel from Tucson to see Trump's first rally of 2022.
Discussion: Raw Story
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David Gilbert / VICE:
The Dallas QAnon Cult Believes JFK Was Disguised as Trump at Arizona Rally  —  Michael Protzman, who leads the Dallas QAnon cult, promised his followers that Trump's rally would have major revelations.  —  DG  —  At former President Donald Trump's rally in Arizona on Saturday …
Jordain Carney / The Hill:
Senate Democrats call special caucus meeting ahead of filibuster fight  —  Senate Democrats are convening a special, in-person caucus meeting on Tuesday as they brace for a fight on voting rights and the filibuster to come to a head.  —  Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) …
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Catie Edmondson / New York Times:
Senate Democrats Press Ahead With Debate on Voting Rights Bill
New York Times:
Russia Thins Out Its Embassy in Ukraine, a Possible Clue to Putin's Next Move  —  The slow evacuation may be part propaganda, part preparation for a conflict or part feint, Ukrainian and U.S. officials say.  It could be all three.  —  KYIV, Ukraine — The week before intensive diplomatic meetings began …
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Yasmeen Serhan / The Atlantic:
The Silent, Vaccinated, Impatient Majority  —  Politicians rarely set out to piss off their constituents, much less admit to doing so.  So when French President Emmanuel Macron expressed his desire to antagonize France's unvaccinated citizens into receiving COVID vaccinations …
Discussion: Mediaite and Unglossed
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Reuters:
No vaccine, no French Open for Djokovic as rules tighten  —  Novak Djokovic risks being frozen out of tennis as he chases a record 21st Grand Slam title, with rules on travellers who are unvaccinated against COVID-19 tightening in the third year of the pandemic and some tournaments reconsidering exemptions.
New York Times:
The Hostages Escaped.  But Synagogues Ask, How Can They Be More Secure?  —  The hostages whispered instructions and edged closer to the door — part of invaluable training that anxious congregations are using.  —  DALLAS — For 11 hours, the hostages talked to the ranting gunman, hoping that he would see them as human.
RELATED:
Michael Gerson / Washington Post:
Jewish worship in America should not involve routine fear
Michael Kaplan / CBS News:
Representative Matt Gaetz's ex-girlfriend granted immunity in sex trafficking probe  —  Prosecutors granted immunity to an ex-girlfriend of Representative Matt Gaetz before she testified last week in front of a federal grand jury hearing evidence in the investigation of the congressman, according to a source familiar with the matter.
Lila Shapiro / Vulture:
The Undoing of Joss Whedon … In the fall of 2002, 160 scholars convened at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, England.  They were an eclectic group — theologians, philosophers, linguists, film professors — and they had descended on the medieval city for a conference dedicated …
Douglas Andrews / The Patriot Post:
The GOP Had Better Wake Up … If you're a Republican in Washington and you want to be liked, get a dog.  Because kowtowing to the Democrats' narrative that the 2020 presidential election was free, fair, and utterly uncontroversial isn't going to earn you any lasting friendships.
Discussion: Politico
Amanda Macias / CNBC:
Billionaire investor Chamath Palihapitiya says ‘nobody cares’ about Uyghur genocide in China  — Billionaire investor Chamath Palihapitiya said during a recent podcast episode that “nobody cares” about the ongoing human rights abuses against the Uyghurs in China.
Craig Mauger / Detroit News:
Trump backers sought ways into Michigan Capitol for electors meeting  —  Lansing — Supporters of former President Donald Trump privately discussed ways they could gain access to the Michigan Capitol on Dec. 14, 2020, when the battleground state's presidential electors met, according to four sources with knowledge of the planning.
Discussion: Political Wire and Raw Story
Lydia Saad / Gallup:
U.S. Political Ideology Steady; Conservatives, Moderates Tie  —  WASHINGTON, D.C. — The way Americans identify themselves ideologically was unchanged in 2021, continuing the close division that has persisted in recent years between those describing themselves as either conservative or moderate …
Bloomberg:
Tentative Mideast Reconciliations May Grow With Iran Deal  —  The Middle East, long known for rivalries, may be looking at a more peaceful future.  —  Saudi Arabia and Qatar held a summit in January 2021 and ten months later the UAE foreign minister met the Syrian president, while its de facto ruler paid a visit to Turkey.
Catherine Rampell / Washington Post:
A year into his presidency, Biden has kept some of Trump's worst immigration policies in place.  Why?  —  Heading into the November midterms, Republicans plan to use President Biden's immigration record against him.  So declared former Trump administration official and infamous xenophobe Stephen Miller in a recent CNN interview.
David Zahniser / Los Angeles Times:
Kevin de León, working to clear encampments, wages an escalating fight with activists  —  For the last year, Los Angeles City Councilman Kevin de León has focused much of his energy on reducing the number of encampments in his Eastside district, working with city agencies …
Heather Hamilton / Washington Examiner:
Communist-style art posters mocking Biden and Fauci's COVID mandates appear in DC  —  Four Communist-style posters featuring images of Biden and Fauci with mocking messages of COVID-19 mandate compliance appeared across Washington, D.C., over the weekend.  —  Photos and videos …
Apoorva Mandavilli / New York Times:
The C.D.C.'s New Challenge?  Grappling With Imperfect Science  —  The Omicron coronavirus variant is moving much faster than researchers can, worsening a longstanding problem: The agency must make tough decisions with scant data.  —  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention …
Discussion: Breitbart and Eschaton
RELATED:
Ann E. Marimow / Washington Post:
Texas's six-week abortion ban remains in effect after federal appeals court ruling  —  The nation's most restrictive abortion law remains in effect in Texas after a federal appeals court on Monday rejected a request from abortion providers to immediately return their legal challenge …
Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw / Los Angeles Times:
Op-Ed: King was a critical race theorist before there was a name for it  —  For the first time, we're observing the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday under new laws in multiple states that ban the instruction of “divisive” interpretations of our racial past.
RELATED:
Beth LeBlanc / Detroit News:
Michigan Democratic Party deletes post questioning parents' role in schools  —  The Michigan Democratic Party has deleted a weekend Facebook post that questioned the role parents have in deciding what is taught in public schools and drew criticism from conservative and school choice groups.
 
 
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 More Items: 
Brett Hartl / The Hill:
The tragedy of thinking like a senator
Discussion: NBC News
Erik Ortiz / NBC News:
In battle against far-right extremists, an old strategy re-emerges: Bankrupt them
Discussion: Raw Story
Margot Cleveland / The Federalist:
Video Shows Pennsylvania Official Admitting Election Laws Were Broken In 2020
Discussion: The Gateway Pundit and YouTube
John Stoehr / The Editorial Board:
Martin Luther King Jr would have understood that the line connecting Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump runs through Dixie
Zachary Petrizzo / The Daily Beast:
Mike Lindell Hires Axed Newsmax Host Who Claimed COVID Vax Has Satanic Trackers
Discussion: Raw Story
Jim Hoft / The Gateway Pundit:
BREAKING BIG: Judge Gableman Issues Subpoenas to Voting Machine Companies Including Dominion Voting Machines in Wisconsin 2020 Election Investigation
Discussion: Yahoo News
Washington Post:
A small step toward solving our social media woes
 Earlier Items: 
West Virginia State Treasury:
Treasurer Moore Announces Board of Treasury Investments Ends Use of BlackRock Investment Fund
Terrence McCoy / Washington Post:
More enslaved Africans came to the Americas through this port than anywhere else. Why have so few heard of it?
Brendan Murray / Bloomberg:
Union Pacific Weighs Avoiding Los Angeles as Cargo Theft Rises
Catherine Porter / New York Times:
A Fighter for Press Freedom Is Expanding Her Battle
Natalie Colarossi / Newsweek:
Trump Claims White People ‘at the Back of the Line’ for COVID Vaccines, Treatments
Discussion: Mediaite and HuffPost