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11:35 AM ET, January 26, 2022

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 Top Items: 
Julia Davis / The Daily Beast:
Kremlin TV Worries Tucker Carlson's Pro-Putin Bias Has Gone Too Far  —  Top Russian state propagandists are concerned that no one will take the Fox News host seriously any more.  —  With Russian troops steadily massing on the Ukraine border and a looming threat of an invasion …
RELATED:
Vladimir Isachenkov / Associated Press:
Russia threatens retaliation if Ukraine demands not met  —  MOSCOW (AP) — Russia warned Wednesday it would quickly take “retaliatory measures” if the U.S. and its allies reject its security demands and continue their “aggressive” policies, ratcheting up pressure on the West amid concerns that Moscow is planning to invade Ukraine.
Politico:
Will There Be a War Over Ukraine?  13 Putin Watchers Weigh In  —  Russian President Vladimir Putin sought a confrontation with the West and he got one.  So now what?  —  Diplomatic efforts to defuse the crisis appear to have stalled.  In the past month, Putin has escalated his long proxy war …
The Daily Beast:
Florida Shock Jock in Matt Gaetz Circle Pleads Guilty  —  The feds are closing in on Rep. Matt Gaetz for his alleged underage sex crimes with yet another criminal case, this time against a key witness: his wingman's best friend. … “Big Joe” Ellicott, a former Florida shock jock …
Discussion: Mock Paper Scissors and Raw Story
The Atlantic:
The Case Against Masks at School  —  Districts should rethink imposing on millions of children an intervention that provides little discernible benefit. … In the panicked spring of 2020, as health officials scrambled to keep communities safe, they recommended various restrictions and interventions …
Discussion: DCist
RELATED:
Monmouth University Polling Institute:
GOP Has Congress Edge by Default  —  Few say either party is very concerned about ‘average Americans’  —  West Long Branch, NJ - Congressional Republicans have a small edge over their Democratic colleagues on a dubious metric - they are slightly less likely to be seen as lacking concern for the average American's financial well-being.
Jada Yuan / Washington Post:
Melania Trump auctions off her hat, and has become the latest victim of the cryptocurrency crash  —  The former first lady's chapeau is still far below her asking price.  —  (This article has been updated to reflect that the auction, which was offline for part of Tuesday, is back online.)
Discussion: Politico
RELATED:
Eric Lipton / New York Times:
Melania Trump's Auction of Hat Hit by Plunge in Cryptocurrency
Discussion: Raw Story
Politico:
'She was Zoom'd out:' Veep mulls escape from D.C. bubble  —  Sitting among some of the most influential Black women in America last month, Vice President Kamala Harris confessed to a stifling sensation that had fallen over her while in office.  She was struggling to escape the D.C. bubble …
Discussion: HotAir and RedState
The Dworkin Report:
Author reveals how Peter Thiel helped Trump cut a deal with Facebook to evade fact checking  —  Scott talks with author and journalist Max Chafkin, who is a features editor and a tech reporter at Bloomberg Businessweek.  Max is the author of “The Contrarian: Peter Thiel and Silicon Valley's Pursuit of Power …
Tess Owen / VICE:
Leaked Chats Reveal Fascist Group Patriot Front Shames Members About Their Porn, Junk Food Habits  —  The inner workings of the group were laid bare after the release of 400 gigabytes of data by the left-wing collective Unicorn Riot.  —  TO  —  It shouldn't be a surprise that fascists rule …
Discussion: Raw Story
Matt Friedman / Politico:
New Jersey political consultant Sean Caddle pleads guilty in murder-for-hire plot  —  The 44-year-old resident of Hamburg, Sussex County, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit murder for hire in the stabbing death of the unnamed victim.  —  The New Jersey state house is pictured.
Discussion: NBC10 Philadelphia and WTOP News
Jazz Shaw / HotAir:
Canceled NY mask mandate is uncanceled again... for now  —  Yesterday we discussed the ruling of a New York State supreme court judge who issued an injunction against Governor Kathy Hochul's statewide face mask mandate.  The judge found that the mandate violated two different state laws …
Jonathan Weisman / New York Times:
Cawthorn Challenge Raises the Question: Who Is an ‘Insurrectionist’?  —  The challenge to Representative Madison Cawthorn's re-election bid could set a precedent to challenge other Republicans who encouraged the Jan. 6 attack.  —  WASHINGTON — A group of lawyers is working to disqualify …
Jason Tidd / USA Today:
Kansas bill forces pharmacists to fill ivermectin, hydroxychloroquine as off-label COVID treatment  —  TOPEKA, Kansas - A group of Kansas politicians tasked with steering public health policy are pushing to allow doctors to prescribe unproven treatments and preventives for COVID-19 without any potential for responsibility.
Discussion: KFOR-TV
Washington Post:
Matea Gold named National Editor, Philip Rucker named Deputy National Editor  —  Announcement from Executive Editor Sally Buzbee, Senior Managing Editor Cameron Barr, Managing Editor Steven Ginsberg, Managing Editor Tracy Grant, Managing Editor Krissah Thompson, and Chief Product Officer and Managing Editor Kat Downs Mulder:
Eric Levitz / New York Magazine:
Partisanship Made the Omicron Crisis Worse  —  On Monday, at least 2,181 Americans died from COVID-19.  Over the past week, average daily COVID deaths in the United States have risen to 2,369 — the highest death rate the country has seen in nearly a year.  Given the lag time between spiking cases …
Kristen Jordan Shamus / Detroit Free Press:
For 1st time in Michigan history, more people died than were born in 2020  —  For the first time in Michigan's recorded history, deaths outpaced births in 2020 — a situation worsened by the wave of deaths from COVID-19, said Kurt Metzger, a demographer who founded Data Driven Detroit and studies Michigan population trends.
Nick Judin / Mississippi Free Press:
Ridgeland Mayor Demands LGBTQ+ Book Purge, Threatens Library Funding  —  Ridgeland Mayor Gene McGee is withholding $110,000 of funding from the Madison County Library System allegedly on the basis of his personal religious beliefs, with library officials stating that he has demanded …
Discussion: Insider and Raw Story
Alexander Bolton / The Hill:
SALT change likely to be cut from bill, say Senate Democrats  —  Senate Democrats say a proposal to raise the cap on state and local tax (SALT) deductions, a top priority of Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), is likely to be cut from the revised Build Back Better Act.
Michael Schaub / Kirkus Reviews:
Missouri School District Bans Toni Morrison Book  —  A school board in Missouri has banned four books, including Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye, from libraries in the district's high schools, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.  —  The Wentzville School Board voted 4-3 to remove …
Yvonne Wingett Sanchez / Arizona Republic:
Sen. Mark Kelly ‘does not support the censure’ of Sen. Kyrsten Sinema  —  Sen. Mark Kelly broke his silence over the censure of his Democratic colleague Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, with a campaign spokesperson saying he disagreed with it and she should not be singled out over her opposition to changing the Senate's filibuster rules.
Sophia Ankel / Insider:
Prosecutors explained the plot of ‘Game of Thrones’ to argue that a rioter quoting Cersei Lannister was proof of criminal intent  — Jeremiah Caplinger quoted from “Game of Thrones” in a social media post days after the Capitol riot.  — “As said by Cersi Lannister 'I choose violence …
Discussion: Raw Story and Law & Crime
Zach Hirsch / NCPR Daily News:
Special report: How Stefanik won power and support for spreading Trump's ‘Big Lie’  —  The false claim that the 2020 presidential election was fraudulent or stolen lives on.  —  Former president Donald Trump continues to spread what's become known as the “Big Lie” — because it's a baseless myth — to this day.
Discussion: Grid News
Holly Otterbein / Politico:
Dr. Oz stumbles out of the gate in Senate race  —  PHILADELPHIA — Mehmet Oz's introduction to GOP grassroots politics is a code-red crisis.  In his first three unofficial tests as a candidate in Pennsylvania's Republican Senate primary, the celebrity physician known as Dr. Oz has been handily rejected by party activists.
Paul Burton / CBS Boston:
Man Can't Get Heart Transplant Because He's Not Vaccinated Against COVID  —  BOSTON (CBS) - David Ferguson is speaking out passionately on behalf of his son DJ.  He says the 31-year-old is fighting for his life at Brigham and Women's Hospital and in desperate need of a heart transplant.
Sergio Olmos / The Guardian:
‘The most dangerous man in Congress’: how Paul Gosar became a darling of the far right  —  Once fringe, now dominant in the party, rightwing Republicans are strategizing for minoritarian rule  —  he Arizona Republican congressman Paul Gosar had a simple message for the crowd when he recently addressed …
Discussion: FiveThirtyEight
Michael Daly / The Daily Beast:
DeSantis' Demented Doc Is About to Get the Grilling He Deserves  —  STRAIGHT-UP OPPORTUNIST … He doesn't deserve to be the state's surgeon general.  It hardly seems like he deserves to be a doctor at all.  —  Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is a politician by profession …
Discussion: Alternet.org and Raw Story
Kyle Cheney / Politico:
Federal judge rejects challenge to ‘weighty and urgent’ Jan. 6 committee  —  A federal judge in California on Tuesday delivered a forceful defense of the Jan. 6 select committee's efforts, sharply rejecting a bid by attorney John Eastman — a key driver of Donald Trump's effort to subvert the 2020 election …
Discussion: Bloomberg and Instapundit
Marianne LeVine / Politico:
How Senate Dems reaped the benefits from 2 little-known GOP maneuvers  —  Senate Democrats lost their fight to weaken the filibuster, but they're capitalizing big on another rules change — that the GOP pushed.  —  After an Obama administration marked by Democratic frustration over the pace …
Discussion: CNBC, Brookings and Raw Story
 
 
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 More Items: 
Washington Post:
Schools can now safely make masks optional with the CDC's new guidelines
Discussion: Washington Examiner and Fox News
CBS News:
Domestic extremists have plotted to disrupt U.S. power grid, DHS bulletin warns
Henry J. Gomez / NBC News:
Bernie Sanders ally Nina Turner seeks rematch with Rep. Shontel Brown in Ohio
Discussion: Plain Dealer, The Hill and UPI
Washington Post:
Crypto collapse erases more than $1 trillion in wealth, forcing a reckoning for everyday investors
Discussion: Althouse
Anna Giaritelli / Washington Examiner:
Biden enters second year with migration plans for Central America unfulfilled
Discussion: The Federalist and Vox
Fox News:
Republicans consider shutting down government over vax mandate
Discussion: HotAir, Townhall and TheBlaze
Walter Russell Mead / Wall Street Journal:
History Forces Biden's Hand
 Earlier Items: 
Paul Steinhauser / Fox News:
Trump-backed Herschel Walker reports hauling in nearly $10M since launching GOP Senate bid in Georgia
Oliver Milman / The Guardian:
'He's a villain': Joe Manchin attracts global anger over climate crisis
Discussion: Alternet.org
Stephanie Kirchgaessner / The Guardian:
Top Human Rights Watch investigator allegedly hacked with Pegasus spyware
Discussion: Washington Post and Al Jazeera
New York Times:
As Islamic State Resurges, U.S. Is Drawn Back Into the Fray
Discussion: Washington Post
Roger Sollenberger / The Daily Beast:
This Fan Sent Trump His Idea. The ‘Dirty Bastard’ Stole It.
Discussion: Raw Story
CNN:
Exclusive: Federal prosecutors looking at 2020 fake elector certifications, deputy attorney general tells CNN