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2:45 AM ET, February 3, 2023

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 Top Items: 
Courtney Kube / NBC News:
Suspected Chinese spy balloon found over northern U.S.  —  The government has been monitoring a suspected Chinese surveillance balloon that has been hovering over the northern U.S. for the past few days, and they have discussed shooting it out of the sky, according to two U.S. officials and a senior defense official.
RELATED:
Wall Street Journal:
Chinese Spy Balloon Tracked Over U.S. This Week  —  Incident comes days before Secretary of State Antony Blinken's trip to China  —  WASHINGTON—The U.S. tracked what officials described as a Chinese reconnaissance balloon over the continental states this week, in what would be an aggressive act …
Washington Post:
Chinese spy balloon flying over U.S. ‘right now,’ Pentagon says  —  The discovery, coming just days before Secretary of State Antony Blinken is due to visit Beijing, prompted discussion of whether to shoot down the surveillance system  —  A Chinese surveillance balloon has been spotted …
Helene Cooper / New York Times:
Pentagon Discovers Suspected China Spy Balloon Over Northwest United States  —  The revelation comes days before Secretary of State Antony Blinken's visit to Beijing, where he is expected to meet with President Xi Jinping.  —  WASHINGTON — The United States has detected …
Karoun Demirjian / New York Times:
House Ousts Ilhan Omar From Foreign Affairs Panel as G.O.P. Exacts Revenge  —  In a highly politicized vote, the Republican-led chamber criticized Ms. Omar's statements about Israel, exacting retribution for the removal of G.O.P. members when Democrats held the majority.
RELATED:
Christopher Wilson / Yahoo News:
AOC decries vote to remove Omar from House Foreign Affairs Committee  —  Moments before House Republicans voted to remove Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., from the House Foreign Affairs Committee over what a resolution said was a series of antisemitic remarks, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y. …
Tara Palmeri / Puck:
McCarthy's Horse-Trading Nightmare  —  His imperiled speakership was a collaborative effort that resulted in plenty of begging and favor-trading.  Now, as members expect reciprocity for loyalty in the form of committee assignments, McCarthy's up to his eyeballs placating unhappy former allies in his slim majority.
Rachel Oswald / Roll Call:
House votes to remove Omar from Foreign Affairs panel as Democrats cry hypocrisy and ‘racism’  —  Corrected 3:50 p.m. |  Over Democratic cries of hypocrisy and “revenge”-seeking, House Republicans on Thursday stripped one of the chamber's few Muslim female lawmakers of a coveted committee assignment …
Scott Bauer / Associated Press:
Trump campaign staff on 2020 election lies: ‘fan the flame’  —  A newly released audio recording offers a behind-the-scenes look at how former President Donald Trump's campaign team in a pivotal battleground state knew they had been outflanked by Democrats in the 2020 presidential election.
Discussion: Political Wire
RELATED:
Michael C. Bender / New York Times:
Trump Won't Commit to Backing the G.O.P. Nominee in 2024  —  The former president faces several potential Republican challengers in his bid for the White House.  —  Donald J. Trump refused to say he would support the next Republican presidential nominee if it was not him …
David Byler / Washington Post:
Trump's Republican opponents are making a painfully obvious mistake  —  It's often said that military leaders “fight the last war”: They assume their current enemy is just like the previous one so they misjudge their foe and lose.  —  The Republican establishment is making that exact mistake in the 2024 presidential primary.
New York Times:
Former Trump Executive, Already Jailed, Could Face More Fraud Charges  —  Manhattan prosecutors warned that they might charge Allen H. Weisselberg with insurance fraud to pressure him to cooperate in an investigation of the former president.  —  Manhattan prosecutors this week warned …
Discussion: Bloomberg and Raw Story
Talking Points Memo:
Leaked Audio And Staff Dispute Show Chaos Inside George Santos' Office  —  Start your day with TPM.  —  After a little over a week working with embattled Rep. George Santos (R-NY), Derek Myers was informed that he would not be getting a permanent job.  During that tense conversation, Santos also offered some parting advice.
RELATED:
Kadia Goba / Semafor:
George Santos: We've been secretly recorded  —  It's Groundhog Day, but George Santos is worried about a mole.  —  The Congressman told Semafor he expects recordings by a prospective staffer they interviewed this week to be published this evening by progressive news site Talking Points Memo.
Paul Farhi / Washington Post:
Questioned on Biden documents, his press secretary has only one answer  —  Karine Jean-Pierre, eight months into her tenure as White House press secretary, has frustrated reporters with her inability to shed light on the classified documents probe, raising doubts about her own access.
RELATED:
Wall Street Journal:
FBI to Search Mike Pence's Home for Additional Classified Materials
Politico:
Joe Biden's new squad
New York Times:
Soaring Death Toll Gives Grim Insight Into Russian Tactics  —  Moscow is sending poorly trained recruits, including convicts, to the front lines in eastern Ukraine to pave the way for more seasoned fighters, U.S. and allied officials say.  —  WASHINGTON — The number of Russian troops killed …
Discussion: Savage Minds
RELATED:
Dana Blanton / Fox News:
Fox News Poll: Bipartisan support for sending funding, weapons to Ukraine
Eric Levitz / New York Magazine:
The GOP Can't Remember Why It Took the Debt Ceiling Hostage  —  Hostage taking is, traditionally, a means to an end.  A criminal organization wants to earn fast cash, so it kidnaps the child of a business tycoon.  Or a militant group wants some of its members released from prison, so it seizes a government building.
David Corn / Mother Jones:
Columbia Journalism Review's Big Fail: It Published 24,000 Words on Russiagate and Missed the Point  —  Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.  —  Misdirection, an essential tool for magicians, is not usually a component of media criticism.
Politico:
Kari Lake meets with NRSC officials  —  Defeated Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake met with officials at the National Republican Senatorial Committee on Thursday, two people familiar with the matter told POLITICO.  —  The meeting comes as Lake is considering a run for the Senate in Arizona.
Kayode Crown / Mississippi Free Press:
As Mississippi Hospitals Fail, Leaders Kill Medicaid Expansion Efforts Again  —  Standing inside a shuttered hospital's abandoned emergency room in Newton County, Miss., on Monday night, Democratic candidate for governor Brandon Presley blamed Gov. Tate Reeves for the fact that more than half …
Lawrence Richard / Fox News:
New Jersey Councilwoman Eunice Dwumfour shot dead outside home in ‘despicable criminal act’  —  Sayreville Councilwoman Eunice Dwumfour found dead inside vehicle outside apartment with multiple gunshot wounds  —  Fox News Flash top headlines for February 2
RELATED:
Daniel Victor / New York Times:
New Jersey Councilwoman Is Fatally Shot, Officials Say
Henry Rodgers / The Daily Caller:
EXCLUSIVE: House, Senate GOP To Start ‘DC Home Rule’ Vote To Block District's New Crime Law  —  Republican Georgia Rep. Andrew Clyde and Tennesee Sen. Bill Hagerty will introduce a joint resolution of disapproval to block the Washington, D.C., Council's Revised Criminal Code Act of 2022 …
Discussion: DCist and Washington Times
Wesley Lowery / Washington Post:
Nikole Hannah-Jones isn't done challenging the story of America  —  A new Hulu series is the latest version of “The 1619 Project,” a landmark reframing of American history around slavery that triggered a firestorm  —  Just about 16 minutes into the opening episode of Hulu's “The 1619 Project” …
Ted Hesson / Reuters:
Close to 1,000 migrant children separated by Trump yet to be reunited with parents  —  Nearly 1,000 migrant children separated at the U.S.-Mexico border by the administration of former President Donald Trump have yet to be reunited with their parents despite a two-year effort by President Joe Biden.
Ellie Quinlan Houghtaling / The Daily Beast:
Potential Mass Shooting Thwarted in Hollywood  —  CRISIS AVERTED  —  Calls made to police by concerned neighbors in Los Angeles thwarted a potential mass shooting on Tuesday, authorities said.  Several neighbors flagged mental health concerns to cops after 25-year-old Braxton Johnson threatened …
Missy Ryan / Washington Post:
In rare move, U.S. releases ‘high-value’ Guantánamo Bay prisoner  —  A former al-Qaeda courier who endured dehumanizing treatment at CIA black sites before spending more than 15 years in Guantánamo Bay was released in Belize on Thursday, a milestone in President Biden's push …
Department of Justice:
Broome County Man Pleads Guilty to Making Interstate Threats to Member of Congress  —  For Immediate Release  —  U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of New York  —  SYRACUSE, NEW YORK - Joseph F. Morelli, 51, of Endicott, New York pled guilty today to making threatening phone calls …
Tierney Sneed / CNN:
Law barring people with domestic violence restraining orders from having guns is unconstitutional, court rules  —  A federal law that prohibits people subject to domestic violence restraining orders from possessing firearms is unconstitutional, a conservative-leaning appeals court ruled Thursday.
Miles J. Herszenhorn / The Harvard Crimson:
Harvard Misinformation Expert Joan Donovan Forced to Leave by Kennedy School Dean, Sources Say  —  Harvard Kennedy School Dean Douglas W. Elmendorf is forcing out online misinformation expert Joan M. Donovan from her role at the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy and ending …
Jay Willis / Balls and Strikes:
Big Law's Cancel Culture, and Other Obviously Fake Things That Do Not Exist  —  Recasting America's richest law firms as victims of woke culture obscures the real-world impact of the work these firms do all day, every day, six minutes at a time.  —  Earlier this week, The Boston Globe published …
 
 
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 More Items: 
Charlie Sykes / Morning Shots:
This Is Not “Punching” Back  —  Nikki's choice and the GOP's magical thinking
Discussion: Political Wire
J. Michael Waller / American Greatness:
Planned New FBI HQ Is Twice the Size of the Pentagon
Michael Luciano / Mediaite:
Tucker Carlson Ignores Virtually Every George Santos Lie to Say the Media Covers Him for Lying About Playing Volleyball
The Times of Israel:
An open letter to Israel's friends in North America
Discussion: jihadwatch.org
Collin Anderson / Washington Free Beacon:
Biden Admin Floats New Strategy To ‘Address the Climate Crisis’: Don't Leave Your House
Maya King / New York Times:
Someone Called the Police on a Girl Catching Lanternflies. Then Yale Honored Her.
 Earlier Items: 
Andrew Higgins / New York Times:
A U.S. Ambassador Finds Himself on Hostile Ground in Hungary
Tim Dickinson / Rolling Stone:
The Neo-Nazi Hunter Next Door
ProPublica:
UnitedHealthcare Tried to Deny Coverage to a Chronically Ill Patient. He Fought Back, Exposing the Insurer's Inner Workings.
Discussion: Balloon Juice
 

 
From Techmeme:

David Weston / The Official Microsoft Blog:
Microsoft estimates that CrowdStrike's update affected 8.5M Windows devices, or less than 1% of all Windows machines

Steven Levy / Wired:
A look at Marc Andreessen and Ben Horowitz's self-interested Trump support, including the “final straw”, a Biden proposal to tax unrealized capital gains at 25%

Mercedes Ruehl / Financial Times:
Malaysia's Johor state is attracting billions of dollars as tech giants take advantage of cheaper land and more abundant energy to build data centers

 
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