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12:25 PM ET, February 5, 2023

memeorandum

 Top Items: 
David Ignatius / Washington Post:
The inside story of how the U.S. shot down the Chinese balloon  —  Intelligence analysts distinguish between secrets and mysteries.  The bizarre Chinese balloon overflight of the United States that ended with Saturday's shoot-down over the Atlantic coast has elements of both.
RELATED:
Jim Garamone / U.S. Department of Defense:
F-22 Safely Shoots Down Chinese Spy Balloon Off South Carolina Coast  —  A U.S. Air Force fighter safely shot down a Chinese high-altitude surveillance balloon today, Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III said in a written statement.  —  President Joe Biden ordered the action on Wednesday …
Brooke Singman / Fox News:
Trump, top national security officials refute claim that Chinese spy balloons transited US under last admin  —  Biden officials claim Chinese spy balloons briefly transited the continental United States under the Trump admin  —  What did it take to shoot down the Chinese spy balloon?
Matt Novak / Forbes:
Yes, Chinese Spy Balloons Flew Over The U.S. When President Trump Was In Office Too
New York Times:
Before Chinese Spy Balloon Sighting, Classified Report Highlighted Foreign Aerial Spying
Washington Post:
U.S. military downs Chinese balloon over Atlantic Ocean
U.S. Department of Defense:
Statement From Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III
Isaac Arnsdorf / Washington Post:
Koch network to back alternative to Trump after sitting out recent primaries  —  The return of one of the biggest spenders in American politics to the presidential primary field poses a direct challenge to the former president's comeback bid  —  The network of donors and activist groups led …
RELATED:
New York Times:
Taking Aim at Trump, Koch Network Will Back G.O.P. Primary Candidates  —  The move by the alliance of conservative donors could provide an enormous boost to a Republican alternative to the former president.  —  The donor network created by the billionaire industrialist brothers Charles G …
Discussion: TIME and RedState
Dan Balz / Washington Post:
Few Americans are excited about a Biden-Trump rematch, Post-ABC poll finds  —  Most say they would feel dissatisfied or angry if either wins the general election  —  President Biden and former president Donald Trump may have each drawn a record number of votes in 2020 …
New York Times:
George Santos Is Accused of Sexual Harassment in His Capitol Office  —  The complaint was made by a man seeking work as a House aide, whose bid for a job was rejected because he faced criminal wiretapping charges in Ohio.  —  A prospective congressional aide has accused Representative George Santos …
Discussion: The Guardian and Insider
RELATED:
Wall Street Journal:
Moscow, Tehran Advance Plans for Iranian-Designed Drone Facility in Russia  —  The two countries are deepening a military partnership that has alarmed the West  —  How We Know Russia Is Using Iranian Drones in Ukraine  —  Created with sketchtool. … 1x
Discussion: The Times of Israel
Jonathan Lemire / Politico:
Flexing his wins and eyeing a 2nd term, Biden will lay out contrasts with GOP in State of the Union  —  President Joe Biden is planning to use his second State of the Union address to paint the broad strokes of a likely campaign ahead, contrasting his notion of steady leadership with the newly elected, likely chaotic Republican House.
RELATED:
Isaac Chotiner / New Yorker:
Imran Khan's Double Game  —  Following an assassination attempt, Pakistan's former Prime Minister discusses his views on the Taliban, his relationship with the military, and why he's more “evolved” than other people.  —  Thirty years ago, Imran Khan led the Pakistani national team to victory …
Discussion: New York Times and Bloomberg
Nate Raymond / Reuters:
Ban on marijuana users owning guns is unconstitutional, U.S. judge rules  —  A federal law prohibiting marijuana users from possessing firearms is unconstitutional, a federal judge in Oklahoma has concluded, citing last year's U.S. Supreme Court ruling that significantly expanded gun rights.
Diana Glebova / The Daily Caller:
EXCLUSIVE: Melania Trump Played Leading Role In Situation Room During Baghdadi Operation, New Book Reveals  —  Then-first lady Melania Trump sat in one of the Situation Room's most important chairs during the killing of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and offered former President Donald Trump advice …
Discussion: The Gateway Pundit
Liz Truss / Telegraph:
Liz Truss exclusive: ‘I assumed upon entering Downing Street my mandate would be respected.  How wrong I was’  —  In her first intervention since she quit, former PM writes for The Telegraph about how she was brought down - and the lessons she learnt  —  One year ago this week …
Discussion: Politico and The Guardian
Stephanie Lai / New York Times:
As G.O.P. Rails Against Federal Spending, Its Appetite for Earmarks Grows  —  While Democrats claimed a larger share than Republicans of the nearly $16 billion in earmarks in the latest federal spending bill, G.O.P. projects jumped by 85 percent.  —  WASHINGTON — In 2020, Representative Don Bacon …
John L. Dorman / Insider:
An ex-Romney presidential campaign strategist says Nikki Haley ‘embodies the collapse’ of the Republican Party  — Ex-Romney strategist Stuart Stevens on MSNBC blasted Nikki Haley for her expected White House bid.  — “No one else really embodies sort of the collapse of the party as well as Nikki Haley,” he said.
Discussion: Raw Story
 
 
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 More Items: 
Thomas Chatterton Williams / The Atlantic:
The French Are in a Panic Over le Wokisme
Discussion: Balloon Juice
Madison Burinsky / ABC News:
New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu ‘definitely thinking about’ 2024 presidential run
Stephen I. Vladeck / New York Times:
Don't Let Republican ‘Judge Shoppers’ Thwart the Will of Voters
Politico:
The Shows: Sunday listings for Feb. 5, 2023
Discussion: Crooks and Liars
 Earlier Items: 
Francis Farrell / The Kyiv Independent:
One night in Bakhmut: Civilians wait for the end as Russia draws closer
Discussion: Weight of the World and CBS News
Robert Kagan / Wall Street Journal:
Challenging the U.S. Is a Historic Mistake
Daniella Silva / NBC News:
Family found dead in Pennsylvania made a ‘joint decision’ to kill themselves, police say
Discussion: New York Post
 

 
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Michael Nuñez / VentureBeat:
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