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2:20 PM ET, February 9, 2023

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 Top Items: 
David Freedlander / Politico:
The GOP Is Starting to Plot Against Donald Trump  —  “It is,” he said, “A five-alarm fire.  And there is nobody coming to put it out.”  —  “It,” in this case, is the possibility that once again Donald Trump will prevail over a splintered Republican field, getting the same 30-40 percent …
RELATED:
Isaac Arnsdorf / Washington Post:
GOP hopefuls' past positions on Social Security loom over 2024 primary  —  Donald Trump is going after Ron DeSantis and other potential GOP rivals, seizing on the same divisions over federal spending President Biden is seeking to exploit  —  Donald Trump is going on the attack …
S.V. Date / HuffPost:
Trump Put Nearly $1 Million Of Donor Money Into His Own Pockets Since Leaving Office  —  He failed to spend money on the things he promised to do but did spend it at properties he owned, with the profits flowing to him personally  —  WASHINGTON — Donald Trump failed to spend much of the money …
Discussion: Hackwhackers and Political Wire
Victoria Prodeline / Monmouth University …:
Desantis, Trump Are Main Focus of GOP Voters for 2024
Kevin Breuninger / CNBC:
GOP voters pick DeSantis over Trump in hypothetical head-to-head matchup for 2024 presidential nomination, poll shows
Discussion: Yahoo News, Political Wire and The Hill
Pamela Paul / New York Times:
What Liberals Can Learn From Ron DeSantis
Eric Lutz / Vanity Fair:
Sarah Huckabee Sanders's State of the Union Response Proves the GOP Has Nothing New to Offer  —  From raging against the “woke mob” to belly-aching about left-wing “indoctrination,” the Arkansas governor revealed that the party is still hanging its hat on the culture war.
RELATED:
David Bauder / Associated Press:
Biden's State of the Union draws audience of 27.3 million  —  1 of 2  —  An estimated 27.3 million people watched President Joe Biden's State of the Union address on television, the second smallest audience for the annual event in at least 30 years, the Nielsen company said on Wednesday.
The Hill:
GOP divided over whether heckling Biden hurts them
Michael D. Shear / New York Times:
Biden Heads to Florida With a Fresh Political Foil in House Republicans
PBS NewsHour:
Biden talks economy, China, political division in exclusive interview with Judy Woodruff
Libby Cathey / ABC News:
GOP leaders defend members calling Biden a ‘liar’ during State of the Union
Matt Viser / Washington Post:
Biden-GOP exchanges at State of the Union forecast 2024 battle
Edward Wong / New York Times:
Chinese Balloon Had Tools to Collect Communications Signals, U.S. Says  —  China's surveillance balloons have flown over more than 40 countries and are directed by the Chinese military, the State Department said.  —  WASHINGTON — The Chinese spy balloon shot down by the U.S. military …
RELATED:
Lee Brown / New York Post:
NJ councilman Russell Heller shot dead just a week after slaying of Eunice Dwumfour  —  A New Jersey municipal council member was shot dead in his car Wednesday, exactly a week after the unsolved slaying of Councilwoman Eunice Dwumfour.  —  Russell Heller, 51, was found dead just after 7 …
RELATED:
Valerie Wirtschafter / Brookings:
Audible reckoning: How top political podcasters spread unsubstantiated and false claims  —  IIn February 2021, Texas Senator Ted Cruz and his co-host Michael Knowles, a Daily Wire commentator, recorded a live episode of the Verdict With Ted Cruz podcast.1 In conversation about his former …
Discussion: The Hill, Alternet.org and Gizmodo
RELATED:
Joey Roulette / Reuters:
SpaceX curbed Ukraine's use of Starlink internet for drones -company president  —  SpaceX has taken steps to prevent Ukraine's military from using the company's Starlink satellite internet service for controlling drones in the region during the country's war with Russia, SpaceX's president said Wednesday.
William Westhoven / Daily Record:
Mayor and entire council change party affiliation from Democrats to GOP in East Hanover  —  3-minute read.  —  East Hanover's elected leaders dropped a political bombshell on Tuesday, announcing that longtime Mayor Joseph Pannullo and the entire township council had switched their party affiliation from Democrat to Republican.
Angela Andaloro / People.com:
FOX News' Hillary Vaughn and Peter Doocy Welcome Baby Girl: 'Best Assignment I've Ever Had'  —  Hillary Vaughn and Peter Doocy are first-time parents after welcoming daughter Bridget, they share with PEOPLE  —  Hillary Vaughn and Peter Doocy are officially parents!
Burgess Everett / Politico:
Manchin ‘raising hell’ over White House handling of marquee Dem bill  —  President Joe Biden and Joe Manchin met at the White House about a month ago on a topic that's critically important to the West Virginia senator: implementing the sweeping tax, climate and health care law that both men shaped.
Wyatte Grantham-Philips / USA Today:
19,300 dead in Turkey, Syria earthquake: Death toll among worst in recent history, surpassing 2011 Japan disaster … The powerful earthquakes that shook Turkey and Syria this week are among the most devastating and deadliest quakes in recent history.  —  The death toll continued to climb …
Lee Moran / HuffPost:
James Carville Attacks GOP, Marjorie Taylor Greene As ‘White Trash’  —  The longtime Democratic operative told MSNBC's Ari Melber “the level of white trashdom in the Republican Party is staggering.”  —  Democratic political consultant James Carville on Wednesday described Republican lawmakers …
Miles Klee / Rolling Stone:
Who Is @Catturd2, the Sh-tposting King of MAGA Twitter?  —  How one cranky Florida man caught the ear of Donald Trump, Elon Musk and Tucker Carlson — with fart jokes  —  ON A RECENT “Weekend Update” segment for Saturday Night Live, Michael Che relayed the news that Ronna McDaniel had just won …
Mike Allen / Axios:
Scoop: Mitt Romney reveals hundreds of emails to book author … The emails and journal pages span Romney's 2012 campaign as the Republican presidential nominee. … - The book “will also show Romney himself reckoning with what he considers his party's slide toward authoritarianism and what role …
Mollie Reilly / HuffPost:
Congresswoman Assaulted In Her D.C. Apartment Building  —  Rep. Angie Craig, a Democrat representing Minnesota, was not severely injured in the attack.  —  Rep. Angie Craig (D-Minn.) was assaulted in her Washington, D.C., apartment building Thursday, her office said in a statement.
CNN:
Florida High School Athletic Association removes all questions about menstruation from required medical evaluation form  —  [Breaking news update at 1:09 p.m.]  —  At an emergency meeting Thursday, the Florida High School Athletic Association approved a proposal to remove all questions …
Discussion: WFLA-TV and Associated Press
Ella Lee / USA Today:
‘We are bigger than Jesus.’ Telegram messages show how Trump's 2020 comments galvanized Proud Boys  —  The Proud Boys celebrated and expressed an increased sense of importance after former President Donald Trump told members of the right-wing extremist group to “stand back and stand by” …
Discussion: Raw Story
Mother Jones:
How the Case of Arrested FBI Agent Charles McGonigal Is Tied to a Russia-Linked Influence Effort  —  Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.  —  It was shocking news: Charles McGonigal, a former counterintelligence chief for the FBI …
Discussion: Raw Story and emptywheel
 
 
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 More Items: 
CNN:
New GOP-led panel to hold first public hearing Thursday on alleged ‘weaponization’ of federal government
Patrick Hauf / Fox News:
Sen. Rubio introduces bill to crack down on southern border ‘coyotes’
Discussion: Washington Examiner
Cami Mondeaux / Washington Examiner:
Bipartisan group of senators revive efforts to end Gulf and Iraq wars
David M. Drucker / The Dispatch:
Pence Looks to Iowa as 2024 Looms
Discussion: Associated Press
 Earlier Items: 
Vladimir Isachenkov / Associated Press:
Russian diplomat says ties with US in ‘unprecedented crisis’
Discussion: Reuters and TASS
Natasha Bertrand / CNN:
Exclusive: Iranian drones appear to contain modified explosives designed for maximum damage to Ukrainian infrastructure, report finds
Discussion: Al-Monitor and Political Wire
Washington Post:
Biden weighs border deal that would deport non-Mexicans to Mexico
Zach Everson / Forbes:
Why Is Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Under Investigation? Probably For Her Dress, Makeup And Hairstyling At The Met Gala
Discussion: Insider
Jamie Knodel / NBC News:
Fetterman hospitalized after feeling lightheaded
Mark Satter / Roll Call:
Hawley's departure from Armed Services draws speculation
Discussion: Florida Politics