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3:40 PM ET, February 15, 2023


 Top Items: 
Kelly Laco / Fox News:
Nikki Haley endorsed by top Trump ally Ralph Norman who says GOP needs ‘new leadership’  —  Norman addressed the elephant in the room, saying that the Republican Party is looking for a “new vision” at the top of the ticket  —  How will Nikki Haley's candidacy for president shake up a potentially crowded GOP field?
Max Greenwood / The Hill:
Haley calls for ‘mental competency tests’ for politicians over 75
New York Times:
Republicans Try to Challenge Trump in 2024, but Barely Say His Name
Bill Number / CBO Publications:
Federal Debt and the Statutory Limit, February 2023  —  The debt limit—commonly called the debt ceiling—is the maximum amount of debt that the Department of the Treasury can issue to the public or to other federal agencies.  The amount is set by law and has been increased or suspended …
New York Times:
U.S. on Track to Add $19 Trillion in New Debt Over 10 Years  —  Congressional Budget Office projections released on Wednesday suggested rising interest rates and bipartisan spending bills are adding to deficits, amid a partisan fight on fiscal policy.  —  WASHINGTON — The United States …
Esther Wang / Hell Gate:
New York Times Writers Call Out the Paper's Anti-Trans Onslaught  —  “This is not quite business as usual anymore,” one of the organizers of an open letter to the NYT told Hell Gate.  —  On Wednesday morning, a group of almost 200 journalists and writers released an open letter addressed …
First on CNN: DOJ officially decides not to charge Matt Gaetz in sex-trafficking probe  —  The Justice Department has informed lawyers for at least one witness that it will not bring charges against Florida GOP Rep. Matt Gaetz after a years-long federal sex-trafficking investigation.
Rep. Matt Gaetz won't be criminally charged in DOJ sex trafficking probe, his lawyers say
Buffalo grocery store mass shooter apologizes for racist attack as he receives sentence of life in prison  —  The 19-year-old White man who killed 10 people in a racist mass shooting at a grocery store in a predominantly Black area of Buffalo last May cried and said he regretted his actions …
Associated Press:
White supremacist gets life in prison for Buffalo massacre
ABC News:
Buffalo mass shooter Payton Gendron set to be sentenced to life in prison
Erik Larson / Bloomberg:
Trump DNA Offer in Rape Accuser's Battery Suit Rejected by Judge  —  Donald Trump's offer to provide a DNA sample to a New York author who claims he raped her in the 1990s was rejected by a judge as too late and with unreasonable strings attached.  —  After balking at the request for years …
The Guardian:
Revealed: the hacking and disinformation team meddling in elections  — Group sells hacking services and access to vast army of fake social media profiles  — Evidence unit behind disinformation campaigns across world  — Mastermind Tal Hanan claims covert involvement in 33 presidential elections
Discussion: Haaretz and Wired, more at Techmeme »
Manisha Ganguly / The Guardian:   ‘Aims’: the software for hire that can control 30,000 fake online profiles
Burgess Everett / Politico:
McConnell vs. Scott: The Senate beef that won't die  —  Rick Scott suspects he was booted from his preferred committee in an act of retribution by Mitch McConnell — after the Florida senator challenged the longtime GOP leader for his post.  —  Scott says he's figured out a novel strategy …
The Dispatch:
Christie on DeSantis: ‘None of Us Really Know Who He Is’ … The GOP 2024 presidential field grows from one to two today.  Only 800 more announcements to come! … - Nikki Haley is set to officially kick off her presidential campaign at an event in Charleston today, but the former South …
Randall Eliason / Sidebars:
The Sleeper Charge Related to January 6  —  How do you get Capone?  —  We learned this week that following the 2020 presidential election the Trump campaign hired an outside research firm to attempt to bolster its claims of election fraud.  The firm, Berkeley Research Group …
Amanda Carpenter / The Bulwark:
Chris Miller, the MAGA SecDef, Explains His Anger  —  In a memoir he recounts his military career and his eventful short tenure as Trump's last Pentagon chief—including his bitterness about Jan. 6th.  —  Soldier Secretary: Warnings from the Battlefield & the Pentagon about America's Most Dangerous Enemies
Discussion: Raw Story
Charlie Sykes / Morning Shots:
The Wisconsin GOP's High Court Crackup  —  They've picked a helluva time for a food fight  —  The election that the media has dubbed “the most important election nobody's ever heard of,” is just weeks away, and has already drawn international attention.  —  The “Stakes are monstrous,” declared Britain's Guardian.
Saleah Blancaflor / Morning Consult:
Biden's Plan to Limit ‘Junk Fees’ Has Overwhelming, Bipartisan Support  —  Among generations, baby boomers are most likely to support Biden's proposals to reduce or eliminate hidden ticket and entertainment fees  —  Democrats and Republicans don't agree on many things but paying less …
Discussion: Vox and Outside the Beltway
Justice Department tells court there's evidence of a crime in bid to force more answers from Trump attorney  —  Federal prosecutors investigating former President Donald Trump's handling of classified documents are asking a court to force his attorney Evan Corcoran to provide additional testimony …
Jason Easley / PoliticusUSA:
DOJ Says They Have Evidence Of A Trump Crime
Discussion: CNN and The Hill
Andrew McDonald / Politico:
Scotland's Nicola Sturgeon quits  —  Nicola Sturgeon is resigning as Scotland's first minister in a move that stunned her pro-independence party and fired the starting pistol on the race to succeed her.  —  The Scottish National Party leader — who has led the party and the country's devolved …
Pilar Melendez / The Daily Beast:
Alex Murdaugh Intended to Die in Botched Labor Day Shooting, Lawyer Says  —  DESPERATE  —  Alex Murdaugh “didn't intend to still be alive” after the September 2021 botched assisted-suicide plot on a South Carolina backroad, his lawyers said Wednesday.  During a hearing without the jury …
Discussion: CNN and Raw Story
Muhammad Idrees Ahmad / New Lines Magazine:
Syria's Silent Rubble Reproaches the UN's Resounding Failure  —  Trapped under debris, persecuted by the Assad regime and forsaken by allies, the people of northwestern Syria pinned their hopes on the UN — and were betrayed … On a slab of concrete in the rubble of northwest Syria appears a new graffiti.
Discussion: FDD and Associated Press
Kevin Robillard / HuffPost:
Warren Calls Out Buttigieg, Vilsack For Failing To Stop Monopolies  —  In a speech Wednesday morning, the senator praised the Biden administration's antitrust work, but said more needs to be done.  —  Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) called out two major federal agencies for failing to play …
New York Times:
How Deadly Was China's Covid Wave?  —  Two months after China ended “zero Covid,” rough estimates suggest that between 1 and 1.5 million people died — far more than the official count.  —  China's official count  —  83,150 deaths  —  Model based on Shanghai outbreak  —  1.6 million deaths
Discussion: Bloomberg
Jennifer Rubin / Washington Post:
Republicans are doubling down on abortion.  They'll regret it.  —  Republicans' extreme antiabortion stance cost them dearly in the midterms, especially among women, young people and college-educated voters.  But rather than adjust course, they are doubling down.
Discussion: Vanity Fair and National Review
Wall Street Journal:
To Save Money, Maybe You Should Skip Breakfast  —  Several breakfast staples saw sharp price increases due to a perfect storm of bad weather and disease outbreaks—and continued effects from Russia's invasion of Ukraine.  Egg prices increased 8.5% in January from a month earlier and are up 70.1% …
Discussion: The Post Millennial and Twitchy
Top Republicans plot Santos' ouster as embattled freshman weighs reelection  —  Embattled Rep. George Santos is contemplating a nightmare scenario for House Republicans: Trying to stick it out in Congress, even if he is indicted on criminal charges.  —  After previously signaling to Republicans …
Discussion: Raw Story
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 More Items: 
Smriti Mallapaty / Nature:
WHO abandons plans for crucial second phase of COVID-origins investigation
Jacob Glick / Lawfare:
The Long Descent to Insurrection
Wall Street Journal:
Austan Goolsbee Under Consideration to Serve as Fed's Vice Chair
Discussion: Bloomberg and The White House
Jeff Cox / CNBC:
Retail sales jump 3% in January, smashing expectations despite inflation increase
Colleen Barry / Associated Press:
Berlusconi acquitted in trial tied to ‘bunga bunga’ parties
Eugene Daniels / Politico:
Harris on China balloon episode: I don't think it impacts our relations
 Earlier Items: 
The Guardian:
New York rejects Fox News' bid to end voting firm's lawsuit
Jack Ewing / New York Times:
Tesla Will Open Some Chargers to All Electric Vehicles
The Guardian:
Revealed: Mississippi bill would carve out separate judicial district for 80% of white residents in majority-Black city
Andrew Prokop / Vox:
The rise of the Trump-Russia revisionists
Discussion: Raw Story
Burgess Everett / Politico:
Justice strongest candidate against Manchin, GOP poll says
Discussion: Washington Examiner and The Hill