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11:50 AM ET, February 16, 2023


 Top Items: 
Special counsel is locked in at least 8 secret court battles in Trump investigations  —  Special counsel Jack Smith is locked in at least eight secret court battles that aim to unearth some of the most closely held details about Donald Trump's actions after the 2020 election and handling …
Discussion: and Raw Story
Kaitlan Collins / CNN:
Exclusive: Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows subpoenaed by special counsel in Jan. 6 investigation  —  Donald Trump's former chief of staff Mark Meadows has been subpoenaed by the special counsel investigating the former president and his role in the January 6, 2021, insurrection, a source familiar with the matter told CNN.
Holly Bailey / Washington Post:
Judge to release parts of Georgia special grand jury report  —  A Georgia judge on Thursday released parts of a report produced by an Atlanta-area special grand jury investigating efforts by President Donald Trump and his allies to overturn Trump's 2020 election loss in Georgia …
Wall Street Journal:
Donald Trump Changes Tune on Mail-in Voting, Ballot Collection  —  After years of attacks on early voting, Trump follows other Republicans in suggesting party should embrace tactic  —  After years of assailing early voting, Donald Trump is having a change of heart.
Jonathan Martin / Politico:
Senior Democrats' Private Take on Biden: He's Too Old  —  High-level Democrats are rallying to President Biden's reelection, not because they think it's in the best interest of the country to have an 82-year-old start a second term but because they fear the potential alternative …
Joe Biden hates when people talk about his age.  A looming reelection run is making it ‘omnipresent.’  —  When President Joe Biden sets out for his annual physical at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Thursday morning, he'll be setting a new record - as he does every morning - as the oldest US president ever.
Discussion: National Review, CNN, Axios and USA Today
Sahil Kapur / NBC News:
Mitt Romney warns that Trump is ‘by far the most likely’ GOP nominee in 2024  —  WASHINGTON — Sen. Mitt Romney says former President Donald Trump is best-positioned to be the Republican presidential nominee in 2024, and that the only way to stop him is to ultimately shrink the field to a one-on-one contest against a viable alternative.
Alexander Bolton / The Hill:
Republicans worry as self-inflicted wounds pile up  —  Republican lawmakers are wary of their party's propensity for self-inflicted wounds and are hoping for more discipline heading into the next election cycle.  —  Leading Republicans think that the House GOP's raucous reception …
NBC News:
GOP presidential candidates avoid abortion as the 2024 campaign kicks off
Discussion: Washington Post
Washington Post:
As Russians inch forward near Bakhmut, Ukrainians dig fallback defenses  —  ORIKHOVO-VASYLIVKA, Ukraine — The closest Ukrainian artillery position to the raging battle for Bakhmut is tucked into a leafless tree line about 13,000 feet from the enemy.  The fighters here have been hanging on for weeks …
Howard Altman / The Drive:   Ukraine Bought ‘All The Gas Trucks Available In Europe’ To Keep Fueled (Updated)
Marc Santora / New York Times:
Moscow's Military Capabilities Are in Question After Failed Battle for Ukrainian City
Discussion: The Bulwark, Foreign Affairs and HotAir
Christopher Miller / Financial Times:   He wanted an adventure. He ended up in Ukraine's most brutal war zone
Joe DePaolo / Mediaite:
Et Tu, Kayleigh?  Trump-Die Hard McEnany Calls for DeSantis to Jump in the 2024 Race Immediately: ‘Hottest Governor in Republican Politics’  —  This doesn't figure to sit well with former President Donald Trump.  —  Speaking Wednesday on Outnumbered, Fox News host Kayleigh McEnany …
Max Greenwood / The Hill:
FEC presses Santos to identify campaign treasurer  —  The Federal Election Commission (FEC) is demanding Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.) to name a new treasurer for his campaign and several affiliated political committees, warning that a failure to do so will bar the groups from raising or spending any money.
New York Times:   George Santos Married a Brazilian Woman. House Is Asked to Find Out Why.
Roger Sollenberger / The Daily Beast:
George Santos Raked In Cash for a Recount That Never Happened
Discussion: Raw Story
Pamela Paul / New York Times:
In Defense of J.K. Rowling  —  “Trans people need and deserve protection.”  —  “I believe the majority of trans-identified people not only pose zero threat to others but are vulnerable.”  —  “I respect every trans person's right to live any way that feels authentic and comfortable to them.”
Discussion: alicublog, Deadline, Althouse and Forbes
Kevin Roose / New York Times:
A Conversation With Bing's Chatbot Left Me Deeply Unsettled  —  A very strange conversation with the chatbot built into Microsoft's search engine led to it declaring its love for me.  —  Last week, after testing the new, A.I.-powered Bing search engine from Microsoft, I wrote that …
David Wickert / Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
Jan. 6 documents: Georgia legislators answered Trump's call to overturn election  —  Some legislators say the documents are not accurate  —  With his chances of winning Georgia slipping away in December 2020, then-President Donald Trump hit upon a novel scheme to stay in power: State legislators would name him the winner.
Discussion: Raw Story
Washington Post:
Alarmed by DeSantis, Black leaders protest and prepare for 2024  —  TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — The Rev. Lowman Oliver marched for civil rights and racial equity across Florida in the 1960s, '70s, and '80s, hoping to build a state he viewed as just and equal for Black Americans.
New York Times:
How a Fog of Questions Over a Spy Balloon and U.F.O.s Fed a Diplomatic Crisis  —  U.S. officials now suspect that the balloon was sent to spy on bases in Guam and Hawaii and that other downed objects were not surveillance machines.  Washington's evolving view reflects U.S. and Chinese difficulties in discerning each other's intentions.
Haisten Willis / Washington Examiner:
Buttigieg faces questions about whether he has become a liability to Biden  —  Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg is again attracting controversy in the wake of the Ohio train derailment, with elected officials from both parties questioning his ability to lead the department and respond to crises.
Discussion: Fox News and Twitchy
Washington Examiner:
Where is Pete Buttigieg?  —  The recent train derailment and hazardous chemical spill in East Palestine …
Discussion: The Daily Signal
Richard Luscombe / The Guardian:
Virginia governor blocks bill banning police from seeking menstrual histories  —  Glenn Youngkin essentially kills bill passed in Democratic-led state senate to ban search warrants for menstrual data on tracking apps  —  The Republican governor of Virginia, Glenn Youngkin …
Mattathias Schwartz / Insider:
Exclusive: British intel caught FBI spy chief secretly meeting a Russian in London  — An FBI spy chief's secret meeting with a Russian contact was detected by UK officials.  — Charles McGonigal, the ex-FBI official, is charged with taking money from Russian tycoon Oleg Deripaska.
John Schindler / Washington Examiner:
The FBI's Balkan scandal keeps spreading
Discussion: Associated Press and New York Post
Josh Eidelson / Bloomberg:
Tesla Just Terminated Dozens in Response to New Union Campaign, Complaint Alleges  —  Tesla Inc. terminated dozens of employees Wednesday at its plant in Buffalo, New York, one day after Autopilot workers at the facility announced a union campaign, organizers said in a complaint.
Jane C. Timm / NBC News:
Kari Lake's lawyers hit with bar complaints  —  A legal group plans to file bar complaints Thursday against four lawyers representing Kari Lake in voter fraud litigation, NBC News has learned.  —  Lake, a Donald Trump acolyte who has refused to accept that she lost the governor's race in Arizona last year …
Discussion: Raw Story
Derek Thompson / The Atlantic:
America's Teenage Girls Are Not Okay  —  This is Work in Progress, a newsletter by Derek Thompson about work, technology, and how to solve some of America's biggest problems.  Sign up here to get it every week.  —  American teenagers—especially girls and kids who identify as lesbian …
Terry Castleman / Los Angeles Times:
California's population dropped by 500,000 in two years as exodus continues  —  The California exodus has shown no sign of slowing down as the state's population dropped by more than 500,000 people between April 2020 and July 2022, with the number of residents leaving surpassing those moving in by nearly 700,000.
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 More Items: 
Luke Goldstein / American Prospect:
How Noncompete Agreements Hamstrung America's Pandemic Response
Annie Waldman / ProPublica:
Steak Dinners, Sales Reps and Risky Procedures: Inside the Big Business of Clogged Arteries
Discussion: The Daily Caller
E. Wesley Ely / STAT:
The haunting brain science of long Covid
Discussion: After Babel and The Atlantic
Douglas Murray / Spectator:
Can you really be radicalised by Great British Railway Journeys?
H. David Baer / The Bulwark:
Lashing Out, Rod Dreher (Again) Reveals His Ignorance of Hungary
Discussion: Hungary Today
Luke Broadwater / New York Times:
Church Committee Aides Warn Jordan to Eschew Partisanship
Associated Press:
Michigan State students' training kicked in during shooting
 Earlier Items: 
Luis Ferré-Sadurní / New York Times:
State Senate Rejects Nominee for Chief Judge in Defeat for Hochul
Dan McLaughlin / National Review:
The 1619 Project Gets Its Facts Wrong Yet Again
Rebecca Jennings / Vox:
How the Harry Potter video game became an ethical minefield
El Paso Times:
El Paso police respond to shooting inside Cielo Vista Mall; 1 killed, 3 hurt
Mike Masnick / Techdirt:
Extraordinarily Confused Congressional Rep. Thinks Social Media Companies Are Secretly Communicating With Gov't Censors... Via Jira
New York Times:
U.S. on Track to Add $19 Trillion in New Debt Over 10 Years

From Mediagazer:

Amazon plans to run limited ads on Prime Video in the US, the UK, Germany, and Canada starting in early 2024, charging $2.99/month extra in the US to avoid ads

Caitlin Huston / The Hollywood Reporter:
Documentary filmmaker Ken Burns tries to distance himself from SCOTUS Justice Clarence Thomas after ProPublica published a photo of the two alongside David Koch

Michael Wolff / The Ankler:
Excerpt from Michael Wolff's The Fall: the first chapter imagines an eventual Rupert Murdoch obituary that details his life and career at Fox Corp and News Corp

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