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1:45 PM 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 …
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 …
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: New York Times and Raw Story
New York Times:
Live Updates: Georgia Grand Jury in Trump Inquiry Sees Signs of Perjury by Witnesses  —  A special grand jury examined attempts by Donald J. Trump and the former president's allies to overturn his 2020 loss in the state.  A small portion of its report released on Thursday made it difficult determine what …
Roger Sollenberger / The Daily Beast:
Trump's Shell Spending Scheme Comes Under DOJ Scrutiny  —  Special counsel Jack Smith appears to have set his sights on a number of Trump's vendors.  And there's plenty to look into.  —  Pay Dirt is a weekly foray into the pigpen of political funding.  Subscribe here to get it in your inbox every Thursday.
Discussion: Raw Story
Kaitlan Collins / CNN:
Exclusive: Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows subpoenaed by special counsel in Jan. 6 investigation
NBC News:
Georgia grand jury report on Trump election probe says ‘one or more witnesses’ may have committed perjury
Wall Street Journal:
Donald Trump Changes Tune on Mail-in Voting, Ballot Collection
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.
Tierney Sneed / CNN:
Biden appeals court nominee faces questions for role in school sexual assault case
Discussion: Raw Story
Tony Romm / Washington Post:
Republicans take aim at food stamps in growing fight over federal debt  —  Some GOP lawmakers are eyeing work requirements and other changes to the SNAP program in a bid to reduce the deficit  —  Top House Republicans are exploring significant changes to the nation's food stamps program …
Discussion: The Hill, Reuters and Insider
Alexander Bolton / The Hill:
Republicans worry as self-inflicted wounds pile up
James Vincent / The Verge:
Microsoft's Bing is an emotionally manipulative liar, and people love it … Microsoft's Bing chatbot has been unleashed on the world, and people are discovering what it means to beta test an unpredictable AI tool.  —  Specifically, they're finding out that Bing's AI personality is not as poised or polished as you might expect.
Kevin Roose / New York Times:
A Conversation With Bing's Chatbot Left Me Deeply Unsettled
Allison Quinn / The Daily Beast:
Top Russian Military Official Dead After Fall From 16th Floor  —  ANOTHER ONE...  Marina Yankina handled cash flows for the Western Military District.  —  A Russian military official in charge of financial provisions for the military district blamed for the Kremlin's worst losses in Ukraine …
Snejana Farberov / New York Post:
Top Putin war official plunges 160 feet to her death from high-rise building
Discussion: Fox News
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: HotAir, Deadline, alicublog, Althouse and Forbes
OH Predictive Insights:
AZ Senate: Gallego Leads in All Head-To-Head Matchups  —  Sinema's Independent Status is the Real Wild Card  —  Toplines and crosstabs can be found here  —  PHOENIX (February 16th, 2023)- The 2024 Senate election is inching closer and the race for Arizona's Senate seat is wide open.
Peter Kafka / Vox:
YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki is stepping down  —  One of the most prominent women in tech — and one of Google's earliest employees — is leaving the company.  —  YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki, who has led the world's largest video site for the last nine years, is stepping down from her role.
Richard Hall / The Independent:
George Santos barricaded in district office as local residents are refused meeting with embattled congressman  —  Residents were reportedly told by a staffer that the congressman would not speak to the ‘mob’ … The office of embattled Republican congressman George Santos was surrounded …
Justin Baragona / The Daily Beast:
Don Lemon Annoys Female Colleagues Again With ‘Completely Offensive’ Remarks  —  In what is becoming a habit, the CNN anchor drew the ire of his female colleagues over tone-deaf remarks related to gender—this time, about Nikki Haley being in her “prime.”  —  Don Lemon just can't help himself, it seems.
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)
Discussion: The Atlantic and Financial Times
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.
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 …
Jen Smith / Daily Mail:
EXCLUSIVE: Doctors from St Louis transgender clinic told teachers to ‘affirm’ an entire group of fifth graders - despite fears they were being influenced by their friends  — The teacher contacted staff in October 2021 with concerns about a group  — They said multiple children came out as trans after a classmate did
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
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
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.
New FIRE model legislation takes on DEI bureaucracy's chilling effect on campus  —  FIRE has criticized the ever-increasing bureaucratization of our nation's colleges for years.  As Greg Lukianoff and Adam Goldstein put it a few years back: “The further a university drifts from its academic purpose …
Discussion: Reason
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 …
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 More Items: 
Eleanor Lutz / New York Times:
Spy Balloons. U.F.O.s. What Else Is Up There?
Zack Budryk / The Hill:
Sherrod Brown calls on Ohio governor to declare disaster over East Palestine derailment
Michael Kaplan / CBS News:
Excess size caused train to break down in days before it derailed in Ohio, employees say
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
 Earlier Items: 
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
Derek Thompson / The Atlantic:
America's Teenage Girls Are Not Okay
Discussion: WebMD Health
Mattathias Schwartz / Insider:
Exclusive: British intel caught FBI spy chief secretly meeting a Russian in London
Discussion: Washington Examiner
Dan McLaughlin / National Review:
The 1619 Project Gets Its Facts Wrong Yet Again