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3:50 PM ET, February 21, 2024


 Top Items: 
David Kurtz / Talking Points Memo:
Russia's Staggering Success In Duping Willing Republicans And Right Wing Media  —  A lot of things happened.  Here are some of the things.  This is TPM's Morning Memo.  —  The Plot Thickens  —  The former FBI informant charged with fabricating the Burisma bribery story about President Biden …
Discussion: Raw Story, emptywheel and Politico
Arthur Delaney / HuffPost:
Republicans Delete Reference To FBI Informant From Impeachment Interview Request Letter  —  The indictment of an FBI informant for fabricating a bribery allegation against Joe Biden has blown a hole in the impeachment case against the president.  —  LOADING
Ewan Palmer / Newsweek:
Jim Jordan Is in Deep Trouble  —  Ohio congressman Jim Jordan could face major repercussions over the Republican attempt to impeach Joe Biden after a former FBI informant charged with making false bribery claims against the president was accused of using Russian intelligence, legal experts suggest.
Dominick Mastrangelo / The Hill:
Fox News co-host ‘surprised’ by GOP's ‘threshold for humiliation’ in Biden probe  —  Fox News co-host Jessica Tarlov mocked House Republicans on Wednesday for their pursuit of impeachment charges against President Biden.  —  “This is the path that they've chosen to take …
Discussion: HotAir and Mediaite
Sarah K. Burris / Raw Story:   Republicans rush to delete any reference to Biden impeachment informant accused of lying
Mike Wendling / BBC:
Alexander Smirnov: FBI source accused of Biden lies ‘linked to Russian intelligence’
Associated Press:
Ex-FBI informant charged with lying about Bidens had Russian intelligence contacts, prosecutors say
Washington Post:
Shock, anger, confusion grip Alabama after court ruling on embryos  —  Alabama doctors are puzzled over whether they will have to make changes to in vitro fertilization procedures.  Couples have crammed into online support groups wondering if they should transfer frozen embryos out of state.
NBC News:
Nikki Haley sides with Alabama Supreme Court on IVF ruling: ‘Embryos, to me, are babies’  —  The Alabama court's recent ruling raised concerns among doctors and patients worried that classifying embryos as children could restrict in-vitro fertilization.  —  NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. …
The White House:
FACT SHEET: President Biden Cancels Student Debt for more than 150,000 Student Loan Borrowers Ahead of Schedule  —  Today, President Biden announced the approval of $1.2 billion in student debt cancellation for almost 153,000 borrowers currently enrolled in the Saving on a Valuable Education (SAVE) repayment plan.
Brett Samuels / The Hill:
Biden cancels student debt for 150K borrowers  —  The Biden administration announced Wednesday it is forgiving a total of $1.2 billion in student debt for roughly 153,000 borrowers.  —  The relief comes through the Saving on a Valuable Education (SAVE) repayment plan, which made changes …
Zolan Kanno-Youngs / New York Times:
Biden Cancels $1.2 Billion in Student Loan Debt for 150,000 Borrowers
Justin Sink / Bloomberg:
Biden Cancels $1.2 Billion of Federal Student Loans
Washington Post:
Haley fights on  —  Good morning, Early Birds.  Congratulations to 8-year-old Ashwath Kaushik …
Lauren Irwin / The Hill:
Trump confirms names on VP shortlist: 'They're all good, they're all solid'  —  Former President Trump confirmed a list of names floated to be on his vice presidential shortlist Tuesday, during a town hall event in Greenville, S.C.  —  Trump joined Fox News Channel's Laura Ingraham to discuss …
Alex Isenstadt / Politico:
Trump says long VP shortlist includes Tim Scott, Ron DeSantis, Vivek Ramaswamy
Harvard University President:
The Antisemitic Cartoon  —  Dear Members of the Harvard Community,  —  A few groups purporting to speak on behalf of Harvard affiliates recently circulated a flagrantly antisemitic cartoon in a post on social media channels.  The cartoon, included in a longer post, depicted what appeared …
Judd Legum / Popular Information:
Nex Benedict matters  —  Nex Benedict, a 16-year-old Oklahoma sophomore, died on February 8.  Nex, who was non-binary, was attacked in an Owasso High School bathroom the previous day, sustaining serious head injuries.  Nex's grandmother and legal guardian, Sue Benedict, said …
Philip Bump / Washington Post:
Sean Hannity and the case of the sawdust ‘cocaine’  —  A central tenet of Sean Hannity's on-air rhetoric over the past few years has been that the federal government — and, specifically, federal law enforcement — is not reliable.  —  After all, how else to wave away the various indictments of his friend and ally Donald Trump?
Mike Johnson invoked God in a GOP presentation on keeping the majority.  It didn't land well.  —  The speaker delivered a presentation that, while ostensibly about holding the majority this fall, took a notably moral turn, according to two people in the room.
Susannah Luthi / Washington Free Beacon:
California Budget Deficit Swells to $73 Billion as Incoming Tax Revenue Falls, Watchdog Reports  —  California's budget watchdog warned Tuesday that the state's deficit has swelled to $73 billion this year, just a month after Gov. Gavin Newsom (D.) painted a rosier picture of the state's financial outlook.
Discussion: RedState and Fox News
Brandi Buchman / Law & Crime:
Mar-a-Lago judge denies Trump's request to file briefs together in documents case, orders slower, one-by-one pace instead  —  The federal judge overseeing Donald Trump's indictment for allegedly illegally retaining classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida has denied a request …
Discussion: Raw Story and Above the Law
Amanda Marcotte / Salon:
Donald Trump may not believe in God, but he still plans to turn America into a Christian theocracy  —  Like any cult leader, Trump's goal is to get power — and the religious right is ready to take advantage  —  If there were only some way to prove it, I would happily bet everything I own that Donald Trump does not believe in God.
Lauren Weber / Washington Post:
Tax records reveal the lucrative world of covid misinformation  —  Four major nonprofits that rose to prominence during the coronavirus pandemic by capitalizing on the spread of medical misinformation collectively gained more than $118 million between 2020 and 2022, enabling the organizations …
Dasha Litvinova / Associated Press:
How the Kremlin weaponized Russian history — and has used it to justify the war in Ukraine  —  Earlier this month, when Tucker Carlson asked Vladimir Putin about his reasons for invading Ukraine two years ago, Putin gave him a lecture on Russian history.  The 71-year-old Russian leader spent …
Will Sommer / Washington Post:
A reporter investigated neo-Nazis.  Then they came to his house in masks.  —  The chilling visit to Raw Story reporter Jordan Green's home represents an increasingly common tactic by extremist groups  —  Jordan Green reports on extremists for the news website Raw Story …
Josh Fiallo / The Daily Beast:
Florida School Rocked by More Cases of Measles as Parents Skip Vax  —  Eleven other states have reported measles cases this year, but no area has been hit as hard as South Florida.  —  An elementary school in Florida has been hit with a measles outbreak that's made six students sick …
Rachel Frazin / The Hill:
Appeals court tosses Obama-era federal coal leasing moratorium  —  A federal appeals court on Wednesday axed an Obama-era moratorium on new coal mine leasing on public lands.  —  It did so by overturning a ruling from 2022 that revived the Obama-era freeze on auctioning off federally owned lands for coal mining.
Sarah Fortinsky / The Hill:
Former CNN anchor John Avlon announces bid for Congress  —  Former CNN anchor John Avlon announced a bid Wednesday for New York's first congressional district, claiming “democracy is in danger.”  —  In a video posted on X, formerly known as Twitter, Avlon said he was running to help preserve democracy …
Jason Wilson / The Guardian:
Ron DeSantis ally Chris Rufo has close ties with ‘dissident right’ magazine  —  Relationship with IM-1776 that praises dictators, racist ideologues and attacks liberal democracy is collaborative and supportive  —  Chris Rufo, a rightwing culture-war celebrity and close Ron DeSantis ally …
Discussion: Raw Story
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 More Items: 
Steph Solis / Axios:
Biden admin commits $100M for women's health research
Discussion: Associated Press and abc7NY
Presidents Can Save or Destroy a Country
Laura Strickler / NBC News:
Tennessee firm illegally employed minors to clean meat saws, head splitters at slaughterhouses, Labor Dept. says
Discussion: BizPac Review
 Earlier Items: 
Matthew Yglesias / Slow Boring:
The high cost of promoting homeownership
Zack Budryk / The Hill:
Chicago sues oil companies for impacts of climate change
Julia Mueller / The Hill:
GOP chances of winning the Senate on the rise
Discussion: The Ripon Society and RedState
Lisa Needham / Public Notice:
The Fani Willis mess, explained

From Techmeme:

Cristiano Lima-Strong / Washington Post:
Sources detail how Senate Commerce Committee chair Maria Cantwell, who recently proposed a privacy bill, has undermined privacy negotiations for years

Kamila Wojciechowska / Android Authority:
Source: Google's new Pixel 9 series, next-gen Pixel Fold, and 5G tablet that is under development will feature a new modem that supports satellite connectivity

Meta says it is testing its Meta AI chatbot with WhatsApp, Instagram, and Messenger users in India and parts of Africa

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