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6:40 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 …
Aaron Blake / Washington Post:
10 Republicans who treated the Biden bribery claim like gospel  —  When we learned last week that the Justice Department had indicted the informant behind the severest claims against President Biden for allegedly lying about those claims, the House GOP impeachment leader, Rep. James Comer (Ky.), downplayed the news.
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, Raw Story, Mediaite and MeidasTouch
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.
Jay Kuo / The Status Kuo:
It's Even Worse Than We Imagined  —  Just when you thought it couldn't be worse, here we are.  —  As I reported last week, a star witness for the GOP-led impeachment inquiry, someone Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) had called a “highly credible human source,” was indicted for making false statements and reports.
Mike Wendling / BBC:
Alexander Smirnov: FBI source accused of Biden lies ‘linked to Russian intelligence’
Sarah K. Burris / Raw Story:   Republicans rush to delete any reference to Biden impeachment informant accused of lying
Arthur Delaney / HuffPost:
Republicans Delete Reference To FBI Informant From Impeachment Interview Request Letter
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. …
Amy Yurkanin /
Fearing prosecution, UAB pauses in vitro fertilization after Alabama embryo court ruling  —  The University of Alabama at Birmingham health system has paused in vitro fertilization procedures following an Alabama Supreme Court decision due to fear of criminal prosecution and lawsuits, a spokeswoman said.
Washington Post:
Shock, anger, confusion grip Alabama after court ruling on embryos
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.
Associated Press:
Biden is showcasing student loan relief efforts as he campaigns in California
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.
Discussion: Mediaite and Raw Story
US Department of Justice:
U.S. Attorney Announces Nuclear Materials Trafficking Charges Against Japanese Yakuza Leader  —  For Immediate Release  —  U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of New York  —  Takeshi Ebisawa of Japan, Leader Within the Yakuza Transnational Organized Crime Syndicate …
Sarah Fortinsky / The Hill:
Federal prosecutors charge Japanese Yakuza leader in nuclear material trafficking conspiracy
Discussion: Associated Press, abc7NY and CNBC
Washington Post:
Trump and allies plotting militarized mass deportations, detention camps  —  As president, Trump sought to use military planes and bases for deportation.  Now, he and his allies are talking about a new effort that current and former officials warn could be impractical and dangerous.
David Corn / Mother Jones:
The Great Forgotten Betrayal of the Trump Years  —  Donald Trump's weird relationship with Vladimir Putin and Russia is back in the news.  But something big is missing.  —  After his remarks earlier this month encouraging the Russian leader/war criminal to invade NATO countries …
Discussion: Slate and Digby's Hullabaloo
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
Molly Hennessy-Fiske / Washington Post:
Okla. nonbinary teen died after school fight amid reported bullying  —  What is known with certainty in Owasso, Okla., is that a 16-year-old is dead.  —  Nex Benedict collapsed the day after an altercation in a girls' bathroom at the public high school they attended, a school where relatives …
Natasha Korecki / NBC News:
Amy Brown, wife of GOP Senate candidate Sam Brown, opens up about her abortion for the first time publicly  —  Sam Brown is running for Senate in Nevada, and he told NBC News that his wife's experience has helped show him politicians have to “lead with compassion.”
Discussion: Washington Examiner
Brian Cheung / NBC News:
Consumers are tired of price increases.  Big brands are paying attention.  —  Even Walmart lowered the price of its French bread back to $1, but consumers shouldn't expect broad-based cuts across the economy.  —  Until recently, Brooke Benson considered herself a Panera Bread loyalist.
Quinnipiac University Poll:
2024 Election: Biden Holds On To Slight Lead Over Trump, Quinnipiac University National Poll Finds; Trump Gets Higher Marks On Age, Mental & Physical Fitness; Biden Does Better On Ethics, Empathy & Temperament  —  mail_outline  —  In a hypothetical 2024 general election presidential matchup …
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 …
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 …
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 …
Maggie Astor / New York Times:
Sidney Powell and Other Trump-Aligned Lawyers Will Face Legal Penalties  —  The Supreme Court declined to take up an appeal by a group of lawyers who challenged the 2020 election results in Michigan.  —  Sidney Powell, L. Lin Wood and several other lawyers who advanced former President …
David Ingram / NBC News:
Elon Musk quietly visited the Biden White House in September  —  Musk and President Joe Biden, who didn't meet during the visit, have had a frosty relationship driven by differing views on labor unions and more.  —  Tech billionaire Elon Musk quietly visited the White House in September …
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 …
Discussion: Bloomberg
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?
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 More Items: 
NBC News:
Republican dysfunction drives a wave of House retirements
Discussion: Raw Story
KFF Health Tracking Poll February 2024: Voters on Two Key Health Care Issues: Affordability and ACA
Discussion: Daily Kos, UPI and The Hill
Gabrielle M. Etzel / Washington Examiner:
Democrats pressure pharmaceutical companies on answers to drug shortages
Discussion: The Hill and House Committee …
Brooke Singman / Fox News:
James Biden says his brother ‘has never had any involvement’ or any ‘financial interest’ in business ventures
Rachel Frazin / The Hill:
Appeals court tosses Obama-era federal coal leasing moratorium
Discussion: Fox News and Associated Press
Presidents Can Save or Destroy a Country
 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
Jason Wilson / The Guardian:
Ron DeSantis ally Chris Rufo has close ties with ‘dissident right’ magazine
Discussion: Raw Story

From Mediagazer:

Michael Msika / Bloomberg:
PE firm Blackstone offers ~$1.5B to purchase Hipgnosis, about 7% higher than the bid made earlier this week by Concord to which Hipgnosis' board had agreed

Clara Aberneithie / Press Gazette:
A look at The Cool Down, a climate-focused news outlet that makes $5M in programmatic advertising per year and aims to increase it to $12M per year in 2025

Stephanie Kaloi / The Wrap:
New York passes a first-of-its-kind employment tax credit plan to support independent news outlets in the state, offering $30M in yearly credits for three years

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