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12:20 PM ET, February 22, 2024


 Top Items: 
Playbook: What the GOP would prefer not to discuss  —  With help from Eli Okun, Garrett Ross and Bethany Irvine  —  DRIVING THE DAY  —  WITH ENDORSERS LIKE THESE — Florida Gov. RON DeSANTIS privately criticized DONALD TRUMP and said he wouldn't be Trump's running mate on a call first obtained by the N.Y. Post's Diana Glebova.
Discussion: Political Wire
Charles M. Blow / New York Times:
Alabama's I.V.F. Ruling Shows Our Slide Toward Theocracy  —  If you don't think this country is sliding toward theocracy, you're not paying attention.  —  The drumbeat of incidents moving us ever closer to the seemingly inescapable future is so steady and frequent that we've developed outrage fatigue — we've grown numb.
Judd Legum / Popular Information:
Alabama infertility clinic stops offering IVF, fearing prosecution
Days after Alabama's Supreme Court ruling that frozen embryos are children, a second clinic pauses IVF treatment
Henry J. Gomez / NBC News:
Ron DeSantis shares his concerns about Trump in a private call with supporters
Amanda Marcotte / Salon:
James Comer and Tucker Carlson aren't fooled by Russian lies — they're complicit  —  Last week, the “whistleblower” that House Republicans were counting on to justify a long-planned impeachment of Joe Biden was arrested for lying to the FBI.  In a twist that should surprise exactly no one …
Josh Marshall / Talking Points Memo:
A Bigger Story Than You Can Possibly Imagine  —  I know that's a big headline that promises a lot.  But I think it's true.  David has a good rundown of the events in the Morning Memo.  But I want to do my best to set them out on a larger canvas that goes back to the “Hunter Biden laptop” …
Aaron Blake / Washington Post:
Another GOP Biden ‘informant.’ Another indictment and link to Russia.
Discussion: Salon
Kelly Garrity / Politico:
‘Assholes come and go’: Trump isn't the future, Sununu says  —  “It won't be his party forever. ...  It just won't,” Sununu said.  —  The future of the Republican Party isn't Donald Trump, New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu said Thursday.  —  “It won't be his party forever.  Right?  It just won't.
Discussion: Tampa Bay Times and NBC News
Olivia Hampton / NPR:
Nikki Haley says Biden is ‘more dangerous’ than Trump but neither is fit for the job
Elena Schneider / Politico:
Biden's ‘uncommitted’ problem in Michigan worries Democrats looking to November
Nathan Layne / Reuters:
Lara Trump says RNC needs to raise $500 million, sees interest in paying Trump legal fees
Praveena Somasundaram / Washington Post:
Mike Lindell must pay man $5M in ‘Prove Mike Wrong’ challenge, judge says  —  In 2021, MyPillow founder Mike Lindell offered $5 million to anyone who could disprove his claim that he had data showing voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election.  —  Now, he must pay a 64-year-old from Nevada that award …
Discussion: Mediaite and HuffPost
Steve Karnowski / Associated Press:
Federal judge affirms MyPillow's Mike Lindell must pay $5M in election data dispute
Meryl Kornfield / Washington Post:
Biden's dog bit Secret Service agents about 24 times, new records show  —  One biting incident involving Commander, the presidential dog, briefly shut down White House tours due to blood on the floor  —  President Biden's dog Commander bit Secret Service agents about 24 times …
Steven Nelson / New York Post:
Biden gives away Commander after dog drew blood with attacks on Secret Service at White House, vacation home: documents
David Sirota / The Lever:
Sirota's Signals: Yes, $13,000 Per Hour  —  How does the fine print of a government report expose the real reason billionaires hate the IRS?  What are regulators telling us about our credit card bills?  Why is dopamine ruining our society?  Where are lawmakers refusing to ban assault weapons, but looking into banning cold beer?
Washington Post:
Fundraising is one bright spot for Mike Johnson  —  Good morning, Early Birds.  Today is the last day of early voting before South Carolina's Republican primary on Saturday.  Tips:  Was this forwarded to you?  Sign up here.  Thanks for waking up with us.
Discussion: The Hill and Outside the Beltway
Troy Matthews / MeidasTouch:
Republicans Furious as Speaker Johnson Turns GOP Leadership Meeting Into Religious Revival
Discussion: Esquire, Daily Kos and Raw Story
Happy Delaware Laptop Day, for Those Who Celebrate  —  If I read the docket correctly, in a courtroom in Delaware today, Judge Robert Robinson will hear John Paul Mac Isaac's motion to dismiss and Hunter Biden's motion for summary judgement in the suit and countersuit over whether JPMI …
Discussion: Mediaite
Mike Allen / Axios:
Exclusive: N.Y. Times reporters plan fall exposé on Trump's taxes … - “I remember watching Joe Biden's inauguration and seeing Donald Trump and his family leave Washington for Mar-a-Lago,” Craig says. … - “We have spent the last three years building upon our prior reporting.
Stephen Robinson / Public Notice:
From anti-anti-Putin to openly pro-Putin  —  Tucker Carlson finally takes the mask off. … Tucker Carlson's recent grand tour of Russia was easy to mock.  —  A far less pleasant version of Rick Steves, Carlson wandered around Moscow, gushing over the clean, efficient subways …
Thomas Barrabi / New York Post:
‘Absurdly woke’: Google's AI chatbot spits out ‘diverse’ images of Founding Fathers, popes, Vikings  —  Google's highly-touted AI chatbot Gemini was blasted as “woke” after its image generator spit out factually or historically inaccurate pictures — including a woman as pope, black Vikings …
Andrew Solender / Axios:
Biden calls congressional Republicans “worse” than Strom Thurmond … I've served with real racists.  I've served with Strom Thurmond," Biden said at a fundraiser in San Francisco, according to a White House pool report.  — “But guess what? … - Biden said Thurmond did “terrible things …
Robert Frank / CNBC:
Tax evasion by millionaires and billionaires tops $150 billion a year, says IRS chief  — The nation's millionaires and billionaires are evading more than $150 billion a year in taxes, according to the head of the Internal Revenue Service.  — The IRS, with billion of dollars in new funding …
Discussion: Washington Examiner
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 More Items: 
Biden considering new executive action to restrict asylum at the border, sources say
Biden paves way for Mark Rutte to lead NATO — and confront Putin
Pam Belluck / New York Times:
Abortion Shield Laws: A New War Between the States
Kirk Siegler / NPR:
Federal appeals court revokes Obama-era ban on coal leasing
Discussion: Twin Cities and Fox News
 Earlier Items: 
Shan Wu / The Daily Beast:
Alvin Bragg's Case Against Trump Is Stronger Than You Think
Discussion: Raw Story and Fox News
Nick Robertson / The Hill:
Arizona prosecutor refuses to extradite murder suspect to New York
Associated Press:
US man pleads not guilty after two-year-old daughter accidentally shoots herself
David Ingram / NBC News:
Elon Musk quietly visited the Biden White House in September
Natasha Korecki / NBC News:
Amy Brown, wife of GOP Senate candidate Sam Brown, opens up about her abortion for the first time publicly

From Mediagazer:

Benjamin Mullin / New York Times:
Ben Sherwood and Joanna Coles take minority stakes in The Daily Beast; Sherwood will be CEO and publisher, and Coles will be chief creative and content officer

Laurence Peter / BBC:
Russia's Ministry of Justice labels BBC Russian correspondent Ilya Barabanov and science reporter Asya Kazantseva as “foreign agents”; both now live abroad

Sahil Patel / The Information:
Sources: Disney plans old-style TV channels within Disney+, with a continuous, scheduled stream of shows that are focused on certain genres like Star Wars

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