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NANCY’S FOLLY … "Dems in Disarray Over Pelosi’s Impeachment Strategy," by WFB’s Brent Scher: A group of top Democratic senators went to reporters Wednesday to urge Pelosi to end her three-week attempt to influence how Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell handles the impeachment trial …
"I'll send them over when I'm ready," Pelosi said. "That may be soon."
Pelosi got the idea to hold onto the articles of impeachment from watching cable news, her office told TIME magazine.
WIPED WITH A CLOTH? … "Jail video of Jeffrey Epstein’s first suicide attempt was deleted, prosecutors reveal," via CNBC: Surveillance video footage from outside the jail cell of accused child sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein at the time of his first reported suicide attempt in July has been deleted, federal prosecutors revealed Thursday …
Epstein, who was a former friend of Presidents Donald Trump and Bill Clinton, died in the Manhattan jail in August. The New York City Medical Examiner ruled his death a suicide by hanging.
MR. CONGENIALITY … "Around the Country in 17 Hours With Michael Bloomberg," via NYT: Asked for a picture after his event in Chicago, Mr. Bloomberg grimaced a bit: "Yup. Quickly." …
Other data points seemed less encouraging. Several of the more than 100 people in the room said they had come as a favor to a staff member they knew, offering "moral support," as one put it, in lieu of political support. An aide approached two African-American men to ask if they might be more comfortable onstage, behind Mr. Bloomberg and in view of the cameras. They did not bite.
NOT LIKABLE ENOUGH … "Polling Experts: Democrats More Likely to Nominate ‘No One’ Than Elizabeth Warren," by WFB’s Andrew Stiles: According to the FiveThirtyEight forecast, Warren has just a one-in-nine (12 percent) chance of winning enough delegates to secure the Democratic Party's presidential nomination. That's slightly worse than the forecast model's odds—one-in-eight, or 13 percent—that no single candidate will win a majority of delegates, an outcome that could trigger a brokered convention in Milwaukee.
VOTING WITH THEIR FEET … "Second Amendment Sanctuary Movement Dwarfs Richmond Gun-Control Meeting," by WFB’s Stephen Gutowski: A gun-control event at the Virginia state capitol drew two hundred activists on Wednesday, a turnout dwarfed by the tens of thousands who have attended Second Amendment sanctuary meetings all over the state.
Moms Demand Action, a subsidiary of Michael Bloomberg's Everytown for Gun Safety, gathered supporters in Richmond to pressure lawmakers into passing stricter gun-control laws during the new legislative session. An email to the group's supporters included pictures showing several dozen activists at a meeting opening, and about 20 meeting with lawmakers and walking the halls of the Virginia state capitol building. A spokeswoman for the group told the Washington Free Beacon that 200 volunteers showed up to lobby lawmakers.
SUPREME LEADER’S STRATEGERY … "Iranians Shot Down Jetliner," via AP: Evidence indicates it is "highly likely" that an Iranian anti-aircraft missile downed a Ukrainian jetliner near Tehran late Tuesday, U.S., Canadian, and British officials said Thursday. They said the strike, which killed all 176 people on board, could well have been a mistake amid missile launches and high tensions throughout the region.
FAST-ACTING FAA DECISION SAVED AMERICAN LIVES … "U.S. Issued No-Fly Order Over Iran, Iraq Hours Before Ukrainian Plane Downed," by WFB’s Adam Kredo: A Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) warning of potential hazards along flight routes in the war-torn region was first issued Tuesday evening by the FAA, just before a Ukrainian plane crashed near Tehran. U.S. officials believe Iran may have mistakenly shot down the plane in its airspace as tensions with the United States hit new levels.
"Our NOTAMs were published roughly three hours before the accident," an FAA spokesman confirmed to the Washington Free Beacon Thursday.
ESCALATION … "Iran: Missile Strikes Mark Beginning of ‘Major Operations’ Across Middle East," by WFB’s Adam Kredo: Iranian leaders claim to have drawn up "high casualty operations" that could lead to the deaths of at least 500 U.S. military personnel "in the first step." Within 48 hours, the Iranian military claims, it could kill 4,000 to 5,000 Americans.
Iran fired at least 13 missiles at U.S. bases in Iraq this week and is readying to launch "hundreds of missiles in the first hours" of a second protracted attack, according to Iranian military officials.
IF THEY DIDN’T HAVE DOUBLE STANDARDS … "WaPo Reveals Photoshop Is Problematic If It Targets Dems," by WFB’s Alex Griswold: A Thursday Washington Post story attacked Rep. Elise Stefanik (R., N.Y.) for "manipulating" an image of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.), even though such modifications are standard in political advertising on both sides of the aisle, including from Pelosi herself …
Stefanik's 2020 Democratic opponent Tedra Cobb, for example, has frequently tweeted images of the congresswoman that have been similarly "manipulated" using black-and-white and fuzzy filters without attracting negative attention from Capitol Hill reporters.
TRUMP DERANGEMENT SYNDROME IS REAL … "U.S. Reporters Blame Trump for Iran Shooting Down Passenger Plane," via GRABIEN: CNN’s national security analyst, Susan Hennessy, said the tragedy resulted from "reckless escalation," claiming the jetliner was downed in "crossfire".
NBC’s Heidi Przybyla—in a tweet she later deleted—echoed Hennessy, blaming the tragedy on a "crossfire" between the United States and Iran …
Another Washington Post columnist, Jennifer Rubin, likewise appeared to make excuses for Iran killing these innocent people.
PRESCRIPTION NEEDED … "Too woke? Nope—Doctor Who is more offensive than ever," via THE GUARDIAN: Now, though, a different group of fans are railing against Doctor Who. Far from being too liberal, many believe this iteration has actually lost the morality that made the character so unique, and become problematic on social issues—engaging with them to an often offensive degree.
MADAM SPEECHLESS … "How McConnell Outplayed Pelosi," by WFB’s Matthew Continetti: [Mitch McConnell] has [Nancy] Pelosi as an example of what not to do. Since launching the impeachment inquiry in November, she's seen independents turn against it, Trump's numbers rise, a House Democrat switch parties, several Democrats join Republicans to vote against one or both of the articles of impeachment, and now her friends and lieutenants questioning her judgment in public.
The other day news broke that she got the idea for withholding the articles from an interview with John Dean on CNN. Dean once gave legal advice to Richard Nixon. And look what happened to him.
DAYS SINCE JOE BIDEN DID A SUNDAY SHOW: 1,125. Come back, Joe!
"You know who really doesn’t have it? Joe Biden." —Former President Barack Obama
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