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SHE STILL WANTS TO SANCTION ISRAEL THOUGH … "Ilhan Omar accuses Trump of ‘economic warfare' for threatening sanctions on Iran," via EXAMINER: "This makes no sense. Sanctions are economic warfare," the Minnesota Democrat said Wednesday on Twitter. "They have already caused medical shortages and countless deaths in Iran. You cannot claim to want deescalation and then announce new sanctions with no clear goal. This is not a measured response!"
AND GIGGLES WAY THROUGH BRIEFING … "Ilhan Omar Says Iran Tensions Are Triggering Her PTSD," by WFB’s Alex Griswold: Rep. Ilhan Omar (D., Minn.) said Wednesday that discussions about military tensions between Iran and the United States were triggering her post-traumatic stress disorder …
Omar's PTSD did not appear to affect her behavior later in the Wednesday press conference. She was seen laughing and talking in the background as fellow representative Sheila Jackson Lee (D., Tex.) spoke about casualties during the Iraq War. "Absolutely disgusting," tweeted GOP rapid response director Steve Guest.
JAILBREAK … "He Helped Torture and Murder a Child, Now PA Dems Want Him Eligible for Parole," by WFB’s Collin Anderson: In August 1996, 13-year-old Richezza Williams was found dead in a Pennsylvania cemetery, her burned and beaten body dumped in a cardboard box after she was tortured with household items, including a heated clothes hanger, cleaning chemicals, and a turkey baster.
Corey Maeweather admitted to authorities that he participated in the brutal crime, appearing "void of emotion" in a video as he described the victim's screams and cries for help … More than two decades later, top Democrats are seeking to ease the process for criminals like Maeweather to walk free.
THE TEEPEE IS SHRINKING … "How Elizabeth Warren Is Being Squeezed by the Left and Center," via NYT: It was part of a quiet recognition among her advisers and surrogates that, less than one month before the Iowa caucuses, Ms. Warren is being damaged by criticism and pressure from both moderates and liberals within the Democratic Party, whose doubts about her have fueled concerns about her ability to win.
These worries have also filtered down to voters, who, in more than two dozen interviews during Ms. Warren’s two most recent trips to Iowa, have expressed a growing fear that her candidacy is neither satisfying nor uniting the political factions in the party.
TOOLS OF TEHRAN … "Warren, Sanders Hosting Call With Pro-Tehran Lobby Group," by WFB’s Adam Kredo and David Rutz: Elizabeth Warren’s and Bernie Sanders’s willingness to engage with NIAC—a group that aggressively pushed the [Iran nuclear] accord and has strongly advocated against U.S. sanctions on the Islamic Republic—reflects their desire to see America reenter the nuclear deal, which released up to $150 billion in cash to the regime. Much of that money has gone to fund Iran's regional terror operations, including recent attacks on American personnel stationed in the region.
NIAC has deep ties to Iran's regime, including senior officials like Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif. Zarif worked closely with NIAC founder Trita Parsi, who, in turn, consulted with the Obama administration.
CRY MORE, LIB … "Harvey Weinstein Wants A New Judge After He Was Scolded For Using His Cell Phone In Court," via BUZZFEED: Weinstein’s lawyer Arthur Aidala argued that by admonishing Weinstein for his cell phone use, Judge James Burke "created a situation in which the Court’s ‘impartiality might reasonably be questioned,’ in violation of New York State’s Rule of Judicial Conduct."
On Tuesday, Burke threatened to send Weinstein to jail for using his cell phone in court.
DETERRENCE WORKS … "Trump says Iran ‘appears to be standing down,' vows new sanctions," via NBC NEWS: In a 10-minute White House speech, [President] Trump vowed to keep up the pressure on Iran with "punishing" new sanctions on top of the heavy economic restraints already in place, but didn’t suggest the United States would be taking any additional military action in response …
Trump made the comments in an address to the nation Wednesday from the White House less than a day after Iran fired more than a dozen ballistic missiles at two Iraqi air bases housing U.S. and coalition forces in retaliation for the killing of a top general.
RELATED … An MSNBC guest complains Trump is "not graceful in victory."
AMERICAN BRINGS DOWN THE CROWN … "Queen’s Shock as Harry and Meghan Quit ‘Senior Royal’ Roles—and Prepare for North America Move," via DAILY BEAST: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle shocked the queen and the world by announcing they were "stepping back" as senior members of the royal family, with a view to splitting their time between the U.K. and North America—most likely Canada …
Buckingham Palace was said to be "disappointed" by the announcement, according to BBC reporter Jonny Dymond. No other member of the royal family was consulted prior to the announcement being made, he said.
THE VIEW FROM THE REICH … "Joy Behar Celebrates White Nationalist’s Opposition to Trump," by WFB’s Andrew Kugle: Behar read [Richard] Spencer's tweet renouncing his prior support for [President] Trump in reaction to Trump's decision to eliminate Iranian terrorist leader Qassem Soleimani.
"Wow," Behar said, as the audience applauded. "That's big, that's interesting."
TEEN VOGUE WITH ALL THE HOT NEW TRICKS TO PLEASE YOUR CORPORATE SPONSOR … "An uncritical Teen Vogue story about Facebook caused bewilderment about whether it's sponsored content before the entire article vanished," via BI: An uncritical story in Teen Vogue about Facebook's efforts to secure its social network ahead of the 2020 election caused bewilderment over contradictory messages about whether it was paid for by Facebook—before it just disappeared completely …
Teen Vogue, meanwhile, didn't have answers either. Spokespeople for the magazine didn't immediately respond to Business Insider's request for comment, and an employee with access to its official Twitter account responded with befuddlement to an inquiry in a now deleted tweet: "literally idk."
THE GRAY SATAN … "NYT Reporter: In Iran, Soleimani’s Death Is Like MLK’s Death in America," by WFB’s Graham Piro: New York Times reporter Farnaz Fassihi compared the mourning in Iran over the death of Qassem Soleimani to America's reaction to the death of Martin Luther King Jr. during Tuesday's episode of the podcast "The Daily" …
She added that she spoke to a 22-year-old university student at the funeral who said "knowing General Soleimani was out there" made him "feel safer."
MORE TIME FOR TRIPS TO SUBWAY! … "Jussie Smollett not returning to ‘Empire’ after alleged hate-crime hoax," via PAGE SIX: Jussie Smollett will never return to his hit TV show "Empire"—because the scandal of his alleged hate-crime hoax would "overshadow" the show which is "bigger than him," a network boss has confirmed …
It was ultimately decided that the actor’s scandal—in which he was accused of making up an attack in Chicago in which a noose was put around his neck by men shouting "This is MAGA country!"—would be too damaging.
TAKE TWO … "National Park Replaces Signs Predicting Disappearance of Glaciers By 2020," by WFB’s Andrew Kugle: The signs were posted in the Montana park a decade ago because, at the time, climate change forecasts predicted the glaciers would be completely melted by 2020 …
The new signs will still warn visitors that the glaciers are disappearing but won't offer an expected deadline this time.
BILLIONAIRE RENTS WOULD-BE GOVERNOR … "Stacey Abrams Kisses the Ring," by WFB’s Andrew Stiles: Abrams will host Democratic presidential contender Michael Bloomberg (net worth: at least $50 billion) at a voting rights summit in Atlanta on Friday. The invite-only event is being organized by Fair Fight, the political action committee Abrams started after her failed gubernatorial run in 2018.
Bloomberg, who contributed $500,000 to Abrams's failed campaign, donated $5 million to Fair Fight in December … Bloomberg, who has appeared in photographs with many of the worst villains of the #MeToo movement, has faced criticism for using prison labor to make phone calls on behalf of his presidential campaign.
DAYS SINCE JOE BIDEN DID A SUNDAY SHOW: 1,124. Come back, Joe!
"You know who really doesn’t have it? Joe Biden." —Former President Barack Obama
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