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BIDEN REVERTS TO BOOTLICKING … "Biden Praises Bloomberg’s Gun-Control Group at Campaign Rally," by WFB’s Stephen Gutowski: [Joe] Biden delivered a speech on Thursday discussing his record supporting strict gun control with at least 10 people wearing "Moms Demand Action" shirts and caps standing behind him. The organization Moms Demand Action has been a significant beneficiary of [Michael] Bloomberg's $270 million decade-long effort to institute new gun bans and other gun-control measures nationwide.
THE COUNT OF BERNIE CRISTO … "Sanders Criminal Justice Adviser Caught Plotting Violent Jailbreak," by WFB’s Joe Schoffstall: Alex Friedmann, a prison reform advocate who helped shape the Vermont senator's criminal justice agenda, spent months plotting an escape for inmates of [Nashville’s] detention center. [Bernie] Sanders worked with Friedmann to develop positions on criminal justice in the lead up to his 2016 presidential campaign—positions Sanders still touts.
The break-in was part of "an extremely deliberate and, in my opinion, evil plan" Friedmann developed "over many months," [Davidson County sheriff Daron] Hall said.
HAR HAR … "Bloomberg Dismisses Past Comments As 'A Joke.' NDA Shows Plaintiff Barred From Offering Differing View," via ABC NEWS: As [Michael] Bloomberg has downplayed the nature of the allegations against him and his company, those who leveled allegations against him who are subject to a confidentiality agreements could face potentially significant financial exposure if they decided to speak …
ABC News has spoken with several women who expressed interest in telling their stories, but feared the prospect of retribution from the company, including significant financial losses for violating the terms of their confidentiality agreement by speaking out.
DESPERATE ABANDONMENT OF PRINCIPLES? SHE’S GOT A PLAN FOR THAT …"Elizabeth Warren Has Reversed On Super PAC Support: "That’s How It Has To Be"," via BUZZFEED: It was a change so sudden that Warren's own campaign website still said the Massachusetts senator "rejects all super PACs" and "would disavow any super PAC formed to support her in the Democratic primary." She had criticized other candidates for them as late as last week on the debate stage in New Hampshire …
She connected the issue directly to gender, noting that the Democratic field was stocked with male candidates who were either billionaires or backed by big-money organizations.
SOMETHING SOMETHING, SEALED, DELIVERED … "Nevada Democrats notify 1,000 early caucusgoers of voided ballots, mostly for lacking a signature," via NEVADA INDEPENDENT: The voided ballots, from the first three of four days of early voting, make up about 2.8 percent of the 36,000 ballots cast over the three-day period, with party officials still processing the 39,000 ballots cast on the fourth day of early voting.
WALK-OFF HOME RUN …
I can think of an example. https://t.co/KwuvyYgyGw
— Steve Scalise (@SteveScalise) February 20, 2020
SEND THE BOMBERS … "U.S. Aggressively Monitoring Potential Iranian Attacks From Saudi Air Base," by WFB’s Adam Kredo: The United States is aggressively monitoring Iranian missile threats across the Middle East in close coordination with its Saudi Arabian allies, according to U.S. military officials who briefed Secretary of State Mike Pompeo during a Thursday visit to the country's Prince Sultan Air Base …
While Iran has not launched additional strikes on Saudi Arabia since the late September salvo, the United States' continued presence in the region is a sign of how pressing and immediate the threat continues to be, Pompeo said in response to questions from the Washington Free Beacon.
UNDETERRED … "Russia Blamed for October Cyberattack on Georgia," via WSJ: The United States and Britain joined Georgia in blaming Russia for a large-scale cyberattack that knocked out thousands of government, private, and media websites in the Caucasian country in October.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and British foreign secretary Dominic Raab attributed the attack to the GRU, the Russian military spy agency that Western officials allege is responsible for a raft of overseas operations, including an attempt to interfere with the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign.
READY-MADE EXCUSE … "Russia Backs Trump’s Re-election, and He Fears Democrats Will Exploit Its Support," via NYT: Intelligence officials warned House lawmakers last week that Russia was interfering in the 2020 campaign to try to get President Trump reelected, five people familiar with the matter said, in a disclosure that angered Mr. Trump, who complained that Democrats would use it against him.
GO GET THAT PULITZER … "Media Scramble to Fact Check Whether There Were Actual Crickets on Debate Stage," by WFB’s David Rutz: In the video, [Michael] Bloomberg's question at Wednesday's Democratic debate about whether any other candidates had started their own business is met with 20 seconds of blank stares, complete with cricket noises, the classic sound effect during an awkward silence …
While [CNN’s Dana Bash] acknowledged the campaign had pointed out it was meant to be humorous, she said it's an era where "we are so concerned about things that are doctored, deepfakes on the internet."
REMEMBER WHEN THEY WOULDN’T PUBLISH JOHN MCCAIN … "New York Times publishes Taliban propaganda," via EXAMINER: "What We, the Taliban, Want," reads the actual headline to an article published Thursday by an actual American newsroom.
The op-ed, authored by Taliban deputy leader and suspected terrorist Sirajuddin Haqqani, opens with a series of sentences that attempt to "both sides" the conflict between the Taliban and the United States and present the Americans as unreliable and untrustworthy negotiators.
SINEMA OBJECTS … "Katie Hill Speaks Out: Rampant Biphobia Forced Me Out of Congress," via DAILY BEAST: The former congresswoman said a "huge part" of the reason her scandal exploded, and forced her away from Capitol Hill, is because she’s a bisexual woman. As sex scandals involving women politicians are rarer than with men, she said the media got overly excited about it, so it generated more headlines, for longer than it would for a straight man.
"There’s a fantasy element of it," Hill said. "There’s biphobia that is rampant still, and certainly a misunderstanding of what bisexuality is."
SUBWAY SERIES … "Battle of the Boroughs," by WFB’s Matthew Continetti: The presidential race will be determined by the actions of three [Americans]: Donald Trump, Bernie Sanders, and Michael Bloomberg. Each is a New Yorker. Each hails from a different borough. Trump was born in Queens, Sanders in Brooklyn, and Bloomberg, a native of Massachusetts, has worked and lived in Manhattan since 1973 …
The power of media, collapse of the center left, revolt against the political establishment, and a realignment of campaign finance that privileges small-dollar contributors on the one hand and self-funding billionaires on the other have elevated the Big Apple to preeminence.
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Published under: Beacon Extra