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THE PRESUMPTIVE COMMIE … "Will Bernie Sanders' long-ago praise of Socialist regimes hurt Democrats in November?," via NBC NEWS: On his Nicaragua visit in 1985 Sanders sat down with leader Daniel Ortega, whom he later called "a very impressive guy." At the time, human rights activists had documented serious abuses by Ortega's government …
In 1989, Sanders visited communist Cuba and lauded the country's "free health care, free education, free housing," while dismissing the government's holding of political prisoners by saying Cuba was not a "perfect society," according to the Free Press of Burlington.
OFFERS FRESH DEFENSE OF CASTRO … "Sanders says ‘it's unfair to simply say everything is bad' with Fidel Castro's Cuba," via CNN: "We're very opposed to the authoritarian nature of Cuba but you know, it's unfair to simply say everything is bad. You know?" Sanders said on CBS’ "60 Minutes" … "When Fidel Castro came into office, you know what he did? He had a massive literacy program. Is that a bad thing? Even though Fidel Castro did it?"
JOE IN FIRST STAGE OF GRIEF … "Biden Denies Calling South Carolina His ‘Firewall,’ Despite Evidence to the Contrary," by WFB’s Josh Christenson: Democratic presidential contender Joe Biden on Sunday downplayed his plummeting polls in the South Carolina primary, denying he ever claimed the state was his campaign's "firewall" …
He told MSNBC [on Feb. 2], "I think I have a real firewall in South Carolina. And then we go into the Super Tuesday states that have a significant number of minorities and African Americans."
KEYSTONE KOPS … "US intelligence briefer appears to have overstated assessment of 2020 Russian interference," via CNN: The US intelligence community has assessed that Russia is interfering in the 2020 election and has separately assessed that Russia views Trump as a leader they can work with. But the US does not have evidence that Russia's interference this cycle is aimed at reelecting Trump, the officials said.
"The intelligence doesn't say that," one senior national security official told CNN. "A more reasonable interpretation of the intelligence is not that they have a preference, it's a step short of that. It's more that they understand the President is someone they can work with, he's a dealmaker."
HERE COMES THROUPLE … "FBI Arrests Hacker Linked to Former Rep. Katie Hill’s Campaign," via INTERCEPT: Federal agents have arrested Arthur Dam in connection with a hacking spree that disrupted the 2018 Democratic California primary that ultimately nominated Katie Hill, according to a new criminal complaint …
Dam’s wife is Kelsey O’Hara, Hill’s fundraiser during the campaign and her district director after she won office.
Elizabeth Warren's strongest constituency, according to the NV entrance poll: Democrats who regularly use Twitter (19%).
— Josh Kraushaar (@HotlineJosh) February 23, 2020
SOLEIMANI UNAVAILABLE FOR COMMENT … "EXCLUSIVE: Pompeo Reveals Trump Admin’s Wide-Ranging Plan to Combat Iran, Deal Death Blow to Nuclear Deal," by WFB’s Adam Kredo: In the coming months, [Secretary of State Mike] Pompeo said, he and the president will make a major decision about whether to petition the United Nations to invoke what is known as "snapback" on a set of international sanctions on Iran that were lifted as part of the Obama administration's nuclear accord … Such a move would deal a deathblow to the nuclear deal.
THE LOWEST COUNTRIES … "Anti-Semitic Belgium parade features costumes of Jews with insect bodies," via TOI: Another group wore fake hooked noses and costumes of ultra-Orthodox Jews as a protest. Their float had a sign labeled "regulations for the Jewish party committee," and it included: "Do not mock Jews" and "Certainly do not tell the truth about the Jew."
SICK MAN GETS ACCOMPLICES … "Inside the Wall Street Journal, Tensions Rise Over ‘Sick Man’ China Headline," via NYT: More than four dozen journalists at the Wall Street Journal challenged their bosses and criticized the newspaper’s opinion side in a letter that was sent to top executives on Thursday, the day after China announced that it would expel three Journal staff members in retaliation for a headline that offended the country’s leaders.
LATE TO THE PARTY … "Chris Matthews: Dems may be better off with Trump re-elected than Sanders ‘taking over' the party," via THE BLAZE: "I'm wondering whether the Democratic moderates want Bernie Sanders to be president," Matthews told panelists who were visibly surprised by the suggestion …
According to Matthews, moderate Democrats must take a harder stance against Sanders and his ideology.
THIS TIME THE POST MEANS BUSINESS … "We have entered the Trump Unbound era — and journalists need to step it up.," via WAPO: Too often, news organizations are cautious to a fault, afraid of their own shadows, and worried about being labeled anti-Trump or biased.
In this new era, my prescription is less false equivalence, more high-impact language and more willingness to take a stand for democracy. With Trump unbound, the news media need to change. Yes, radically. The stakes are too high not to.
PRINCIPLES IN ACTION … "Left-Wing Young Turks Refuses to Recognize Employees’ Union," by WFB’s Alex Griswold: A week after TYT Union was formed to represent production and post-production workers at the popular liberal channel, the group announced that company leadership had refused voluntary recognition of the union. The refusal, which comes after Sanders proposed penalizing companies that refuse to recognize unions, is the latest instance of a left-leaning news outlet resisting unionization among its employees.
BIKERS FOR TRUMP … "Couple allegedly drove 2 teenage boys on bikes off the road for their Trump flag," via ABC NEWS: The brothers told police that they were riding their bikes in the city of Hobart around 8:30 p.m. when a blue Chevy Malibu began following them, according to the affidavit. The boys then said that it "swerved as if the driver wanted to hit them" and they had to ride their bikes into the grass.
A woman, later identified as Smith, was yelling about the Trump flags during the incident, saying, "y'all scared just like your president" and "America is not great f—–," according to the affidavit.
ACRONYM RIPS A PAGE OUT OF THERANOS PLAYBOOK … "How Tara McGowan Became the Elizabeth Holmes of Politics," by WFB’s Charles Fain Lehman: A fawning profile in the online magazine Ozy called her the "Democrats' most dangerous digital strategist." Her ACRONYM network was meant to be the party's high-tech solution to its crushing 2016 defeat …
In the wake of the Iowa fiasco, however … Funders who once heaped cash on her are starting to ask whether McGowan's startup is really the next big thing, or if the whole operation has been their version of Theranos, the tech firm that raised millions on a miracle technology it couldn't deliver.
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