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BLOOMBERG FILES AFTER DEM DEBATE DEBACLE … "Former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg files with FEC to run for president," via ABC NEWS: Former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg's slow-roll rollout of likely joining the Democratic primary continued Wednesday with a Federal Election Commission filing declaring him a Democratic candidate for president—his biggest legal step toward a formal campaign announcement …
Bloomberg's likely late entrance into the next year's contest 11 months into the primary would expand an already fractured field, which continues to grapple with anxieties over defeating President Donald Trump and an ascendant progressive wing pushing the Democratic contenders further left on health care, immigration, and guns.
NEVER BEEN TO UKRAINE? … "Warren Calls Donor Ambassadors ‘Corruption At Its Worst’," by WFB’s Collin Anderson: Democratic presidential hopeful Elizabeth Warren on Thursday released a campaign ad calling the appointment of campaign donors as ambassadors "corruption at its worst," but the Massachusetts senator previously voted to confirm ambassadors with no diplomatic experience who raised millions for Barack Obama …
Warren voted to confirm multiple ambassador appointees who lacked diplomatic credentials, but raised millions of dollars for Obama's two presidential campaigns.
THE MUELLERBERG REPORT … "Netanyahu slams corruption indictment as ‘attempted coup’," via NY POST: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu lashed out after being indicted on corruption charges Thursday, saying the country is witnessing "an attempted coup." …
"I dedicated my life for the state," the embattled longtime leader said in a statement from his Jerusalem residence shortly after Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit announced charges of bribery, breach of trust and fraud, according to the Times of Israel.
IMPEACHMENT WITNESS SAYS DEMS ON PUTIN’S FRACKING SIDE, by WFB’s David Rutz: Former White House national security expert Fiona Hill testified Thursday that Russian president Vladimir Putin viewed American fracking as a "great threat to Russian interests"; top contenders for the Democratic presidential nomination, however, have called for an outright ban of the practice …
The Washington Free Beacon reported this year on studies that showed a fracking ban—while highly unlikely to be implemented even by a Democratic president—would kill millions of jobs and spike American living and energy costs.
FREDO LIVES UP TO NAME … "Chris Cuomo Tries, Fails in Attempt to Debunk Trump Impeachment Defense By Calling His Mom on Air," via MEDIAITE: Calling his mother on his cell phone, Cuomo called out, "Mom, can you hear me?" but there was only silence on the other end as the panel tried to hear without the use of speaker phone …
With the experiment over, the panel then started to argue whether the call between President Trump and [U.S. ambassador to the European Union Gordon] Sondland could have been accidentally turned on to speaker phone.
Cuomo’s experiment was mocked on social media, with some critics comparing it to O.J. Simpson being made to try on the infamous gloves.
BURNOUT OR BOREDOM? … "MSNBC Democratic Debate Captured 6.5 Million Viewers, Lowest in Current Cycle," via VARIETY: The totals would make the event one of the least-watched in the recent cycle of five Democratic debates that have been offered by the Democratic National Committee in 2019 …
The program aired after a long day of televised impeachment inquiry hearings broadcast across many different networks, and it’s possible that viewers who might have normally tuned in to see former U.S. vice president Joe Biden, South Bend, Indiana, mayor Pete Buttigieg, Senator Elizabeth Warren, and Senator Bernie Sanders square off with each other and Senator Cory Booker, Senator Kamala Harris, Tom Steyer, Andrew Yang, and U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard were simply burnt out on political coverage for the cycle.
COLDPLAY ON CLIMATE STRIKE … "Chris Martin Reveals Coldplay Won't Tour Until Concerts Are Environmentally Friendly," via E! NEWS … In an interview with BBC Breakfast, Chris Martin revealed the band won't be going on tour until they can figure out how to make it environmentally friendly.
As the "Paradise" singer explained, "We're taking time, over the next year or two, to work out how can not only our tour be sustainable, but how can it be actively beneficial? How can we harness the resources that our tour creates and make it have a positive impact?" An important question, indeed!
LAST LINE OF DEFENSE … "NFL finds ‘no such evidence' of Mason Rudolph directing racial slur at Myles Garrett," via ESPN: Garrett made the allegation during an appeal hearing with the NFL on Wednesday, sources told ESPN's Josina Anderson and Adam Schefter. Rudolph has strongly denied it.
"Mason vehemently denies the report of being accused of using a racial slur during the incident Thursday night in Cleveland," Steelers spokesman Burt Lauten said in a statement. "He will not discuss this accusation any further and his focus remains on preparation for Sunday's game against the Cincinnati Bengals."
MEMO TO DEMS … "Why Candidates Matter Most," by Matthew Continetti for the WFB: [Joe] Biden's strength among moderate Democrats and continued lead over [President Donald] Trump nationwide and in swing states are responsible for his frontrunner status. But the first caucus is more than two months away, and the rules of the Democratic primary give the party opportunities to choose an unlikable and extreme nominee. There are plenty of options to choose from …
Trump's debut reelection ad acknowledges that "he's no Mr. Nice Guy," but touts an impressive record of accomplishment. And he will have plenty of time and resources to define his opponent negatively.
DAYS SINCE JOE BIDEN DID A SUNDAY SHOW: 1,076. Come back, Joe!
"They have him in the candidate-protection program." —Fmr. Obama Chief Strategist David Axelrod
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