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Democrats Expect Trump to Turn Over Incriminating Whistleblower Material in Bipartisan Good Faith (LOL)

No word yet on whether initial steps to potentially vote on a non-binding resolution are in the works as well.
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The Doomsday Clock ticks closer to midnight
We're facing two existential dangers simultaneously: nuclear war and climate change.
washingtonpost.com
The Bucket List: Making Nashville hot chicken with Howlin' Ray's and Hotville
Kim Prince of Hotville and Johnny Ray Zone of Howlin' Ray's share hot chicken insights in the premiere of our 'Bucket List' fried chicken show.
latimes.com
9-year-old charged with attempted murder after stabbing little sister multiple times
A 9-year-old boy has been arrested and charged with attempted first-degree murder after allegedly stabbing his 5-year-old sister multiple times.
abcnews.go.com
Riot Games accuses regulators of 'questionable tactics' to block gender bias settlement
California state agencies argue that women who worked at the video game company could deserve up to $400 million. The company—and the lawyers for women who worked there—strongly disagree.
latimes.com
Coronavirus update
Asia sell-off continues — Impeachment update
politico.com
In a Global Crisis, Maybe Don’t Turn to Twitter
A few minutes before 11 p.m. on January 20, Eric Fiegl-Ding was pretty much just another guy on the internet. Sure, he is a Harvard-affiliated public-health researcher who lives in Washington, D.C. and has two Ph.D.s, but his account was nothing special. He had about 2,000 followers—a modest count on the scale that reaches into the millions—and his average tweet got around one retweet and five likes.That all changed when Fiegl-Ding read a paper about the new coronavirus spreading out of Wuhan, China, and spotted an eye-popping stat. The paper estimated that the virus’s contagiousness, which is captured in a variable called R0 was 3.8—meaning that for every person who caught the disease, they’d give it to almost 4 other people. The paper cautioned that there was “considerable uncertainty associated with the outbreak,” but Fiegl-Ding still worried that such a highly transmissible disease would be a key ingredient in the recipe for a major pandemic. “I read that 3.8 value and I was like: ‘Oh my gosh!’” he told me. “I tweeted it out.”That’s an understatement. “HOLY MOTHER OF GOD—the new coronavirus is a 3.8!!!” Fiegl-Ding’s tweet read. “How bad is that reproductive R0 value? It is thermonuclear pandemic level bad—never seen an actual virality coefficient outside of Twitter in my entire career. I’m not exaggerating.” Over the next five minutes, Fiegl-Ding put together a thread on Twitter, mostly quoting the paper itself, that declared we were “faced with the most virulent virus epidemic the world has ever seen.”Twitter ate it up. Many people seemed to be experiencing the outbreak, especially from afar, as some kind of distributed movie, watched in grainy cellphone videos sent out of China and populated by Twitter heads filling in the backstory. The thread soon had thousands of retweets. Fiegl-Ding’s account flooded with new followers. Here was a Harvard epidemiologist naming the world’s darkest fear about the new disease and confirming it.And yet, there were problems with Fiegl-Ding’s analysis, even if they were not immediately apparent to the people simply scrolling through Twitter. The thread embodied a deep problem on Twitter: the most extreme statements can be amplified far more than more measured messages. In the information sphere, while public-health researchers are doing their best to put out scientific evidence, viral Twitter threads, context-free videos, and even conspiracy theories are reaching far more people.The coronavirus outbreak is a serious public-health problem. While reports began to surface in early January, the Chinese government has massively escalated its response over the last few days, calling for an unprecedented quarantine of tens of millions of people. The outbreak struck within a fraught set of geopolitical circumstances. There is the history of the respiratory illness SARS. There is the lack of clarity about how transparent the factions of the the Chinese government are being about the severity of the outbreak. There is the sheer size of China—and the appearance of the disease in the weeks leading up to the new year, which sends hundreds of millions of people traveling across the country. And, of course, there is global competition between the U.S. and China, which provides a little extra incentive (and prospective attention) for Americans on Twitter trying to garner an audience.Most Americans cannot read Chinese, nor are they present in large numbers on Chinese social-media sites like Weibo and WeChat. The internet has fractured over the last decade, with American and Chinese social-media companies carving up distinct parts of the world. While that makes it difficult for many Americans to parse what’s happening on Chinese social media, it also creates an opportunity for people who are tapped in on both sides. They can arbitrage from the Chinese to the American internet, turning WeChat videos into Twitter gold. Accounts big and small have whipped up quite an apocalyptic fervor in the past weeks, posting scary videos of dubious provenance and veracity. The mainstream media has proceeded carefully, and reporters’ stories seemingly have been unable to satiate the rising hunger for more information about coronavirus.This was the ecosystem in which Fiegl-Ding’s thread landed. No wonder it took off. Unfortunately, there were some mistakes. While Fiegl-Ding included quotes and screenshots of the paper, which was preliminary and not peer-reviewed, he omitted some context, primarily that other infectious diseases like measles also have very high R0 numbers. He also made a clear error: “Ding claimed that the new virus was 8 times as infectious as SARS, when in fact SARS had an R0 ranging from 2 - 5, very comparable with these estimates for the new coronavirus,” the science journalist Ferris Jabr, who watched Fiegl-Ding’s thread wing around the internet that Friday night, told me. Fiegl-Ding deleted the SARS tweet once he realized the mistake. [Read: The deceptively simple number sparking coronavirus fears]The problems didn’t end there, though. Fiegl-Ding hadn’t known that by the time he tweeted about the paper, the researchers had already lowered their estimate to 2.5. And R0, for that matter, is not the be-all and end-all of the danger of a virus. Some highly transmissible diseases are not actually that dangerous. Other experts chimed in to chide his characterizations (and some of his Harvard colleagues talked directly to him, he told me). One epidemiologist, Michael Bazaco, quote-tweeted Fiegl-Ding and proclaimed, “This is fearmongering hyperbole, and borderline public health malpractice.” The tone was clearly not straight out of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nor was the form of the tweets.When Jabr began to add up all the issues, he realized that he should create his own corrective thread. “I decided to counter with a thread that filled in the missing context and collated some of the known facts at the time, along with their sources,” he said. “By the next morning both our threads had been amplified, but his had still been RTed and liked at least twice as many times.”By the time of this writing, Fiegl-Ding’s thread has roughly triple the likes and retweets of Jabr’s. This is one of the realities of the current information ecosystem: While out-and-out conspiracies and hoaxes will draw some attention, it’s really the stuff that’s close to the boundaries of discourse that grabs the most eyeballs. This is the information that's plausible, and that fits into a narrative mounting outside the mainstream that gets the most clicks, likes, and retweets. Bonus points if it’s sensational or something that someone might want to censor. After all, what’s more interesting: “HOLY MOTHER OF GOD” or “the essential data are still being collected and assessed,” as Jabr ended his thread?In 2018, after years of research into the trouble Facebook was having moderating material on its platform, the company’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, identified a dark pattern in Facebook’s data around what he called “borderline content”—stuff that was almost prohibited by Facebook, but not quite. He made this chart.FacebookFiegl-Ding’s tweets seem to approach the line of what professional ethics would permit public-health authorities to say. He certainly wasn’t endorsing full-on conspiracy theories about bioweapons and zombies, as some people have suggested during the coronavirus outbreak. But he also was far from the calm, slow-down-there stance of the vast majority of other officials. And, of course, that’s what made his message so irresistible.Twitter has made some effort to slow the spread of misinformation on its platform. Searches for “coronavirus” now produce a link to the CDC with the message “Know the facts.”Fiegl-Ding, for his part, admits that he wishes he’d worded things a little differently. “I really wish Twitter was like Facebook and you could edit,” he told me. Since his thread went big, he’s moderated the tone of his tweets considerably and hewed closer to the public-health consensus on how to describe the situation.Still, Fiegl-Ding is just one guy on the internet. Many people have been tweeting into the borderline space, and not everyone shows signs of remorse.Misinformation has always been an element of people’s response to disease; we didn't have to wait around for social media to be invented to spread rumors or contest facts. But the fundamental difference today is the scope and speed by which social-media platforms enable this to happen—and the strangeness of the information networks that are formed in crisis.One user in particular, @howroute, has had tremendously viral tweets about the terrible danger the world faces. These have drawn more likes and retweets than anything from Fiegl-Ding or Jabr. One shows people in hazmats suits on an airplane. “BREAKING NEWS: This is not a scene from some apocalyptic horror movie, this is a #coronavirus outbreak in China,” @howroute posted. The tweet has been retweeted and faved around 50,000 times. “The SARS like virus has already spread to four countries and infected more than 1700 people. US airports are monitored. Be on alert, stay safe!”The account has also posted videos supposedly showing people dead in the hallways of hospitals and someone twitching under a hospital sheet. Most of the videos seem to be real, but the context is missing. Within the apocalyptic frame that they’ve been given, they are terrifying.The name on the account is Max Howroute, but I’ve been unable to find any person by that name in public-records searches. There’s no record of Max Howroute working at a publication or producing work other than some satirical YouTube videos, and yet, the account describes Howroute as a “journalist.” Before the Wuhan crisis, @Howroute had mostly posted anti-Trump memes. Since the viral hit, the account has gone all in tweeting completely context-free videos and charging its critics of being Chinese Communist Party trolls. “You’re liar and I will report you to Twitter,” @howroute tweeted at the Hong Kong dissident artist Badiucao. “You’re obviously new here. I’m one of the most trusted sources on coronavirus reporting on Twitter. How dare are you to question my reporting!!”It’s not clear what @howroute is doing, nor who they are. The account—it often posts using “we”—has not responded to my requests for an interview, and studiously maintains that everything it has posted has been verified. According to Buzzfeed’s Jane Lytvynenko’s fact-checking efforts, that is not true.Is @howroute someone seeking global attention, someone who believes what they are doing is righteous, someone who’s simply exploitative grifter? Perhaps the only thing clear about the account is that it has shaped the online conversation around the coronavirus outbreak, regardless of its intentions. It may be that @howroute is “one of the most trusted sources on coronavirus reporting on Twitter,” which is exactly the problem. Some entity with no discernible knowledge about China, epidemiology, or infectious disease working from a pseudonymous account has become a leading source for people across the world about a global pandemic.
theatlantic.com
Report alleges killings in Burundi as elections draw near
A research group says repression has intensified in Burundi ahead of presidential polls in May
Politica
'Apex Legends' Charm Location - How to Get the Forge Steel Cut Charm for Free
"Apex Legends" players may have said goodbye to Forge, but you can still get his Steel Cut weapon charm using this guide.
newsweek.com
LeBron James makes "promise" to Kobe Bryant in emotional post
"Man I love you big bro," said James, who spoke with Bryant hours before his death
cbsnews.com
Car thief locks himself inside car, is 'saved' by police
At least he got the breaking IN part right.
foxnews.com
Living in harmony with nature in Kerala
The northern reaches of Kerala, one of India's greenest and most beautiful states, is a peaceful place where local people live and work closely with their natural environment.
edition.cnn.com
GOP Rep. Doug Collins to run for Georgia Senate seat
Rep. Doug Collins, R-Ga., who has been one of President Trump's staunchest defenders through the impeachment process, is expected to announce that he will run for U.S. Senate. 
foxnews.com
Culture and trade thrive in Kerala's Kochi
Kerala's fascinating port city of Kochi is home to landmarks representing settlers from its past, but traditional culture is still alive and well.
edition.cnn.com
Coronavirus, impeachment stoke Wall Street paranoia
Michigan is a battleground state for the Trump reelection bid — and automakers are watching the coronavirus, as uncertainty drags down stock prices.       
usatoday.com
Boris Johnson allows Huawei to build parts of U.K. 5G network
President Trump had urged Britain to ban the Chinese tech giant.
politico.com
Bolton adds fuel to the impeachment fire
politico.com
Hotel offers free stays for couples who make babies
Hotel Zed is offering a four-hour Valentine's Day "Nooner" special for its fifth year in a row, but this year, the Canadian hotel chain has upped the ante.
edition.cnn.com
Kobe Bryant mourned by Lower Merion, his former high school
Kobe Bryant is being remembered as a living legend in the Philadelphia suburb where he first noticed his basketball skill. He went straight from Lower Merion High School in Ardmore, Pennsylvania, to the NBA. Years later, he made a large donation to help build the school’s new gym, which was named for him. Jericka Duncan shares the emotional reaction from students and Bryant’s former classmates.
cbsnews.com
U.K. Government Approves Huawei For 5G Mobile Networks, With Some Restrictions
It's a pivotal decision with implications for Britain's diplomatic relations with the United States and China
time.com
Roy Moore sues conservative outlet for $40 million alleging 'fake news'
Scandal-ridden GOP Senate candidate Roy Moore is suing a conservative media outlet for $40 million, alleging "fake news" as he runs his second campaign in three years for the same Alabama seat.
foxnews.com
Wisconsin family trapped in Wuhan amid coronavirus outbreak
The United States will evacuate some Americans in Wuhan on a flight out of the quarantined city Wednesday morning.
cbsnews.com
Netanyahu formally indicted in court on corruption charges
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was formally indicted in court on Tuesday on corruption charges after he withdrew his request for parliamentary immunity from prosecution.
reuters.com
The Cybersecurity 202: Mike Rogers, former Republican House Intel chief, blasts Congress for not taking action on Huawei
His old panel is “just broken” amid partisan warfare, Rogers says.
washingtonpost.com
Mississippi governor to close notorious prison unit after string of inmate deaths
Gov. Tate Reeves told lawmakers Monday he has ordered the Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman's notorious Unit 29 closed.        
usatoday.com
No witness trades: Senate Republicans have lost leverage
From denial to bargaining, Republicans moving through stages to accept Trump's political demise
washingtonpost.com
How are Iowa voters picking candidates?
You've probably never thought about this quality.
washingtonpost.com
A fan's homage to Kobe Bryant
I've been overwhelmed with messages from family and friends about Kobe Bryant's death.
edition.cnn.com
Coronavirus Now Spread to Over a Dozen Countries As WHO Declares Outbreak 'High Risk' on Global Level
The death toll has hit over 100, according to health officials.
newsweek.com
Israel's Netanyahu will fly to Moscow on Wednesday: aide
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in Washington for the unveiling of a U.S. plan for Middle East peace, will fly to Moscow on Wednesday, an Israeli official said.
reuters.com
Pfizer profit misses as breast cancer drug sales fall short of estimates
Pfizer Inc posted a quarterly profit on Tuesday that came in below Wall Street estimates, as sales of breast cancer drug Ibrance fell short of expectations.
reuters.com
Benjamin Netanyahu indicted on corruption charges after withdrawing immunity bid
The Knesset was widely expected to reject his immunity request.
nypost.com
UPDATE 2-Man in Germany contracts coronavirus in one of first cases of transmission outside China
Germany has declared its first confirmed case of the coronavirus after a 33-year-old man contracted it from a colleague visiting his workplace from Shanghai, in one of the first few cases of person-to-person transmission outside China.
reuters.com
Super Bowl LIV, by the numbers
From Kittle to Kelce to Bosa to Mahomes, here are the key figures to know.
washingtonpost.com
Reaction to UK allowing Huawei a role in 5G network
Britain will allow "high risk vendors" like Chinese telecoms giant Huawei [HWT.UL] a limited role in building its 5G networks, the government said on Tuesday.
reuters.com
Olivia Munn posts Kobe Bryant tribute, reveals they were planning a project together
Actress Olivia Munn paid tribute to late NBA star Kobe Bryant Monday and revealed that they were going to collaborate on a project designed to help children cope with death.
foxnews.com
Two New 'Transformers' Movies Are Being Made, Including 'Beast Wars' Reboot: How to Watch the Original TV Series
"Beast Wars," which was an animated series that aired in the 1990s, is being adapted into a movie.
newsweek.com
U.S. military retrieves bodies but Afghan jet crash remains a mystery
Pilot on the high-tech Air Force plane declared an emergency before coming down in Taliban-held territory.
cbsnews.com
Due-Process Rights Don’t Apply in an Impeachment Trial
Of all the arguments of President Donald Trump’s impeachment defense, one of the least compelling is the claim that impeachment proceedings have violated his right to due process.Trump’s lawyers hammered away at this theme both in the response to articles of impeachment they filed with the Senate on January 20 and during their opening remarks in the Senate trial over the weekend.The problem with this defense is its assumption that due process is relevant to impeachment. Due process protects the life, liberty, and property of private citizens. It does not create a right to occupy the White House.In the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments, the Constitution specifies that an individual cannot be “deprived of life, liberty, or property” without “due process of law.” The word deprived implies that the individual possessed something to which he or she was entitled. No one is entitled to hold elective office.The British legal commentator William Blackstone applied due process—“due course of law,” in his words—to “the personal liberty of individuals,” including freedom of movement and similar rights. Because they were personal liberties, he reasoned, they could be taken away only in accordance with a reasonable legal process. Presidents, who exercise public rather than personal authority, have no comparable claim to the Oval Office.[Paul Savoy: An impeachment trial without witnesses would be unconstitutional]For this reason, impeachment explicitly involves fewer rights than a criminal trial does. Blackstone notes, for example, that impeachments, unlike criminal convictions, cannot be undone by pardons. The Constitution similarly says an official can be both impeached and criminally prosecuted for the same act—indicating that impeachment is no substitute for a criminal trial.A federal appellate court did once hold, as the lawyers’ response notes, that due process applied to an impeachment. But the only process at stake in that case—concerning the impeachment of former federal Judge Alcee Hastings, now a representative of Florida—was his entitlement to a trial by the full Senate rather than a committee of it. The violation in the Hastings case was of an explicit constitutional requirement that the full Senate try impeachments—which it is quite clearly doing in Trump’s trial.Trump’s lawyers’ filing goes on to say that the Framers “surely” did not mean to divorce impeachment from rights like due process. But “Federalist No. 65,” arguing for the Senate rather than the judiciary to try impeachments, observes that impeached officials do not enjoy the same rights as private citizens on trial before the courts.A Senate trial “can never be tied down by such strict rules, either in the delineation of the offense by the prosecutors, or in the construction of it by the judges, as in common cases serve to limit the discretion of courts in favor of personal security.” Impeached officials do not hazard their personal security. All they risk is their power—a temporary and public trust allocated by the citizenry.[Mario Loyola: Abuse of power is a dangerous standard for Democrats to play with]As the president and his lawyers often argue, the public did allocate that trust in the 2016 election, which Trump won according to constitutional rules. But the people register their wills in multiple ways. Trump’s 2016 Electoral College majority was one way. But Democrats have also won major victories since then, and “Federalist No. 65” says House members act as “the representatives of the people” in impeachments.Trump’s insistence on using the language of criminal defense also undermines his own case. His attorneys protest, for example, that they were not allowed to cross-examine witnesses in the House investigation. But if impeachment is a judicial instrument, the House’s authority is comparable to indictment, a process in which the rights of the accused are notoriously meager. Will the Trump Justice Department now allow attorneys for those accused of federal offenses to cross-examine grand-jury witnesses?The more dangerous flaw in this thinking is the implicit assumption that the presidential office is the personal property of its occupant. When Trump declared last July, “I have an Article II, where I have the right to do whatever I want as president,” the most disconcerting locution was not his claim of limitless authority but rather the implication that he personally possessed it. Certain authorities accrue to the office; they are not the private rights of the person who occupies it.In this sense, Trump’s lawyers are wrong to assert, as they did in last week’s filing, that he has “a constitutionally granted right” to hold his office for the duration of his term, which they rank among his “property and liberty interests protected by the Due Process Clause.” The office is not his property. He holds it temporarily, subject to constitutional rules that include both election and impeachment.To be sure, some judges have concluded that officeholders sometimes do acquire a property interest in their offices. Marbury v. Madison, for example, concluded that William Marbury had a right to the commission for the justice of the peace position to which he had been legitimately appointed. But that is a dicey proposition for elected officials who are being subjected to constitutionally prescribed procedures for their removal. To say that the Fifth Amendment encumbers the impeachment process is a stretch at best. The fact that Democrats used similar due-process arguments in the Clinton impeachment does not help, but neither does it change the underlying facts.That does not mean members of the House and Senate should be cavalier about fairness. A fair process is likelier to reconcile a divided public to its result. But the public good, rather than private rights, is the perspective from which the Senate should judge the president. Elected office entails exerting coercive authority over other people. There neither can nor should be a personal right to exercise that kind of power. Depriving a president of power is not the same thing as depriving a private citizen of life, liberty, or property. The proper frame of reference for impeachment is consequently not the rights of the president, but the health of the republic.
theatlantic.com
The Hypothetical Hurricane Wiki Is Home to the Storms of the Future
Is it disaster porn or a way to grapple with the changing world?
slate.com
A wild card in the 2020 primaries: New Hampshire’s independent voters
Sen. Elizabeth Warren, center, embraces Laurie McCray, right, of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, at Exeter High School in Exeter, New Hampshire, on November 11, 2019. | Jessica Rinaldi/The Boston Globe via Getty Images Why presidential candidates are spending so much time courting New Hampshire’s independent voters. DERRY, New Hampshire — Longtime Republicanvoter Sheree Dustin is so fed up with the party under President Trump, she may just cast a ballot for former Vice President Joe Biden in the primary. “I think they’re a mess,” the Hampstead voter told me at a Biden town hall a few weeks ago. Dustin voted for moderate Republican John Kasich in 2016 but switched her party affiliation to independent in 2020. She believes Biden is the best equipped to turn out more moderate Republicans like her in the general election. “I think you’re going to see more Republicans moving,” she said. “The independents are going to make it.” Undeclared voters are a powerful voting bloc in New Hampshire; they make up about 42 percent of the state’s registered voters. Because New Hampshire doesn’t run a closed primary, anyone who is a Democrat or an undeclared voter may cast a Democratic ballot in the February 11 primary. Come Election Day, enough “independents” voting Democratic could have an outsize impact on the results of an extremely tight primary race. Moderate candidates like Biden, former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, and Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) are heavily courting disaffected Republicans turned independents like Dustin. Joe Raedle/Getty Images Pete Buttigieg speaks during a town hall event at the Walpole Middle School in Walpole, New Hampshire, on November 10, 2019. Political experts in the state told me that the vast majority of New Hampshire’s undeclared voters aren’t really independent in the true sense of the word; they are typically Democrats or Republicans who don’t like labels and want flexibility. And while independents like Dustin can certainly juice a candidate’s numbers (they helped give independent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders his historic 22-point win in 2016 and propelled John McCain to victory in 2008), they’re typically not enough to swing an election. “Nobody’s ever won because they won the independents,” said Andy Smith, a University of New Hampshire pollster. Smith, who has polled voters in the state for decades, told me no candidate since 1972 has won without capturing a plurality of the state’s registered voters. Undeclared voters’ “influence is greatly exaggerated,” he said. “Feared, but exaggerated.” With a close race this year, the impact these voters will have is still anyone’s guess. Why New Hampshire’s “independents” are so tough to pin down Every four years, the anticipation grows around how New Hampshire’s independent voters might vote come primary day. New Hampshire votes the week after the Iowa caucuses, making its primary a critical test for candidates. Out of the more than 977,000 registered voters in the Granite State, about 413,500 are undeclared to either party, compared to the state’s 275,252 registered Democrats and 288,524 registered Republicans. Undeclared voters can choose either ballot in a primary and switch their party back to undeclared with their local election officials after they’ve voted. There hasn’t been a sudden surge in Republican or Democratic registered voters switching over to undeclared, New Hampshire Deputy Secretary of State David Scanlan told me. But because New Hampshire also allows same-day registration, Scanlan said he’s expecting to see thousands of new voters at the polls on Election Day. “Most registrations take place on Election Day,” he said. “It will be in the tens of thousands. We won’t know until Election Day.” The data we have on this group shows undeclared voters are certainly not a monolith, and they don’t vote as a bloc. Polling data collected from 1999 to 2014 by Smith and former UNH political science professor and pollster David Moore showed that about 40 percent of undeclared voters consistently voted Republican and 45 percent Democratic. That left just 15 percent who could truly be considered “independents,” voting for candidates of both parties. Erin Clark for The Boston Globe via Getty Images Trump supporters hold 2020 election posters outside of the New Hampshire State House in Concord on November 7, 2019. “I would say they’re a less partisan voting bloc,” Smith told me. “They’re not as engaged in politics and they don’t follow politics as much as registered Democrats and Republicans.” In fact, New Hampshire’s southern neighbor Massachusetts actually has more undeclared voters than New Hampshire does — about 55 percent of the total voting-eligible population, compared to New Hampshire’s 42 percent. Yet Massachusetts is still thought of as bluer and more progressive than New Hampshire. There are a few factors contributing to the fascination with independents in New Hampshire: the importance of the first-in-the-nation primary combined with the state’s very independent — almost libertarian — ethos. “It’s cool if you’re gay, but keep your hands off my guns,” is how Amherst voter Brendan LeBlanc described New Hampshire’s political identity to me. New Hampshire is a socially liberal and fiscally conservative state, where many Democratic politicians staunchly defend the continued lack of an income or sales tax. At least in statewide elections, the influence of independents and moderate Republican voters has contributed to a slate of moderate Democrat politicians. “Where the Democrats have won elections in New Hampshire is with the more centrist Democrat,” said Tom Rath, a New Hampshire attorney and Republican who advised Mitt Romney’s 2012 campaign and Kasich’s 2016 run. “[Sens.] Jeanne Shaheen, Maggie Hassan, clearly [former Gov.] John Lynch were all in that tradition. That is not a hard-left tradition; that is more center-left, very open.” But in presidential elections, these voters don’t always go for the moderate choice. Independents came out in a huge way for Bernie Sanders in 2016. Primary exit polls showed he won 50 percent of registered Democrats compared to 49 percent for Hillary Clinton. Among independents, Sanders blew Clinton out of the water: 72 percent to Clinton’s 27 percent. “That’s the closest it’s ever been to winning just among independents,” Smith told me. “A lot of those were younger people. When they show up in the polls, they are undeclared because they had never declared their partisanship before.” Moderate Republicans have few places to go in the 2020 election Rath acknowledged his party has become an inhospitable place for moderates under Trump. “There’s no place for those people to go that has any genuine sort of resonance other than the Democratic Party,” Rath said. But he remained skeptical these moderate Republicans will provide any sort of decisive boost for Biden, Buttigieg or fellow moderate Klobuchar. “I’d suspect at best it’s going to work on the margins,” Rath said. “It’s not going to be a large number.” Jessica Rinaldi/The Boston Globe via Getty Images Former Massachusetts Gov. William Weld greets voters during a campaign stop at the Airport Diner in Manchester, New Hampshire, on April 16, 2019. There’s not much for a NeverTrumper to do other than cast a protest ballot for former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld in the Republican primary. That’s exactly what Biden volunteer and Derry Republican Jim Morton plans to do. Morton — a Kasich voter in 2016 — says he can’t stand Trump, or the Republican Party under his leadership. “You’ve got to be kidding me, this Trump guy,” Morton said. “If you’re a bully, you’re arrogant, or you can’t treat people with respect, regardless of their background, I don’t want anything to do with you. I couldn’t vote for him.” It’s too late for Morton to switch his party affiliation to undeclared to cast a vote for Biden in the 2020 primary, but he hops in his truck with a Biden bumper sticker next to a Ronald Reagan/George H.W. Bush sticker from the 1980 presidential election. And he plans to cast his ballot for Biden in the general election if Biden is the nominee. “He’s a decent person,” Morton said. “Some of his policies, or the policies of the greater Democratic Party, I don’t support. But then I don’t support a lot of policies of the Republican Party — particularly what it’s become since the Tea Party.” Biden isn’t the consensus candidate among former Republicans and Republican-leaning independents. On a recent afternoon I spent shadowing Biden campaign canvassers who were knocking doors in the small town of Loudon, there was the occasional voter stuck between Biden and Sanders, but many more trying to choose between moderates like Biden, Buttigieg, and Klobuchar. “I have a lot of Republican friends; I think they would have a very hard time supporting someone like Elizabeth Warren right now, but they seem to like Joe, Amy Klobuchar,” undeclared Loudon voter Stan Lloyd told me. “It’s all sort of analyzing, trying to analyze on your own and with your friends.” Candidates are still courting these voters While political experts like Smith and Rath agree that moderate Republicans turned independents probably aren’t going to be enough to tip the balance toward one candidate, courting these voters is still a key part of the political message of candidates like Biden and Buttigieg. Biden often talks about his long track record of working with Republicans in Washington and balks at the notion that bipartisanship is a thing of the past. And at Buttigieg rallies these days, the former South Bend mayor often mentions he’s actively courting voters he calls “future former Republicans.” Scott Eisen/Getty Images Joe Biden speaks during a campaign town hall in Derry, New Hampshire, on December 30, 2019. “What we’re seeing is a lot of folks when I’m shaking hands after an appearance will kind of reveal to me that they’re exactly that kind of future former Republican I was talking about,” Buttigieg told me in a press gaggle after a Durham town hall. “It’s not about pretending to be more conservative than I am; it’s about recognizing that while we won’t agree on everything, we can agree it’s time to turn the page and deliver a better presidency.” One of these former Republicans who switched parties and is now supporting Buttigieg is former Lebanon, New Hampshire, Mayor Sue Prentiss. Prentiss was a registered Republican for many years; she even served on the steering committee for former New York Gov. George Pataki’s short-lived 2016 presidential campaign. Prentiss didn’t vote for Trump in either the 2016 primary or the general election, and she is dismayed at the lack of action from her former party on issues such as climate change and gun control reforms like universal background checks. Democrats “have to make a home for people” like her, Prentiss told me. “I wasn’t happy with the current situation, the current candidate who represented the party I had been affiliated with for years.” Both moderate candidates like Buttigieg and Klobuchar and progressive candidates like Warren told me they think they are in a position to win over New Hampshire independents, albeit with different methods. “Independent voters in New Hampshire are like people everywhere,” Klobuchar told me in an interview. “They want to have a check on this president, they want to make sure that you have their backs, and many of them want you to show how you’re going to pay for things. They’re much more interested in concrete plans than pipe dreams.” Warren, a progressive arguing for “big, structural change,” told me her plans to eradicate money in politics have broad political appeal with voters in multiple parties. “Democrats, independents, and Republicans understand that this government has just been working better and better and better for rich people at the top and is not working for them,” Warren said. “They’re sick of the influence of money, and that’s the core of my campaign.” While Prentiss is all-in for Buttigieg, this Republican turned independent is planning to support whichever Democrat wins the nomination. For her, it’s a matter of practicality. “If Donald Trump is going to go anywhere, then it’s going to be a Democrat taking him out of the White House,” she said.
vox.com
Twelve-mile backup along I-270 south in Rockville after crash
A crash involving a tractor-trailer is causing big backups on I-270 in Montgomery County.
washingtonpost.com
Impeachment Monday: Trump defense tries to invalidate impeachment
The impeachment trial of President Donald Trump received a dose of defense in an attempt to invalidate the charges against him.        
usatoday.com
Bodies recovered from U.S. military plane crash in Taliban territory
Officials are disputing the Taliban’s claims that it brought down a U.S. military plane in Afghanistan. The aircraft crashed on Monday after the pilot declared an in-flight emergency. American helicopters finally recovered bodies of the only two crewmen aboard, as the military investigates what may have caused the crash. David Martin breaks down what officials know so far.
cbsnews.com
Wisconsin man hopes family can escape Wuhan as coronavirus panic grows
A Wisconsin man is doing everything he can to get his wife and two children out of Wuhan, China, as the coronavirus death toll climbs to 106. The family is three of about 1,000 Americans stuck in the quarantined city. Ramy Inocencio reports on their chances of escape as many hold out hope for boarding the U.S. Embassy’s upcoming flight on Wednesday.
cbsnews.com
Bernie Sanders grabs lead in California presidential primary
Bernie Sanders leads in the California primary five weeks away, with strong support from younger voters, Latinos and liberals. Elizabeth Warren and Joe Biden trail.
latimes.com
Lakers trainer: "I was not supposed to outlive Kobe Bryant"
Vitti met Bryant when he was 17 years old and was with him throughout his 20-season career.
cbsnews.com
A GOP lawmaker, the son of an Auschwitz survivor, compared doctors treating transgender children to Nazis. He regrets it.
Deutsch told The Washington Post late Monday that he did not intend to equate those crimes with the medical practices that would be affected by South Dakota House Bill 1057.
washingtonpost.com
Republican senator offers compromise in impeachment stalemate over witnesses
Three GOP senators have called for John Bolton to testify in President Trump’s impeachment trial amid explosive allegations from Bolton’s upcoming book. One Republican senator offered a one-for-one compromise in which both parties can call their own witnesses. Nancy Cordes breaks down the ongoing debate from Capitol Hill.
cbsnews.com