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February 14, 2019

Trump Still Coy on Border Deal – But Expected to Sign

AP – President Donald Trump isn’t showing his hand yet. But with little Washington appetite for another shutdown, he’s expected to grudgingly accept an agreement that would keep the government open but provide just a fraction of the money he’s been demanding for his Mexican border wall.

Trump is inclined to sign bipartisan legislation to fund the government as long as its provisions on a border wall and bed spaces for illegal immigrants are as he expects, a Republican senator close to the White House said on Wednesday.

The Hill – Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said Wednesday that President Trump is “very inclined” to declare a national emergency to obtain the necessary funds to build a border wall.

“It’s definitely on the table, I’ll let him tell you whether or not he’s going to do it, but he’s very inclined to go that route,” Graham, a staunch ally of Trump, told reporters on Capitol Hill.

Bloomberg Plans $500 Million to Defeat Trump

Politico – Billionaire Michael Bloomberg intends to spend at least $500 million of his own money in an effort to make sure President Donald Trump is not re-elected, Politico is reporting.

Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York City, has not announced whether he will seek the presidency himself. However, the money will be spent in a bid to stop Trump, whether Bloomberg is a candidate or not, according to the website.

Cory Booker on Female Running Mate: ‘I’ll Be Looking to Women First’

MSNBC – Sen. Booker was asked by Rachel Maddow “If you got the nomination, would you commit to choosing a woman as your vice presidential running mate?”

He responded: “I think it would be malpractice, I’m not going to make any specific commitments,” Booker said, but added that “we have such a great field of leaders, I think you’ll rarely see a Democratic ticket anymore without gender diversity, race diversity. I think it’s something we should have.”

“I’m not going to box myself in, but should I come to it, you know I’ll be looking to women first,” Booker said.

Senate Armed Services Chair Inhofe: ‘Skeptical’ of Acting Defense Secretary

Military Times – Sen. Jim Inhofe: “If you’re an acting, you don’t have the force you need in the office … I think (Trump) is going to nominate somebody.”

Inhofe said bluntly that Shanahan lacks the “humility” of Mattis but would not describe his concerns beyond that.

Ginsburg’s SCOTUS Absence Not as Long as Others — Yet

Associated Press – Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has missed a month of Supreme Court arguments as she recovers from lung cancer surgery. But she’s not the first justice to be away for a while and her absence hardly compares with those of some of her predecessors.

The day before the Supreme Court began its term in October 1949, Justice William Douglas broke 14 ribs and suffered a punctured lung when he was thrown from his horse on a trail in the Cascade Mountains in Washington. He didn’t return to the bench for nearly a half year, and his long recovery caused delays in several cases, including challenges to segregation

CA Gov Cancels High Speed Rail Project

San Francisco Chronicle – During Gov. Gavin Newsom’s first State of the State speech Tuesday, he surprised listeners by announcing he would put the quest for high-speed rail connecting San Francisco and Los Angeles championed by his predecessor far on the back burner.

‘Let’s be real, the current project as planned would cost too much and, respectfully, take too long.'”

Bezos vs. Pecker

New York Post – Multiple moles are being probed as potential leakers of Jeff Bezos’ “d - - k pics” — as the feds join the investigation into the publication of the billionaire’s passionate private messages to his mistress Lauren Sanchez.

A source tells Page Six: “Michael was never even sent the d - - k pics . . . I can’t imagine anyone wanting to send her brother a d - - k pic.”

Two Page Six sources said Michael is the lead leaker, although another source said of the revealing photos: “There are multiple possible suspects . . . Clearly, Lauren showed these photos to her girlfriends . . . for entertainment.”

The publisher of the National Enquirer, currently under attack by Amazon.com Inc. founder Jeff Bezos, has been facing steep financial losses that have left the once-loyal keeper of Donald Trump’s secrets with more than $1 billion in debt and a negative net worth.

Bloomberg – “The closely held American Media Inc. — led by the president’s longtime friend, David Pecker — recorded a $31.5 million loss in the six months that ended Sept. 30, according to documents reviewed by Bloomberg. That marked an improvement over the previous year, but nonetheless brought the company’s total losses over the last 5 1/2 fiscal years to $256 million. AMI owed about $203 million more than its assets were worth.” Bloomberg

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