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  • After taking a shellacking on Saturday from Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) in the Nevada Caucuses, the other candidates in the Democratic Party race for President hit South Carolina on Monday with little time left to slow the front runner in the Democratic Party battle for the White House, trying to find a formula to propel their campaigns at a critical time in the race. 'I know you're hearing on TV a lot, 'Bernie can't win,'' Sanders told a Monday night dinner hosted by the South Carolina state Democratic Party, as he opened his final week of campaigning. 'Don't believe everything you hear,' Sanders said, as a Tuesday night debate loomed in Charleston. The candidate given the best chance to stop Sanders in the Palmetto State would seem to be former Vice President Joe Biden, who rallied with supporters at the College of Charleston on Monday night. Biden said nothing about Sanders, but made clear to his audience at the College of Charleston that a lot is on the line this week. 'You in fact are likely to determine who the next President will be,' Biden said. 'And it all starts in South Carolina.' Biden spent no time on his Democratic colleagues, instead focusing all of his ire on President Donald Trump. 'This President has done more to destroy the essence of who we are as a nation than any President in history,' Biden said. Biden did not have Charleston to himself, as candidates were either speaking to the state party dinner, or holding their own rallies across town. 'Hello Charleston!' Elizabeth Warren said at her own rally, as the Massachusetts Democrat stuck with the roots of her stump speech, and focused on her many plans for 'structural change.' 'It is time for a wealth tax in America,' Warren said to cheers, as she told the crowd to remember, 'the first $50 million is 'free and clear.'' Wrapping up her speech, Warren almost seemed to plead with her audience to drum up support for her on Saturday, as she tries to find a way forward through Super Tuesday. 'This is our moment,' Warren said. 'Vote for me - but more - get in this fight.' On Sunday in Arlington, Virginia, Pete Buttigieg drew 7,000 people to an outdoor football stadium, with hundreds more forced to listen from outside the gates. But it was a much smaller audience which greeted the Indiana mayor at an event in North Charleston on Monday evening, as Buttigieg made his pitch for votes in Saturday's primary. Polls have consistently shown Buttigieg struggling to break into double digits in the Palmetto State - as the Buttigieg schedule also has him traveling to other states this week, with Super Tuesday looming on March 3. While last week's debate saw the knives get sharpened for former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, it could be Sanders who is in for the biggest challenge on Tuesday night. 'I am absolutely confident that no matter who wins, we are going to unite,' Sanders said. 'Donald Trump is a one term President,' the independent Senator from Vermont added.
  • Oklahomans go to the polls on Super Tuesday for the state's presidential preferential primary, and the latest polling shows former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg with a solid lead over the early national front runner, Senator Bernie Sanders. Bloomberg's campaign has adopted the unique strategy of skipping the early states (Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina) in favor of a media blitz and heavy focus on Super Tuesday states, including Oklahoma. [Hear our KRMG In-Depth Report with Bloomberg National Campaign Spokeswoman Sabrina Singh] Monday, his campaign announced a third visit to Oklahoma this year. He's scheduled a campaign rally in Oklahoma City for Thursday at 3:00 p.m., just hours after early voting begins in Oklahoma. In a Sooner Survey Poll released last Tuesday, Bloomberg polls at 20% among likely Democratic voters with a history of voting in primaries.  Sanders comes in second with 14% in the same category. Overall, the poll indicates Bloomberg ahead among all eligible Democratic primary voters in Oklahoma with 18%; Sanders still comes in second in that category, but much closer, polling at 17%.
  • Jenks police are trying to identify two persons of interest in a shoplifting case from December 10.  Officers say the man and woman entered the store around 8:30pm.  Surveillance video shows the man picking up an empty shopping basket. A short time later the pair left the store without paying for a basket full of merchandise.  They left in an older model gray Honda sedan.  Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 918-596-COPS.
  • South Korea reported another large jump in new virus cases Monday a day after the the president called for “unprecedented, powerful” steps to combat the outbreak that is increasingly confounding attempts to stop the spread. The 231 new cases bring South Korea’s total to 833 cases, and two more deaths raise its toll to seven. China also reported 409 new cases on Monday, raising the mainland’s total to 77,150 after a zigzag pattern of increases in recent days. The 150 new deaths from the COVID-19 illness raised China’s total to 2,592 and showed a spike after hovering around 100 for four days. All but one death were in Hubei province, where the outbreak emerged in December. Significant jumps in cases outside China have raised concern of the outbreak getting out of control. South Korea has the third-highest national total behind China and Japan, and cases have rapidly increased in Italy and Iran in just a few days. Most of Japan’s cases were from the Diamond Princess cruise ship, where nearly one-fifth of its 3,711 passengers and crew became infected. More than 140 of South Korea’s new cases were in and near Daegu, the city of 2.5 million people where most of the country’s infections have occurred. Five of the seven deaths were linked to a hospital in Cheongdo, near Daegu, where a slew of infections were confirmed among patients in a mental ward.

Washington Insider

  • After taking a shellacking on Saturday from Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) in the Nevada Caucuses, the other candidates in the Democratic Party race for President hit South Carolina on Monday with little time left to slow the front runner in the Democratic Party battle for the White House, trying to find a formula to propel their campaigns at a critical time in the race. 'I know you're hearing on TV a lot, 'Bernie can't win,'' Sanders told a Monday night dinner hosted by the South Carolina state Democratic Party, as he opened his final week of campaigning. 'Don't believe everything you hear,' Sanders said, as a Tuesday night debate loomed in Charleston. The candidate given the best chance to stop Sanders in the Palmetto State would seem to be former Vice President Joe Biden, who rallied with supporters at the College of Charleston on Monday night. Biden said nothing about Sanders, but made clear to his audience at the College of Charleston that a lot is on the line this week. 'You in fact are likely to determine who the next President will be,' Biden said. 'And it all starts in South Carolina.' Biden spent no time on his Democratic colleagues, instead focusing all of his ire on President Donald Trump. 'This President has done more to destroy the essence of who we are as a nation than any President in history,' Biden said. Biden did not have Charleston to himself, as candidates were either speaking to the state party dinner, or holding their own rallies across town. 'Hello Charleston!' Elizabeth Warren said at her own rally, as the Massachusetts Democrat stuck with the roots of her stump speech, and focused on her many plans for 'structural change.' 'It is time for a wealth tax in America,' Warren said to cheers, as she told the crowd to remember, 'the first $50 million is 'free and clear.'' Wrapping up her speech, Warren almost seemed to plead with her audience to drum up support for her on Saturday, as she tries to find a way forward through Super Tuesday. 'This is our moment,' Warren said. 'Vote for me - but more - get in this fight.' On Sunday in Arlington, Virginia, Pete Buttigieg drew 7,000 people to an outdoor football stadium, with hundreds more forced to listen from outside the gates. But it was a much smaller audience which greeted the Indiana mayor at an event in North Charleston on Monday evening, as Buttigieg made his pitch for votes in Saturday's primary. Polls have consistently shown Buttigieg struggling to break into double digits in the Palmetto State - as the Buttigieg schedule also has him traveling to other states this week, with Super Tuesday looming on March 3. While last week's debate saw the knives get sharpened for former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, it could be Sanders who is in for the biggest challenge on Tuesday night. 'I am absolutely confident that no matter who wins, we are going to unite,' Sanders said. 'Donald Trump is a one term President,' the independent Senator from Vermont added.
  • Democratic Party front runner Bernie Sanders found himself under attack from Democratic members of Congress on Monday, upset by his comments Sunday from an interview with the CBS show, '60 Minutes,' in which he praised some of the social work done by Cuban dictator Fidel Castro. 'I'm hoping that in the future, Senator Sanders will take time to speak to some of my constituents before he decides to sing the praises of a murderous tyrant like Fidel Castro,' said Rep. Donna Shalala (D-FL), whose district contains the heavily Cuban-American communities near Calle Ocho. 'I find Senator Bernie Sanders’ comments on Castro’s Cuba absolutely unacceptable,' added Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (D-FL), who noted the Cuban-Americans in her south Florida district. Speaking about Castro on '60 Minutes,' Sanders noted literacy efforts by Castro. 'Is that a bad thing?' Sanders asked rhetorically. For many Democrats from Florida - the answer is a resounding 'yes.' 'Castro was a murderous dictator who oppressed his own people,' said Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D-FL), who holds a swing seat in the Orlando area. 'His “literacy program” wasn’t altruistic.' Unlike many other states, Sanders has struggled in the polls in Florida - the most recent survey put him well behind Michael Bloomberg and Joe Biden in the Sunshine State. And the reaction of Democrats to these latest Cuba remarks by Sanders show how much of a role Cuban-American politics still play in the state. '@BernieSanders’ glorification of socialism omits Castro’s forceful imposition of power attacking human rights and freedom of speech, minimizing those who fought to break free from his suffocating hand,' said Francis Suarez, the mayor of Miami. Republicans were more than happy to jab at Sanders as well, coming 24 years to the day that two planes belonging to Cuban-American activists - who tried to help rafters getting away from Cuba - were shot down by Cuban Air Force jets, killing four people from the groups Brothers to the Rescue. 'Today we remember Carlos, Pablo, Mario & Armando who were killed by the Cuban regime for taking a stand against the oppressive government that @SenSanders praises,' Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) said on Twitter.  'We honor their bravery and we will continue to shed light on the atrocities from this murderous regime,' Scott added.
  • A day after finishing well behind Bernie Sanders in the Nevada Caucuses, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg received a rousing reception at an outdoor rally in Virginia, one of the fourteen Super Tuesday states where Buttigieg will need a boost to insure he has some major influence in coming weeks in the Democratic race for President. 'Our numbers have grown a little bit,' Buttigieg said to cheers, as thousands gathered on the football field at Washington-Liberty High School, not far across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C. 'We're running on adrenaline,' Buttigieg added, detailing how had hop scotched his way from Nevada to Colorado, to South Carolina for church this morning, and then here in the Old Dominion for his Sunday afternoon rally. In his speech, Buttigieg quickly turned his fire on front runner Bernie Sanders, who seems likely to be targeted on Tuesday night, in the next Democratic debate in Charleston, South Carolina. 'I respect my friend Sen. Sanders,' Buttigieg said. 'But I also believe that the way we will build the movement to defeat Donald Trump is to call people into our tent, not to call them names on line.' 'This is where I view things a little differently than Sen. Sanders,' Buttigieg said later in his speech. 'I don't believe we can allow ourselves to get to the point where it feels like fighting is the point.' As Buttigieg took the stage in Arlington, 60 percent of the precincts were reporting from the Nevada Caucuses a day earlier - and as the sun went down, the numbers only got worse for anyone not named Sanders. “I believe we call that a rout,” said elections analyst Kyle Kondik. With 72 percent reporting, Sanders was at 47.5 percent, Biden at 20.8 percent, while Buttigieg trailed well back in third at 13.8 percent. 'We cannot wait four years,' Buttigieg said of the drive by Democrats to oust President Trump. 'We can't wait nine days!' someone in the crowd shouted back, referring to Super Tuesday. Buttigieg also used his stop in the Washington area to raise money for his campaign, needing a boost as this race goes more national over the next week. The candidates for the Democratic nomination will gather on Tuesday in Charleston, South Carolina for their next debate; South Carolina holds a primary on Saturday. Super Tuesday follows the next Tuesday, on March 3, as 14 states will vote, with Sanders seen as a top finisher in most of those contests. Buttigieg and other challengers to Sanders will host a series of events in Charleston on Monday on the eve of the debate. Then, the race will start to explode outside of the borders of the Palmetto State, as after the debate, Buttigieg will go to Florida on Wednesday for a series of fundraising events. Florida does not vote until March 17, two weeks after Super Tuesday. Buttigieg's good turnout on Sunday came after Elizabeth Warren drew 4,000 not far from here in Virginia last week - another signal that Democratic voters are desperate to find someone to take on, and defeat, President Trump in November. 'America is ready for Pete,' said Kyle Rumpler, a Buttigieg organizer. For now, Buttigieg is in second place in the delegate race, but Super Tuesday could bring some big changes.
  • President Donald Trump on Friday hinted that his administration may move to add even more to the $28 billion in bailout money paid to farmers over the past two years, as ongoing trade disputes continue to exact an economic drag on U.S. agriculture. In a post on Twitter, the President said if extra aid is needed, it will be paid for by increased tariffs levied by the Trump Administration. 'THAT AID WILL BE PROVIDED BY THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT,' Mr. Trump wrote, in part. The most recent figures show the federal government is now collecting just under $7 billion a month in tariffs from U.S. import companies - up from about $3 billion a month when the President took office in 2017. An average of $7 billion a month would equal close to $100 billion in tariffs, which the President says will offset the cost of bailout payments to U.S. farmers hurt by ongoing trade disputes. Earlier this week in a stop in California, the President reminded farmers of his administration's bailout work. 'We got you $16 billion and we got you $12 billion from the year before. We took it out of the tariffs that we imposed,' the President said. 'People don’t say it. They never like to say it, the fake news.' 'I will always keep fighting for the American farmer and rancher,' Mr. Trump added. The President's promise to funnel billions in additional aid to farmers came amid reports that China may not be buying the up to $40 billion in American farm products which had been promised as part of a 'phase one' trade deal with the U.S. 'Not good. Also not surprising,' said the group Farmers for Free Trade, which has been a loud voice in the agricultural community raising concern about the impact of the President's tariffs. While the President and top administration officials predict new trade deals with China, Japan, Canada, and Mexico will open up new markets for America's farmers - Mr. Trump's use of tariffs have caused trouble for U.S. agriculture, often resulting in retaliatory tariffs by other nations. Democrats mocked the President's latest talk of extra farm bailouts. 'I SEE THAT YOU ARE, AGAIN, EMBRACING SOCIALISM,' tweeted Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA).
  • Ignoring declarations from President Donald Trump that the prosecution of his friend Roger Stone had been a 'disgrace,' a federal judge in Washington on Thursday sentenced Stone to 3 years and 4 months in prison for obstructing efforts by Congress to probe the Trump-Russia investigation. 'He was not prosecuted, as some have claimed, for standing up for the President,' said Judge Amy Berman Jackson of Stone. 'He was prosecuted for covering up for the President.'  “The truth still exists. The truth still matters,” the judge added. Stone was convicted in November of obstructing a Congressional investigation, making false statements to Congress, and engaging in witness tampering to stop testimony which would undercut his defense. Democrats in Congress praised the sentence, and warned President Trump not to pardon Stone. “He did it to cover up for Trump,” said Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), the lead House impeachment prosecutor, and Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.  “It should go without saying, but to pardon Stone when his crimes were committed to protect Trump would be a breathtaking act of corruption,” Schiff tweeted. “The President should not further taint this process by using his pardon power as a Get Out of Jail Free card,” said Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI). As the sentencing hearing got underway, President Trump was out in Las Vegas - but paying attention to the story of the morning from back in Washington. “I'd love to see Roger exonerated,” the President said at a “Hope for Prisoners” event, as he complained the foreperson on the Stone jury and the prosecution in general. “This has not been a fair process,” Mr. Trump added. But the President indicated he would not make any quick decision about clemency for Stone. “I'm going to watch the process, and watch it very closely, and some point, I'm going to make a determination,” Mr. Trump said. Republicans quickly made clear they would not oppose such a move for Stone. “Under our system of justice President Trump has all the legal authority in the world to review this case, in terms of commuting the sentence or pardoning Mr. Stone for the underlying offense,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), a key Trump ally. The sentencing played out days after an extraordinary twist in the case, as the Justice Department withdrew its original sentencing recommendation for Stone, as four prosecutors then resigned from the case. That recommendation urged a sentence of between seven and nine years in jail. During the court proceedings on Thursday, Judge Jackson indicated she thought that was excessive.