The Hill's 12:30 Report: Dem anxiety grows ahead of Super Tuesday

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--> A midday take on what's happening in politics and how to have a sense of humor about it.*

*Ha. Haha. Hahah. Sniff. Haha. Sniff. Ha--breaks down crying hysterically.

 

The Hill's 12:30 Report: Dem anxiety grows ahead of Super Tuesday | Centrist Dems worry after Bloomberg's debate performance | Rivals fear Sanders building 'insurmountable' lead | Nevada caucus this Saturday | Trump holding Las Vegas rally today | Progressives see energized unions as key to 2020 win | Trump dismisses reports of Russian 2020 meddling | US, Taliban agreement could be signed this month | National Margarita Day deals | Burger King unveils french-fry burger

 

TALK OF THE MORNING

Chaos! Chaos, I tell you!:

Via The Hill's Niall Stanage, "The Democratic presidential race is in fresh turmoil after former New York City Mayor Michael BloombergMichael BloombergFormer Bloomberg staffer seeks class-action lawsuit over layoffs Bloomberg spent over 0M on presidential campaign The Hill's Campaign Report: Officials in spotlight over coronavirus response MORE turned in a conspicuously poor performance in his first debate Wednesday evening." http://bit.ly/2HKLusk

Why this is important: The moderate vote is splintered between several candidates while the progressive wing of the party has rallied around Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersWith VP pick, Biden can't play small ball in a long ball world Poll: Trump, Biden in dead heat in 2020 matchup Sunday shows preview: Lawmakers, state governors talk coronavirus, stimulus package and resources as pandemic rages on MORE (I-Vt.)

Why centrists are nervous about Sanders taking the nomination: "The centrists contend Sanders is too risky a candidate to run against President TrumpDonald John TrumpWith VP pick, Biden can't play small ball in a long ball world Coronavirus hits defense contractor jobs Wake up America, your country doesn't value your life MORE in November -- an assertion that is, of course, vigorously disputed by his supporters." 

 

 

WHY SOME DEMOCRATS ARE HAVING SECOND THOUGHTS ABOUT BLOOMBERG: 

http://bit.ly/3bSOoct

 

INTERESTING READ ON BLOOMBERG'S SUPPORT:

Via The Washington Post's Philip Rucker, "'It's going to take a rich guy to beat Trump': Why some Democrats back Bloomberg." https://wapo.st/2uitrqe

Tidbit -- how one Democrat feels: "I don't care that he's a billionaire trying to buy the election," said Lynn Silva , a 66-year-old lifelong Democrat. "If that's what it takes to beat Trump, that's fine. I loved [Sen. Kamala D. Harris], but look at her: Out. I loved [Sen.] Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerLawmakers, labor leaders ramp up calls to use Defense Production Act Democratic senators call on FDA to drop restrictions on blood donations from men who have sex with men Amazon doubling overtime pay for warehouse workers MORE, but look at him: Out. No money."

Op-ed: http://bit.ly/2T1nyGp

 

Happy Friday! I'm Cate Martel with a quick recap of the morning and what's coming up. Send comments, story ideas and events for our radar to cmartel@thehill.com -- and follow along on Twitter @CateMartel and  Facebook.

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HAPPENING TOMORROW

What the candidates have in common in Nevada:

Via The Hill's Jonathan Easley in Las Vegas, "Nevada, which will hold the first-in-the-west caucuses on Saturday, is a template for how progressives would like to see the Democratic White House contenders engage with the unions from now through the general election." http://bit.ly/37IwEgl

For example -- on Wednesday...: "That dynamic was on full display in Las Vegas on Wednesday, as the Democratic candidates joined hundreds of Culinary Workers Union members to march outside the Palms Casino Resort to demand that management meet with workers who are attempting to unionize there."

Which candidates joined: Sens. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenHillicon Valley: Apple rolls out coronavirus screening app, website | Pompeo urged to crack down on coronavirus misinformation from China | Senators push FTC on price gouging | Instacart workers threaten strike Democratic Senators urge FTC to prevent coronavirus price gouging Democratic senators call on FDA to drop restrictions on blood donations from men who have sex with men MORE (D-Mass.) and Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharWith VP pick, Biden can't play small ball in a long ball world Hillicon Valley: Apple rolls out coronavirus screening app, website | Pompeo urged to crack down on coronavirus misinformation from China | Senators push FTC on price gouging | Instacart workers threaten strike Democratic Senators urge FTC to prevent coronavirus price gouging MORE (D-Minn.); former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegReuters poll finds Sanders cutting Biden national lead to single digits Biden says he'll adopt plans from Sanders, Warren Buttigieg guest-hosts for Jimmy Kimmel: 'I've got nothing else going on' MORE; former Vice President Joe Biden; and businessman Tom SteyerTom SteyerProgressive advocates propose T 'green stimulus' plan Candidates want data privacy rules, except for their own campaigns Budowsky: Biden should pull together a 'dream team of rivals' MORE.

  

IN THE WHITE HOUSE

Hoaxes are getting numbered now:

This morning, President Trump accused Democrats of being behind reports that intelligence officials told Congress about Russian efforts to interfere in the 2020 presidential election. http://bit.ly/2Th1jfR

Trump tweeted: "Another misinformation campaign is being launched by Democrats in Congress saying that Russia prefers me to any of the Do Nothing Democrat candidates who still have been unable to, after two weeks, count their votes in Iowa. Hoax number 7!" http://bit.ly/2V6YdgV

  

A U.S.-Taliban agreement on Leap Year Day:

Via The Hill's Morgan Chalfant, "Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoCoronavirus response reveals deep fractures in global partnerships Hillicon Valley: Apple rolls out coronavirus screening app, website | Pompeo urged to crack down on coronavirus misinformation from China | Senators push FTC on price gouging | Instacart workers threaten strike COVID-19 intensifies the case for blacklisting Khalifa Haftar  MORE on Friday said that the United States has reached an 'understanding' with the Taliban on a reduction of violence across Afghanistan, paving the way for a peace agreement between both sides to be signed on February 29." http://bit.ly/38NAXZ3

And after that -- from Mike Pompeo: "Intra-Afghan negotiations will start soon thereafter, and will build on this fundamental step to deliver a comprehensive and permanent ceasefire and the future political roadmap for Afghanistan … The only way to achieve a sustainable peace in Afghanistan is for Afghans to come together and agree on the way forward."

  

Next up as the Director of National Intelligence:

President Trump says he is considering four people to serve as the next Director of National Intelligence (DNI). http://bit.ly/2Vanerq

Who: Trump didn't name names. 

What he did tweet: "Four great candidates are under consideration at DNI. Decision within next few weeks!" http://bit.ly/2wBwJWt

  

SUPER TUESDAY PREVIEW

Bernie is winning the numbers game:

Via The Hill's Jonathan Easley and Julia Manchester, "Sen. Bernie Sanders's (I-Vt.) rivals are sounding the alarm over his growing strength and warning that he could effectively secure the presidential nomination on Super Tuesday if Democrats don't quickly align behind an alternative." http://bit.ly/38NAx4V

Where the race stands now: "While Sanders and former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg have effectively split the delegate hauls from Iowa and New Hampshire, Sanders is the favorite to win the Nevada caucuses on Saturday. Sanders has been keeping a light schedule in Nevada, instead making the strategic decision to beat his rivals to the Super Tuesday states, where he's begun to campaign vigorously." 

How many days until Super Tuesday: 11 days. Super Tuesday is on March 3

How many states vote on Super Tuesday: 14 states

What to expect on Super Tuesday: http://bit.ly/38NAx4V

 

NOTABLE TWEETS

Lol, I love when tweets are ironically placed together

 

ON TAP

The House and Senate are out. President Trump and Vice President Pence are in Las Vegas.

8 p.m. EST: Vice President Pence gets back to Washington, D.C.

9:10 p.m. EST: President Trump gets back to Washington, D.C.

 

WHAT TO WATCH

3 p.m. EST: President Trump holds a campaign rally in Las Vegas. Vice President Pence also speaks. Livestream: https://cs.pn/32gvszZ

 

NOW FOR THE FUN STUFF...

Today is National Sticky Bun Day. And for planning purposes, tomorrow is National Margarita Day!

  

Margs! Margs! Margs!:

Via USA Today, here's a list of margarita specials to celebrate National Margarita Day tomorrow: http://bit.ly/2wz58oJ

 

Carbs stuffed with more carbs -- I mean, I'd try it...:

Burger King is selling a burger that is only filled with French fries. Photos: https://yhoo.it/37Kf7nZ

 

And to get your weekend off on the right foot, here's a video of Donald Duck workin' it: http://bit.ly/2HIGswj