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Westlake Legal Group > article (Page 10)

Easy for Woods to find perspective even after finishing last

Westlake Legal Group Tiger-Woods5 Easy for Woods to find perspective even after finishing last fox-news/sports/golf fox-news/person/tiger-woods fnc/sports fnc Associated Press article 932b7e2f-8fc2-5ab8-93db-3c0b0b37635a

The red shirt. A late tee time on Sunday.

All the ingredients were in place for Tiger Woods at Riviera except for the location. The closest he came to the leaders was when they were making birdie on the par-5 opening hole and Woods was 100 yards away — with a much larger following — as he was about to three-putt the par-5 11th for another bogey.

The closest he got to the winner was on the 18th green to hand the Genesis Invitational trophy to Adam Scott, who held his nerve and holed all the right putts on a course so difficult no one could do better than 68.

Woods finished 68th out of 68 players who made the cut. Only three other times in his career has he posted a 72-hole score higher than his 295 at Riviera, and the most recent was nearly seven years ago. He was 22 shots behind the leader, the widest margin for Woods since the 2015 Memorial, which also was last time he finished last.

So it wasn’t a good week.

It’s not the end of the world, either.

Riviera was another reminder that Woods is going to struggle from time to time, and this would be the place for that to happen. Woods never played Riviera that well when he was at his best, which explains why he ran his professional record to 0-12 on the fabled course off Sunset Boulevard.

Think back to Woods at his absolute best. During a stretch from late 1999 until the Masters in 2000, Woods won or was runner-up in 10 out of 11 events on the PGA Tour.

The exception? A tie for 18th at Riviera.

He probably wouldn’t even be playing if not for Hyundai taking over as title sponsor and wisely signing up Woods’ foundation to run it, and the PGA Tour elevating the status of the event in line with Arnold Palmer at Bay Hill and Jack Nicklaus at Muirfield Village.

The difference is Palmer bought and nurtured Bay Hill. Nicklaus built Muirfield Village. Woods went 12 years without playing Riviera, a course he loves but for some reason could never play well.

“I have historically never putted really well here,” he said going into the tournament.

He finished with 117 putts over four rounds, including a four-putt and a three-putt in the same round. He was 67th in the key putting statistic, which stands out even more considering only 68 players made the cut.

Is it alarming? Not at all.

A year ago, Wood started his year in the Pacific chill of Torrey Pines and finished 11 shots behind. He was eight shots behind at Riviera and 13 behind in his debut at Chapultepec for the Mexico Championship. Then, he skipped Bay Hill when his body didn’t feel quite right and he wanted a week of rest.

So he wound up playing five times before the Masters, and it worked out well for him in the end.

Woods was planning to be in Mexico this week for the first World Golf Championship of the year until canceling his hotel room at the last minute and choosing not to enter on Friday.

“The idea is to peak around Augusta time,” he said. “I just felt I wasn’t going to be ready for next week — a little rundown and playing at altitude as well isn’t going to help that. So take the week off.”

Yes, he is passing on a 72-man field with no cut and probably free points for the world ranking (he fell to No. 9), Ryder Cup and FedEx Cup. It’s one of several big events on the calendar. It won’t hurt him to miss.

Where he shows up next is uncertain — odds are he will be at Bay Hill and The Players Championship, and then the Match Play in Texas for his last tune-up ahead of Augusta National. The Honda Classic was not ruled out. But he likely will play five times before the Masters.

What he made clear was that he will be playing more, not less.

Woods has been saying that since he returned from the fourth back surgery that rejuvenated his life and his career, and last year he proved it. He played 15 times from January to December, including the Presidents Cup and his Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas. That was five fewer than the year before.

“How much do I play, when do I play, do I listen to the body or do I fight through it?” Woods said. “There are some things I can push and some things I can’t. And so I had a theory this year that I may play about the same amount. … I won’t play a lot more than that just because of the physical toll and I want to stay out here for just a little bit longer.”

Something else he said Sunday suggested Woods has a different outlook from those watching and cheering him. Yes, he wants to get to No. 83 in career wins and set the PGA Tour record. Majors matter the most, and he hasn’t given up to the chase to 18 to catch Jack Nicklaus.

But that Masters title was big. He won a major again. His family was there. If that’s all there is, that’s plenty.

Because even after a bad week at Riviera, he never lost perspective.

“This part of my career really didn’t exist a few years ago,” he said. “So to be able to do that no matter what I shooting, it’s still disappointing. It’s still frustrating. I’m still a little ticked. But I also look at it from a perspective which I didn’t do most of my career, that I have a chance to play going down the road.”

Westlake Legal Group Tiger-Woods5 Easy for Woods to find perspective even after finishing last fox-news/sports/golf fox-news/person/tiger-woods fnc/sports fnc Associated Press article 932b7e2f-8fc2-5ab8-93db-3c0b0b37635a   Westlake Legal Group Tiger-Woods5 Easy for Woods to find perspective even after finishing last fox-news/sports/golf fox-news/person/tiger-woods fnc/sports fnc Associated Press article 932b7e2f-8fc2-5ab8-93db-3c0b0b37635a

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Mike Trout rips cheating Astros, calls for bigger punishment

Westlake Legal Group 9538877-mike-trout-mlb-seattle-mari-fedaea66defba510VgnVCM100000d7c1a8c0____ Mike Trout rips cheating Astros, calls for bigger punishment fox-news/sports/mlb/los-angeles-angels fox-news/sports/mlb/houston-astros fox-news/sports/mlb fox-news/person/mike-trout fnc/sports fnc Associated Press article 81ab06da-f113-5b5c-8356-ffdaa6046853

Mike Trout thinks the Houston Astros should pay more dearly for their cheating ways.

The Los Angeles Angels‘ three-time AL MVP ripped the Astros and questioned the discipline handed out by Major League Baseball on Monday after he reported to spring training.

“It’s sad for baseball,” Trout said. “It’s tough. They cheated. I don’t agree with the punishments, the players not getting anything. It was a player-driven thing. It sucks, too, because guys’ careers have been affected. A lot of people lost jobs. It was tough.

“Me going up to the plate knowing what was coming? It would be fun up there. A lot of guys lost respect for some of the guys.”

Trout didn’t make a suggestion for what the Astros players’ punishment should have been, but the scandal obviously touched a nerve in the Halos’ brilliant center fielder, who has spent his entire career playing against Houston in the AL West.

“Obviously the GM got fired and Hinch got fired,” Trout said of punishments for Jeff Luhnow and manager AJ Hinch. “But the players getting nothing, that’s definitely not right, for sure.”

“I think everybody wants it to be a clean, level playing field,” Trout added. “I didn’t know it wasn’t until this stuff came out, and then you realize when we played at them at (Houston) or whatever, they were hitting a lot of balls. They’ve got a lot of great players over there for sure, but it was something different.”

Anthony Rendon also reported to his new team Monday, but the Angels’ new $245 million third baseman was more circumspect in his thoughts on the Astros, his hometown team. Rendon’s Washington Nationals beat Houston in the World Series last year.

“Even when I watched their games over the previous years, it was suspicious,” Rendon said. “It looked weird. They were (sitting) on balls that were very tough pitches, and just the way that they were playing the game. They’re all talented players. I love those guys over there, especially what they’ve done in my city of Houston to help us out. But it definitely raises a lot of question marks, watching those games.”

Westlake Legal Group 9538877-mike-trout-mlb-seattle-mari-fedaea66defba510VgnVCM100000d7c1a8c0____ Mike Trout rips cheating Astros, calls for bigger punishment fox-news/sports/mlb/los-angeles-angels fox-news/sports/mlb/houston-astros fox-news/sports/mlb fox-news/person/mike-trout fnc/sports fnc Associated Press article 81ab06da-f113-5b5c-8356-ffdaa6046853   Westlake Legal Group 9538877-mike-trout-mlb-seattle-mari-fedaea66defba510VgnVCM100000d7c1a8c0____ Mike Trout rips cheating Astros, calls for bigger punishment fox-news/sports/mlb/los-angeles-angels fox-news/sports/mlb/houston-astros fox-news/sports/mlb fox-news/person/mike-trout fnc/sports fnc Associated Press article 81ab06da-f113-5b5c-8356-ffdaa6046853

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

5 American ghost towns abandoned to time

Some American towns that were once booming centers for industry and trade have become effective ghost towns, left abandoned and rotting as remnants of bygone eras.

These towns can be found throughout the country, from Pennsylvania to California and Alaska. They may have thrived as mining towns or promising state capitals before being stricken by economic hardship or disaster.

WHAT ARE THE 5 MOST POPULOUS US STATES?

Here’s a look at five such towns:

Centralia, Pa.

The coal-mining town of Centralia, once home to 2,700 people, was built in the 1850s after a rich deposit of anthracite coal was discovered.

Westlake Legal Group iStock-Centralia 5 American ghost towns abandoned to time Stephen Sorace fox-news/world/world-regions/americas fox-news/us/us-regions/west/nevada fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/us/us-regions/west/alaska fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/alabama fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/pennsylvania fox-news/columns/digging-history fox news fnc/us fnc article 73ac9946-b6ce-598d-9702-7efad9bf397c

The underground fire in Centralia has burned since 1962. The intense heat ruptured the earth and leaked dangerous smoke and gases into the community. Experts say the fire may burn for another century.

But in 1962, a raging underground coal fire spread beneath the town after municipal employees tried to burn trash at a garbage dump and ignited an exposed coal seam, according to History. The fire still burns beneath the town today.

Over the years the extreme heat opened fissures in the ground that leaked dangerous levels of smoke and carbon monoxide, forcing the government to issue evacuation orders in 1981. A decade later, all real estate was claimed under eminent domain and condemned by the state.

Now, only about seven holdouts remain in the ever-burning ghost town, according to WNEP-TV. When they die, the property will be given to the government.

Rhyolite, Nev.

A gold mining settlement on the eastern edge of Death Valley, Rhyolite was booming when it was built in 1904. The gold rush attracted as many as 10,000 people to the town. Industrialist Charles M. Schwab purchased a mine and invested in the town’s infrastructure, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Westlake Legal Group iStock-Rhyolite 5 American ghost towns abandoned to time Stephen Sorace fox-news/world/world-regions/americas fox-news/us/us-regions/west/nevada fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/us/us-regions/west/alaska fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/alabama fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/pennsylvania fox-news/columns/digging-history fox news fnc/us fnc article 73ac9946-b6ce-598d-9702-7efad9bf397c

The last train pulled out of Rhyolite in 1914, and the power was shut down two years later.

Rhyolite reached its peak in 1907 when the financial panic signaled its downfall, according to the National Parks Service. Mines closed and banks failed over the next few years. In 1916, the lights and power were turned off. The town was used as a movie set for Old West films in the 1920s.

Now, only a few intact buildings remain as relics to the town’s once-prosperous past, including three walls of a bank, part of a jail, the train depot and a building known as the Bottle House.

Cahawba, Ala.

The Civil War-era town of Cahawba served as Alabama’s first state capital from 1819 to 1826, and is known as the state’s “most famous ghost town.”

Westlake Legal Group iStock-cahaba 5 American ghost towns abandoned to time Stephen Sorace fox-news/world/world-regions/americas fox-news/us/us-regions/west/nevada fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/us/us-regions/west/alaska fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/alabama fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/pennsylvania fox-news/columns/digging-history fox news fnc/us fnc article 73ac9946-b6ce-598d-9702-7efad9bf397c

Cahawba’s population dwindled after a major flood and the county seat’s transfer to nearby Selma.

The thriving antebellum river town was a major distribution center for cotton, and was home to 3,000 people before the Civil War, according to a website detailing its history and legacy. During the war, 3,000 captured Union soldiers were held in a prison at the center of town. It later became a short-lived village for freed slaves after the war.

Citizens and businesses slowly abandoned the town in the late 1860s after a major flood and the removal of the county seat to nearby Selma.

Now known as Old Cahawba Park, all that remains are the abandoned streets, moss-covered ruins of buildings and cemeteries, and the tale of an apparition called “Pegues’ Ghost,” which was known to appear at parties during the town’s height.

Bodie, Calif.

The gold mining town of Bodie was established in 1859, and grew from just 20 miners to a boomtown of an estimated 10,000 people by 1880, according to the California Department of Parks and Recreation.

Westlake Legal Group iStock-Bodie 5 American ghost towns abandoned to time Stephen Sorace fox-news/world/world-regions/americas fox-news/us/us-regions/west/nevada fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/us/us-regions/west/alaska fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/alabama fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/pennsylvania fox-news/columns/digging-history fox news fnc/us fnc article 73ac9946-b6ce-598d-9702-7efad9bf397c

Bodie was settled by William “Waterman” S. Bodey in 1959.

It has been reported the town once held 65 saloons, numerous brothels and “houses of ill repute,” gambling halls and opium dens for its colorful crowd of gunfighters, robbers, prostitutes and miners from countries around the world, according to a website dedicated to the town.

A major fire ravaged Bodie in 1932, destroying much of the town. It has remained untouched for decades.

Today, California State Parks preserve the remains of Bodie in a state of “arrested decay” for tourists and an occasional ghost, according to the parks department.

Kennecott, Alaska

The copper mining town of Kennecott was established in 1903, and by 1938 it was mined out and deserted.

Westlake Legal Group iStock-Kennecott 5 American ghost towns abandoned to time Stephen Sorace fox-news/world/world-regions/americas fox-news/us/us-regions/west/nevada fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/us/us-regions/west/alaska fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/alabama fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/pennsylvania fox-news/columns/digging-history fox news fnc/us fnc article 73ac9946-b6ce-598d-9702-7efad9bf397c

The copper mining town of Kennecott thrived for just over three decades until the last of its five mines were tapped out.

During its heyday, the Kennecott Mining Corp. established its five mines as models of state-of-the-art technology and progressive management, even paying workers higher salaries than anywhere in the lower 48 states, according to Alaska.org.

The giant red mill building used by the company still stands today, towering 14 stories above the Kennicott glacier (a clerical error on official paperwork accounts for the two different spellings).

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Today, Kennecott is a National Historic Landmark.

Westlake Legal Group iStock-Bodie 5 American ghost towns abandoned to time Stephen Sorace fox-news/world/world-regions/americas fox-news/us/us-regions/west/nevada fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/us/us-regions/west/alaska fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/alabama fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/pennsylvania fox-news/columns/digging-history fox news fnc/us fnc article 73ac9946-b6ce-598d-9702-7efad9bf397c   Westlake Legal Group iStock-Bodie 5 American ghost towns abandoned to time Stephen Sorace fox-news/world/world-regions/americas fox-news/us/us-regions/west/nevada fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/us/us-regions/west/alaska fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/alabama fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/pennsylvania fox-news/columns/digging-history fox news fnc/us fnc article 73ac9946-b6ce-598d-9702-7efad9bf397c

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Pictures: Pearl River in Jackson, Mississippi floods

Westlake Legal Group 01_AP20047830832982 Pictures: Pearl River in Jackson, Mississippi floods fox-news/weather fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/mississippi fox-news/us fox news fnc/us fnc f5258dad-5e58-5fc1-b0cd-2b4b5469d7ff article

https://a57.foxnews.com/static.foxnews.com/foxnews.com/content/uploads/2020/02/918/516/01_AP20047830832982.jpg?ve=1&tl=1

Dale Frazier and his neighbors John and Jina Smith paddle across Pearl River floodwater to their Flowood, Miss., homes Sunday, Feb. 16, 2020. 

AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis

https://a57.foxnews.com/static.foxnews.com/foxnews.com/content/uploads/2020/02/918/516/01_AP20047830832982.jpg?ve=1&tl=1

Westlake Legal Group 01_AP20047830832982 Pictures: Pearl River in Jackson, Mississippi floods fox-news/weather fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/mississippi fox-news/us fox news fnc/us fnc f5258dad-5e58-5fc1-b0cd-2b4b5469d7ff article   Westlake Legal Group 01_AP20047830832982 Pictures: Pearl River in Jackson, Mississippi floods fox-news/weather fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/mississippi fox-news/us fox news fnc/us fnc f5258dad-5e58-5fc1-b0cd-2b4b5469d7ff article

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Bloomy beset

Westlake Legal Group image Bloomy beset fox-news/columns/fox-news-halftime-report fox news fnc/politics fnc Chris Stirewalt article 5bde105d-f4cf-50e8-bc36-f97efbf0e8e5

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On the roster: Bloomy beset – Big turnout, big headaches in Nevada so far – Trump revs up Florida voters at Daytona – How Stella got her mixtape back

BLOOMY BESET
NYT: “For the past two months, [Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s] presidential campaign has been lining up endorsements and expanding its reach across the country with an eye toward the moment it knew would come: when Mr. Bloomberg, the 78-year-old multibillionaire, would no longer be an afterthought in the race but a prime target, and his long record – including policy stances and decades worth of impolitic and insensitive remarks  would face renewed scrutiny. … Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden said in an interview on NBC’s ‘Meet the Press’ on Sunday, ‘Sixty billion dollars can buy you a lot of advertising, but it can’t erase your record.’ And he appeared relieved that the scrutiny had shifted from him to Mr. Bloomberg. ‘You all are going to start focusing on him like you have on me,’ Mr. Biden said.”

Returns fire – AP: “With the Nevada caucuses less than a week away, Democratic presidential candidates campaigning were fixated on a rival who wasn’t contesting the state. Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden, Amy KlobucharElizabeth Warren and Pete Buttigieg all went after billionaire Mike Bloomberg and made clear they were eager to take him on in a debate. ‘He thinks he can buy this election,’ Sanders told a Carson City rally Sunday. ‘Well, I’ve got news for Mr. Bloomberg – the American people are sick and tired of billionaires buying elections!’ Bloomberg hit back Monday with a video mashup posted to Twitter of aggressive and threatening comments made by people who appear to be Sanders supporters, juxtaposed with Sanders calling for ‘civil discourse.’”

Bernie, Trump campaigns plow Bloomy over farmer talk – Fox News: “Joining the Distinguished Speakers Series at the University of Oxford Saïd Business School [in 2016], Bloomberg was responding to a question about whether it is possible to unite people in middle America and the coasts. One of the issues standing in the way of that, Bloomberg said, was the inability of blue-collar workers to adapt to the information economy even if they have their education subsidized. ‘The agrarian society lasted 3,000 years and we could teach processes. I could teach anybody, even people in this room, no offense intended, to be a farmer,’ Bloomberg said. ‘It’s a process. You dig a hole, you put a seed in, you put dirt on top, add water, up comes the corn. You could learn that. Then we had 300 years of the industrial society. You put the piece of metal on the lathe, you turn the crank in the direction of the arrow and you can have a job. And we created a lot of jobs. At one point, 98 percent of the world worked in agriculture, now it’s 2 percent in the United States.’”

Tough call for mainstream Dems – Axios: “Do these Democrats benefit strategically if Sanders leads the attacks on Bloomberg and takes the brunt of his return fire? Or must they amp up their own criticisms of Bloomberg to increase their chances of peeling away some of his supporters? … The biggest threat to him is a sustained assault on his record not by Sanders, who comes from the other end of the party, but from the more moderate alternatives. Each day they wait, Bloomberg grows stronger. Each day he grows stronger, his case for being the electable one strengthens.”

Steyer says he’s a different kind of billionaire – Fox News: “Billionaire Tom Steyer failed to generate much momentum after the Democrats’ early contests in Iowa and New Hampshire, but he’s poised for better results in Nevada and South Carolina and he credits that to more than just money. Steyer has pumped over $200 million into his campaign, but he has also been on the ground in those states. According to a RealClearPolitics average, Steyer has been polling fourth in Nevada and third in South Carolina, both ahead of the Iowa winner, former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg. Steyer said he wanted to finish in at least second place in those states. ‘I’ve spent more time in Nevada than any other candidate, and I’ve spent more time in South Carolina than any other candidate,’ Steyer told ABC News’ ‘This Week’ on Sunday. … Steyer noted that he was doing well among minority voters in those states, particularly African-American and Latino voters.”

BIG TURNOUT, BIG HEADACHES IN NEVADA SO FAR
Nevada Independent: “The line of Democrats at Sierra Vista High School Saturday morning snaked through the cafeteria, across the quad, out the front gate and to the parking lot. For some who had hoped to quickly cast their early ballots for the Democratic presidential caucus and get on with their weekend, it was frustrating. Others took it in stride. They got to know their neighbors in line. They munched on pizza delivered to the early voting site to feed hungry caucusgoers. They reveled in the fact that so many Democrats were so dedicated to participating in the political process that they stood in line for hours just to cast their presidential preferences early ahead of the state’s Feb. 22 caucus. …More than 11,800 Democrats turned out to cast their presidential preferences on the first of four days of early voting at 63 sites across Nevada, according to the Nevada State Democratic Party.”

Campaigns anxious – WaPo: “With the Nevada caucuses days away, campaign officials and Democratic activists are increasingly alarmed that they might prove a debacle as damaging as the vote in Iowa, further setting back the party in its urgent effort to coalesce around a nominee to take on President Trump. Campaigns said they still have not gotten the party to offer even a basic explanation of how key parts of the process will work. Volunteers are reporting problems with the technology that’s been deployed at the last minute to make the vote count smoother. And experts are raising serious questions about a tool the party has been feverishly assembling to replace the one scrapped after the meltdown in Iowa. … Adding to the challenge is the complexity of Nevada’s caucuses. Unlike in Iowa, where caucuses are conducted in one evening, Nevadans have the option of voting early. At sites across the state, Democrats can rank their top presidential choices on a paper ballot.”

Unions threaten Bernie’s momentum – Fox News: “The criticism from the unions, which are dominant forces in the state’s two major urban areas of Las Vegas and Reno, have created doubts about Sanders’ ability to carry the momentum his campaign has built following Iowa and New Hampshire into Nevada and beyond. While Nevada may not be traditionally thought of as a union state like Michigan, Illinois or New York, unions – particularly those representing workers at the big casinos, hotels and restaurants in Las Vegas and Reno – are potent political forces in the Silver State. And given that Census data shows that nearly three-quarters of the state’s population lives in Clark County – home to Las Vegas – it’s not surprising that the candidates who get the union backing are generally those who end up carrying the state.”

Klobuchar fundraising ramps up – CBS News: “Senator Amy Klobuchar has raked in $12 million in donations in the wake of her breakout performance during the last Democratic debate, she revealed Sunday, a haul that allows her to devote more resources to the states who will vote on Super Tuesday. ‘We’re building up our staff all over the country in the Super Tuesday states because finally I’ve gotten the resources I need, over $12 million just in a little over a week since the New Hampshire debate,’ Klobuchar said during an interview on ‘Face the Nation.’ Klobuchar’s strong performance during the last debate, which took place just before last week’s New Hampshire primary, was widely heralded and helped her finish third in the contest, behind Bernie Sanders and Pete Buttigieg. … The Minnesota senator is now in Nevada ahead of its caucuses Saturday and said she is ‘very excited’ about her chances in the state.”

THE RULEBOOK: YOU AND YOUR STUFF
“Government is instituted no less for protection of the property, than of the persons, of individuals. The one as well as the other, therefore, may be considered as represented by those who are charged with the government.” – Alexander Hamilton or James MadisonFederalist No. 54

TIME OUT: ‘FONDLY DO WE HOPE, FERVENTLY DO WE PRAY’
WSJ: “When Abraham Lincoln was elected president in 1860, he was certainly not thought of as a man given to religious fervor. But over the next 4½ years, as hundreds of thousands of Americans died in the Civil War, the 16th president evolved into a theologian of the American idea, using the language and concepts of the Bible to reflect on the war’s larger meaning. This year on Presidents Day, Americans will observe the 211th anniversary of Lincoln’s birth. But in an age of declining biblical literacy, we are in danger of losing touch with a key source of his greatness. Why, for instance, did Lincoln begin the Gettysburg Address with the words ‘fourscore and seven years ago?’ It isn’t because he usually spoke that way, as many readers of the speech might now assume. Rather, he knew that his audience was deeply familiar with the King James Bible and would recognize the language of the Psalms… The Bible’s influence on Lincoln’s language can be seen even before he took office.”

Flag on the play? – Email us at HALFTIMEREPORT@FOXNEWS.COM with your tips, comments or questions.

SCOREBOARD
ESTIMATED DELEGATES FOR DEMOCRATIC NOMINATION
Buttigieg: 23
Sanders: 21
Warren: 8
Klobuchar: 7
Biden: 6
[Ed. note: 1,991 delegates needed to win]

TRUMP JOB PERFORMANCE 
Average approval: 44 percent
Average disapproval: 51.4 percent
Net Score: -7.4 percent
Change from one week ago: ↓ 1.4 points
[Average includes: Monmouth University: 44% approve – 51% disapprove; Quinnipiac University: 43% approve – 53% disapprove; NBC News/WSJ: 46% approve – 51% disapprove; CBS News: 43% approve – 51% disapprove; IBD: 44% approve – 51% disapprove.]

WANT MORE HALFTIME REPORT? 
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TRUMP REVVS UP FLORIDA VOTERS AT DAYTONA
NYT: “President Trump put his showmanship skills on full display on Sunday at the Daytona International Speedway, leading the famous stock car drivers in a lap around the 2.5-mile racetrack. A sold-out crowd of 101,500 people cheered his appearance in a state he must win this year to secure re-election. Serving as the grand marshal for the kickoff race of the NASCAR season, which was ultimately interrupted and then postponed because of rain, Mr. Trump arrived at the packed stands after a rare Air Force One flyover and later rounded the track in his limousine, nicknamed The Beast, to raucous cheers from the crowd. Shortly after the president told drivers to ‘start your engines,’ Air Force Thunderbirds roared overhead.”

PLAY-BY-PLAY
Virginia lawmakers nix gun ban – AP

Dems claim GOP meddling in North Carolina Senate primary – Politico

AUDIBLE: VEGAS, BABY!
“It feels like the [Nevada state party is] making it up as they go along,” – A Democratic campaign staffer complaining to the WaPo about the seeming haphazardness of preparations for the Nevada Caucus.

FROM THE BLEACHERS
“Why is it that ‘suddenly’ all the issues the squad and the rest of the candidates have pushed like Medicare for all, free tuition, climate revolution, etc. are too radical? Are the Democrats just now realizing the America heartland does not want radical change, open borders, sanctuary cities? While many Americans don’t agree with [President Trump’s] style of tone and messaging the vast majority seem to agree with his actual policies. What are your thoughts?” – Bob Baker, Brownsville, Texas

[Ed. note: Have you ever watched a triathlon? Competitors swim 2.4 miles, bike 112 miles and then run a traditional 26.2-mile marathon. The great runners would seem to have an advantage here, but they can’t fall too far behind in the water or on the bicycle. But if they go too hard at the start, they won’t have enough when it’s time for the final leg of their eight-hour ordeals. Presidential campaigns are like that. A bunch of Democrats jumped in the water and thrashed about wildly trying to get into the early lead. That meant embracing what they wrongly believed were the positions that would bring the party’s base to their side. Most of them never made it back to dry land. But it certainly generated a great deal of activity and news coverage. Now they’re in the middle leg having cleared out a lot of the posers. Who’s still got steady legs when they start the stretch run? Keep watching to see who can pace themselves properly.]

“I heard Tucker Carlson say over 3 presidential campaigns Joe Biden has yet to score better than a fourth place in any state caucus or primary tally. Is that correct?” – Joe Guyton, San Antonio

[Ed. note: Yes, but Biden hasn’t really faced voters very often. He withdrew from his first presidential campaign in the fall of 1987, months before the first contests of 1988. So he did not finish better than fourth place, but he didn’t finish worse than fourth place either. When he mounted his long-shot candidacy in 2008, Biden staked his campaign on Iowa and did indeed finish fifth, and dropped out immediately after. So coming into this year, Biden had competed in one nominating contest in his life and had come in fifth. He finished fourth in Iowa and fifth in New Hampshire this year, so he’s still under the line. He’s 0-3 in nominating contests in his career so far.]

“I very much enjoy reading the Halftime Report, particularly when it includes your own commentary, a lethal mix of the insightful and playful.  But if I may trouble you with a slight niggle from your Catholic brethren:  in your commentary on February 14th (‘In Defense of Valentine’s Day,’) your otherwise historically legitimate description of Saint Valentine’s life and death refers to Valentine as a ‘pastor.’ In its most generic sense, you might try to argue that he was indeed a pastor, but Valentine and those who turned to him for spiritual guidance and succor would have referred to him as a ‘priest’ or ‘bishop’ (or Saint!) May God bless you and your team for your spirited defense of all that is good about America (and may your heart-shaped boxes be ever full of chocolate and good cheer!)” – Bill MadiganRichmond, Va.

[Ed. note: Brother Madigan, I wish they had an eye roll emoji on this keyboard! But I certainly send my prayers for you and your family in return along with much gratitude for your readership and support.] 

Share your color commentary: Email us at HALFTIMEREPORT@FOXNEWS.COM and please make sure to include your name and hometown.

HOW STELLA GOT HER MIXTAPE BACK
UPI: “Stella Wedell said she vacationing with her family in Spain in the early 1990s, when she was only 12 years old, when she lost her mixtape. She said the tape was lost in Empuriabrava or on the Spanish island of Mallorca. Wedell said she was visiting the Fotografiska gallery in Stockholm more than 20 years later when she spotted the water-damaged tape and a track list. British artist and photographer Mandy Barker, whose Sea of Artifacts exhibition was about plastic pollution, said the tape washed up in 2017 on the beach at Playa de Barlovento de Jandia on Fuerteventura, a Spanish island off the coast of Africa. The island is about 1,200 miles from where Wedell believes she lost the recording. Barker said she enlisted the help of a professional audio restorer, who was able to list the tracks, which included songs by ShaggyBob Marley and the Wailers, the Pet Shop Boys, Soul Asylum and multiple Disney songs.”

AND NOW, A WORD FROM CHARLES…
“Guilt gives way now to fear.” – Charles Krauthammer (1950-2018) writing in Time magazine on June 21, 2005.

Chris Stirewalt is the politics editor for Fox News. Brianna McClelland contributed to this report. Want FOX News Halftime Report in your inbox every day? Sign up here.

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Justin Timberlake recalls dodging bottles of urine from hostile crowd while performing with The Rolling Stones

Justin Timberlake recalled a disastrous charity concert in 2003 where the crowd threw bottles of urine at him on stage.

The 39-year-old singer appeared on “The Graham Norton Show” recently where the host asked him about the performance, where Timberlake sang with The Rolling Stones at an event to raise money for SARS recovery in Toronto, Canada. The benefit concert also included acts like AC/DC, The Guess Who and Rush, with Timberlake singing pop tunes to a rock music-loving crowd.

The star noted that he had a bad feeling about the event prior to going on stage, but committed to the performance all the same.

Westlake Legal Group JustinTimberlake3 Justin Timberlake recalls dodging bottles of urine from hostile crowd while performing with The Rolling Stones Tyler McCarthy fox-news/person/justin-timberlake fox-news/entertainment/music fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc f1a5247b-8f71-5ce8-84eb-8cbbb09ec676 article

Justin Timberlake talked about a time when he had to dodge bottles of urine while performing on stage with The Rolling Stones.  (KMazur/WireImage)

JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE, JESSICA BIEL’S MARRIAGE IS IN BETTER PLACE AFTER ALISHA WAINWRIGHT SCANDAL: REPORT

“I remember saying to the band before we went on stage, ‘I don’t think this is going to go well,’” he told the host. “But little did I know, I had no idea how bad it was going to go.”

Timberlake explained that the audience was not only hostile but prepared.

“We came on stage and all of a sudden from the first two rows of probably, I think this festival housed half a million people, so that was crazy,” he explained. “But all of a sudden, bottles of urine were then thrown on the stage… It wasn’t always good times for me, you guys.”

He joked: “I still have… I still have a lot of trauma from this incident.”

Timberlake went on to note that the benefit’s leadership gave him the opportunity to get off stage after the first song. However, he refused.

JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE SUPPORTS JESSICA BIEL FOLLOWING SCANDAL WITH HIS CO-STAR ALISHA WAINWRIGHT

“I was like, ‘No man, I’m staying out here, we’re doing this!’”

Unfortunately, the star didn’t consider that the second song might be more treacherous for him than the first.

“At the first song, I was at the mic and moving around and singing at the same time. I was kind of impressed with myself,” he said. “Then the second song was ‘Senorita … I play a Rhodes electric piano on that song. So then, all of a sudden I’m thinking, ‘Oh no, I’m immobile!’”

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Timberlake ended the harrowing account saying: “After that song either one of two things happened: Either they ran out of nerve because they knew I was going to stay there, or they ran out of urine so … kids … be tenacious!”

Westlake Legal Group GettyImages-1149746602 Justin Timberlake recalls dodging bottles of urine from hostile crowd while performing with The Rolling Stones Tyler McCarthy fox-news/person/justin-timberlake fox-news/entertainment/music fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc f1a5247b-8f71-5ce8-84eb-8cbbb09ec676 article   Westlake Legal Group GettyImages-1149746602 Justin Timberlake recalls dodging bottles of urine from hostile crowd while performing with The Rolling Stones Tyler McCarthy fox-news/person/justin-timberlake fox-news/entertainment/music fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc f1a5247b-8f71-5ce8-84eb-8cbbb09ec676 article

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Former ‘Bachelor’ contestant Jubilee Sharpe arrested for DUI: report

Jubilee Sharpe, who appeared as a contestant on Ben Higgins’ season of “The Bachelor,” was arrested on Sunday.

According to TMZ, she was arrested for DUI in West Palm Beach, Fla., but was released on her own recognizance.

The 29-year-old competed on Season 20 of “The Bachelor” and was eliminated in Week 5. She was brought back as a cast member for the 3rd season of “Bachelor in Paradise” and was eliminated in Week 1.

‘BACHELOR’ CONTESTANT VICTORIA FULLER APOLOGIZES FOR ‘WHITE LIVES MATTER’ CLOTHING SCANDAL

She later returned again for the 5th season of “Bachelor in Paradise.”

Westlake Legal Group Jubilee-Sharpe Former 'Bachelor' contestant Jubilee Sharpe arrested for DUI: report Jessica Napoli fox-news/entertainment/the-bachelor fox-news/entertainment/genres/reality fox-news/entertainment/events/arrest fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 56ee19de-cd0f-541e-a64f-2621595a51bc

Jubilee Sharpe (West Palm Beach Police Department )

Sharpe’s backstory was tragic when she revealed that her entire biological family in Haiti had died. “I told Ben the story of my family, but I left out the biggest part,” she told People magazine after getting eliminated.

‘EMPIRE’ ACTRESS AMANDA DETMER ARRESTED FOR DUI: REPORT

“My three brothers and my parents died, but I don’t know the details. I was 6, but I don’t remember my parents. My 4-year-old little sister and I went to live with my grandmother but she had leprosy and was dying and too sick to take care of us. So she put me and my little sister in an orphanage,” Sharpe explained.

“My dad came to Haiti to do relief work and he showed up to the orphanage and [wanted to adopt me]. He tried to adopt my sister, but after they went through the medical process, they found out she had an incurable disease and wasn’t able to be adopted.”

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Sharpe said she tried to find her sister but wasn’t successful.

“The person who did my adoption told me she was probably dead,” she said. “That’s where my guilt had come from.”

Her occupation on the show was listed as an Army veteran.

Westlake Legal Group Jubilee-Sharpe Former 'Bachelor' contestant Jubilee Sharpe arrested for DUI: report Jessica Napoli fox-news/entertainment/the-bachelor fox-news/entertainment/genres/reality fox-news/entertainment/events/arrest fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 56ee19de-cd0f-541e-a64f-2621595a51bc   Westlake Legal Group Jubilee-Sharpe Former 'Bachelor' contestant Jubilee Sharpe arrested for DUI: report Jessica Napoli fox-news/entertainment/the-bachelor fox-news/entertainment/genres/reality fox-news/entertainment/events/arrest fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 56ee19de-cd0f-541e-a64f-2621595a51bc

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Liberal media reaction to Michael Avenatti conviction slammed as ‘Orwellian,’ ‘appalling’

Some members of the mainstream media have issued mea culpas for building up now-disgraced attorney Michael Avenatti, while others have shirked responsibility and some have even blamed President Trump – but it all falls flat for critics who watched his rise from lawyer for a porn star to potential Democratic presidential candidate.

Avenatti, who represented adult film actress Stormy Daniels in a lawsuit against President Trump, appeared on CNN and MSNBC a combined 229 times over two years, according to the Media Research Center. CNN’s Brian Stelter was Avenatti’s biggest cheerleader, once declaring that he was a “serious” contender to challenge Trump in the 2020 presidential election.

EX-CNN DARLING MICHAEL AVENATTI CONVICTED OF TRYING TO EXTORT NIKE

But a New York jury found Avenatti, 48, guilty Friday of extortion, wire fraud and transmission of interstate communications with intent to extort up to $25 million from Nike. He faces up to 42 years in prison and still faces two other trials.

Westlake Legal Group Toobin-Stelter-Avenatti Liberal media reaction to Michael Avenatti conviction slammed as ‘Orwellian,’ ‘appalling’ fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc f57378ee-e05c-545e-9ea1-9894552f6361 Brian Flood article

CNN pundits Jeffrey Toobin and Brian Stelter discussed their role in turning Michael Avenatti into a household name.

In another upcoming trial in Manhattan, he faces charges that he cheated Daniels out of the proceeds of a book deal. The most serious charges are in a federal case in Los Angeles, where he is accused of defrauding clients and others.

“CNN and MSNBC are playing victim, as if Avenatti snookered them,” Cornell University Law School professor and media critic William Jacobson told Fox News. “In fact, they exploited Avenatii and others like him for use against Trump. It was a mutually manipulative relationship in which Avenatti gained fame and CNN/MSNBC gained viewers.”

Conservative strategist Chris Barron told Fox News that the reaction by the liberal media has been “largely Orwellian” so far.

PRO-TRUMP MEME KING CARPE DONKTUM EXPLAINS HIS MEDIUM: ‘HATE IS POISON TO COMEDY’

“Instead of saying ‘we made a mistake, we didn’t properly vet this guy and we are sorry,’ we are hearing how actually this is Trump’s fault,” Barron said. “Few reporters are willing to admit they got this wrong and this is symptomatic of a much bigger problem in journalism.”

“Few reporters are willing to admit they got this wrong and this is symptomatic of a much bigger problem in journalism.”

— Chris Barron

Stelter addressed the debacle on Sunday when he asked guests to critique his infamous claim that Avenatti could challenge Trump in 2020 because of his presence on cable news.

“Give me a media critique,” Stelter asked. “Was that stupid on my part? What do you make of how Avenatti was covered by CNN and MSNBC?”

CNN’S BRIAN STELTER DELETES TWEET CLAIMING HE COVERED MICHAEL AVENATTI STORY: ‘I GOT MIXED UP’

Panelist Lachlan Markey and Asawin Suebsaeng, who were on the show to promote an anti-Trump book, managed to essentially blame the president for the situation.

“This was a guy, who in many ways, was very similar to Trump. He really knew how to operate in the modern media environment,” Markey said. “I think that’s what really drew a lot of Trump’s critics to him, was this idea that he could sort of beat Trump at his own game.”

Markey then said journalists need to ask themselves if they were played by Avenatti’s strategy.

Westlake Legal Group CNN-Avenatti-2 Liberal media reaction to Michael Avenatti conviction slammed as ‘Orwellian,’ ‘appalling’ fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc f57378ee-e05c-545e-9ea1-9894552f6361 Brian Flood article

Brian Stelter once told Avenatti on air, “Looking ahead to 2020, one of the reasons why I’m taking you seriously as a contender is because of your presence on cable news.”

“A lot of folks did take him very seriously without looking at the extensive personal, financial, legal baggage that was out there just waiting to be reported,” Markey said as Suebsaeng chimed in.

DON LEMON’S BOYFRIEND IMPLIED ‘LIBERAL’ CNN STAR WENT EASY ON PAL AVENATTI

“His crookedness aside, it would have been weird at that time, sort of during the Michael Avenatti boomlet, not to take him seriously at least in the form of someone who was getting in the president’s head,” Suebsaeng said. “Obviously, objectively speaking, news at the time.”

Stelter, who did not ask someone with opposing political views for a critique or feedback, smirked as he said reporters need to be more skeptical of the manipulation, “whether it’s Trump or Avenatti,” that’s occurring.

“There are no lessons learned, no moments of self-reflections and no one being held accountable for failing to meet basic journalistic standards. It’s always someone else’s fault. Never the fault of the corporate media.”

— Chris Barron

“There are no lessons learned, no moments of self-reflections and no one being held accountable for failing to meet basic journalistic standards. It’s always someone else’s fault. Never the fault of the corporate media,” Barron said. “Truly appalling.”

MICHAEL AVENATTI HOBNOBS WITH CNN STARS IN RARE FREE TIME BETWEEN APPEARANCES ON NETWORK

Avenatti became a hero of the media elite and even spent his time away from cable news greenrooms partying with CNN hosts. CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin explained that he “go to know” Avenatti when the now-disgraced lawyer was a fixture on the liberal network but admitted he now feels “snookered”

“I remember once at the peak of all of this, we went to lunch in Midtown, when our offices were in Midtown, and we walked back together to CNN, and it was like walking with a major, major celebrity,” Toobin told Anderson Cooper on Friday. “People came up to him.”

Toobin explained that Avenatti floated the idea of a potential 2020 White House run at the height of his fame, even visiting Iowa and New Hampshire to test the waters.

“To call it hubris … doesn’t do it justice. I mean the craziness of this,” Toobin said. “When you look at this case and the three cases, he’s 48 years old, he could be looking at decades in prison… the total collapse of his life is really sort of extraordinary. Frankly, I feel kind of snookered because I took him seriously.”

NBC PARENT COMPANY COMCAST FIGHTS SEX HARASSMENT ACCUSATION REVIEW CALLS

While CNN addressed the awkward situation, MSNBC reported Avenatti’s conviction and quickly moved on.

DePauw University professor and media critic Jeffrey McCall told Fox News that it’s “noteworthy and appropriate” that some individuals in the media acknowledge they got duped by Avenatti but others should speak up.

“It is curious, however, that there has been no such acknowledgment coming from the hierarchy at CNN, MSNBC or other mainstream outlets that were enraptured by Avenatti and allowed him to dominate the news agenda for months,” McCall said. “The Avenatti publicity tour just couldn’t have happened without blessings from the highest levels of the media establishment.”

“The Avenatti publicity tour just couldn’t have happened without blessings from the highest levels of the media establishment.”

— Jeffrey McCall

McCall believes Avenatti “found it easy to ‘snooker’ the media establishment” that wanted to attack the president at all costs.

NBC KILLED MY SEX ASSAULT STORY AFTER FARROW’S WEINSTEIN PIECE, AUTHOR CLAIMS

“He was slick, had Stormy Daniels as a client, and was going after Trump. The mainstream media found that combination irresistible and failed to carefully scrutinize Avenatti or put him in a measured context. This kind of performance by the media, following the sensational without due diligence, continues to harm media credibility,” McCall said.

CNN contributor Amanda Carpenter published a piece in The Bulwark headlined, “Trump is why you got Michael Avenatti,” which declared the Avenatti story isn’t about media malfeasance.

“There are plenty of problems with The Media — for instance, the gifting of $2 billion worth of free air time to Donald Trump in 2016 because it was good for ratings. But the rise and fall of Michael Avenatti wasn’t The Media’s fault. They didn’t make him,” Carpenter wrote. “They were just forced to cover him … if you hate Michael Avenatti, don’t blame the Media. Trump is the one who brought him into your life.”

Carpenter was widely criticized on social media for blaming Trump.

“This is embarrassing. The major media promoted a goofball political gadfly simply because he was attacking Trump,” Media Research Center vice president Dan Dainor told Fox News.

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Meanwhile, not everyone in the mainstream media assigned blame elsewhere and MSNBC contributor Sam Stein was praised on social media for the way he handled the situation.

“I admit it. I gave Avenatti far more credibility than he deserved,” Stein tweeted. “I need to do better and will strive to do so. No point in trying to pretend otherwise.”

Fox News’ Marta Dhanis and Jennifer Olivia contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6133145331001_6133146629001-vs Liberal media reaction to Michael Avenatti conviction slammed as ‘Orwellian,’ ‘appalling’ fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc f57378ee-e05c-545e-9ea1-9894552f6361 Brian Flood article   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6133145331001_6133146629001-vs Liberal media reaction to Michael Avenatti conviction slammed as ‘Orwellian,’ ‘appalling’ fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc f57378ee-e05c-545e-9ea1-9894552f6361 Brian Flood article

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DOJ investigates the investigators: 5 internal probes underway on Russia and more

Several federal prosecutors have been tapped to investigate high-profile Russia, Ukraine and Clinton-related matters under the Trump administration.

Here is a list of the internal Justice Department probes underway:

The case of former national security adviser Michael Flynn

Attorney General Bill Barr appointed the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Missouri Jeff Jensen to review the case of former national security adviser Michael Flynn. Justice Department officials told Fox News that Jensen will work hand-in-hand with Brandon Van Grack — the lead prosecutor on the Flynn case — during his review.

Flynn’s case has gone through years of twists and turns, with sentencing postponed repeatedly over the last two years. Flynn’s supporters have insisted he is innocent but was forced to plead guilty when his son was threatened with prosecution and he exhausted his financial resources.

As part of former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation, Flynn pleaded guilty to making false statements to the FBI about his communications with former Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.

Barr’s move to tap Jensen comes after Flynn and his attorney last month moved to withdraw his guilty plea, citing “the government’s bad faith, vindictiveness, and breach of the plea agreement.”

Ukraine information

Barr last week confirmed that the Justice Department is reviewing information about Ukraine coming from President Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani and others. Barr has tapped U.S. Attorney from the Western District of Pennsylvania Scott Brady to handle that Ukraine information.

That review comes after the president was acquitted on charges — abuse of power and obstruction of Congress — stemming from the Ukraine controversy.

Giuliani, for months, has focused on the circumstances surrounding Hunter Biden’s past board position with Ukrainian natural gas firm Burisma Holdings and the role of his father, former Vice President Joe Biden, in ousting a prosecutor who had been looking into the firm’s founder.

The impeachment of Trump focused largely on his efforts to press Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate that issue. The president’s request came after millions in U.S. military aid to Ukraine had been frozen, which Democrats argued showed a “quid pro quo” arrangement. Trump denied it.

CBS News first reported last week that the review, which has been going on for several weeks, will go beyond the Biden-Ukraine connection.

Durham probe into origins of Russia investigation

Last year, Barr appointed U.S. Attorney from Connecticut John Durham to review the events leading up to the 2016 presidential election and through Trump’s January 20, 2017 inauguration. But, as Fox News first reported, Durham has since expanded his investigation to cover a post-election timeline spanning the spring of 2017 — when Mueller was appointed as special counsel.

Durham investigated CIA officials and other officials throughout the intelligence community. Former CIA Director John Brennan has said that Durham plans to interview him and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper. Those interviews have yet to take place, a source familiar with the investigation told Fox News last week.

Clinton Foundation, Uranium One

In November 2017, then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions directed U.S. Attorney for Utah John Huber and other senior prosecutors to evaluate “certain issues” involving the sale of Uranium One and alleged unlawful dealings related to the Clinton Foundation.

The status of the Huber probe, and whether he is still investigating, is unclear.

FISA warrant, Clinton server document release

In April 2018, the Justice Department appointed U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois John Lausch to oversee the gathering of documents in response to a subpoena issued by the House Judiciary Committee in an effort to obtain materials related to the FBI’s probe into Hillary Clinton’s private email server and potential Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) abuses.

The move came after the president blasted the Justice Department and the FBI for “slow walking” turning over requested documents to Congress.

Westlake Legal Group ContentBroker_contentid-ba876a08d09644dba48c4a85bedcd04b DOJ investigates the investigators: 5 internal probes underway on Russia and more fox-news/tech/topics/fbi fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/justice-department fox-news/news-events/russia-investigation fox news fnc/politics fnc Brooke Singman article aa7af04b-9651-552b-81a1-f88f0bb93df0

John R. Lausch Jr., U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, center, briefs reporters on the trial of Floyd Brown in the killing of Special Deputy United States Marshal Jacob Keltner on Wednesday, March 20, 2019, U.S. District Courthouse in Rockford. Brown pleaded not guilty Wednesday to federal charges accusing him of fatally shooting Keltner, who was trying to serve an arrest warrant at a hotel. (Scott P. Yates/Rockford Register Star via AP)

“[T]he attorney general and FBI director asked U.S. Attorney John Lausch from the Northern District of Illinois to oversee this production moving forward. Mr. Lausch, who has experience in the department and in private practice, will ensure that production moves at an acceptable pace and that any redactions are necessary and consistent under the relevant laws and regulations,” then-DOJ spokeswoman Sarah Isgur Flores said at the time, noting Lausch will have “independent authority” to oversee the production and report progress to Sessions.

It is unclear whether Lausch still has oversight of document production from the DOJ and FBI to Congress.

Westlake Legal Group image DOJ investigates the investigators: 5 internal probes underway on Russia and more fox-news/tech/topics/fbi fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/justice-department fox-news/news-events/russia-investigation fox news fnc/politics fnc Brooke Singman article aa7af04b-9651-552b-81a1-f88f0bb93df0   Westlake Legal Group image DOJ investigates the investigators: 5 internal probes underway on Russia and more fox-news/tech/topics/fbi fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/justice-department fox-news/news-events/russia-investigation fox news fnc/politics fnc Brooke Singman article aa7af04b-9651-552b-81a1-f88f0bb93df0

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Liberal media reaction to Michael Avenatti conviction slammed as ‘Orwellian,’ ‘appalling’

Some members of the mainstream media have issued mea culpas for building up now-disgraced attorney Michael Avenatti, while others have shirked responsibility and some have even blamed President Trump – but it all falls flat for critics who watched his rise from lawyer for a porn star to potential Democratic presidential candidate.

Avenatti, who represented adult film actress Stormy Daniels in a lawsuit against President Trump, appeared on CNN and MSNBC a combined 229 times over two years, according to the Media Research Center. CNN’s Brian Stelter was Avenatti’s biggest cheerleader, once declaring that he was a “serious” contender to challenge Trump in the 2020 presidential election.

EX-CNN DARLING MICHAEL AVENATTI CONVICTED OF TRYING TO EXTORT NIKE

But a New York jury found Avenatti, 48, guilty Friday of extortion, wire fraud and transmission of interstate communications with intent to extort up to $25 million from Nike. He faces up to 42 years in prison and still faces two other trials.

Westlake Legal Group Toobin-Stelter-Avenatti Liberal media reaction to Michael Avenatti conviction slammed as ‘Orwellian,’ ‘appalling’ fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc f57378ee-e05c-545e-9ea1-9894552f6361 Brian Flood article

CNN pundits Jeffrey Toobin and Brian Stelter discussed their role in turning Michael Avenatti into a household name.

In another upcoming trial in Manhattan, he faces charges that he cheated Daniels out of the proceeds of a book deal. The most serious charges are in a federal case in Los Angeles, where he is accused of defrauding clients and others.

“CNN and MSNBC are playing victim, as if Avenatti snookered them,” Cornell University Law School professor and media critic William Jacobson told Fox News. “In fact, they exploited Avenatii and others like him for use against Trump. It was a mutually manipulative relationship in which Avenatti gained fame and CNN/MSNBC gained viewers.”

Conservative strategist Chris Barron told Fox News that the reaction by the liberal media has been “largely Orwellian” so far.

PRO-TRUMP MEME KING CARPE DONKTUM EXPLAINS HIS MEDIUM: ‘HATE IS POISON TO COMEDY’

“Instead of saying ‘we made a mistake, we didn’t properly vet this guy and we are sorry,’ we are hearing how actually this is Trump’s fault,” Barron said. “Few reporters are willing to admit they got this wrong and this is symptomatic of a much bigger problem in journalism.”

“Few reporters are willing to admit they got this wrong and this is symptomatic of a much bigger problem in journalism.”

— Chris Barron

Stelter addressed the debacle on Sunday when he asked guests to critique his infamous claim that Avenatti could challenge Trump in 2020 because of his presence on cable news.

“Give me a media critique,” Stelter asked. “Was that stupid on my part? What do you make of how Avenatti was covered by CNN and MSNBC?”

CNN’S BRIAN STELTER DELETES TWEET CLAIMING HE COVERED MICHAEL AVENATTI STORY: ‘I GOT MIXED UP’

Panelist Lachlan Markey and Asawin Suebsaeng, who were on the show to promote an anti-Trump book, managed to essentially blame the president for the situation.

“This was a guy, who in many ways, was very similar to Trump. He really knew how to operate in the modern media environment,” Markey said. “I think that’s what really drew a lot of Trump’s critics to him, was this idea that he could sort of beat Trump at his own game.”

Markey then said journalists need to ask themselves if they were played by Avenatti’s strategy.

Westlake Legal Group CNN-Avenatti-2 Liberal media reaction to Michael Avenatti conviction slammed as ‘Orwellian,’ ‘appalling’ fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc f57378ee-e05c-545e-9ea1-9894552f6361 Brian Flood article

Brian Stelter once told Avenatti on air, “Looking ahead to 2020, one of the reasons why I’m taking you seriously as a contender is because of your presence on cable news.”

“A lot of folks did take him very seriously without looking at the extensive personal, financial, legal baggage that was out there just waiting to be reported,” Markey said as Suebsaeng chimed in.

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“His crookedness aside, it would have been weird at that time, sort of during the Michael Avenatti boomlet, not to take him seriously at least in the form of someone who was getting in the president’s head,” Suebsaeng said. “Obviously, objectively speaking, news at the time.”

Stelter, who did not ask someone with opposing political views for a critique or feedback, smirked as he said reporters need to be more skeptical of the manipulation, “whether it’s Trump or Avenatti,” that’s occurring.

“There are no lessons learned, no moments of self-reflections and no one being held accountable for failing to meet basic journalistic standards. It’s always someone else’s fault. Never the fault of the corporate media.”

— Chris Barron

“There are no lessons learned, no moments of self-reflections and no one being held accountable for failing to meet basic journalistic standards. It’s always someone else’s fault. Never the fault of the corporate media,” Barron said. “Truly appalling.”

MICHAEL AVENATTI HOBNOBS WITH CNN STARS IN RARE FREE TIME BETWEEN APPEARANCES ON NETWORK

Avenatti became a hero of the media elite and even spent his time away from cable news greenrooms partying with CNN hosts. CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin explained that he “go to know” Avenatti when the now-disgraced lawyer was a fixture on the liberal network but admitted he now feels “snookered”

“I remember once at the peak of all of this, we went to lunch in Midtown, when our offices were in Midtown, and we walked back together to CNN, and it was like walking with a major, major celebrity,” Toobin told Anderson Cooper on Friday. “People came up to him.”

Toobin explained that Avenatti floated the idea of a potential 2020 White House run at the height of his fame, even visiting Iowa and New Hampshire to test the waters.

“To call it hubris … doesn’t do it justice. I mean the craziness of this,” Toobin said. “When you look at this case and the three cases, he’s 48 years old, he could be looking at decades in prison… the total collapse of his life is really sort of extraordinary. Frankly, I feel kind of snookered because I took him seriously.”

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While CNN addressed the awkward situation, MSNBC reported Avenatti’s conviction and quickly moved on.

DePauw University professor and media critic Jeffrey McCall told Fox News that it’s “noteworthy and appropriate” that some individuals in the media acknowledge they got duped by Avenatti but others should speak up.

“It is curious, however, that there has been no such acknowledgment coming from the hierarchy at CNN, MSNBC or other mainstream outlets that were enraptured by Avenatti and allowed him to dominate the news agenda for months,” McCall said. “The Avenatti publicity tour just couldn’t have happened without blessings from the highest levels of the media establishment.”

“The Avenatti publicity tour just couldn’t have happened without blessings from the highest levels of the media establishment.”

— Jeffrey McCall

McCall believes Avenatti “found it easy to ‘snooker’ the media establishment” that wanted to attack the president at all costs.

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“He was slick, had Stormy Daniels as a client, and was going after Trump. The mainstream media found that combination irresistible and failed to carefully scrutinize Avenatti or put him in a measured context. This kind of performance by the media, following the sensational without due diligence, continues to harm media credibility,” McCall said.

CNN contributor Amanda Carpenter published a piece in The Bulwark headlined, “Trump is why you got Michael Avenatti,” which declared the Avenatti story isn’t about media malfeasance.

“There are plenty of problems with The Media — for instance, the gifting of $2 billion worth of free air time to Donald Trump in 2016 because it was good for ratings. But the rise and fall of Michael Avenatti wasn’t The Media’s fault. They didn’t make him,” Carpenter wrote. “They were just forced to cover him … if you hate Michael Avenatti, don’t blame the Media. Trump is the one who brought him into your life.”

Carpenter was widely criticized on social media for blaming Trump.

“This is embarrassing. The major media promoted a goofball political gadfly simply because he was attacking Trump,” Media Research Center vice president Dan Dainor told Fox News.

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Meanwhile, not everyone in the mainstream media assigned blame elsewhere and MSNBC contributor Sam Stein was praised on social media for the way he handled the situation.

“I admit it. I gave Avenatti far more credibility than he deserved,” Stein tweeted. “I need to do better and will strive to do so. No point in trying to pretend otherwise.”

Fox News’ Marta Dhanis and Jennifer Olivia contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6133145331001_6133146629001-vs Liberal media reaction to Michael Avenatti conviction slammed as ‘Orwellian,’ ‘appalling’ fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc f57378ee-e05c-545e-9ea1-9894552f6361 Brian Flood article   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6133145331001_6133146629001-vs Liberal media reaction to Michael Avenatti conviction slammed as ‘Orwellian,’ ‘appalling’ fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc f57378ee-e05c-545e-9ea1-9894552f6361 Brian Flood article

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