3. How do you do fellow kids
In a bid to reach younger voters, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg launched a political-meme campaign on Instagram — the billionaire’s way of saying “I’m so uncool, that I’m cool,” according to ABC News Political Director Rick Klein.
“This isn’t just about him spending gobs of money to get his name out there; he is doing really smart things with some of his money to get himself into a conversation that he could potentially be owning in two weeks’ time,” he tells “Start Here.”
“Start Here,” ABC News’ flagship podcast, offers a straightforward look at the day’s top stories in 20 minutes. Listen for free every weekday on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, iHeartRadio, Spotify, Stitcher, TuneIn or the ABC News app. Follow @StartHereABC on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for exclusive content and show updates.
‘Caucus calculator’: The Nevada Democratic caucuses are just over a week away and in an effort to avoid the same fate as Iowa, the state’s Democratic Party revamped their reporting strategy to ensure what they hope will be an infallible process on caucus day.
‘Support for assistance’: The Pentagon will once again shift billions of dollars in its accounts in order to fund hundreds of miles of new border wall at the request of the Department of Homeland Security, a move that mirrors actions taken last year to help the Trump administration build sections of the wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
‘I’m very pleased’: With his sentencing approaching, former Trump campaign adviser Roger Stone is bolstering his defense team with a veteran criminal defense attorney whose past roster of clients included John Gotti Jr. and other high-profile figures allegedly involved in organized crime.
From our friends at FiveThirtyEight:
FiveThirtyEight’s Perry Bacon Jr. takes a look at why Elizabeth Warren is struggling.
Former Mayor Pete Buttigieg warned that, after Super Tuesday, only Sanders and Bloomberg — “the two most polarizing figures on this stage” — could be standing as viable candidates.
“We shouldn’t have to choose between one candidate who wants to burn this party down and another who wants to buy this party out,” Buttigieg said.
Bloomberg has been able to buy enough ads to make his arguments without significant refutation. That changed Wednesday night, and if he is pitching himself around electability, none of his rivals are buying it.
He seemed flustered by a series of attacks by Warren, who pointed out that his company signed non-disclosure agreements after negotiating settlements with women. Bloomberg wouldn’t say how many women are covered under such agreements, and repeatedly declined to say he would release them to allow them to tell their stories.
“I hope you heard what his defense was: ‘I’ve been nice to some women.’ That just doesn’t cut it,” Warren said. “We need to know exactly what’s lurking out there.”
Former Vice President Joe Biden mocked the notion that the women in question want to remain silent.
“You think the women in fact were ready to say, ‘I don’t want anybody to know about what you did to me?’ That’s not how it works,” he said.
Bloomberg insisted that he had no reason to change the terms of any agreements.
“They were made consensually and they have every right to expect that they will stay private,” he said to scattered boos in the debate hall.
Bloomberg is trying to square himself up against Sanders. And Sanders — now the national polling front-runner, and the only candidate other than Bloomberg with the resources to compete nationwide now — also took significant incoming fire.
“I think the will of the people should prevail,” he said.
5 hospitalized after vaping device found in Wisconsin school
The news comes despite a $2 million anti-vaping campaign launched by the Indiana State Department last November. “Behind the Haze” is designed to curb the use of e-cigarettes by students and the program is targeting 32,000 students across 52 schools,
As of Feb. 4, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that vaping-related lung injury has hospitalized a total of 2,758 people nationally and resulted in the deaths of 64.
Egyptian court orders release of US citizen after 6-month detention
Rights groups accuse president Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi of launching a relentless crackdown on opponents, estimating that tens of thousands are languishing behind bars on trumped-up charges. Egyptian authorities deny that and insist insisting that prisoners who are kept in custody have gone through due judicial process.
Egypt receives about $1.5 billion in U.S. assistance each year — the second largest amount doled out by the country after Israel. There are at least six other U.S. citizens currently detained in Egyptian prisons, according to Human Rights Watch.