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Democracy Awakening on March 1st

Sign-up to join the Democracy Awakening Tele-Town-Hall March 1 from 8 to 8:30 p.m. ET featuring Robert Reich, NAACP President Cornell Brooks, Sierra Club ED Michael Brune, Greenpeace USA’s Annie Leonard – to hear why thousands are converging on DC in April to pressure Congress for a democracy that works for all.

Sanders Presses Case

Sanders sharpens rhetoric in Chicago. W. Post: “The Vermont senator attacked Clinton for having accepted campaign contributions and speaking fees from Wall Street interests. And then he sharply criticized her support, as first lady and as a New York senator, of welfare reform, free trade, an anti-gay rights bill and the Iraq War … none of the critiques leveled by Sanders were new, his remarks were striking for both their length — until recently he often didn’t mention Clinton at all at his rallies — and his tone.”

And campaigns in Flint. W. Post: “…Sanders mostly listened, as residents of Flint, many of them emotional and visibly angry, told him about their lead-contaminated water supply, their frustration with the government’s seeming inability to do anything about it, and the effect it is having on their children.”

Clinton addresses 20-year old “super-predator” remarks. W. Post: “Ashley Williams, a 23-year-old activist from Charlotte, interrupted Clinton during a private fundraiser … ‘I am not a super-predator, Hillary Clinton.’ … At issue was a quotation from Clinton in 1996, at the height of anxiety during her husband’s administration about high rates of crime … In a written response … Clinton said, ‘Looking back, I shouldn’t have used those words, and I wouldn’t use them today.'”

Trump Hit Hard at Debate

Trump reveals he’s being audited during debate. W. Post quotes: “I’m always audited by the IRS, which I think is very unfair — I don’t know, maybe because of religion, maybe because of something else, maybe because I’m doing this … maybe because of the fact that I’m a strong Christian …”

Mitt Romney pressures Trump to release tax returns. The Hill: “‘No legit reason @realDonaldTrump can’t release returns while being audited, but if scared, release earlier returns no longer under audit,’ he tweeted … Trump argued during the debate that he cannot release his tax returns while he is under audit.”

Rubio gets aggressive with Trump. NYT: “Many critics and commentators thought that Mr. Rubio was the clear winner on Thursday night, but said that his newfound toughness may have come too late.”

David Duke backs Trump. USA Today quotes: “…voting against Donald Trump at this point is really treason to your heritage … I haven’t formally endorsed him. But I do support his candidacy, and I support voting for him as a strategic action. I hope he does everything we hope he will do.”

Cruz, Rubio and Trump have similar positions, notes W. Post Catherine Rampell: “…Rubio also wants to build a wall. Cruz wants to both build a wall and round up and deport 11 million undocumented immigrants … They each [have tax plans that] cost trillions; are not paid for; are highly regressive…”

“My party’s gone bats— crazy,” says Sen. Lindsey Graham CNN reports.

Breakfast Sides

Fourth quarter GDP revised up slightly. WSJ: “The U.S. economy expanded at a 1% rate in the final three months of 2015, better than a previously reported 0.7% gain … Hidden behind upgraded economic growth in the fourth quarter was a slowdown in consumer spending … Spending by state and local governments declined at a 1.4% annualized pace in the fourth quarter.”

China says it won’t “resort to competitive depreciation.” AP: “China’s central bank chief promised Friday to avoid weakening its yuan … the communist government is scrambling to defend its reputation for economic competence following stock market and currency turmoil. A key worry, despite repeated Chinese denials, is that Beijing will allow its yuan to decline in value to support struggling exporters. That expectation has driven an outflow of capital from China that spiked to a record $135 billion in December.”

California teacher tenure case heard by appeals court. NYT: “Two years ago, in a landmark ruling, a Los Angeles Superior Court judge struck down five state statutes dealing with the awarding of tenure … lawyers for both sides staged dueling news conferences outside the courthouse, each group insisting the arguments had gone their way … A decision is expected within 90 days. The case could be appealed to the State Supreme Court.”

Americans for Tax Fairness fingers Pfizer tax evasion. The Hill: “The report from Americans for Tax Fairness (ATF) found that by merging with Allergan, Pfizer may be able to avoid paying an estimated $35 billion in taxes on profits held offshore. That money could fund the National Cancer Institute for nearly seven years.”

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