Flags are at half-staff today at the White House and Supreme Court in honor of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia who died over the weekend at the age of 79.
Almost immediately the fighting started over naming his replacement. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says President Obama should let the next president pick a replacement. President Obama says he’ll do his constitutional duty and put forward a replacement soon. A big fight is expected in the Senate.
Did you see the debate Saturday night? Wow. Sparks flew and nasty verbal fights broke out between Donald Trump and Jeb Bush and Ted Cruz and Jeb Bush with flare-ups from other candidates too.
Robert Costa Philip Rucker write in the Washington Post, “In an election that Republicans have long seen as a chance to put forward new stars with a fresh and broadly appealing conservative vision, the GOP is instead at risk of tearing itself apart over its past as it heads into the thick of the primary season. A day after a debate marked by a series of personal, petty exchanges - and a day before former president George W. Bush was set to make a high-profile return to the national scene - Republicans were grappling with their core beliefs on a host of issues, as well as the image they were broadcasting to the country.”
Janet Hook and Josh Dawsey write in the Wall Street Journal, “Donald Trump’s blunt attacks on former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and his family during Saturday’s Republican presidential debate reinforced his tough-guy image for some supporters but is backfiring with others and among undecided voters.”
Alexander Burns in the New York Times writes, “The Republican candidates debated on Saturday night as if it were one last chance to break through and take down their opponents -- and for a few of them, it probably was. The most important exchange of the evening came early in the night, when Donald J. Trump and Jeb Bush, a former governor of Florida, collided in an extended, personal clash over the Iraq war and President George W. Bush's record on national security. But for all of the candidates, the debate helped illustrate the broader state of the race, and each man's approach to the final seven days before the crucial South Carolina primary on Saturday.”
1000EST -- OH Gov Kasich holds a town hall meeting. Grand Valley State Univ, Allendale, MI. BABY POOL COVER
1100EST -- Sen Cruz holds a rally with Glenn Beck. USC Aiken, Aiken, SC. LIVE via LiveU
1130EST-- Trump meets with East Cooper Republican Club the Holiday Inn, Mount Pleasant, SC. LIVE
1200EST - Trump holds Town Hall, Holiday Inn Charleston, Mount Pleasant, SC. LIVE
1310EST -- Rubio Town Hall, Francis Marion University Performing Arts Center, SC LIVE via LiveU
1300EST-- HRC Elko Get Out The Caucus Event, Adobe Middle School, Elko, NV. LIVE
Later today, Former President George W Bush will campaign with his brother Jeb in North Charleston, South Carolina.
Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders will cross paths campaigning in Nevada today. The Clinton campaign is trying to tamp down expectations after suggestions Bernie has made progress against her in the Treasure state. Polling is notoriously difficult in Nevada. Democrats in the state vote on Saturday in a caucus. Clinton has cancelled a trip to Florida to spend more time in Nevada.
A Winter storm expected to bring as much as eight inches of snow to parts of the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic.
U.S. stocks markets are closed today for President’s Day but most global stock markets are higher today. Japan rose an amazing 7% despite a report the economy contracted again in the fourth quarter.
A Syria cease fire supposedly negotiated last week appears increasingly unlikely as Russia continues bombing civilians in rebel held areas, and Turkey for a second day bombs Kurdish forces (ostensibly allied with the U.S.).
An airstrike in northern Syria hit a clinic and killed at least 10 including children.
Pope Francis is holding a mass in the Chiapas region of Mexico which has been plagued by conflict for years. The Pope is in the middle of a five day Mexico trip.
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