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Fresh Intelligence: Texas Loses Refugee Fight, Trump Stands Up to Syrian Kids, and More

Syrians camp on Turkey-Syria border near Aleppo
Syrians at a refugee camp on the Turkish-Syrian border near Aleppo on February 08, 2016. Photo: Fatih Aktas/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Good morning and welcome to Fresh Intelligence, our roundup of the stories, ideas, and memes you’ll be talking about today. In this edition, Texas gets checked, Trump does not, markets tumble, and Waris Ahluwalia is still stuck in Mexico. Here’s the rundown for Tuesday, February 9.

Another storm is set to blanket the East Coast, this time coming from the South. Snow is expected through Wednesday in parts of Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Tennessee, North Carolina, and West Virginia. New York will stay cold tomorrow but with more rain than snow, while the West Coast is expected to have especially high temperatures. Damn them. []

Court Rules Against Texas, Again
For the second time, the courts have ruled against the state of Texas, saying the state cannot forbid relief agencies from placing Syrian refugees there. “The Court does not deny that the Syrian refugees pose some risk. That would be foolish,” U.S. District Judge David Godbey wrote. “In our country, however, it is the federal executive that is charged with assessing and mitigating that risk, not the states and not the courts.” The ruling was carefully watched, as 30 other states are attempting to ban refugees. The case marked the 39th time Texas has filed suit against the Obama administration since 2009. [Reuters]

Blind Lead Blind, Poorly
Republicans have expressed outrage at President Obama’s budget and vowed to veto it, even though none of them have seen it yet. For the first time, the Republican chairs of the House and Senate budget committees said they will not even hear from the president’s budget director before rejecting it. There is something so honest about this gesture it is almost refreshing. [NYT]

Trump Remains Authentically Unpleasant
Usually one to prefer stadiums to municipal buildings, Trump gave in to peer pressure and appeared at a traditional town-hall meeting in New Hampshire yesterday. He didn’t let the smaller size temper his bombast, saying he would have no problem looking a 5-year-old refugee in the eyes and telling them they’re not welcome in America. Then he capped off the day by repeating a woman’s shouted misogynistic characterization of Ted Cruz for not being pro-torture enough.

Sanders, Kasich Take Irrelevant Dixville Notch Vote
Coin tosses and Dixville Notches: American democracy at it’s best. The first vote in the first-in-the-nation primary went to Sanders and Kasich. Residents of the New Hampshire hamlet Dixville Notch cast their nine votes for Bernie Sanders — who bested Clinton 4-0 — and John Kasich — who just managed to beat Trump 3-2. This means nothing, but these are the only results we have to talk about all day. [CNN]

Bloomberg Threatens to Split Oligarch Vote
Signs increasingly point to billionaire populist Michael Bloomberg entering the 2016 race. Among those signs: Bloomberg straight up telling a Financial Times journalist he is considering a run.

Throw Away Your Solar Panels
A representative from the largest independent oil trading house has predicted Americans have ten more years of cheap oil to look forward to. Vitol Group BV chief executive officer Ian Taylor forecasts that oil will not rise to over $60 a barrel in the next decade. Also, the planet is doomed.

Obama Backs Regulator Pay Raise
The Obama administration says the president’s new budget will include considerable pay raises for both the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. The president has portrayed the move as a way to strengthen market regulation, but Republicans see it as part of a bigger strategy to ensure the light of freedom never again shines in this once-great nation, or something to that effect. [Reuters]

A Bad Day for Money and the People Who Use It

Everything did terribly yesterday. Everything. Asian markets, European banking stocks, American tech stocks, ten-year Treasury yields, natural gas, and crude. Everything. Down. Down. Down. Good morning. [Reuters]

Executive Has Very Good Monday
On a day when financial news seems almost entirely grim, new information has emerged to explain that irritating smile on Google CEO Sundar Pichai’s smug face. Bloomberg has discovered that the Google boss just received a grant of $199 billion in restricted stocks. [Bloomberg]

400 Million People Have a New News Site to Ignore
The New York Times’ new Spanish-language news website, the New York Times en Español, has been live for one full day after being announced on Sunday. The site is run out of Mexico City and will feature translated New York Times English-language content as well as original reporting. ¡Felicitaciones! [NYT]

Media Forced to Forego Annual Lena Dunham Controversy
Everybody’s favorite young creative, Lena Dunham, announced she will be taking a break from promoting the upcoming fifth season of Girls to get some rest on doctor’s orders. Dunham suffers from endometriosis. Since she can’t do promotion, we’ll do some for her. The new season of Girls kicks off on February 21 on HBO.

Waris Ahluwalia Stuck in Mexico, Mexico Stuck in 1950s
Waris Ahluwalia, the Indian American actor and proud turban-wearing Sikh — you might remember him from his many appearances in Wes Anderson films, and from every year’s Vanity Fair best-dressed list — is stuck in the airport in Mexico City after officials there refused to let him board without removing his turban.

What Killing It Looks Like
Take some time to appreciate UCLA senior, and stupid-good gymnast Sophina DeJesus’s floor routine. Stunning.

Pennsylvania Man’s Badge of Dishonor
While being held on charges relating to a domestic dispute in Irwin, Pennsylvania, Robert Dingeldein — great name — took the opportunity to steal four police badges. Police didn’t notice they were stolen until he voluntarily returned one last month. That was his one mistake. [ABC]

Beatles’ Haircut Still Surprisingly Popular
Experts are predicting a lock of John Lennon’s hair will get more than $10,000 when it is auctioned off in Dallas later this month. First, what exactly are these people experts in? Second, who will buy this? A wealthy voodoo enthusiast? An heiress constructing a celebrity hair wig? [Yahoo]

The Mess Continues: New Hampshire Edition
Today is the first United States primary. Proud New Hampshirites are heading to the polls as you read this, and by the end of the day we should know exactly how much of a margin Bernie Sanders won by, and which woman Donald Trump will blame for his surprise defeat. [USA Today]

Is a Bronco Parade Called a Stampede?
The Broncos Super Bowl victory parade will take place in Denver today. More than 1 million people are expected to attend the celebration, but whether they are football fans or just want to see “Colorado native bands Big Head Todd and The Monsters, 3OH!3 and Funkiphino” is unclear. [CBS]

Everybody Party!
And speaking of parades, today is Mardi Gras! So maybe put an extra nip of something in your coffee before heading into work.

Save the Deli
The Carnegie Deli, the best place to eat a whole pound of pastrami on your lunch break, is finally reopening. The restaurant, one of the last of Manhattan’s true delis, has been struggling to get up to code since it was shut down in April. Tomorrow is the soft opening, with a proper grand opening to follow next week. [Time Out]

Fresh Intelligence: Texas Loses Refugee Fight