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12:30 PM ET, July 16, 2017


 Top Items: 
Gary Langer / ABC News:
6 months in, a record low for Trump, with troubles from Russia to health care (POLL)  —  Americans give President Donald Trump the lowest six-month approval rating of any president in polls dating back 70 years, punctuated by questions about his competence on the world stage, his effectiveness …
Washington Post:
Poll finds Trump standing weakened since springtime … President Trump's standing with the American people has deteriorated since the spring, buffeted by perceptions of a decline in U.S. leadership abroad, a stalled presidential agenda at home and an unpopular Republican health-care bill …
Discussion: Axios
Mark Murray / NBC News:
Trump's Approval Stands at 50 Percent in the Counties That Fueled His Win  —  WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump's job approval rating in the American counties that fueled his 2016 victory stands at 50 percent, according to a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll of these “Trump counties.”
Discussion: Political Wire
Philip Bump / Washington Post:
By a 2-to-1 margin, Americans prefer Obamacare to Republican replacements  —  Republicans racing to pass a bill that would overhaul the Affordable Care Act (better known as Obamacare) certainly understand that their efforts aren't polling well.  In survey after survey, a majority of respondents view …
Discussion: The Guardian
Sean Sullivan / Washington Post:
McConnell defers vote on Senate health-care bill as McCain recovers from surgery  —  Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) put off plans late Saturday to vote on a bill to overhaul the nation's health-care system this week, after Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) announced he would be at home recovering …
Discussion: Political Wire
Saisha Talwar / ABC News:
8 to 10 Republican senators concerned about GOP bill: Collins
Discussion: Politico
Michelle Cottle / The Atlantic:   Mitch McConnell's Heavy Health-Care Lift
Seung Min Kim / Politico:
McConnell: Senate to ‘defer’ on Obamacare repeal vote
New York Times:   Governors Give Chilly Reception to Health Bill Push
Seung Min Kim / Politico:
McCain's surgery puts Obamacare repeal vote in doubt
Discussion: ThinkProgress
Sean Sullivan / Washington Post:
Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval still doesn't support the Senate health-care bill.  That's big trouble for Republicans.
Julia Manchester / The Hill:
McCain to miss week, likely delaying healthcare vote
Discussion: Politico
Kevin Dolak / ABC News:
Trump campaign paid Donald Trump Jr.'s lawyer weeks before Russian meeting was revealed  —  Almost two weeks before Donald Trump Jr. published screengrabs of purported emails indicating that he arranged to meet with a Russian lawyer, President Trump's re-election campaign paid $50,000 …
Marshall Cohen / CNN:
Trump re-election campaign paid $50,000 to law firm now representing Donald Trump Jr.
Discussion: RedState and Daily Kos
Jordyn Phelps / ABC News:
Russian lawyer obtained Hill hearing seat from former Florida Trump campaign chair's husband
Lachlan Markay / The Daily Beast:
Trump Campaign Paid Don Jr.'s Lawyer $50,000 Two Weeks Before Email Scandal
Discussion: NPR, New York Magazine and Axios
Tom Boggioni / Raw Story:   MSNBC interview goes off the rails when Joy Reid holds Trump supporter's feet to the fire on Russia
Philip Rucker / Washington Post:
White House unveils ‘Made in America’ week, though many Trump products are made overseas  —  PISCATAWAY TOWNSHIP, N.J. — President Trump, whose company outsources the manufacturing of many of its products to overseas factories, is unveiling “Made in America” week at the White House to promote products made in the United States.
Discussion: IJR
Michael C. Bender / Wall Street Journal:
White House Plans Messaging Campaign to Refocus Attention on Trump's Agenda  —  ‘Made In America’ campaign is latest attempt by president's communications team to control narrative  —  President Donald Trump shouts to supporters at the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J., on Saturday.
Discussion: Political Wire
John Podhoretz / New York Post:
Hillary's White House would be no different from Trump's
David Wooding / The Sun:
TRUMP COWER Donald Trump begs Theresa May to fix a ‘warm welcome’ for his state visit - and says he won't set a date for it until he knows he's going to get ‘a better reception’  —  US President warns he will not visit until he can guarantee a good reception and pleas with Theresa May to help influence public
Alexa Corse / Wall Street Journal:
South Carolina May Prove a Microcosm of U.S. Election Hacking Efforts  —  There were nearly 150,000 attempts to penetrate the voter-registration system on Election Day 2016, State Election Commission says  —  To understand the scale of the hacking attempts against election systems …
New York Times:
Soviet Veteran Who Met With Trump Jr. Is a Master of the Dark Arts  —  MOSCOW — Rinat Akhmetshin, the Russian-American lobbyist who met with Donald Trump Jr. at Trump Tower in June 2016, had one consistent message for the journalists who met him over the years at the luxury hotels where he stayed in Moscow …
Discussion: Althouse and Business Insider
Chris Buskirk / American Greatness:
Goodbye Joe Scarborough . . . Hello, Kid Rock  —  Joe Scarborough is out and Kid Rock is in.  —  Joe made official his departure from the Republican Party this week, following in the footsteps of other pundits such as George Will and Bret Stephens.  Good riddance.
Josh Dawsey / Politico:
Fate of Kushner's security clearance could ultimately lie with Trump  —  The president's son-in-law and adviser has come under fire for initially failing to disclose meetings with Russian officials.  —  The decision over whether Jared Kushner will be stripped of his security clearance …
Discussion: Political Wire
Julia Manchester / The Hill:
Caitlyn Jenner weighs run for Senate  —  Olympic gold medalist and transgender activist Caitlyn Jenner is the latest celebrity to reveal she has considered lanching a run for Senate, telling radio host John Catsimatidis she is in the process of determining her future in activism and politics.
New York Times:
Trump's Re-Election Campaign Doubles Its Spending on Legal Fees  —  WASHINGTON — President Trump's re-election campaign more than doubled its spending on legal fees over the past few months as its lawyers assisted the campaign in its handling of investigations into interactions between the president's associates and Russia.
Aida Chavez / The Hill:
Trump re-election campaign doubles spending on legal fees
Discussion: Raw Story
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 More Items: 
Richard L. Hasen / New York Times:
Don't Let Our Democracy Collapse
Deroy Murdock / New York Post:
The vote fraud that Democrats refuse to see
Reed Abelson / New York Times:
In Clash Over Health Bill, a Growing Fear of ‘Junk Insurance’
Discussion: The Daily Caller and Power Line
Delia Gallagher / CNN:
Catholic journal criticizes Trump ‘value voters’
Discussion: The Hill
Dean Baker /
Lessons on Labor Economics for the Owner of a Roofing Company in Nebraska
Discussion: New York Times
 Earlier Items: 
Emily Smith / Page Six:
Kamala Harris meets with Democratic elite in Hamptons
Discussion: The Gateway Pundit
Stanford News:
Maryam Mirzakhani, Stanford mathematician and Fields Medal winner, dies
Discussion: Althouse
Tim Arango / New York Times:
Iran Dominates in Iraq After U.S. ‘Handed the Country Over’