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9:55 PM ET, July 26, 2017


 Top Items: 
Josh Dawsey / Politico:
Inside Trump's snap decision to ban transgender troops  —  After a week sparring with his attorney general and steaming over the Russia investigation consuming his agenda, President Donald Trump was closing in on an important win.  —  House Republicans were planning to pass a spending bill stacked …
Christopher Ingraham / Washington Post:
The military spends five times as much on Viagra as it would on transgender troops' medical care  —  On Twitter this morning, President Trump announced a ban on transgender people serving in the military, citing “medical costs” as the primary driver of the decision.
Stephen Losey / Air Force Times:
Transgender airman: ‘I would like to see them try to kick me out of my military’  —  After President Trump's surprise announcement Wednesday barring transgender people from serving “in any capacity” in the military, one prominent transgender airman said he's more determined than ever to continue serving in the Air Force.
Discussion: Politicus USA, VICE News and Mashable
Cora Lewis / BuzzFeed:
Trump Says Transgender People Cannot “Serve In Any Capacity” In The Military
New York Times:
Trump Says Transgender People Will Not Be Allowed in the Military
Jonathan Swan / Axios:
Pence, Bannon pushed for transgender troop ban
Discussion: Hot Air and Mediaite
Media Matters for America:   Before Trump banned transgender people from serving in military, here's who praised him as pro-LGBTQ
New York Times:
White House Aides Think Trump Will Let Sessions Stay, for Now  —  WASHINGTON — For a week, some of President Trump's top aides have tried to talk him down from his public campaign against Attorney General Jeff Sessions.  Not only was it exposing tensions within the administration …
Washington Post:
Trump talks privately about the idea of a recess appointment to replace Sessions … President Trump has discussed with confidants and advisers in recent days the possibility of installing a new attorney general through a recess appointment if Jeff Sessions leaves the job …
Dominic Holden / BuzzFeed:
The Justice Department Just Argued Against Gay Rights In A Major Federal Case  —  Lawyers under Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in federal court that 1964 civil rights law does not protect a gay employee from discrimination.  —  Reporting From Washington, DC
Discussion: Raw Story
Kenneth W. Starr / Washington Post:
Kenneth Starr: Mr. President, please cut it out
Discussion: The Hill
Page Six:
‘Dancing with the Stars’ wants Sean Spicer … Sean Spicer is taking his first steps to transition from the White House briefing room to the bright lights of a TV news studio — but he's also being courted by “Dancing with the Stars,” Page Six has learned.  —  The outgoing press secretary spent …
Kashmir Hill / Splinter:
Why Did Jared Kushner Download an Encrypted, Disappearing Message App?  —  The list of people interested in Jared Kushner's communications history keeps growing: This week, the White House advisor and presidential son-in-law voluntarily handed over documents to the Senate intelligence committee …
Discussion: Raw Story
Tara Palmeri / Politico:
‘Dancing With the Stars’ wants to waltz with Spicer
Discussion: TVNewser and The Root
STATEMENT BY SASC CHAIRMAN JOHN McCAIN ON TRANSGENDER AMERICANS IN THE MILITARY  —  Washington, D.C. ­- U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ), Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, released the following statement today on President Trump's tweet regarding transgender Americans in the military:
Jason Noble / Des Moines Register:
Ernst breaks with Trump on transgender military ban
Jonathan Chait / New York Magazine:
The ‘Skinny Bill’ Is a Farce.  Here's the Real Reason Republicans Are Doing It.  —  At times, various factions in Congress have called for repealing, replacing, or repairing Obamacare.  Senate Republicans have been unable to agree on which of these ends to pursue, and so instead …
Discussion: Daily Kos
Seung Min Kim / Politico:
‘Skinny’ Obamacare repeal still lacks votes to pass  —  Even a bare-bones repeal of Obamacare is no sure thing in the Senate.  —  A handful of key Republican senators who had spurned earlier overtures from GOP leadership endorsed the latest plan to gut Obamacare's individual and employer coverage mandates and its medical device tax.
Dylan Scott / Vox:
The latest vote to repeal Obamacare fails in the Senate
Jordain Carney / The Hill:
Senate rejects repeal-only ObamaCare plan
Ryan Grim / The Intercept:
Steve Bannon Pushing For 44 Percent Marginal Tax Rate On The Very Rich  —  Top White House adviser Steve Bannon is pushing for tax reform to include a new 44 percent top marginal tax rate, hitting people who earn more than $5 million a year, with the revenue paying for tax cuts for the rest …
Josh Rogin / Washington Post:
State Department head of diplomatic security resigns  —  The head of the State Department's diplomatic security bureau has resigned and will leave his post on Thursday, leaving the two top positions vacant for the foreseeable future in the bureau in charge of embassy security around the world.
CBS News:
State Department feels the pain of vacancies
Discussion: ABC News
Oliver Darcy / CNNMoney:
Matt Drudge is firing warning shots at Trump, and that should worry the president  —  Conway: White House staff is tough, but humble  —  Matt Drudge has been in the White House an awful lot these days — “all the time,” as one senior administration official puts it.
Discussion: The Week
Tom Winter / NBC News:
DOJ: Ex-Manafort Associate Firtash Is Top-Tier Comrade of Russian Mobsters  —  The Department of Justice has identified a former business associate of ex-Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort as an “upper-echelon [associate] of Russian organized crime.”  —  The declaration came in a 115-page filing …
Discussion: Raw Story
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:
Foxconn to announce billions in investments and thousands of jobs for Wisconsin  —  MADISON - Foxconn Technology Group will announce at the White House on Wednesday its plans to build a massive plant in Wisconsin that would employ thousands.  —  The project could reshape the economy …
Billy House / Bloomberg:
Gowdy Acted Like Kushner's Lawyer Behind Closed Doors, Democrat Says  —  Gowdy says Democrats ‘ran out of questions’ for Kushner  —  Intelligence panel interviewed Kushner as part of Russia probe  —  Republican Trey Gowdy acted behind closed doors like a lawyer for President Donald Trump's son-in-law …
The Hill:
Welcome to The Hill's 50 Most Beautiful!  —  After receiving hundreds upon hundreds of nominations, it was tough to choose just 50.  —  But following a lot of debate, we finalized this year's winners.  —  There is one thing that's different than our prior lists.
David M. Drucker / Washington Examiner:
Republican Sen. Steve Daines to make Democrats vote on single payer  —  Sen. Steve Daines is proposing an amendment to the Republican healthcare bill that would implement a government-run, single-payer insurance system in the U.S.  —  The Montana Republican doesn't support single-payer healthcare.
Discussion: Vox
Associated Press:
Kevin Cavanaugh becomes first Democrat to win New Hampshire state Senate special election since 1984  —  BOW, N.H. (AP) — Democrat Kevin Cavanaugh has won the special election for New Hampshire's District 16 state Senate seat.  —  Cavanaugh defeated Republican David Boutin and Libertarian Jason Dubrow on Tuesday.
Discussion: WMUR, Shareblue and Daily Kos
Evgenia Peretz / Vanity Fair:
Angelina Jolie Solo  —  Photographs by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott.  Styled by Jessica Diehl. … Like most things involving Angelina Jolie, stepping foot into her house is an experience so heightened one wonders if it's for real or the product of careful orchestration.
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 More Items: 
Sheri Swokowski / Washington Post:
I served 34 years in the Army. I'm transgender. President Trump is wrong.
Discussion: Axios
Scientists dim sunlight, suck up carbon dioxide to cool planet
Discussion: and VICE News
Noreen Malone / New York Magazine:
Zoë and the Trolls  —  Video-game designer Zoë Quinn …
Isaac Stanley-Becker / Washington Post:
In Germany, Merkel welcomed hundreds of thousands of refugees. Now many are suing her government.
Ben Smith / BuzzFeed:
Trump Is Failing As A President. But He's Succeeding As Reality TV.
Brian Fung / Washington Post:
Trump's treasury secretary is ‘looking closely’ at online sales taxes
Discussion: Shareblue
Creepy clown with a machete arrested in Waterboro
 Earlier Items: 
Alexei Koseff / Sacramento Bee:
Undocumented immigrant driver's licenses near milestone in California
Discussion: Daily Wire and The Daily Caller
New York Times:
Health Care Vote: Senate Rejects Repeal Without Replace
Mark Joseph Stern / Slate:
This Is a Safe Space. No Jews Allowed.
Discussion: Chicagoist and Red Alert Politics
Heather Long / Washington Post:
Trump has always had high marks on the economy. Now that's slipping
Charles C. W. Cooke / National Review:
Mr. President, Please Be Quiet