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6:50 AM ET, August 22, 2017


 Top Items: 
Philip Rucker / Washington Post:
'It's a hard problem': Inside Trump's decision to send more troops to Afghanistan  —  President Trump was frustrated and fuming.  Again and again, in the windowless Situation Room at the White House, he lashed out at his national security team over the Afghanistan war, and the paucity of appealing options gnawed at him.
New York Times:
Trump Sets U.S. Strategy but No ‘Blank Check’ for Afghan War  —  WASHINGTON — President Trump put forward on Monday a long-awaited strategy for resolving the nearly 16-year-old conflict in Afghanistan, but he declined to specify either the number of troops that would be committed …
Aaron Blake / Washington Post:
Trump's Afghanistan flip-flop  —  This post has been updated with The Post's reporting.  —  President Trump is expected to announce a limited troop increase as a part of his new strategy in Afghanistan.  And as many were quick to point out, that's a big flip-flop for a man who for years called for withdrawal from that war.
New York Times:
Full Transcript and Video: Trump's Speech on Afghanistan
Discussion: The Week and IJR
Matthew Nussbaum / Politico:
Trump announces change of heart on Afghanistan
Discussion: Axios
Jeremy Herb / CNN:
Democrats: Trump has no Afghanistan strategy
Discussion: Politico and The Week
Associated Press:
Sixteen years of U.S. warfare in Afghanistan have left the insurgents …
Discussion: Politico
Ford Springer / The Daily Caller:
It's High Time Barron Trump Starts Dressing Like He's In the White House  —  I've been on the Barron Trump train from the start, but it's about time the president's son starts dressing the part.  —  Barron is the youngest son of Donald Trump and the only child the president shares with Melania Trump.
Discussion: RedState, AOL, IJR, Raw Story and Mediaite
Amy B Wang / Washington Post:
‘20 seconds of burning’: Friends partly blinded after watching solar eclipse warn of dangers  —  It was a clear day when Louis Tomososki's science teacher mentioned that a partial solar eclipse would be visible from their hometown of Portland, Ore., that afternoon.
Jason Silverstein / New York Daily News:
President Trump stares straight into solar eclipse without glasses  —  We could have had the blind leading the country.  —  President Trump, deciding to challenge the sun itself, stared straight into the solar eclipse Monday afternoon without protective glasses — showing the entire nation exactly what not to do.
Matt Flegenheimer / New York Times:
All the Light Trump Was Not Supposed to See.  But He Peeked.  —  Of course he looked.  —  Monday's solar eclipse — life-giving, eye-threatening, ostensibly apolitical — summoned the nation's First Viewer to the Truman Balcony of the White House around 2:38 p.m.  —  The executive metaphor came quickly.
Damian Paletta / Washington Post:
Treasury secretary's wife boasts of travel on government plane, touts Hermes and Valentino fashion  —  U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin's wife, Louise Linton, boasted of flying on a government plane with her husband to Kentucky on Monday and then named the numerous fashion brands she wore …
Gary Langer / ABC News:
Only 28% approve of Trump's response to Charlottesville (POLL)  —  President Donald Trump moves out of his difficult Charlottesville week and into his national address on Afghanistan policy tonight with a poor but stable job performance rating and still-weaker grades for his handling …
Washington Post:
Poll shows clear disapproval of how Trump responded to Charlottesville violence
Discussion: Politicus USA
Mallory Shelbourne / The Hill:
Survey: 9 percent call neo-Nazi views acceptable
Lauren Fox / CNN:
Paul Ryan: Trump ‘messed up’ Charlottesville response  —  STORY HIGHLIGHTS  —  (CNN)House Speaker Paul Ryan said Monday he believed President Donald Trump “messed up” in his response to the recent racial violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, when he equated neo-Nazis and white supremacists with counterprotesters.
Associated Press:
The Latest: Ryan defends tax breaks for Taiwan company  —  The Latest on House Speaker Paul Ryan town hall (all times local):  —  House Speaker Paul Ryan says Foxconn Technology Group's plan to construct a factory in his southeastern Wisconsin congressional district that could employ thousands is a …
Discussion: Politico, Axios and ABC News
Mark Berman / Washington Post:
Texas man charged with trying to bomb a Confederate statue in Houston  —  Federal authorities said Monday that a Houston man was charged with attempting to bomb a statue in that city honoring a Confederate military figure.  —  The charges, filed Sunday and made public Monday …
Discussion: New York Times
Eric Boehlert / Shareblue:
Two unhinged GOP congressmen accuse Democrats of staging neo-Nazi riot in Charlottesville  —  Republicans embraced tin foil hat conspiracies and claimed Democrats lured white supremacists to Virginia in order to stage violence.  —  Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas)
Discussion: AOL and Raw Story
Negassi Tesfamichael / Politico:
McConnell undercuts Trump's claim: ‘Most news is not fake’  —  Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Monday undercut one of President Donald Trump's most-repeated claims, telling a group at the Louisville Chamber of Commerce that “most news is not fake.”
Jonathan Chait / New York Magazine:
That Russian Guy Who Attended The Trump Tower Meeting Is Almost Definitely a Spy  —  A month and a half ago, the New York Times obtained emails in which Donald Trump Jr. set up a meeting in Trump Tower with Russian officials who were promising him sensitive information, on his father's opponent, that would help the Trump campaign.
Philip Wegmann / Washington Examiner:
Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill thinks ‘normal people can afford’ private planes  —  Sen. Claire McCaskill thinks that owning a private jet is “normal.”  So put your tray tables up, because her comment to that effect could cause significant turbulence for the Missouri Democrat's re-election campaign.
Discussion: MO Rising Action
Arizona Republic:
Phoenix Trump rally … Gov. Doug Ducey will greet President Donald Trump on the tarmac after Air Force One touches down Tuesday afternoon for his first presidential visit to the Grand Canyon state.  —  But the Republican governor, who like many in the GOP has diplomatically sidestepped Trump …
Josie Cox / The Independent:
Breitbart News: Nearly 2,600 advertisers have pulled advertising from the far-right website  —  On Friday, Steve Bannon, known for his nationalist views, returned to head up the site after leaving the White House  —  More than 2,500 advertisers have reportedly stopped advertising …
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 More Items: 
Danielle Kurtzleben / NPR:
Women Are A Huge Reason Why Trump's Poll Numbers Are So Bad
Emily Badger / New York Times:
The Showdown Over How We Define Fringe Views in America
Omaid Faizyar / RealClearDefense:
Did China Hack the Seventh Fleet?
Discussion: CNBC and JustOneMinute
Peter Hasson / The Daily Caller:
EXCLUSIVE: Keith Ellison Reveals Nancy Pelosi's Real Views On Single-Payer [VIDEO]
Darren Sands / BuzzFeed:
White House Going Ahead With HBCU Conference After Charlottesville
Discussion: The Daily Caller
Matthew Leimkuehler / Des Moines Register:
Kid Rock closes the Iowa State Fair with a (mostly) politics-free party
 Earlier Items: 
The Daily Beast:
Jeffrey Lord, Fired Pro-Trump CNN Figure, In Talks With Breitbart
Discussion: Raw Story, IJR and Mediaite
Brandon Carter / The Hill:
Soccer star may sue Breitbart for using photo in illegal immigration story: report
Mark Berman / Washington Post:
Ohio judge shot in ‘ambush’ outside courthouse, attacker killed
Fox News:
Are solar eclipses proof of God?
Discussion: Friendly Atheist
The Guardian:
Fran works six days a week in fast food, and yet she's homeless: 'It's economic slavery'
Discussion: Raw Story and Shakesville
Daniel W. Drezner / Washington Post:
White House aides can't stop talking about President Trump like he's a toddler
Discussion: Business Insider and Shareblue