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1:40 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.
Discussion: Mother Jones and The Week
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:
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 …
Matthew Nussbaum / Politico:
Trump announces change of heart on Afghanistan
Discussion: Axios
Jeremy Herb / CNN:
Democrats: Trump has no Afghanistan strategy
Discussion: Politico, The Week and The Daily Caller
Associated Press:
Sixteen years of U.S. warfare in Afghanistan have left the insurgents …
Discussion: Politico
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.
Esme Cribb / Talking Points Memo:
Trump Looks At The Sun During Solar Eclipse Despite Shouted Warning  —  President Donald Trump's administration on Monday took a moment in the afternoon to observe the first total solar eclipse to pass over the United States from one coast to the other since 1918.
Chris Cillizza / CNN:   Yes, Donald Trump really did look into the sky during the solar eclipse
Allan Smith / Business Insider:
Trump looked at the solar eclipse without glasses despite a shouted warning from an aide
Discussion: Washington Post
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, Mediaite, IJR and Raw Story
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
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 …
Discussion: Business Insider and Splinter
Let There Be No Confusion  —  I was struck by the tone Heather Heyer's parents took at her memorial service.  Here they are suddenly grieving and saying goodbye to their daughter, taken by an act of domestic terrorism.  And instead of turning to anger, they call for healing and forgiveness.
Associated Press:
The Latest: Ryan defends tax breaks for Taiwan company
Discussion: Axios and ABC News
Lauren Fox / CNN:
Paul Ryan: Trump ‘messed up’ Charlottesville response
Discussion: The Daily Caller
Alison R. Parker / Shareblue:
Paul Ryan issues 434 words on Charlottesville, and none of them are “Donald Trump”
Discussion: IJR and Daily Wire
Jordain Carney / The Hill:
McConnell: ‘Most news is not fake’  —  (R-Ky.) defended the media on Monday, just hours after President Trump lashed out at “fake news” on Twitter.  —  “My view is that most news is not fake, but I do try to look at a variety of sources,” McConnell said at a Louisville Chamber of Commerce event …
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
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.
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 …
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.
Omaid Faizyar / RealClearDefense:
Did China Hack the Seventh Fleet?  —  Today the USS McCain collided a merchant vessel, marking the 4th incident in the past year at the Navy.  The timeline is as follows: … These ships share similarities, they are all based in Yokosuka Naval Base, and the USS McCain & USS Fitzgerald …
Discussion: CNBC, JustOneMinute and New York Times
Kevin Johnson / USA Today:
Exclusive: Secret Service out of money to pay agents because of Trump's frequent travel, large family  —  WASHINGTON — The Secret Service can no longer afford to pay hundreds of agents it needs to carry out an expanded protective mission - in large part due to the sheer size of President Trump's family …
Danielle Kurtzleben / NPR:
Women Are A Huge Reason Why Trump's Poll Numbers Are So Bad  —  Women are more enthusiastic than men about the idea of a Trump impeachment, according to the Public Religion Research Institute.  Nearly half of women — 47 percent — believe President Trump should be impeached, compared with 32 percent of men.
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 More Items: 
Philip Wegmann / Washington Examiner:
Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill thinks ‘normal people can afford’ private planes
Discussion: MO Rising Action
Emily Badger / New York Times:
The Showdown Over How We Define Fringe Views in America
Caitlin Dickerson / New York Times:
Trump Administration Moves to Expand Deportation Dragnet to Jails
Discussion: Latino Rebels
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
The Daily Beast:
Jeffrey Lord, Fired Pro-Trump CNN Figure, In Talks With Breitbart
Discussion: Raw Story, IJR and Mediaite
 Earlier Items: 
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
John Fund / National Review:
‘No Enemies on the Left’ Is Still the Mantra of Too Many Liberals
Discussion: Power Line
Chico Harlan / Washington Post:
A 121-year-old Confederate monument was coming down. This Kentucky town put it back up.
Discussion: The Daily Caller and Mother Jones
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
Tim Graham /
PBS, NPR Bury Their Own Poll Results on BLM, Antifa, and Confederate Statues (Correction Added)
Discussion: Media Matters for America and IJR