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1:30 PM ET, July 30, 2018

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 Top Items: 
Aaron Blake / Washington Post:
Rudy Giuliani just obliterated the goal posts on Trump-Russia collusion  —  President Trump's defense in the Russia investigation has been a study in goal-post moving — constantly watering down previous denials and raising the standard for what would constitute actual wrongdoing.
RELATED:
Josh Marshall / Talking Points Memo:
Rudy's Big Admission?  —  Rudy Giuliani made two TV appearances this morning, one on Fox and one on CNN.  Both are pretty convoluted and a bit hard to follow.  So they've led to various interpretations.  But there's what I believe is one pretty big admission that is at least …
Discussion: Political Wire and Daily Kos
Jonathan Swan / Axios:
Rudy on Mueller probe: “They don't have a goddamn thing”  —  Rudy Giuliani told me that President Trump is fed up with Robert Mueller and wants him to “put up or shut up.”  —  What he's saying: “Why don't you write a report and show us what you have, because they don't have a goddamn thing.
David Jackson / USA Today:
Rudy Giuliani says Donald Trump team preparing report to counter Robert Mueller  —  WASHINGTON - Rudy Giuliani, President Donald Trump's lawyer, says his team is preparing a “counter-report” designed to rebut any accusations that special counsel Robert Mueller makes in his expected report about the Russia investigation.
Adam Edelman / NBC News:
Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani says collusion with Russia is not a crime
Discussion: Fox News, CNN and Mother Jones
Avery Anapol / The Hill:
Giuliani: ‘Collusion is not a crime’
Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar / Associated Press:
Study: ‘Medicare for all’ projected to cost $32.6 trillion  —  WASHINGTON (AP) — Sen. Bernie Sanders' “Medicare for all” plan would increase government health care spending by $32.6 trillion over 10 years, according to a study by a university-based libertarian policy center.  —  That's trillion with a “T.”
Discussion: Jacobin, twitchy.com and NTK Network
RELATED:
Charles Blahous / Mercatus Center:
The Costs of a National Single-Payer Healthcare System  —  KEY MATERIALS  —  The leading current Senate bill to establish single-payer health insurance in the United States is that of Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT).  It's called the Medicare for All Act, or M4A.
Matt Bruenig / People's Policy Project:   Mercatus Study Finds Medicare for All Saves $2 Trillion
Axios:   Bernie's “Medicare for All” predicted to cost nearly $33 trillion
Steven Perlberg / BuzzFeed News:
Why Dean Baquet Skipped The New York Times' Meeting With Trump  —  When President Trump broke an off-the-record agreement after he met with New York Times publisher A.G. Sulzberger, some wondered why Dean Baquet, the executive editor in charge of the journalism Trump has openly criticized …
Nate Cohn / New York Times:
99 Days to Go, and the 2018 Midterm Battleground Is Not What Was Expected  —  The most competitive districts are only somewhat better educated and somewhat more suburban than the country as a whole.  —  The battleground in the fight for control of the House is starting to come into focus with 99 days to go until the November election.
Margaret Renkl / New York Times:
How to Talk to a Racist  —  White liberals, you're doing it all wrong.  —  NASHVILLE — There are still white Southerners who honestly believe that American culture worked better for everyone, white and black alike, under segregation.  There are still white Southerners who question how bad slavery really was.
Ron Charles / Washington Post:
What is Bigfoot erotica?  A Virginia congressional candidate accused her opponent of being into it.  —  Our weird political era just got a little hairier.  For the first time, millions of Americans are asking, “What is Bigfoot erotica?”  —  That question has been inspired by Leslie Cockburn …
RELATED:
Slate:
The Abortions We Don't Talk About  —  When Justice Anthony Kennedy, the Supreme Court's crucial swing vote on many matters, announced his plan to retire last month, it was suddenly clear that Roe v. Wade, the decision guaranteeing a woman's right to abortion, could be substantially eroded or even overturned.
Politico:
‘Eye-popping’ payouts for CEOs follow Trump's tax cuts  —  The insider sales feed the narrative that corporate tax cuts enrich executives in the short term while yielding less clear long-term benefits for workers.  —  Some of the biggest winners from President Donald Trump's new tax law …
Wall Street Journal:
At Law Firms, Rainmakers Accused of Harassment Can Switch Jobs With Ease  —  Opaque hiring practices in legal industry often make prior sexual-harassment complaints easy to leave behind  —  The flowers arrived at Mayer Brown days after a prized new hire started at the law firm's New York office.
Sheryl Gay Stolberg / New York Times:
G.O.P. Faces Another Midterm Threat as Trump Plays the Shutdown Card  —  WASHINGTON — Congressional Republicans, already facing a difficult election landscape, confronted a prospect on Sunday they had worked feverishly to avoid: a threat by President Trump to shut down the government over funding for a border wall.
Robert Epstein / USA Today:
What's going on with Donald Trump?  Psychologist explains the president's lies, reversals  —  Trump's lies and reversals are not due to mental illness but because he reacts to people and situations in the moment, with no thought of future or past.  —  CONNECT
Discussion: Raw Story
Jonathan Chait / New York Magazine:
Why Are So Many Leftists Skeptical of the Russia Investigation?  —  As you move from the right to the left of the ideological spectrum, skepticism of the Russia scandal gives way to suspicions that it covers up something serious.  But somewhere on the left, right around the fault line …
Discussion: BloombergQuint
Katie Glueck / McClatchy Washington Bureau:
This Republican could hold onto his blue-district seat even if Dems sweep  —  HOMESTEAD, FLA.  —  Carlos Curbelo was fuming.  —  It was a sticky Friday afternoon in early July, and the Republican congressman had spent the last hour traipsing through a University of Florida research center …
Dan Berman / CNN:
Ginsburg suggests she has at least five more years on the Supreme Court  —  New York (CNN)Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said she hopes to stay on the Supreme Court until the age of 90.  —  “I'm now 85,” Ginsburg said on Sunday.  “My senior colleague, Justice John Paul Stevens …
David McCabe / Axios:
Scoop: 20 ways Democrats could crack down on Big Tech  —  In a policy paper obtained by Axios, Sen. Mark Warner's office laid out 20 different paths to address problems posed by Big Tech platforms — ranging from putting a price on individual users' data to funding media literacy programs.
Discussion: Breitbart, CNBC, The Verge and The Week
Jonathan Swan / Axios:
Scoop: Trump's obsession with the “terrible” FBI building  —  Trump is obsessed with the FBI building.  For months now, in meetings with White House officials and Senate appropriators intended to discuss big-picture spending priorities, the president rants about the graceless J. Edgar Hoover Building in downtown Washington, D.C.
RELATED:
Kelly Weill / The Daily Beast:
GOP Candidate Corey Stewart's Spokesperson Called Majority-Black Cities ‘Shitholes’ … Corey Stewart, the Republican candidate for Senate in Virginia, has been shunned by his own party over his ties with neo-Confederate groups and his refusal to condemn white supremacist violence.
Jason Horowitz / New York Times:
How Alan Friedman, Italy's Professional American, Put Paul Manafort in Jail  —  FLORENCE, Italy — Alan Friedman is Italy's professional American.  A former journalist with a baritone voice and perfect, if heavily accented, Italian, he has for decades provided the American perspective to Italians.
CBS Los Angeles:
More Drama, A Bloody Nose And Another Brawl At Donald Trump's Walk Of Fame Star  —  HOLLYWOOD (CBSLA) — President Donald Trump brings out those feelings in people — they love him or they hate him.  —  And his fans and his ... well, not fans have been clashing more and more at places like the former …
Discussion: The Daily Caller
Alex Isenstadt / Politico:
Bannon to Kochs: ‘Shut up and get with the program’  —  'And here's the program: Ground game to support Trump's presidency,' Bannon said in an interview.  —  Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon tore into the powerful Koch political network Sunday, accusing it of undermining …
abc7news.com:
Former Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums dies  —  Former Bay Area Congressman and former Mayor of Oakland Ron Dellums has died.  —  Dellums died last night of an illness.  —  He was widely known for his social activism.  —  Dellums served in Congress from 1971 until the late 1990s.
David Siders / Politico:
‘The map is different now’: Trump blows the 2020 race wide open  —  The next presidential campaign is going to be fought on unfamiliar battlegrounds.  —  For years, presidential campaigns followed relatively predictable lines of trench warfare, with the outcome decided in a handful of battleground states.
Discussion: Political Wire
Seton Motley / RedState:
The Tech World Is Still Screwing Conservatives - And It's Beginning to Hurt Their Business  —  That the Tech World and its many mega-companies loathe anything and anyone to the Right of Karl Marx - is not breaking news.  —  That the Tech World and its many mega-companies are incessantly blocking …
Discussion: The Daily Caller
Tyler Cowen / Bloomberg:
The Decline and Fall of the American Empire  —  Even if you don't think it's likely, it's always best to be prepared.  —  So what would the decline of America look like?  I don't ask the question because I think it's happening (yet?), but because even the most inveterate optimist …
Ezra Klein / Vox:
White threat in a browning America  —  How demographic change is fracturing our politics.  —  In 2008, Barack Obama held up change as a beacon, attaching to it another word, a word that channeled everything his young and diverse coalition saw in his rise and their newfound political power: hope.
Matthew Yglesias / Vox:
Centrist Democrats are out of ideas  —  Notes of political caution can be valuable, but caution is not a policy vision.  —  Centrist Democrats are bringing a knife to a gunfight.  —  The Democratic Party is on a progressive trajectory.  It's moved leftward on policies from health care …
Discussion: Salon
 
 
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 More Items: 
Bloomberg:
MH370 Was ‘Manipulated’ Off Course to Its End, Report Says
Benjamin Wermund / Politico:
Hiring of former Trump aide at UVa prompts 2 historians to quit
Brian Stelter / CNNMoney:
How Ronan Farrow keeps landing bombshells
Discussion: WHNT-TV, The Week and KTLA
David Corn / Mother Jones:
Dana Rohrabacher Says Anyone “In This Town” Would Meet With Russians Peddling Political Dirt
Discussion: Talking Points Memo
Madison Park / CNN:
Rename Austin? A report suggests taking a closer look at city's Confederate legacy
Discussion: The Root and The Daily Caller
Sharyl Attkisson / The Hill:
Whatever happened to the ‘unmaskings’ probe?
Discussion: twitchy.com
Tamar Auber / Mediaite:
Dershowitz Scolds MSNBC Panel: 'Don't You Dare Accuse Me' of Defending Trump
Jason Easley / POLITICUSUSA:
Devin Nunes Wants To Sue Twitter After Getting Busted For Tweeting Trump/Russia Propaganda
 Earlier Items: 
Lachlan Markay / The Daily Beast:
Robert Mueller Targeted Two Lobbying Firms. One Is Thriving in Trump's D.C.
Marc Caputo / Politico:
NRA, Republicans refute GOP sheriff's stand-your-ground claims
Discussion: National Review
Natasha Bertrand / The Atlantic:
How Russia Persecutes Its Dissidents Using U.S. Courts
William Saletan / Slate:
Jim Jordan, Team Player
Gabriela Galindo / Politico:
Jeremy Hunt describes his Chinese wife as Japanese
E.J. Dionne Jr / Washington Post:
Russia and the far right's cozy affair
Melia Robinson / Business Insider:
The vest vending machine at San Francisco's airport is getting mocked, but it rings up $10,000 in sales every month
David Leonhardt / New York Times:
How Trump Lost Re-election in 2020
Discussion: The Daily Caller