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5:00 PM ET, July 17, 2019


 Top Items: 
Daily Mail:
EXCLUSIVE: Trump says he's ‘not unhappy’ with racism fight's result because ‘the race card’ is ‘the only thing they have’ now, telling his back-and-forth with Pelosi was ‘one of the all-time classics’  — In a brief phone call, the president said he's ‘not unhappy’ with the result …
Discussion: Political Wire, Splinter and Mediaite
Susan Page / USA Today:
Poll: Most Americans call Trump's tweets targeting 4 congresswomen ‘un-American’  —  WASHINGTON - A clear majority of Americans say President Trump's tweets targeting four minority congresswomen were “un-American,” according to a new USA TODAY/Ipsos Poll.  But most Republicans say they agreed …
New York Times:
Trump Sets the 2020 Tone: Like 2016, Only This Time ‘the Squad’ Is Here  —  WASHINGTON — With three days of attacks on four liberal, minority freshman congresswomen, President Trump and the Republicans have sent the clearest signal yet that their approach to 2020 will be a racially divisive reprise …
David M. Drucker / Washington Examiner:
Trump attacks on ‘The Squad’ drives wedge between campaign and critical voters  —  President Trump's incendiary claims that his Democratic critics in Congress are un-American are driving a deep wedge between his 2020 campaign and critical elements of the coalition he needs to secure a second term with.
Edward Luce / Financial Times:
Donald Trump's race-baiting strategy to secure second term
Amanda Becker / Reuters:   Ocasio-Cortez, Pelosi to meet and discuss working relationship
Trump's premeditated racism is central to his 2020 strategy
Jack Bohrer / NBC News:
Tape shows Donald Trump and Jeffrey Epstein discussing women at 1992 party  —  The November 1992 tape in the NBC archives shows Donald Trump with Jeffrey Epstein more than a decade before Epstein pleaded guilty to felony prostitution charges in Florida.  —  Inside a 1992 party with Trump, Jeffrey Epstein
New York Times:
Trump and Epstein Partied and Commented on Women in 1992 Video  —  WASHINGTON — President Trump has been playing down his relationship with Jeffrey Epstein, the wealthy financier under federal indictment on charges of sexually trafficking and abusing girls, but at least one night …
Discussion: PJ Media Home and Florida Politics
Newly-found footage shows Trump, Epstein at a '92 party
Discussion: The Daily Caller and Hullabaloo
Jordain Carney / The Hill:
Rand Paul blocks Senate from approving 9/11 victim compensation fund  —  Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) on Wednesday blocked an attempt by Democrats to pass an extension of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund.  —  Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) tried to win the Senate's consent to approve …
Devlin Barrett / Washington Post:
Two Republican senators emerge as opponents to 9/11 victims bill  —  A Republican senator moved Wednesday to stall for the moment legislation providing compensation to 9/11 workers, sparking an emotional appeal on behalf of those sick and dying after responding to Ground Zero.
Nahal Toosi / Politico:
Rand Paul angles to become Trump's emissary to Iran  —  Over a round of golf this past weekend, Sen. Rand Paul asked President Donald Trump's blessing for a sensitive diplomatic mission.  —  Paul proposed sitting down with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif to extend a fresh olive branch …
Bloomberg:   U.S. ‘Shot Itself in the Foot’ by Quitting Iran Deal, Zarif Says
Nahal Toosi / Politico:   Trump's better deal with Iran looks a lot like Obama's
Omar to introduce pro-BDS resolution in House  —  U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar said that she plans to introduce a resolution this week in support of the anti-Israel BDS movement, reported Al-Monitor on Tuesday.  —  “We are introducing a resolution ... to really speak about the American values …
Jack Crowe / National Review:
Omar to Introduce Resolution Declaring Support for Anti-Israel BDS Movement
Discussion: Townhall and IJR
Peter Baker / New York Times:
Once Trump Talked About ‘American Carnage.’ Now He Says Critics Should Leave.  —  WASHINGTON — America stinks.  At least that's what Donald J. Trump seemed to be saying before becoming president.  —  He did not believe in “American exceptionalism,” he said, because America was not exceptional.
Quint Forgey / Politico:
Eric Trump: ‘95 percent’ of Americans agree with my father
Discussion: Fox News, POLITICUSUSA and CNN
Brett Samuels / The Hill:
Ben Carson: Trump is not a racist and his comments were not racist
New York Times:
Notre-Dame came far closer to collapsing than people knew.  This is how it was saved.  —  A baffling alert.  A race to the wrong building.  Notre-Dame still stands only because firefighters decided to risk everything, a New York Times reconstruction has found.
Erica Orden / CNN:
Feds end investigation into Trump Org and hush money payments  —  New York (CNN)Federal prosecutors in New York have ended their investigation into the Trump Organization's role in hush money payments made to women who alleged affairs with President Donald Trump and have been ordered by a judge …
Discussion: Hot Air and Politico
Thomas L. Friedman / New York Times:
'Trump's Going to Get Re-elected, Isn't He?'  —  Voters have reason to worry.  —  I'm struck at how many people have come up to me recently and said, “Trump's going to get re-elected, isn't he?”  And in each case, when I drilled down to ask why, I bumped into the Democratic presidential debates in June.
Aaron Blake / Washington Post:
Yahoo's story on Chris Pratt's ‘white supremacist’ T-shirt did us all a disservice  —  U.S. media took a bold stand against racist tweets by the president of the United States this week, with much of it objectively calling Donald Trump's behavior “racist” after resisting that label in its news coverage for years.
Chris Pratt criticised for ‘white supremacist’ T-shirt
Kyle Cheney / Politico:
Why Democrats' oversight machine is moving so slowly against Trump  —  House Democrats have kicked and screamed about the White House's refusal to allow key Trump officials to come before Congress.  But they haven't done the one thing they can do to force the issue: Go to court.
Discussion: Daily Kos
Andrew Freedman / Washington Post:
Widespread, oppressive and dangerous heat to roast much of the U.S. through the weekend  —  A heat wave featuring a life-threatening combination of heat and oppressive humidity has begun to spread across the United States, with excessive heat warnings and heat advisories in effect for at least 22 states and the District of Columbia.
Hamed Aleaziz / BuzzFeed News:
Civil Servants Who Process Immigration Applications Are Being Asked To Help ICE Instead  —  As the US agency that processes applications for legal immigration struggles with a backlog, its leaders asked staffers to volunteer to help ICE on administrative tasks, including with a program keeping asylum-seekers in Mexico.
Washington Post:
Unauthorized immigrants face public backlash in Mexico, survey finds  —  MEXICO CITY — Mexicans are deeply frustrated with immigrants after a year of heightened migration from Central America through the country, according to a survey conducted by The Washington Post and Mexico's Reforma newspaper.
Alex Pappas / Fox News:
Ocasio-Cortez gets new 2020 challenger: a Republican immigrant from Jamaica  —  EXCLUSIVE — Scherie Murray, a New York businesswoman who immigrated from Jamaica as a child and is active in state Republican politics, is launching a campaign Wednesday for the congressional seat held by Democratic …
Jeffrey J. Schott / Bloomberg:
Just Say No to the New Nafta  —  Trump's proposed United States-Mexico-Canada agreement would restrict trade and investment.  Democrats should demand better.  —  President Donald Trump claims he has “tremendous Democrat support” in the House for the accord he signed last year with Mexico …
Discussion: Mother Jones
Los Angeles Times:
An ultra-violent MS-13 gang entered the U.S., then stalked L.A. with blades and bats  —  One by one, the victims were lured to remote locations: an abandoned building in downtown Los Angeles, an empty rooftop in Hollywood, a quiet park in the San Fernando Valley.
New York Times:
Drug Overdose Deaths Drop in U.S. for First Time Since 1990  —  After three decades of ever-escalating drug overdose deaths, the tide of fatalities may have finally started to turn.  Total drug overdose deaths in America declined by around 5 percent last year, the first drop since 1990 …
Bill Scher / Politico:
How the Democratic Netroots Died  —  Twelve years ago, progressive political bloggers were so influential that nearly every 2008 Democratic presidential candidate attended the Yearly Kos convention—a gathering of liberal online activists named after Markos Moulitsas' popular Daily Kos website.
Mosheh Gains / NBC News:
Duncan Hunter ordered to stop using Marine Corps emblem in campaign  —  The California Republican used the Marine Corps emblem in a campaign mailer that tied his Democratic opponent and two Democratic congresswomen to terror.  —  WASHINGTON — The Marine Corps has issued a cease-and-desist letter …
Discussion: Shareblue Media
Julia Arciga / The Daily Beast:
Iowa Official Ousted After Bombarding Employees With Emails About Tupac Shakur  —  The director of Iowa's Department of Human Services was forced out of his job last month after routinely sending employees emails praising rapper Tupac Shakur, the Associated Press reports.
Alex Isenstadt / Politico:
Another top NRA staffer departs amid upheaval  —  The turmoil at the National Rifle Association continues to build, with Jennifer Baker, the organization's longtime director of public affairs, stepping down from her post.  —  Baker's departure, which was confirmed by several people familiar with the matter …
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 More Items: 
Gabriel Sherman / Vanity Fair:
Wesley Morgan / Politico:
2,100 more troops headed to the U.S.-Mexico border, Pentagon says
Gareth Cook / The Atlantic:
The Economist Who Would Fix the American Dream
Zach Montellaro / Politico:
‘Maybe all the rules are gone’: Bullock tries to break through in Democratic primary
Discussion: Political Wire
Jacqueline Feldscher / Politico:
White House kicks Turkey out of fighter jet project
John Wagner / Washington Post:
Moulton, not expected to qualify for second Democratic debate, questions criteria
Discussion: Fox News
Brian Merchant / Columbia Journalism Review:
Tech journalism's ‘on background’ scourge
 Earlier Items: 
Steven Hsieh / Phoenix New Times:
Audio: Kelli Ward Says McSally Should ‘Be Quiet’ When She Disagrees With Trump
Discussion: Political Wire
The Hill:
Sanders campaign vents frustration with media, polls
Jeffrey Toobin / New Yorker:
The Humane Legacy of John Paul Stevens
Discussion: NPR, New York Times and Washington Post
Catie Edmondson / New York Times:
With Name-Calling and Twitter Battles, House Republican Campaign Arm Copies Trump's Playbook
Discussion: DCCC
Chuck Lindell / Austin American-Statesman:
Former statewide judge leaves GOP, citing Trump's racism
Bryan Caplan / Econlib:
Reflections from Spain  —  I just got back from a five-week visit to Spain.
Colleen Flaherty / Inside Higher Ed:
Pinker, Epstein, Soldier, Spy