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12:35 PM ET, July 2, 2020


 Top Items: 
NBC New York:
Jeffrey Epstein Confidante Ghislaine Maxwell Arrested, Sources Say  —  Maxwell was accused in a civil suit of allegedly helping Epstein traffic underage girls; he died by suicide awaiting trial last year  —  Ghislaine Maxwell, the British socialite and heiress who became a confidante …
Dan Mangan / CNBC:
Jeffrey Epstein friend Ghislaine Maxwell arrested on child sex abuse conspiracy, perjury charges  — The FBI arrested Jeffrey Epstein's long-time friend and alleged procurer Ghislaine Maxwell, who is expected to be charged with conspiring with Epstein to sexually abuse children, according to NBC News.
Discussion: The Week
The Daily Beast:
Ghislaine Maxwell, Jeffrey Epstein's Confidante, Caught by the FBI in New Hampshire  —  The British socialite is expected to appear in federal court on Thursday on charges relating to the crimes of Jeffrey Epstein.  —  Ghislaine Maxwell, Jeffrey Epstein's closest confidante who hasn't been seen …
Associated Press:   Jeffrey Epstein associate Ghislaine Maxwell arrested
Wall Street Journal:   Ghislaine Maxwell, Confidante of Jeffrey Epstein, Arrested on Federal Charges
Greg Jaffe / Washington Post:
His troops have suffered a very different fate.  —  Only a few hours had passed since President Trump pardoned 1st Lt. Clint Lorance and the men of 1st Platoon were still trying to make sense of how it was even possible.  —  How could a man they blamed for ruining their lives …
Discussion: Balloon Juice and
Vicky Prodeline / Polls:
More Voters Rule Out Trump Than Biden  —  Mixed results on who has presidential ‘stamina’  —  West Long Branch, NJ - Half of the nation's electorate says they have ruled out voting for Donald Trump in November, while 4 in 10 say the same about Joe Biden.  Biden currently holds a 12 point lead …
Joshua Blank / The Texas Politics Project:
New UT/Texas Politics Project poll finds Trump leading Biden by 4 in Texas amidst dour views of the American economy and declining concern about the COVID-19 pandemic  —  Going into a grim July 4 weekend defined by a resurgent COVID-19 in Texas, a new University of Texas/Texas Politics Project Poll finds …
Max Cohen / Politico:
Poll: Biden maintains double-digit lead over Trump  —  Former Vice President Joe Biden continues to lead President Donald Trump by a wide margin nationally, a poll released Thursday shows, as the race for the White House stabilizes, at least for the time being, with Biden well in front.
Discussion: The Hill and New York Magazine
Stanley Greenberg / The Atlantic:
Believe the Polls This Time  —  Recent polls could hardly …
Discussion: Chicago Tribune
New York Times:
Afghan Contractor Handed Out Russian Cash to Kill Americans, Officials Say  —  A small-time businessman became a key middleman for bounties on coalition troops in Afghanistan, U.S. intelligence reports say.  Friends saw him grow rich, but didn't know how.  —  KABUL, Afghanistan …
Just Security:
The Baseline: How a Functional Executive Would Have Handled the Russian Bounty Operation
Discussion: Washington Post, CNN and Foreign Policy
Washington Post:
White House does not plan any immediate response over intelligence reports on Russian bounties targeting U.S. troops
Discussion: Chicago Tribune
Pete Williams / NBC News:
Supreme Court to decide if House gets Mueller grand jury material  —  WASHINGTON — The U.S. Supreme Court said Thursday it will decide whether House investigators can get access to grand jury material gathered by Robert Mueller's special counsel team.  —  The court agreed to hear the case during its new term that begins in the fall.
Discussion: Associated Press and The Hill
Robert Barnes / Washington Post:
Supreme Court will hear arguments over Mueller's secret evidence, a delay for House Democrats …
Discussion: Politico, Axios and The Hill
Mark Sherman / Associated Press:   Justices keep hold on secret Russia investigation material
jsonline:   Supreme Court signals it won't rule on voter purge case before the election
Tyler Sonnemaker / Business Insider:
Mark Zuckerberg reportedly said Facebook is ‘not gonna change’ …
Charlie Warzel / New York Times:
Facebook Can't Be Reformed
Jeff Greenfield / The Bulwark:
Jeff Sessions Just Told Us Who He Is  —  The Senate candidate tells his version of the Obama beer summit story.  —  It's not often that a man who has spent three and a half decades in public life opens a window into his truest self.  But that's what Jeff Sessions did in the course of a New York Times profile.
Discussion: The Root, CNN and
Kenneth Garger / New York Post:   Campaign bus for Jeff Sessions' primary opponent goes up in flames
Deb Perelman / New York Times:
In the Covid-19 Economy, You Can Have a Kid or a Job.  You Can't Have Both.  —  Our struggle is not an emotional concern.  We are not burned out.  We are being crushed by an economy that has bafflingly declared working parents inessential.  —  Last week, I received an email from my children's principal …
Discussion: Journalism Institute
John Hudson / Washington Post:
Trump's pick for ambassador involved in racist smear against black politician  —  President Trump's nominee to be ambassador to Norway is facing demands that he abandon his pursuit of the diplomatic post following the unearthing of a 1994 court filing indicating his involvement in the production …
Young people are throwing coronavirus parties with a payout when one gets infected, official says  —  (CNN)Some young people in Alabama are throwing Covid-19 parties, a disturbing competition where people who have coronavirus attend and the first person to get infected receives a payout, local officials said.
David Siders / Politico:
Democratic ad makers think they've discovered Trump's soft spot  —  Donald Trump wasn't halfway through his speech in Tulsa, Okla., and Democratic ad makers in Washington and New York were already cutting footage for an air raid on the slumping president.  —  They didn't focus …
Discussion: Raw Story
Aidin Vaziri / San Francisco Chronicle:
More than 40 Bay Area school principals in quarantine after in-person meeting  —  More than 40 school principals in the South Bay are in quarantine after being exposed to COVID-19 during an in-person meeting held by the Santa Clara County Unified School District.
Discussion: Talking Points Memo and Bloomberg
Windsor Mann / The Bulwark:
Donald Trump Is All Done Caring  —  His only reason for getting re-elected is so that he can keep having rallies.  —  The presidency is no fun.  Thomas Jefferson called it “a painful and thankless office” and said it brought him “nothing but unceasing drudgery and daily loss of friends.”
Discussion: Raw Story
Paul Steinhauser / Fox News:
Parscale claims Trump beating Biden where it counts  —  Trump's campaign manager argues the president's ‘dominating’ Biden when it comes to enthusiasm  —  Pushing back against public opinion polls that indicate President Trump's trailing Democratic challenger Joe Biden …
Discussion: Washington Post and The Hill
Shane Goldmacher / New York Times:
Biden Outraises Trump for Second Straight Month, With $141 Million June Haul
Discussion: TheBlaze and Mediaite
Jon Gambrell / Associated Press:
Analysts: Fire at Iran nuke site hit new centrifuge facility  —  DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — A fire and an explosion struck a building above Iran's underground Natanz nuclear enrichment facility early on Thursday, a site that U.S.-based analysts identified as a new centrifuge production plant.
The Daily Beast:
The RNC Is Paying a Former Apprentice Hand Accused of Having Trump Dirt  —  Chuck Labella worked on Trump's show for years.  Now, despite having no ostensible political work on his resume, he's helping with the 2020 convention.  —  Last year, the Republican National Convention began cutting checks …
Kyle Kondik / Sabato's Crystal Ball:
The House: Democratic Murmurings in the Texas Suburbs - and Elsewhere  —  11 rating changes, most in favor of Democrats  —  KEY POINTS FROM THIS ARTICLE  — Joe Biden's currently strong lead in the presidential race is being felt in the suburbs, which if it lasts could imperil Republicans in some of their formerly dark red turf.
Nick Miroff / Washington Post:
Trump administration hires tech firm to build a virtual border wall, an idea Democrats have praised  —  The Trump administration has awarded a major border security contract to a California technology start-up that will use artificial intelligence on an unprecedented scale …
Dave Lawler / Axios:
The 53 countries supporting China's crackdown on Hong Kong  —  China's Foreign Ministry and state media have declared victory after 53 countries joined a statement at the UN Human Rights Council supporting Beijing's new national security law for Hong Kong — compared to 27 who criticized the law.
New York Times:
The U.S. Is Lagging Behind Many Rich Countries.  These Charts Show Why.  —  The United States is different.  In nearly every other high-income country, people have both become richer over the last three decades and been able to enjoy substantially longer lifespans.  —  But not in the United States.
John F. Harris / Politico:
The Anti-Trump Movement Will Outlast Trump  —  The Trump years have scrambled old ideological lines.  So perhaps it is not so surprising that in recent days George F. Will, the elegant dean of conservative columnists, and Matt Taibbi, a raucous liberal iconoclast, found themselves gnawing on different parts of the same bone.
Discussion: Raw Story
Catherine Leffert / Bloomberg:
Gun Demand Is Off the Charts in America  — Smith & Wesson, Sturm Ruger rally on consumer buying spree  — Background checks for firearms rise to record in June  —  U.S. consumers are rushing to buy guns as the Covid-19 pandemic and protests over police brutality combine …
He Built a Privately Funded Border Wall.  It's Already at Risk of Falling Down if Not Fixed.  —  Trump supporters funded a private border wall on the banks of the Rio Grande, helping the builder secure $1.7 billion in federal contracts.  Now the “Lamborghini” of border walls is in danger …
New York Times:
Tell-All Book on Trump Can Move Forward Pending Hearing, Judge Rules  —  The decision reversed a lower court's ruling that had temporarily halted publication of the book by the president's niece, but it didn't address whether she violated a confidentiality agreement.
Trevor Hunnicutt / Reuters:
Biden pulls together hundreds of lawyers as a bulwark against election trickery  —  (Reuters) - Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden said on Wednesday that his party has assembled a group of 600 lawyers and thousands of other people to prepare for possible “chicanery” ahead of November's election.
Cook Political Report: GOP Losing Members of Congress at Breakneck Pace Since Trump Took Office  —  According to Dave Wasserman, the U.S. House editor of the nonpartisan Cook Political Report, the Republican Party is losing members of Congress at a breakneck pace.
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 More Items: 
Edward Luce / Financial Times:
How America could fail its democracy test
University of Massachusetts Nursing Dean Fired For Saying “Everyone's Life Matters”
Trip Gabriel / New York Times:
Trump Is in Trouble in Pennsylvania, but 'He's Been Way Behind Before'
E.J. Dionne / Washington Post:
Republicans are biting the Democrats' helping hand
Discussion: The Atlantic
David Bauder / Associated Press:
Hot news cycle leads CNN to best ratings in 40 years
Discussion: Florida Politics
Victor Davis Hanson / National Review:
Universities Sowing the Seeds of Their Own Obsolescence
Tony Daniel / The Federalist:
The Artistic Value Of A Statue Is More Important Than Its History
Kira Lerner / The Appeal:
San Quentin Prisoners Go On Hunger Strike Amid Massive COVID-19 Outbreak
Discussion: Los Angeles Times and Al Jazeera
 Earlier Items: 
Wall Street Journal:
Sheldon Whitehouse's Favors
BuzzFeed News:
The Coronavirus Spread In A Dallas Megachurch's Choir And Orchestra. Then It Hosted Mike Pence.
Christopher Flavelle / New York Times:
Inquiry Prompted by Trump's Hurricane Dorian Claim Is Being Blocked, Investigator Says
Discussion: Daily Kos and
New York Post:
Harvard grad Claira Janover says she's lost Deloitte job over TikTok ‘stab threat’
Washington Post:
In wake of Trump's Tulsa rally, his campaign is still contending with the fallout
Discussion: Mediaite and Raw Story
Trump's aides debate a new virus approach as President claims it will ‘disappear’
Discussion: Raw Story