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3:02 PM ET, July 8, 2020

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 Top Items: 
Randall Lane / Forbes:
Kanye West Says He's Done With Trump—Opens Up About White House Bid, Damaging Biden And Everything In Between  —  Kanye West's Fourth of July declaration, via Tweet, that he was running for president lit the internet on fire, even as pundits were trying to discern how serious he was.
RELATED:
Jamie Ross / The Daily Beast:
Kanye Finally Dumps Trump: 'I'm Taking the Red Hat Off'
Amy Walter / The Cook Political Report:
New July 2020 Electoral College Ratings  —  This election is looking more like a Democratic tsunami than simply a Blue wave.  President Trump, mired in some of the lowest job approval ratings of his presidency, is trailing Biden by significant margins in key battleground states like Pennsylvania …
Jim Sciutto / CNN:
Exclusive: Vindman to retire from military.  His lawyer blames White House ‘campaign of bullying, intimidation and retaliation’  —  (CNN)Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, a key witness in President Donald Trump's impeachment inquiry, is retiring from the US Army after more than 21 years …
RELATED:
Washington Post:   Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman retires, citing campaign of ‘bullying’ and ‘retaliation’ by Trump after impeachment testimony
Ryan Goodman / Just Security:
Trump Pushed CIA to Give Intelligence to Kremlin, While Taking No Action Against Russia Arming Taliban  —  Why would the Russian government think it could get away with paying bounties to the Taliban to kill American soldiers?  One answer to that question may be the extraordinary response …
Discussion: Raw Story and The Intellectualist
Michael Edison Hayden / Southern Poverty Law Center:
Jack Posobiec's Rise Tied to White Supremacist Movement  —  Jack Posobiec, a correspondent for One America News Network (OANN) whose work has been embraced by President Trump, collaborated for years with white supremacists, neo-fascists and antisemites, a Hatewatch investigation has determined.
RELATED:
Southern Poverty Law Center:
SPLC Investigation: Far-right OANN Anchor Jack Posobiec's Rise Tied to White Supremacist Movement  —  Far-right commentator Jack Posobiec is a current host on One America News Network (OANN), an information network widely known to distort facts and which has been embraced by President Trump.
John Wagner / Washington Post:
CDC will issue new guidance on school openings, Pence says, after criticism from Trump  —  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will issue new guidance on school openings, Vice President Pence said Wednesday, hours after President Trump criticized earlier recommendations as …
RELATED:
Christina Wilkie / CNBC:   Trump threatens to cut funding for schools, slams CDC reopening guidelines as too tough and expensive
Brett Samuels / The Hill:
Trump rips CDC, threatens school funding
Discussion: Twitchy and Fox News
Pete Williams / NBC News:
In win for Trump, Supreme Court allows plan for religious limits to Obamacare contraceptive coverage  —  WASHINGTON — The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday cleared the way for the Trump administration to give the nation's employers more leeway in refusing to provide free birth control for their workers under the Affordable Care Act.
RELATED:
Robert Barnes / Washington Post:   Supreme Court ruling on Trump's tax returns, financial records to come Thursday
Adam Liptak / New York Times:
Supreme Court Lets Employers Opt Out of Birth Control Coverage
Discussion: The Week
River Davis / Wall Street Journal:
Reopened Theme Parks Ban Screaming on Roller Coasters.  Riders Are Howling.  —  Japan's park recommendations aim to prevent the spread of Covid-19, but thrill seekers find keeping quiet isn't easy  —  TOKYO—At the Fuji-Q Highland amusement park recently, the chief executive …
CNBC:
U.S. reports record single-day spike of 60,000 new coronavirus cases  — There were 60,021 new Covid-19 cases reported in the U.S. over the previous 24-hour period.  — Arizona, California, Florida and Texas have accounted for nearly half of all new cases in the U.S. in recent days.
RELATED:
Cameron Joseph / VICE:
Texas Republicans Are Throwing a Huge Convention in the Middle of a Coronavirus Spike  —  “People die every day on the way to work, every single day.  No one argues that we should all give up our cars,” the state party chairman told VICE News.  —  CJ  —  Texas is posting record-high numbers …
RELATED:
Joe Flint / Wall Street Journal:
Former Fox News Anchor Shepard Smith Joins CNBC to Host Evening Newscast  —  ‘The News with Shepard Smith’ will debut this fall on the cable news business channel  —  CNBC has signed former Fox News journalist Shepard Smith to anchor a new one-hour evening news program, the network said Wednesday.
RELATED:
Lachlan Cartwright / The Daily Beast:   Shepard Smith Returning to Cable News With CNBC Show
New York Times:
Churches Were Eager to Reopen.  Now They Are a Major Source of Coronavirus Cases.  —  The virus has infiltrated Sunday services, church meetings and youth camps.  More than 650 cases have been linked to reopened religious facilities.  —  PENDLETON, Ore. — Weeks after President Trump demanded …
Discussion: Reason, The Week and Daily Kos
Peter Nicholas / The Atlantic:
Mike Pence's Plan to Save Trump—And Himself  —  In private moments, Donald Trump has told aides that he rescued Mike Pence from a potentially embarrassing defeat by pulling him out of a tough reelection bid in the 2016 Indiana governor's race and putting him on the ticket, a former White House official told me.
Discussion: The Intellectualist, Raw Story and CNN
Ian Sample / The Guardian:
Warning of serious brain disorders in people with mild coronavirus symptoms  —  UK neurologists publish details of mildly affected or recovering Covid-19 patients with serious or potentially fatal brain conditions  —  Doctors may be missing signs of serious and potentially fatal brain disorders triggered …
Discussion: Raw Story
Andrew Kaczynski / CNN:
Lara Trump-RNC robocall called mail-in voting safe and secure while President railed against it  —  (CNN)While President Donald Trump has continuously railed against voting by mail, a Republican National Committee robocall in April voiced by his daughter-in-law Lara Trump said voting by mail could be done “safely and securely.”
Lauren Hirsch / CNBC:
Storied apparel brand Brooks Brothers files for bankruptcy as it seeks a buyer and closes dozens of stores  — Brooks Brothers, founded in 1818, filed for bankruptcy on Wednesday.  — The retailer, which generated more than $991 million in sales last year, has more than 200 stores in North America and 500 worldwide.
New York Post:
NYPD's own stats debunk claims of bail reform leading to spike in gun violence  —  State bail reform and coronavirus-related releases from city jails are not driving this year's surge in shootings, the NYPD's own data shows — despite the insistence of department brass to the contrary.
Matthew Herper / STAT:
A flawed Covid-19 study gets the White House's attention — and the FDA may pay the price  —  Studies in thousands of people on multiple continents now show the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine does not help patients hospitalized with Covid-19 live longer.  But on Tuesday the White House …
Nate Cohn / New York Times:
How United Are Democrats?  A 96-0 Data Point Offers a Hint  —  Polling shows Biden is not facing any serious defections from his left flank.  —  Joe Biden has emerged from a contested Democratic primary with surprising party unity and without any serious threat on his left flank …
Discussion: Daily Kos
New York Times:
The Inside Story of Why Mary Trump Wrote a Tell-All Memoir  —  President Trump's niece was a family outcast.  Her new book casts a cold light on the relatives she describes as dysfunctional.  —  For most of her life, Mary L. Trump was shunted aside by her own family.
RELATED:
Timothy L. O'Brien / Bloomberg:
A Guided Tour Into the Troubled Mind of Donald Trump
Discussion: The Mahablog
Thomas L. Friedman / New York Times:
Biden Should Not Debate Trump Unless ...  Here are two conditions the Democrat should set.  —  I worry about Joe Biden debating Donald Trump.  He should do it only under two conditions.  Otherwise, he's giving Trump unfair advantages.  —  First, Biden should declare that he will take part …
Discussion: The Federalist, Breitbart and Althouse
ABC News:
Trump campaign considers displaying statues at future rallies: Sources  —  The president criticized those calling for removal of controversial monuments.  —  A potential new addition to President Trump's future rallies: statues.  —  The idea has been discussed by White House and Trump campaign aides …
Discussion: POLITICUSUSA
New York Times:
Artists and Writers Warn of an ‘Intolerant Climate.’ Reaction Is Swift.  —  An open letter published by Harper's, signed by luminaries including Margaret Atwood and Wynton Marsalis, argued for openness to “opposing views.”  The debate began immediately.  —  The killing of George Floyd …
Greg Sargent / Washington Post:
Stop saying Trump is ‘in denial.’ The truth is much worse.  —  To paraphrase George Orwell, when it comes to President Trump's bottomless malevolence and depravity, accurately describing what's right in front of our noses is a constant struggle — and a perfect example of this is the ubiquitous claim …
Discussion: Raw Story
NBC News:
‘Sickening’: Biden defends Duckworth after Trump camp, Tucker Carlson question her patriotism  —  WASHINGTON — Joe Biden criticized President Donald Trump on Tuesday for attacking Sen. Tammy Duckworth — a Purple Heart recipient who lost both of her legs while serving in Iraq — as unpatriotic.
ABC News:
Biden slams Trump's handling of COVID-19 crisis as US hits 3 million cases  —  He said Trump should act before he “tee[s] up for yet another round of golf.”  —  As the United States tops 3 million confirmed cases of COVID-19, the most of any nation in the world, former vice president Joe …
Lee Moran / HuffPost:
GOP State Lawmaker Demands Americans ‘STOP GETTING TESTED’ For Coronavirus  —  Nino Vitale railed against wearing masks and ranted about “living in a dictatorship” in a Facebook post.  —  A GOP state lawmaker in Ohio ― one of several states currently seeing a spike …
Monmouth University Polling Institute:
Partisanship Drives Latest Shift in Race Relations Attitudes  —  Majority hopeful that movement will have a positive impact  —  West Long Branch, NJ - Republicans have turned negative while non-Republicans have held firm in their support of the movement sparked by the death of George Floyd and other incidents involving racial justice.
Discussion: Washington Post
Tim Elfrink / Washington Post:
Tech CEO apologizes for racist tirade against Asian American family caught on video  —  For a few moments after the camera began recording, the white man smirked silently in his seat at an upscale California restaurant.  Then, he gave the family at the next table the middle finger and unleashed an anti-Asian tirade.
John Nichols / The Nation:
Republicans Lose Their Collective Minds Over Ilhan Omar's Call to Dismantle ‘Systems of Oppression’  —  They're really telling on themselves.  —  Representative Ilhan Omar was not elected to represent the status quo.  The Minnesota Democrat speaks for her constituents …
 
 
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 More Items: 
CNN:
Democrats hold $30 million ad advantage in battle for Senate control
Jonathan Allen / NBC News:
A desperate Trump bets on racism in 2020 election
Discussion: The Intercept, The Guardian and MSNBC
Carmen Sesin / NBC News:
Seven U.S. senators report half their staff is ‘non-Caucasian’
Discussion: The Hill
David Agren / The Guardian:
Mexico border towns try to stop Americans crossing amid Covid-19 fears
Discussion: Common Dreams
Ed Whelan / National Review:
Two Big Victories for Religious Liberty
Discussion: Power Line
Rasmussen Reports:
White House Watch
Discussion: Raw Story
 Earlier Items: 
Lachlan Markay / The Daily Beast:
QAnon-Curious House Candidate Gave Her Customers Diarrhea
Donté Stallworth / New York Times:
I Played in the N.F.L. It Needs Way More Than a Black Anthem.
Chris Kahn / Reuters:
Most Americans believe Russia targeted U.S. soldiers, want sanctions in response, Reuters/Ipsos poll shows
Discussion: Washington Times
Allyson Waller / New York Times:
Woman Says She Was Fired Because Her Children Disrupted Her Work Calls
Jeff Stein / Washington Post:
Trump wants tax breaks to lure baseball fans back, but incentive could misfire with attendance still barred
Discussion: Raw Story
CNN:
Robert Redford: This is who gets my vote in 2020
Discussion: Deadline and Deseret News
Robert Barnes / Washington Post:
Chief Justice John Roberts was hospitalized last month after injuring his head in a fall