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11:35 AM ET, July 31, 2020


 Top Items: 
Washington Post:
Postal Service backlog sparks worries that ballot delivery could be delayed in November  —  The U.S. Postal Service is experiencing days-long backlogs of mail across the country after a top Trump donor running the agency put in place new procedures described as cost-cutting efforts …
Kyle Cheney / Politico:
Senate leaves without coronavirus deal  —  OVER THE CLIFF — It happened.  The Senate left town knowing that failed negotiations would ensure the expiration of enhanced jobless benefits for millions of Americans laid off and furloughed amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Discussion: National Review, The Hill and Raw Story
Paul LeBlanc / CNN:
Video resurfaces of Trump struggling to vote in person in 2004 as he ramps up attacks on mail-in voting  —  Washington (CNN)Video of then-businessman Donald Trump struggling to vote in-person before declaring he would fill out an absentee ballot in 2004 has resurfaced this week amid a new round …
Discussion: POLITICUSUSA, Raw Story, Reason and WISH-TV
Steven G. Calabresi / New York Times:
Trump Might Try to Postpone the Election.  That's Unconstitutional.  —  He should be removed unless he relents.  —  Mr. Calabresi is a co-founder of the Federalist Society and a professor at Northwestern University's Pritzker School of Law.  —  I have voted Republican …
New York Times:
Trump Defends ‘Delay the Election’ Tweet, Even Though He Can't Do It
ABC News:
Fauci, White House COVID-19 task force officials testify on Capitol Hill
Discussion: Reuters
Katherine Eban / Vanity Fair:
How Jared Kushner's Secret Testing Plan “Went Poof Into Thin Air”  —  This spring, a team working under the president's son-in-law produced a plan for an aggressive, coordinated national COVID-19 response that could have brought the pandemic under control.  So why did the White House spike it in favor of a shambolic 50-state response?
Mia Jankowicz / Business Insider:
Kushner's axed coronavirus team shied away from a national strategy, believing that the virus was hitting Democratic states hardest and that they could blame governors, report says  —  Foto: Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP Jared Kushner.  — Some members of Jared Kushner's coronavirus task force believed …
Blake Montgomery / The Daily Beast:
Tucker Carlson Calls Barack Obama a ‘Greasy Politician’ Who ‘Desecrated’ John Lewis' Funeral  —  ‘CAN YOU IMAGINE?’  —  After Barack Obama eulogized the late Georgia Congressman John Lewis, Fox News host Tucker Carlson said the former president was “greasy” for “desecrating a funeral with campaign slogans.”
Discussion: The Hill, POLITICUSUSA and Breitbart
Stephen Collinson / CNN:   Obama warns that Trump's actions threaten US democracy
MSNBC:   Morgan Freeman reads Rep. John Lewis' last words
David Harsanyi / National Review:
Barack Obama's Ugly Filibuster Hypocrisy
Discussion: The Daily Caller
Susan B. Glasser / New Yorker:
Trump Is the Election Crisis He Is Warning About  —  When a sitting President threatens to delay a sacrosanct American ritual, you'd better listen.  —  On Thursday morning, minutes after the worst U.S. economic data in seventy years were released and barely two hours before an American hero …
Peter Baker / New York Times:
More Than Just a Tweet: Trump's Campaign to Undercut Democracy  —  Floating the idea of delaying the election was the latest step in the president's running effort to discredit the election, risking long-term damage to public trust in the system.  —  Nothing in the Constitution gives President Trump …
New York Times:
Republicans and White House at Odds Over Kansas Senate Race  —  Some in the G.O.P. want President Trump to endorse the opponent of Kris Kobach, who they worry could cost them a traditionally safe Senate seat.  So far, the White House has declined to do so.  —  WASHINGTON — As the Kansas …
Discussion: NBC News and Politico
Shane Harris / Washington Post:
DHS compiled ‘intelligence reports’ on journalists who published leaked documents  —  The Department of Homeland Security has compiled “intelligence reports” about the work of American journalists covering protests in Portland, Ore., in what current and former officials called an alarming use …
Ronald Brownstein / The Atlantic:
The Pandemic Is Damaging the GOP Brand Everywhere  —  Although hardly any of the governors grappling with the fiercest coronavirus outbreaks are on the ballot this fall, voters' verdicts about their performance loom heavily over another electoral battle with enormous implications for the balance …
Discussion: Progress Pond
State Democrats mount big comeback in 2020
Discussion: Raw Story and Balloon Juice
Kendall Karson / ABC News:
Trump in trouble as nearly two-thirds of Americans disapprove of his handling of COVID-19, protests, Russia: POLL  —  Trump is underwater on his handling of the coronavirus, protests and Russia.  —  Nearly two-thirds of Americans disapprove of President Donald Trump's handling …
Discussion: Reuters and Power Line
Joe Scarborough / Washington Post:   None dare call it treason, but perhaps one day they will
Anna Giaritelli / Washington Examiner:
Exclusive: Trump's ICE chief Matt Albence leaving post  —  Matt Albence, the acting director for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, will leave his post by Labor Day, the Washington Examiner was first to report Thursday.  —  Albence informed senior ICE officials in a private phone call Thursday evening …
Discussion: Fox News, The Hill and IJR
Max Cohen / Politico:   Acting ICE chief announces retirement following clashes with Trump officials
EXCLUSIVE: Fearing Trump interference, FBI agents hid copies of Russia investigation docs  —  (CNN)Adapted from “TRUE CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS: The Investigation of Donald Trump,” by Jeffrey Toobin.  Copyright © 2020.  Available from Doubleday.  —  In the hours after President Donald …
Hansi Lo Wang / NPR:
Census Door Knocking Cut A Month Short Amid Pressure To Finish Count  —  The Census Bureau is cutting short critical door-knocking efforts for the 2020 census amid growing concerns among Democrats in Congress that the White House is pressuring the bureau to wrap up counting soon for political gain, NPR has learned.
Discussion: The Hill and CBS Boston
Eric Levitz / New York Magazine:
Trump's Racism Won't Win the Suburbs.  But It May Diversify Them.  —  The United States is full of lily-white, deep-blue suburbs with lawn signs that shout Black Lives Matter — and zoning laws that whisper, But preserving “neighborhood character” matters more.
Michael Gerson / Washington Post:
Trump has made Republicans complicit in his revolt against American principles
Discussion: Catholic World Report
Jeremy W. Peters / New York Times:
Will Herman Cain's Death Change Republican Views on the Virus and Masks?  —  His publicly dismissive attitude about the pandemic reflected the hands-off inconsistency of many party leaders.  —  The death of Herman Cain, attributed to the coronavirus, has made Republicans and President Trump face …
David Von Drehle / Washington Post:
Herman Cain represented the right of Black Americans to intellectual diversity
Discussion: National Review
Adam Taylor / Washington Post:
Trump ordered federal forces to quell Portland protests.  But the chaos ended as soon as they left.  —  PORTLAND, Ore. — After President Trump ordered federal law enforcement officers into Portland, Ore., earlier this month, the protests largely ended the same way for days: with tear gas, rubber bullets and arrests.
Discussion: ABC News and Fox News
Peggy Noonan / Wall Street Journal:
Burn the Republican Party Down?  —  It would damage the country, and those who say yes bear some blame for the president's rise.  —  Where did Donald Trump come from?  Where is the GOP going?  Should the whole thing be burned down?  A lot had to go wrong before we got a President Trump.
Jim Geraghty / National Review:
Twenty Things You Probably Didn't Know about Susan Rice  —  Being soft on African dictators, pondering the electoral implications of calling genocide genocide, and giving Richard Holbrooke the finger  —  ne: In April 1994, Susan Rice was a rising star on the U.S. National Security Council who worked under Richard Clarke.
Wall Street Journal:
Obama's Filibuster Swipe  —  He frames it as racist.  That will end debate among Democrats.  —  By The Editorial Board  —  Anticipating a November romp, prominent Democrats have been dropping hints that they'd scrap the filibuster for legislation if they win the Senate.
Kathryn Varn / Tampa Bay Times:
Pinellas sheriff to Rays: Breonna Taylor tweet was ‘just wrong’ and ‘reckless’  —  Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said he'll reevaluate whether his agency will work with the baseball team in the future.  —  Pinellas County's top cop condemned the Tampa Bay Rays for posting a tweet calling for the arrests …
Discussion: The Hill
Jim Tankersley / New York Times:
Does Trump Want to Save His Economy?  —  The president is showing little urgency or strategy as the economic recovery stalls ahead of the November election.  —  WASHINGTON — The United States just suffered its worst economic quarter in nearly 75 years.  Its recovery from the depths …
Discussion: Lawyers, Guns & Money
Amber Phillips / Washington Post:
Governors who took strict measures on coronavirus are seeing better political outcomes  —  Much about the coronavirus is putting us in unprecedented political territory, but one thing is becoming evident: Keeping the coronavirus in check, even via strict measures, is so far a political winner.
Spencer Ackerman / The Daily Beast:
‘George Floyd All Over Again’: ICE Guard Drove Knee Into Detainee  —  A guard at an ICE detention center drove his knee into the upper back of a detainee, Carlos Rivas Monsano, eyewitnesses say.  They haven't seen the man in the two weeks since.  —  An Immigration and Customs Enforcement guard …
Discussion: Raw Story
Shibani Mahtani / Washington Post:
Hong Kong leader postpones elections, further eroding political freedoms  —  HONG KONG — After disqualifying a dozen pro-democracy candidates, the Hong Kong government said Friday it would delay legislative council elections for a year because of the coronavirus pandemic …
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 More Items: 
Gabriel T. Rubin / Wall Street Journal:
Florida's Scott Has One Eye on 2022—and Another on 2024
Discussion: CNN, Slate and Redstate
Matt Wilstein / The Daily Beast:
John Cleese Sounds Off on ‘Complete Asshole’ Trump and His ‘Very Stupid’ Voters
Discussion: Breitbart and Raw Story
Tony Daniel / The Federalist:
The Story Of How Samuel Colt Made Men Equal
Wall Street Journal:
The Lockdown's Destruction
Fareed Zakaria / Washington Post:
Trump never mastered management. That's why his pandemic response has failed.
Roge Karma / Vox:
We train police to be warriors — and then send them out to be social workers
Wall Street Journal:
Consumer Spending Rose 5.6% in June
 Earlier Items: 
Edward-Isaac Dovere / The Atlantic:
Karen Bass, a Potential Biden VP Pick, Explains Her History With Cuba
Conrad Black / American Greatness:
Clouds of Summer Obscure the Coming Thunder of November
Eric Boehlert / PRESS RUN:
When the press buried Obama for Ebola — and two Americans died
Devin Nunes declines to say whether he received foreign information meant to damage Biden
Discussion: The Hill and NBC News
Washington Post:
Epstein accuser alleged in newly unsealed deposition that Ghislaine Maxwell was his partner in abuse
Trump revisits his playbook for disastrous news: An explosive spectacle
Discussion: Right Wing Watch