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2:40 PM ET, August 5, 2020


 Top Items: 
ABC News:
Search and rescue continues as Beirut wakes up to effects of devastating explosion  —  At least 100 people have been killed and 4000 injured by the blast.  —  LONDON and PARIS — Search and rescue efforts continued in the Lebanese capital of Beirut as the city woke up to the devastating effects …
Discussion: NBC News, New York Post and Mediaite
US defense officials contradict Trump: No indication yet of attack in Beirut  —  (CNN)Three US Defense Department officials told CNN that as of Tuesday night there was no indication that the massive explosion that rocked Beirut on Tuesday were an “attack,” contradicting an earlier claim from President Donald Trump.
Faysal Itani / New York Times:
Lebanon's Mushroom Cloud of Incompetence  —  Yesterday's explosion, which destroyed Beirut's port, much of the city and countless lives, was the result of business as usual.  —  Mr. Itani is a political analyst.  —  My first summer job was at the port of Beirut.  It was the late '90s and I was just a teenager.
Lahav Harkov / Jerusalem Post:
Hezbollah stockpiled chemical behind Beirut blast in London and Germany
Discussion: Townhall
Allan Lichtman / New York Times:
He Predicted Trump's Win in 2016.  Now He's Ready to Call 2020.  —  Most historians just study the past.  But Allan Lichtman has successfully predicted the future.  —  This is professor Allan Lichtman.  He's taught history at American University for almost 50 years.  He's a former steeplechase champion.
Discussion: CNBC, Raw Story and Political Wire
Des Moines Register:
Gov. Kim Reynolds signs executive order restoring felon voting rights, removing Iowa's last-in-the-nation status  —  Thousands of Iowans with felony convictions who have served their sentences will be allowed to vote in November's presidential election after Gov. Kim Reynolds signed …
Kira Lerner / The Appeal:   Iowa Governor Expands Voting Rights
Des Moines Register:   Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds will sign felon voting rights executive order on Wednesday
Ursula Perano / Axios:
Iowa governor signs order restoring voting rights to some felons
Discussion: Associated Press
Joe Sutton / CNN:
Trump campaign sues Nevada over plan to mail ballots to all registered voters  —  Keilar pushes back on Trump campaign claims of voter fraud  —  (CNN)The Trump campaign filed a lawsuit Tuesday against the state of Nevada over its plan to send absentee ballots to all active voters this November …
Alex Thompson / Politico:
Trump's campaign knocks on a million doors a week.  Biden's knocks on zero.  —  Donald Trump's campaign says it knocked on over 1 million doors in the past week alone.  —  Joe Biden's campaign says it knocked on zero.  —  The Republican and Democratic parties — from the presidential candidates …
Discussion: NBC News and The Daily Caller
Greg Sargent / Washington Post:
Trump and his spinners are suddenly freaking out about Florida. Here's why.
Discussion: Raw Story, CNN and Mediaite
Anita Kumar / Politico:
‘She is absolutely our No. 1 draft pick’: GOP pines for Rice as Biden VP  —  Joe Biden still may be undecided about whom to pick for a running mate, but Donald Trump's team knows exactly whom it wants: Susan Rice.  —  Trump's aides and allies accuse Rice — without delving too deeply into the evidence …
Discussion: Raw Story and ABC News
Kyle Cheney / Politico:
Yates says Obama, Biden didn't influence Flynn investigation  —  Former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates told lawmakers Wednesday that neither President Barack Obama nor Vice President Joe Biden attempted to influence the FBI's investigation of incoming national security adviser Michael Flynn during …
Biden confidants see VP choices narrowing to Harris and Rice
Discussion: Fox News and The National Interest
John Hudson / Washington Post:
State Department watchdog resigns in another shake-up at IG's office  —  The internal State Department watchdog, whom President Trump installed after the previous inspector general was abruptly fired, has resigned, the department said in a statement, marking another significant shake …
Larry McShane / New York Daily News:
Legendary journalist and writer Pete Hamill dead at 85 after fall  —  Pete Hamill, the Brooklyn-born bard of the five boroughs and eloquent voice of his beloved hometown as both newspaper columnist and best-selling author, died Wednesday morning.  He was 85.
POLITICO Playbook PM: RIP, conventions
Discussion: New York Times and The Daily Beast
Max Cohen / Politico:
Biden hits back at reporter asking if he took a cognitive test: ‘Are you a junkie?’  —  Joe Biden rebuked a reporter who asked if the former vice president had taken a cognitive test, claiming that asking the question was similar to asking the interviewer if he was using cocaine.
Marc Tracy / New York Times:
Digital Revenue Exceeds Print for 1st Time for New York Times Company  —  The pandemic squeezed advertising for the web as well as print, but subscription growth was the best ever for a quarter.  —  Over a three-month period dominated by the coronavirus pandemic and a slowdown in advertising …
Business Wire:
The New York Times Company Reports 2020 Second-Quarter Results
Trump still not grasping the severity of the pandemic, source tells CNN  —  (CNN)President Donald Trump was still struggling to fully grasp the severity of the coronavirus pandemic during a task force meeting in the Oval Office on Tuesday, a source familiar with the meeting told CNN.
Kyle Kondik / Sabato's Crystal Ball:
The Senate: Ranking the Top Dozen Best Targets  —  KEY POINTS FROM THIS ARTICLE  — National Republicans breathed a sigh of relief on Tuesday night, as Rep. Roger Marshall (R, KS-1) beat 2018 gubernatorial nominee Kris Kobach (R) in the Kansas Senate primary.
Discussion: The Hill
Craig Chamberlain / News Bureau:
Journalists' Twitter use shows them talking within smaller bubbles  —  CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Journalists in Washington, D.C., have long been accused of living in a “Beltway bubble,” isolated from the broader public, talking too much to each other.  —  Their interactions on Twitter, however …
Cameron Joseph / VICE:
Kanye Has a Senior GOP Strategist Helping Him Get on the Ballot in Colorado  —  “Would you help me get Kanye West on the ballot in Colorado?  No, I am not joking, and I realize this is hilarious,” she wrote.  —  A top Colorado GOP strategist is helping Kanye West to get on the ballot in her state …
Will Sommer / The Daily Beast:
This May Be The Most Absurd, Trumpian Drama Ever  —  Accusations of stalking, prostitution, and racism are merely the appetizer.  The main course features Jacob Wohl and claims of falsified tweets and stolen phones.  —  The federal agency primarily responsible for the distribution …
Discussion: Raw Story
Molly Jong-Fast / The Daily Beast:
Mitch McConnell, the Turtle, Is Losing the Race Now  —  The majority leader dedicated himself to Republican of convenience Donald Trump, and it's looking like he may not be the majority leader for much longer.  —  BEAST INSIDE  —  It's been a bad, bad, bad summer for Mitch McConnell.
Discussion: Raw Story
Jennifer Senior / New York Times:
It's Not Just You.  We've All Got a Case of the Covid-19 Blues.  —  New data show that Americans are suffering from record levels of mental distress.  —  I am trying to think of when I first realized we'd all run smack into a wall.  —  Was it two weeks ago, when a friend …
Discussion: Raw Story
Lydia Saad / Gallup:
Black Americans Want Police to Retain Local Presence  —  WASHINGTON, D.C. — When asked whether they want the police to spend more time, the same amount of time or less time than they currently do in their area, most Black Americans — 61% — want the police presence to remain the same.
Miles Klee / MEL Magazine:
Why Your Boomer Parents Are Obsessed With Sarah Cooper  —  More than anything, older Democrats and #Resistance types want to ‘trigger’ the president  —  Sarah Cooper has an outstanding résumé.  Apart from her background as a standup comedian, she's worked at Google …
Jena McGregor / Washington Post:
Remote work really does mean longer days — and more meetings  —  Those who sense that this grand experiment in working from home comes with plenty of downsides — longer days, more meetings and more emails to answer — are now backed up by data  —  The massive global shift to remote work since …
Associated Press:
Ex-Trump adviser plans book on future of polarized America  —  WASHINGTON (AP) — Fiona Hill, a key witness in President Donald Trump's impeachment inquiry, is going to be sharing her views about the future of a polarized America.  —  The New York-based Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books & Media announced …
Discussion: Talking Points Memo, The Hill and Axios
Wall Street Journal:
NYC to Set Up Checkpoints to Enforce Quarantine Order  —  U.S. daily coronavirus cases rise after dipping below 50,000 for two straight days  —  Checkpoints will be set up at bridges and tunnels leading into New York City to enforce a quarantine order for people coming from states with high rates …
Discussion: Political Wire
Ryan Mac / BuzzFeed News:
Instagram Displayed Negative Related Hashtags For Biden, But Hid Them For Trump  —  “A technical error caused a number of hashtags to not show related hashtags.  We've disabled this feature while we investigate.”  —  Copy  —  For at least the last two months, a key Instagram feature …
New York Times:
Will Bill Barr Try to Help Trump Win the Election?  —  Two investigations appear to be potential fodder for pre-election political machinations.  —  Mr. Goodman, editor in chief of Just Security, and Mr. Weissmann, a senior prosecutor in the Mueller investigation, teach law at N.Y.U.
Megan Henney / Fox News:
McConnell open to extending $600 unemployment boost in coronavirus stimulus deal  —  Democratic leaders and White House officials are trying to finalize another round of emergency aid  —  White House officials expected to meet with Democratic leaders in hopes of agreeing on new stimulus package
Discussion: Associated Press and Reuters
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 More Items: 
Eric Bradner / CNN:
Biden campaign to hammer Trump over pandemic response with $280 million in ads across 15 states
Josh Kraushaar / National Journal:
Joe Biden isn't inspiring confidence with his vice presidential search
Discussion: The Guardian and Politico
Washington Post:
Facebook's fact-checkers have ruled claims in Trump ads are false — but no one is telling Facebook's users
Discussion: Breitbart and Washington Monthly
Alexander Nazaryan / Yahoo News:
Interior secretary calls Confederate statue protesters ‘bad-doers,’ confirms feds are monitoring their social media feeds
Zack Budryk / The Hill:
Poll: 31 percent trust Trump on coronavirus
Amy Dockser Marcus / Wall Street Journal:
Convalescent Plasma Reduced Death Rate Among Covid-19 Patients, Study Data Signals
Paul Steinhauser / Fox News:
Biden scraps plans to travel to Milwaukee for nomination acceptance, citing coronavirus concerns
Discussion: Reuters and The Hill
 Earlier Items: 
Jennifer Rubin / Washington Post:
Trump sneered at the Civil Rights Act. We know why.
Associated Press:
Missouri voters approve Medicaid expansion, making it 38th state to do so
Nicholas Fandos / New York Times:
Cori Bush Defeats William Lacy Clay in a Show of Progressive Might
Vivian Yee / New York Times:
I Was Bloodied and Dazed. Beirut Strangers Treated Me Like a Friend.
Discussion: Breitbart