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2:05 PM ET, August 5, 2020

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CNN:
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.
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
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  —  The Beirut explosion took place at a warehouse that held 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate that had been confiscated from a ship.  —  Hezbollah kept three metric tons of ammonium nitrate, the explosive thought to be behind …
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
RELATED:
Washington Post:
Republicans consider South Lawn of the White House for Donald Trump's convention speech
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 …
Discussion: Vanity Fair and The Daily Beast
RELATED:
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
Chris Kahn / Reuters:
Majority of registered voters oppose U.S. election delay: Reuters/Ipsos poll
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 …
RELATED:
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.
RELATED:
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: Spectator USA, Raw Story and ABC News
RELATED:
Axios:   Biden confidants see VP choices narrowing to Harris and Rice
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
RELATED:
Megan Henney / Fox News:
McConnell open to extending $600 unemployment boost in coronavirus stimulus deal
Discussion: Reuters
CNN:
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 and Political Wire
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 …
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
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.
Nicholas Fandos / New York Times:
Cori Bush Defeats William Lacy Clay in a Show of Progressive Might  —  The upset of the veteran congressman from St. Louis sent tremors though the Democratic establishment in Missouri and Washington, D.C.  —  ST. LOUIS — Cori Bush, a progressive activist and a leader of the swelling protest movement …
RELATED:
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.
David Eggert / Associated Press:
‘Squad’ member Rashida Tlaib wins primary in Michigan  —  LANSING, Mich. (AP) — “Squad” member Rashida Tlaib won a challenge for her House seat in Michigan's primary, in a rematch with the woman she narrowly defeated two years ago.  —  Tlaib, one of the first two Muslim women in Congress …
RELATED:
Tyler Olson / Fox News:
Tlaib leading establishment primary challenger as votes trickle in
Discussion: Reuters and The Hill
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
Washington Post:
Facebook's fact-checkers have ruled claims in Trump ads are false — but no one is telling Facebook's users  —  Fact-checkers were unanimous in their assessments when President Trump began claiming in June that Democrat Joe Biden wanted to “defund” police forces.  PolitiFact called the allegations “false,” as did CheckYourFact.
Discussion: Breitbart and Washington Monthly
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.
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 …
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 …
Des Moines Register:
Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds will sign felon voting rights executive order on Wednesday  —  Gov. Kim Reynolds will sign an executive order Wednesday restoring voting rights to Iowans with felony convictions who have served their sentences, her office announced Wednesday.
Amy Dockser Marcus / Wall Street Journal:
Convalescent Plasma Reduced Death Rate Among Covid-19 Patients, Study Data Signals  —  Hospitalized patients who got earlier transfusions of blood plasma rich in antibodies to the coronavirus show a lower mortality rate  —  Hospitalized Covid-19 patients who received transfusions …
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, Axios and The Hill
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
Jim DeFede / CBS Miami:
Exclusive: Gov. Ron DeSantis Acknowledges State's Unemployment System Was Built With ‘Pointless Roadblocks’ To Pay Out ‘Least Number Of Claims’  —  MIAMI (CBSMiami) - Gov. Ron DeSantis is acknowledging or the first time that the state unemployment system was deliberately designed to frustrate people …
Discussion: Florida Politics and Raw Story
 
 
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 More Items: 
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
Allison Donahue / Michigan Advance:
Light traffic at the polls, as 1.6M cast absentee ballots during pandemic
Paul Steinhauser / Fox News:
Biden scraps plans to travel to Milwaukee for nomination acceptance, citing coronavirus concerns
Discussion: Reuters and The Hill
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
 Earlier Items: 
Kendall Baker / Axios:
WNBA players escalate political protest against Sen. Kelly Loeffler
Alayna Treene / Axios:
Exclusive: Inside McCarthy's new GOP messaging platform
Discussion: Raw Story
Jim Geraghty / National Review:
A Brutal Assessment of Cable News
Discussion: JONATHAN TURLEY and Vox
Marc Tracy / New York Times:
Digital Revenue Exceeds Print for 1st Time for New York Times Company
Charlie Warzel / New York Times:
How QAnon Creates a Dangerous Alternate Reality
Vivian Yee / New York Times:
I Was Bloodied and Dazed. Beirut Strangers Treated Me Like a Friend.
Discussion: Breitbart