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1:10 AM ET, August 15, 2020

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 Top Items: 
Washington Post:
Postal Service warns 46 states their voters could be disenfranchised by delayed mail-in ballots  —  Anticipating an avalanche of absentee ballots, the U.S. Postal Service recently sent detailed letters to 46 states and D.C. warning that it cannot guarantee all ballots cast by mail …
RELATED:
CNN:
Exclusive: Postal service inspector general reviewing DeJoy's policy changes and potential ethics conflicts  —  Collins pushes Trump on USPS money and mail-in ballots  —  Washington (CNN)The internal watchdog at the United States Postal Service is reviewing controversial policy changes …
Lisa Baertlein / Reuters:
Exclusive: UPS, FedEx warn they cannot carry ballots like U.S. Postal Service  —  LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - United Parcel Service and FedEx on Friday shot down social media calls that they step in to deliver mail-in ballots from the U.S. Postal Service, which is warning states of potentially “significant” delays.
Discussion: The Hill
Bob Brigham / Raw Story:
Trump officials could face criminal charges for USPS sabotage — and the president may not be able to pardon them  —  Members of the Trump administration could face legal jeopardy over efforts to sabotage U.S. Postal Service operations to interfere with the 2020 presidential elections.
Discussion: emptywheel
Pilar Melendez / The Daily Beast:
NJ Rep, Inspector General Investigate What the Hell Is Going On With USPS  —  ‘CRIMINAL REFERRAL’  —  Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ) made a criminal referral to the New Jersey Attorney General on Friday night, asking him to impanel a grand jury to look at possible breach of state election laws …
Discussion: CNN, The Hill and Reuters
Paul P. Murphy / CNN:   USPS removes mail collection boxes and reduces post office hours as critics accuse Trump administration of voter suppression
Maritsa Georgiou / KECI:
Dozens of Montana USPS drop boxes removed
Discussion: Jon Tester and Talking Points Memo
Washington Post:
Trump's assault on the U.S. Postal Service gives Democrats a new campaign message
Eric Levitz / New York Magazine:   Americans Must Defend the Postal Service Like Our Democracy Depends on It
Pam Fessler / NPR:
New Postmaster Hasn't Yet Met Election Officials About Mail-In Ballot Concerns
MSNBC:   Postal Service Inspector General investigating recent policy changes by Trump's Postmaster General
Eugene Kiely / FactCheck.org:
Trump Proves Biden Right on USPS Funding, Mail-In Ballots
Discussion: Washington Post, The Guardian and VICE
Los Angeles Times:
Senate committee sought investigation of Bannon, raised concerns about Trump family testimony  —  The Senate Intelligence Committee sent a bipartisan letter to the Justice Department asking federal prosecutors to investigate Steve Bannon, a former Trump confidante, for potentially lying …
Politico:
HHS chief information officer abruptly resigns  —  HHS' chief information officer, José Arrieta, resigned unexpectedly Friday.  —  Arrieta told senior leaders that he would stay on for up to a month to help with the transition, said two individuals with knowledge of his plans.
RELATED:
Jason Miller / Federal News Network:
HHS CIO Arrieta unexpectedly resigns
Discussion: New York Times
Mark Joseph Stern / Slate:
The White Supremacist “Scholars” Pushing the Kamala Harris Birther Lie  —  Sen. Kamala Harris is a citizen of the United States who is eligible to serve as vice president.  This is not an argument but a statement of fact, because children born in the U.S. to immigrant parents receive birthright citizenship under the Constitution.
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE:
Establishment of Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force  —  On Aug. 4, 2020, Deputy Secretary of Defense David L. Norquist approved the establishment of an Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAP) Task Force (UAPTF).  The Department of the Navy, under the cognizance of the Office of the Under Secretary …
Discussion: CNN, The Daily Caller and Axios
Caitlin McFall / Fox News:
NYC police union endorses Trump, who claims Biden would ‘gut every single police department in America’  —  Trump used the endorsement speech to attack Biden, Harris, de Blasio and Warren  —  A New York City law enforcement union, the Police Benevolent Association (PBA) …
Discussion: Reuters, Breitbart and The Federalist
RELATED:
Vincent Barone / New York Post:
NYPD union endorses Trump: ‘We need your strong voice across the country’
Discussion: Mediaite
Justice News:
Drug-Dealing, White Supremacist Stripper Sentenced for Obstruction of Justice  —  TEXARKANA, Texas - A 28-year-old Dallas, Texas, man has been sentenced for federal violations in the Eastern District of Texas, announced U.S. Attorney Stephen J. Cox today.  —  On March 6, 2020 …
Anya Zoledziowski / VICE:
Dear White Vegans, Stop Appropriating Food  —  Veganism is going through its own racial reckoning that's a long time coming, considering white vegan influencers have appropriated traditional foods forever.  —  Anya Zoledziowski  —  When Afia Amoako became a vegan five years ago …
Karen Tumulty / Washington Post:
How Jennifer O'Malley Dillon transformed Joe Biden's campaign  —  When Jennifer O'Malley Dillon was brought in to take over the Joe Biden campaign operation five months ago, she barely knew a soul there — and that included the candidate himself.  —  If that wasn't a big enough adjustment …
New York Times:
Coronavirus Live Updates: Firm Helping Run Federal Database Refuses Senators' Questions  —  People who recover from the virus have a three-month window of safety, C.D.C. guidance shows.  As tax revenues plummet, states face an estimated $555 billion budget gap over the next two years.
Sonali Paul / Reuters:
‘Little brown girl’: Australian Biden-Harris cartoon sparks furore  —  MELBOURNE (Reuters) - A cartoon in Australia's biggest national newspaper drew condemnation on Friday as being racist for portraying U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden describing his new running mate, Kamala Harris, as “this little brown girl”.
RELATED:
Charles Creitz / Fox News:
Sarah Palin: Media double standard for Kamala Harris proves 'if you're conservative, you'll get beat up'
Discussion: POLITICUSUSA
Lomi Kriel / ProPublica:
ICE Guards “Systematically” Sexually Assault Detainees in an El Paso Detention Center, Lawyers Say  —  ProPublica is a nonprofit newsroom that investigates abuses of power.  Sign up to receive our biggest stories as soon as they're published.  —  This article is co-published with The Texas Tribune …
Daniela Altimari / Hartford Courant:
A Connecticut Congressional candidate was arrested on domestic violence charges just days ago — but GOP insiders knew of the allegations against him for months  —  The arrest of Connecticut Congressional candidate Thomas Gilmer on the eve of this week's Republican primary threw the race into disarray.
Discussion: Daily Kos
Michael Powell / New York Times:
A Black Marxist Scholar Wanted to Talk About Race.  It Ignited a Fury.  —  The cancellation of a speech reflects an intense debate on the left: Is racism the primary problem in America today, or the outgrowth of a system that oppresses all poor people?  —  Adolph Reed is a son of the segregated South …
Discussion: Instapundit and Althouse
Paul Farhi / Washington Post:
Two sites that amplify hoaxes given special treatment at Trump's briefings despite restrictions  —  The White House press corps just got a little more Trump-friendly, thanks to a bit of maneuvering by the White House itself.  —  Representatives of the Gateway Pundit and Epoch Times …
Mujahed Kobbe / The Forward:
I grew up with anti-Semitism in the UAE.  Peace with Israel is a dream come true.  —  Never in a million years did I believe there would be a deal in my lifetime where an Arab Gulf state would recognize the Jewish state.  Watching the news this week of Israel and the United Arab Emirates …
Discussion: American Greatness
RELATED:
Annelle Sheline / Politico:
Trump's Win Is a Loss for the Middle East
Reuven Blau / THE CITY:
No Bathroom Relief in Sight for Thousands Living on the Streets  —  Jared Mitchell waited several minutes in line to use a bathroom in Penn Station only to be told he was not allowed inside.  —  Amtrak workers close the bathrooms — a lifeline for people like 24-year-old Mitchell who live on the streets …
Adam Goldman / New York Times:
Ex-F.B.I. Lawyer Expected to Plead Guilty in Review of Russia Inquiry  —  Prosecutors did not reveal any evidence of the kind of broad anti-Trump conspiracy among law enforcement officials that the president has long alleged.  —  WASHINGTON — A former F.B.I. lawyer intends to plead guilty …
Associated Press:
Mitt Romney slams politicians attacking mail-in voting  —  SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Sen. Mitt Romney said Friday that politicians attacking the vote by mail system are threatening global democracy but stopped short of criticizing President Donald Trump, who has been openly against an expected surge of mail-in ballots.
Lyz Lenz / Washington Post:
An inland hurricane tore through Iowa.  You probably didn't hear about it.  —  On Monday, Iowa was leveled by what amounted to a level-two hurricane.  But you wouldn't know that from reading, listening to or watching the news.  —  While the storm did garner some coverage, mostly via wire stories …
Chris Cillizza / CNN:
Why Trump's birtherism attack on Harris is killing the Republican Party  —  (CNN)On Thursday, President Donald Trump was asked about a false report that California Sen. Kamala Harris might not be eligible to be vice president.  —  Rather than dismiss them out of hand, he said this:
Zachary Petrizzo / Mediaite:
The Hill Publishes Campaign Ads Disguised as ‘Op-Eds’  —  The Hill is known for its high-metabolism national political coverage, wonky Washington D.C. reporting, but also for a sprawling opinion section that often serves as a landing pad for campaign staffers passing off what are effectively ads as op-eds.
New York Times:
Workers Join Belarus Protests, as Leader's Base Turns Against Him  —  Demonstrators at a huge state-run factory in the capital gave an ultimatum: Unless a fair election is held, they will strike, in a new test of President Aleksandr G. Lukashenko's rule.  —  MINSK, Belarus …
Discussion: Jacobin
Alex Thompson / Politico:
‘The President Was Not Encouraging’: What Obama Really Thought About Biden  —  Behind the friendship was a more complicated relationship, which now drives the former vice president to prove his partner wrong.  —  The way Joe Biden explained it on the campaign trail in Iowa …
Elie Honig / CAFE:
Note From Elie: The Lunacy of the McGahn Saga Says It All  —  A weekly Note from Elie is part of the CAFE Brief.  An audio recording of the note is part of the CAFE Insider membership.  Please enjoy Elie reading this week's note, “The Lunacy of the McGahn Saga Says It All” and read his note in your inbox every Friday.
 
 
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 More Items: 
Ayesha Rascoe / NPR:
Trump Campaign Trying To Win Over Black Voters, But President Remains A Tough Sell
Queenie Wong / CNET:
TikTok's US employees plan to sue Trump administration over executive order
Discussion: Politico, NPR, The Verge and Breitbart
Jesse Byrnes / The Hill:
Trump orders TikTok parent company to sell US assets within 90 days
Marisa Schultz / Fox News:
Marjorie Greene, controversial Georgia Republican, says she's not a QAnon candidate
Wall Street Journal:
Facebook's Hate-Speech Rules Collide With Indian Politics
Yascha Mounk / The Atlantic:
American Passports Are Useless Now
Discussion: Outside the Beltway
Julia Ioffe / GQ:
There's a Brutal Crackdown Underway in Belarus. It Should Be a Wake-up Call for America.
Discussion: The National Interest
Tom Dreisbach / NPR:
Under Trump, SEC Enforcement Of Insider Trading Dropped To Lowest Point In Decades
 Earlier Items: 
Dan Diamond / Politico:
CDC's chief of staff, deputy chief of staff jointly depart
Discussion: Breitbart
Jeremy Stahl / Slate:
The 10 Scariest Election Scenarios, Ranked
FiveThirtyEight:
How To Vote In The 2020 Election  —  A state-by-state guide to voting in the age of COVID-19