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5:10 PM ET, September 15, 2020


 Top Items: 
Caputo apologizes to HHS staff, signals desire for medical leave  —  The health department's top spokesperson Michael Caputo called an emergency staff meeting on Tuesday to apologize for drawing negative attention to the Trump administration's health care strategy and signaled that he might …
Charles Sykes / The Bulwark:
All The President's Nuts  —  “Well, I don't think the science knows actually.”  — Donald J. Trump  —  Happy Tuesday.  Three headlines from today's Washington Post set the scene for us today:  —  “Top Trump health appointee Michael Caputo warns of armed insurrection after election”
HHS chief overrode FDA officials to ease testing rules
Discussion: Raw Story
Katie Benner / New York Times:
Justice Dept. Opens Criminal Inquiry Into John Bolton's Book  —  Investigators are examining whether the former national security adviser illegally disclosed classified information.  —  WASHINGTON — The Justice Department has opened a criminal investigation into whether President Trump's …
Wall Street Journal:
Grand Jury Subpoenas Sent to John Bolton's Publisher and Agent  —  Former national security adviser denies wrongdoing, says White House seeks to block book for political purposes  —  Federal prosecutors issued grand jury subpoenas to former national security adviser John Bolton's publisher …
Justice Department reportedly opens criminal probe into Bolton's book
Discussion: Raw Story
Monmouth University Polling Institute:
Biden Competitive Across State  —  Military vote weak for incumbent  —  West Long Branch, NJ - Joe Biden holds a 3 to 5 point lead over Donald Trump in Florida, depending on a range of likely voter models.  The Monmouth ("Mon-muth") University Poll finds Biden with a large lead among Latino voters …
CNN polls: North Carolina a tight race, while Biden leads in Wisconsin  —  (CNN)The race for the presidency is near even in North Carolina and Democratic nominee Joe Biden holds a lead over President Donald Trump in Wisconsin, according to new CNN polls conducted by SSRS in the battleground states.
Nick Niedzwiadek / Politico:
Monmouth poll: Biden up 5 points on Trump in Florida
Abrahm Lustgarten / New York Times:
How Climate Migration Will Reshape America Millions will be displaced.  Where will they go?  —  August besieged California with a heat unseen in generations.  A surge in air-conditioning broke the state's electrical grid, leaving a population already ravaged by the coronavirus to work remotely by the dim light of their cellphones.
Climate Change Will Force a New American Migration
Discussion: Common Dreams
Scott Stump /
Jared Kushner responds to Trump publicly downplaying coronavirus threat  —  White House senior adviser Jared Kushner responded to tapes of President Donald Trump downplaying the threat of the coronavirus in March by saying Trump was “very forthcoming with the American people” about the dangers of the illness.
Discussion: Talking Points Memo and NBC News
Pew Research Center:
U.S. Image Plummets Internationally as Most Say Country Has Handled Coronavirus Badly  —  Ratings for Trump remain poor  —  This analysis focuses on public opinion of the United States in 13 countries in North America, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region.  Views of the U.S. and its president …
Discussion: Washington Post, Axios and The Guardian
Louisville has settled Breonna Taylor's wrongful death lawsuit  —  (CNN)The city of Louisville, Kentucky, has settled a wrongful death lawsuit filed by the family of Breonna Taylor, the 26-year-old EMT killed by police six months ago.  —  A source told CNN on Tuesday the agreement was a multimillion dollar settlement.
Rukmini Callimachi / New York Times:
Breonna Taylor's Family to Receive $12 Million Settlement From City of Louisville
Spencer Ackerman / The Daily Beast:
He Hunted Bin Laden for CIA.  Now He Wants Americans Dead.  —  ‘ELIMINATE THEM’  —  Michael Scheuer used to hunt Osama bin Laden, whom he now says he admires.  Now his quarry is Donald Trump's enemies, whom he equates with terrorists.  —  The former senior CIA official once in charge …
Alex Scarborough / ESPN:
LSU coach Ed Orgeron: ‘Most’ of team has contracted coronavirus  —  LSU coach Ed Orgeron said on Tuesday that most of his team has contracted COVID-19.  —  “Not all of our players but most of our players have caught it,” Orgeron told reporters.  “I think that hopefully they won't catch …
How Beethoven's 5th Symphony put the classism in classical music  —  To many, Beethoven's most famous work is a symbol of exclusion and elitism in classical music.  —  Beethoven's Fifth Symphony starts with an anguished opening theme — dun dun dun DUNNNN — and ends with a glorious, major-key melody.
Discussion: Twitchy
Alexandra Petri / Washington Post:
I can't believe you're forcing me to vote for Trump, which I definitely didn't already want to do  —  Believe me when I tell you that the LAST THING I could POSSIBLY want would be to vote for Donald Trump.  That's why I am so stunned that you have taken it upon yourself to go to such lengths to FORCE me to vote for him!
James Fallows / The Atlantic:
The Media Learned Nothing From 2016  —  We're seeing a huge error, and a potential tragedy, unfold in real time.  —  That's a sentence that could apply to countless aspects of economic, medical, governmental, and environmental life at the moment.  What I have in mind, though …
Discussion: Raw Story and Daily Kos
Anchorage Daily News:
A late change to the 2020 General Election ballot sparks outcry from Alaska Democrats  —  A quiet change to Alaska's 2020 general election ballot has drawn the ire of the Alaska Democratic Party, which says the move is biased, lacks transparency and was disclosed days before ballots are mailed to overseas voters.
Discussion: Talking Points Memo
Carter Sherman / VICE:
Staggering Number of Hysterectomies Happening at ICE Facility, Whistleblower Says  —  “We've questioned among ourselves, like, goodness, he's taking everybody's stuff out,” said a former nurse at the facility.  “That's his specialty, he's the uterus collector.”  —  CS
Discussion: Vox, Reason and Common Dreams
Margaret Sullivan / Washington Post:
Washington's cozy media-political cocktail circuit needs a cooling-off.  Now is the perfect time.  —  From the perspective of the Washington women involved in “Girls' Night Out,” the social gathering was friendly, professionally helpful, and harmless.  —  For about 10 years …
No Democrats Allowed: A Conservative Lawyer Holds Secret Voter Fraud Meetings With State Election Officials  —  ProPublica is a nonprofit newsroom that investigates abuses of power.  Sign up to receive our biggest stories as soon as they're published.  —  Starting in early spring …
Robert Tracinski / The Bulwark:
The Anti-Flight 93 Election  —  The best case for Donald Trump is actually a pretty good case for Joe Biden.  —  I've recently noticed a miniature wave of former Never Trumpers (or at least those who claim they were Never Trump) recanting and saying they have to vote for Donald Trump …
Discussion: Mother Jones and Raw Story
Washington Post:
More cities and states are opening bars and restaurants despite mounting evidence of potential danger  —  Where indoor dining is allowed, as of Sept. 14  —  Where indoor dining is allowed, as of Sept. 14  —  In New York City, diners will be able to have a meal inside a restaurant at the end of the month …
Marianne LeVine / Politico:
Biden to speak to Senate Democrats Thursday  —  Former Vice President and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden will speak to the Senate Democratic caucus Thursday by phone, according to Senate Democratic aides and a source familiar with the campaign.  —  Thursday's conversation is expected …
Ramesh Ponnuru / Bloomberg:
Journalists Should Stop Cleaning Up After Biden  —  It's not the press's job to make excuses for a candidate's mistakes, but that's a benefit the Democrat is too often receiving.  —  All political candidates make mistakes.  They have to retract hasty, ill-considered statements.
Discussion: National Review and WHTM-TV
Lizzie Karpen / Columbia Daily Spectator:
Columbia University Marching Band votes to disband after 116 years  —  After a history of disagreements with University administration and students, the Columbia University Marching Band voted to disband on Saturday night.  Photography by Kate Della Pietra.
Laura Ly / CNN:
Judge rules Chad Wolf likely unlawfully serving as Homeland Security secretary and temporarily blocks some asylum restrictions  —  (CNN)A Maryland federal judge on Friday ruled that Chad Wolf is likely unlawfully serving as acting secretary of the Department of Homeland Security and temporarily barred …
Dave Levinthal / Business Insider:
The Trump campaign and Republican political committees are accepting donations from people claiming QAnon ties.  And they may be violating federal law … - The Trump campaign, the Republican National Committee, and other GOP groups are accepting dozens of donations from people who claim …
Adrian Carrasquillo / Newsweek:
‘The Cavalry is Coming:’ Lincoln Project Joins With National Latino Groups To Boost Biden  —  As the general election sprint began after Labor Day, so too did deepening scrutiny of Joe Biden's engagement and support from Latino voters, which polls show continues to lag Hillary Clinton's 2016 results, as well as in Florida.
Rick Wartzman / Fast Company:
‘We were shocked’: RAND study uncovers massive income shift to the top 1%  —  Just how far has the working class been left behind by the winner-take-all economy?  A new analysis by the RAND Corporation examines what rising inequality has cost Americans in lost income—and the results are stunning.
Discussion: Raw Story, TIME and Common Dreams
Tony Schwartz / GEN:
Trump Is a Lost Cause.  We Have to Change Ourselves.  —  The president is a reflection of our worst instincts  —  Even before I agreed to write The Art of the Deal for Donald Trump three decades ago, I sensed his extreme self-absorption and utter lack of conscience.  I wrote the book anyway for the money.
Michael R. Pompeo / United States Department of State:
The United States Condemns the Ortega Regime's Attack on the Free Press  —  Despite the international community's call for free and fair elections, Daniel Ortega is doubling down on repression and refusing to honor the democratic aspirations of the Nicaraguan people.
Denise Chow / NBC News:
Biden receives endorsement from Scientific American, magazine's first in 175-year history  —  Scientific American has endorsed Joe Biden for president, the first time the venerable science magazine has backed a presidential candidate in its 175-year history.
Morgan Phillips / Fox News:
More than 1,600 uncounted NJ primary ballots found in random bin at county elections board  —  The ballots did not change the results in any races in the July primary, an election official said  —  Officials in New Jersey's Sussex County found more than 1,600 ballots from the July primary in a “mislabeled” bin last Thursday.
Patrick Whittle / Associated Press:
Virus death toll linked to Maine wedding grows to 7  —  PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — At least seven people have died in connection to a coronavirus outbreak that continues to sicken people in Maine following a wedding reception held over the summer that violated state virus guidelines, public health authorities said.
Discussion: Forbes, The Hill and
Emily Brindley / Hartford Courant:
Daily coronavirus updates: Gov. Lamont announces new fines for violating rules on social gatherings and mask wearing in Connecticut; Positivity still above 1%  —  Connecticut is cracking down on coronavirus-related violations through a series of new fines aimed at residents who flout …
Discussion: The Hill and The Daily Caller
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 More Items: 
Roger Sollenberger / Salon:
Donald Trump called voting by mail “refreshingly democratic” in 2000 New York Times op-ed
Siraj Hashmi / RocaNews:
Cuties commits the sin it was made to condemn
Discussion: Daily Mail, Wired and Reason
New York Times:
U.S. Military Seeks Authority to Expand Counterterrorism Drone War to Kenya
Scott Bauer / Associated Press:
GOP Wisconsin elections commissioner advised Green Party
Josh Lederman / NBC News:
Pompeo hosts RNC chairwoman at revived Madison Dinners
Discussion: Raw Story and Florida Politics
Bill Smith / WCLO:
9/15/20 Bill Smith, President of the The Wisconsin Civil Justice Council Followed by Senator Ron Johnson
Discussion: Talking Points Memo and jsonline
Ronald Brownstein / CNN:
Why the stability of the 2020 race promises more volatility ahead
Ben Domenech / The Federalist:
Here's Why Joe Rogan Would Be An Excellent Debate Moderator
 Earlier Items: 
Ian Millhiser / Vox:
Last week was a disaster for voting rights in the courts
Daniel Dale / CNN:
Fact check: Trump makes four false claims in one sentence
Discussion: Political Wire and The Dispatch
Boats, flags and merchandise: Trump is core to supporters' identity
Discussion: The Day
Sarah Ferris / Politico:
Frustrated lawmakers draft their own pandemic aid package