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9:45 AM ET, September 17, 2020


 Top Items: 
Barr attacks Justice Department staff, compares them to preschoolers  —  (CNN)Attorney General William Barr slammed the hundreds of Justice Department prosecutors working beneath him on Wednesday, equating them to preschoolers, in a defense of his own politically tuned decision making in the Trump administration.
Washington Post:
Barr accuses Justice Department of headhunting and meddling with politics  —  Attorney General William P. Barr delivered a scathing critique of his own Justice Department Wednesday night, insisting on his absolute authority to overrule career staff, whom he said too often injected themselves …
Katie Benner / New York Times:
Barr Told Prosecutors to Consider Sedition Charges for Protest Violence  —  The extraordinary suggestion comes as Attorney General William P. Barr has emerged as a messenger for President Trump's re-election campaign.  —  WASHINGTON — Attorney General William P. Barr told federal prosecutors …
U.S. Department of Justice:
Remarks by Attorney General William P. Barr at Hillsdale College Constitution Day Event
Discussion: Politico and Axios
Marissa Lang / Washington Post:
Federal officials stockpiled munitions, sought ‘heat ray’ device before clearing Lafayette Square, whistleblower says  —  Hours before law enforcement forcibly cleared protesters from Lafayette Square in early June amid protests over the police killing of George Floyd, federal officials began …
Dina Temple-Raston / NPR:
Military Police Leaders Weighed Deploying ‘Heat Ray’ Against D.C. Protesters  —  Hours before federal police officers cleared a crowded park near the White House with smoke and tear gas on June 1, the lead military police officer in the Department of Defense for the D.C. region asked …
Lucy Osborne / The Guardian:
Donald Trump accused of sexual assault by former model Amy Dorris  —  Exclusive: Amy Dorris alleges Trump forced his tongue down her throat and groped her at 1997 US Open  —  A former model has come forward to accuse Donald Trump of sexually assaulting her at the US Open tennis tournament …
Amy Walter / The Cook Political Report:
New Survey Results From KFF/Cook Political Report Survey in AZ, Fl, and NC.  AZ Moves to Lean Dem  —  There are two key geographic battlegrounds for the Electoral College this year.  One is the Midwest that until 2016, had been reliably Democratic.  The other is the fast-growing Sun Belt section …
Sun Belt Voices Project  —  A COLLABORATION BETWEEN KFF AND THE COOK POLITICAL REPORT  —  Key Findings  — Most voters have made up their minds about how they will vote for president, with results suggesting very close elections in each of the three Sun Belt states included in this project.
Washington Post:
A scrapped plan to ship masks to Americans.  A standoff with Amazon amid pressure from Trump.  New documents detail USPS's spring in crisis.  —  Nearly 10,000 pages of emails, memos and other private documents offer new details about the agency's struggles and the pro-Trump figures to whom it turned for advice
Discussion: Political Wire
GOP growing more indifferent with Trump controversies as election nears  —  Washington (CNN)Public health experts reacted with alarm after President Donald Trump held an indoor rally with thousands of maskless supporters at a packed arena in Nevada amid the deadly coronavirus pandemic.
Greg Sargent / Washington Post:
Huge numbers of Republicans say mail-voting is fraudulent. That's ominous.
Discussion: Pew Research Center
Susie Armitage / ProPublica:   ProPublica's Pandemic Guide to Making Sure Your Vote Counts
The Daily Beast:
U.S. Intel Repeatedly Warned About Rudy's ‘Russian Agent’ Pal  —  RED ALERT  —  For a year and a half, U.S. intelligence warned that Andriy Derkach was suspected of election interference.  Yet Derkach—and his wild beliefs—kept drawing more Trumpist adherents.
Discussion: NBC News and Raw Story
Mary Clare Jalonick / Associated Press:
Romney says Biden probe ‘not legitimate role of government’  —  WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican Sen. Mitt Romney is sharply criticizing an investigation by his own party into Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden's son, saying it's “not the legitimate role of government” to try and damage political opponents.
Discussion: The Hill and Politico
Dan Coats / New York Times:
The Election Needs Oversight  —  Congress should establish a bipartisan commission to monitor voting and ensure that laws and regulations are followed.  —  Mr. Coats served as the director of national intelligence from 2017 to 2019.  —  We hear often that the November election is the most consequential in our lifetime.
Discussion: Axios and Raw Story
Dennis Ferrier / WZTV:
COVID-19 emails from Nashville mayor's office show disturbing revelation  —  The coronavirus cases on lower Broadway may have been so low that the mayor's office and the metro health department decided to keep it secret.  Emails between the mayor's senior advisor and the health department reveal only a partial picture.
Nick Robins-Early / HuffPost:
16 Straight Hours Inside The Alternate Reality Of Pro-Trump TV Channel OAN  —  This is what it's like watching an entire day of Trump World's answer to state television.  —  The first thing I learn from One America News Network is that there is a new Rolling Stones flagship store opening …
Julia Davis / The Daily Beast:
Russian Media Is Rooting for Civil War in America: ‘The Worse, the Better’  —  “It is better to remain neutral, but if we had to choose, then Trump is certainly ours.”  —  BEAST INSIDE  —  There is no shortage of local topics that interest the Kremlin—from the poisoning of an inconvenient dissident …
Natasha Korecki / Politico:
Dems fear Wisconsin governor is becoming a liability for Biden  —  KENOSHA, Wis. — Tony Evers pulled off one of the Democratic Party's biggest feats of 2018: ousting liberal villain Scott Walker after earlier attempts to take out the Wisconsin governor fell short.
Chad Wolf appears ready to defy House subpoena to testify, DHS official says  —  Acting Secy Wolf: DHS needs a confirmed secretary  —  (CNN)Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf appears ready to defy a House subpoena issued last week for him to testify Thursday on threats to the US homeland …
Discussion: Just Security and The Week
Wall Street Journal:
The Higher Wages of Growth  —  Before the pandemic, income growth soared and poverty fell to the lowest rate since 1959.  —  By The Editorial Board  —  In case you missed it, and most of the media did, the Census Bureau reported Tuesday that the median household income in 2019 grew a whopping 6.8% …
Anjali Sundaram / CNBC:
Yelp data shows 60% of business closures due to the coronavirus pandemic are now permanent  — Yelp on Wednesday released its latest Economic Impact Report, revealing business closures across the U.S. are increasing as a result of the coronavirus.  — As of Aug, 31, 163,735 businesses …
Nancy Cook / Politico:
'You can't attack a regular voter': Trump faces a retail-campaigning gap  —  President Donald Trump rarely interacts for extended periods with everyday Americans who haven't been pre-screened by the White House or campaign.  He's never been fond of retail politics, like the random visit to a coffee shop or diner.
Navalny team says nerve agent was found on hotel room water bottle  —  MOSCOW (Reuters) - The nerve agent used to poison Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny was detected on an empty water bottle from his hotel room in the Siberian city of Tomsk, suggesting he was poisoned …
The One Vital Message Democrats Need to Win  —  The most powerful campaign message the Democrats have been sending in 2020—exemplified by their diverse, stirring lineup of convention speeches—is an appeal to inclusion and identity.  The party clearly is making a clear effort, in particular …
Barack Obama to release first volume of memoirs after election  —  Former President Obama's memoir will be published in two volumes — with a 768-page Volume 1, “A Promised Land,” out Nov. 17 in 25 languages, publisher Penguin Random House announced Thursday.
Ethan Iverson / NPR:
Stanley Crouch, Towering Jazz Critic, Dead At 74  —  Stanley Crouch, the lauded and fiery jazz critic, has died.  According to an announcement by his wife, Gloria Nixon-Crouch, Stanley Crouch died at the Calvary Hospital in New York on Wednesday , following nearly a decade of serious health issues.
Democrats scramble to soothe voter fears about in-person voting ahead of November election  —  (CNN)After months of warnings about the risks posed by in-person voting in a push to expand access to mail-in ballots, Democrats across the country are increasingly focused on communicating to voters …
Alexander Nazaryan / Los Angeles Times:
Review: Woodward's Trump exposé ‘Rage’ reflects the lazy thinking that got us into this mess  —  If you buy books linked on our site, The Times may earn a commission from, whose fees support independent bookstores.  —  They spoke 18 times.  Eighteen!
Discussion: Politico
Barry Svrluga / Washington Post:
The Big Ten might save its football season, but the myth of college sports has been shattered  —  Here is how important college football is in this country: By Tuesday afternoon, the University of Wisconsin had 2,160 students who had tested positive for the novel coronavirus, and all classes were being held virtually.
Discussion: Common Dreams and The Week
Janan Ganesh / Financial Times:
The welcome lack of enthusiasm for Joe Biden  —  As the US has found, worshipping political leaders is weird and pernicious  —  Delaware can reasonably claim to be the most innocuous state in the US.  The tax-advantageous peninsula seldom incurs hatred, its opposite, or even a second thought …
John Bickley / The Daily Wire:
Facebook Censors Pro-Trump Ad On Biden Raising Taxes After Fact-Check Admits Claim May Be True, Rules ‘Mostly False’ Anyhow  —  Amid pressure from left-wing activists and media outlets to clamp down on “misinformation” from the right, Facebook has begun censoring political ads …
Rasmussen Reports:
White House Watch  —  Trump Takes First Lead  —  President Trump has now edged to a one-point lead over Democratic nominee Joe Biden in the latest Rasmussen Reports' weekly White House Watch survey.  While statistically insignificant, it's the first time Trump has been ahead.
The Daily Caller:
Bail Fund Promoted By Kamala Harris Helped Man Accused Of Sexually Penetrating A Child  — A bail fund promoted by Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris helped a man accused of sexually assaulting an eight-year-old girl get out of jail in July, court records show.
Washington Post:
The latest crisis: Low-income students are dropping out of college this fall in alarming numbers  —  Many low-income students say they don't have good enough WiFi at home to take online courses.  —  In August, Paige McConnell became the first in her family to go to college — and the first to drop out.
Ron Kampeas / Jewish Telegraphic Agency:
On Rosh Hashanah call, Trump tells American Jews ‘We love your country’ and asks for their vote  —  WASHINGTON (JTA) — President Donald Trump spent much of his 20-minute call with American Jewish leaders making the case for more American Jews to vote for him.  He closed by repeating a line that has raised their eyebrows before.
Roger Sollenberger / Salon:
Invisible company owned by Rudy Giuliani got taxpayer-backed PPP money — but where did it go?  —  Giuliani's payroll company got a PPP loan from a Trump-friendly bank — but lists no employees.  Was it fraud?  —  view in app  —  Additional reporting was contributed by Kathleen O'Neill.
Jason Wilson / The Guardian:
Armed civilian roadblocks in Oregon town fuel fears over vigilantism … As Oregon battles more than a dozen wildfires and rumors about looters and arsonists flare, the appearance of armed civilian checkpoints has sparked a fierce debate about vigilante activity and how law enforcement should respond.
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 More Items: 
Robert Tracinski / The Bulwark:
The Campus Surveillance State
Washington Post:
Trump shattered his promise to ‘drain the swamp.’ The self-dealing would be epic in a second term.
Discussion: Raw Story
Alex Weprin / Hollywood Reporter:
Fox News Hit With Layoffs Amid Reorganization
Zoya Sheftalovich / Politico:
Boris Johnson: UK wants to rewrite Brexit Withdrawal Agreement to stop EU being ‘abusive’
Washington Post:
Trump's most popular YouTube ad is a stew of manipulated video
Associated Press:
American woman's bar crawl spreads Covid in southern Germany
Erik Wemple / Washington Post:
Stop whining, Alan Dershowitz
Discussion: Breitbart and Variety
Republicans set aside past concerns over controversial Georgia candidate as they urge her to join ‘team’
Discussion: Political Wire
 Earlier Items: 
Freedom Caucus presses McCarthy to launch long-shot bid to oust Pelosi
Discussion: Fox News and The Hill
Josh Gerstein / Politico:
Judge orders all federal prosecutors in Manhattan to read opinion on withholding evidence