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2:40 PM ET, September 18, 2020

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 Top Items: 
Jamie Ross / The Daily Beast:
U.S. Admits That Congressman Offered Pardon to Assange If He Covered Up Russia Links  —  Republican congressman Dana Rohrabacher offered Assange the deal in 2017, a year after the emails that damaged Hillary Clinton had been published.  —  LONDON—Lawyers representing the United States …
Discussion: The Gateway Pundit and Raw Story
RELATED:
Andrew MacAskill / Reuters:
Trump offered to pardon Assange if he provided source for Democratic emails, lawyer says  —  LONDON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump offered to pardon Julian Assange if the WikiLeaks founder provided the source for the hacking of Democratic National Committee emails …
New York Times:
Virus Pulls Down Trump, Poll Shows, and G.O.P. Senators Suffer With Him  —  A New York Times/Siena College survey showed Joe Biden leading President Trump by wide margins in Maine and Arizona, and effectively tied in North Carolina.  Susan Collins trailed her Democratic rival in Maine's Senate race.
RELATED:
NPR:
Poll: Biden Maintains Lead Over Trump With Likely Voters  —  Former Vice President Joe Biden continues to lead President Trump in the 2020 presidential election nationally by a substantial margin, according to the latest NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll.  —  Biden leads Trump by 9 points, 52% to 43%, among likely voters, the survey finds.
Kaleigh Rogers / FiveThirtyEight:
North Carolina Is Already Rejecting Black Voters' Mail-In Ballots More Often Than White Voters'
Discussion: Politico and Raw Story
Christopher Cadelago / Politico:
‘Talk about losers’: The top moments from CNN's kid-gloves town hall with Biden  —  On Tuesday, voters got in Trump's face for the first time.  On Thursday, they practically gave Biden a hero's welcome in Scranton, Pa.  —  Democratic presidential nominee and former Vice President Joe Biden speaks …
RELATED:
Mollie Hemingway / The Federalist:
Joe Biden Resurrects False College Claim That Helped Ruin His 1988 Presidential Run
Discussion: Townhall and Redstate
Stephen Collinson / CNN:
Biden shows the qualities Trump lacks at CNN town hall
New York Times:
Covid-19 Live Updates: After Criticism, C.D.C. Reverses Guidelines About Testing People Who Were Exposed  —  Israel becomes one of the few countries to impose a second nationwide lockdown.  In the U.S., Joe Biden tries to focus the campaign on President Trump's virus performance.
RELATED:
Wilbur Ross / U.S. Department of Commerce:
Commerce Department Prohibits WeChat and TikTok Transactions to Protect the National Security of the United States  —  In response to President Trump's Executive Orders signed August 6, 2020, the Department of Commerce (Commerce) today announced prohibitions on transactions relating to mobile applications …
RELATED:
David Shepardson / Reuters:
Exclusive: Trump to block U.S. downloads of TikTok, WeChat on Sunday - officials
Abby Livingston / The Texas Tribune:
Republican U.S. House campaign arm cancels $2 million in Houston-area advertising  —  The region is home to multiple competitive races, including Congressional District 7 where Republicans are seeking to unseat U.S. Rep. Lizzie Fletcher  —  WASHINGTON - The National Republican Congressional Committee …
Discussion: Political Wire
Katie Shepherd / Washington Post:
An Idaho ‘no-masker’ pastor prayed against a mask mandate.  He's now in intensive care for covid-19.  —  When coronavirus cases began increasing in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, in late July, Pastor Paul Van Noy prayed with his congregation that the city council would not pass a mask mandate.
Discussion: Mediaite
RELATED:
Washington Post:
The Falwells, the pool attendant and the double life that brought them all down  —  For 2½ years, Giancarlo Granda had been telling his family about the generosity of his business partners.  The wealthy couple from out of town had taken him under their wing, he said …
Discussion: HuffPost
Andrew Sullivan / The Weekly Dish:
We Are All Algorithms Now  —  Is that what's really destroying the legitimacy of our democracy?  —  I've never felt this way about an election before.  For my entire adult life, campaigns could be exhilarating, tedious, crowded with incident or laden with foreboding, but you always felt that …
Noah Weiland / New York Times:
Emails Detail Effort to Silence C.D.C. and Question Its Science  —  Emails from a former top Trump health official and his science adviser show how the two refused to accept Centers for Disease Control and Prevention science and sought to silence the agency.
David Wasserman / The Cook Political Report:
Rating Change: Republicans Sound Alarm, Riggleman's VA-05 Moves to Toss Up  —  Is it deja vu all over again?  In 2008, Virginia's 5th District was the site of a gigantic upset when tireless 34-year-old Democrat Tom Perriello unseated GOP Rep. Virgil Goode by 727 votes.
Discussion: Blue Virginia
Devlin Barrett / Washington Post:
Book excerpt: An FBI sex crimes investigator helped trigger 2016's ‘October Surprise’  —  This article is adapted from “October Surprise: How the FBI Tried to Save Itself and Crashed an Election,” which will be published Sept. 22 by PublicAffairs.  The book is a comprehensive …
Discussion: The Hill
Ian Millhiser / Vox:
Chief Justice Roberts's lifelong crusade against voting rights, explained  —  He has fought to undermine voting rights his entire career.  —  John Roberts was 26 years old, and he was outraged that he'd just been outmaneuvered by older and much more experienced political hands.  —  It was 1981.
Discussion: Raw Story
RELATED:
Igor Bobic / HuffPost:   Alabama Senate Candidate Tommy Tuberville Struggles To Discuss Voting Rights Act
Colby Itkowitz / Washington Post:
Trump campaign manager didn't vote for his boss in 2016 — or at all  —  President Trump's campaign manager didn't vote for his boss in the last presidential election.  He didn't vote at all.  —  The last time Bill Stepien voted, according to public records, was in 2015, when he lived in New Jersey and was registered there.
Discussion: Talking Points Memo and The Hill
Joseph Simonson / Washington Examiner:
Senior Biden campaign cybersecurity expert participated in racist internet troll group  —  A senior cybersecurity adviser to Joe Biden's presidential campaign spent years affiliating with a hacking organization and boasted on a personal blog about breaking into her neighbor's computers.
Discussion: The Gateway Pundit and Twitchy
Susan B. Glasser / New Yorker:
“It Was All About the Election”: The Ex-White House Aide Olivia Troye on Trump's Narcissistic Mishandling of COVID-19  —  The first staffer on the coronavirus task force to go public tells The New Yorker that America's pandemic response was “derailed by the person at the very top.”
Nomaan Merchant / Associated Press:
AP Exclusive: More migrant women say they didn't OK surgery  —  HOUSTON (AP) — Sitting across from her lawyer at an immigration detention center in rural Georgia, Mileidy Cardentey Fernandez unbuttoned her jail jumpsuit to show the scars on her abdomen.  There were three small, circular marks.
Politico:
Biden's weakness with Black and Latino men creates an opening for Trump  —  It was a huddle to marshal the faithful, featuring dozens of Black luminaries, from hip hop mogul Jay-Z to radio personality Charlamagne tha God to civil rights attorney Ben Crump.  Vice presidential candidate Kamala …
Discussion: The Atlantic and Florida Politics
RELATED:
New York Times:
This Is How Biden Should Approach the Latino Vote
Discussion: Power Line
Megan Henney / Fox News:
Pelosi snaps at reporter who asks about smaller coronavirus relief bill: ‘Just go read my statement’  —  House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Friday reiterated her hard-line demand for a $2.2T coronavirus relief package  —  House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Friday reiterated her hard-line demand …
David Segal / New York Times:
Housekeepers Face a Disaster Generations in the Making  —  Ghosted by their employers, members of the profession are facing “a full-blown humanitarian crisis — a Depression-level situation.”  —  The scariest day of Maria Del Carmen's life started with a phone call that initially cheered her up.
Christopher Ingraham / Washington Post:
The United States is backsliding into autocracy under Trump, scholars warn  —  The weakening of democratic values — a path that's difficult to reverse — has accelerated, according to hundreds of indicators assessed each year  —  Three years into the Trump administration …
Stephen Battaglio / Los Angeles Times:
‘Meet the Press’ host Chuck Todd is first in viewers — and Twitter critics.  Here's why  —  When “Meet the Press” moderator Chuck Todd hears that his name is trending on Twitter, he knows it probably isn't good.  —  Social media is a harsh real-time critic, even for the NBC Sunday public affairs program …
ProPublica:
Poorly Protected Postal Workers Are Catching COVID-19 by the Thousands.  It's One More Threat to Voting by Mail.  —  More than 50,000 workers have taken time off for virus-related reasons, slowing mail delivery.  The Postal Service doesn't test employees or check their temperatures, and its contact tracing is erratic.
Discussion: Washington Post
The Daily Beast:
How the Trump Campaign Lit a Billion Dollars on Fire  —  In this ep. of The New Abnormal, Rick breaks down how Team Trump has burned a billion and a former Obama national security aide has bad news about how other countries view America.  —  The Trump campaign raised more cash …
Discussion: Raw Story
Washington Post:
Under a lawless Trump, our system of checks and balances is being destroyed  —  President Trump promised in 2016 that he would protect the Constitution's “Article I, Article II, Article XII.”  (There is no Article XII.)  Instead, he has shown how fragile the constitutional order …
Matthias Gafni / San Francisco Chronicle:
Exclusive: Capt. Brett Crozier explains why he sent email warning of Roosevelt coronavirus outbreak  —  FILE — A photo provided by the U.S. Navy shows Capt. Brett Crozier, then commanding officer of the USS Theodore Roosevelt, addressing his crew during the aircraft carrier's operations in the Eastern Pacific Ocean, Nov. 15, 2019.
Geoffrey Fowler / Washington Post:
How to track your ballot like a UPS package  —  Worried about Election Day?  Now if you vote by mail, you can obsessively track your ballot's every move online.  —  Want to make sure your ballot counts?  Track it online like a UPS delivery.  —  That's now possible across much of America …
 
 
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 More Items: 
Maxwell Tani / The Daily Beast:
Biden's Crew Will Go on Fox, ‘Even if Questions Are Insane’
Justin Baragona / The Daily Beast:
All Hell Breaks Loose on ‘The View’ After Guest Brings Up Joy's Blackface Incident
Discussion: ABC News, The Hill and Breitbart
Reuters:
Trump to award Kuwaiti emir U.S. Legion of Merit: White House
Elyse Samuels / Washington Post:
Biden ad isolates the wrong Trump comments on coronavirus
Discussion: The Daily Caller
Anita Kumar / Politico:
Trump's bluster and millions haven't stopped universal mail-in voting plans
Discussion: Reuters and CNBC
 Earlier Items: 
David Harsanyi / National Review:
The Secret Life of Joe Biden
Abigail Abrams / TIME:
Donald Trump Is Losing On An Issue Voters Care A Lot About. Here's How He's Trying to Change That
Discussion: New York Times
Associated Press:
Judge blocks Michigan's ban on transporting voters to polls
Discussion: The Daily Caller
Tony Plohetski / Austin American-Statesman:
Officers rewarded for use of force with steakhouse gift cards, former Williamson deputies say
Discussion: The Hill
Anna North / Vox:
How #SaveTheChildren is pulling American moms into QAnon
Discussion: The Hill
New York Times:
Iranian Hackers Can Now Beat Encrypted Apps, Researchers Say
Alana Goodman / Washington Free Beacon:
Hunter Biden Offered D.C. Access to Chinese Company in Exchange for Investments
Mike Allen / Axios:
Michael Bloomberg unleashes $100 million “wall to wall” ad blitz to take down Trump in Florida