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12:50 PM ET, September 23, 2020


 Top Items: 
John F. Harris / Politico:
McConnell Is on the Losing Side of History — And He Knows It  —  Mitch McConnell may be driving American politics to the brink of insanity, but let's assume that the majority leader himself is entirely sane.  —  There are two possible reasons why it would be rational for him to act …
Abby Livingston / The Texas Tribune:
Ted Cruz blocks a U.S. Senate resolution to honor Ruth Bader Ginsburg, citing a “partisan” amendment  —  The junior Texas senator objected to language his Democratic counterparts added noting that late U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's dying wish was that a successor …
Dion Rabouin / Axios:
Wall Street fears meltdown over election and Supreme Court  —  The death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and President Trump's vow to name her replacement to the Supreme Court before November's election are amplifying Wall Street's worries about major volatility and market losses ahead of and even after the election.
Peter Baker / New York Times:
With Nothing Else Working, Trump Races to Make a New Supreme Court Justice the Issue
Trump falls into the trap he set for Biden  —  Donald Trump will face Joe Biden within days for the first of three presidential debates, and some of the president's supporters are already bracing for a humiliating loss.  —  White House allies, Republican donors and some of Trump's closest advisers worry …
Discussion: Raw Story, The Hill and Common Dreams
Washington Post:
Post-ABC polls: Trump and Biden in tight races in Florida, Arizona  —  Sunbelt battlegrounds could hold key to 2020 election outcome  —  President Trump and former vice president Joe Biden are locked in close races in Florida and Arizona, according to a pair of Washington Post-ABC News polls …
Jonathan Martin / New York Times:
Cindy McCain Endorses Biden, Citing Trump's Disparagement of Troops  —  The widow of Senator John McCain praised Joe Biden's “character and integrity” and noted that both he and her family had children who had served in the military.  —  WASHINGTON — Cindy McCain, the widow of Senator John McCain …
Arizona Republic:
Citing family friendship, character, Cindy McCain endorses Joe Biden
Discussion: Fox News, Associated Press and Mediaite
Washington Post:
GOP senators' report calls Hunter Biden's board position with Ukraine firm ‘problematic,’ but fails to show how it changed U.S. policy  —  A pair of Senate Republican committee chairmen released a report Wednesday arguing that Hunter Biden's board position with a Ukrainian energy company was …
GOP senators' anti-Biden report repackages old claims  —  For a year, Senate Republicans have teased a bombshell investigation into Joe and Hunter Biden that could rock the former vice president's campaign for the White House.  —  But an interim report, issued by Sens. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) …
Tristan Justice / The Federalist:
Senate Report Accuses Hunter Biden Of Paying For Hookers Who May Have Been Trafficked
Discussion: Redstate
Barton Gellman / The Atlantic:
The Election That Could Break America  —  Illustrations by Guillem Casasús / Renderings by Borja Alegre  —  There is a cohort of close observers of our presidential elections, scholars and lawyers and political strategists, who find themselves in the uneasy position of intelligence analysts in the months before 9/11.
Karoun Demirjian / Washington Post:
House Democrats unveil reforms to ‘prevent future presidential abuses’  —  House Democrats unveiled a sweeping package of reforms Wednesday morning designed to strengthen Congress's ability to check the executive branch and prevent abuses of power, especially by the president.
Greg Miller / Washington Post:
Allegations of racism have marked Trump's presidency and become key issue as election nears  —  In unguarded moments with senior aides, President Trump has maintained that Black Americans have mainly themselves to blame in their struggle for equality, hindered more by lack of initiative …
Vicky Prodeline / Polls:
Countervailing Shifts in a Stable Race  —  Democrat makes gains in special Senate election  —  West Long Branch, NJ - Donald Trump and Joe Biden remain locked in a tight race for Georgia's electoral votes according to the Monmouth ("Mon-muth") University Poll.
CIA clamps down on flow of Russia intelligence to White House  —  Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Gina Haspel and President Donald Trump attend the swearing-in ceremony for Haspel as CIA director May 21, 2018, in Langley, Va. |  The CIA has made it harder for intelligence about Russia to reach …
Nancy Benac / Associated Press:
Dear Donald, Dear Mr. President: A Trump-Nixon '80s tale  —  WASHINGTON (AP) — They were two men in Manhattan who craved the same thing: validation.  One was a brash, young real estate developer looking to put his stamp on New York, the other a disgraced elder statesman bent on repairing his reputation.
Julia Ainsley / NBC News:
DHS awarded $6 million in contracts to firm where Acting Secretary Wolf's wife is executive … WASHINGTON — The consulting firm where the wife of acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf is an executive has been awarded more than $6 million in contracts from the Department …
Discussion: Reuters, The Hill, Forbes and Raw Story
New York Times:
White House Accused of Improperly Politicizing Review of John Bolton's Book  —  The account by a former National Security Council official also implied that the Justice Department may have told a court that the book contains classified information and opened a criminal investigation based on false pretenses.
Michael Cooper / New York Times:
The Metropolitan Opera Won't Reopen for Another Year  —  The nation's largest performing arts organization, shut by the coronavirus pandemic, sends a chilling signal that American cultural life is still far from resuming.  —  The Metropolitan Opera announced Wednesday that the still-untamed …
The Economist:
Estimated Senate seats  —  Our model is updated every day, blending the latest data on polls and fundraising with “fundamental” factors like incumbency and each state's partisan lean.  Below is a chart over time of our best estimate of the most likely number of Senate seats each party will win …
Jessica Taylor / The Cook Political Report:
Colorado Senate Moves From Toss Up to Lean Democrat  —  With a Supreme Court nominee now all but certain to be confirmed by the GOP-controlled Senate this year (either before or after the election), it looks like there will only be two defections from Republican ranks — Maine Sen. Susan Collins …
Thomas B. Edsall / New York Times:
Five Things Biden and His Allies Should Be Worried About  —  Interestingly, the suburban vote may not be one of them.  —  Mr. Edsall contributes a weekly column from Washington, D.C. on politics, demographics and inequality.  —  There are at least five reasons Joe Biden's consistent lead …
New York Times:
The Russian Trolls Have a Simpler Job Today.  Quote Trump.  —  As part of their attempt to interfere with the 2020 election, Russians are grabbing screenshots of President Trump's tweets, or quoting his own misleading statements, analysts and officials say.
Discussion: Bulwark+ and Raw Story
Michael S. Schmidt / NBC News:
The story of how Trump chose children over country — and the men who tried to stop him  —  This piece has been adapted from “Donald Trump v. The United States: Inside the Struggle to Stop a President” by Michael S. Schmidt.  —  Counterintelligence officials had concerns about the attempts …
Mark Sullivan / Fast Company:
Facebook will let Trump run ads on election night prematurely claiming victory  —  Facebook banned political ads a week before the election, but it's the period after the election that it should be worried about.  Here's why.  —  At 12:01 a.m. Eastern Time on election night …
BuzzFeed News:
The Victims Of Violence During The Kenosha Protests Are Suing Facebook And Kyle Rittenhouse  —  Four people are suing Facebook for its alleged role in enabling the violence that overtook the city of Kenosha, Wisconsin, in August.  —  The five-count civil complaint filed late Tuesday …
Discussion: Associated Press and The Intercept
John Caniglia / Plain Dealer:
Voters' groups say poor face 90-minute travel time to deliver ballots to Cuyahoga County's lone drop box  —  CLEVELAND, Ohio - Voting-rights advocates say it could take some Cuyahoga County residents as long as 90 minutes in travel time to cast an absentee ballot at the county's only drop box.
Tyler Pager / Bloomberg:
Kamala Harris Downplays Debate Skills as Buttigieg Stands In for Pence  — Former prosecutor known for withering attacks on opponents  — Harris created viral moments in presidential primary debates  —  Kamala Harris's team is working to manage public expectations that her upcoming debate …
Discussion: PinkNews, The Hill and Raw Story
Erik Larson / Bloomberg:
Eric Trump Gave ‘False’ Reason for Dodging Deposition, New York AG Says  —  President Donald Trump's son Eric gave a judge a “false” explanation for why he backed out of a July deposition in a civil probe of the family business, New York's top law enforcement officer said in a court filing.
Daniel Victor / New York Times:
Harry and Meghan Encourage Americans to Vote  —  The couple did not endorse any candidates, but Meghan called the election “the most important election of our lifetime.”  —  LONDON — Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan, appeared in a video encouraging Americans to register to vote …
David French / Persuasion:
The Hate at the Heart of Conspiracy Theory  —  Liberty can survive intense disagreement.  But it cannot survive pure hate.  —  Something bothers me about the most common explanations for why conspiracy theories are spreading on the American right.  When trying to account for the rise …
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 More Items: 
Jeff Landry / New York Post:
Tish James' endless anti-Trump suits betray the AG's mission
Stephen Collinson / CNN:
Trump again minimizes the pandemic as officials warn of a fall surge
Emily Stewart / Vox:
We can end America's unemployment nightmare
David Shepardson / Reuters:
U.S. Justice Department to propose changes to internet platforms immunity: source
Kentucky attorney general to announce Breonna Taylor decision this afternoon
Discussion: New York Post
Ned Ryun / American Greatness:
In Michigan and Pennsylvania, the Democrats Plan to Cheat
Discussion: Washington Post and Reason
Pew Research Center:
The Changing Racial and Ethnic Composition of the U.S. Electorate
 Earlier Items: 
New York Times:
Vladimir Putin Thinks He Can Get Away With Anything
Will Weissert / Associated Press:
‘Bidin’ his time': Joe Biden battles being chronically late
Alona Ferber / New Statesman:
Judith Butler on the culture wars, JK Rowling and living in “anti-intellectual times”
Discussion: PinkNews
Laurence Jarvik / THE LATEST:
Scientific American's Scientifically Indefensible Biden Endorsement
Discussion: Common Dreams
Michael Isikoff / Yahoo News:
In apparent play for QAnon supporters, GOP attack ads claim Democrat lawmakers are defending ‘sex offenders’
Elena Schneider / Politico:
The RNC is wiring cash to Texas. Is it a 2020 battleground?
Detroit Free Press:
West Michigan man says yard signs were stolen. So he put up Joe Biden freeway billboards.
Discussion: Balloon Juice