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3:25 PM ET, September 30, 2020

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 Top Items: 
John F. Harris / Politico:
An Epic Moment of National Shame: The Debate Was an Embarrassment for the Ages  —  At frequent intervals on Tuesday night, the natural human reaction—lower the sound, wince and look away—took over, and the first presidential debate of the 2020 general election became nearly unwatchable.
RELATED:
Seaborn Larson / Helena Independent Record:
Former Gov. Marc Racicot to vote for Biden  —  Former Montana governor and Republican National Committee Chair Marc Racicot on Tuesday said he would not vote for President Donald Trump, citing Trump's character as fault enough to vote for Democrat challenger Joe Biden on Nov. 3.
Matthew Yglesias / Vox:
Exclusive poll: Biden won the debate convincingly  —  Photo by Jim Watson, Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images  —  A decisive win, powered mostly by character.  —  A new poll by Data for Progress provided exclusively to Vox shows that viewers thought Democratic nominee Joe Biden decisively won Tuesday's …
NBC News:
Trump's last best tactic: Burn it all down  —  WASHINGTON — Trailing in the polls with five weeks to go, President Trump didn't use last night's debate to disqualify his opponent or outline his vision for the next four years.  —  Instead, he decided to burn down the debate …
Susan B. Glasser / New Yorker:
“This Is So Unpresidential”: Notes from the Worst Debate in American History  —  Trump talked and talked on Tuesday night, but, politically speaking, it added up to nothing.  —  What does the worst debate in American history look like?  It looks like the debate that took place …
Laura Barrón-López / Politico:
Undecided voters call Trump ‘unhinged’ and ‘un-American’ — but are unswayed by debate  —  After watching the first presidential debate Tuesday night, undecided voters from battleground states across the country still had plenty they wanted to know about coronavirus, racial injustice …
David Bossie / Fox News:
Trump clearly defeats Biden in first presidential debate  —  Biden failed to accomplish in 47 years what Trump has delivered for the American people in 47 months  —  Laura Ingraham: Trump and Biden share stage in ‘raucous’ debate  —  To any reasonable person watching …
Discussion: IJR and OpsLens
David Weigel / Washington Post:
The Trailer: What happened in Cleveland  —  In this special post-debate edition: How months of expectation-setting fell apart in a Cleveland auditorium.  —  To fully enjoy the newsletter today, please interrupt your friends and family by reading sections out loud.  This is The Trailer.
Brooke Singman / Fox News:
Commission on Presidential Debates ‘carefully considering’ format changes after first Trump, Biden debate  —  The statement follows the highly contentious first debate between President Trump and Joe Biden  —  Trump, Biden debate law and order in Cleveland
Associated Press:
Analysis: Trump leans on tone that turns off voters he needs  —  WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump needed to make the first general election debate about his rival, Democrat Joe Biden.  Instead, as he so often does, Trump made it about himself.  —  The president set the tone …
Dan Balz / Washington Post:
Trump sets the tone for the worst presidential debate in living memory  —  No one alive has ever seen a presidential debate like Tuesday night's unseemly shout fest between President Trump and former vice president Joe Biden — 90 minutes of invective, interruptions and personal insults.
Claire Sanford / Rev:
Donald Trump & Joe Biden 1st Presidential Debate Transcript 2020  —  Full transcript of the first 2020 presidential debate between Donald Trump and Joe Biden.  The debate was moderated by Chris Wallace of Fox News on September 29, 2020 in Cleveland, Ohio.  —  Transcribe Your Own Content
Jonathan Easley / The Hill:
Poll finds Trump, Biden in statistical dead heat in South Carolina
Discussion: Politico, Political Wire and Axios
Leo Shane III / Marine Corps Times:
Fact check: Trump claims Biden policies killed over 308,000 veterans, but that's not what investigators found
Discussion: Raw Story
Jeet Heer / The Nation:
With Help From Chris Wallace, Trump Attacked American Democracy
N'dea Yancey-Bragg / USA Today:
Portland-area sheriff says he ‘will never’ support Donald Trump after president claims endorsement during debate
Discussion: NBC Boston
Rolling Stone:
The 5 Exchanges That Defined the Most Disgraceful Debate in Presidential History
Politico:
Biden campaign faces questions about whether he should skip next debates
New York Times:
Proud Boys celebrate Trump's mention of them at the debate.  —  Members of the Proud Boys, a far-right group that has endorsed violence, celebrated on Tuesday night after President Trump mentioned them during the first presidential debate.  —  Asked whether he condemned white supremacists …
RELATED:
Ben Sales / Jewish Telegraphic Agency:
Are the Proud Boys anti-Semitic?  Your primer on the far-right group Trump told to ‘stand back and stand by’  —  (JTA) — Who are the Proud Boys, the far-right group that Donald Trump name-checked at the first presidential debate?  And do they hate Jews?  —  The answer to the second question …
Jason Whitlock / OutKick:   Chris Wallace, American Media Fiddle During Debate As BLM, Antifa Burn Our Country
NBC News:
Proud Boys celebrate after Trump's debate call-out
Zak Cheney-Rice / New York Magazine:
We Can Probably Stop Asking Trump If He's a White Supremacist
Sheila Kaplan / New York Times:
White House Blocked C.D.C. Order to Keep Cruise Ships Docked  —  The C.D.C. director wanted a “no sail” order extended until February, a policy that would have upset the tourism industry in the crucial swing state of Florida.  —  The White House has blocked a new order from the Centers …
Discussion: The Hill and Axios
Alex Ward / Vox:
Pope Francis refused to meet with Mike Pompeo so as not to boost Trump  —  Part of the problem lies with Pompeo's decision to act as a Trump campaign surrogate in his official capacity.  —  SHARE All sharing options  —  When President Donald Trump's top diplomat can't get a meeting with God's ambassador, you know something is wrong.
RELATED:
Barbie Latza Nadeau / The Daily Beast:
Vatican Accuses Team Trump of Trying to Exploit Pope Francis
Katie Robertson / New York Times:
Ocasio-Cortez and Warren Pull Out of New Yorker Festival  —  The two standard bearers of the left said they would skip the annual event in solidarity with The New Yorker Union, which plans a digital picket line.  —  Senator Elizabeth Warren and Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez …
Jim Rutenberg / New York Times:
How Trump's ‘Voter Fraud’ Lie Is Disenfranchising Americans  —  On an October morning four years ago, eight young staff members at the Indiana Voter Registration Project in Indianapolis were planning their final steps before a closely contested presidential election.
Discussion: Political Wire and Law & Crime
 
 
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 More Items: 
Justin Levitt / electionlawblog.org:
Wisconsin GOP tries to stop Racing Sausages from promoting civic participation
Jennifer Rubin / Washington Post:
The media keeps making these cringeworthy mistakes
Politico:
‘Children have become acceptable carnage’
Discussion: The Daily Beast
Washington Post:
The covid-19 recession is the most unequal in modern U.S. history
Discussion: The Week
Conrad Wilson / opb:
Police arrest far-right protester who pointed gun at Portland rally
Discussion: Raw Story and HillReporter.com
Sarah Mimms / BuzzFeed News:
A Member Of Congress Is Facing Death Threats After QAnon Went After Him
Discussion: The Gateway Pundit
 Earlier Items: 
Associated Press:
US says it will block palm oil from large Malaysian producer
Discussion: The Daily Caller
Brian Schwartz / CNBC:
Democrats see fundraising boom following wild debate between Trump and Biden
Discussion: POLITICUSUSA
James Fallows / The Atlantic:
A Disgusting Night for Democracy
Discussion: Raw Story, National Memo and Townhall
Thomas L. Friedman / New York Times:
Trump Sent a Warning. Let's Take It Seriously.
Cristina Marcos / The Hill:
House in near-unanimous vote affirms peaceful transfer of power
Discussion: CNN, Daily Kos, The Daily Caller and Axios