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12:55 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.
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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.
Laura Barrón-López / Politico:
Undecided voters call Trump ‘unhinged’ and ‘un-American’ — but 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 and what each candidate would do to unite the country.
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 …
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: OpsLens
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 …
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
Politico:
Biden campaign faces questions about whether he should skip next debates  —  The moment Joe Biden's first debate against Donald Trump ended, his campaign was already confronted with questions about whether it should be his last.  —  In the two men's first head-to-head matchup …
James Fallows / The Atlantic:
A Disgusting Night for Democracy  —  The 90-minute spectacle tonight calls into question the value of having any “debates” of this sort ever again.  No one knows more about public life than he or she did before this disaster began; some people know less; and everyone feels and looks worse.
Discussion: Raw Story and National Memo
Jeet Heer / The Nation:
With Help From Chris Wallace, Trump Attacked American Democracy  —  Enabled by the weak moderation, the president used the debate to legitimize a hate group and threaten intimidation at the polling station.  —  The first presidential debate of 2020 was a wretched affair, more a verbal brawl than a discussion.
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.
Margaret Sullivan / Washington Post:
Chris Wallace tried — and failed — to control Trump.  Something needs to change.  —  Chris Wallace wanted to be “invisible” as the moderator of the first presidential debate.  “If I've done my job right,” he said on his Fox News show Sunday, “at the end of the night, people will say, 'That was a great debate.
Mika Brzezinski / Cosmopolitan:
Cancel the Debates  —  host on how last night's broadcast damaged our democracy.  —  “Stand back and stand by.”
Discussion: Politico and The Post Millennial
Kelly Hooper / Politico:
Trump email says he ‘finished debating’ Biden hours before debate begins
Jonathan Chait / New York Magazine:
Trump Controlled the Tone of the First Debate, But Biden Controlled the Message
Discussion: Viking Pundit and CBS Boston
Richard Wolffe / The Guardian:
Trump heckled, bullied and lied through the debate. It won't help him beat Biden
Rolling Stone:
The 5 Exchanges That Defined the Most Disgraceful Debate in Presidential History
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 …
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NBC News:
Proud Boys celebrate after Trump's debate call-out … The Proud Boys, a far-right extremist group, pledged allegiance to President Donald Trump on Tuesday night after he told the group to “stand back and stand by” during the evening's debate.  —  Many people on social media who identify …
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 …
The Daily Beast:
Far-Right Proud Boys Rally After Trump's Debate Defense: ‘Fuck Them Up’  —  Given the chance to finally explicitly condemn right-wing extremism, Trump insisted, “This is a left-wing problem” and gave a shout-out to the Proud Boys.  —  President Donald Trump refused to condemn right-wing extremist groups …
Zak Cheney-Rice / New York Magazine:
We Can Probably Stop Asking Trump If He's a White Supremacist
C-SPAN.org:
Former FBI Director James Comey Testifies on Russia Investigation  —  Former FBI Director James Comey testified on the Russia investigation before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Discussion: CNN and Washington Times
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Nick Corasaniti / New York Times:
Fact-Checking the First 2020 Presidential Debate  — President Trump and former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. squared off for the first of three scheduled debates.  They faced over 90 minutes of questions in Cleveland from the moderator, Chris Wallace of Fox News.
RELATED:
Derek Thompson / The Atlantic:
How Voting by Mail Could Cost Biden the Election  —  As the coronavirus pandemic fanned across the country in the spring, Democrats looking ahead to the presidential election urged people to stay home in November—and vote by mail.  —  Minnesota's secretary of state encouraged all eligible voters to cast their ballot by mail.
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 More Items: 
David Shepardson / Reuters:
House panel approves FAA reform bill after Boeing 737 MAX crashes
Discussion: WTOP and One America News Network
John Nichols / The Nation:
Hillary Clinton Warned Us We Had to Get Serious About the Supreme Court
Discussion: Politico
Brian Schwartz / CNBC:
Democrats see fundraising boom following wild debate between Trump and Biden
Discussion: POLITICUSUSA
Barbie Latza Nadeau / The Daily Beast:
Vatican Accuses Team Trump of Trying to Exploit Pope Francis
 Earlier Items: 
Scott Bauer / Associated Press:
Court upholds Wisconsin ballot extension, hands Dems a win
Discussion: Fox News, Politico, Townhall and Bloomberg
Lukas I. Alpert / Wall Street Journal:
Digital News Startup Axios Weathers Covid With Sponsored Newsletters
Washington Post:
Trump plans big Wisconsin rallies despite White House task force calls for ‘maximal’ social distancing in the state
Discussion: Breitbart
Thomas L. Friedman / New York Times:
Trump Sent a Warning. Let's Take It Seriously.