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9:30 AM 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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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.
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.
Ben Collins / NBC News:
Coordinated push of conspiracy theories target Biden hours before debate  —  A conspiracy theory that Joe Biden would wear an electronic device in his ear during the first presidential debate went wildly viral Tuesday in the hours before the debate, and the theory was later amplified …
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 …
Jonathan Chait / New York Magazine:
Trump Controlled the Tone of the First Debate, But Biden Controlled the Message  —  President Trump's main objective in the first presidential debate was to rattle Joe Biden.  He interrupted constantly, he made repeated personal attacks on Hunter Biden, and he attempted to make Biden stammer.
Discussion: Viking Pundit and CBS Boston
Kelly Hooper / Politico:
Trump email says he ‘finished debating’ Biden hours before debate begins  —  The Trump campaign claimed the president “finished debating Joe Biden” and bragged about his performance hours before the debate even started Tuesday night.  —  In a prematurely sent campaign email obtained by POLITICO …
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.
Richard Wolffe / The Guardian:
Trump heckled, bullied and lied through the debate. It won't help him beat Biden
Reuters:
Takeaways from Donald Trump and Joe Biden's first U.S. presidential debate
Aaron Blake / Washington Post:
5 takeaways from the first presidential debate
David Siders / Politico:
Trump mayhem takes over first debate
Dan Balz / Washington Post:
Trump sets the tone for the worst presidential debate in living memory
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 …
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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 …
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 …
New York Times:
Biden and Trump's First Debate: Best and Worst Moments  —  How Round 1 looked to Times Opinion writers.  —  By The New York Times Opinion  —  Welcome to Opinion's commentary for the first presidential debate between Donald Trump and Joe Biden.  In this special feature …
Discussion: National Review, The Hill, Vox and Raw Story
Jonathan V. Last / The Bulwark:
The President Is a Sociopath. And 60 Million Americans Like It.
Discussion: The Week, Fox News, New Republic and CNN
Politico:
Intel chief releases Russian disinfo on Hillary Clinton that was rejected by bipartisan Senate panel  —  Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe on Tuesday declassified a Russian intelligence assessment that was previously rejected by Democrats and Republicans on the Senate Intelligence Committee …
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Associated Press:
AP FACT CHECK: False claims flood Trump-Biden debate  —  WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump unleashed a torrent of fabrications and fear-mongering in a belligerent debate with Joe Biden, at one point claiming that the U.S. death toll would have been 10 times higher under the Democrat …
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Nick Corasaniti / New York Times:
Fact-Checking the First 2020 Presidential Debate
Thomas L. Friedman / New York Times:
Trump Sent a Warning.  Let's Take It Seriously.  —  Our democracy is in terrible danger — more than since the Civil War, more than after Pearl Harbor, more than during the Cuban missile crisis.  —  President Trump has made it unmistakably clear in recent weeks — and even more crystal clear …
Chuck Ross / The Daily Caller:
10 Questions James Comey Could Face During His Senate Testimony: Analysis  — Much has been learned about the FBI's Trump-Russia probe since former FBI Director James Comey last appeared before Congress.  — Multiple reports have undercut the FBI's initial theory that the Trump campaign colluded …
Discussion: New York Times and CNN
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Ronn Blitzer / Fox News:
James Comey to testify before Congress about Russia probe: What to know
Discussion: Reuters
Washington Post:
Early surge of Democratic mail voting sparks worry inside GOP  —  Democratic voters who have requested mail ballots — and returned them — greatly outnumber Republicans so far in key battleground states, causing alarm among GOP party leaders and strategists that President Trump's attacks …
Discussion: Raw Story, Breitbart and Political Wire
Washington Post:
Trump plans big Wisconsin rallies despite White House task force calls for ‘maximal’ social distancing in the state  —  President Trump has scheduled large campaign rallies this weekend in Wisconsin despite recommendations from the White House Coronavirus Task Force that call …
Lukas I. Alpert / Wall Street Journal:
Digital News Startup Axios Weathers Covid With Sponsored Newsletters  —  Three-year-old media company avoids staff reductions and is on pace to be profitable in 2020  —  “Smart brevity” has been good for business at Axios.  —  The digital news startup, which uses the term as its motto …
The Philadelphia Inquirer:
‘Bad things happen in Philadelphia,’ Trump says at debate, renewing false claim about poll watchers  —  President Donald Trump closed out his first presidential debate with Democratic nominee Joe Biden on Tuesday night by repeating on national television his false claim that poll watchers …
Robby Soave / Reason:
Ohio State Professor Apologizes for ‘Hurt, Sadness, Frustration, Fatigue, Exhaustion and Pain’ Caused By Pro-Football Article  —  Matthew Mayhew is sorry.  Very, very sorry.  —  “I am sorry for the hurt, sadness, frustration, fatigue, exhaustion and pain this article has caused anyone …
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Matthew J. Mayhew / Inside Higher Ed:
Why America Needs College Football — Part 2
Discussion: National Review and Power Line
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 More Items: 
Scott Bauer / Associated Press:
Court upholds Wisconsin ballot extension, hands Dems a win
Discussion: Politico, Townhall and Bloomberg
Nicholas Florko / STAT:
Trump claims his policies made insulin 'so cheap, it's like water.' But for most people, it costs just as much as before
Natalia Alamdari / delawareonline:
No, Joe Biden did not say he attended Delaware State University
Dan Diamond / Politico:
HHS ad blitz sputters as celebrities back away
Discussion: The Daily Caller
 Earlier Items: 
Washington Post:
Judge Barrett represented Iranian exile group in fight to end terrorist designation
Discussion: Axios
Tom Hamburger / Washington Post:
U.S. Chamber of Commerce abruptly ousts top political consultant Scott Reed, alleging leaks
Discussion: Politico and Wall Street Journal
Matthew Chapman / Raw Story:
Fascism expert: Trump has used all ‘four threats’ that can topple a democracy
Discussion: The Daily Beast