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4:45 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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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 …
Jonathan Allen / NBC News:
Trump's fear dominated his first debate with Biden  —  WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump may be the only person in America who is afraid of Democrat Joe Biden.  —  Before their debate Tuesday night, he and his allies demanded that Biden submit to a drug test and let officials check the former vice president for an earpiece.
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.
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 …
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 …
Ebony Bowden / New York Post:
Ratings for chaotic Trump-Biden presidential debate nosedive from 2016
Discussion: Politico, OutKick and The Hill
Claire Sanford / Rev:
Donald Trump & Joe Biden 1st Presidential Debate Transcript 2020
Bonchie / Redstate:
Chris Wallace's Debate Performance Was Absolutely Disgraceful
Washington Post:
Election live updates: Debate commission says it will change structure to ensure more ‘orderly discussion’
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
Axios:
Trump says he doesn't know who Proud Boys are after telling them to “stand by”  —  President Trump told reporters on Wednesday that he doesn't know who the “Proud Boys” are, after saying at the presidential debate last night that the far-right group should “stand back and stand by” …
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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 …
Jason Whitlock / OutKick:   Chris Wallace, American Media Fiddle During Debate As BLM, Antifa Burn Our Country
Politico:
Republicans to Trump: Condemn white supremacy now
Discussion: Mother Jones and The Hill
NBC News:
Proud Boys celebrate after Trump's debate call-out
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.
RELATED:
Tara Golshan / HuffPost:
Joe Biden Releases His 2019 Tax Returns  —  Biden's campaign posted his latest tax returns just days after The New York Times revealed that Donald Trump has paid very little in income taxes over the years.  —  Just hours before the first presidential debate of 2020, the campaign …
Discussion: Axios, Cronkite News and Fox Business
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
Michael M. Grynbaum / New York Times:
Chris Wallace Calls Debate ‘a Terrible Missed Opportunity’  —  The veteran anchor conceded he was initially “reluctant” to step in during the Trump-Biden matchup.  “I've never been through anything like this,” he said.  —  “I'm just sad with the way last night turned out.”
David E. Sanger / New York Times:
Tuesday's Debate Made Clear the Gravest Threat to the Election: The President Himself  —  President Trump's unwillingness to say he would abide by the result, and his disinformation campaign about election fraud went beyond anything President Vladimir V. Putin could have imagined.
Discussion: Political Wire
RELATED:
Jennifer Rubin / Washington Post:
The media keeps making these cringeworthy mistakes  —  In the aftermath of President Trump's unhinged, embarrassing and frightful performance Tuesday night, we are told “the debate” was a dumpster fire, “the debate” was a low point in American politics, “the debate” was incoherent.
RELATED:
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
Jonathan Easley / The Hill:
Poll finds Trump, Biden in statistical dead heat in South Carolina  —  A new poll finds President Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden statistically tied in South Carolina, which has not gone for the Democratic nominee in more than 40 years.  —  The Quinnipiac poll found Trump at 48 percent …
Alex Ward / Vox:
Pope Francis refused to meet with Mike Pompeo so as not to boost Trump  —  Secretary of State Mike Pompeo attends the launch of a US-Vatican symposium on Faith-Based Organizations, on October 2, 2019, at the Old Synod Hall in the Vatican.  Andreas Solaro/Pool/AFP via Getty Images
Sarah Mimms / BuzzFeed News:
A Member Of Congress Is Facing Death Threats After QAnon Went After Him  —  The House Republican campaign committee falsely accused Democratic Rep. Tom Malinowski of protecting sexual predators.  “They knew exactly what they were doing,” he said.  —  Reporting From  —  Washington, DC  —  Copy
Justin Levitt / electionlawblog.org:
Wisconsin GOP tries to stop Racing Sausages from promoting civic participation  —  The Wisconsin GOP sent a letter yesterday claiming that it would be improper “electioneering” and/or vote buying for MLB and the Brewers' Racing Sausages to encourage early voting.  —  The legal citations in the letter seem ... off.
 
 
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 More Items: 
Sinéad Baker / Business Insider:
People who follow Trump's advice and hang around watching polling places will be prosecuted, Nevada's attorney general says
Discussion: Raw Story
Mike Giglio / The Atlantic:
A Far-Right Militant Group Has Recruited Thousands of Police, Soldiers, and Veterans
Alex Yablon / Foreign Policy:
America Is About to Enter its Years of Lead
Washington Post:
The covid-19 recession is the most unequal in modern U.S. history
Discussion: The Week
Katie Robertson / New York Times:
Ocasio-Cortez and Warren Pull Out of New Yorker Festival
 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: The Hill and POLITICUSUSA
James Fallows / The Atlantic:
A Disgusting Night for Democracy
Discussion: Raw Story, National Memo and Townhall
Cristina Marcos / The Hill:
House in near-unanimous vote affirms peaceful transfer of power
Discussion: CNN, Daily Kos, Axios and The Daily Caller