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1:21 AM ET, October 17, 2020

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 Top Items: 
David Ignatius / Washington Post:
The truth behind the Hunter Biden non-scandal  —  The story of Hunter Biden's involvement with the Ukrainian gas company Burisma isn't a scandal about his father, as the Trump campaign claims, but part of a personal tragedy for the vice president's son, compounded by this week's dissemination …
RELATED:
The Daily Beast:
Bolton Warned His Staff To Stay Away From Russia-Aligned Rudy Giuliani  —  NYET … As early as the spring of 2019, the former New York mayor was seen as a conduit for Russia's evolving efforts to manipulate the forthcoming election.  —  Former National Security Adviser John Bolton repeatedly told …
The Daily Caller:
EXCLUSIVE: 1-On-1 With Rudy Giuliani — What Haven't We Seen From The Hunter Biden Hard Drive, And Why Won't He Release It In Full?
Discussion: TheBlaze
Brian Stelter / CNN:
More people watched Biden on ABC than Trump on NBC, MSNBC and CNBC  —  New York (CNN Business)Joe Biden's town hall on ABC averaged 13.9 million viewers on Thursday night, easily surpassing the Nielsen ratings for President Trump's town hall on NBC.  That alone was a result virtually no one in the TV business expected.
RELATED:
Will Thorne / Variety:
TV Ratings: Biden Leads Town Hall Duel With Trump in Early Numbers
Nick Niedzwiadek / Politico:
Trump miffed by Guthrie's questioning at town hall
Discussion: Slate, Wall Street Journal and Reuters
Tyler Olson / Fox News:
Biden's ABC town hall questioners include former Obama speechwriter, wife of former Pennsylvania Dem candidate
Susan B. Glasser / New Yorker:
The Presidential Town Halls Were Mister Rogers Versus Nasty Uncle Trump
Jonathan Swan / Axios:
Scoop: Trump's advisers brace for loss, point fingers  —  Three senior Trump advisers who recently talked to campaign manager Bill Stepien walked away believing he thinks they will lose.  —  The big picture: The Trump campaign is filled with internal blaming and pre-spinning of a potential loss …
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Business Insider:
Let the blame game begin.  Republicans point the finger at Parscale, Kushner, Stepien, and Trump himself as the president's team braces for a potential 2020 blowout. … - President Donald Trump's advisors, campaign staff, and other Republicans are starting to assign blame for what could be a big loss …
Jonathan Swan / Axios:
Kushner and McDaniel bring back Katie Walsh Shields to offer strategic advice
Discussion: Raw Story
Jake Tapper / CNN:
Former White House chief of staff tells friends that Trump ‘is the most flawed person’ he's ever met  —  (CNN)Former White House chief of staff, retired Marine Gen. John Kelly, has told friends that President Donald Trump “is the most flawed person” he's ever known.  —  “The depths of his dishonesty is just astounding to me.
Discussion: Raw Story and The Hill
Matthew Choi / Politico:
David Perdue mocks Kamala Harris' name in Trump rally warm up  —  “Kamala?  Kamala?  Kamala-mala-mala?  I don't know.  Whatever,” Perdue (R-Ga.) said at a rally in Macon.  —  Sen. David Perdue (R-Ga.) speaks during a Kiwanis Club of Atlanta luncheon.  Andrea Smith, File/AP Photo  —  October 16, 2020
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Dan Alexander / Forbes:
Donald Trump Has At Least $1 Billion In Debt, More Than Twice The Amount He Suggested  —  The president's liabilities are spelled out in dozens of documents, published here.  —  No aspect of Donald Trump's business has been the subject of more speculation than his debt load.
Discussion: Raw Story, Mother Jones and CNN
RELATED:
New York Times:   $421 Million in Debt: Trump Calls It ‘a Peanut,’ but Challenges Lie Ahead
Justin Wingerter / Denver Post:
With Gardner trailing Hickenlooper, national GOP groups scale back spending in Colorado  —  “It's over,” Republican pollster says of Colorado's U.S. Senate race  —  Faced with a consistent stream of polls showing U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner headed for a loss next month, national Republican groups …
RELATED:
Luke Mullins / Washingtonian:
He's 32.  He's Joe Biden's Press Secretary.  And He Has Stage 4 Cancer.  —  TJ Ducklo found out what it's like to work a presidential campaign while you're battling a devastating personal health crisis.  —  Everybody on the Biden campaign remembers the day that TJ Ducklo got back on the trail.
Rebecca Hennes / Houston Chronicle:
Trump billboard in Houston goes viral after being vandalized  —  A Donald Trump billboard located off Houston's Telephone Road has been vandalized, sparking a viral response on social media.  —  Personal injury lawyer Rogelio Garcia, 61, said he first spotted the billboard located …
Tim Miller / Rolling Stone:
Even in Defeat, Trumpism Isn't Going Anywhere  —  Republicans pining for days gone by have some tough truths to face  —  As the mad king raged at Savannah Guthrie for having the gall to question him about his conspiracy mongering, mask trutherism, and failure to even pretend to manage …
Discussion: Lawyers, Guns & Money and Fox News
Donna Provencher / The American Independent:
Self-proclaimed soybean farmer Joni Ernst doesn't know price of soybeans  —  And Sen. Ernst's reelection prospects look more bleak than ever.  —  In her third and last debate with the Democratic challenger for her Senate seat, Theresa Greenfield, on Thursday night, Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) …
Discussion: Daily Kos, Alternet.org and Mediaite
New York Times:
White House Opposes Expanded Virus Testing, Complicating Stimulus Talks  —  Some administration officials say testing Americans with no symptoms of the coronavirus would hurt the economy and restrict civil liberties.  Democrats and some prominent experts say it would slow the virus and bolster economic growth.
Discussion: Wall Street Journal
Reid J. Epstein / New York Times:
In Ohio, a Printing Company Is Overwhelmed and Mail Ballots Are Delayed  —  The company was until recently flying a “Trump 2020” flag over its Cleveland headquarters.  The problems it has had underscore the stress that mail voting has put on the nation's election process amid the pandemic.
Discussion: Political Wire
Katie Benner / New York Times:
Third Justice Dept. Prosecutor Publicly Denounces Barr  —  The prosecutor also said he retired after staying on to protect a public corruption case against a Republican congressman.  —  WASHINGTON — A 36-year veteran of the Justice Department this week accused Attorney General William P. Barr …
James McAuley / Washington Post:
Teacher in Paris suburb decapitated, allegedly after showing cartoons of prophet Muhammad in class  —  PARIS — A high school teacher in a Paris suburb was decapitated Friday afternoon, French authorities said, in an attack that occurred after the teacher had allegedly shown caricatures of the prophet Muhammad to his students.
Victoria McGrane Globe / The Boston Globe:
Joe Kennedy III campaign says it improperly spent $1.5 million in Senate primary  —  The campaign of Representative Joseph P. Kennedy III said Friday that it improperly spent $1.5 million of donations intended for the general election during the final weeks of his bitter and ultimately …
Discussion: Washington Times
New York Times:
Who Was ‘El Padrino,’ Godfather to Drug Cartel?  Mexico's Defense Chief, U.S. Says  —  Drug enforcement agents had long tried to solve the mystery of “El Padrino,” a shadowy, powerful force.  They've now identified him as Salvador Cienfuegos, Mexico's defense chief from 2012 to 2018.
Dan Diamond / Politico:
HHS lawyer: Trump's drug cards could violate election law  —  The health department's top lawyer is warning in an internal memo that President Donald Trump's plan to give seniors $200 discount cards to buy prescription drugs could violate election law, according to three officials with knowledge of those legal concerns.
Discussion: Political Wire and Raw Story
Washington Post:
Ex-Washington cheerleaders shaken by lewd videos: 'I don't think they viewed us as people'  —  The contracts for the Washington Football Team's cheerleaders held them to a strict moral code.  “Inappropriate” conduct or online content, including nude or seminude appearances in “tasteless” …
Discussion: Fox News, Breitbart and OutKick
Betsy McKay / Wall Street Journal:
More Than 1,000 Current and Former CDC Officers Condemn U.S. Covid-19 Response  —  An open letter calls for the federal agency to play a more central role in addressing the pandemic  —  More than 1,000 current and former officers of an elite disease-fighting program at the U.S. Centers …
Discussion: Axios
Wall Street Journal:
String of Firms That Imploded Have Something in Common: Ernst & Young Audited Them  —  Big Four accounting concern reviewed the books of several companies where investors lost billions when scandals emerged.  The firm says it uncovered some of the problems at its clients.  —  TEXT  —  140 RESPONSES
ABC News:
Neo-Nazi and Proud Boys groups push Trump campaign poll watching operation online: Reports  —  “Some of these groups will be listening to his false claims of fraud.”  —  Oregon governor says Trump ‘is stoking the fires of hatred and division’  —  Kate Brown on her state's political unrest, mail-in voting system and wildfire aid.
Business Insider:
How the GOP learned to love QAnon … - The far-right QAnon conspiracy theory — which holds that a cabal of Satan-worshiping, child-trafficking Democrats is plotting to oust President Donald Trump — has grown increasingly mainstream in the GOP base.  — At an NBC News town hall on Thursday night …
A.G. Gancarski / Florida Politics:
Lincoln Project enlists whistleblower Alex Vindman for anti-Trump DC ad buy  —  The best way to ensure President Donald Trump sees an ad is by buying time in the District of Columbia, and some of his staunchest critics have a bracing message for POTUS this weekend.
Tiffany Hsu / New York Times:
Former Fox News Host Spreads Virus Misinformation on His Sinclair Show  —  Sinclair will edit Eric Bolling's online program before televising it, the host said.  He walked back his statements on masks but reaffirmed a false theory on the pandemic's origins.
Washington Post:
Trump administration rejects, then approves, emergency aid for California fires, including biggest blaze in state history  —  SANTA BARBARA, Calif. — Fueled by extreme heat and dry, windy conditions, wildfires ravaged California in September, blazing through almost 1.9 million acres …
Mainer:
Susan Collins Backs QAnon Believers for Maine Legislature  —  Candidates advocate “God-declared executions” for “traitorous” Jews, Catholics, Black Lives Matter and environmental activists  —  Sen. Susan Collins is financially supporting the state legislative campaigns of two fellow Maine Republicans …
Katie Jane Fernelius / The Appeal:
New Orleans Public Defenders Are Mobilizing to “Flip the Bench”  —  These candidates are highlighting the power of judges to challenge mass incarceration.  —  In July, during a three-day period when candidates for elected office in Orleans Parish had to file their paperwork …
Brian Schwartz / CNBC:
Wall Street donors line up behind Biden in massive third-quarter fundraising haul  — Joe Biden's joint fundraising committees benefited from a wave of big money contributions from finance leaders on Wall Street and across the country during the third quarter.
Discussion: Breitbart
New York Times:
In Reversal, Twitter Is No Longer Blocking New York Post Article  —  The latest change underlined how rapidly social media platforms are shifting their positions in the days leading up to the election.  —  SAN FRANCISCO — It is the 11th hour before the presidential election.
 
 
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 More Items: 
Brenna Parker / Joe Biden for President:
Violence Against Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming People - Statement by Vice President Joe Biden
Allison Ross / Tampa Bay Times:
Here we go, Florida: Voters start casting ballots in person on Monday
Erika Edwards / NBC News:
A rare Covid-19 complication was reported in children. Now, it's showing up in adults.
Beth LeBlanc / The Detroit News:
Appeals court rejects counting Michigan's late ballots
Discussion: CNN, Associated Press and Forbes
Los Angeles Times:
New book by former Trump aide alleges early racist comments
Discussion: Raw Story and Mediaite
Rebecca Rosenberg / Page Six:
Harvey Weinstein will likely die in prison if not freed, lawyers claim
Discussion: Gothamist
 Earlier Items: 
Jake Silverstein / New York Times:
On Recent Criticism of The 1619 Project
Robert Barnes / Washington Post:
Supreme Court will review Trump plan to exclude undocumented immigrants from calculations for congressional seats
Washington Post:
State Department signals it will keep most details of its spending at Trump's properties hidden until after election
Alan Rappeport / New York Times:
The federal budget deficit hit a record $3.1 trillion in the 2020 fiscal year.
Eric Lipton / New York Times:
A Regulatory Rush by Federal Agencies to Secure Trump's Legacy
Sophia Sleigh / London Evening Standard:
Sex banned indoors for Tier 2 couples living apart, Number 10 confirms