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5:40 PM ET, October 16, 2020

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 Top Items: 
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 … Presidential candidates Joe Biden and Donald Trump appeared in directly competing town halls on Thursday night, after the President dropped out of the second debate.  —  Trump's hourlong appearance on NBC …
Susan B. Glasser / New Yorker:
The Presidential Town Halls Were Mister Rogers Versus Nasty Uncle Trump  —  Even Donald Trump has moments of self-awareness.  During an interview last week with Rush Limbaugh, the right-wing talk-radio host whom he honored with the Medal of Freedom earlier this year, the President briefly abandoned …
Tyler Olson / Fox News:
Biden's ABC town hall questioners include former Obama speechwriter, wife of former Pennsylvania Dem candidate
Jeremy Barr / Washington Post:
Savannah Guthrie grilled Trump like few others have, taking the heat off NBC for its town hall
Jon Allsop / Columbia Journalism Review:
Guthrie grills Trump, but NBC still has to answer for itself
Dan Gainor / Fox News:
Trump's NBC town hall turns into debate with moderator — and Trump wins
Discussion: The Daily Beast
Annie Karni / New York Times:
Savannah Guthrie gets answers from Trump by setting a fast pace and following up.
Nick Niedzwiadek / Politico:
Trump miffed by Guthrie's questioning at town hall
Breitbart:
Exclusive — ‘This is China, Inc.’: Emails Reveal Hunter Biden's Associates Helped Communist-Aligned Chinese Elites Secure White House Meetings  —  Newly obtained emails from a Hunter Biden business partner lay out in detail how the Vice President's son and his colleagues used their access …
Discussion: Townhall and The Gateway Pundit
RELATED:
Byron York / Washington Examiner:
On Hunter Biden, remember the real story
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
Eric Tucker / Associated Press:   AP source: FBI probing if emails part of influence operation
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.
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 …
Associated Press:
Major Democratic group pulls out of Colorado Senate race  —  DENVER — A major Democratic group on Friday pulled its last remaining ads from Colorado's closely watched U.S. Senate race, a sign that the party thinks its nominee has the crucial race in the bag.
RELATED:
Justin Wingerter / Denver Post:
With Gardner trailing Hickenlooper, national GOP groups scale back spending in Colorado
Discussion: Political Wire
Burgess Everett / Politico:   Top Dem Senate super PAC pulls out of Colorado in sign of confidence
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: Mother Jones, CNN and Raw Story
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 …
Discussion: Balloon Juice
The Babylon Bee:
Twitter Shuts Down Entire Network To Slow Spread Of Negative Biden News … SAN FRANCISCO, CA—In a last-ditch effort to stop negative stories about Joe Biden and his family from spreading, Twitter shut down its entire social network Thursday.  —  After seeing account after account tweet …
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.
Sophia Sleigh / London Evening Standard:
Sex banned indoors for Tier 2 couples living apart, Number 10 confirms  — {{#singleComment}}{{value}} comment{{/singleComment}}{{^singleComme nt}}{{value}} comments{{/singleComment}}  —  ES News email  —  The latest headlines in your inbox twice a day Monday - Friday plus breaking news updates
Jamelle Bouie / New York Times:
What About the Rest of the Constitution?  —  Amy Coney Barrett's originalism ignores the significance of the second American Revolution.  —  On Tuesday, Judge Amy Coney Barrett took a few minutes during her confirmation hearing to discuss her judicial philosophy, best known as originalism.
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 …
Discussion: CNN, Politico, NPR and Forbes
RELATED:
New York Times:
Pfizer Says It Won't Seek Vaccine Authorization Before Mid-November  —  Friday's announcement represents a shift in tone for the company and its leader, who has repeatedly emphasized the month of October in interviews and public appearances.  —  The chief executive of Pfizer said on Friday …
RELATED:
New York Times:
End Our National Crisis  —  whose views are informed by expertise, research, debate and certain longstanding values.  —  It is separate from the newsroom.  —  THE VERDICT  —  Donald Trump's re-election campaign poses the greatest threat to American democracy since World War II.
Discussion: IJR, Fox News, Raw Story and Mediaite
Nate Cohn / New York Times:
Alaska Is More Competitive, but Republicans Still Lead  —  A fondness for minor-party candidates injects some uncertainty, making the state an unlikely late-stage battleground.  —  New York Times/Siena College poll of likely voters in Alaska  —  Trump  —  45%  —  Biden  —  39%  —  Jorgensen
Associated Press:
Concert attended by Gianforte linked to several COVID cases  —  HELENA, Mont. (AP) — A Montana concert attended by Republican candidate for governor U.S. Rep. Greg Gianforte has been linked to several COVID-19 cases, local health officials said Thursday.  —  The outdoor concert …
Discussion: Raw Story
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.
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.
Washington Post:
State Department signals it will keep most details of its spending at Trump's properties hidden until after election  —  The State Department says it has about 450 pages of records showing government spending at President Trump's properties.  But this week, it signaled that it plans to release …
Associated Press:
The Latest: Topics for 3rd presidential debate are released  —  WASHINGTON (AP) — The latest on the presidential campaign (all times local):  —  President Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden will face questions on the coronavirus, race issues and climate change in the final presidential debate next week.
Edward-Isaac Dovere / The Atlantic:
What George W. Bush Plans to Do About Trump  —  George W. Bush doesn't like Donald Trump.  He doesn't like how Trump is behaving as president.  He clearly doesn't like the division in the country Trump has fostered.  He knows American democracy is under threat.
Discussion: The Hill and WAVY-TV
Wall Street Journal:
Trump Organization Considers Sale of Its Seven Springs Property  —  Westchester, N.Y., estate has been difficult to develop  —  The Trump Organization is considering selling its sprawling Westchester, N.Y., estate, according to people familiar with the matter, after years …
Eric Lipton / New York Times:
A Regulatory Rush by Federal Agencies to Secure Trump's Legacy  —  With the president's re-election in doubt, cabinet departments are scrambling to finish dozens of new rules affecting millions of Americans.  —  WASHINGTON — Facing the prospect that President Trump could lose his re-election bid …
Discussion: Rolling Stone and The Week
Washington Post:
Turned off by Trump, Maryland's GOP governor casts write-in vote for Ronald Reagan  —  Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) said he “voted for Ronald Reagan” in this year's election, writing in the name of the late president and conservative icon after concluding that he could support neither President Trump nor Democratic nominee Joe Biden.
Robert Barnes / Washington Post:
Supreme Court will review Trump plan to exclude undocumented immigrants from calculations for congressional seats  —  The Supreme Court announced Friday that it will review President Trump's attempt to exclude undocumented immigrants when calculating how congressional seats are apportioned among the states.
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 …
Rep. Devin Nunes / The American Mind:
Social-ist Media  —  Biden's digital lackeys threaten to turn out the lights on our republic.  —  Socialist regimes typically don't excel at good government or economic stewardship, but they do tend to be experts at one thing—propaganda.  Under regimes like the Soviet Union and countless …
Discussion: Fox News, The Verge and The Hill
 
 
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 More Items: 
Jake Silverstein / New York Times:
On Recent Criticism of The 1619 Project
Vince Golle / Bloomberg:
U.S. Budget Gap Tripled to Record $3.1 Trillion in Fiscal 2020
Discussion: Washington Post
Los Angeles Times:
Deputies killed Dijon Kizzee after a bike stop. We found 15 similar law enforcement shootings, many fatal
U.S. Department of Justice:
Remarks by Attorney General William P. Barr at the Major Cities Chiefs Association Conference
Jake Tapper / CNN:
Former White House chief of staff tells friends that Trump ‘is the most flawed person’ he's ever met
Discussion: Raw Story
Ashley Parker / Washington Post:
From QAnon to dictators, Trump embraces those who embrace him back
Sue Halpern / New Yorker:
Why the Right Keeps Saying That the United States Isn't a Democracy
 Earlier Items: 
USA Today:
COVID-19 cases in US grow at a speed not seen since July, the summer peak
Discussion: The Hill
Ben Collins / NBC News:
QAnon accounts make a dent in voting discussion on Twitter
Discussion: Techdirt
First Lady / The White House:
First Lady Melania Trump: “Give Focus to Our Next Generation”
Wall Street Journal:
How Mark Zuckerberg Learned Politics
Brian Beutler / Crooked Media:
What to Do About GOP Bad Faith After Trump
Discussion: Raw Story and Los Angeles Times
Peter Nicholas / The Atlantic:
Trump Is Scared  —  He seemed as if he might be delirious.  He blasted out bewildering tweets in all caps.
Discussion: Progress Pond and Raw Story