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2:05 PM ET, October 16, 2020

memeorandum

 Top Items: 
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 …
RELATED:
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 …
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.
Tony Maglio / The Wrap:
Early Ratings: Biden's ABC Town Hall Tops Trump's on NBC  —  And the (ratings) battle of the Thursday town halls goes to...former Vice President Joe Biden and ABC!  For now, at least.  —  On ABC, Biden drew 12.7 million viewers from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. On NBC alone, Trump got 10.4 million viewers in the same time slot.
Annie Karni / New York Times:
Savannah Guthrie gets answers from Trump by setting a fast pace and following up.  —  Savannah Guthrie spent most of the NBC News town hall tearing into President Trump with a series of quick-paced, conversational questions that put him on the spot and successfully revealed his evasions …
Jeremy Barr / Washington Post:
Savannah Guthrie grilled Trump like few others have, taking the heat off NBC for its town hall  —  The network was criticized for accommodating Trump after he rejected a debate.  But then the ‘Today’ host started asking him questions.  —  NBC faced sharp criticism this week for scheduling …
Dan Gainor / Fox News:
Trump's NBC town hall turns into debate with moderator — and Trump wins
Discussion: The Daily Beast
The Daily Beast:
The Biden and Trump Shows: It's Mr. Rogers Vs. 'Someone's Crazy Uncle'
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.
Washington Post:
White House was warned Giuliani was target of Russian intelligence operation to feed misinformation to Trump  —  U.S. intelligence agencies warned the White House last year that President Trump's personal lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani was the target of an influence operation by Russian intelligence …
RELATED:
Byron York / Washington Examiner:
On Hunter Biden, remember the real story
Ken Dilanian / NBC News:
Feds examining if alleged Hunter Biden emails are linked to a foreign intel operation
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 …
Discussion: Mediaite, POLITICUSUSA and Raw Story
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.
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 …
The Philadelphia Inquirer:
Pennsylvania has rejected 372,000 mail ballot applications, bewildering voters and straining elections staff  —  This article is co-published with ProPublica, a nonprofit newsroom that investigates abuses of power.  Sign up here to get their next investigation.
Discussion: Political Wire and CBS Pittsburgh
RELATED:
ProPublica:   Pennsylvania's Rejection of 372,000 Ballot Applications Bewilders Voters and Strains Election Staff
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
First Lady / The White House:
First Lady Melania Trump: “Give Focus to Our Next Generation”  —  Over the last couple of weeks, I have had time to reflect on many things personal to me.  One of the most honorable and important roles I have ever undertaken has been serving you, the American people, as the First Lady of this country.
RELATED:
Caitlin Oprysko / Politico:   Melania Trump rips former adviser's tell-all as ‘an attempt to be relevant’
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.
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:
Derrick Bryson Taylor / New York Times:
Trump Administration Rejects California's Request for Wildfire Relief  —  The state had asked last month for federal aid to help recover from six of this year's fires, including the Creek Fire, which is among the most destructive in state history.  —  The Trump administration …
Discussion: POLITICUSUSA
RELATED:
CNN:
Trump administration rejects California's disaster assistance request for wildfires
Craig Mauger / The Detroit News:
Michigan bans open carry of guns inside and near polling places … Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson sent guidance to local election officials on Friday — 18 days before Election Day — to clarify that the open carry of firearms on Election Day in polling places, clerk's offices and absent voter counting boards is banned.
Discussion: New York Post and Michigan Advance
RELATED:
Annie Grayer / CNN:
Michigan bans open carrying of guns at polling sites on Election Day
Discussion: CNBC
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.
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 …
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: Fox News, Raw Story and Mediaite
Ramesh Ponnuru / National Review:
Biden, Harris, and Abortions Late in Pregnancy  —  Social Media vs. the American Right  —  Another Incoherent Critique of Judge Barrett  —  Ben Sasse Rips Trump in Town Hall with Constituents, Warns of ‘Republican Bloodbath’ in November Elections  —  Yes, the Democratic ticket would protect abortion at any stage of pregnancy.
Discussion: The Federalist
RELATED:
Josh Christenson / Washington Free Beacon:   Biden Calls Transgenderism a Choice
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
Peter Nicholas / The Atlantic:
Trump Is Scared  —  He seemed as if he might be delirious.  He blasted out bewildering tweets in all caps.  Sick and infectious, he circled the perimeter of the hospital in an armored SUV, waving to supporters.  He demanded the arrest of his opponents.  —  After doctors treated Donald …
Discussion: Progress Pond and Raw Story
 
 
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 More Items: 
Charlie Savage / New York Times:
G.O.P.-Appointed Judges Threaten Democracy, Liberals Seeking Court Expansion Say
Discussion: Alternet.org and Associated Press
Eli Lake / Bloomberg:
The Unmasking Scandal, Like Russiagate, Is Fizzling Out
Will Sommer / The Daily Beast:
This Biden Superfan Can't Stop Tweeting Fake Garbage
Geoffrey Kabaservice / Washington Post:
A moving portrait of John McCain, in all his contradictions
Wall Street Journal:
How Mark Zuckerberg Learned Politics
Lauren Katzenberg / New York Times:
Turning the Lights Down on the At War Channel
 Earlier Items: 
Reuters:
Why 4,998 died in U.S. jails without getting their day in court
Brian Beutler / Crooked Media:
What to Do About GOP Bad Faith After Trump
Discussion: Raw Story and Los Angeles Times
Kelly Weill / The Daily Beast:
Videos Show Proud Boys' ‘Extra Friendly’ Relationship With Philly Cops
Edward-Isaac Dovere / The Atlantic:
What George W. Bush Plans to Do About Trump
Discussion: The Hill
Jacqueline Alemany / Washington Post:
Where will all the Trump staffers go? Preparing for the worst, the GOP ponders life after Trump.
Emily Bicks / Heavy.com:
Is Thomas Schoenberger the Mastermind Behind QAnon? [EXCLUSIVE]