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9:35 PM ET, March 29, 2021


 Top Items: 
Jane Mayer / New Yorker:
Inside the Koch-Backed Effort to Block the Largest Election-Reform Bill in Half a Century  —  On a leaked conference call, leaders of dark-money groups and an aide to Mitch McConnell expressed frustration with the popularity of the legislation—even among Republican voters.
Ali Zaslav / CNN:
Mitch McConnell: ‘I would encourage all Republican men’ to get vaccinated  —  See how vaccine-hesitant GOP participants react to Covid-19 focus group  —  (CNN)Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell on Monday encouraged “all Republican men” to get the Covid-19 vaccine, as new polls indicate …
Jason Easley / POLITICUSUSA:
A Leaked Call Catches Mitch McConnell And The Kochs Freaking Out Over Election Reform  —  A leaked phone call featuring Mitch McConnell's policy adviser and the Kochs revealed that they are freaking out over the popularity of election reform.  —  Jane Mayer reported in The New Yorker:
Jeff Stein / Washington Post:
White House dramatically increased tax proposal as it sought to address tensions over next big spending plan  —  Biden aides see next major legislative effort as comparable to LBJ's Great Society but face divisions among key allies  —  When President Biden's team began putting together …
Associated Press:
Biden wants $4T infrastructure package approved over summer
Discussion: New York Times, CNN and Vox
Brian Schwartz / CNBC:
New York business leaders push Biden, Schumer to ditch the cap on SALT deductions
Discussion: Bloomberg
Biden's white privilege
Discussion: The Daily Caller and Raw Story
Benjamin Weiser / New York Times:
Ghislaine Maxwell Charged With Sex Trafficking of 14-Year-Old Girl  —  A new indictment accuses Ms. Maxwell of paying a victim of her longtime associate Jeffrey Epstein.  —  Ghislaine Maxwell, the longtime associate of Jeffrey Epstein, was charged on Monday for the first time with sex-trafficking …
Brett Samuels / The Hill:
Trump targets Fauci, Birx in lengthy diatribe  —  Former President Trump on Monday went on a tirade against Anthony Fauci and Deborah Birx, two of his former top medical advisers on the COVID-19 pandemic, excoriating their decisionmaking during his administration on the day after CNN aired previews …
Gina Kolata / New York Times:
The Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines are very effective in real-world conditions at preventing infections, the C.D.C. reported.  —  The coronavirus vaccines made by Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech are proving highly effective at preventing symptomatic and asymptomatic infections under real-world conditions …
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
What is already known about this topic?  —  What is added by this report?  —  Prospective cohorts of 3,950 health care personnel, first responders, and other essential and frontline workers completed weekly SARS-CoV-2 testing for 13 consecutive weeks.  Under real-world conditions …
Lena H. Sun / Washington Post:
Pfizer, Moderna vaccines are 90% effective after two doses in study of real-life conditions, CDC confirms
Discussion: HotAir
Michael Kunzelman / Associated Press:
Capitol riot suspect wore ‘I Was There’ shirt when arrested  —  Garret Miller didn't speak to the law enforcement officers who arrested him on charges he stormed the U.S. Capitol in January, but the T-shirt he was wearing at his Dallas home that day sent a clear and possibly incriminating message.
Scoop: Substack is raising $65 million amid newsletter boom  —  Substack is raising $65 million in new venture capital funding that would value the company at around $650 million, Axios has learned.  Existing investor Andreessen Horowitz is leading the round.
Jeffrey M. Jones / Gallup:
U.S. Church Membership Falls Below Majority for First Time  —  WASHINGTON, D.C. — Americans' membership in houses of worship continued to decline last year, dropping below 50% for the first time in Gallup's eight-decade trend.  In 2020, 47% of Americans said they belonged to a church …
Washington Post:
How New York health officials were told to prioritize coronavirus testing of people connected to Andrew Cuomo  —  New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo's relatives and other well-connected New Yorkers were among those given preferential treatment at state coronavirus testing centers.
Discussion: The Guardian
New York Times:
The Biden administration makes a swath of ocean between New York and New Jersey an offshore wind zone.  —  The Biden administration on Monday announced it will designate an area between the South Shore of Long Island and the New Jersey coast as a priority offshore wind zone …
Discussion: Common Dreams
Ben Geman / Axios:   Biden plans to dramatically increase offshore wind energy development
CDC Chief Warns of ‘Impending Doom’ as Covid Cases, Deaths Rise  — Walensky says she's scared by uptick that hints at fourth wave  — U.S. doesn't have ‘luxury of inaction’ amid spike, she says  —  The head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention pleaded with Americans …
Discussion: CNN, KRDO, Forbes and Wall Street Journal
STAT:   'Right now I'm scared': CDC director warns of a coming spike in Covid-19 case counts
Jason Samenow / Washington Post:
Japan's Kyoto cherry blossoms peak on earliest date in 1,200 years, a sign of climate change  —  Amid an exceptionally warm March in Japan, the cherry blossoms in Kyoto peaked Friday, the earliest in more than 1,200 years of records.  The record bloom fits into a long-term pattern toward …
Julia Manchester / The Hill:
64 percent view ‘cancel culture’ as threat to freedom: poll  —  A majority of Americans say they view “cancel culture” as a threat to their freedom, according to a new Harvard CAPS-Harris Poll survey released exclusively to The Hill on Monday.  —  Sixty-four percent of respondents said that there is …
Discussion: National Review, IJR and RedState
Max Greenwood / The Hill:
Poll: Biden approval remains steady amid struggles with immigration, foreign affairs
Discussion: POLITICUSUSA and Newsbusters
David Gelles / New York Times:
Corporations, Vocal About Racial Justice, Go Quiet on Voting Rights  —  “They are complicit in their silence,” one activist said, as bills that would disproportionately affect Black citizens across the country stir public debate.  —  As Black Lives Matter protesters filled the streets last summer …
Greg Bluestein / Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
Trooper who arrested Ga. lawmaker says he was wary of a Jan. 6-type of attack  —  A Georgia State Patrol lieutenant said memories of the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol were on his mind when he arrested a Democratic legislator after she knocked repeatedly on the door …
James David Dickson / Detroit News:
Judge tosses terrorism threat charge against 3 accused in alleged Whitmer plot  —  Three men accused in an alleged plot to kidnap Gov. Gretchen Whitmer will not face false report or threat of terrorism charges, a Jackson County judge ruled Monday.  —  Judge Michael Klaeren of 12th District Court …
Vianney Gomez / Pew Research Center:
A partisan chasm in views of Trump's legacy  —  Two months after President Donald Trump left office, 38% of Americans say he made progress toward solving major problems facing the country during his administration - while a nearly identical share (37%) say he made these problems worse.
John Ganz / Unpopular Front:
The Dumbest Tweet I Have Ever Seen  —  Not Really, but C'mon  —  I usually defend a high degree of license verging on irresponsibility when it comes to Tweets—I think its fine for them to be half-baked, ironical, whimsical, the first drafts of ideas, or one's most cranky and maybe not most-well-informed opinions.
Discussion: Althouse
Jimmy Vielkind / Wall Street Journal:
New York Lawmakers Weigh Raising Taxes as Budget Deadline Looms  —  As negotiations continue, unions push for more revenue on top of federal pandemic aid  —  ALBANY, N.Y.—Union leaders and Democratic state lawmakers made a final push Monday to increase taxes on the wealthy as part of a roughly $200 billion state budget due this week.
Jerry Dunleavy / Washington Examiner:
White House announces ‘expert’ review of WHO-China COVID-19 origins report  —  The Biden administration announced that “experts” from a range of federal agencies and scientific fields would review the controversial WHO-China report on COVID-19's origins as the Biden team continues expressing its …
Josh Lederman / NBC News:
Biden task force to probe science manipulation under Trump  —  WASHINGTON — A new White House task force will examine instances where the Trump administration may have distorted or suppressed science in critical government decisions, with an eye toward creating fail-safes to prevent it from happening again, the White House said Monday.
Discussion: Newsweek
Philip Bump / Washington Post:
Trump is losing the war over his legacy  —  On Sunday evening, CNN aired a special featuring interviews with the senior officials involved in the early coronavirus pandemic response under President Donald Trump.  No longer operating under the Trump political umbrella, they offered assessments …
Amy Sherman / The latest factchecks …:
The facts about Georgia's ban on food, water giveaways to voters  —  Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp signed a sweeping elections bill into law.  It includes some controversial provisions about absentee and in-person voting.  —  One provision of the new law includes a ban on giving away water or food …
Discussion: Fox News
Matthew Harwood / Reason:
The Republican Attack on Voting Rights  —  The father of the Constitution wasn't having it.  —  On August 7, 1787, toward the end of what would become known as the Constitutional Convention, the delegates debated what powers state legislatures and the Congress would have when it came to federal election administration.
Matt Taibbi / TK News:
Dear Joe Scarborough: Nice Smear.  Now Invite Me To Debate Your Network's Russiagate Coverage  —  “Morning Joe” says those who reported on Russia errors are a “joke” and might be “on Russia's payroll.”  MSNBC should break its four-year freeze-out and invite a skeptic to respond  —  2 hr ago
Discussion: Fox News, National Review and Mediaite
Bethany Rodgers / Salt Lake Tribune:
Utah Sen. Mitt Romney said he will not vote for new federal gun laws  —  The Utah senator argues that firearm policies should be developed at the state level.  —  (Brandon Bell |  The New York Times file photo) Sen. Mitt Romney walks through the Senate Reception Room at the Capitol in Washington on Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2021.
Discussion: Raw Story and Washington Post
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 More Items: 
Brooke Singman / Fox News:
Kamala Harris will play ‘diplomatic’ role in migration crisis, White House says
Discussion: Politico
Caroline Kelly / CNN:
Buttigieg says no gas or mileage tax in Biden's infrastructure plan
Discussion: The Daily Caller and Twitchy
The Philadelphia Inquirer:
Pennsylvania's 2022 U.S. Senate race: Who's in, who's out and what comes next
Discussion: New York Magazine
Saladin Ambar / Washington Post:
Mitch McConnell once knew all about the filibuster's racist history. What changed?
Troy Closson / New York Times:
New York Must Offer Vaccine to All Prisoners Immediately, Judge Rules
Discussion: New York Magazine
Justin Fenton / Baltimore Sun:
Baltimore Police officer who ran for mayor is charged by state prosecutor with election crimes
Carly Roman / Washington Examiner:
Cuomo accuser says governor asked aide to sing ‘Danny Boy’ as part of ‘hazing’: Attorney
Discussion: Politico
 Earlier Items: 
The Frontier:
In pro-Trump Oklahoma, a challenge to an incumbent senator taps into election anger
Alice Miranda Ollstein / Politico:
Supreme Court agrees to hear first abortion case with 6-3 conservative majority
Discussion: Vox, Washington Post and Political Wire
David J. Lynch / Washington Post:
How Larry Summers went from Obama's top economic adviser to one of Biden's loudest critics
Discussion: New York Post and Political Wire
Jacob Knutson / Axios:
Massive container ship freed from Suez Canal
Matthew Haag / New York Times:
Remote Work Is Here to Stay. Manhattan May Never Be the Same.
Discussion: Kevin Drum and Balloon Juice