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8:45 AM ET, April 15, 2021

memeorandum

 Top Items: 
Sahil Kapur / NBC News:
Democrats to introduce bill to expand Supreme Court from 9 to 13 justices  —  WASHINGTON — Congressional Democrats will introduce legislation Thursday to expand the Supreme Court from nine to 13 justices, alongside progressive activists pushing to transform the high court.
RELATED:
Ryan Grim / The Intercept:
House and Senate Democrats Plan Bill to Add Four Justices to Supreme Court … Congressional Democrats plan to unveil legislation expanding the size of the Supreme Court on Thursday, according to three congressional sources familiar with the closely held measure.
Ian Millhiser / Vox:
A new bill would add 4 seats to the Supreme Court  —  It's on!  —  Four Democratic members of Congress plan to introduce legislation that would add four seats to the Supreme Court, which would, if passed, allow President Biden to immediately name four individuals to fill those seats and give Democrats a 7-6 majority.
Discussion: Fox News
Kate Riga / Talking Points Memo:
‘Frankly, I Think Everyone Is Baffled’: Searching For Clues In SCOTUS' Abortion Silence  —  When Justice Amy Coney Barrett was confirmed to the Supreme Court in October 2020, the anti-abortion community celebrated the beginning of a new era.  The Court would now be heavily skewed to the right …
Jess Bravin / Wall Street Journal:
Democratic Lawmakers to Present Plan to Expand Supreme Court  —  Initiative runs counter to Biden administration's commission on overhauling court after three conservative Trump appointments  —  WASHINGTON—Democratic lawmakers plan to introduce legislation on Thursday that would add four seats …
Susan B. Glasser / New Yorker:
Biden Finally Got to Say No to the Generals  —  Critics be damned, the President is ending the Forever War waged by Bush, Obama, and Trump in Afghanistan.  —  On Wednesday, Joe Biden announced the close of the two-decade-long American war in Afghanistan, giving the U.S. military a deadline …
RELATED:
Washington Post:
For Afghanistan veterans, old feelings of frustration and loss surface as the U.S. prepares to end its longest war
Discussion: The Week
The White House:
Remarks by President Biden on the Way Forward in Afghanistan
New York Times:   Veterans React to Biden's Afghanistan Troop Pullout Announcement
The Daily Beast:
Matt Gaetz's Wingman Paid Dozens of Young Women—and a 17-Year-Old  —  VEN-UH-OH … Venmo payment records reveal a vast network of young women received money from Rep. Matt Gaetz's associate, the accused sex trafficker Joel Greenberg.  —  As new details emerge about Rep. Matt Gaetz's role …
RELATED:
Benjamin Din / Politico:
Rep. Matt Gaetz announces ad buy to ‘fight back’ against CNN, allegations  —  Rep. Matt Gaetz on Wednesday announced a six-figure ad buy for a spot that targets CNN, as he fights to save his political career amid sexual trafficking allegations.  —  The new 30-second ad will be featured …
Bloomberg:
Biden to Hit Putin With Russia Sanctions After Summit Offer  — Moves coming as soon as Thursday, days after Biden-Putin call  — U.S. to target individuals, further plans to include debt  —  The Biden administration is poised to impose a raft of new sanctions on Russia …
RELATED:
New York Times:
Biden Administration to Impose Tough Sanctions on Russia  —  Administration officials were determined to draft a response that would impose real costs on Moscow, as many previous rounds of sanctions have been shrugged off.  —  WASHINGTON — The Biden administration is set to announce …
Discussion: РБК
Kylie Atwood / CNN:
US is expected to sanction Russia and expel Russian officials in response to hacks and election interference
Discussion: KDFX-TV and РБК
Politico:
Forthcoming Russia sanctions won't include Nord Stream 2
Discussion: Fox News
Benjamin Mueller / New York Times:
Western Warnings Tarnish Covid Vaccines the World Badly Needs  —  Amid a deep residue of mistrust, American and European cautions on the AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson vaccines risk igniting anti-vaccine fervor in the global south.  —  Safety worries about the AstraZeneca …
Discussion: Marginal REVOLUTION and Kevin Drum
RELATED:
Russ Bynum / Associated Press:
Red states on U.S. electoral map lagging on vaccinations
Discussion: Washington Post
Maggie Haberman / New York Times:
Shades of 2016: Republicans Stay Silent on Trump, Hoping He Fades Away  —  Just like when Donald J. Trump was a candidate in 2016, rival Republicans are trying to avoid becoming the target of his attacks or directly confronting him, while hoping someone else will.
Discussion: The Week and Raw Story
RELATED:
Holly Otterbein / Politico:
Pennsylvania GOP launches ‘super MAGA Trump’ primary
Discussion: Political Wire
Matt McKinney / Star Tribune:
Officer arrested, charged with second-degree manslaughter in killing of Daunte Wright  —  The charge carries maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.  —  TEXT SIZE  —  MORE  —  Former Brooklyn Center police officer Kimberly A. Potter was arrested late Wednesday morning at the offices …
RELATED:
April Ryan / TheGrio:
Vice President Kamala Harris weighs in on gun vs. Taser debate in Daunte Wright shooting
Discussion: Snopes.com
Greg Bluestein / Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
Warnock off to a fast fundraising start for 2022 Senate re-election race  —  U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock has hardly slowed his torrid fundraising pace since his narrow January runoff victory.  —  The Democrat's campaign said Thursday he raised more than $5.7 million from more than 101,000 …
RELATED:
Greg Bluestein / Atlanta Journal-Constitution:   Navy veteran Latham Saddler enters US Senate race against Warnock
Washington Post:
17 requests for backup in 78 minutes  —  A reconstruction shows how failures of planning and preparation left police at the Capitol severely disadvantaged on Jan. 6  —  At 1:13 p.m. on Jan. 6, a D.C. police commander facing a swelling crowd of protesters on the west side of the U.S. Capitol …
Spencer Ackerman / The Daily Beast:
The Promise and the Tragedy of Biden's Afghanistan Speech  —  Joe Biden gave the most forthright antiwar argument of any post-9/11 president.  Then he spared the broader War on Terror from its implications.  —  BEAST INSIDE  —  In many ways, Joe Biden's speech outlining a final withdrawal …
RELATED:
CNN:
Biden starts to execute on policies Trump abandoned by crossing off another campaign promise
Discussion: KDFX-TV and HuffPost
The Cook Political Report:
Introducing the 2021 Cook Political Report Partisan Voter Index  —  The Cook Political Report is pleased to introduce the post-2020 edition of the Partisan Voter Index (PVI) for all 50 states and 435 congressional districts.  Although these district boundaries won't be in place …
Daniel McCarthy / spectator.us:
The strange death of the Democrats  —  The party will decline because it has a demographic problem  —  The Democratic party is dying.  That may be hard to believe since Democrats control both houses of Congress and won the last presidential election with a record 81 million votes.
Discussion: Washington Post and Insider
Burgess Everett / Politico:
The GOP's most important votes: 2 Democrats  —  Keep Sens. Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema close and publicly praise them, Mitch McConnell explained, because they could “save this institution.”  —  Though moderation and deep relationships with the GOP unite them, Sens. Kyrsten Sinema and Joe Manchin have yin-and-yang personalities.
Discussion: The Hill
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 More Items: 
Rebecca Beitsch / The Hill:
Wray: FBI opens investigation into China every 10 hours
Discussion: Insider and CNN
Marianna Sotomayor / Washington Post:
House panel approves bill to create commission on slavery reparations
Luke Ramseth / Tupelo Daily Journal:
Mississippi Supreme Court weighs legality of state's medical marijuana ballot initiative
Discussion: Raw Story, Marijuana Moment and WLOX-TV
CNN:
Her sons held hands, cried and crossed the border alone
Discussion: HotAir
Washington Post:
Armed ‘quick reaction force’ was waiting for order to storm Capitol, Justice Dept. says
Discussion: BuzzFeed News and The Week
 Earlier Items: 
Cissy Zhou / South China Morning Post:
‘Crucial moment’ in Xinjiang cotton fallout pushes China to launch own body
Jimmy Vielkind / Wall Street Journal:
Andrew Cuomo Impeachment Hotline Gets Over 100 Messages
Seth A. Richardson / Plain Dealer:
Mike Gibbons used Russian and Ukrainian stock footage to illustrate the ‘American dream’ in his Senate announcement video
Discussion: Scene and Heard
Gabriel Sterling / Washington Post:
Mr. President, your misinformation on Georgia's voting law is dangerous
Jeff Coltin / City & State NY:
Andrew Yang's mayoral campaign is being run by a lobbying firm
Discussion: Gothamist
U.S. Department of Justice:
Department of Justice Closes Investigation into the Death of Ashli Babbitt