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11:20 AM ET, April 15, 2021

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 Top Items: 
U.S. Department of the Treasury:
Treasury Escalates Sanctions Against the Russian Government's Attempts to Influence U.S. Elections  —  WASHINGTON — Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) took sweeping action against 16 entities and 16 individuals who attempted to influence …
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: The Daily Beast, Reuters and РБК
Josh Kovensky / Talking Points Memo:
New Sanctions On Manafort Deputy Suggest Deeper Role Of Russian Intel In 2016
Discussion: Election Law Blog
The White House:
FACT SHEET: Imposing Costs for Harmful Foreign Activities by the Russian Government
Zachary Basu / Axios:
U.S. says Manafort associate passed sensitive polling data to Russian intelligence
Discussion: Raw Story
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:
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 …
Ryan Grim / The Intercept:
House and Senate Democrats Plan Bill to Add Four Justices to Supreme Court
Ian Millhiser / Vox:
A new bill would add 4 seats to the Supreme Court
Robin Bravender / Insider:
We spoke with 21 of Matt Gaetz's high-school classmates.  Some say they could have predicted the congressman's sex scandal.  — Some of Matt Gaetz's former classmates spoke exclusively with Insider about his high school days.  — Gaetz, now 38, had a reputation as a know-it-all who talked over his classmates and teachers.
Discussion: HillReporter.com, HotAir and Raw Story
RELATED:
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 …
Kathy Frankovic / YouGov:
Decision to pause Johnson & Johnson vaccine causes public confidence in vaccine to sink  —  Economist/YouGov Poll Politics & current affairs  —  Fieldwork for the latest Economist/YouGov poll on vaccine safety perceptions was in the midst of being conducted when the Centers for Disease Control …
RELATED:
Miles Parks / NPR:
The Most Popular J&J Vaccine Story On Facebook?  A Conspiracy Theorist Posted It  —  CNN.  ABC News.  The New York Times.  Fox News.  —  Those are the publishers of four of the five most popular Facebook posts of articles about the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine this week.
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 …
Discussion: Political Wire
Robbie Whelan / Wall Street Journal:
CDC Identifies Small Group of Covid-19 Infections Among Fully Vaccinated Patients  —  Incidence is rare, occurring in only 0.008% of cases and in line with expectations  —  The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has identified a small cohort of approximately 5,800 cases …
Discussion: Political Wire
Christopher Mathias / HuffPost:
Tucker Carlson Is Giving ‘Red Pills’ To Millions.  White Nationalists Are Thrilled.  —  After the Fox News host doubled down on the “great replacement” conspiracy theory, white nationalists were excited at what it could mean for their movement.  —  After Fox News host Tucker Carlson doubled …
RELATED:
Jeremy Barr / Washington Post:
Tucker Carlson villainizes journalists on his top-rated show. Then the threats pour in.
Discussion: Mediaite
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:
New York Times:   Veterans React to Biden's Afghanistan Troop Pullout Announcement
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
Jaclyn Peiser / Washington Post:
Accused Capitol rioter planned an escape to Switzerland, prosecutors said.  Now he'll stay in jail.  —  When Jeffrey Sabol returned to his Colorado home after allegedly storming the U.S. Capitol and assaulting two police officers on Jan. 6, he fried his electronic devices in the microwave …
Discussion: CNN, Insider and Raw Story
Dan Primack / Axios:
J.D. Vance tells associates he plans to run for Senate in Ohio  —  J.D. Vance, venture capitalist and author of “Hillbilly Elegy,” has told friends and colleagues that he plans to run for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Axios has learned from multiple sources.
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 …
Philip Wegmann / Real Clear Politics:
Christie to GOP Study Group: Call Biden Out as ‘a Liar’  —  Republicans are bloodied and beaten, and maybe just a little too bashful for their own good.  At least, so says Chris Christie.  —  Knocked back on their heels and forced to answer for every outrageous thing Donald Trump did …
April Ryan / TheGrio:
Vice President Kamala Harris weighs in on gun vs. Taser debate in Daunte Wright shooting  —  EXCLUSIVE: In an exclusive interview with theGrio, VP Kamala Harris calls for “full accountability” in the Chauvin case and said Wright “should still be alive today.”  —  Loading the player...
Discussion: Snopes.com
RELATED:
Los Angeles Times:
Kamala Harris faces diplomatic pitfalls in tackling migration from Central America
Discussion: Al Jazeera and Washington Times
Susan Page / Politico:
Inside Nancy Pelosi's War With AOC and the Squad  —  Adapted from Madam Speaker: Nancy Pelosi and the Lessons of Power, to be published by Twelve Books on April 20.  —  “Nancy doesn't have much patience for people who don't know what they don't know.”  —  That was what a senior congressional …
Discussion: Insider, IJR and National Review
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 Free Beacon:
Kristen Clarke, Bigot and Liar  —  Having sworn to answer all questions truthfully, in an appearance Wednesday before the Senate Judiciary Committee, President Joe Biden's nominee to lead the Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division offered a series of answers that strained credulity and veered into outright falsehood.
Kimmy Yam / NBC News:
Macaulay Culkin's past comments and how white parents might ‘other’ their multiracial children  —  As fans celebrate the birth of Macaulay Culkin and Brenda Song's son, comments Culkin made in a past podcast interview are drawing criticism among Asian Americans.
Josh Feldman / Mediaite:
‘YOU SON OF A B*TCH!’  Geraldo Rivera, Dan Bongino Get in Shouting Match Over Police, Protests  —  Geraldo Rivera and Dan Bongino faced off for a second time this week on Sean Hannity's show and ended up getting into an even bigger shouting match over policing.
CNN:
Biden resists raising refugee cap over political optics, sources say  —  (CNN)President Joe Biden has resisted signing off on raising the Trump-era refugee cap because of political optics, sources have told CNN.  —  The President's hesitation comes as the administration faces heat …
Holly Otterbein / Politico:
Pennsylvania GOP launches ‘super MAGA Trump’ primary  —  PHILADELPHIA — The likely GOP candidates in Pennsylvania's open Senate race come in three familiar flavors: anti-Trump, Trumpy and Trumpiest.  —  Though President Donald Trump lost Pennsylvania in 2020 and will have been out of office …
Discussion: Political Wire
 
 
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 More Items: 
madison.com:
3 teachers resign after investigation into slavery lesson at Sun Prairie middle school
Discussion: Washington Examiner and The Hill
Steve Hayes / The Dispatch:
'We Just Can't Do This Anymore'  —  Business owners who want to hire workers are finding …
Leila Fadel / NPR:
Muslim Civil Rights Leader Accused Of Harassment, Misconduct
Amara Omeokwe / Wall Street Journal:
U.S. Retail Sales Surged in March on Stimulus, Vaccines
Discussion: HotAir
Sarah Chaney Cambon / Wall Street Journal:
Jobless Claims Fell to a New Pandemic Low Last Week
Discussion: The Daily Caller and The Week
 Earlier Items: 
Lawrence Mower / Tampa Bay Times:
In push for overhaul in Florida elections, Senate Republicans ease up and create new controversy
Russell Berman / The Atlantic:
Why Is Voting So Hard in Blue States?
Burgess Everett / Politico:
The GOP's most important votes: 2 Democrats
Marianna Sotomayor / Washington Post:
House panel approves bill to create commission on slavery reparations
Daniel McCarthy / spectator.us:
The strange death of the Democrats
Discussion: Washington Post and Insider
Maggie Haberman / New York Times:
Shades of 2016: Republicans Stay Silent on Trump, Hoping He Fades Away
Discussion: The Week and Raw Story
 

 
From Techmeme:

Alex Heath / The Verge:
Meta details Llama 3: 8B- and 70B-parameter models, a focus on reducing false refusals, and an upcoming model trained on 15T+ tokens that has 400B+ parameters

David Pierce / The Verge:
Google announces internal reorganizations, including an AI-focused Platforms and Devices group overseeing Pixel, Android, Chrome, and more, led by Rick Osterloh

Bill Toulas / BleepingComputer:
Europol and 19 countries make 37 arrests and disrupt phishing-as-a-service platform LabHost in a year-long operation with help from Microsoft, Intel, and others

 
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