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11:40 AM ET, April 15, 2021

memeorandum

 Top Items: 
The Daily Beast:
U.S. Intel Walks Back Claim Russians Put Bounties on American Troops  —  It was a huge election-time story that prompted cries of treason.  But according to a newly disclosed assessment, Donald Trump might have been right to call it a “hoax.”  —  It was a blockbuster story about Russia's return …
Discussion: New York Times and Al Jazeera
RELATED:
New York Times:
Biden Administration to Impose Tough Sanctions on Russia
Discussion: РБК
The White House:
FACT SHEET: Imposing Costs for Harmful Foreign Activities by the Russian Government
Ellen Nakashima / Washington Post:
Biden administration imposes significant economic sanctions on Russia over cyberspying, efforts to influence presidential election
Associated Press:
Months after hack, US poised to announce sanctions on Russia
Discussion: POLITICUSUSA and New York Times
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
Ian Millhiser / Vox:
A new bill would add 4 seats to the Supreme Court
RELATED:
Zachary Basu / Axios:
U.S. says Manafort associate passed sensitive polling data to Russian intelligence  —  The U.S. government has sanctioned Konstantin Kilimnik, a Russian-Ukrainian political consultant indicted in the Mueller investigation in 2018, for carrying out election influence operations on behalf of Russian intelligence services.
Discussion: Raw Story
Josh Kovensky / Talking Points Memo:
New Sanctions On Manafort Deputy Suggest Deeper Role Of Russian Intel In 2016
Discussion: Election Law Blog
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: Mediaite and 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: Townhall and 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
Discussion: Washington Post
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 …
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, POLITICUSUSA, Insider and Raw Story
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: CNN, Insider, IJR and National Review
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.
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.
Sarah Chaney Cambon / Wall Street Journal:
Jobless Claims Fell to a New Pandemic Low Last Week  —  Applications for unemployment benefits have declined this year but are still historically high  —  Unemployment claims declined to the lowest level since the pandemic struck last spring, adding to signs the U.S. economic revival is picking up speed.
Discussion: The Daily Caller and The Week
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
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 …
Discussion: Washington Post, KDFX-TV and Eschaton
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.
 
 
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 More Items: 
Jeffrey M. Jones / Gallup:
Biden Sparks Greater Party, Education Gaps Than Predecessors
Discussion: The Hill and Washington Examiner
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
Claudia Grisales / NPR:
Ahead Of Hearing, Capitol Police Says It Needs Help To Address Insurrection Failures
 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?
Greg Bluestein / Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
Warnock off to a fast fundraising start for 2022 Senate re-election race
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