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2:25 PM ET, April 30, 2021

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 Top Items: 
Zachary Basu / Axios:
Merrick Garland rapidly erasing Trump effect at Justice Department  —  Attorney General Merrick Garland is quickly negating the Trump administration's law enforcement legacy, dismaying conservatives with a burst of aggressive reversals and new policies.  —  Why it matters: As a former prosecutor …
Discussion: The Bulwark, Raw Story, The Sun and IJR
RELATED:
Dareh Gregorian / NBC News:
Major changes: Biden dog getting prepped for first feline's White House arrival  —  Ruff times could be ahead for the Biden family dogs — they're soon going to be joined at the White House by the family's cat.  —  “She's waiting in the wings,” first lady Jill Biden told NBC's “TODAY” …
Discussion: CNN, TODAY.com and Joe.My.God.
The Daily Beast:
Bombshell Letter: Gaetz Paid for Sex With Minor, Wingman Says  —  PEN PALS … The Daily Beast has obtained a confession letter that Joel Greenberg wrote after asking Roger Stone to help him obtain a pardon.  —  A confession letter written by Joel Greenberg in the final months …
Washington Post:
FBI warned Giuliani, key Trump ally in Senate of Russian disinformation campaign targeting Biden  —  The FBI warned Rudolph W. Giuliani in late 2019 that he was the target of a Russian influence operation aimed at circulating falsehoods intended to damage President Biden politically ahead …
RELATED:
JONATHAN TURLEY:
Why Didn't The FBI Agents Take Hard Drives In Seizing Giuliani's Electronic Devices?
Discussion: The Jeffrey Lord and Fox News
Garrett M. Graff / Politico:
'I'd Never Been Involved in Anything as Secret as This'  —  On the morning of May 1, 2011, most Americans had never heard of Abbottabad.  By that night, the dusty midsize city near the mountains of northwest Pakistan was the center of the biggest story in the world.
Discussion: Washington Post
RELATED:
CNN:
Al Qaeda promises ‘war on all fronts’ against America as Biden pulls out of Afghanistan
Discussion: TheBlaze
Washington Post:   Ten years later, Obama and McRaven discuss the meaning of the mission to kill bin Laden
Associated Press:
Florida Republicans await DeSantis' signature on new voting rules  —  Republicans said the legislation, passed on a party-line vote, was needed to guard against fraud  —  Trump says he would consider Florida Gov. DeSantis as 2024 running mate  —  Florida Republicans passed a series …
RELATED:
NBC News:
In nod to Trump, Florida is set to ban ‘deplatforming’ by tech companies
Ari Berman / Mother Jones:
Florida Republicans Just Passed a Georgia-Style Voter Suppression Bill
Ally Mutnick / Politico:
Trump crashes final days of Texas special election  —  The first competitive special of the new election cycle has quickly turned into a 2020 redux: It's the Donald Trump show all over again.  —  Trump made a late foray in the 23-candidate scramble for a vacant congressional seat in North Texas …
RELATED:
Ben Jacobs / VICE:
The Fight for the GOP's Post-Trump Future Starts This Weekend in Texas  —  A special election to fill the seat of a GOP congressman who died of COVID-19 is the first preview of the 2022 midterms.  —  BJ  —  It's the first major election since the insurrection, since the inauguration …
Discussion: Daily Kos and FiveThirtyEight
CNN:
Texas congressional race showcases GOP fight over Trump, conspiracy theories and election lies
Discussion: Associated Press, Salon and Raw Story
RELATED:
New York Times:
Firing of U.S. Ambassador Is at Center of Giuliani Investigation
Dylan Matthews / Vox:
How the US won the economic recovery  —  I looked for a country that got the economic response to Covid-19 right.  I found the US.  —  Graphics by Christina Animashaun … Jasmine Holloway knows it sounds odd.  But March 2021, when she and the rest of America were enduring the 13th month …
Politico:
POLITICO Playbook: McConnell takes on the 1619 Project  —  DRIVING THE DAY  —  IF YOU READ ONE THING — GARRETT GRAFF'S oral history of the bin Laden raid: “'Congratulations, You Killed Osama bin Laden': How the hunt for the world's most notorious terrorist actually went down—as told by the people inside the room.”
Jennifer Bendery / HuffPost:
Democrat Cheri Bustos Announces Retirement From Congress  —  The Illinois lawmaker will finish out her term, but said she is ready for something new after serving in the House for 10 years.  —  After 10 years in Congress, Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-Ill.) announced Friday that she will not run for reelection in 2022.
Discussion: NBC News, Politico, CNN and Washington Post
Meridith McGraw / Politico:
Mike Pence reemerges.  But Trumpworld is moving on.  —  The final weeks of the Donald Trump-Mike Pence partnership were an unmitigated disaster.  Pence, the fiercely loyal vice president, was ushered to safety in the halls of Congress after he refused his boss' wishes to not certify the election results.
RELATED:
Annie Karni / New York Times:
Pence, in his first speech since leaving office, speaks fondly of Trump.
Discussion: Crooks and Liars
Lachlan Markay / Axios:
John Kerry discloses millions in income from finance, energy firms  —  John Kerry disclosed millions in income and a massive stock portfolio that he's moved to liquidate since taking office as President Biden's special climate envoy, according to a financial filing obtained by Axios on Friday.
Discussion: Fox News
Alison Knezevich / Baltimore Sun:
Kushner apartment company violated consumer laws in Maryland, judge rules  —  The apartment company of Jared Kushner violated Maryland's consumer protection laws numerous times at Baltimore-area properties by collecting debts without the required licenses, charging tenants improper fees …
Dan Noyes / ABC7:
EXCLUSIVE: Trump supporter shares what he uncovered after infiltrating anti-fascist group in Sonoma Co. … EXCLUSIVE: Trump supporter infiltrates North Bay anti-fascist group  —  SONOMA COUNTY, Calif. (KGO) — Shocking comments were made during an online meeting of far-left activists in Sonoma County …
Discussion: HotAir, RedState and The Gateway Pundit
Slate:
Blake Bailey's Students Worshipped Him.  They Trusted Him.  When They Grew Up, He Preyed On Them.  —  Before he was Philip Roth's biographer, Blake Bailey taught the eighth grade.  His students say he made them feel special.  They worshipped him.  They trusted him.  He used it all against them.
Discussion: Vanity Fair and New York Times
RELATED:
Eve Crawford Peyton / Slate:
I Was 12 When We Met  —  Blake Bailey was my favorite teacher.  Years later, he forced himself on me.
Discussion: The Nation
Mona Charen / The Bulwark:
Ted Cruz's Accidental Confession  —  His anti-woke-CEOs rant?  It inadvertently reveals a cynical GOP calculation.  —  Sen. Ted Cruz (R-MAGA), has announced in the pages of the Wall Street Journal that he is taking a stand on principle.  He will no longer accept corporate donations.
Discussion: Human Events, Raw Story, The Week and Salon
Rachel Yang / Yahoo News:
Over 450 past Jeopardy contestants call on show to address alleged ‘white power’ symbol  —  UPDATE: Jeopardy contestant Kelly Donohue  —  issued a statement condemning white supremacy Thursday.  —  EARLIER: A growing list of more than 450 former  —  Jeopardy contestants are calling …
Marc Fisher / Washington Post:
From memes to race war: How extremists use popular culture to lure recruits  —  Play Video  —  The first images of “The Last Battle” seem designed to rile people on the conservative side of the culture wars: public nudity, strippers, children dressed in drag — symbols of a society supposedly in a moral free fall.
Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs / New York Times:
Inside the Chauvin Jury Room: 11 of 12 Jurors Were Ready to Convict Right Away  —  One juror described the seven hours of closed-door deliberations that led to Derek Chauvin's murder conviction.  —  Seated at tables six feet apart in a hotel conference room, 12 jurors scribbled letters …
Brooke Singman / Fox News:
Noem sues Biden administration for canceling Mount Rushmore Independence Day fireworks  —  National Parks Service notified South Dakota of decision to cancel fireworks display in March  —  Is Mount Rushmore next?  Gov. Noem won't stand for ‘radical rewriting of history’
Washington Post:
Biden administration forges new path on North Korea crisis in wake of Trump and Obama failures  —  The Biden administration is charting a new course in an attempt to end North Korea's nuclear and ballistic missile program, striking a balance between President Donald Trump's grand bargain …
Nathaniel Rakich / FiveThirtyEight:
Biden's Betting On Public Support To Push His Agenda.  Polls Show His Big Spending Packages Have It.  —  Welcome to Pollapalooza, our weekly polling roundup.  —  In his address to a joint session of Congress on Wednesday night, President Biden spent a lot of time extolling the virtues …
 
 
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 More Items: 
Adam Serwer / Penguin Random House:
The Cruelty Is the Point  —  Buy the Audiobook Download:  — Apple- Audible- downpour- eMusic- audiobooks.com
Gabby Deutch / Jewish Insider:
Biden's first 100 days according to the Saban Forum crowd
Laura Belin / Bleeding Heartland:
Iowa turned down $95 million to test school kids for COVID-19
JONATHAN TURLEY:
Georgetown Professor Under Fire For Reading The “N-Word” In A Class On Free Speech and Racism
Discussion: The College Fix
Laura Vozzella / Washington Post:
Aide traveling with Va. gubernatorial candidate Amanda Chase brandishes gun amid ‘road rage’ incident
Discussion: Blue Virginia and Raw Story
Alyson Krueger / New York Times:
New Incentive Programs for Remote Workers in Bentonville, Tulsa and Savannah
Discussion: Tax Foundation and Althouse
 Earlier Items: 
Paige Winfield Cunningham / Washington Post:
The Health 202: CDC's mask guidance is still too strict for the vaccinated, some experts say
Discussion: HotAir, Politico and Political Wire
Amy Walter / The Cook Political Report:
The Honeymoon for First Term Presidents No Longer Exists
Discussion: The Hill and National Review
Petula Dvorak / Washington Post:
Why are the liberals of Takoma Park suing to protect a piece of asphalt?
Aaron Blake / Washington Post:
Biden's big-spending agenda, brought to you by the Trump era