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4:55 PM ET, June 14, 2021

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 Top Items: 
Michael Balsamo / Associated Press:
Justice official resigning amid uproar over Dems' subpoenas  —  WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department's top national security official is resigning from his position after revelations that the department secretly seized record s from Democrats and members of the media.
RELATED:
Steve Benen / MSNBC:
As Trump-era Justice Dept scandal intensifies, Republicans shrug
Hugh Hewitt / The Hugh Hewitt Show:
Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell On President Biden Judicial Nominees, A New “JCPOA”  —  GOP Senator Mitch McConnell joined me this morning:  —  Audio:  —  06-14hhs-mcconnell  —  Transcript:  —  HH: Joined now by an old friend of show, Senate Leader of the GOP, Mitch McConnell.
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Jordain Carney / The Hill:
McConnell signals GOP would block Biden Supreme Court pick in '24  —  Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) signaled Monday that Republicans, if they win back control of the chamber, wouldn't advance a Supreme Court nominee if a vacancy occurred in 2024, the year of the next presidential election.
Jordain Carney / The Hill:   McConnell warns he's willing to intervene in 2022 GOP primaries
Ben Kesslen / NBC News:
Former NSA contractor Reality Winner, jailed for leaking secrets about Russian hacking, released early from prison … Reality Winner, the former National Security Agency contractor who was jailed for leaking secrets about Russian hacking, has been released early from prison, her lawyer said Monday.
RELATED:
Michael Balsamo / Associated Press:
Reality Winner, NSA contractor in leak case, out of prison
Discussion: New York Magazine
Jane E. Brody / New York Times:
The Health Benefits of Coffee  —  Drinking coffee has been linked to a reduced risk of all kinds of ailments, including Parkinson's disease, melanoma, prostate cancer, even suicide.  —  Americans sure love their coffee.  Even last spring when the pandemic shut down New York …
Julia Davis / The Daily Beast:
Capitol Rioter Who Raided Pelosi's Office Makes Kremlin TV Debut Ahead of Putin Summit  —  BIG DEBUT  —  In the countdown to the summit between the two presidents, pro-Kremlin TV saw it fit to interview an infamous Capitol rioter and describe him as “an American patriot.”
RELATED:
NBC News:
Putin dismisses criticism of hacking and internal crackdowns ahead of Biden summit
Washington Post:
Biden will give Putin a list of demands. The Russian president may ignore them.
New York Times:
China's ‘Bat Woman,’ at the Center of a Pandemic Storm, Speaks Out  —  Shi Zhengli, a top virologist, said in a rare interview that speculation about her lab in Wuhan was baseless.  But China's habitual secrecy makes her claims hard to validate.  —  To a growing chorus of American politicians …
RELATED:
Jim Geraghty / National Review:
Yup, the Wuhan Institute of Virology Kept Live Bats within Its Walls
Jonathan Chait / New York Magazine:
GOP Senator Says Democracy, Majority Rule Aren't What Our Country Stands For Rand Paul gets a little too honest about his beliefs.  —  One of the edifying side effects of the Trump era has been that, by making democracy the explicit subject of political debate, it has revealed the stark fact …
Discussion: National Review and Twitchy
RELATED:
Jonathan Weisman / New York Times:
In Congress, Republicans Shrug at Warnings of Democracy in Peril  —  As G.O.P. legislatures move to curtail voting rules, congressional Democrats say authoritarianism looms, but Republicans dismiss the concerns as politics as usual.  —  WASHINGTON — Senator Christopher S. Murphy concedes …
CNN:
First on CNN: FBI warns lawmakers that QAnon ‘digital soldiers’ may become more violent  —  Washington (CNN)The FBI has warned lawmakers that online QAnon conspiracy theorists may carry out more acts of violence as they move from serving as “digital soldiers” to taking action in the real world following the January 6 US Capitol attack.
Discussion: VICE, Insider and Raw Story
Washington Post:
Coronavirus infections dropping where people are vaccinated, rising where they are not, Post analysis finds  —  States with higher vaccination rates now have markedly fewer coronavirus cases, as infections are dropping in places where most residents have been immunized and are rising …
Melanie Zanona / Politico:
House GOP prays Trump can kick his habit of 2020 grievances  —  Donald Trump just can't seem to quit 2020.  That means Republicans can't either.  —  The former president is returning to the national spotlight with plans to play a central role in the GOP's push to reclaim power …
RELATED:
Washington Post:
2020 was the deadliest gun violence year in decades.  So far, 2021 is worse.  —  The shootings have come at a relentless pace.  Gun violence this year has cut through celebrations and funerals, places of work and houses of worship.  It has taken lives at a grocery store and in a fast-food drive-through lane.
Discussion: ABC News and Daily Kos
Michael Gerson / Washington Post:
America's contest of nightmares isn't even close  —  America is in a contest of contending nightmares.  —  The dreams of conservatives are currently troubled by “wokeness” and critical race theory.  As with most nightmares, there is a grain of truth within such terrors.
Discussion: Raw Story
Alex Isenstadt / Politico:
‘Full of s—’: Candidates warned not to fake Trump endorsement  —  Lynda Blanchard donated nearly $1 million to pro-Donald Trump political committees, served as his ambassador to Slovenia and launched her Alabama Senate campaign with a video spotlighting her Trump bumper sticker-adorned pickup truck.
Zachary Cohen / CNN:
Exclusive: US assessing reported leak at Chinese nuclear power facility  —  (CNN)The US government has spent the past week assessing a report of a leak at a Chinese nuclear power plant, after a French company that part owns and helps operate it warned of an “imminent radiological threat,” …
Ben Smith / New York Times:
Why The New Yorker's Stars Didn't Join Its Union  —  The 96-year-old magazine, known for its revered writers and sophisticated audience, is being consumed by a labor dispute.  —  Writers for The New Yorker have been known to refer to the editor, David Remnick, as “Dad,” …
Judd Legum / Popular Information:
These 25 rainbow flag-waving corporations donated more than $10 million to anti-gay politicians in the last two years  —  This month, corporations are plastering their social media avatars with rainbows, sponsoring Pride parades, and declaring their unwavering commitment to the LGBTQ community.
Discussion: The Guardian and Raw Story
Jason Horowitz / New York Times:
Vatican Warns U.S. Bishops: Don't Deny Biden Communion Over Abortion  —  Conservative American Catholic bishops are pressing for a debate over whether Catholics who support the right to an abortion should be allowed to take Communion.  —  ROME — The Vatican has warned conservative American bishops …
Greg Sargent / Washington Post:
Are Democrats doomed in the midterms?  Not if they can do this first.  —  The midterm elections will take place in approximately 500 days.  Which is exactly why some Democratic strategists believe it's urgent to begin executing their midterm strategy right now — nearly a year and a half in advance.
Teny Sahakian / Fox News:
North Korean defector says ‘even North Korea was not this nuts’ after attending Ivy League school  —  Yeonmi Park escaped the oppressive regime in 2007 at the age of 13  —  'America's future is as bleak as North Korea' says defector after attending Columbia
Discussion: Breitbart and New York Post
Romy Ellenbogen / Tampa Bay Times:
Anna Paulina Luna says potential political opponents conspired to kill her  —  Luna said in the injunction that she got word of a plan against her life.  The people mentioned say it's “nonsense.”  —  Updated Just now  —  Anna Paulina Luna, a candidate for Florida's 13th Congressional District …
Glenn Greenwald:
The Enduring False Narrative About the PULSE Massacre Shows the Power of Media Propaganda  —  Politicians and activists should stop ratifying the fiction that Omar Mateen was motivated by anti-LGBT hatred.  It dishonors the victims and obscures the real motive.  —  2 hr ago
Discussion: The Western Journal and TheBlaze
Maggie Astor / New York Times:
G.O.P. Bills Rattle Disabled Voters: 'We Don't Have a Voice Anymore'  —  Legislation across the country would restrict voting methods and accommodations that people with disabilities are disproportionately likely to rely on.  —  The experience was so demeaning that Susie Angel did not vote again for two decades.
Adrian Carrasquillo / Newsweek:
Exclusive: Nikki Fried's Campaign Site Was Liberal in English, Moderate in Spanish Until She Was Questioned  —  Nikki Fried, Florida's agriculture commissioner, a rising star among state Democrats who hopes to defeat Governor Ron DeSantis next year if she wins the primary …
Politico:
POLITICO Playbook: Manchin and Sinema still might get their way  —  DRIVING THE DAY  —  President JOE BIDEN is at NATO headquarters in Brussels today explaining his decision to pull out of Afghanistan to allies who felt blindsided.  The House is back in session and will soon be debating …
David Byler / Washington Post:
House Republicans have two critical advantages in 2022  —  Democrats hold the balance of power in Washington, D.C., but their margin is wafer-thin: Joe Biden is president, and the party controls both houses of Congress only very narrowly.  They've already enacted $1.9 trillion of economic stimulus.
Discussion: Jacobin
Fletcher Peters / Decider:
Ana Navarro Defends Jeffrey Toobin's CNN Return on ‘The View’: “He Was Not Sexually Harassing Somebody, He Was Sexually Harassing Himself”  —  On today's episode of The View, the co-hosts tore into Jeffrey Toobin's return to CNN last Thursday (June 07) after he exposed himself on a New Yorker Zoom call last Fall.
Sarah Mucha / Axios:
Harris' trip problems rekindle 2020 campaign doubts  —  Vice President Kamala Harris' stumbles during her first foreign trip have rekindled the debate from her presidential campaign about whether she — and not her staff — is to blame.  —  Why it matters: While Harris' only overture toward running …
Barak Ravid / Axios:
New Israeli foreign minister stresses need to repair ties with Democrats  —  Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid said in a ceremony on his first day in office on Monday that the new government must repair Israel's relationship with the Democratic Party, which he said had badly deteriorated …
 
 
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 More Items: 
Washington Post:
117th Congress: Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.)
Discussion: The Hill and Blue Virginia
Philip Bump / Washington Post:
There's not going to be a post-presidency revelation that submarines Trump
Discussion: Raw Story, Power Line and UPI
Stephen Rodrick / Rolling Stone:
Diamond and Sulk: A Weekend With Mike Lindell and the MAGA Zombies
Discussion: Insider and Raw Story
Tia Johnson / FOX 4 Kansas City WDAF-TV:
Governor Parson signs House Bill 85 to protect Missourians' 2nd Amendment rights
Tameem Akhgar / Associated Press:
Islamic State claims responsibility for bomb attacks in Afghan capital that kill 7
Discussion: Jihad Watch
Politico:
Adams, Garcia top latest poll in New York mayor's race
Erin Doherty / Axios:
Vermont becomes first state to reach 80% vaccine threshold
Discussion: Townhall, Forbes and Political Wire
 Earlier Items: 
Ben Makuch / VICE:
Leaked Chats Show Ex-Marine Wants to Make Maine Safe Space for Neo-Nazis
Discussion: Raw Story
Errin Haines / The 19th:
Barack Obama: Women have found themselves “in an impossible situation”
Discussion: The Hill
Michael Isikoff / Yahoo News:
Exclusive: Saudi assassins picked up illicit drugs in Cairo to kill Khashoggi
Andrew Das / New York Times:
Westminster Dog Show 2021: Wasabi the Pekingese Wins Best in Show
Discussion: The A.V. Club, Gothamist and Slate
Carolyn Y. Johnson / Washington Post:
Novavax's coronavirus vaccine is 90 percent effective, study finds
Discussion: NPR, New York Times and The Verge