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5:25 AM ET, June 15, 2021


 Top Items: 
Republicans plot an infrastructure 2-step: Spend more, then kill Biden's agenda  —  Senate Republicans are mulling support for a massive amount of new spending on infrastructure — in part because they think it'll help kill President Joe Biden's liberal agenda.
Elana Schor / Politico:
The one part of the Senate that's working for Democrats  —  SITTING IN JUDGMENT — He's probably never heard of Olivia Rodrigo, but Mitch McConnell is delivering his own cover of “Déjà Vu.”  The Senate minority leader's Monday affirmation that he would block a Biden Supreme Court nominee …
Discussion: Raw Story
Chris Cillizza / CNN:
Mitch McConnell plays his Supreme Court card  —  (CNN)If President Joe Biden wants to fill a Supreme Court vacancy, he had better hope a seat opens up between now and the end of 2022.  —  That's the unmistakeable message sent by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R) …
Discussion: New York Times and East Bay Times
Sahil Kapur / NBC News:
Senate confirms Ketanji Brown Jackson to be judge on powerful appeals court  —  WASHINGTON — The Senate voted Monday to confirm President Joe Biden's nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson to serve on the powerful U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.  —  The vote was 53-44.
Discussion: Washington Times and USA Today
Melissa Quinn / CBS News:
Senate confirms Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to powerful D.C. federal appeals court  —  Washington — The Senate on Monday approved the nomination of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the federal appeals court in the District of Columbia, confirming President Biden's first nominee to the U.S. appellate courts.
Hugh Hewitt / The Hugh Hewitt Show:
Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell On President Biden Judicial Nominees, A New “JCPOA”
Peter Stevenson / Washington Post:
Liberals start to draw the line on infrastructure negotiations
Discussion: The Hill, HuffPost, Bloomberg and Jacobin
Clare Foran / CNN:
McConnell says ‘highly unlikely’ he would let Biden fill a Supreme Court vacancy in 2024 if GOP wins back Senate
Greg Sargent / Washington Post:   Are Democrats doomed in the midterms? Not if they can do this first.
Cristina Marcos / The Hill:
Greene apologizes for comparing vaccine rules to Holocaust  —  Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) on Monday apologized for comparing COVID-19 vaccine and mask rules to the Holocaust, declaring that “there is no comparison” between the safety measures and the genocide of six million Jews during World War II.
Discussion: Raw Story, POLITICUSUSA, Townhall and IJR
Felicia Sonmez / Washington Post:
Rep. Greene apologizes for comparing face masks to Holocaust, but stands by comparison of Democrats to Nazi party  —  Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene on Monday visited the Holocaust Museum and apologized for previously comparing coronavirus face-mask policies to the Nazi practice of labeling Jews with Star of David badges.
Erin Douglas / The Texas Tribune:
Texas' main power grid operator urges reduced electricity use through Friday due to “tight grid conditions”  —  The Electric Reliability Council of Texas says a large number of power plants are offline, but it could not provide details as to what may be causing the “very concerning” number of outages.
Colin Woodard / Press Herald:
Ex-Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, now a Mainer, marched on the Capitol on Jan. 6  —  The former Californian, who's been called 'Putin's favorite congressman,' said he participated to protest the ‘stolen election’ but urged fellow protesters not to storm the Capitol.  —  POLITICS
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.
Michael Balsamo / Associated Press:
Reality Winner, NSA contractor in leak case, out of prison
Julian E. Barnes / New York Times:   Reality Winner Released From Prison
Tim Darnell / Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
NSA leaker Reality Winner released from prison, attorney says
Discussion: Balloon Juice
New York Times:
Is Bill de Blasio Secretly Backing Eric Adams for Mayor?  —  The mayor is not making a public endorsement in the primary race, but he is believed to favor Mr. Adams, the Brooklyn borough president.  —  It was one of the more memorable moments in the New York City mayor's race …
Michael Hendrix / City Journal:
Rounding the Turn  —  The state of New York's mayoral race, as the June 22 primary approaches
Discussion: New York Post
Adams, Garcia top latest poll in New York mayor's race
Discussion: The Hill and Bloomberg
Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas:
Cotton, McConnell, Colleagues Introduce Bill to Defund 1619 Project Curriculum  —  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE  —  Contact: James Arnold or Mary Collins Atkinson (202) 224-2353  —  Washington, D.C. — Senators Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas), John Boozman (R-Arkansas), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tennessee) …
Discussion: Townhall
Michael Gerson / Washington Post:
America's contest of nightmares isn't even close
Discussion: Raw Story
Nick Niedzwiadek / Politico:
Schumer apologizes after using outdated term for disabled children during housing interview  —  Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer apologized on Monday for using an outmoded word to refer to developmentally disabled children during a recent podcast appearance.
William Bredderman / The Daily Beast:
Gohmert Swears $5,500 ‘Donation’ to Holocaust Denier Was a Mistake  —  GOP Rep. Louie Gohmert's campaign gave $5,500 to “ministries” linked to anti-gay, anti-Semitic preacher Steve Anderson. … Rep. Louie Gohmert celebrated New Year's Eve 2020 by dropping several thousand dollars …
Discussion: Raw Story
Matthew A. Winkler / Bloomberg:
California Defies Doom With No. 1 U.S. Economy  —  When misfortunes multiplied during the coronavirus pandemic, observers seized on a four-letter word signaling end of days for the largest state with one-eighth the U.S. population and 14% of its gross domestic product.
Philip Bump / Washington Post:
There's not going to be a post-presidency revelation that submarines Trump  —  There was a theory, to which I once subscribed, that former president Donald Trump's efforts to remain salient in American politics could be hobbled by what might be learned after he left office.
Discussion: Raw Story, Power Line and CNN
Stephen Rodrick / Rolling Stone:
Diamond and Sulk: A Weekend With Mike Lindell and the MAGA Zombies  —  The phone rings and it's Mike Lindell, the MyPillow Guy, recovered cocaine addict, believer that the 2020 presidential count was 20 million off, and, apparently, a fan of 1970s AM Radio.  After saying hello and introducing myself …
Discussion: Insider, Raw Story and Washington Times
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.
Anshel Pfeffer / Haaretz:
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid awaiting President Reuven Rivlin for the official governing coalition earlier today.Credit: EMMANUEL DUNAND - AFP  —  In the transition of power from Benjamin Netanyahu to Naftali Bennett, Israel went from having …
Katie Hobbs / Washington Post:
I'm leading the fight for voting rights in Arizona.  We need the Senate to step up, now.  —  Katie Hobbs, a Democrat, is Arizona's secretary of state.  She is running for governor in 2022.  —  PHOENIX — Democracy is under siege in Arizona.  As part of the “big lie” …
Discussion: Raw Story, Common Dreams and NBC News
Ellise Shafer / Variety:
Lin-Manuel Miranda Addresses Lack of Afro-Latino Representation in ‘In the Heights’: ‘We Fell Short’ … “In the Heights” creator Lin-Manuel Miranda is addressing criticism of colorism in the film's Afro-Latino representation.  —  In a statement posted to Twitter, Miranda apologized …
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.
Radley Balko / Washington Post:
The bogus backlash against progressive prosecutors  —  “I feel like I was played for a fool,” says Harry Mulholland.  “Honestly.  I felt a little violated.”  —  Mulholland is a genuine hero.  Earlier this year, he witnessed three assailants attack and attempt to carjack a 75-year-old woman …
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 More Items: 
Matt Purple / The American Conservative:
This Is Life Under State Media
Discussion: New York Times, Raw Story and RedState
Center for American ProgressCenter …:
Citizenship for Undocumented Immigrants Would Boost U.S. Economic Growth
Naomi Jagoda / The Hill:
Exclusive: Democrat exploring ‘patriot tax’ on multimillionaires' wealth
Paul Bedard / Washington Examiner:
Arizona AG defends Maricopa vote audit against ‘hysterical’ Justice criticism
Holmes Lybrand / CNN:
Fact-checking Sen. Ron Johnson's continued efforts to mislead on Covid-19 and January 6 insurrection
Discussion: Vanity Fair
 Earlier Items: 
Romy Ellenbogen / Tampa Bay Times:
Anna Paulina Luna says potential political opponents conspired to kill her
Julia Davis / The Daily Beast:
Capitol Rioter Who Raided Pelosi's Office Makes Kremlin TV Debut Ahead of Putin Summit
Ben Makuch / VICE:
Leaked Chats Show Ex-Marine Wants to Make Maine Safe Space for Neo-Nazis
Discussion: Bangor Daily News and Raw Story
Errin Haines / The 19th:
Barack Obama: Women have found themselves “in an impossible situation”
Discussion: IJR and The Hill
Washington Post:
2020 was the deadliest gun violence year in decades. So far, 2021 is worse.
Discussion: Daily Kos and ABC News
Jane E. Brody / New York Times:
The Health Benefits of Coffee