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12:50 PM ET, July 16, 2021


 Top Items: 
Susan B. Glasser / New Yorker:
“You're Gonna Have a Fucking War”: Mark Milley's Fight to Stop Trump from Striking Iran  —  Inside the extraordinary final-days conflict between the former President and his chairman of the Joint Chiefs.  —  The last time that General Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff …
Tucker Carlson / Fox News:
The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff should be fired  —  Mark Milley has repeatedly tried to subvert civilian control of the US military - why is he still in control?  —  Tucker: Why is Mark Milley still in command of US military?  —  Just before last November's presidential election …
Seth Mandel / Washington Examiner:
Leaving Trump behind  —  Donald Trump's cultural and long-term political legacy will be debated for decades.  But his legacy for the Republican Party will be tested far sooner than that.  He has the power to leave the GOP and the conservative movement intact or disastrously divided.
Discussion: Fox News
Sophia Cai / Bloomberg:
Manchin Says No Filibuster Exception for Voting Rights Bill  —  Senator Joe Manchin said he wouldn't carve out an exemption to the chamber's filibuster rule for voting rights legislation, effectively dashing chances that Democrats could maneuver around Republican opposition to overhauling the nation's elections laws.
Reuters journalist killed covering clash between Afghan forces, Taliban  —  Reuters journalist Danish Siddiqui was killed on Friday while covering a clash between Afghan security forces and Taliban fighters near a border crossing with Pakistan, an Afghan commander said.
Jose Pagliery / The Daily Beast:
Explosive Interview Directly Implicates Trump in Tax Scheme  —  As investigators look into a scheme at the Trump Organization to avoid paying taxes on employee benefits, one witness has set the scene to show Trump was involved.  —  A witness in the New York investigation against the Trump Organization …
Discussion: Insider, POLITICUSUSA and Raw Story
Luke Money / Los Angeles Times:
L.A. County will require masks indoors amid alarming rise in coronavirus cases  —  Just a month ago, Los Angeles County and the rest of California celebrated a long-awaited reopening, marking the tremendous progress made in the battle against COVID-19 by lifting virtually all restrictions on businesses and other public spaces.
Mark Z. Barabak / Los Angeles Times:   Column: He called out Trump's election lie. Fellow Republicans pushed to fire him
Arizona Republic:
State Senate to seek more election material from Maricopa County; door-to-door questioning recommended  —  Andrew Oxford Mary Jo PitzlArizona Republic  —  Senate President Karen Fann said the Legislature needs more materials and data from Maricopa County for an unprecedented and controversial review …
Howard Fischer Capitol / Arizona Daily Star:
Arizona election audit reports ‘inconsistencies’; judge rules records must be public
Discussion: and Washington Examiner
Democracy Docket:   Court Denies Republican Request to Dismiss Arizona Audit Case
Ben Schreckinger / Politico:
Hunter Biden's prosecutor rejected moves that would have revealed probe earlier  —  Last summer, federal officials in Delaware investigating Hunter Biden faced a dilemma.  The probe had reached a point where prosecutors could have sought search warrants and issued a flurry of grand jury subpoenas.
Daniel Lippman / Politico:
Ticket sales are moving slowly for the coming Trump-O'Reilly stadium tour  —  Donald Trump is having trouble selling advance tickets for his upcoming speaking tour with conservative pundit Bill O'Reilly, according to interviews with ticketing officials for the venues.
Jeffrey M. Jones / Gallup:
Democratic, Republican Confidence in Science Diverges  —  WASHINGTON, D.C. — Sixty-four percent of U.S. adults say they have “a great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in science, compared with 70% when Gallup last measured it more than four decades ago.
ABC News:
As COVID-19 surges again, what experts say about the millions of unvaccinated  —  U.S. coronavirus cases have doubled in recent weeks.  —  As Americans start packing bars and live venues once again in the age of mass COVID-19 vaccination — with many abandoning masks and social distancing measures …
Washington Post:
Biden selects Jane Hartley as ambassador to U.K.  —  President Biden will nominate Jane Hartley, a former ambassador to France, to serve as ambassador to the United Kingdom, according to two people with knowledge of the decision.  —  The ambassador to the Court of St. James's is considered …
Discussion: CNN
Associated Press:
Trump showerhead rule to increase water flow getting dumped  —  So much for Donald Trump's quest for “perfect” hair.  —  President Joe Biden's administration is reversing a Trump-era rule approved after the former president complained he wasn't getting wet enough because of limits on water flow from showerheads.
New York Times:
Live Updates: Europe Flooding Death Toll Passes 100 as Climate Change Worsens Extreme Rainfall  —  Most of the dead were in Germany, where hundreds were still missing.  Search-and-rescue efforts were hampered, and more rain threatened.  —  Here's what you need to know:
Discussion: Associated Press
Charlie Sykes / Morning Shots:
Our Woke Book Burners  —  Books are not violence … Apparently, we have to remind people about this again: … We've devoted a great deal of time lately to discussing illiberalism and authoritarianism, and justifiably so.  But we have to recognize that liberalism and free expression face …
Discussion: Townhall, Breitbart and The Federalist
Brian Steinberg / Variety:
CNN Snares Kasie Hunt From NBC in Big Bet on Streaming (EXCLUSIVE) … CNN has snatched Kasie Hunt, the Capitol Hill correspondent long viewed as a rising star at NBC News, as part of an aggressive bid to push the WarnerMedia cable-news outlet into the new frontier of streaming video.
Melanie Zanona / CNN:
Kevin McCarthy's trip shows House Republicans see the path back to power is with Donald Trump  —  (CNN)The House GOP's plan to win back power is becoming increasingly centered on one man: Donald J. Trump.  —  On Thursday, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy became the latest in a parade …
Foreign Policy:
Oligarchs' Favorite U.S. Visa Might Not Last  —  Calls are growing louder to fix the “golden visa” program that has flooded the United States with dubious foreign money.  —  Thanks in large part to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, “golden visas” and “golden passports”—visas and passports granted …
Will Sommer / The Daily Beast:
MAGA World's ‘Freedom Phone’ Actually Budget Chinese Phone  —  MAGA Influencers are pushing a phone preloaded with apps like Parler and Rumble that appears to be a vastly more expensive version of a phone made in China.  —  The pro-Trump internet went wild on Wednesday for the Freedom Phone …
Hanna Krueger Globe / The Boston Globe:
It's been 58 days since Ben & Jerry's posted on social media.  Here's how its silence may be tied to the Middle East  —  On May 18, Ben & Jerry's posed a simple question on Twitter: “Any mint lovers out there?”  —  The beloved Vermont ice cream company usually posts to social media daily …
NBC News:
Two men charged in plot to attack Democratic Party headquarters in Sacramento  —  WASHINGTON — Two men have been indicted by a federal grand jury on multiple charges in connection with an alleged plot to attack the Democratic Party headquarters building in Sacramento after last year's presidential election.
Sarah K. Burris / Raw Story:
Mark Meadows desperately begged ‘stable pony’ Ivanka to convince Trump to stop Jan. 6 insurrection: book  —  Ivanka Trump was the stabilizing voice that everyone needed on Jan. 6, those in the White House believed.  —  In their new book, Washington Post reporters, Carol Leonnig and Philip Rucker's …
Discussion: Joe.My.God., Salon, Gothamist and Daily Kos
Lucia Mutikani / Reuters:
U.S. retail sales unexpectedly rebound in boost to economic growth  —  WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. retail sales unexpectedly increased in June as demand for goods remained strong even as spending is shifting back to services, bolstering expectations that economic growth accelerated in the second quarter.
Mary Eberstadt / Newsweek:
Might Trauma Affect Gender Identity?  —  , SENIOR RESEARCH FELLOW, FAITH AND REASON INSTITUTE  —  Another month, another social milestone.  On June 27, Kataluna Enriquez became the first transgender woman in history to be crowned Miss Nevada USA, thereby qualifying to compete in November's national Miss USA contest.
Kate Marino / Axios:
The pandemic-fueled decline of cash  —  Cash is getting a bad reputation.  It was already on the ropes but the pandemic accelerated a decline that's been underway.  —  Why it matters: Consumers used less cash in 2020.  That along with a trend toward digital transactions in the smaller-dollar realm …
Discussion: Finimize
Cat Zakrzewski / Washington Post:
The Technology 202: ‘Pandemic profiteers’ are using deceptive tactics to peddle products and subscriptions, according to a memo submitted to the FTC  —  The Federal Trade Commission is under pressure to crack down on a network of “pandemic profiteers,” who are allegedly using deceptive tactics …
Issues & Insights:
The Dreaded Misery Index Is On The Rise Under Biden  —  Young adults today are likely unfamiliar with the term “misery index.”  But they could soon learn about it the hard way, thanks to President Joe Biden's economic incompetence.  —  The misery index, a measure started under President Lyndon Johnson …
Discussion: Instapundit
Lachlan Markay / Axios:
Gaetz enlists Trumpworld for scandal-ridden re-election fight  —  Little conduct could surpass fealty to Donald Trump in the minds of GOP voters.
Discussion: Raw Story
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 More Items: 
Josh Rogin / Washington Post:
China's vaccine profiteering at the U.N. is being funded by U.S. taxpayers
Katherine Tully-McManus / Politico:
Civil disobedience returns to Capitol Hill
Discussion: ABC News and Fox News
Stephen Moore / Washington Examiner:
In Biden's America, everyone is entitled to everything
Rich Lowry / New York Post:
Sorry, Mr. President: The ‘fight’ for voter rights is nothing like the Civil War
Discussion: Washington Post and PolitiFact
Salvador Rizzo / Washington Post:
Four Pinocchios for Ron Johnson's campaign of vaccine misinformation
Discussion: Forbes, Joe.My.God. and Vox
 Earlier Items: 
Hugo Gurdon / Washington Examiner:
Gaslighting for critical race theory
Amanda Marcotte / Salon:
Of course the GOP is spreading COVID-19 for political gain — it's been their playbook for decades
Michael Luciano / Mediaite:
Fox News Guest Says Kamala Harris Slept Her Way to the Top: 'She Started Out Her Political Career as Willie Brown's Bratwurst Bun'
Rob Tannenbaum / Los Angeles Times:
'The screen door slams, Mary's dress...' waves? Sways? An investigation into The Boss' mystery verb
Discussion: The Times of Israel
Jeremy Beaman / Washington Examiner:
Sailor becomes first woman to complete Naval Special Warfare training
Discussion: Associated Press, CBS News and Fox News