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7:40 AM ET, July 26, 2021


 Top Items: 
Apoorva Mandavilli / New York Times:
The Delta Variant Is the Symptom of a Bigger Threat: Vaccine Refusal  —  There are almost as many reasons for vaccine hesitancy and refusal as there are unvaccinated Americans.  But this problem, not the variant, lies at the root of rising infection rates.  —  After an all too brief respite …
Discussion: Balloon Juice
Max Fisher / New York Times:
Disinformation for Hire, a Shadow Industry, Is Quietly Booming  —  Back-alley firms meddle in elections and promote falsehoods on behalf of clients who can claim deniability, escalating our era of unreality.  —  In May, several French and German social media influencers received a strange proposal.
The YouTubers who blew the whistle on an anti-vax plot  —  A mysterious marketing agency secretly offered to pay social media stars to spread disinformation about Covid-19 vaccines.  Their plan failed when the influencers went public about the attempt to recruit them.
Kathleen McGrory / Tampa Bay Times:
Pasco Sheriff's Office letter targets residents for ‘increased accountability’  —  Critics of the agency's intelligence programs called the letter ‘patronizing’ and ‘offensive,’ and raised continued concerns about civil rights  —  It starts like an offer of admission from a prestigious university.
María Paúl / Washington Post:
An Alabama mother who lost her son to covid says not getting the vaccine is her biggest regret  —  These days, Christy Carpenter finds strength in her family and faith.  But on some days, one question keeps ringing in her head: “Why?”  —  After weeks of battling through oxygen treatments …
Karoun Demirjian / Washington Post:
Jan. 6 select committee to open investigation amid political chaos and controversy  —  The House select committee envisioned to be the ultimate arbiter of what led President Donald Trump's supporters to invade the U.S. Capitol in January is scheduled to begin its work this week under a cloud …
Maura Gillespie / Congressman Adam Kinzinger:
Kinzinger on January 6th Commission: When Duty Calls, I Will Answer
Bill Hutchinson / ABC News:
Pelosi confident in bipartisan committee, plans to add more Republicans
Ron Radosh / The Bulwark:
Today's Democratic Socialists: Not So Big on Democracy  —  Turning a blind eye to the anti-democratic regimes in Cuba and Venezuela.  —  Recent comments about Cuba and Venezuela from individuals associated with the Democratic Socialists of America make clear that today's democratic socialist …
New York Times:
Bob Moses, Crusader for Civil Rights and Math Education, Dies at 86  —  Mr. Moses developed a reputation for extraordinary calm in the face of violence as he helped to register thousands of voters and trained a generation of activists in Mississippi in the early 1960s.
Discussion: NPR, Lawyers, Guns & Money, UPI, The Hill and CNN
'We're f—ed': Dems fear turnout catastrophe from GOP voting laws  —  ATLANTA — After Georgia Republicans passed a restrictive voting law in March, Democrats here began doing the math.  —  The state's new voter I.D. requirement for mail-in ballots could affect the more than 270,000 Georgians lacking identification.
Discussion: The Guardian
Sarah Huckabee Sanders / Arkansas Online:
The reasoning behind getting vaccinated  —  A few months ago, I decided to take advantage of President Trump's Operation Warp Speed and get vaccinated.  —  Like many of you, I have had a lot of misinformation thrown at me by politicians and the media during the pandemic.
Janet Hook / Los Angeles Times:
Mar-a-Lago primary: Trump wields power with endorsements, but some in GOP fear midterm damage  —  Former President Trump, again upending American political norms, is moving to remake Congress and the Republican Party in his own image.  —  Since leaving the White House …
Wall Street Journal:
U.S. Intensifies Airstrikes in Afghanistan as Taliban Offensive Nears Kandahar  —  About a dozen strikes are aimed at slowing a Taliban surge, aiding a beleaguered Afghan military  —  in Washington, D.C.  —  The U.S. has stepped up airstrikes in southern Afghanistan amid growing apprehension …
Discussion: New York Times
James Morrow / Wall Street Journal:
Covid Mania Returns Australia to Its Roots as a Nation of Prisoners  —  Citizens in Sydney may leave their homes only for ‘essential’ purposes and not go more than six miles.  —  Sydney  —  It's hard to know exactly when Australia's pandemic response crossed the line from tragedy into farce.
Ken Meyer / Mediaite:
Tucker Carlson Confronted at Store by Man Saying ‘You Are the Worst Human Being’  —  Fox News host Tucker Carlson was confronted at a fly fishing shop by a man in Montana who pronounced him “the worst human being known to mankind.”  —  A man named Dan Bailey posted a video of himself …
NBC News:
GOP congressman says he has Covid-19 for second time  —  A Republican member of Congress from Louisiana said Sunday that he was sick with Covid-19 for the second time as a surge of new infections hits parts of the U.S. with low vaccination rates.  —  Referring to the disease as the …
Tunisian president ousts government in move critics call a coup  —  Tunisia's president dismissed the government and froze parliament on Sunday in a dramatic escalation of a political crisis that his opponents labelled a coup, calling their own supporters to come onto the streets in protest.
Peter Landers / Wall Street Journal:
Covid-19 Pill Race Heats Up as Japanese Firm Vies With Pfizer, Merck  —  Shionogi starts human trials for a once-a-day drug designed to neutralize the coronavirus in less than a week  —  A Japanese company has started human trials of the first once-a-day pill for Covid-19 patients …
Swati Chaturvedi / Haaretz:
I Was Targeted by NSO Spyware.  Here's How Israel Is Helping Modi Undermine India's Democracy  —  This is what it's like to be targeted, why Israel must shut down sales of Pegasus, and why authoritarian cowards troll and intimidate - but they won't silence me
Harry Enten / CNN:
Joe Biden's approval rating simply hasn't moved in six months  —  (CNN)President Joe Biden's presidency is now six months old.  You'd be forgiven if you didn't realize how long Biden has been in office because Biden doesn't generate anywhere near the same news interest (see Google searches) …
LA man who mocked Covid-19 vaccines dies of virus  —  A California man who mocked Covid-19 vaccines on social media has died after a month-long battle with the virus.  —  Stephen Harmon, a member of the Hillsong megachurch, had been a vocal opponent of vaccines, making a series of jokes about not having the vaccine.
The Guardian:
Michigan Republicans will return Covid relief funds used to pay own bonuses  — Six commissioners voted to pay themselves $65,000 in total  —  Elected Republican officials in a conservative Michigan county who gave themselves bonuses totalling $65,000 with federal Covid-19 relief funds …
Discussion: Raw Story and WTOP
Jason Easley / POLITICUSUSA:
Tim Scott Lies And Says Cutting Unemployment Benefits Put People Back To Work  —  Video: … Sen. Scott said on Fox News Sunday, “They continued for several more weeks except for states like South Carolina where we decided to do away with enhanced on employment benefits and what happened to our unemployment rolls?
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 More Items: 
E.J. Dionne / Washington Post:
Republicans unleashed a deadly vaccine skepticism. Can they now contain it?
David Edwards / Raw Story:
Fox News hosts discuss how to ban ‘childless’ liberals from voting
Redfield & Wilton Strategies:
Plurality of Britons Would Support Government Censorship of Sexist, Homophobic, or Racist Books
Douglas E. Schoen / The Hill:
Six months in, two challenges could define Biden's presidency
Discussion: Associated Press and CBS News
Joe Concha / The Hill:
Cleveland Indians name change to Guardians profoundly stupid, unnecessary
Discussion: Fox News
Washington Post:
A Catholic newsletter promised investigative journalism. Then it outed a priest using Grindr data.
Discussion: New York Post and LGBTQ Nation
Anna Gronewold / Politico:
Cuomo said AG probe would clear him. Now his aides say it's political.
Discussion: HotAir and New York Post
 Earlier Items: 
Harry Enten / CNN:
How Fox News viewers are less likely to get vaccinated
Discussion: WTOP
Brian Windhorst / ESPN:
Team USA falls to France at Tokyo Games for first Olympic men's basketball loss since 2004
Timothy Noah / Washington Monthly:
What Ken Starr's Alleged Affair Means for Republicans
USA Today:
Exclusive poll finds Detroit residents far more worried about public safety than police reform
Discussion: Twitchy and Detroit Free Press