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12:15 PM ET, July 28, 2021


 Top Items: 
Margaret Sullivan / Washington Post:
Our democracy is under attack.  Washington journalists must stop covering it like politics as usual.  —  Back in the dark ages of 2012, two think-tank scholars, Norman Ornstein and Thomas Mann, wrote a book called “It's Even Worse Than It Looks” about the rise of Republican Party extremism and its dire effect on American democracy.
Discussion: CNN, more at Mediagazer »
Mike Lillis / The Hill:
Pelosi: McCarthy a ‘moron’ for opposing mask mandate  —  Tensions between the party leaders in the House rolled to a boil on Wednesday when Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) called her Republican counterpart, Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (Calif.), a “moron” for his opposition to wearing masks in the House.
Andrea Widburg / American Thinker:   America had its first show trial on Tuesday and it was loathsome
New York Times:
‘A hit man sent them.’ Police at the Capitol recount the horrors of Jan. 6 as the inquiry begins.
Jordan Davidson / The Federalist:
Teary Capitol Police Officer Who Testified About January 6 Previously Defended Violent George Floyd Riots In Kenosha
David Morgan / Reuters:
McConnell aims to boost U.S. Republican vaccination rate by countering ‘bad advice’  —  U.S. Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell blamed misinformation for the low rates of COVID-19 vaccination among Americans, which are fueling a rise in coronavirus cases, particularly in Republican-dominated states.
Jeffrey Tucker / RealClearMarkets:
The CDC's Hysterical Delta Flip-Flop Might Be Its Final Undoing  —  The crazy, convoluted, mixed up messaging from the CDC - it's been this way from the beginning of the pandemic until now - has taken yet another turn.  Now the CDC is recommending masks not just for the unvaccinated but for the vaccinated too.
Reid Wilson / The Hill:
Republican governors revolt against CDC mask guidance  —  Republican governors are rejecting new mask recommendations the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued Tuesday, casting the health guidance as a step back amid a push to vaccinate millions of Americans that is already struggling in their states.
David Leonhardt / New York Times:
A Confusing Message  —  The C.D.C. recommends indoor masking for the vaccinated, but only in some places.  —  The C.D.C. has both a polarization problem and a communication problem.  —  Let's start with the polarization problem: The parts of the country that would benefit most from a new crackdown …
Caitlin Owens / Axios:
CDC asks the vaccinated to help save the unvaccinated from themselves  —  The “pandemic of the unvaccinated” has become a big problem for the rest of the country.
Leia Idliby / Mediaite:
CNN's Berman Presses CDC Director on Mask Guidelines: ‘Why the Hell’ Do the Vaccinated ‘Have to Pay the Price’ for the Unvaxxed?
Discussion: HotAir, CNN, New York Times and Off the Kuff
Jim Geraghty / National Review:
The CDC's Unforced Error  —  On the menu today: The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Biden administration make a critical error by recommending vaccinated Americans put on the masks again; sorting through who's still not vaccinated and why; figuring out Simone Biles's early withdrawal …
Hannah Yoest / The Bulwark:
Simone Biles Isn't Fearless.  That's A Good Thing.  —  By demanding robotic perfection, Biles's detractors are denying her humanity.  —  Simone Biles pulled out of the Tokyo Olympic gymnastics finals for the women's artistic team all-around on Tuesday morning, citing mental health concerns.
Ally Mutnick / Politico:
Trump-backed candidate loses in Texas special election  —  Voters in North Texas delivered an upset Tuesday, picking GOP state Rep. Jake Ellzey to fill a vacant House seat over a candidate endorsed by former President Donald Trump.  —  Ellzey beat fellow Republican Susan Wright …
Ben Jacobs / New York Magazine:
Donald Trump's Low-Energy Night in Texas  —  Donald Trump had a bad day on Tuesday.  It wasn't the emotional and gut wrenching testimony from the police officers who defended the Capitol from the MAGA mob on January 6 — that was priced in.  Instead, Trump backed the wrong candidate …
Andrew Miller / Fox News:
Jake Ellzey wins Texas special election over Trump-backed Susan Wright
Discussion: CNN and New York Times
Elizabeth Bruenig / The Atlantic:
The New Moral Code of America's Elite  —  Every striver who ever slipped the rank of their birth to ascend to a higher order has shared the capacity to ingratiate themselves with their betters.  What the truly exceptional ones have in common is the ability to connect not only with their superiors …
Margaret Talev / Axios:
Least persuadable unvaccinated Americans are largely white and Republican  —  Parents are heavily resistant to the vaccine.
Discussion: HotAir and The Daily Caller
Bipartisan infrastructure deal could advance within hours, Schumer says  —  Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said Wednesday that the chamber could vote within hours on moving forward with a bipartisan $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill.  —  The New York Democrat's announcement signals …
Gino Spocchia / The Independent:
Lincoln Project's new ad contrasts Republican donors with footage of Capitol riot
Discussion: Twitchy
Steven Monacelli / Dallas Observer:
Who's Behind Dallas Justice Now's 'Don't Send White Kids to Ivy League' Controversy?  —  As soon as Casie Tomlin found the FedEx envelope in her mailbox, she knew something looked fishy.  Inside, a flyer from a group called Dallas Justice Now urged parents in Dallas' wealthy — and largely white …
Damon Linker / The Week:
The intellectual right contemplates an ‘American Caesar’  —  Jan. 6 was a badly planned rehearsal for the real deal  —  How does ideological change happen?  Why do certain political ideas and possibilities that appear outrageous and even unthinkable at one moment in history come to be considered options worth taking seriously?
Jeffrey M. Jones / Gallup:
Supreme Court Job Approval Dips Below 50%  —  WASHINGTON, D.C. — Forty-nine percent of Americans approve of the job the U.S. Supreme Court is doing, its first approval rating below the majority level since 2017.  A year ago, 58% approved of the court, the highest Gallup had measured since 2009.
U.S. Supreme Court's ‘shadow docket’ favored religion and Trump
Discussion: USA Today and SCOTUSblog
Michael Kruse / Politico:
'He's a Great Guy': Trump's Favored Aide Has Troubled Past  —  “Max Miller,” said Donald Trump.  —  “You know Max?”  —  The former president stood behind the microphone at the lectern at one of the most recent of his trademark rallies late last month at the county fairgrounds here and told …
Discussion: Raw Story and Talking Points Memo
John Wagner / Washington Post:
GOP Rep. Clyde stands by comparison of Jan. 6 mob to ‘tourists’ when pressed by Democratic Rep. Raskin  —  Rep. Andrew S. Clyde (R-Ga.), who infamously compared the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol to “a normal tourist visit,” steadfastly stood by his contention Tuesday night during …
Discussion: Hackwhackers
David Siders / Politico:
‘America is not racist’ becomes a GOP 2024 mantra  —  Democrats made structural racism a centerpiece of the 2020 presidential primary.  —  Now the Republican rebuttal is emerging as an early plank of the 2024 GOP contest: America is not a racist country.  —  The mantra, used by nearly …
Tucker Carlson / Fox News:
New mask guidelines are about politics and control  —  No one is fighting for the rights of those who don't want the vaccine  —  Tucker: Americans should never be forced to take medicine they don't want, period  —  Strong regimes are a lot like strong people.  They're self-confident.
Discussion: Washington Post and BizPac Review
Andrew Seidman / The Philadelphia Inquirer:
An anti-Trump Pa. Republican is warning against ‘MAGA extremists’ in new Senate campaign  —  Next year's race to represent Pennsylvania in the U.S. Senate will help shape the direction of the Republican Party.  And Craig Snyder thinks there's still time to take a sharp turn away …
Aaron Sibarium / Washington Free Beacon:
Why Private Schools Have Gone Woke  —  Meet the National Association of Independent Schools, which enforces diversity, equity, and inclusion standards as a requirement for accreditation  —  The Dalton School hosts an annual conference for New York City private schools on diversity, equity, and inclusion.
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 More Items: 
Eric Felten / RealClearInvestigations:
The Moment in 1986 When Critical Race Theory Ousted the Civil Rights Movement
Associated Press:
The Latest: England skips quarantine of vaccinated visitors
Discussion: Twitchy
Facebook Quarterly Harms Report Q2 2021
Discussion: Mother Jones
Samantha Maldonado / THE CITY:
Extreme Heat Sends New Yorkers to Emergency Rooms as Climate Toll Grows
Shane Goldmacher / New York Times:
L.G.B.T.Q. Elected Officials in U.S. Number Nearly 1,000, Rising Fast
Discussion: Insider and The Hill
Covid relief programs are starting to expire for millions of Americans
 Earlier Items: 
Sarah Mervosh / New York Times:
The Pandemic Hurt These Students the Most
Kevin Johnson / USA Today:
DOJ: Ala. Rep Brooks should not be dismissed from Capitol riot lawsuit; actions not ‘within scope’ of duties
The Guardian:
Julian Assange stripped of citizenship by Ecuador
Discussion: CNN, The Register and Raw Story
Adam Serwer / The Atlantic:
Democratic Leaders Are Betraying Black Voters
Los Angeles Times:
Ed Buck convicted in meth overdose deaths of Gemmel Moore and Timothy Dean