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12:25 PM ET, August 2, 2021

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 Top Items: 
Jane Mayer / New Yorker:
The Big Money Behind the Big Lie  —  Donald Trump's attacks on democracy are being promoted by rich and powerful conservative groups that are determined to win at all costs. … It was tempting to dismiss the show unfolding inside the Dream City Church in Phoenix, Arizona, as an unintended comedy.
Discussion: Election Law Blog
Sarah Mucha / Axios:
Obama plans Martha's Vineyard birthday bash as Delta variant rages on  —  The party will be held outdoors, all guests are asked to be vaccinated and there will be a COVID-coordinator.
RELATED:
Alex Gangitano / The Hill:
Biden not attending Obama's 60th birthday party  —  President Biden will not be attending former President Obama's 60 birthday party in Martha's Vineyard, a White House official confirmed.  —  “While President Biden is unable to attend this weekend, he looks forward to catching …
Discussion: Fox News
Melissa Koenig / Daily Mail:
Obama defies CDC guidance by inviting 500 people to his celebrity-studded 60th birthday party at his $12m mansion on Martha's Vineyard: Pearl Jam will perform …
Discussion: Althouse
Politico:
Jihadists flood pro-Trump social network with propaganda  —  Just weeks after its launch, the pro-Trump social network GETTR is inundated with terrorist propaganda spread by supporters of Islamic State, according to a POLITICO review of online activity on the fledgling platform.
Lindsey McPherson / Roll Call:
House moderates may oppose budget without infrastructure vote  —  Speaker Nancy Pelosi's plan to link the Senate's $550 billion bipartisan infrastructure plan to a $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation package is starting to backfire, as moderate Democrats warn they may not vote …
RELATED:
Tony Romm / Washington Post:
Senate finishing crafting $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure proposal, setting delicate debate in motion
USA Today:
Florida breaks record in cases, hospitalizations; over 1M vaccine doses thrown away in 10 states: Latest COVID-19 news  —  Florida on Sunday broke its record for coronavirus hospitalizations a day after the state recorded the most daily COVID-19 cases since the start of the pandemic in early 2020.
Discussion: Politico, abc7NY and WHDH-TV
RELATED:
David Brooks / The Atlantic:
How the Bobos Broke America  —  This article was published online on August 2, 2021.  —  The dispossessed set out early in the mornings.  They were the outsiders, the scorned, the voiceless.  But weekend after weekend—unbowed and undeterred—they rallied together.
Ashley Rindsberg / UnHerd:
Did the New York Times stifle lab leak debate?  —  The world's verdict on the lab leak seems to be shifting.  The Biden Administration now thinks there is a credible possibility that Covid-19 leaked from the Wuhan Institute of Virology.  WHO chief Tedros Adhanome Ghebreyesus has admitted …
RELATED:
John Ratcliffe / Fox News:
China Olympics 2022 - COVID cover up by country's leaders means they should forfeit games
Discussion: The Federalist
Matthew Lee / Associated Press:
Citing Taliban violence, US expands Afghan refugee program  —  WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration on Monday expanded its efforts to evacuate at-risk Afghan citizens from Afghanistan as Taliban violence increases ahead there of the U.S. military pullout at the end of the month.
RELATED:
Mike Schneider / Associated Press:
Florida breaks record for COVID-19 hospitalizations  —  ORLANDO, Fla. - A day after it recorded the most new daily cases since the start of the pandemic, Florida on Sunday broke a previous record for current hospitalizations set more than a year ago before vaccines were available.
RELATED:
Mary Papenfuss / HuffPost:
Miami Beach Mayor Rips Ron DeSantis As ‘Pied Piper’ Of COVID-19, Leading State ‘Off A Cliff’
Discussion: Washington Examiner
Stephen Collinson / CNN:
Trump's $100 million threat to democracy  —  (CNN)Donald Trump now has a $100 million weapon to wield against US democracy.  —  The defeated and disgraced ex-President's huge war chest, nearly all amassed within six months of leaving office, was built on his ravenous calls for cash …
Discussion: Ledger and ABC7
Sidney Blumenthal / The Guardian:
Want to make Jim Jordan sing about the Capitol attack?  Ask Jefferson Davis  —  The Ohio Republican admits he spoke to Trump the day the Confederate flag flew in Congress.  Aptly, the investigation of John Brown's raid sets precedent for what must happen next
Discussion: Raw Story
CNN:
Mark Meadows: Trump meeting with his ‘cabinet’ (despite not having one)  —  Former Trump White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows told Newsmax that the former president has been holding meetings with his “cabinet” despite not being president.  New York Times reporter and CNN political analyst Maggie Haberman has the details.
Zusha Elinson / Wall Street Journal:
Portland, Ore., Can't Find Police for Unit to Fight Rising Murder Rate  —  Few volunteer for new gun-violence team that comes with more oversight and a mission to combat racism after a history of profiling  —  Leaders in Portland, Ore., are looking to combat the city's rising homicide rate …
Jeffrey M. Jones / Gallup:
Americans' Optimism About COVID-19 Dashed as Cases Surge  —  WASHINGTON, D.C. — In a dramatic shift from last month, more Americans now say the coronavirus situation in the U.S. is getting worse (45%) rather than better (40%).  In June, a record 89% said the situation was getting better, while only 3% said it was getting worse.
Albert Hunt / The Hill:
‘Freedom-loving’ conservatives stoked latest round of infection and death  —  I write columns about politics and government, occasionally indulging as a frustrated sports writer; I don't write about business or leisure activities except:  — I would avoid any cruise ships embarking from Florida.
Alexander Vindman / The Atlantic:
What I Heard in the White House Basement  —  One phone call changed my life.  —  On Thursday, July 25, 2019, I was seated at the table in one of the two Situation Rooms in the basement of the West Wing.  The bigger room is famous from movies and TV shows, but this room is smaller …
Discussion: Raw Story and CBS News
Timothy Noah / Washington Monthly:
Bidenizing the Democrats  —  The president scores a victory against his party's Sanders wing.  —  Donald Trump's effort to maintain his grip on the Republican Party is so transfixingly weird that it obscures a more ordinary and perhaps more politically relevant one about whether Joe Biden …
Justin Fox / Bloomberg:
GDP Growth Under Trump Was the Worst Since Hoover  —  The pandemic was partly to blame, and there are some measures that make his record look better.  But it was not a stellar performance.  —  It was the whopping-yet-still-disappointing 6.5% annualized growth number for the second quarter …
Politico:
Tensions rise within Biden team over mask reversal  —  CHICAGO - A sea of maskless, sweaty, thrashing bodies filled Chicago's Grant Park, pushing up against the performance stage as acts like Miley Cyrus screamed into the microphone.  —  Roughly 100,000 people a night poured into the four …
Will Sommer / The Daily Beast:
He Repped Kyle Rittenhouse, MAGA Monkey Owners... and Capitol Rioters  —  GO-TO LAWYER  —  “He's not a defense attorney, and therefore he's not an especially good defense attorney,” one journalist who has covered lawyer John Pierce's filings said.  —  The U.S. Capitol riot launched …
Discussion: Raw Story
American Greatness:
Incompetence + Arrogance = Woke  —  Politically correct ideology is masking and contributing to the widespread failure of our institutions.  —  We know the nature of mass hysterias in history, and how they can overwhelm and paralyze what seem to be stable societies.
Betsy Woodruff Swan / Politico:
CIA feud complicates Jan. 6 probe  —  A long-percolating conflict between two prominent alumni of the CIA's secretive internal watchdog office has burst into public view, creating a headache for the House's investigation of the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.  —  David Buckley is now the top Democratic staffer …
Discussion: Raw Story
Mona Charen / The Bulwark:
Vaccinate the World.  Now.  —  An opportunity for indisputable American greatness  —  About six weeks ago, I wrote a piece urging that the United States take the lead in vaccinating the world.  The case for doing so is even more compelling now.  —  Yes, we've been scratching and clawing …
abc7NY:
Coronavirus Update NYC: City issues ‘strong recommendation,’ stops short of mask mandate  —  NEW YORK CITY (WABC) — For the first time, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio recommended Monday vaccinated people wear a mask in crowded indoor settings, but he stopped short of making the new CDC masking guidance mandatory in the city.
 
 
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 More Items: 
ABC7:
EXCLUSIVE: Ex-Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich says new lawsuit would open door to run for office
Discussion: The Hill and Political Wire
Taylor Lorenz / New York Times:
To Fight Vaccine Lies, Authorities Recruit an ‘Influencer Army’
Discussion: Politico and CNN
Andy Kessler / Wall Street Journal:
August Is Full of Surprises
Rosalind English / UK Human Rights Blog:
Germany's federal court declares Facebook's hate speech curbs to be in breach of citizens' constitutional rights
Associated Press:
Biden's judges: More diverse and more of them
Discussion: Common Dreams
Jonathan Lemire / Associated Press:
Pro-Biden groups to spend $100 million on August ad blitz
 Earlier Items: 
Washington Examiner:
Dr. Rochelle Walensky has made a mockery of the CDC
John Kruzel / The Hill:
Threats of violence spark fear of election worker exodus
Discussion: BizPac Review and POLITICUSUSA
Karol Markowicz / New York Post:
Masking kids and closing schools is irrational, unscientific child abuse
Barbara McQuade / MSNBC:
Trump and the Capitol riot ‘hitman’ analogy
Discussion: New Yorker
Ed Kilgore / New York Magazine:
Will Republicans Gerrymander Their Way to a House Majority?
New York Times:
Biden's Climate Plans Are Stunted After Dejected Experts Fled Trump
Discussion: CNN
The Daily Beast:
Behind the Bombshell Allegation Buried in the WaPo Lawsuit
New York Times:
How Local Media Spreads Misinformation From Vaccine Skeptics