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2:45 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.
RELATED:
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: POLITICUSUSA and Ledger
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:
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
Alex Gangitano / The Hill:
Biden not attending Obama's 60th birthday party
Discussion: The Daily Caller and IJR
Maya Pottiger / Washingtonian:
Mayor Muriel Bowser Under Fire for Allegedly Violating Her Indoor Mask Mandate at a Wedding  —  The Washington Examiner writer on the story was not invited to the wedding, an organizer says.  —  Mayor Muriel Bowser made headlines this weekend when the Washington Examiner posted photos …
RELATED:
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.
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 …
Discussion: Raw Story and The Federalist
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.
Discussion: Althouse
Josh Siegel / Washington Examiner:
Daily on Energy: Infrastructure nuclear aid too late for Illinois' at-risk plants  —  TIME IS TIGHT FOR ILLINOIS NUCLEAR PLANTS: The bipartisan Senate infrastructure bill, officially out last night, strives to save economically struggling nuclear plants from closing, but it's very likely …
RELATED:
Lindsey McPherson / Roll Call:
House moderates may oppose budget without infrastructure vote
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 …
Discussion: Daily Mail and Instapundit
RELATED:
John Ratcliffe / Fox News:
China Olympics 2022 - COVID cover up by country's leaders means they should forfeit games
Discussion: New York Post and The Federalist
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.
RELATED:
Jennifer Epstein / Bloomberg:   U.S. Hits Biden's Covid Vaccination Target, Nearly a Month Late
Greg Sargent / Washington Post:
The GOP scamming of rural Trump voters continues.  A new study shows the latest.  —  It has long been central to Republican mythology that Democrats have nothing but seething contempt for the rural and small-town inhabitants of the Real American Heartland.  Republicans sometimes pair …
Discussion: RedState and POLITICUSUSA
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:
Matt Wilstein / The Daily Beast:
Mary Trump Calls Out Meghan McCain: She Doesn't Have the ‘Courage’ to Face Me  —  The former president's niece publicly called out Meghan McCain for ducking her appearance on “The View.”  —  On her final Monday as host of The View, Meghan McCain was conspicuously absent from the show's big interview with Mary Trump.
Discussion: Raw Story and Deadline
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.
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 …
The Guardian:
100-year-old former Nazi concentration camp guard to be tried  —  Man deemed fit to stand trial in Germany and is accused of complicity in murder of more than 3,500 people  —  A 100-year-old former concentration camp guard will stand trial in Germany in October accused of complicity in 3,518 murders, public prosecutors have announced.
Discussion: Associated Press and The Local
American Prospect:
Larry Summers Holds Positions With Numerous Financial Bottom-Feeders  —  The online, often predatory lending companies benefit from lower-income Americans needing emergency cash.  That aligns with Summers's concern trolling about an ‘overheated’ economy.  —  As National Economic Council director …
Los Angeles Times:
Newsom could be replaced by someone with a tiny fraction of the vote.  That's nuts  —  On Sept. 14, California voters will decide two questions: whether to oust Gov. Gavin Newsom from office and, if so, who among the 46 candidates is best suited to take over.
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 …
Discussion: HotAir and Vanity Fair
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 and Daily Kos
Brian Schwartz / CNBC:
Trump PACs paid lawyers nearly $8 million as he fought election results and impeachment  — Trump's political action committees spent $7.9 million on legal matters related to the 2020 recount and his impeachment fight.  — Four committees linked to Trump made the payments during the first half of 2021 …
Speaker Nancy Pelosi:
Dear Colleague: ‘The War Has Changed!’  —  “The War has Changed!”  With these words, the CDC cautioned the difference that the delta variant has made on the pandemic.  As they have called upon the American people to mask up, to be vaccinated and to take other public health precautions …
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.
Jennifer Rubin / Washington Post:
Even businesses are trying to thwart the Republican death cult  —  Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) lives up to his reputation as a purveyor of covid-19 disinformation.  Having already suggested that we shouldn't care if the unvaccinated get shots, he now insists there should be no vaccine mandate …
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.
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
Thomas Franck / CNBC:
Treasury Dept to invoke ‘extraordinary measures’ as Congress misses debt-ceiling deadline  — The Treasury Department will begin conducting emergency cash-conservation steps.  — Economists say those so-called extraordinary measures will allow Treasury to pay off the government's bills without issuing …
 
 
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 More Items: 
Monmouth University Polling Institute:
Federal Health Agencies Get Good Marks, But Give Mixed Messages on Covid
Discussion: Insider
David Dayen / American Prospect:
Anatomy of an Anti-Union Meeting
New York Times:
Where a Vast Global Vaccination Program Went Wrong
Reuters:
Hong Kong authorities arrest pro-democracy singer for ‘corrupt conduct’
Mona Charen / The Bulwark:
Vaccinate the World.  Now.  —  An opportunity for indisputable American greatness
Washington Post:
Next test of Trump's influence on the Republican Party: A crowded GOP primary fight for an Ohio House seat
Discussion: Bloomberg, Raw Story and WTOP
Rosalind English / UK Human Rights Blog:
Germany's federal court declares Facebook's hate speech curbs to be in breach of citizens' constitutional rights
 Earlier Items: 
Associated Press:
Biden's judges: More diverse and more of them
Betsy Woodruff Swan / Politico:
CIA feud complicates Jan. 6 probe
Discussion: Raw Story
Albert Hunt / The Hill:
‘Freedom-loving’ conservatives stoked latest round of infection and death
New York Times:
Biden's Climate Plans Are Stunted After Dejected Experts Fled Trump
Discussion: CNN
Alexander Vindman / The Atlantic:
What I Heard in the White House Basement
Discussion: Political Flare, Raw Story and CBS News