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5:30 AM ET, August 31, 2021

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 Top Items: 
Thomas Gibbons-Neff / New York Times:
In Afghanistan, an Unceremonious End, and a Shrouded Beginning  —  The last American flight from Afghanistan left behind a host of unfulfilled promises and anxious questions about the country's fate.  —  The end of the United States' longest war was unceremonious — trash blowing across …
RELATED:
Matt Viser / Washington Post:
'Don't you ever forget that name': Biden's tough meeting with grieving relatives  —  President Biden made his way on Sunday around a quiet room at Dover Air Force Base, a chamber filled with couches and chairs, with dignitaries and grieving families huddling together as the president came …
The White House:
Statement by President Joe Biden  —  I want to thank our commanders and the men and women serving under them for their execution of the dangerous retrograde from Afghanistan as scheduled - in the early morning hours of August 31, Kabul time - with no further loss of American lives.
Washington Post:
America's 20-year war in Afghanistan ends as last U.S. military cargo plane lumbers into the sky over Kabul  —  The United States ended its longest war in history, and its 20-year presence in Afghanistan, as the last U.S. aircraft took off at one minute before midnight from Kabul airport Monday carrying …
Discussion: Fox News and Pajhwok Afghan News
Reuters:
Americans give Biden low marks on Afghanistan pullout: Reuters/Ipsos poll  —  Less than 40% of Americans approve of President Joe Biden's handling of the U.S. military withdrawal from Afghanistan, and three quarters wanted U.S. forces to remain in the country until all American civilians could get out …
Melissa Chen / Common Sense with Bari Weiss:
Inside the Underground Railroad Out of Afghanistan
Discussion: Denver Post
Adam Ciralsky / Vanity Fair:   How Turf Wars Mucked Up America's Exit From Afghanistan
Reuters:   Explainer: What happens now that U.S. troops have left Afghanistan?
Dan Bilefsky / New York Times:
Can Afghanistan's Leading Broadcaster Survive the Taliban?
Kyle Drennen / Newsbusters:
Engel on Afghanistan Debacle: ‘Worst Capitulation of Western Values’
Discussion: Breitbart and Washington Post
New York Times:
The Hard Covid-19 Questions We're Not Asking  —  Dr. Allen is the director of the healthy buildings program at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and has studied how Covid-19 spreads in indoor spaces.  Dr. Jenkins is an associate professor at Boston University School of Public Health and an infectious-disease epidemiologist.
Discussion: Townhall
RELATED:
Jaclyn Peiser / Washington Post:
A judge asked a mother if she got the coronavirus vaccine. She said no, and he revoked custody of her son.
Shawna Chen / Axios:
Education Department probing 5 states over mask mandate bans
David Gilbert / VICE:
QAnon Anti-Vaxxer Called COVID a Hoax Even as His ‘Lungs Stopped Functioning’
Bill Lukitsch / Kansas City Star:
Independence MO says positive case traced to public hearing | The Kansas City Star
David Harsanyi / National Review:   Why Isn't Biden to Blame for COVID Deaths?
Gregory Yee / Los Angeles Times:
Forest Service officials confirm all California national forests to temporarily close  —  All of California's national forests will be closed beginning late Tuesday.  —  The closures will go into effect at 11:59 p.m. Tuesday and stay in place until the same time on Sept. 17 …
RELATED:
Hayley Smith / Los Angeles Times:   Lake Tahoe faces disastrous ‘urban conflagration’ if Caldor fire reaches communities
Will Wilkinson / Model Citizen:
The Density Divide and the Southernification of Rural America  —  The Old North/South Split Lives on in the Urban/Rural Divide  —  When I was a kid, the accents changed.  Driving north from central Iowa through the corn toward Minnesota, the dialect would gradually get a little Fargo …
Pew Research Center:
Partisan divides in media trust widen, driven by a decline among Republicans  —  In just five years, the percentage of Republicans with at least some trust in national news organizations has been cut in half - dropping from 70% in 2016 to 35% this year.  This decline is fueling the continued widening …
Chauncey DeVega / Salon:
Laurence Tribe: If Garland doesn't prosecute Trump, the rule of law is “out the window”  —  Eminent constitutional law expert: If Biden and Garland won't go after Trump, country is in “desperate trouble”  —  If American democracy were a hospital patient, the diagnosis would be “critical”.
RELATED:
Aaron Belkin / Salon:   Biden commission on Supreme Court isn't moving fast enough — or thinking big enough
Associated Press:
FBI: Texas shooter possibly inspired by foreign terrorists  —  GARLAND, Texas (AP) — Investigators are looking into whether a Texas man was inspired by foreign terrorists when he killed a Lyft driver in a Dallas suburb and later opened fire in the police station of another suburb where officers fatally shot him.
Felicia Sonmez / Washington Post:
Rep. Madison Cawthorn falsely suggests elections are ‘rigged,’ says there will be ‘bloodshed’ if system continues on its path  —  Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-N.C.) on Sunday falsely suggested that elections in the United States are “rigged” and said there will be “bloodshed” if the country's electoral system continues on its current path.
JONATHAN TURLEY:
Twitter Permanently Bans Former NYT Journalist Alex Berenson  —  We previously discussed how Twitter's growing censorship program has targeted former New York Times journalist and author Alex Berenson who is an outspoken critic of the government's scientific claims and response to the pandemic.
Discussion: VICE, Reason, Newsbusters and Townhall
Washington Post:
Federal judge throws out Trump administration rule allowing the draining and filling of streams, marshes and wetlands  —  A federal judge on Monday threw out a major Trump administration rule scaling back federal protections for streams, marshes and wetlands across the United States …
Mike Antonucci / Intercepts:
Los Angeles Magazine Gives Union President the Profile She's Earned  —  Something's spreading through newsrooms and it's not the coronavirus.  —  Soon after Emma Green of The Atlantic challenged the well-worn talking points of NEA President Becky Pringle, we get Jason McGahan of Los Angeles Magazine …
RELATED:
Jake Bittle / New Republic:
Hurricane Ida Is a Manmade Disaster  —  “The wind is tearing Pointe-Aux-Chenes apart,” Albert Naquin told me Sunday afternoon.  He was standing in his carport, watching as the first eyewall of Hurricane Ida passed over the bayou where he has lived for almost his entire life.
Glenn Kessler / Washington Post:
No, the Taliban did not seize $83 billion of U.S. weapons  —  “ALL EQUIPMENT should be demanded to be immediately returned to the United States, and that includes every penny of the $85 billion dollars in cost.”  — Former president Donald Trump, in a statement, Aug 30
Victoria Guida / Politico:
AOC, Tlaib, Pressley call on Biden to dump Powell as Fed chair  —  Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib and Ayanna Pressley on Monday called for Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell to be replaced, stepping up the pressure on President Joe Biden as he draws closer to a decision on the government's most important economic post.
Manuel Roig-Franzia / Washington Post:
Former NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch, a rising right-wing radio star, doesn't care if you call her a murderer  —  OUTSIDE OF DALLAS — Dana Loesch strides with purpose in chunky black unlaced boots.  Past the wrought-iron chandelier and red upholstered dining-table chairs that evoke some medieval castle.
 
 
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 More Items: 
Financial Times:
Afghans confront economic meltdown after Taliban takeover
Max B. Sawicky / New Republic:
How the Critical Race Theory Scaremongering Failed in Virginia
Discussion: National Review
Liz Peek / Fox News:
Biden's weakness vs. Trump's strength - here's what the difference means to our enemies
Discussion: The Dispatch
Angel Eduardo / Newsweek:
Stop Calling Me ‘White’ For Having the Wrong Opinions
Discussion: RedState
Kurt Schlichter / Townhall:
Own Your Failure Biden Voters
Amber Wang / South China Morning Post:
China demands foreign ships report before entering ‘its territorial waters’
Discussion: Washington Examiner
Meridith McGraw / Politico:
Trump to head to Iowa with an eye on 2024
 Earlier Items: 
Jaya Saxena / Eater:
Margaritaville and the Myth of American Leisure
Timothy Noah / Backbencher:
Substack Farewell  —  Man bites dog, quitting Substack to work for magazine.
Jonathan Chait / New York Magazine:
Wealthy Lobbyists Have Already Slashed Biden's Tax Reform by Three-Quarters Moderate Democrats have quietly knifed the president's legacy bill.
Discussion: The Hill and The National Interest
Monika Bauerlein / Mother Jones:
Why Facebook Won't Stop Pushing Propaganda