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5:25 PM ET, August 31, 2021

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 Top Items: 
Kent Wainscott / WISN:
Paul Ryan says former President Donald Trump lost the 2020 election  —  The former speaker says he doesn't see himself on a ballot anytime soon  —  Hide Transcript Show Transcript  —  The latest breaking updates, delivered straight to your email inbox.  —  Your Email Address  —  Submit
Dion Nissenbaum / Wall Street Journal:
Afghan Interpreter Who Helped Rescue Biden in 2008 Left Behind After U.S. Exit  —  Interpreter stranded in Afghanistan makes a White House appeal: 'Don't forget me here.'  —  Thirteen years ago, Afghan interpreter Mohammed helped rescue then- Sen. Joe Biden and two other senators stranded …
Reuters:
Exclusive: Before Afghan collapse, Biden pressed Ghani to ‘change perception’  —  In the last call between U.S. President Joe Biden and his Afghanistan counterpart before the Taliban seized control of the country, the leaders discussed military aid, political strategy and messaging tactics …
RELATED:
Dan Noyes / ABC7:
I-TEAM EXCLUSIVE: 3-year-old California boy stranded in Afghanistan … EXCLUSIVE: 3-year-old California boy stranded in Afghanistan  —  SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KGO) — The US troop withdrawal from Afghanistan has stranded between 100 and 200 American citizens who want to return to the states.
Ed Morrissey / HotAir:
Kirby: Hey, Americans get stranded in countries all the time
Barbara Starr / CNN:
Taliban members escorted Americans to gates at Kabul airport in secret arrangement with US  —  (CNN)The US military negotiated a secret arrangement with the Taliban that resulted in Taliban members escorting groups of Americans to the gates of the Kabul airport as they sought to escape Afghanistan, according to two defense officials.
Alan Feuer / New York Times:
Go-to Lawyer for Capitol Riot Defendants Disappears  —  John Pierce has been a combative advocate for those accused of participating in the Jan. 6 attack, but he's missed court appearances for a week.  —  The mysterious disappearance of the lawyer John Pierce began last Tuesday, prosecutors say …
RELATED:
ABC:
Former Trump lawyer Sidney Powell is being sued for billions over election fraud claims.  She sat down with Four Corners  —  You can watch this and read at the same time with picture in picture  —  For weeks after the US election, high-profile Fox News anchors peddled Donald Trump's …
RELATED:
Ross Douthat / New York Times:
Joe Biden's Critics Lost Afghanistan  —  A month ago I thought I was a cynic about our 20-year war in Afghanistan.  Today, after watching our stumbling withdrawal and the swift collapse of practically everything we fought for, my main feeling is that I wasn't cynical enough.
Greg Sargent / Washington Post:
Madison Cawthorn's vile lies about Jan. 6 reveal a big truth about the right  —  Rep. Madison Cawthorn is under fire for predicting “bloodshed” if our elections “continue to be rigged” and “continue to be stolen.”  The North Carolina Republican, speaking at a political event …
RELATED:
Bob Brigham / Raw Story:   'It's all terrifying': Fascism expert breaks down Madison Cawthorn's violence-promoting ‘propaganda’
Patricia Murphy / Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
The Jolt: Anti-vaxxers shut down vaccination event, harass state health workers  —  News and analysis from the politics team at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution  —  The headlines out of Gov. Brian Kemp's latest press conference focused on the thousands of Georgia National Guard troops he's preparing …
Anne Applebaum / The Atlantic:
The New Puritans  —  “It was no great distance, in those days, from the prison-door to the market-place.  Measured by the prisoner's experience, however, it might be reckoned a journey of some length.”  —  So begins the tale of Hester Prynne, as recounted in Nathaniel Hawthorne's most famous novel, The Scarlet Letter.
U.S. Department of Justice:
Fort Walton Beach Man Faces Federal Indictment For $25 Million Scheme To Defraud  —  PENSACOLA, FLORIDA - Stephen M. Alford, 62, of Fort Walton Beach, Florida, was indicted by a federal grand jury on counts of wire fraud and the attempted prevention of seizure of an electronic device …
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
Brian Schwartz / CNBC:
‘They have better things to do’ - Major Republican donors are staying away from Trump  — Several of the Republican Party's biggest and most influential donors are signaling that they don't plan on helping fund former President Trump's political operation, at least for now.
Discussion: Raw Story and Mediaite
Dan Pfeiffer / The Message Box:
The Coming Republican Demonization of Afghan Refugees  —  The resettlement of Afghan refugees in the U.S. will be a major political flashpoint, it's a fight Dems can - and must- win.  —  One of Barack Obama's first acts as President of the United States was signing an executive order …
RELATED:
HuffPost:
Only 2 Governors Are So Far Refusing To Take In Afghan Refugees
Discussion: The Hill and Sacramento Bee
Jamie Ross / The Daily Beast:
Trump Reveals His Master Plan for Afghanistan: We Should've ‘Let It Rot’  —  In his latest interview, the former president repeatedly failed to explain what he would have done differently if he had remained in charge.  —  Donald Trump has had a lot to say about how Joe Biden has mishandled …
RELATED:
Edward Luce / Financial Times:
Joe Biden and Europe are going different ways
Discussion: Fox News and American Greatness
Pew Research Center:
Majority of U.S. public favors Afghanistan troop withdrawal; Biden criticized for his handling of situation  —  With the U.S. military evacuation of Afghanistan completed - bringing America's longest war to an end - 54% of U.S. adults say the decision to withdraw troops from the country was the right one …
RELATED:
Lara Jakes / New York Times:
Stranded in Kabul: A U.S. Resident Runs Out of Options  —  Refugee groups say hundreds, and possibly thousands, of green card holders have been left behind.  —  WASHINGTON — For more than a week, Samiullah “Sammy” Naderi, a U.S. legal permanent resident, waited days and nights with his wife …
RELATED:
Jim Geraghty / National Review:
U.S. State Department to Green-Card Holders Still in Afghanistan: ‘Keep a Low Profile’
Discussion: HotAir and Washington Examiner
Zachary Brennan / ENDPOINTS NEWS:
BREAKING: In a major blow to vaccine efforts, senior FDA leaders stepping down  —  Two of the FDA's most senior vaccine leaders are exiting from their positions, raising fresh questions about the Biden administration and the way that it's sidelined the FDA.  —  Marion Gruber …
Monmouth University Polling Institute:
McAuliffe Holds Issue Edge in Guv Race  —  Biden and Trump factor into vote choice for some  —  West Long Branch, NJ - Democrat Terry McAuliffe has a lead in his bid to return to the Virginia governor's mansion after a four-year absence according to Monmouth ("Mon-muth") University Poll.
New York Times:
Mike Richards Is Out as ‘Jeopardy!’  Executive Producer  —  Three weeks after naming him as Alex Trebek's replacement to host the show, Sony cited “disruption and internal difficulties” in its announcement that he will leave the program entirely.  —  Sony said on Tuesday that Mike Richards …
Shane Goldmacher / New York Times:
G.O.P. Governors Fight Mandates as the Party's Covid Politics Harden  —  As several Republican-controlled states confront their worst outbreaks yet, their leaders — following the base — have doubled down on resisting vaccine and mask requirements.  —  As a new coronavirus wave accelerated …
Katie Lobosco / CNN:
Social Security won't be able to pay full benefits by 2034, a year earlier than expected due to the pandemic  —  Washington (CNN)Social Security will have to cut benefits by 2034 if Congress does nothing to address the program's long-term funding shortfall, according to an annual report released Tuesday …
Jennifer Medina / New York Times:
What Voters in a California Swing District Say About Afghanistan  —  In a battleground district, even some Trump voters said they were hesitant to hold President Biden accountable for the casualties and chaos in the U.S. pullout from Afghanistan.  —  HACIENDA HEIGHTS, Calif. …
Margaret Talev / Axios:
Axios-Ipsos poll: Vaccine hesitancy may be crumbling  —  Vaccine hesitancy in the U.S. is showing signs of crumbling, according to the latest installment of the Axios/Ipsos Coronavirus Index.  — Fewer adults than ever now say they won't take the shot, and in the past two weeks …
Austin Goss / KSFY/KDLT:
SD Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg gets speeding ticket, his 7th since 2014  —  The Sunday prior to his much anticipated trial, South Dakota Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg was pulled over for doing 57 in a 35 mph speed zone.  —  PIERRE, S.D. - South Dakota Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg …
Anna Caplan / Dallas Morning News:
‘I have done nothing wrong,’ Colleyville Heritage principal says after GCISD puts him on paid leave  —  James Whitfield has been accused of teaching critical race theory by a group of Grapevine-Colleyville ISD parents.  —  Colleyville Heritage High School principal James Whitfield has been placed …
Discussion: Raw Story and Washington Examiner
New York Times:
How Facebook Relies on Accenture to Scrub Toxic Content  —  The social network has constructed a vast infrastructure to keep toxic material off its platform.  At the center of it is Accenture, the blue-chip consulting firm.  —  In 2019, Julie Sweet, the newly appointed chief executive …
 
 
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 More Items: 
Iris Samuels / Associated Press:
Montana rule urges schools to give parents say on masks
Discussion: Washington Examiner and The Hill
Mark Scott / Politico:
Thousands of posts around January 6 riots go missing from Facebook transparency tool
Tara Haelle / New York Times:
This Is the Moment the Anti-Vaccine Movement Has Been Waiting for
Margaret Sullivan / Washington Post:
Congress may be about to help local news. It can't happen soon enough.
Kaylee McGhee White / Washington Examiner:
Biden lied and abandoned hundreds of Americans to the mercy of terrorists
BBC:
We've updated our Privacy and Cookies Policy
Discussion: National Review
 Earlier Items: 
Zoe Richards / The Daily Beast:
Beloved Teacher Dies of COVID in School District That Chose Jeans Over Masks
Discussion: Raw Story, WTOC and WJCL
Elizabeth Nolan Brown / Reason:
40 Ways Things Are Getting Better
Discussion: Twitchy
Adam Klasfeld / Law & Crime:
Ex-CEO of Data Analytics Company Said His Jan. 6 ‘Indiscretion’ Was the ‘Single Worst Decision’ of His Life. He Just Pleaded Guilty.
Discussion: UPI, Raw Story and CBS Chicago
Slate:
The Supreme Court Has Just Two Days to Decide the Fate of Roe v. Wade
Raw Story:
The QAnon crowd has a familiar face: How right-wing cults have always plagued our politics
Mehdi Hasan / MSNBC:
Joe Biden ended the war in Afghanistan after 20 years. That's a BFD.
Discussion: Twitchy and Common Dreams