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9:00 AM ET, September 28, 2021


 Top Items: 
Washington Post:
Trump played tough with Putin when cameras were around, while Putin toyed with his insecurities, a new book says  —  Little is known about what happened in the 90-minute conversation between President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Osaka, Japan, two years ago.
Lachlan Markay / Axios:
Scoop: Dems' sneaky sabotage  —  A group tied to prominent Democratic strategists is posing as a conservative outfit to try to drive a wedge between the Republican candidate for Virginia governor and his core voters, Axios has learned.  —  Why it matters: The state's gubernatorial race …
‘People are going to get skittish:’ White House sweats over McAuliffe  —  The governor's race in Virginia could shape the outlook for the midterms.  Democrats can't afford a loss.  —  Terry McAuliffe, whose second and final debate with Glenn Youngkin (not shown) is Tuesday evening, isn't shying away from the warnings.
Discussion: Political Wire
Washington Post:   Virginia's economy is at risk
Noah Smith / Noahpinion:
Pass the damn infrastructure bill, dammit  —  Then pass the reconciliation bill, then pass another bill...  I am annoyed at the way Democrats are handling the two spending bills now moving through Congress.  When the bipartisan infrastructure deal passed the Senate, I assumed it was a done deal …
Washington Post:
House Democrats huddle amid simmering tensions over Biden's big economic agenda
Washington Post:
Vulnerable House Democrats say it really better be infrastructure week
Emily Cochrane / New York Times:
Republicans Block Government Funding, Refusing to Lift Debt Limit  —  Senate Republicans opposed legislation to avert a government shutdown and prevent a debt default at a critical moment for Democrats' domestic agenda.  —  WASHINGTON — Senate Republicans on Monday blocked a spending bill needed …
Jennifer Rubin / Washington Post:
Republicans' trail of destruction may haunt them  —  Republicans' embrace of conspiracy theories, election denial, vaccine mandate opposition and, frankly, nihilism pose real threats to our democracy and to the health of Americans.  But just because Republicans delight in “owning the libs” …
Discussion: Bloomberg, Politico, NPR and FiveThirtyEight
Jason Easley / POLITICUSUSA:   Both Louisiana Sens. Cassidy And Kennedy Vote Against Disaster Relief For Their Own State
New York Times:
Deadline Looming, Thousands of Health Care Workers in New York Get Vaccinated  —  Though many hospital and nursing home employees remain unvaccinated, officials say worst-case staffing shortages seem less likely.  —  When New York State officials issued a sweeping coronavirus vaccine mandate …
Discussion: WIVB-TV, Mediaite and The Big Picture
Moriah Balingit / Washington Post:
New York can move forward with coronavirus vaccine mandate for school workers, judges say  —  Teachers and other school workers in the city have until Friday to show they have received at least one vaccine shot  —  A federal appeals court Monday made way for New York Mayor Bill de Blasio …
Discussion: NBC New York, The Hill and abc7NY
New York Times:   New York City can proceed with vaccine mandate for educators and staff, judges ruled.
Michael Warren / CNN:
Trump's spiteful support for Abrams over Kemp sparks midterms fear from Georgia Republicans  —  (CNN)Donald Trump is escalating his fight against Republican Gov. Brian Kemp of Georgia, and state Republicans fear it will give Democrats a stronger foothold in the key swing state as next year's midterm elections loom.
‘We won’: Trump and his allies barrel ahead with election lies despite Arizona review confirming his loss
Michael Powell / New York Times:
A.C.L.U. Apologizes for Tweet That Altered Quote by Justice Ginsburg  —  The organization acknowledged that changing references from women to people was a mistake — albeit a well-intentioned one.  —  Anthony Romero, the executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union …
Michelle Goldberg / New York Times:
The A.C.L.U. Errs on R.B.G.  —  Recently, on the anniversary of Ruth Bader Ginsburg's death, the American Civil Liberties Union set out to pay tribute to her pro-choice heroism, and ended up making the sort of self-parodic blunder the right salivates over.  —  One of R.B.G.'s iconic quotes came …
Discussion: The Hill and JONATHAN TURLEY
Damon Linker / The Week:
The unimportance of Trump's incompetence  —  The most talked-about essay of the past week is undoubtedly Robert Kagan's “Our constitutional crisis is already here” in The Washington Post, a long, gripping examination of the very serious danger that Donald Trump poses to American democracy …
Steve Benen / MSNBC:
When Trump says the U.S. ‘will not survive,’ don't look away
Eleanor Clift / The Daily Beast:
Idaho COVID Insanity Shows How Much Worse the GOP Can Get
Discussion: Raw Story and Balloon Juice
Jeff Schogol / Task & Purpose:
Marine officer who blasted leaders over Afghanistan withdrawal now in the brig  —  “All our son did is ask the questions that everybody was asking themselves, but they were too scared to speak out loud.”  —  Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller, the Marine officer whose meteoric rise to internet fandom began …
Discussion: Fox News, BizPac Review and RedState
Lara Seligman / Politico:
‘Speed equals safety’: Inside the Pentagon's controversial decision to leave Bagram early  —  The administration didn't second-guess its decision to rapidly withdraw from Afghanistan.  Lawmakers are fuming.  —  Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Joint Chiefs Chair Gen. Mark Milley stressed …
Troy Closson / New York Times:
R. Kelly Found Guilty in Decades-Long Sexual Abuse Scheme  —  The six-week trial in Brooklyn, N.Y., included graphic and disturbing testimony about sexual abuse by one of America's best-known musicians.  —  Key Updates:  —  Jonah Bromwichcovers the courts in New York
Adrienne LaFrance / The Atlantic:
The Largest Autocracy on Earth  —  In 1947, Albert Einstein, writing in this magazine, proposed the creation of a single world government to protect humanity from the threat of the atomic bomb.  His utopian idea did not take hold, quite obviously, but today, another visionary is building the simulacrum of a cosmocracy.
New York Times:
New Taliban Chancellor Bars Women From Kabul University  —  The new policy for Afghanistan's premier university is another major blow to women's rights under Taliban rule, and to a two-decade effort to build up higher education.  —  Tightening the Taliban's restrictions on women …
Discussion: Axios, Bloomberg and KVIA-TV
Zachary Stieber /
Florida Man Dies While Awaiting Trial on Charges Related to Jan. 6 US Capitol Breach  —  A U.S. military veteran who was charged in the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol breach has died.  —  John Anderson, 61, died at a hospital in Jacksonville, Florida, on Sept. 21, according to family members and his lawyer.
Stephanie Mencimer / Mother Jones:
Here's the Truth About Brett Kavanaugh's Finances  —  No, liberals, the Koch brothers don't own him.  —  It's become a predictable pattern: The Supreme Court issues a controversial ruling on a hot-button social issue, and then Justice Brett Kavanaugh trends on Twitter.
Discussion: PREVAIL
Hunter Walker / New York Magazine:
Jumaane Jumps In He's running for governor, calling Kathy Hochul a Cuomo ‘enabler,’ and keeping an eye on Tish James.  —  Three years ago, Jumaane Williams came within seven points of beating Kathy Hochul in the Democratic primary for New York lieutenant governor.
Nate Rattner / CNBC:
Unvaccinated Americans say the need for booster shots proves Covid vaccines don't work, Kaiser survey shows  — A Kaiser Family Foundation survey shows that 71% percent of unvaccinated respondents said boosters are a sign that vaccines are not working.  — The split in attitudes toward …
Discussion: CNN
John Feehery / The Hill:
The ‘comfort the comfortable’ coalition  —  Last Wednesday, I saw a friend walking his dog in the late morning on Capitol Hill, attired in shorts and flip-flops.  “Nice suit,” he said to me as we crossed paths.  “Yep,” I said.  “Busy week at work.”  He laughed.  “I am at work now.”
Washington Examiner:
Massive spike in murders — the Left's policies hit black lives hardest  —  In 2015, Michael Brown robbed a convenience store and was justifiably shot in self-defense while assaulting the police officer who attempted to confront him.  —  Despite the facts behind that shooting …
Sophie Haigney / The Drift:
Persistence Pays  —  “Harriet Tubman was born a slave, and her story could have ended there.  Instead, she persisted, escaping from slavery and becoming the most famous ‘conductor’ on the Underground Railroad,” begins the first section of Chelsea Clinton's baffling 2017 children's book …
Stef W. Kight / Axios:
Mapped: No majority-Hispanic districts added in Texas  —  Texas Republicans propose adding seats in Austin and Houston — but no majority-Hispanic districts — in new congressional district maps released Monday.  —  Why it matters: Texas is a rapidly growing, diversifying and politically changing state.
Discussion: Raw Story and Roll Call
Erin Woo / New York Times:
How Covid Misinformation Created a Run on Animal Medicine  —  Veterinarians, ranchers and farmers say they are struggling with the effects of the surging demand for ivermectin, a deworming drug.  —  Emerson Animal Hospital was down to its last 10 milliliters of ivermectin.
Orange Wang / South China Morning Post:
China's power shortage turns dire as traffic lights fail, homes fall dark  —  Half of China's provincial jurisdictions mandate rationing of electricity, but poor communication and unclear timeline leave angry public in the dark One local government warns that entire power grid at risk of collapse …
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 More Items: 
Paul Krugman / New York Times:
Biden Versus Centrists Living in the Past
Discussion: The Hill
The Daily Beast:
DHS Cyber Office Wants to See Secret Voting Machine Vulnerability Report
Discussion: Washington Post and Raw Story
Mark Moore / New York Post:
Thousands of Haitian migrants reportedly heading to US border
Discussion: Twitchy
Neal E. Boudette / New York Times:
Ford Will Build 4 Factories in a Big Electric Vehicle Push
Discussion: Financial Times
 Earlier Items: 
New York Times:
American Siblings Barred From Leaving China for 3 Years Return to U.S.
Discussion: Bloomberg and Washington Examiner
Jon Jackson / Newsweek:
Trump's ‘Mar-a-Lago Trio’ Broke Law in Plan to Monetize Veterans' Medical Records: Report
John Myers / Los Angeles Times:
California's universal voting by mail becomes permanent
Matthew Yglesias / Slow Boring:
Education polarization is only growing
Discussion: Instapundit
Aaron Blake / Washington Post:
How Republicans learned to stop worrying and embrace ‘replacement theory’ — by name
Discussion: The Root and Popular Information
David Wallace-Wells / New York Magazine:
The Public Continues to Underestimate COVID's Age Discrimination
Discussion: Washington Post