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3:00 PM ET, September 28, 2021

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 Top Items: 
Washington Post:
Trump played tough with Putin when cameras were around, but a new book details his insecurities  —  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.
RELATED:
Katie Rogers / New York Times:
Stephanie Grisham's Book Details Trump's ‘Terrifying’ Temper  —  The former press secretary is reflective in her tell-all: “I should have spoken up more.”  —  WASHINGTON — Stephanie Grisham, the former Trump White House press secretary perhaps best known for never holding a televised briefing …
Maggie Haberman / New York Times:
Trump Loses Case to Enforce Omarosa Manigault Newman's N.D.A.  —  Donald Trump had filed the case against Ms. Manigault Newman, a former White House aide and “Apprentice” star, after she wrote a tell-all book about serving in his administration.  —  Former President Donald J. Trump has lost …
Jamie Ross / The Daily Beast:
Trump's Press Sec: He Called Me to Insist His Penis Wasn't Toadstool-Shaped  —  The harrowing detail appears to be one of many from the upcoming book written by Trump's former press secretary Stephanie Grisham.  —  Three years ago, adult-film star Stormy Daniels scarred us all forever …
Discussion: Insider, Queerty, Raw Story and Joe.My.God.
Politico:
POLITICO Playbook PM: Dems prepare to go it alone  —  JUST ADDED — President JOE BIDEN's domestic agenda is on the line this week, with a $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill slated for a House vote Thursday.  But moderate and progressive Democrats are still at odds over a larger …
Discussion: Insider and Political Wire
RELATED:
Lara Seligman / Politico:
Top generals contradict Biden, say they urged him not to withdraw from Afghanistan
Allahpundit / HotAir:
Generals contradict Biden: We told him to leave 2,500 troops in place in Afghanistan
Morgan Chalfant / The Hill:
Top generals contradict Biden, say they advised leaving 2,500 troops in Afghanistan
Discussion: Political Wire
Andrew Desiderio / Politico:
Milley: Beijing's fears of U.S. attack prompted call to Chinese general
Zachary Basu / Axios:
Top Pentagon officials contradict Biden on Afghanistan advice
Washington Post:
Military leaders wanted U.S. contingent force in Afghanistan; fall of Kabul led to full withdrawal
Wall Street Journal:
131 Federal Judges Broke the Law by Hearing Cases Where They Had a Financial Interest  —  The judges failed to recuse themselves from 685 lawsuits from 2010 to 2018 involving firms in which they or their family held shares, a Wall Street Journal investigation found
RELATED:
Wall Street Journal:
How the Journal Found Judges' Violations of Law on Conflicts
Discussion: The Daily Caller
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 …
RELATED:
Timothy Bella / Washington Post:
N.C. hospital system fires about 175 workers in one of the largest-ever mass terminations due to a vaccine mandate  —  A North Carolina-based hospital system announced Monday that roughly 175 unvaccinated employees were fired for failing to comply with the organization's mandatory coronavirus …
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” …
RELATED:
Politico:
‘Non-starter’: Dems tangle over how to raise the debt ceiling
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 …
RELATED:
Josh Israel / The American Independent:
Youngkin caught saying he ‘can remove’ Virginia vaccine requirement ‘on Day One’  —  In an exclusive video, Republican Virginia gubernatorial nominee Glenn Youngkin said he could eliminate the state's COVID-19 safety measures for state employees if elected.  —  The Republican candidate …
RELATED:
Politico:
‘People are going to get skittish:’ White House sweats over McAuliffe  —  President Joe Biden can't afford Terry McAuliffe to lose the governor's race in Virginia — and the White House knows it.  —  It's a scenario the president and his aides and close allies increasingly view as a real possibility …
Will Bunch / The Philadelphia Inquirer:
NY Times' cluelessness is wrecking journalism  —  I know, I know, you're probably sick of “anniversary journalism,” but it must be noted that this week marked the 32nd anniversary of Billy Joel's last big hit, the unforgettable “We Didn't Start the Fire.”  I'm thinking there's plenty of material …
Discussion: Balloon Juice
Wall Street Journal:
Facebook's Effort to Attract Preteens Goes Beyond Instagram Kids, Documents Show  —  It has investigated how to engage young users in response to competition from Snapchat, TikTok; ‘Exploring playdates as a growth lever’  —  Facebook Inc. has come under increasing fire in recent days …
Pete Wells / New York Times:
Restaurant Review: Eleven Madison Park's Vegan Menu  —  Now vegan, Daniel Humm's acclaimed restaurant does strange things to vegetables.  —  8 PhotosView Slide Show  —  ›  —  Daniel Krieger for The New York Times … When you make a reservation at an independently reviewed restaurant through …
KFF:
KFF COVID-19 Vaccine Monitor: September 2021  —  , Mellisha Stokes , and Mollyann Brodie … Key Findings  — As the U.S. continues to grapple with the “third wave” of the COVID-19 pandemic, the latest KFF COVID-19 Vaccine Monitor finds that more than seven in ten U.S. adults (72%) …
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 …
Rich Lowry / National Review:
The Age of Progressive Misinformation  —  The vicious lie that mounted border agents whipped Haitians is only the latest entry in progressives' vast trove of propaganda.  —  How does a stupid and ridiculous lie come to be embraced and promulgated by top officials of the United States government?
Discussion: Fox News and Townhall
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.
Sally Jenkins / Washington Post:
Kyrie Irving wants to leave a legacy.  With his stance on vaccination, he just might.  —  Kyrie Irving is too smart for you.  He's so smart, he can outwit germs and governments.  He's so smart, you can't understand a word he's saying.  That's how smart he is.
Discussion: CBS News, Slate and Insider
National Review:
Another Defeat for Election Truthers  —  Once again, an investigation into the claim that the 2020 presidential election was “stolen” has revealed nothing that changes the outcome.  Once again, this has made no difference whatsoever to those who demanded that such an investigation be conducted …
Discussion: Washington Post, CNN and Forensic News
Meridith McGraw / Politico:
‘Mad Dash’: Trump's demand for a Texas ‘audit’ caught Gov. Abbott off guard  —  Donald Trump's letter to Texas Gov. Greg Abbott demanding he pursue an “audit” of the 2020 election set off a “mad dash” in the governor's office as aides sought to figure out just how serious the former president was …
Ashley Parker / Washington Post:
As Trump hints at 2024 comeback, democracy advocates fear a ‘worst-case scenario’ for the country  —  A year before the 2020 election, about two dozen constitutional scholars and democracy advocates traveled to Washington to work through a range of scenarios where something goes awry on Election Day.
Discussion: Insider, BizPac Review and Raw Story
Sam Dorman / Fox News:
New Hampshire prioritizing non-White individuals for COVID-19 vaccines: federal complaint  —  White male said he was told COVID appointments were ‘fully subscribed’ for people of color  —  Mass. officers set to resign in droves over vaccine mandate  —  A D.C.-based think tank filed …
Discussion: The Federalist and National Review
Melissa Jeltsen / Vanity Fair:
She Was Walking Home: How Sarah Everard's Murder Revealed Feminism's Fault Lines  —  The disappearance and murder of a young British woman, whose killer will be sentenced this week, unleashed a torrent of anger—and exposed deep rifts in feminist approaches to criminal justice.
Jamelle Bouie / New York Times:
We Underestimated Trump Before.  It Didn't Go Well.  —  Sometimes, and much to our detriment, we find real events are simply too outlandish to take seriously.  —  Many professional Republicans, for example, initially dismissed the movement to “Stop the Steal” as a ridiculous stunt.
Sarah Posner / Vox:
How the Christian right embraced voter suppression  —  Abortion isn't the only victory conservative evangelicals have won in 2021. … For decades, the Christian-right foot soldiers who form the backbone of the Republican Party have regularly and enthusiastically showed up for legislative battles …
Discussion: Raw Story
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.”
 
 
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 More Items: 
TMZ.com:
Rep. Danny Davis Says R. Kelly Deserves Second Chance, Shot at Redemption
Discussion: The Hill
Conn Carroll / Washington Examiner:
Mexico warned Biden his border policies would cause migrant surge
Sabrina Imbler / New York Times:
For Transgender Youth, Stigma Is Just One Barrier to Health Care
Alex Blasdel / The Guardian:
Pinker's progress: the celebrity scientist at the centre of the culture wars
Dan Pfeiffer / The Message Box:
Memo to Centrists: The Planet is Melting
 Earlier Items: 
Dana Hedgpeth / Washington Post:
Still on the lam: Five zebras escaped in Maryland almost a month ago
Wayne Schutsky / Arizona Capitol Times:
Pullen: Draft audit report calling for decertification of election a fake
Pfizer:
PFIZER AND BIONTECH SUBMIT INITIAL DATA TO U.S. FDA FROM PIVOTAL TRIAL OF COVID-19 VACCINE IN CHILDREN 5 TO <12 YEARS OF AGE
Benjamin Wallace / New York Magazine:
How Miami Seduced Silicon Valley Awash in coders, crypto, and capital, the city is loving — and beginning to shape — its newest industry.
Eleanor Clift / The Daily Beast:
Idaho COVID Insanity Shows How Much Worse the GOP Can Get
Orange Wang / South China Morning Post:
China's power shortage turns dire as traffic lights fail, homes fall dark
Discussion: Bloomberg