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3:10 PM ET, October 17, 2021

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 Top Items: 
Tara Palmeri / Politico:
POLITICO Playbook: A new ‘Sputnik moment’  —  DRIVING THE DAY  —  Reminder: HBO's “Succession” returns tonight for its third season.  —  A SIGN O' THE TIMES — Superman has long been known for championing “truth, justice and the American way.”  Now, DC Comics is changing that motto by cutting out the whole “American way” thing.
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Marc Caputo / Politico:
Dems find their anti-Rubio warrior in Val Demings  —  MIAMI — A panicked question gripped Florida Democratic insiders this summer as Joe Biden's approval numbers began to fade and eyes turned toward the midterm election horizon: Where's Val Demings?  —  For months, the Florida congresswoman challenging …
Maya King / Politico:
‘This is the future’: Black Senate candidates crush fundraising expectations  —  In his bid to hold his Georgia Senate seat, Democrat Raphael Warnock collected a stunning $9.5 million over the last 90 days.  Democrat Val Demings, who's challenging GOP Sen. Marco Rubio in Florida, amassed an eye-popping $8.5 million.
Discussion: Fox News and POLITICUSUSA
Salena Zito / Washington Examiner:
Terry McAuliffe is misreading what matters to Virginia voters  —  Four years ago, Virginia Democrats nominated a slow-talking country-accented pediatrician named Ralph Northam who had been an anonymous lieutenant governor for Terry McAuliffe.  —  Unlike McAuliffe, he sounded and talked like a rural Virginian, so he seemed harmless.
Discussion: Insider
RELATED:
Alex Seitz-Wald / NBC News:   In Virginia, Republicans see education, curriculum fears as a path to victory
Lachlan Markay / Axios:
Virginia energy giant quietly boosts McAuliffe
Discussion: The Reload
Ryan J. Reilly / HuffPost:
'I'm So Stupid': MAGA Fan Who Attacked Officer Mike Fanone Called Himself A ‘Piece Of S**t’  —  Danny “D.J.” Rodriguez, who was arrested after he was identified in a HuffPost story, called himself a “f**king piece of s**t” during his interview with the FBI.  —  “I'm not smart.”  —  “I'm so stupid.”
Harriet Alexander / Daily Mail:
Former NYT opinion editor Bari Weiss hits out at CNN's Brian Stelter after he suggested a controversial column by a Republican senator she published ‘endangered lives’  — Bari Weiss appeared on Brian Stelter's podcast on Thursday to discuss media  — Weiss resigned from The New York Times in July 2020 in protest at their stance
Michelle Celarier / New York Magazine:
Why the ‘Big Short’ Guys Think Bitcoin Is a Bubble  —  During the past year of COVID-induced market mania, cryptocurrencies have gone up so much — bitcoin is up about fivefold, while many other crypto projects are up far, far more — that even reluctant Wall Street institutions have begun to tiptoe into the arena.
New York Times:
90 Seconds of Rage  —  The American flag became a blunt instrument in the bearded man's hands.  Wielding the flagpole like an ax, he swung once, twice, three times, to beat a police officer being dragged down the steps of a United States Capitol under siege.
Margaret Sullivan / Washington Post:
‘More immediate, more visceral’ and a lot tougher on Eric Clapton: A plan for reviving Rolling Stone  —  Last Monday in Manhattan, outside the Fifth Avenue offices of Rolling Stone, dozens of young fans of the South Korean boy band P1Harmony swarmed the building, hoping to catch a glimpse of their idols.
Miriam Berger / Washington Post:
A woman won a million-euro Spanish literary prize.  It turned out that ‘she’ was actually three men.  —  The work of one woman was, it turned out, the equivalent of the labors of three men.  —  That was at least the case for Spain's top writer of crime thrillers, a professor and mother …
CNN:
Five times as many police officers have died from Covid-19 as from gunfire since start of pandemic  —  (CNN)Jessica Desfosses shared the final heartrending text messages she exchanged with her police officer husband in the days before he died from Covid-19.  —  “Commercial just came on tv …
Discussion: DNyuz and WTOP
RELATED:
Kierra Frazier / Yahoo News:
Five times as many police officers have died from COVID as from guns since pandemic began
Discussion: Lawyers, Guns & Money
Will Bunch / The Philadelphia Inquirer:
A Jan. 6 ‘blood flag’ and a Bond villain in the Senate — it's no time to go back to brunch  —  Say what you will about our modern obsession with James Bond movies, but their timing often seems impeccable.  This fall's release of No Time to Die, the 25th official film in the series …
Glenn Greenwald:
Civil Liberties Are Being Trampled by Exploiting “Insurrection” Fears.  Congress's 1/6 Committee May Be the Worst Abuse Yet.  —  Following the 9/11 script, objections to government overreach in the name of 1/6 are demonized as sympathy for terrorists.  But government abuses pose the greater threat.
Discussion: Althouse
Brett Samuels / The Hill:
Pressure grows for breakthrough in Biden agenda talks  —  The clock is ticking for President Biden and White House officials to broker an agreement among congressional Democrats on the president's economic agenda as patience in some corners wears thin.  —  The House has yet to vote …
Discussion: NBC News and The Colorado Sun
RELATED:
Peter Nicholas / The Atlantic:
Is Biden Doing Enough to Protect Democracy?  —  As a reporter for The Philadelphia Inquirer in the early 2000s, I once received a call from a couple of Republican campaign operatives who said they had something to show me.  We met at their office in Washington, D.C., a few days later.
Wall Street Journal:
Facebook Says AI Can Enforce Its Rules, but the Company's Own Engineers Are Doubtful  —  AI has only minimal success in removing hate speech, violent images and other chronic problems from the platform, according to internal company reports  —  Facebook Inc. executives have long …
Danielle DuClos / ABC News:
J&J recipients should ‘feel good’ about booster recommendation: Fauci  —  Dr. Anthony Fauci appeared on ABC's “This Week” Sunday.  —  Recipients of the single-dose Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine should not be concerned about the shot's lower efficacy now that boosters have been recommended …
Discussion: Slate, Politico, Forbes and New York Post
Maria Abi-Habib / New York Times:
American Missionaries Kidnapped in Haiti, Officials Say  —  Up to 17 missionaries and their family members were taken by gangs in the capital as they were leaving an orphanage Saturday.  —  As many as 17 Christian missionaries from the United States and their family members …
Andrew Bucholtz / Awful Announcing:
Allison Williams is leaving ESPN over COVID-19 vaccine mandate, says “I am so morally and ethically not aligned with this.” … Disney, ESPN's parent company, is one of many large corporations requiring all employees to be vaccinated against the COVID-19 novel coronavirus, which has led to more than 722,000 deaths in the United States.
Discussion: The Hill, Fox News and New York Post
Town & Country:
Sarah Snook Finds the Success in Succession  —  The star of the hit HBO series on power, privilege, and what's next for Shiv Roy in everyone's famous one-percent family feud.  —  There's a lot going on in the teaser trailer for the  —  new season of  —  Succession  —  . Father-son fisticuffs.
Orion Rummler / The 19th:
‘For all families and gender identities’: WNBA union denounces Texas abortion ban in New York Times ad  —  “Reproductive rights are human rights.  Family planning is freedom.”  —  This statement is at the heart of a full-page print ad that the WNBA players' union is running in the New York Times …
Lisa Kashinsky / Politico:
These Republicans torpedoed vaccine edicts — then slipped in the polls  —  New research shows governors in states without vaccine mandates — or where they've outright prohibited such a requirement — have “significantly lower” approval ratings for their handling of the coronavirus.
 
 
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 More Items: 
Matt Taibbi / TK News:
Yes, Virginia, There is a Deep State
Jason Horowitz / New York Times:
Catholic Church in Sicily Bans Godparents For Now
Discussion: New York Post
Armando Garcia / ABC News:
Policies at southern border pushing migrants to take greater risks, advocates say
Discussion: HotAir and The Daily Caller
Helene Cooper / New York Times:
How 3 Strangers a World Away Came to the Rescue of a Badly Burned Afghan Girl
Fredreka Schouten / CNN:
Cheney, Murkowski and other Trump targets outraise their Republican rivals
Bill Allison / Bloomberg:
Manchin Rakes In Cash From Energy Industry, Some GOP Donors
Politico:
Illinois Democrats agonize over how much to gerrymander
 Earlier Items: 
Amy Davidson Sorkin / New Yorker:
The G.O.P.'s Race to Out-Trump the Trumpists
Discussion: CNN
Washington Examiner:
Merrick Garland should really resign, but the least he can do is recuse himself
Russ Choma / Mother Jones:
Marjorie Taylor Greene and Matt Gaetz's Big Fundraising PAC is Nearly Broke
Discussion: Raw Story and Crooks and Liars
Deadline:
Hollywood Strike Averted As IATSE & AMPTP Reach Deal On New Film & TV Contract