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2:50 PM ET, October 27, 2021

memeorandum

 Top Items: 
The Bulwark:
An Open Letter in Defense of Democracy  —  The future of democracy in the United States is in danger.  —  (DESIGN BY HANNAH YOEST / PHOTOS: GETTYIMAGES / SHUTTERSTOCK)  —  [This open letter is being published simultaneously by The Bulwark and the New Republic.]
Discussion: Salon, Raw Story and Morning Shots
RELATED:
Meridith McGraw / Politico:
A fear grows in Trumpworld: Have we gone too conspiratorial?  —  For months, conspiracies about the 2020 election being stolen from Donald Trump have fueled Republican efforts nationwide to rewrite election laws.  But now, some GOP operatives and Trumpworld luminaries are worried …
Michelle Cottle / New York Times:
Why the Virginia Election Is Freaking Democrats Out  —  Ms. Cottle is a member of the editorial board.  —  With just under a week to go, the governor's race in Virginia has gotten tighter than Spanx on a hippo, prompting much agita in Democratic circles.  When the Democrats won full control …
RELATED:
Rémy Numa / Fox News:
McAuliffe buys ‘fake news’ ads in effort to sway voters, Fox News investigation finds  —  Ads link to ‘news’ websites that have been widely described as disinformation and ‘partisan propaganda’  —  McAuliffe, Youngkin in tight race for Virginia governor  —  Former Gov. Terry McAuliffe …
Steven Nelson / New York Post:
Who's running, Joe? Biden says ‘Trump’ 24 times during Va. stump for McAuliffe
Nick Corasaniti / New York Times:
In Virginia, Early Voting Has an Impact. And a Long Run.
Discussion: Bloomberg, CBS News and HotAir
Jonathan Weisman / New York Times:
Live Updates: Ahead of Meeting With White House Team, Manchin Criticizes Billionaire Tax Plan  —  Here's what you need to know:  —  Manchin denounces the Democrats' plan to tax billionaires as divisive.  —  Senate Democrats' plan to extract hundreds of billions of dollars from the wealth …
RELATED:
Hans Nichols / Axios:
Scoop: Manchin waffles on billionaire tax
Richard Rubin / Wall Street Journal:
How the Billionaires Income Tax Would Work
Harper Neidig / The Hill:
Cotton tells Garland: 'Thank God you're not on the Supreme Court'  —  Attorney General Merrick Garland on Wednesday clashed with Republican senators over the Justice Department's efforts to crack down on violent threats against school boards, with one GOP member telling the former judge, “Thank God you're not on the Supreme Court.”
RELATED:
Kate Scanlon / Washington Examiner:
Durbin invokes Jan. 6 as he defends school board letter during Garland hearing
Discussion: Politico and The Federalist
Eric Levitz / New York Magazine:
Bidenomics Is Working  —  Consumer prices are high and rising, and so is disapproval of Joe Biden.  In recent days, the president's net-favorability rating has hit new lows in FiveThirtyEight's aggregation of polls.  Meanwhile, America's headlines are full of testaments to economic discontent.
Monmouth University Polling Institute:
Murphy Maintains Lead  —  Slight narrowing in governor race, but little change overall  —  West Long Branch, NJ - Phil Murphy maintains a sizable lead over Jack Ciattarelli, although the margin has narrowed over the past two months, according to the final Monmouth ("Mon-muth") University Poll of the New Jersey governor's race.
Washington Post:
New cases down nearly 60 percent since delta variant surge … New coronavirus infections in the United States have dropped nearly 60 percent since a September spike brought on by the more contagious delta variant, according to data compiled by The Washington Post.
Discussion: Humanizing The Vacuum and IJR
RELATED:
Katelyn Jetelina / Your Local Epidemiologist:
Vaccines for 5-11 year olds: FDA meeting cliff notes
Colleen Slevin / Associated Press:
United States issues its 1st passport with ‘X’ gender marker  —  DENVER (AP) — The United States has issued its first passport with an “X” gender designation — a milestone in the recognition of the rights of people who don't identify as male or female — and expects to be able to offer …
RELATED:
Caroline Downey / National Review:   State Department Issues First Gender-Neutral Passport
Misty Severi / Washington Examiner:
State Department issues first ‘Gender X’ passport, working toward permanent change
Discussion: Washington Post and ABC News
David Gilbert / VICE:
Trump-Backed QAnon Candidates Launch Group to ‘Control the Election System’  —  A coalition of right-wing MAGA candidates, including multiple Trump-backed candidates, are seeking to take control of elections in states across the U.S.—and one says they're formally working with a group of conspiracy theorists …
Discussion: Daily Kos and Raw Story
Bill Goodykoontz / Arizona Republic:
Sen. Kyrsten Sinema wore a denim vest to preside over the Senate.  Here's why that matters  —  We see you, Senator.  We really do.  —  But that's no surprise, is it?  After all, it's what you seem to want.  —  Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, Arizona's walking, talking headline — well …
Discussion: Washington Examiner
Wall Street Journal:
Federal Trade Commission Scrutinizing Facebook Disclosures  —  Lawmakers want agency to determine if Facebook engaged in deceptive conduct; company says internal research is mischaracterized  —  WASHINGTON—Federal Trade Commission staffers have begun looking into disclosures …
RELATED:
Peter Martin / Bloomberg:
U.S. General Likens China's Hypersonic Weapon Test to ‘Sputnik Moment’  — Top U.S. general says suspected test is ‘very concerning’  — Afghan war a failure as the ‘regime that we supported lost’  —  The U.S.'s top uniformed military officer called China's suspected test …
Bruce Vielmetti / USA Today:
Men shot by Kyle Rittenhouse can't be called ‘victims’ at trial, but may be called ‘looters,’ judge says  —  A Monday decision from a Wisconsin judge about terms lawyers may use in Kyle Rittenhouse's trial is again drawing national attention to the case.  —  Rittenhouse will go on trial next week …
RELATED:
No Labels:
No Labels/HarrisX Poll: Voters Want Congress To Take Time To Debate Spending Bill  —  THIS WEEK, NO LABELS/HARRISX SURVEYED 941 REGISTERED VOTERS ACROSS THE NATION ON THE CONGRESSIONAL DELIBERATIONS ON THE BIPARTISAN INFRASTRUCTURE BILL AND THE DEMOCRATIC SOCIAL SPENDING AND CLIMATE PACKAGE (THE “RECONCILIATION BILL").
Jonathan Saltzman / The Boston Globe:
Boston Medical Center surgeon fined for leaving operating room to eat in his car, then falling asleep and missing the procedure  —  The longtime head of spine surgery at Boston Medical Center has been reprimanded by state regulators and fined $5,000 for leaving an operating room before the start …
Discussion: The Daily Beast
Tim Miller / The Bulwark:
Political Speech for Human Dingleberries Has Never Been More Robust  —  There might be a “cancel culture” chilling effect out there, but it isn't chilling performers.  —  When considering the inescapable “free speech” debate there is an important maxim I want everyone to keep at the top of mind:
CNBC:
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene bought shares of Trump SPAC Digital World Acquisition as stock skyrocketed  — Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene on Friday invested up to $50,000 in the SPAC stock linked to Donald Trump's planned social media platform.  — According to a public disclosure …
Politico:
POLITICO Playbook PM: Dem happy talk vs. reality  —  DEMS SAY A DEAL IS WITHIN REACH — Sen. JOE MANCHIN (D-W.Va.) said this morning that he and KYRSTEN SINEMA (D-Ariz.) can “absolutely” agree to a deal today, giving renewed hope to Democrats that they can deliver President JOE BIDEN's legislative agenda …
Titania McGrath / The Critic Magazine:
The M25 is our Maginot Line  —  Anyone who believes there are biological differences between men and women is literally a Nazi  —  This article is taken from the October 2021 issue of The Critic.  To get the full magazine why not subscribe?  Right now we're offering five issue for just £10.
BBC:
Wikileaks: US begins legal appeal to extradite Assange  —  Lawyers for the US have told the High Court the judge who blocked Julian Assange's extradition was misled by his psychiatrist.  —  The United States government is starting a legal appeal to try to get the Wikileaks founder extradited.
Discussion: Associated Press
Nick Vachon / The American Independent:
Youngkin goes all-in on ‘critical race theory’ in campaign's final week  —  The Virginia Republican gubernatorial nominee is leading the conservative crusade against public schools.  —  At the end of a campaign defined by equivocation, Glenn Youngkin has fully embraced the right-wing narrative on …
Reid Wilson / The Hill:
Texas House to launch investigation into school library books  —  The chairman of a Texas state House committee tasked with conducting investigations is launching a probe into books that school librarians keep on their shelves in the wake of a measure the legislature passed earlier this year …
Talal Ansari / Wall Street Journal:
Cigarette Sales Rose in 2020 for First Time in 20 Years  —  New FTC report confirms people were lighting up more during the pandemic  —  Americans purchased more cigarettes last year, the first uptick in two decades, according to a new report released by the Federal Trade Commission.
Caroline Lowbridge / BBC:
'We're being pressured into sex by some trans women'  —  Is a lesbian transphobic if she does not want to have sex with trans women?  Some lesbians say they are increasingly being pressured and coerced into accepting trans women as partners - then shunned and even threatened for speaking out.
Christine Vendel / PennLive:
Prosecutor drops felony charge against central Pa. man for 43-cent ‘theft’  —  1,533  —  The Perry County district attorney's office dismissed a felony charge that Pennsylvania State Police had filed against a homeless man after he paid $2 for a Mountain Dew drink that cost $2.29.
 
 
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 More Items: 
Lauren White / CREW:
New docs show Pompeo abused taxpayer dollars for lavish dinners
S.E. Cupp / New York Daily News:
Alec Baldwin is still a human being: Conservatives delighting in his pain show how far we've fallen
Discussion: Raw Story
Raja Shehadeh / The New York Review of Books:
Why Israel Calls Human Rights ‘Terrorism’
Michele L. Norris / Washington Post:
Before Rosa Parks, Claudette Colvin refused to give up her seat on a bus. She's still on probation.
Discussion: Power Line
Associated Press:
Puerto Rico governor signs into law debt-restructuring bill
Discussion: The Hill and WTOP
 Earlier Items: 
Seung Min Kim / Washington Post:
Biden heads abroad with most of his ambassadorial picks stranded in the Senate, stunting U.S. diplomatic efforts
Discussion: ABC News
Kyle Kondik / Sabato's Crystal Ball:
An Excerpt from The Long Red Thread
Reuters:
Harvard's modern-day Darwin warns against humanity's downward slope
CNN:
January 6 committee plans to subpoena John Eastman
Thomas B. Edsall / New York Times:
The Moral Chasm That Has Opened Up Between Left and Right Is Widening
Chris Marsh / Money: Inside and Out:
The greatest peacetime surge in household wealth