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1:20 PM ET, May 18, 2022


 Top Items: 
Reid J. Epstein / New York Times:
Election Deniers Thrive Even as Trumpism Drifts: 5 Primary Takeaways  —  Pennsylvania's Republican Senate contest, the biggest and most expensive race of a five-state primary night, is a photo finish between David McCormick, a former hedge fund executive, and Dr. Mehmet Oz, the celebrity surgeon.
POLITICO Playbook: Takeaways from the biggest primary night of the year  —  With help from Eli Okun and Garrett Ross  —  DRIVING THE DAY  —  LATEST FROM THE OZ-MCCORMICK NAIL-BITER — “McCormick and Oz neck-and-neck in Pennsylvania as Fetterman gets Dem Senate nod,” by Natalie Allison, Zach Montellaro & Ally Mutnick
Philippe Naughton / The Daily Beast:
Knife-Edge Pennsylania GOP Senate Race May Come Down to Party-Despised Mail-In Votes  —  FULL CIRCLE  —  When 2 million mail-in ballots carried Joe Biden over the line in Pennsylvania in the 2020 presidential election, Donald Trump was the first to cry foul.
Discussion: PennLive, The Guardian and Bloomberg
Jim Swift / The Bulwark:
Don't Read Too Much Into Madison Cawthorn's Defeat  —  The GOP isn't turning the corner.  —  Come next January, Democrats won't have Madison Cawthorn to kick around anymore.  The freshman North Carolina congressman lost his primary tonight in a close race—33 to 32 percent, as of this writing—to a state senator.
Amanda Carpenter / The Bulwark:
Are Republicans Now Going to Endorse Doug Mastriano?  —  Doug Mastriano is an insurrectionist, period.  —  The winner of tonight's GOP primary for the governorship of Pennsylvania bused supporters to the Capitol on January 6th, was photographed on the Capitol grounds, and ever since has sought …
Colby Itkowitz / Washington Post:
Oz, McCormick neck-and-neck as vote tally continues in Pa. Senate primary  —  Pennsylvania law mandates an automatic recount if a candidate's margin of victory is 0.5 percent or less  —  Pennsylvania's closely watched Republican primary for U.S. Senate was still unsettled Wednesday …
Maggie Haberman / New York Times:
Pennsylvania U.S. Senate Primary Election Results
Charles C. W. Cooke / National Review:
The Democrats Wanted Doug Mastriano, and Now They've Got Him
Ben Jacobs / New York Magazine:
Madison Cawthorn's Self-Destruction Is Complete
Reid J. Epstein / New York Times:
Doug Mastriano, a far-right 2020 election denier, is Pennsylvania Republicans' choice for governor.
Taylor Lorenz / Washington Post:
How the Biden administration let right-wing attacks derail its disinformation efforts  —  A ‘pause’ of the Department of Homeland Security's newly created board comes after its head, Nina Jankowicz, was the victim of coordinated online attacks as the administration struggled to respond
Shashank Bengali / New York Times:
A Russian soldier accused of killing a civilian pleads guilty in a Kyiv court.  —  The Russian Defense Ministry said that nearly 1,000 fighters had surrendered to Kremlin custody at the Azovstal steel plant.  Finland and Sweden formally asked to join NATO, potentially the alliance's biggest expansion in decades.
The Economist:
The Putin Show  —  How the war in Ukraine appears to Russians  —  When vladimir putin was first elected president of Russia in 2000, he changed little in the office he inherited from Boris Yeltsin.  Yet in place of a pen on the desk, Mr Putin put a television remote control, one visitor noted.
Discussion: New York Times
Brian Stewart / The Bulwark:
Pope Francis Is Dangerously Wrong About Ukraine  —  Sending weapons to help Ukraine fight off a Russian invasion is not “madness.”  —  Since Vladimir Putin's renewed war of conquest in Ukraine in late February, Pope Francis has offered perfunctory condemnations of the “violent aggression against Ukraine.”
Discussion: Rational Exuberance and Reuters
Nicholas Fandos / New York Times:
Fearing ‘Extinction-Level Event,’ N.Y. Democrats Turn Against Each Other  —  Newly drawn congressional maps have led some House members to quickly lay claim to certain districts, even if it means challenging fellow incumbents.  —  Two weeks ago, Representative Sean Patrick Maloney warned fellow Democrats …
Juliegrace Brufke / Washington Examiner:
A new New York rivalry: Reps. Maloney vs. Nadler in House Democratic primary
Discussion: Associated Press
Punchbowl News:
5/18/22 ☀️ Punchbowl News AM.
Discussion: HotAir and Twitchy
Scoop: DHS preparing for violence following abortion ruling  —  The U.S. government is bracing for a potential surge in political violence once the Supreme Court hands down the ruling that's expected to overturn Roe v. Wade, according to a Department of Homeland Security memo obtained by Axios.
Helen Branswell / STAT:
CDC expresses concern about possibility of undetected monkeypox spread in U.K.  —  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention expressed concern Tuesday about an unusual outbreak of monkeypox in the United Kingdom, suggesting there appears to be at least some undetected transmission …
Discussion: The Hill, The Guardian and Insider
Christina Prignano / The Boston Globe:   Map: A county-by-county look at COVID-19 transmission in the United States
Mona Charen / The Bulwark:
The Time to Prevent the Next Coup Attempt Is Now  —  Down-ballot, unsexy races at the state and local level will determine if there's a free and fair election in 2024.  —  (SHUTTERSTOCK)  —  In 1980, because I was an idealistic conservative eager to do my bit for democracy, I volunteered for my local Republican party.
Discussion: Politico and New Republic
Colin Moynihan / New York Times:
A Central Park Birder Has a New TV Show  —  Christian Cooper's encounter in Central Park with a white woman who called 911 to falsely accuse him of threatening her spurred a national outcry.  Now he is hosting a birding series for National Geographic.  —  For years, Christian Cooper …
Andrew Das / New York Times:
U.S. Soccer and Top Players Agree to Guarantee Equal Pay  —  Landmark labor agreements with members of the men's and women's national teams will include higher paychecks and shared World Cup prize money.  —  For the first time, soccer players representing the United States men's …
U.S. Soccer Official Website:
U.S. Soccer Federation, Women's And Men's National Team Unions Agree To Historic Collective Bargaining Agreements
Barak Ravid / Axios:
Israeli military to hold wide-ranging drill simulating strike on Iran  —  The Israeli military in two weeks will begin a wide-ranging exercise to train for a possible attack on Iran's nuclear facilities, senior Israeli officials said Tuesday. … The goal is to redevelop a credible military option …
The Times of Israel:
Report: In 1st, US refuelers to take part in major Israeli drill for strike on Iran
Rami Ayyub / Reuters:
U.S. accuses casino tycoon Wynn of acting as Chinese agent
Isaac Chotiner / New Yorker:
The Supreme Court's History of Protecting the Powerful  —  Laurence Tribe discusses the leaked Alito draft, the inherent politics of the judicial branch, and how to behave on Twitter.  —  Laurence Tribe, who turned eighty last year, has been one of the most prominent liberal legal scholars of the last half century.
Discussion: Reason
Kansas City Star:
Kansas Supreme Court upholds congressional map that splits diverse Wyandotte County  —  The Kansas Supreme Court has upheld a Republican-drawn congressional map that divides racially diverse Wyandotte County for the first time in 40 years, finding the boundary lines don't violate the state constitution.
New York Times:
As Adams Praised a New Police Tool, a Close Ally Had a Stake in the Maker  —  Mayor Eric Adams and his chief of staff, Frank Carone, say Mr. Adams's endorsement of BolaWrap was entirely coincidental.  —  For years, as an elected official and candidate for New York City mayor …
Ben Blanchet / HuffPost:
‘South Park’ Writer Beats Rep. Elise Stefanik To Her Own Website  —  The website mocks the congresswoman's controversial ads echoing the “great replacement theory” in the wake of the Buffalo mass shooting.  —  Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) may have to look for a new domain name come midterms.
Tiffany Hsu / New York Times:
All Those Celebrities Pushing Crypto Are Not So Vocal Now  —  Crypto boosters such as Matt Damon, Reese Witherspoon and Gwyneth Paltrow have been criticized for hyping virtual currency without highlighting the risks.  —  In the latest commercial from the virtual currency exchange …
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 More Items: 
Tyler Olson / Fox News:
Stefanik joins House resolution to expunge second Trump impeachment
Washington Post:
Opinion The Supreme Court green-lights political corruption — again
Discussion: Balls and Strikes
Alexander Bolton / The Hill:
Manchin throwing a wrench into Democrats' push for broader gun control
Discussion: TheBlaze and Townhall
Michelle Ye Hee Lee / Washington Post:
China draws North Korea closer than ever as Biden visits region
Thomas B. Edsall / New York Times:
The MAGA Formula Is Getting Darker and Darker
Discussion: Raw Story and News & Views …
 Earlier Items: 
Scoop: White House tries to soothe solar probe fallout
Jose Pagliery / The Daily Beast:
Trump's Billionaire Pal Watered Down GOP Platform on 9/11 for Saudis
Discussion: Raw Story
Sam Brodey / The Daily Beast:
Inside a Widow's Scorched-Earth Bid for Her Husband's Old Seat in Congress
Discussion: Raw Story
Rachel Monahan / Willamette Week:
Crypto-Backed Oregon Congressional Candidate Lost to Andrea Salinas Despite $13 Million in Backing
Tom Dreisbach / NPR:
A pro-Trump film suggests its data are so accurate, it solved a murder. That's false
Discussion: Mediaite and Crooks and Liars