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8:45 PM ET, July 26, 2017


 Top Items: 
Josh Dawsey / Politico:
Inside Trump's snap decision to ban transgender troops  —  After a week sparring with his attorney general and steaming over the Russia investigation consuming his agenda, President Donald Trump was closing in on an important win.  —  House Republicans were planning to pass a spending bill stacked …
STATEMENT BY SASC CHAIRMAN JOHN McCAIN ON TRANSGENDER AMERICANS IN THE MILITARY  —  Washington, D.C. ­- U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ), Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, released the following statement today on President Trump's tweet regarding transgender Americans in the military:
Christopher Ingraham / Washington Post:
The military spends five times as much on Viagra as it would on transgender troops' medical care  —  On Twitter this morning, President Trump announced a ban on transgender people serving in the military, citing “medical costs” as the primary driver of the decision.
Paul Szoldra / Business Insider:
Kristin Beck, transgender Navy SEAL hero: 'Let's meet face to face and you tell me I'm not worthy'  —  A retired Navy SEAL Team 6 hero who is transgender had a message for President Donald Trump after he announced the US military would bar transgender people from serving.
Discussion: CNN, Splinter, The Week, IJR, Task & Purpose and AOL
Cora Lewis / BuzzFeed:
Trump Says Transgender People Cannot “Serve In Any Capacity” In The Military  —  He made the announcement on Twitter on Wednesday.  —  President Trump tweeted on Wednesday that transgender people cannot “serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military,” repeating a claim from conservative Republicans …
New York Times:
Trump Says Transgender People Will Not Be Allowed in the Military
Jonathan Swan / Axios:
Pence, Bannon pushed for transgender troop ban
Discussion: Mediaite
Jason Noble / Des Moines Register:
Ernst breaks with Trump on transgender military ban
Media Matters for America:   Before Trump banned transgender people from serving in military, here's who praised him as pro-LGBTQ
Stephen Losey / Air Force Times:
Transgender airman: ‘I would like to see them try to kick me out of my military’NEW!
Discussion: VICE News and Mashable
Mark K. Matthews / Denver Post:
Colorado Republican Ken Buck: “Any American ... should be allowed to serve” …
Discussion: The Atlantic
The Hill:
Trump to ban transgender people from all military service
Page Six:
‘Dancing with the Stars’ wants Sean Spicer … Sean Spicer is taking his first steps to transition from the White House briefing room to the bright lights of a TV news studio — but he's also being courted by “Dancing with the Stars,” Page Six has learned.  —  The outgoing press secretary spent …
Kashmir Hill / Splinter:
Why Did Jared Kushner Download an Encrypted, Disappearing Message App?  —  The list of people interested in Jared Kushner's communications history keeps growing: This week, the White House advisor and presidential son-in-law voluntarily handed over documents to the Senate intelligence committee …
Discussion: Raw Story
Tara Palmeri / Politico:
‘Dancing With the Stars’ wants to waltz with Spicer
Discussion: TVNewser and The Root
Jonathan Chait / New York Magazine:
The ‘Skinny Bill’ Is a Farce.  Here's the Real Reason Republicans Are Doing It.  —  At times, various factions in Congress have called for repealing, replacing, or repairing Obamacare.  Senate Republicans have been unable to agree on which of these ends to pursue, and so instead …
Discussion: Daily Kos
Seung Min Kim / Politico:
‘Skinny’ Obamacare repeal still lacks votes to pass  —  Even a bare-bones repeal of Obamacare is no sure thing in the Senate.  —  A handful of key Republican senators who had spurned earlier overtures from GOP leadership endorsed the latest plan to gut Obamacare's individual and employer coverage mandates and its medical device tax.
Dylan Scott / Vox:
The latest vote to repeal Obamacare fails in the Senate  —  But the debate lives on.  —  The Senate failed Wednesday to advance a bill that would have partially repealed Obamacare without replacing it, another step in the Senate health care debate that is likely heading toward a much more scaled-down bill.
Jordain Carney / The Hill:
Senate rejects repeal-only ObamaCare plan
Ryan Grim / The Intercept:
Steve Bannon Pushing For 44 Percent Marginal Tax Rate On The Very Rich  —  Top White House adviser Steve Bannon is pushing for tax reform to include a new 44 percent top marginal tax rate, hitting people who earn more than $5 million a year, with the revenue paying for tax cuts for the rest …
Ross Douthat / New York Times:
A Trump Tower of Absolute Folly  —  Donald Trump's campaign against his attorney general, Jeff Sessions, in which he is seemingly attempting to insult and humiliate and tweet-shame Sessions into resignation, is an insanely stupid exercise.  It is a multitiered tower of political idiocy …
Tucker Calrissian Tonight
Oliver Darcy / CNNMoney:
Matt Drudge is firing warning shots at Trump, and that should worry the president  —  Conway: White House staff is tough, but humble  —  Matt Drudge has been in the White House an awful lot these days — “all the time,” as one senior administration official puts it.
Discussion: The Week
Josh Rogin / Washington Post:
State Department head of diplomatic security resigns  —  The head of the State Department's diplomatic security bureau has resigned and will leave his post on Thursday, leaving the two top positions vacant for the foreseeable future in the bureau in charge of embassy security around the world.
CBS News:
State Department feels the pain of vacancies20 minutes ago
Discussion: ABC News
Tom Winter / NBC News:
DOJ: Ex-Manafort Associate Firtash Is Top-Tier Comrade of Russian Mobsters  —  The Department of Justice has identified a former business associate of ex-Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort as an “upper-echelon [associate] of Russian organized crime.”  —  The declaration came in a 115-page filing …
Discussion: Raw Story and Political Wire
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:
Foxconn to announce billions in investments and thousands of jobs for Wisconsin  —  MADISON - Foxconn Technology Group will announce at the White House on Wednesday its plans to build a massive plant in Wisconsin that would employ thousands.  —  The project could reshape the economy …
Dominic Holden / BuzzFeed:
The Justice Department Just Argued Against Gay Rights In A Major Federal Case  —  Lawyers under Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in federal court that 1964 civil rights law does not protect a gay employee from discrimination.  —  Reporting From Washington, DC
Discussion: Raw Story
Billy House / Bloomberg:
Gowdy Acted Like Kushner's Lawyer Behind Closed Doors, Democrat Says  —  Gowdy says Democrats ‘ran out of questions’ for Kushner  —  Intelligence panel interviewed Kushner as part of Russia probe  —  Republican Trey Gowdy acted behind closed doors like a lawyer for President Donald Trump's son-in-law …
Discussion: Weekly Standard and Politico
The Hill:
Welcome to The Hill's 50 Most Beautiful!  —  After receiving hundreds upon hundreds of nominations, it was tough to choose just 50.  —  But following a lot of debate, we finalized this year's winners.  —  There is one thing that's different than our prior lists.
Evgenia Peretz / Vanity Fair:
Angelina Jolie Solo  —  Photographs by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott.  Styled by Jessica Diehl. … Like most things involving Angelina Jolie, stepping foot into her house is an experience so heightened one wonders if it's for real or the product of careful orchestration.
New York Times:
Health Care Vote: Senate Rejects Repeal Without Replace  —  • The Senate on Wednesday afternoon rejected a proposal to repeal major parts of the Affordable Care Act without providing a replacement.  Follow the live vote tracker to see how each senator voted.
Scientists dim sunlight, suck up carbon dioxide to cool planet  —  OSLO (Reuters) - Scientists are sucking carbon dioxide from the air with giant fans and preparing to release chemicals from a balloon to dim the sun's rays as part of a climate engineering push to cool the planet.
Discussion: and VICE News
 New Item Finder: 
20 minutes ago
CBS News:
State Department feels the pain of vacancies   Find
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 More Items: 
Noreen Malone / New York Magazine:
Zoë and the Trolls  —  Video-game designer Zoë Quinn …
Isaac Stanley-Becker / Washington Post:
In Germany, Merkel welcomed hundreds of thousands of refugees. Now many are suing her government.
Ben Smith / BuzzFeed:
Trump Is Failing As A President. But He's Succeeding As Reality TV.
Los Angeles Times:
Op-Ed What military recruiters aren't telling women: You'll face disproportionate health risks
Discussion: Hot Air and National Review
Brian Fung / Washington Post:
Trump's treasury secretary is ‘looking closely’ at online sales taxes
Discussion: Shareblue
Creepy clown with a machete arrested in Waterboro
Mark Joseph Stern / Slate:
This Is a Safe Space. No Jews Allowed.
Discussion: Chicagoist and Red Alert Politics
 Earlier Items: 
Heather Long / Washington Post:
Trump has always had high marks on the economy. Now that's slipping
Elaina Plott / Washingtonian:
Eric Cantor: “If You've Got That Anger Working for You, You're Gonna Let It Be”
Discussion: The Gateway Pundit
McKay Coppins / The Atlantic:
Jeff Flake's Gamble
Charles C. W. Cooke / National Review:
Mr. President, Please Be Quiet