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4:10 PM ET, October 27, 2021

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 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:
Michael Goodwin / New York Post:
Virginia voters vs. leftist agenda
Steven Nelson / New York Post:
Who's running, Joe? Biden says ‘Trump’ 24 times during Va. stump for McAuliffe
New York Times:
Facebook tells employees to preserve all communications for legal reasons.  —  Facebook has told employees to “preserve internal documents and communications since 2016” that pertain to its businesses because governments and legislative bodies have started inquiries into its operations …
Discussion: Slate and Politico, more at Techmeme »
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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 …
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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:
Matt Egan / CNN:NEW!
Marjorie Taylor Greene invested as much as $50,000 in the Trump SPAC before its stock plunged  —  New York (CNN Business)Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene bought as much as $50,000 worth of shares in a shell company that is merging with former President Donald Trump's new media venture, according to a financial disclosure form.
Discussion: New York Post and Joe.My.God.
RELATED:
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.
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.
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
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
Donald J. Trump / Wall Street Journal:
President Trump Responds on Pennsylvania's 2020 Election  —  Donald Trump writes a letter to the editor.  —  In your editorial “The Election for Pennsylvania's High Court” (Oct. 25), you state the fact that a court wrongly said mail-in ballots could be counted after Election Day.
Discussion: Raw Story
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:
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 …
Kevin Collier / NBC News:
Cybercriminals claim to have hacked the NRA  —  A notorious Russian cybercriminal group has posted what appear to be National Rifle Association files to the dark web.  —  The group, known as Grief, posted 13 files to its website Wednesday and claimed to have hacked the NRA.
Timothy Bella / Washington Post:
Florida judge rules Trump can't skirt Twitter's terms just because he was president in latest legal setback  —  A Florida federal judge ruled Tuesday that Donald Trump's status as a former president does not exclude him from following Twitter's terms of service, the latest setback in his quest …
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
Jonathan Turley / The Hill:
Warning: Joe Biden's ‘eat the rich’ pitch may come back to bite you  —  President Joe Biden has struggled to get the massive new spending bill through Congress with a pitch that would make Joe Isuzu blush: “We talk about price tags.  It is zero price tag” and “My Build Back Better agenda costs zero dollars.”
Discussion: Puck, GZERO and TaxProf Blog
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 …
Brian Schwartz / CNBC:
Major business groups prepare to fight new Democratic tax proposals for Biden social bill  — The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Business Roundtable are gearing up to fight new tax proposals in Congress as Democrats work to finish President Biden's social safety net and climate spending bill.
Discussion: Fast Company and The Hill
Mary Kekatos U.S. / Daily Mail:15 minutes ago
How did Florida end up with one of the best COVID-19 case and death rates in the US despite Gov Ron DeSantis refusing to implement mask or vaccine mandates?  — During the peak of the recent COVID-19 surge in Florida, the state was recording 101 cases per 100,000 people and 1.77 new deaths per 100,000
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:
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.
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  —  He's, admittedly, a fairly unsympathetic figure.  —  Alec Baldwin, the actor, short-time talk show host, Donald Trump impersonator and longtime blowhard and villain of the right …
Discussion: Raw Story
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
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 …
RealClearInvestigations:
All About the Bidens: Introducing RealClearInvestigations' Hunter Biden Reader  —  This is RealClearInvestigations' Hunter Biden Reader, a compendium of news reports aggregated across the political spectrum documenting the dubious dealings and apparent influence peddling of Joe Biden's errant son and other family members.
Discussion: Real Clear Politics
Bloomberg:20 minutes ago
Billionaire Tax Proposal Out of Biden Plan, Democrat Neal Says  —  The proposal to tax the unrealized gains of billionaires' assets is now out of President Joe Biden's economic agenda, House Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal says, Bloomberg News reports.  —  More information is available on the Bloomberg Terminal.
Discussion: Insider
 
 
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35 minutes ago
Donald J. Trump / Wall Street Journal:
President Trump Responds on Pennsylvania's 2020 Election   Find
 
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Ian Millhiser / Vox:
The Supreme Court case that could gut America's gun laws, explained
Discussion: Daily Kos and SCOTUSblog
The Federalist:
EXCLUSIVE: Biden FBI Joins Pelosi In Blocking GOP From Investigating January 6
Discussion: Instapundit
Lauren White / CREW:
New docs show Pompeo abused taxpayer dollars for lavish dinners
No Labels:
No Labels/HarrisX Poll: Voters Want Congress To Take Time To Debate Spending Bill
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
 Earlier Items: 
Associated Press:
Puerto Rico governor signs into law debt-restructuring bill
Discussion: The Hill and WTOP
Nancy Scola / New York Magazine:
Lina Khan Isn't Worried About Going Too Far
American Greatness:
America Gone Mad
Discussion: Instapundit
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