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12:50 PM ET, September 8, 2016


 Top Items: 
Michael M. Grynbaum / New York Times:
Matt Lauer Fields Storm of Criticism Over Clinton-Trump Forum  —  It was a high-stakes political moment, far from the chummier confines of the “Today” show and, for Matt Lauer, NBC's stalwart of the morning, a chance to prove his broadcasting mettle on the presidential stage.  —  The consensus afterward was not kind.
Jonathan Chait / New York Magazine:
Matt Lauer's Pathetic Interview of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump Is the Scariest Thing I've Seen in This Campaign  —  I had not taken seriously the possibility that Donald Trump could win the presidency until I saw Matt Lauer host an hour-long interview with the two major party candidates.
Matthew Yglesias / Vox:
Matt Lauer totally blew it on Trump's blatant lying about Iraq and Libya  —  “I heard Hillary Clinton say I was not against the war in Iraq,” Donald Trump told Matt Lauer during Wednesday night's Commander-in-Chief Forum.  “I was totally against the war in Iraq.  You can look at Esquire magazine from 2004.
Michael Calderone / The Huffington Post:
Matt Lauer Failed The Moderator Test  —  At NBC's “Commander-in-Chief Forum,” the host let Donald Trump slide on false Iraq and Libya claims he's made all campaign.  —  NEW YORK Wednesday night's “Commander-in-Chief Forum” on NBC should have gone down as the first time the two 2016 presidential candidate shared a stage.
Aaron Blake / Washington Post:
Donald Trump's thoroughly strange claim about his Mexico visit
Discussion: NPR and New York Magazine
NBC News:
Analysis: Trump Is Erratic, Clinton Defensive in Veterans Forum
Aaron Blake / Washington Post:
The first Hillary Clinton vs. Donald Trump showdown of 2016, annotated
Matt Flegenheimer / New York Times:
Here's What You Missed in the Presidential Forum
Mexican senator proposes bill to protect country from Donald Trump
Alan Rappeport / New York Times:
‘What Is Aleppo?’  Gary Johnson Asks, in an Interview Stumble  —  Gary Johnson, the former New Mexico governor and Libertarian Party presidential nominee, revealed a surprising lack of foreign policy knowledge on Thursday that could rock his insurgent candidacy when he could not answer …
Daniel Strauss / Politico:
Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson: ‘What is Aleppo?’  —  Asked what he would do about the Syrian city of Aleppo, the region at the center of that nation's civil war and refugee crisis, Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson responded by asking, “what is Aleppo?”
Jordyn Phelps / ABC News:
Gary Johnson Explains Aleppo Mistake
Discussion: Politico
Daniel Strauss / Politico:
Gary Johnson explains Aleppo flub: ‘I blanked’
Ryan Lovelace / Washington Examiner:
Veteran confronts Clinton on handling of classified info  —  A veteran confronted Hillary Clinton about her handling of classified information as secretary of state during a presidential forum on Wednesday.  —  An Air Force and Navy veteran, who said he held “the top secret sensitive …
Byron York / Washington Examiner:
As debates near, forum shows potential Trump advantage  —  NBC's “Commander in Chief Forum,” held Wednesday night aboard the USS Intrepid in New York, was the closest thing to a debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton until the real thing on Sept. 26.
Discussion: Instapundit
Jeremy Herb / Politico:
‘Embarrassing to our country’: Trump suggests he'll fire top generals
Discussion: RedState
Peter Baker / New York Times:
On Israeli TV, Hillary Clinton Says Terrorists Are Praying for a Trump Victory  —  JERUSALEM — Hillary Clinton suggested in a television interview in Israel, broadcast on Thursday, that the Islamic State is “rooting for Donald Trump's victory” and that terrorists are praying, “Please, Allah, make Trump president of America.”
Louis Nelson / Politico:
Clinton laments how Trump ‘trash talked’ generals
Discussion: ABC News and New Century Times
The Hill:
Media doesn't ask Clinton about emails  —  was never asked about her controversial private email server or her family's foundation during her first formal press conference in 278 days on Thursday.  —  Clinton, the Democratic presidential nominee, addressed reporters on the tarmac in White Plains …
Katherine Krueger / Talking Points Memo:
WATCH LIVE: Clinton To Hold Press Conference On NY Tarmac At 9:15 AM ET
Discussion: Balloon Juice
Lisa Boothe / Washington Examiner:   FBI notes undercut Clinton's biggest selling point
Amie Parnes / The Hill:
Clinton campaign warns media to tread carefully  —  's campaign is working the refs hard when it comes to reports about her health.  —  While Clinton responded to a fit of coughing this week with humor, saying she was “allergic” to GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump
Nick Allen / Telegraph:
‘Hacking Hillary’: Clinton's cough becomes latest flash point in US presidential election
Discussion: Infowars
Texas high school shooting: 1 shot; 2 on loose, police say  —  (CNN)One person has been shot at Alpine High School in western Texas, and two shooters are believed to be on the loose, the Brewster County Sheriff's office said Thursday.  —  CNN Map  —  The school has been placed on lockdown, the school district said.
Katie Glueck / Politico:
Trump's shrinking swing state map  —  Two months from Election Day, Donald Trump's swing state map is shrinking.  —  Interviews with more than two dozen Republican operatives, state party officials and elected leaders suggest three of the 11 battleground states identified by POLITICO …
Discussion: The Week
Eric Fehrnstrom /
Are Clinton's memory lapses a health issue, or just dishonest dodging?  —  THE STORIES ABOUT Hillary Clinton's failing health at first glance seemed like more vapors from the gaseous swamp of this year's toxic presidential race.  The coughing fits, a photo showing her being assisted in walking …
Paul Joseph Watson / Infowars:
Was Hillary Wearing an Earpiece During Last Night's Presidential Forum?  —  Conservative actor James Woods: “She can't even lie without help”  —  Was Hillary Clinton wearing an earpiece during last night's presidential forum?  That's the latest question swirling around the Internet …
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 More Items: 
Mark Hensch / The Hill:
Clinton ad shows Trump as callous to vets
Discussion: Salon and Hullabaloo
Associated Press:
Hawaiian seafood caught by foreign crews confined on boats
Discussion: Guardian and Associated Press
New York Times:
Obama on Climate Change: The Trends Are ‘Terrifying’
Discussion: JustOneMinute and Pirate's Cove
Greg Toppo / USA Today:
Is Wisc. teen's decision to die a turning point?
Discussion: and National Review
Michael Auslen / miamiherald:
Unraveling the controversy of Trump's $25,000 donation to Pam Bondi
 Earlier Items: 
Jim Geraghty / National Review:
The Problem with Temporarily Embracing Julian Assange
Discussion: Hot Air and RealClearPolitics
Morning Call:
Union workers walk out at Just Born, maker of Peeps, in first strike in decades
Discussion: WCMH-TV
Elizabeth Warren / New York Times:
What Apple Teaches Us About Taxes
Discussion: Business Insider
Morning Consult:
50-State Poll: Hillary Clinton Still Leads Where It Matters
Discussion: Guardian
Alexander Bolton / The Hill:
Dems sound alarm on Senate majority