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1:40 PM ET, April 17, 2020

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 Top Items: 
Jason Wilson / The Guardian:
The rightwing groups behind wave of protests against Covid-19 restrictions  —  Protesters in Michigan and other states claim to speak for ordinary citizens, but are also supported by street-fighting far-right groups  —  A wave of planned anti-lockdown demonstrations that have broken out around …
Discussion: Raw Story, Politico and Daily Kos
RELATED:
Susan J. Demas / Michigan Advance:
Don't whitewash the GOP's extremism on full display during Whitmer protest  —  We were promised it wasn't a Republican protest.  We were promised people were just upset they couldn't golf or buy seeds (in stores) during a pandemic that's already killed 2,000 of their neighbors.
Discussion: Vox
Michael Kruse / Politico:
Donald Trump's Greatest Escape  —  His audacity masked his desperation.  —  It was the spring of 1995.  Donald Trump was this close to finished.  He had spent the previous five years constantly, and barely, avoiding financial ruin and what he worried would be a permanent stain of personal bankruptcy.
STAT:
Early peek at data on Gilead coronavirus drug suggests patients are responding to treatment  —  A Chicago hospital treating severe Covid-19 patients with Gilead Sciences' antiviral medicine remdesivir in a closely watched clinical trial is seeing rapid recoveries in fever and respiratory symptoms …
RELATED:
Washington Post:   U.S. stocks soar after coronavirus drug trial shows early promise against severe symptoms
Fred Imbert / CNBC:
Stocks cut gains, Dow now up 380 points
Discussion: Financial Times
Kara Scannell / CNN:
Michael Cohen will be released from prison due to pandemic  —  (CNN)The federal Bureau of Prisons has notified Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump's former personal attorney, that he will be released early from prison due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to people familiar with the matter and his lawyer.
Nick Miroff / Washington Post:
Smugglers sawed into Trump's border wall 18 times in one month in San Diego area, records show  —  Smugglers sawed into new sections of President Trump's border wall 18 times in the San Diego area during a single one-month span late last year, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection records obtained …
Sharon Begley / STAT:
Influential Covid-19 model uses flawed methods and shouldn't guide U.S. policies, critics say  —  A widely followed model for projecting Covid-19 deaths in the U.S. is producing results that have been bouncing up and down like an unpredictable fever, and now epidemiologists are criticizing …
Discussion: PJ Media Home
Adam Tschorn / Los Angeles Times:
Enough with the WFH sweatpants.  Dress like the adult you're getting paid to be  —  I've waited, watched and bit my tongue during the last month of the pandemic-induced work-from-home era but I just can't take it any more.  Please, can we all put away those sweatpants, ratty, gray …
Jason Johnson / TheGrio:
Joe Biden's VP pick better be a Black woman - and it needs to be Kamala Harris  —  OPINION: At this point, Biden's not trying to break box office records - he just doesn't want to flop.  —  Some casting decisions make sense the moment the movie is announced.
Discussion: MSNBC and NBC News
RELATED:
Alexi McCammond / Axios:
Poll: Warren tops VP appeal for Dem voters in Michigan and Wisconsin
Discussion: Daily Kos, Slate and CNN
Politico:
Matt Gaetz rents office space from longtime friend and donor — at taxpayer expense  —  Florida GOP Rep. Matt Gaetz has spent nearly $200,000 in taxpayer funds renting an office from a longtime friend, adviser, campaign donor and legal client.  —  Both men said in separate interviews Gaetz …
Discussion: Raw Story
Maggie Haberman / New York Times:
For Mark Meadows, Transition From Trump Confidant to Chief of Staff Is a Hard One  —  Weeks into the job, Mr. Meadows has confronted the same problems that frustrated his three predecessors.  It hasn't helped him with his new White House colleagues that he's emotional and sometimes cries.
Masha Gessen / New Yorker:
We Won't Know the Exact Moment When Democracy Dies  —  In the early days of the Trump Presidency, there was a lot of speculation about when, if, and how we would pass the point of no return, when we would know that American democracy had been destroyed.  That conversation faded after a while, drowned out by the din of Trumpian news.
Katie Shepherd / Washington Post:
After Fauci urged caution in reopening the economy, Fox News turned to Dr. Phil for a second opinion  —  After Anthony S. Fauci, the nation's leading infectious disease expert, explained the White House's new guidelines for states to slowly reopen their economies in a three-phase process …
Discussion: Mediaite, TheGrio, HuffPost and The Week
RELATED:
Michael Tomasky / The Daily Beast:
Trump's Culture Warriors Are a Literal Death Cult Now  —  In Trumpworld, reopening is just a matter of will.  And strength.  And devotion to the leader.  —  BEAST INSIDE  —  You know where this is headed, right?  We all know.  Donald Trump and the Republicans are going to turn …
Discussion: Raw Story
Susan B. Glasser / New Yorker:
Trump's Pandemic Plan: “Absolute Authority,” No Responsibility  —  The novel coronavirus brings out the same old, same old President.  —  A week ago, President Trump foreshadowed his growing anxiety over when and how to end the Great Shutdown, a decision he is well aware will have existential consequences …
Brooke Singman / Fox News:
Trump slams Pelosi, Schumer over lack of small business relief amid coronavirus  —  President Trump blasted House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer for failing to come to an agreement on additional funding for small businesses amid the c oronavirus crisis …
Discussion: Politico, New York Post and The Hill
RELATED:
Politico:   Phone tag and snubs: Bitter leadership feuds undermine pandemic relief
Associated Press:
Coronavirus could complicate Trump's path to reelection  —  NEW YORK (AP) — The coronavirus is poised to reshape the political map, pummeling battleground states and alarming Republicans who see early signs of an election that could be a referendum on President Donald Trump's management of the crisis.
Discussion: Politico and Talking Points Memo
Jonathan Swan / Axios:
Trump's coronavirus self-protection plan: Spread responsibility to the states  —  President Trump's reopening plan includes lots of hurdles for states, but the key factor for him was that he got to fire the pistol, Axios' Jonathan Swan reports.  —  Why it matters: Even though he's delegating to governors …
David Smiley / Miami Herald:
Florida blocks COVID-19 information from public as Gov. Ron DeSantis touts transparency  —  When the Miami Herald sought information from the Miami-Dade Medical Examiner's Office last month about COVID-19 deaths in the epicenter of Florida's coronavirus outbreak, attorneys …
Discussion: Raw Story and The Week
New York Times:
Bill Gates, at Odds With Trump on Virus, Becomes a Right-Wing Target  —  The Microsoft co-founder turned philanthropist has been attacked with falsehoods that he created the coronavirus and wants to profit from it.  —  In a 2015 speech, Bill Gates warned that the greatest risk to humanity …
Discussion: The Verge and New York Post
Brett Samuels / The Hill:
Trump appears to back those protesting social distancing measures  —  President Trump on Friday appeared to back protesters in three states with Democratic governors who are gathering in opposition to extended stay-at-home orders and other restrictions meant to limit the spread of the coronavirus.
Discussion: Washington Post, IJR and Political Wire
Justin Baragona / The Daily Beast:
Loeffler to Fox News: Criticizing My Coronavirus Stock Trades Is Just a ‘Socialist Attack’  —  “This is a political attack that is designed to distract from the issue at hand and to use this outbreak to play politics,” she insisted.  —  Embattled Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-GA) …
CNN:
Time to fire Jared and Ivanka  —  / AFP PHOTO / MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)  —  Peter Bergen is CNN's national security analyst, a vice president at New America and a professor of practice at Arizona State University.
Michael Warren / CNN:
Heartland hotspots: A sudden rise in coronavirus cases is hitting rural states without stay-at-home orders  —  NY Gov extends stay-at-home order until at least May 15th  —  Washington (CNN)The test results came back on Easter Sunday.  Tammy had been feeling “kind of crappy” …
Ryan Lizza / Politico:
My Wild, Totally Surreal Experience Covering a Trump Coronavirus Briefing  —  “Your forehead, please,” said the woman in a mask.  —  She was a medical technician sitting in a tent outside the northwest gate of the White House in the otherwise deserted section of Pennsylvania Avenue that is usually crammed with tourists in April.
Greg Sargent / Washington Post:
Here's a state that's quietly reversing the tea party's damage  —  A decade ago, the tea party movement — remember them? — helped power a smashing Republican victory in the 2010 midterms, leading not just to GOP control of the House of Representatives, but also to a massive Republican takeover in state governments across the country.
Agence France-Presse:
Coronavirus updates: China's official death toll jumps after major revision  —  The coronavirus has killed more than 147,000 people around the world, including over 33,300 people in the United States, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.  The number of people who were infected …
The Daily Beast:
Army Decides a Pandemic Is a Good Time to Give GOP Donors $569 Million to ‘Build the Wall’  —  What coronavirus crisis?  Big Republican donors get a half-billion dollar, no-bid deal that one watchdog calls “a travesty that must be investigated and audited immediately.”  —  BEAST INSIDE
Keith Bradsher / New York Times:
China's Economy Shrinks, Ending a Nearly Half-Century of Growth  —  The contraction comes at a time when the rest of the world needs an economic boost, underscoring how momentous the task of reviving the global economy will be.  —  The Americans Who Straggled in Good Times, and Now Struggle in a Crisis
Reuters:
Coronavirus clue?  Most cases aboard U.S. aircraft carrier are symptom-free  —  WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Sweeping testing of the entire crew of the coronavirus-stricken U.S. aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt may have revealed a clue about the pandemic: The majority of the positive cases …
Marty Johnson / The Hill:
Beaches, parks to reopen in Jacksonville, Fla., on Friday  —  The mayor of Jacksonville, Fla., said that the city's beaches and parks will reopen at 5 p.m. Friday, but with restrictions as the coronavirus outbreak continues across the state and country.  —  The beaches and parks will be open …
Discussion: COJ.net and New York Post
Michelle Ye Hee Lee / Washington Post:
Democratic super PAC launches $15 million ad blitz slamming Trump on China and coronavirus  —  American Bridge has launched a counterattack as Trump and his allies attack Biden on China's role in the spread of coronavirus.  —  A Democratic super PAC has launched a $15 million ad campaign …
Discussion: Raw Story and The Hill
Jennifer Rubin / Washington Post:
Trump doesn't do much other than create chaos  —  President Trump earlier this week insisted that governors report to him and he has “total” control.  Neither is true.  And while it is true that there is a complex, difficult task for the federal government to perform in reactivating the economy …
Discussion: Raw Story, POLITICUSUSA and Gallup
John Haltiwanger / Business Insider:
The Trump administration paid a bankrupt company with zero employees $55 million for N95 masks, which it's never manufactured  — The Trump administration has awarded a $55 million contract for N95 masks to a company with no experience producing medical supplies and whose parent company filed for bankruptcy protection last year.
Discussion: Lawyers, Guns & Money
Katherine Rosman / New York Times:
Ivanka Trump and George Stephanopoulos Reach the ‘Corona-Shaming’ Phase of the Pandemic  —  Ivanka Trump, Chris Cuomo and all kinds of private citizens are getting roasted on social media for perceived failures of public hygiene.  —  On April 10, the television anchor George Stephanopoulos went …
Discussion: Althouse
Leon Sverdlov / Jerusalem Post:
Yair Netanyahu tweets leftists will die of coronavirus following protest  —  “I hope the elderly people who die following this protest will be from your bloc,” the younger Netanyahu junior wrote on Twitter.  —  Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's son Yair Netanyahu caused controversy Thursday night …
 
 
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 More Items: 
Kimberley A. Strassel / Wall Street Journal:
Moving the Shutdown Goal Posts
Discussion: Twitchy
David Wasserman / NBC News:
Coronavirus could cripple voting in November. But it depends where you live.
New York Times:
Loyal Trump Backer Is Now a Face of the Administration's Virus Response
Discussion: CNN
Jeremiah Poff / The College Fix:
University official says COVID-19 may have originated in the United States
Discussion: Breitbart
Jack Rubinstein / Cincinnati.com:
I want my kids to get coronavirus - and you should too
Discussion: Raw Story
Joy Pullmann / The Federalist:
We Are Making American Kids Pay For Coronavirus Shutdowns, And That's Unfair
Robert Zimmerman / Behind The Black:
Trump bows to bureaucrats, unveils a never-ending 3-phase program to end shutdowns
Discussion: Instapundit and The Gateway Pundit
 Earlier Items: 
Tim Mullaney / The Independent:
Trump is lying — keeping the lockdown won't kill more people than coronavirus, and I have the economic proof
Discussion: Raw Story
David Freedlander / Vanity Fair:
Does the King of the COVID-19 Contrarians Have a Case?
Discussion: Raw Story and VICE
Ian Shapira / Washington Post:
He risked his life photographing the 1961 Freedom Riders.  Theodore Gaffney just died from the coronavirus at 92.
Kendall Karson / ABC News:
Country grows more pessimistic about a return to normalcy post-coronavirus: POLL
Discussion: New York Post, Mediaite and Contemptor
Jeremy W. Peters / Chicago Tribune:
Why Michael Savage is blasting Sean Hannity and the right-wing media on the coronavirus
Michael Grunwald / Politico:
What AOC Gets that Bernie Didn't
Matt Donnelly / Variety:
‘Ellen’ Crew Furious Over Poor Communication Regarding Pay, Non-Union Workers During Coronavirus Shutdown (EXCLUSIVE)
Discussion: The Daily Caller