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1:00 PM ET, May 16, 2020


 Top Items: 
Trump ousts State Department watchdog  —  President Donald Trump has removed State Department Inspector General Steve Linick and replaced him with an ally of Vice President Mike Pence — the latest in a series of moves against independent government watchdogs in recent months.
Aaron Blake / Washington Post:
Trump's slow-moving Friday night massacre of inspectors general  —  The Friday news dump — also known as the Friday night news dump — is a political trick with plenty of precedent.  Wait till the vast majority of the news business clocks out for on the week, and announce something you'd rather they not cover as much.
Discussion: The Daily Caller
State Department inspector general becomes the latest watchdog fired by Trump  —  Washington (CNN)President Donald Trump on Friday fired State Department Inspector General Steve Linick, the latest in a series of dismissals of independent government watchdogs that have come in the wake …
Discussion: Lawyers, Guns & Money
New York Times:
Trump Removes State Dept. Inspector General  —  Steve A. Linick will be replaced by an ambassador with close ties to Vice President Mike Pence, the department said Friday night.  —  WASHINGTON — President Trump continued his purge of inspectors general late Friday, moving to oust Steve A. Linick …
Conor Finnegan / ABC News:
Trump fires IG said to be investigating Pompeo, involved in impeachment probe  —  Inspector General Steve Linick will be replaced by a Trump appointee.  —  The White House fired the State Department Inspector General late Friday, according to a State Department spokesperson …
Speaker Nancy Pelosi:
Pelosi Statement on Late-Night Firing of State Department Inspector General  —  Washington, D.C. - Speaker Nancy Pelosi issued this statement after the President fired State Department Inspector General Steve Linick:  —  “The President's late-night, weekend firing of the State Department Inspector General …
Discussion: The Hill
House Foreign Affairs Committee:
Engel Statement on the Firing of Inspector General Linick  —  Washington—Representative Eliot L. Engel, Chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, this evening made the following statement on the President's removal of State Department Inspector General Steve Linick:
Michele Kelemen / NPR:
Trump Removes State Department Inspector General Steve Linick
Discussion: POLITICUSUSA and Raw Story
Hannah Knowles / Washington Post:
State Department inspector general fired; Democrats decry ‘dangerous pattern of retaliation’
Discussion: Mother Jones and Politico
Lindsay Wise / Wall Street Journal:
Trump Fires State Department Inspector General
Discussion: Townhall and Fox News
Matthew Lee / Associated Press:
Pompeo fires State Dept. watchdog critical of Trump moves
Discussion: Slate and Raw Story
Two Coasts.  One Virus.  How New York Suffered Nearly 10 Times the Number of Deaths as California.  —  California's governor and San Francisco's mayor worked together to act early in confronting the COVID threat.  For Andrew Cuomo and Bill de Blasio, it was a different story, and 27,000 New Yorkers have died so far.
Washington Post:
We could stop the pandemic by July 4 if the government took these steps  —  A $74 billion investment in testing, tracing and isolation could rescue the economy — quickly  —  With the unemployment rate at its highest level since the Great Depression — 14.7 percent and climbing …
Tal Axelrod / The Hill:
FDA halts Bill Gates coronavirus testing program  —  The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) halted a coronavirus testing program promoted by billionaire Bill Gates and Seattle health officials pending reviews.  —  The program sought to send test kits to the homes of people both healthy …
Jonathan Chait / New York Magazine:
New Reporting Increases Doubts on Tara Reade's Allegation Against Joe Biden  —  When Tara Reade first made her assault allegation against Joe Biden, I thought the charge was more likely to be true than false.  To be clear, I had no intention of changing my vote.
New York Times:
A Sitting President, Riling the Nation During a Crisis  —  By smearing his opponents, championing conspiracy theories and pursuing vendettas, President Tru​mp has reverted to his darkest political tactics in spite of a pandemic hurting millions of Americans.
Discussion: Raw Story
James Brooks / Anchorage Daily News:
Alaska legislator compares pandemic safety measures at Capitol to Nazi treatment of Jews  —  JUNEAU — A Nikiski Republican lawmaker opposed to pandemic safety measures at the Alaska Capitol compared them to Nazi Germany's labeling of Jews in an email exchange Friday with fellow members of the Alaska House of Representatives.
Discussion: Raw Story
Sister Toldjah / Redstate:
Reporter Asks Kayleigh McEnany to Explain Obamagate and the Crimes Allegedly Committed, Immediately Regrets It  —  White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany continues to impress.  —  During today's White House press briefing, McEnany was asked by CBS News Radio correspondent Steven Portnoy …
Jack Shafer / Politico:
How Not to Listen to Donald Trump
Peter Nicholas / The Atlantic:
Trump's Cordon Un-sanitaire  —  No White House reporter I've ever known was looking to harm anyone, much less the president of the United States, but the federal government never took chances.  Covering Barack Obama and now Donald Trump, I can't recall a single instance when the security cordon surrounding the president frayed.
Washington Post:
Drug promoted by Trump as coronavirus ‘game changer’ increasingly linked to deaths  —  For two months, President Trump repeatedly pitched hydroxychloroquine as a safe and effective treatment for coronavirus, asking would-be patients “What the hell do you have to lose?”
Discussion: Houston Chronicle
Carrie Campbell Severino / National Review:
The Woke Left's Assault on the Rule of Law  —  Ever since Donald Trump's election, liberal judges have aligned themselves with the political “resistance,” holding this administration to a different standard from its predecessors.  As I have written before, we have seen this trend …
CNN:   Behind the Justice Department's split over the Flynn dismissal
New York Times:
Now More Than Ever, Facebook Is a ‘Mark Zuckerberg Production’  —  For years, he was an obsessive C.E.O. in some ways, distant in others.  Then Facebook's problems became too acute to leave to anyone else.  —  SAN FRANCISCO — On Jan. 27, at a regularly scheduled Monday morning meeting …
Deb Riechmann / Associated Press:
Trump's emergency powers worry some senators, legal experts  —  FILE - In this March 12, 2020, file photo, President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington.  On March 12, during the meeting …
Washington Post:
Trump sets goal of hundreds of millions of coronavirus vaccine doses by January, but scientists doubt it  —  Some warn it's dangerous to set a timetable, given the scientific unknowns and the danger of rushing testing.  —  President Trump formally unveiled an initiative Friday afternoon aimed …
Trump downplays the need for coronavirus vaccine: 'It'll go away at some point'
Associated Press:
Wisconsin again?  Swing state a hotbed of virus politics  —  MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin has been the battleground for political proxy wars for nearly a decade, the backdrop for bruising feuds over labor unions, executive power, redistricting and President Donald Trump.
Discussion: Axios
Elaina Plott / New York Times:
Stacey Abrams Wants More Than the Vice Presidency  —  She wants the Democrats to reach a different kind of swing voter — those who otherwise stay home.  And she says she can help Joe Biden do it.  —  The clapping hands appeared on the screen one, two, a flurry of emojis flashing under …
Jeremy Fowler / ESPN:
NFL proposal would improve draft picks for minority hires  —  The NFL is considering improving draft picks for teams that hire minority candidates as head coaches or general managers, sources confirmed to ESPN.  —  Under the proposal, aimed at fixing diversity problems leaguewide …
Discussion:, Just The News and Breitbart
New York Times:
Intelligence Chief Reduces Size of Counterterrorism Office  —  The cuts to the National Counterterrorism Center were smaller than some former officials feared.  The changes will allow intelligence agencies to shift personnel to other threats.  —  WASHINGTON — The acting intelligence chief announced …
Discussion: ODNI Newsroom and Axios
Victoria F. Piccoli / ODNI Newsroom:
Director of National Intelligence Announces Changes to Election Security Briefings
Discussion: The Gateway Pundit
Maggie Severns / Politico:
Burr's alleged conflicts extend beyond his coronavirus-related stock trades  —  The insider trading investigation stemming from Sen. Richard Burr's sale of stocks ahead of the coronavirus pandemic highlights the North Carolina Republican's long record of investing in companies with business …
Discussion: Raw Story
New York Times:
Coronavirus Is No Reason to Shield Businesses From Liability  —  A heedless rush to protect businesses from the legal system endangers workers, customers and everyone else.  —  The editorial board is a group of opinion journalists whose views are informed by expertise, research, debate and certain longstanding values.
Discussion: Raw Story
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 More Items: 
Allysia Finley / Wall Street Journal:
The Lockdown Skeptic They Couldn't Silence
Discussion: Power Line
Koh Gui Qing / Reuters:
Exclusive: U.S. Justice Dept. subpoenas Wall Street banks for small business loans info - sources
Discussion: The Hill and New York Post
Annie Palmer / CNBC:
Amazon declines to commit to Jeff Bezos testimony in Congress
Discussion: Politico
Corinne Gretler / Bloomberg:
Tobacco-Based Coronavirus Vaccine Poised for Human Tests
Sara Fischer / Axios:
The Economist Group lays off 90
Zak Cheney-Rice / New York Magazine:
The Coronavirus Makes Trump's Cruelty Toward Indian Country Even More Deadly
Barbara Sprunt / NPR:
Trump, Unveiling Space Force Flag, Touts What He Calls New ‘Super-Duper Missile’
 Earlier Items: 
Todd Spangler / Variety:
Law Firm Hackers Claim to Have Dirt on Donald Trump, Up Data Ransom to $42M
Discussion: The Hill and POLITICUSUSA
Mike DeBonis / Washington Post:
House changes its rules during pandemic, allowing remote voting for the first time in its 231-year history
Alexander Nazaryan / Yahoo News:
Newly reopened South Florida seen as an emerging coronavirus hotspot
‘He lied on national television’: Trump says truckers protesting industry problems are actually honking to support him
Discussion: IJR
Josh Feldman / Mediaite:
Dan Abrams: Based on All We Know Right Now, ‘This Obamagate Theory Is 100 Percent Bullsh*t’
Discussion: Daily Kos
Stephanie M. Lee / BuzzFeed News:
JetBlue's Founder Helped Fund A Stanford Study That Said The Coronavirus Wasn't That Deadly
Brian Schwartz / CNBC:
Mike Bloomberg plots spending blitz to support Joe Biden's run for president
Manu Raju / CNN:
GOP congressman on why he's not wearing a mask: 'There's just no need'
Discussion: The Hill and Talking Points Memo