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3:45 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-motion 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
Conor Finnegan / ABC News:   Trump fires IG said to be investigating Pompeo, involved in impeachment probe
State Department inspector general becomes the latest watchdog fired by Trump
House Foreign Affairs Committee:
Engel Statement on the Firing of Inspector General Linick
New York Times:   Trump Removes State Dept. Inspector General
Hannah Knowles / Washington Post:
Top Democrats launch investigation into late-night firing of the State Department inspector general
Discussion: Mother Jones and Politico
Speaker Nancy Pelosi:
Pelosi Statement on Late-Night Firing of State Department Inspector General
Discussion: The Hill
Michele Kelemen / NPR:
Trump Removes State Department Inspector General Steve Linick
Discussion: Law & Crime, Raw Story and POLITICUSUSA
Lindsay Wise / Wall Street Journal:
Trump Fires State Department Inspector General
Discussion: Fox News and Townhall
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.
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: The Hill and Raw Story
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 …
USA Today:
I sent masks to health workers but the Trump administration seized them instead of helping  —  One month ago, as COVID-19 spread across the county and critical personal protective equipment (PPE) like masks, gloves, surgical gowns and face shields continued to be in short supply …
Discussion: Raw Story
Paul Kane / Washington Post:
Trump's GOP ‘party of health care’ has no coverage plan for millions amid pandemic  —  President Trump left no doubt what he wanted his GOP allies to focus on, diverting to the TV cameras before he entered a private huddle of Senate Republicans.  —  “Let me tell you exactly what my message is …
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 …
Chris Joyner / Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
Georgia candidates embrace group with extremist ties  —  A Georgia state representative running for Congress is facing criticism from across the political spectrum for a photo showing him alongside a longtime white supremacist activist from Dahlonega.  —  The photo shows Rep. Matt Gurtler …
Discussion: Raw Story
Rory Appleton / Las Vegas Review-Journal:
Horsford admits to extramarital affair after podcaster discloses relationship  —  Congressman Steven Horsford is seen at Kiel Ranch Historic Park on May 29, 2019.  (El Tiempo)  —  Nevada Rep. Steven Horsford on Friday acknowledged that he'd carried on a longstanding affair with a former intern …
Discussion: Fox News
Tennessee to lift capacity restrictions on restaurants & retail, to allow large attractions to open  —  NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - The governor's office announced Tennessee will lift capacity restrictions on restaurants and shops and instead focus on social distancing best practices.
Discussion: WBIR-TV and The Hill
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 …
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.
Sarah Maslin Nir / New York Times:
Barber Defied Rules and Cut Hair From Home.  Now He Has the Virus.  —  The barber in Kingston, N.Y., is under investigation for giving haircuts during the shutdown.  He lashed out at Gov. Cuomo: “Is he going to feed my family?”  —  The complaint came in last month from a resident of Kingston …
David Weigel / Washington Post:
Rep. Justin Amash says he won't run for president  —  Rep. Justin Amash, the Michigan congressman who left the Republican Party last year, said on Twitter that he will not run for president this year after saying last month that he would seek the Libertarian Party's nomination.
Discussion: Reason, Politico, NBC News and The Hill
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
Kevin Rector / Los Angeles Times:
LAPD wants to give rapid-result coronavirus tests to everyone it arrests  —  The Los Angeles Police Department wants to give a rapid-result test to everyone its officers arrest to check for the coronavirus and are pushing city officials to secure the equipment to do so.
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: Mediaite and Raw Story
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 …
Michelle Ye Hee Lee / Washington Post:
Donors can now give $620,600 to Biden and DNC, expanding Democratic big-money fundraising  —  Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden will ask donors to give as much as $620,600 to support his White House bid and down-ballot candidates, dramatically expanding his fundraising capability …
Andrew Desiderio / Politico:
Trump pushes McConnell to embrace ‘Obamagate’  —  “Time is running out.  Get tough and move quickly, or it will be too late,” the president tweeted.  —  Senate Majority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell.  Alex Wong/Getty Images  —  President Donald Trump is appealing directly …
Discussion: ABC News, Washington Times and The Root
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 …
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'
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 More Items: 
New York Times:
Raytheon Finds Ally in Trump Aide: Selling the Bombs Killing Civilians in Yemen
Allysia Finley / Wall Street Journal:
The Lockdown Skeptic They Couldn't Silence
Discussion: Power Line
New York Times:
Coronavirus Is No Reason to Shield Businesses From Liability
Discussion: Raw Story
Associated Press:
Wisconsin again? Swing state a hotbed of virus politics
Discussion: Axios
Deb Riechmann / Associated Press:
Trump's emergency powers worry some senators, legal experts
Jeremy Fowler / ESPN:
NFL proposal would improve draft picks for minority hires
Discussion:, Just The News and Breitbart
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
Carrie Campbell Severino / National Review:
The Woke Left's Assault on the Rule of Law
 Earlier Items: 
Annie Palmer / CNBC:
Amazon declines to commit to Jeff Bezos testimony in Congress
Discussion: The Verge and Politico
Associated Press:
Most US states fall short of recommended testing levels
Corinne Gretler / Bloomberg:
Tobacco-Based Coronavirus Vaccine Poised for Human Tests
Sara Fischer / Axios:
The Economist Group lays off 90
Barbara Sprunt / NPR:
Trump, Unveiling Space Force Flag, Touts What He Calls New ‘Super-Duper Missile’
Maggie Severns / Politico:
Burr's alleged conflicts extend beyond his coronavirus-related stock trades
Discussion: Raw Story
‘He lied on national television’: Trump says truckers protesting industry problems are actually honking to support him
Discussion: IJR