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1:10 PM ET, May 17, 2020


 Top Items: 
USA Today:
The Trump administration has recently removed 4 inspectors general.  Here are the ousted watchdogs  —  WASHINGTON - Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's decision Friday to fire his department's inspector general marks the fourth time within the last three months that an internal agency watchdog has been removed by the Trump administration.
Discussion: Axios
Spencer Kimball / CNBC:
Mike Pompeo recommended Trump firing of State Department inspector general, White House says  — President Trump fired State Department Inspector General Steve Linick Friday night, notifying Congress of the decision in a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Discussion: NBC News and The Gateway Pundit
Eric Trump accuses Democrats of “milking” coronavirus lockdowns to win the election
Washington Post:   Trump ramps up retaliatory purge with firing of State Department inspector general
Jonathan Martin / New York Times:
Donald Trump Jr. Smears Biden With Baseless Instagram Post  —  Signaling the increasingly dark tactics of the Trump campaign, the president's oldest son falsely accused Mr. Biden of preying on children.  —  WASHINGTON — President Trump's eldest son on Saturday posted a social media message …
Frank Bruni / New York Times:   I'll Take Biden's Confusion Over Trump's Corruption
Bob Brigham / Raw Story:   Eric Trump predicts COVID-19 is a conspiracy against his dad that will ‘magically’ disappear in November
The Daily Beast:
Billionaire MAGA Fan Peter Thiel Has Had It With Trump's COVID-19 Response  —  More than a dozen sources in Trump's orbit said they could not say whether the Silicon Valley luminary was going to play any meaningful role in the re-elect, like he did in 2016.  —  During the last presidential campaign …
Discussion: Raw Story
Sara Dorn / New York Post:
People flock to NYC-area bars, beaches as ‘quarantine fatigue’ intensifies  —  They're partying like it's 2019.  —  Lockdown-weary New Yorkers ditched the distancing to get social instead this weekend — transforming parts of the Big Apple into a raucous, late-season Mardi Gras.
Harry Enten / CNN:
State polls suggest Biden has a clear national lead  —  (CNN)Poll of the week: A new Marquette Law School poll finds former Vice President Joe Biden with a 46% to 43% lead over President Donald Trump in Wisconsin.  —  The poll matches the last poll from Marquette, which also had Biden up by 3 points in Wisconsin.
Discussion: The Guardian
No masks.  No gloves.  No problem.  As coronavirus cases soar, carefree day-trippers from Illinois pour in  —  On the first weekend without any statewide stay-at-home orders, Wisconsin was open for business, and at least along the southern border, people from Illinois poured in.
Washington Post:
In next phase of pandemic, Trump appears poised to let others take the lead  —  President Trump has proclaimed the latest phase of pandemic response the “transition to greatness.”  But Trump appears poised to preside over the eventual transition more as a salesman and marketer than a decider.
Associated Press:
European leaders are blunt: A vaccine won't come soon enough  —  SOAVE, Italy (AP) — In separate, stark warnings, two major European leaders have bluntly told their citizens that the world needs to adapt to living with the coronavirus and cannot wait to be saved by the development of a vaccine.
Ronn Blitzer / Fox News:
Colorado Gov Polis pushes back against CDC's coronavirus death counts  —  Colorado Gov. Jared Polis pushed back against recent coronavirus death counts, including those conducted by the CDC, days after his own state's health department acknowledged that their numbers had been inflated …
Alexander Burns / New York Times:
Seeking: Big Democratic Ideas That Make Everything Better  —  By the end of primary season, the Democratic Party had all but settled on a conventional center-left agenda.  But the pandemic is forcing the Biden campaign and other leaders to redraw plans for 2021.  —  More than 36 million Americans are suddenly unemployed.
Discussion: Associated Press
Jacob Knutson / Axios:
Navarro claims lockdowns will kill “many more” Americans than coronavirus  —  White House economic adviser Peter Navarro claimed on NBC's “Meet the Press” Sunday that lockdowns to curb the spread of the coronavirus will “indirectly” kill more people than the virus itself.
Discussion: The Hill
Michael Morell / Washington Post:
The only culprit in the Flynn ‘unmasking’ scandal is the Trump administration  —  There was no wrongdoing on the part of Obama administration officials who, during the presidential transition in 2016 and 2017, “unmasked” the identity of Michael Flynn, who was set to become national security adviser.
Discussion: Law & Crime
Harry Dunn's mother urges UK to stand up to ‘bully’ US as diplomatic tensions flare  —  The mother of Northamptonshire teenager Harry Dunn has urged the UK to stand up to the “bully” US government as diplomatic tensions reportedly flared up between the two countries.
Elizabeth Warren / The Atlantic:
My Brother's Death Didn't Have to Happen  —  Senator Elizabeth Warren's oldest brother, Donald Reed Herring, died of COVID-19 in late April, and I heard that she sometimes mentioned this in conversations about policy, though she was reluctant to talk about it publicly.
Discussion: Axios
How chatter and conservative anger upended a White House staffing search  —  In early May, White House aides had seemingly settled on Derek Lyons as President Donald Trump's next top domestic policy adviser.  They told reporters as much.  —  A week later, though, Brooke Rollins got the job …
Discussion: Raw Story
Wall Street Journal:
As West Cautiously Reopens, New Coronavirus Infection Clusters Emerge in Asia  —  Authorities in U.S. explore a safe restart, but some countries that lifted measures face new clusters of Covid-19  —  While the U.S. and other Western countries tentatively resumed some activity this weekend …
Evelyn N. Farkas / Washington Post:
Russia is interfering in our elections again.  And Trump supporters are emulating Russian tactics.  —  Evelyn N. Farkas was deputy assistant secretary of defense for Russia, Ukraine and Eurasia from 2012 to 2015.  She is a Democratic candidate to represent New York's 17th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Caitlin Oprysko / Politico:
Democratic governors hit with flurry of legal challenges to coronavirus lockdowns  —  The raging public debate over statewide coronavirus lockdowns is running in parallel to a series of legal battles in state capitals — and the lockdown skeptics got a big boost this week.
Discussion: Detroit Free Press
Don Thompson / Washington Times:
Gavin Newsom eyes prison closures amid budget woes  —  SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Gov. Gavin Newsom is proposing to significantly shrink the footprint of California's prison system, partly because of massive budget cuts prompted by the pandemic but also because of philosophy.
Dan Balz / Washington Post:
A series exploring the political dynamics surrounding the coronavirus crisis.  —  “A fundamental role of government is the safety and security of its people,” said Janet Napolitano, the former secretary of homeland security.  “To me that means you have to maintain a certain base level so that …
Salena Zito / Washington Examiner:
Pompeo tells Salena Zito the world must ‘impose costs on China’ for coronavirus  —  Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told the Washington Examiner that the world is going to have to “impose costs on China” for the coronavirus, and he said he has already presented a range of options to President Trump …
Matthew Boyle / Breitbart:
Exclusive — Secretary Pompeo: President Trump ‘Committed’ to Holding Chinese Communist Party …
Discussion: New York Post
Mike Baker / New York Times:
Feds Suspect Vast Fraud Network Is Targeting U.S. Unemployment Systems  —  Investigators see evidence of a sophisticated international attack they said could siphon hundreds of millions of dollars that were intended for the unemployed.  —  SEATTLE — A group of international fraudsters appears …
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 More Items: 
Micki McElya / Washington Post:
Almost 90,000 dead and no hint of national mourning. Are these deaths not ‘ours’?
Anna Fifield / Washington Post:
New Zealand edges back to normal after quashing coronavirus in 49 days
Leo Thuman / Campus Reform:
Ohio professor the latest to be arrested over China ties
Discussion: Breitbart
Jan Hoffman / New York Times:
'I Can't Turn My Brain Off': PTSD and Burnout Threaten Medical Workers
Tensions rise between the White House and CDC as Birx critiques virus tracking
Discussion: New York Times and Townhall
Ben Simon / Agence France-Presse:
Israel set to swear in Netanyahu-Gantz unity government
Violet Ikonomova / Deadline Detroit:
Downtown Detroit Realtor Charged With Threatening To Kill Whitmer, Nessel
Mujib Mashal / New York Times:
Afghan Power-Sharing Deal Would Promote General Accused of Rape
 Earlier Items: 
Paul Mirengoff / Power Line:
Andrew Cuomo's atrocious response to the coronavirus pandemic
Discussion: ProPublica
David Smith / The Guardian:
‘It eats him alive inside’: Trump's latest attack shows endless obsession with Obama
Jeff Elder / Business Insider Nederland:
Cybergang behind Lady Gaga data dump leaks hacked law firm's emails and contracts mentioning …
Discussion: Page Six
ABC News:
Texas COVID-19 cases rise, governor's office says more testing being done
Discussion: Breitbart and New York Post
Dánica Coto / Associated Press:
Puerto Rico to hold statehood referendum amid disillusion
Eric Spitznagel / New York Post:
Why American life went on as normal during the killer pandemic of 1969