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12:45 PM ET, May 18, 2020

memeorandum

 Top Items: 
Glenn Platt / Washington Post:
Trump's purge just got much more corrupt.  Here's what's coming next.  —  President Trump's abrupt decision to remove the inspector general of the State Department constitutes the latest in a string of corrupt efforts to remove public servants who prioritize real oversight and accountability over protecting Trump at all costs.
RELATED:
Washington Post:
Fired inspector general was examining whether Pompeo had a staffer walk his dog, handle dry cleaning, official says  —  The State Department inspector general fired by President Trump was looking into allegations that a staffer for Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was performing domestic errands …
Aaron Blake / Washington Post:
Hypocrisy watch: Republicans who championed inspectors general under Obama stand by as Trump purges them
Discussion: Breitbart and Chuck Grassley
Zachary Cohen / CNN:
Democrats claim watchdog fired by Trump was probing Pompeo's fast-tracking of $8 billion Saudi arms sale
Discussion: Raw Story
New York Times:
F.B.I. Is Said to Find Links Between Pensacola Gunman and Al Qaeda  —  The gunman in December's shooting, a Saudi cadet who had trained with the U.S. military, had been in contact with the terrorist group, officials said.  —  WASHINGTON — Federal investigators found cellphone evidence …
Discussion: Axios and The Daily Caller
RELATED:
CNN:   FBI finds al Qaeda link after breaking encryption on Pensacola attacker's iPhone
Wall Street Journal:   FBI Discovers al Qaeda Link in Pensacola Attack
Zachary Evans / National Review:   Saudi Shooter at Florida Military Base Had Ties to al-Qaeda
Jennifer Rubin / Washington Post:
This is why Trump is back to attacking Obama  —  It makes zero sense, you would think, for President Trump to attack his predecessor, since President Barack Obama is the most popular politician around (next to his wife) — someone who instills in Democrats a feeling of solidarity, of nostalgia for decent leadership and of hope.
RELATED:
Matt Zapotosky / Washington Post:
Barr says he does not expect Obama or Biden will be investigated by prosecutor reviewing 2016 Russia probe  —  Attorney General William P. Barr said Monday that he did not expect the prosecutor he handpicked to review the 2016 FBI investigation into President Trump's campaign …
Jason Wilson / The Guardian:
US lockdown protests may have spread virus widely, cellphone data suggests  —  Devices associated with protesters travelled up to hundreds of miles after rallies where few precautions were taken  —  Cellphone location data suggests that demonstrators at anti-lockdown protests …
Discussion: Common Dreams and POLITICUSUSA
Ben Smith / New York Times:
Is Ronan Farrow Too Good to Be True?  —  He has delivered revelatory reporting on some of the defining stories of our time.  But a close examination reveals the weaknesses in what may be called an era of resistance journalism.  —  It was a breathtaking story, written by The New Yorker's marquee reporter …
Denise Grady / New York Times:
Coronavirus Vaccine Trial by Moderna Shows Promising Early Results  —  The company said its preliminary test in 8 healthy volunteers was safe.  It is on an accelerated timetable to begin a larger human trial soon.  —  The first coronavirus vaccine to be tested in people appears to be safe …
RELATED:
Alex Isenstadt / Politico:
Swing-state Republicans warn Trump's reelection is on shaky ground  —  Donald Trump has made clear he will attack Joe Biden unmercifully in order to ensure the election is a choice between him and Joe Biden — rather than an up-or-down vote on the president's handling of the coronavirus.
Discussion: Raw Story
Nick Valencia / CNN:
Senior CDC official rebukes White House trade adviser's criticism as tensions escalate over reopening strategy  —  (CNN)A senior official from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Sunday offered a pointed rebuke of White House trade adviser Peter Navarro's scathing criticism …
RELATED:
Stephen Collinson / CNN:   Trump officials deflect blame for US death toll, escalate reopening push
CBS News:
Full Transcript: Fed Chair Jerome Powell's 60 Minutes interview on economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic  —  Jerome Powell lays out his thoughts on getting the economy back to its pre-coronavirus numbers.  The transcript from the Federal Reserve chairman's interview with Scott Pelley.
CNN:
Former Australian PM calls out the ‘Murdoch mafia’  —  Kevin Rudd, a former prime minister of Australia, argues that Rupert Murdoch's media empire is a “cancer on democracy” in the U.S., U.K. and Australia, using “mafia"-like intimidation tactics against dissenting voices.
Bloomberg:
Over 100 Million in China's Northeast Face Renewed Lockdown  — Conditions return to height of China's epidemic in February  — Frustration as restrictions tighten again after earlier easing  —  Some 108 million people in China's northeast region are being plunged back under lockdown conditions …
Discussion: Gizmodo
Nancy Cook / Politico:
Trump's reopening troubles play out in his White House  —  As President Donald Trump urges businesses across the country to reopen and Americans to return to work, he and his administration are projecting a sense of normal after months of disruption because of the coronavirus.
Discussion: The Hill
RELATED:
Nancy Cook / Politico:
Trump keeps his staff in flux with White House musical chairs
Discussion: Raw Story
Tim Miller / The Bulwark:
Trump's Weekend of Scandal Was Hiding in Plain Sight  —  It's going on right now and no one can see it because of the chaff.  —  The Washington Post published a picture of Stacey Abrams wearing a cape this weekend.  —  You may have seen it, since in certain corners of the conservative news media …
Discussion: Raw Story
Rebecca Klar / The Hill:
Schwarzenegger holds up mock Trump University diploma in commencement speech  —  Actor and former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) held up a mock Trump University degree as part of a virtual commencement address to the graduating class of 2020.  —  “You are celebrating that journey today …
Discussion: Breitbart and POLITICUSUSA
Michael Wines / New York Times:
Freed by Court Ruling, Republicans Step Up Effort to Patrol Voting  —  Officials seek to recruit 50,000 poll watchers and spend millions to fight voter fraud.  Democrats say the real goal is to stop them from voting.  —  WASHINGTON — Six months before a presidential election in which turnout …
The Daily Beast:
Busted: Pentagon Contractors' Report on ‘Wuhan Lab’ Origins of Virus Is Bogus  —  TRY AGAIN  —  A military contractors' report circulating on Capitol Hill claims to have evidence that COVID-19 escaped from a Chinese lab.  It's filled with information that's just plain wrong.
Discussion: Task & Purpose
Geoffrey Skelley / FiveThirtyEight:
Are Older Voters Turning Away From Trump?  —  There are different “gaps” in American politics, but one that has consistently shown up in recent presidential elections is the age gap.  That is, younger voters tend to vote more Democratic and older voters tend to vote more Republican.
Discussion: Political Wire
Molly Jong-Fast / The Daily Beast:
It's Official: Laura Ingraham Wants Your Grandmother to Die  —  Testing and tracing are just a Democratic conspiracy.  Go out.  Go to bars.  Spread disease.  Sorry, grandma, you've had a good run.  —  BEAST INSIDE  —  Friday night Laura Ingraham admitted she thinks maybe it's time to stop coddling granny.
Joan E Greve / The Guardian:
Democrats feel tide turning their way in battle to flip US Senate  —  The electoral map does not favor Republicans and the pandemic has helped put them on defense in states they once thought safe  —  Just three months ago, centrist Democrats were panicking.
Discussion: Raw Story
Yaron Steinbuch / New York Post:
Man who called coronavirus ‘fake crisis’ gets infected, issues warning  —  A Florida man who initially believed the coronavirus is a “fake crisis” that was “blown out of proportion” is now hospitalized along with his wife — and is sounding a cautionary note about the deadly bug.
Ranjan Roy / Margins and Can Duruk:
Doordash and Pizza Arbitrage  —  There is such a thing as a free lunch  —  If capitalism is driven by a search for profit, the food delivery business confuses the hell out of me.  Every platform loses money.  Restaurants feel like they're getting screwed.  Delivery drivers are poster children for gig economy problems.
 
 
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 More Items: 
Gerald F. Seib / Wall Street Journal:
Why Coronavirus Increasingly Exacerbates the Red-Blue Divide
Souad Mekhennet / Washington Post:
Far-right groups are spreading racist, false claims about shooting victim Ahmaud Arbery, analysts say
Discussion: The Root and The Hill
Amy Harder / Axios:
Trump's energy chief: Banks are “redlining” oil and gas investments
Erica Werner / Washington Post:
$500 billion Treasury fund meant for coronavirus relief has lent barely any money so far, oversight commission finds
Joel Anderson / Slate:
Michael Jordan Is Exactly Who I Thought He Was
Molly McCann / The Federalist:
How You Can Help Roll Back The Coronavirus Police State
DNyuz:
Passed By for Decades, Clarence Thomas Is a New Symbol of the Trump Era
Christian Schneider / The Bulwark:
A Picture Is Worth 100,000 Lives
 Earlier Items: 
Mariel Padilla / New York Times:
2 Kansas City Officers Charged With Assaulting Transgender Woman
Discussion: The Hill
Mary Papenfuss / HuffPost:
Trump's New COVID-19 Czar Holds $10 Million In Vaccine Company Stock Options
David Remnick / New Yorker:
What Donald Trump Shares with Joseph McCarthy
Alexander Sammon / American Prospect:
How Democrats Lost a House Seat in California
Rebecca Woolington / Tampa Bay Times:
In Florida, 83 percent of coronavirus deaths are people 65 and older
Washington Post:
As coronavirus testing expands, a new problem arises: Not enough people to test
Discussion: Vox and Althouse