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2:10 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 …
Zachary Cohen / CNN:
Democrats claim watchdog fired by Trump was probing Pompeo's fast-tracking of $8 billion Saudi arms sale
Discussion: American Greatness and Raw Story
Andrew Desiderio / Politico:
Fired watchdog was investigating Trump administration arms sales to Saudi Arabia
Discussion: Axios and Raw Story
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 …
RELATED:
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.
Brooke Singman / Fox News:
Barr says he does not expect criminal investigation of Obama or Biden as result of Durham probe
Discussion: The Hill
Allan Smith / NBC News:
Barr says it's unlikely Justice Department will investigate Obama or Biden
Discussion: IJR
Eric Tucker / Associated Press:   Barr says he doesn't envision investigations of Biden, Obama
New York Times:
F.B.I. Finds 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 — The gunman in last year's deadly shooting at a military base …
Discussion: Axios and The Daily Caller
RELATED:
Wall Street Journal:   FBI Discovers al Qaeda Link in Pensacola Attack
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
RELATED:
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 …
RELATED:
NBER:   The Relationship between In-Person Voting, Consolidated Polling Locations, and Absentee Voting …
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.
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.
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
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 …
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.
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.
Erica Werner / Washington Post:
$500 billion Treasury fund meant for coronavirus relief has lent barely any money so far, oversight commission finds  —  A Congressional Oversight Commission created by Cares Act issues its first report even though it still doesn't have a chair.  —  A $500 billion Treasury Department fund created …
RELATED:
Brooke Singman / Fox News:
Oversight commission finds coronavirus relief funds have not yet been distributed to airlines
Discussion: Associated Press
Washington Post:
Barr installs top DOJ aide, prosecutor of Trump's Mar-a-Lago trespasser, as deputy over U.S. prosecutors in Washington  —  Attorney General William P. Barr has installed a new top deputy over the federal prosecutor's office for Washington, raising concerns that a key U.S. attorney's office …
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
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
Dexter Filkins / New Yorker:
The Twilight of the Iranian Revolution  —  For decades, Ayatollah Khamenei has professed enmity with America.  Now his regime is threatened from within the country.  —  One night last December, the chief resident physician at a hospital in the Iranian city of Gorgan was asked to consult on a baffling case …
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
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.
 
 
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 More Items: 
Joshua Nelson / Fox News:
NJ gym opens in defiance of governor's lockdown: ‘We will not stand down’
Discussion: The Daily Caller
Emily Flitter / New York Times:
Few Minority-Owned Businesses Got Relief Loans They Asked For
Discussion: The Root and Wall Street Journal
Gerald F. Seib / Wall Street Journal:
Why Coronavirus Increasingly Exacerbates the Red-Blue Divide
Amy Harder / Axios:
Trump's energy chief: Banks are “redlining” oil and gas investments
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
Geoffrey Skelley / FiveThirtyEight:
Are Older Voters Turning Away From Trump?
 Earlier Items: 
David Remnick / New Yorker:
What Donald Trump Shares with Joseph McCarthy
Alexander Sammon / American Prospect:
How Democrats Lost a House Seat in California
Joan E Greve / The Guardian:
Democrats feel tide turning their way in battle to flip US Senate
Discussion: Raw Story
Rebecca Woolington / Tampa Bay Times:
In Florida, 83 percent of coronavirus deaths are people 65 and older
Nancy Cook / Politico:
Trump's reopening troubles play out in his White House
Discussion: The Hill
Ranjan Roy / Margins and Can Duruk:
Doordash and Pizza Arbitrage
The Daily Beast:
Busted: Pentagon Contractors' Report on ‘Wuhan Lab’ Origins of Virus Is Bogus
Discussion: Task & Purpose