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3:15 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: Washington Post 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.
CNN:
Barr doesn't expect review of Russia probe will ‘lead to a criminal investigation’ of Obama and Biden
Discussion: Raw Story and Breitbart
Brooke Singman / Fox News:
Barr says he does not expect criminal investigation of Obama or Biden as result of Durham probe
Discussion: The Hill
Eric Tucker / Associated Press:   Barr says he doesn't envision investigations of Biden, Obama
RELATED:
Ben Lefebvre / Politico:
Biden White House would yank Keystone XL permit
Discussion: The Hill and Breitbart
Nancy Cook / Politico:
Trump's reopening troubles play out in his White House
Discussion: The Hill
Stephen Collinson / CNN:   Trump officials deflect blame for US death toll, escalate reopening push
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
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:
Denise Grady / New York Times:
Moderna Coronavirus Vaccine Trial 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:
Moderna, Inc.:
Moderna Announces Positive Interim Phase 1 Data for its mRNA Vaccine (mRNA-1273) Against Novel Coronavirus
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 …
Discussion: CNN and Axios
RELATED:
Michael Balsamo / Associated Press:
Source: Trump admin. to name new DEA head, US attorney in DC
Discussion: The Hill
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.
Discussion: KFOR-TV
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.
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
RELATED:
Ro Khanna / The Boston Globe:   Biden can channel FDR by choosing Elizabeth Warren as vice president
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.
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 …
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 …
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.
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 …
Margaret Sullivan / Washington Post:
The media is helping Trump turn the bogus ‘Obamagate’ into the 2020 version of Clinton's emails  —  It's becoming clear that journalists never fully reckoned with the mistakes of 2016 campaign coverage.  We know this because they seem poised to repeat them.
 
 
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 More Items: 
detroitnews:
Whitmer: Reopening for Northern Michigan, U.P. includes bars, restaurants
Susan Faludi / New York Times:
‘Believe All Women’ Is a Right-Wing Trap
Discussion: Twitchy and Althouse
Newsweek:
We're not angry Paul Manafort was released. We're angry millions of others weren't
NBER:
The Relationship between In-Person Voting, Consolidated Polling Locations, and Absentee Voting …
Joshua Nelson / Fox News:
NJ gym opens in defiance of governor's lockdown: ‘We will not stand down’
Discussion: The Daily Caller
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
Erica Werner / Washington Post:
$500 billion Treasury fund meant for coronavirus relief has lent barely any money so far, oversight commission finds
 Earlier Items: 
Rebecca Klar / The Hill:
Schwarzenegger holds up mock Trump University diploma in commencement speech
Discussion: Breitbart and POLITICUSUSA
Christian Schneider / The Bulwark:
A Picture Is Worth 100,000 Lives
Geoffrey Skelley / FiveThirtyEight:
Are Older Voters Turning Away From Trump?
Molly Jong-Fast / The Daily Beast:
It's Official: Laura Ingraham Wants Your Grandmother to Die
Alexander Sammon / American Prospect:
How Democrats Lost a House Seat in California
Tim Miller / The Bulwark:
Trump's Weekend of Scandal Was Hiding in Plain Sight
Discussion: Raw Story
The Daily Beast:
Busted: Pentagon Contractors' Report on ‘Wuhan Lab’ Origins of Virus Is Bogus
Discussion: Daily Kos and Task & Purpose