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Opinion Happy Hour Roundup

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* Betsy Woodruff Swan reports on the latest bungled attempts to push President Trump’s fictitious “OBAMAGATE" narrative:

On the day of President Donald Trump’s inauguration, outgoing national security adviser Susan Rice sent herself an email that has since drawn intense scrutiny from Republicans.
Now the full text of the email has been declassified, and POLITICO reviewed it. It says that then-FBI Director James Comey worried about sharing classified information with the Trump team due to incoming national security adviser Michael Flynn’s frequent conversations with the Russian ambassador, but that Comey had no knowledge of Flynn sharing classified information with the envoy.
Republicans have seized on the document as potential evidence that the outgoing president had ordered the FBI to spy on the new administration, as President Trump has alleged. And they have raised questions about the “unusual” nature of Rice memorializing the conversation in an email to herself, suggesting that in warning Comey to proceed “by the book,” Obama was implying that top law enforcement officials had done the opposite.

So what we have here is top Obama officials 1) expressing concern that the Trump team, particularly Flynn, was compromised by their odd relationship with Russia, and 2) repeated insistence that the matter be handled in accordance with all rules and procedures. And Republicans actually think that makes the Obama people look bad?

* Alice Miranda Ollstein reports that the Trump administration is showing its appreciation to National Guard troops:

More than 40,000 National Guard members currently helping states test residents for the coronavirus and trace the spread of infections will face a “hard stop” on their deployments on June 24 — just one day shy of many members becoming eligible for key federal benefits, according to a senior FEMA official.
The official outlined the Trump administration’s plans on an interagency call on May 12, an audio version of which was obtained by POLITICO. The official also acknowledged during the call that the June 24 deadline means that thousands of members who first deployed in late March will find themselves with only 89 days of duty credit, one short of the 90-day threshold for qualifying for early retirement and education benefits under the Post-9/11 GI bill.

Thank you for your service!

* Erik Wemple examines the latest in Trump’s love/hate relationship with Fox News.

* David Corn looks at William Barr’s dubious efforts to rewrite history on Trump’s behalf.

* Ed Kilgore explains why we should stop worrying about any “enthusiasm gap."

* Ron Brownstein says if Republicans want to “reopen the economy” they’re going to need Democrats to do it.

* Richard Hasen explains the pathologies of our voting system that the pandemic has illuminated.

* Akbar Shahid Ahmed reports on what it will take to influence Joe Biden’s views and actions on foreign policy.

* Ruth Marcus breaks down Trump’s long war on democratic accountability.

* Cristina Cabrera reports that Michigan will be sending all voters absentee ballot applications for the November election.

* And Matt Gertz explains how Tucker Carlson uses his understanding of Trump’s psychology to manipulate the president.

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