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• Obama still tops in troll game
• Cruz takes a terrific swipe at the press
• Power Play: Mapping out the race
• Koch group challenges first GOP incumbent
• Wait ‘till they find out where bacon comes from
OBAMA STILL TOPS IN TROLL GAME
Pity the public school teacher and administrator who today is trying to deal with the federal decree that children should be allowed to use the washroom or locker room that correlates to their gender identity even if it is at odds with their physicality.
However you feel about public accommodations for those who experience gender dysphoria or at what point you believe a child reaches an age of decision about a matter so fraught, the practical issues here are potentially overwhelming.
Imagine yourself a teacher or principal at an overcrowded, understaffed school already groaning under federally mandated tests and the ever-lengthening demands of local and state officials.
As schools have struggled and failed to meet basic educational goals, they have been freighted with even more duties: to teach “life skills,” nutrition and a school-board approved simulacrum of morality while simultaneously functioning as essentially medium-security prisons for fear of threats both internal and external.
The news Thursday was that you must overhaul not just your potty policies but also those for your sports teams for fear of a federal civil rights lawsuit. Worse, you had to brace for a inundation of alarmed parents. Gender dysphoria may afflict only an estimated three-tenths of a percent of Americans, but 100 percent of your students’ parents will have questions or concerns.
Now, if you believe strongly in biologically determined transgenderism, you may say that the government has no choice but to protect those in that struggle. If you are skeptical about the degree or prevalence of biological determinism in gender dysphoria, you might just think the world continues to go crazy.
But whatever you think, if you’re an educator, even at a private or religious school, you’d better set your sails for the storms to come.
Which brings us all, educators and non-educators alike, to the following question: why now?
Clearly the state-level move to regulate bathroom usage has been part of the reason for the federal intervention. This is a continuation of the battle between states and the Obama administration over subjects that include, yes, gay marriage, but also health insurance, power plant emissions, voter identification and on and on.
Activists push for transgender bathroom access, states push back and then the Justice Department retaliates. It’s all part of the circle of life in the twilight of federalism.
But we suspect there is something else at work here, too.
The closing argument from the last Republican to be subsumed by de facto nominee Donald Trump was to attack Trump for opposing North Carolina’s bathroom regulation. Well, that and venereal disease, but, hey, it’s been a weird year.
And now the Obama administration has dumped a Costco-sized jug of accelerant on the fire. And it’s at precisely the moment that Trump and his restive party are trying to come to terms. And it’s on an issue that looks like a loser for conservatives with swing-state voters.
Trump may be the undisputed king of Twitter trolling, but give Obama his due. When it comes to real-life trolling his enemies, he’s still number one.
WITH YOUR SECOND CUP OF COFFEE…
In a year when political forecasting has done some spectacular belly flops, Ben Dolnick offers a brief history of wrongness and a meditation on its effects: “Fairly quickly, you move on from anonymous British scientists insisting that flying machines are not possible and long-forgotten modeling directors telling Marilyn Monroe that she’d better look for secretarial work and into more troubling territory. Here’s Thomas Edison predicting that radio will be not much more than a novelty. Here’s [Albert Einstein] declaring nuclear energy unobtainable. History’s roster of morons, you begin to realize, bears a worrisome resemblance to its roster of geniuses. Whomever you happen to rely on for your present stable perch—John Oliver, Elizabeth Kolbert, the Freakonomics guys — you can’t help but begin to feel the chair-legs wobble. Wrongness, now and forever, is an equal-opportunity affliction.”
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Real Clear Politics Averages
General Election: Clinton vs. Trump: Clinton +5.7 points
Generic Congressional Vote: Democrats +2.3
CRUZ TAKES A TERRIFIC SWIPE AT THE PRESS
Ted Cruz may have ended his 2016 campaign calling Donald Trump a “pathological liar,” but it wasn’t all that long ago that the Texas senator called the billionaire “terrific.” Thursday marked the latest of Cruz’s media bashing over Trump saying on a Houston radio show that networks including the Fox News Channel would “bear that responsibility” for Trump’s rise.
Not listed on Cruz’s culpability roster: Himself.
Cruz himself had only positive words for the New York mogul saying just before the first GOP debate in August, “I have been glad to praise Donald Trump for speaking out boldly and brashly and for focusing on illegal immigration.”
Boehner basking in the Trump glow - Former House Speaker John Boehner is pleased with the Republican primary’s results saying at a hedge fund conference in Las Vegas, “Donald Trump is the nominee, whether people like it or not…Thank God the guy from Texas didn’t win.”
The butler did it - NYT: “The Secret Service said it would investigate Donald J. Trump’s longtime butler over Facebook posts laced with vulgarities and epithets calling for President Obama to be killed. The racially tinged posts by the butler, Anthony Senecal, were unearthed by Mother Jones on Thursday, and referred to Mr. Obama as a ‘Kenyan fraud’ who should be hanged for treason. ‘With the last breath I draw I will help rid this America of the scum infested in its government,’ Mr. Senecal wrote last May, saying that the president should be dragged from the “white mosque’ and hanged ‘from the portico — count me in !!!!!’ …Hope Hicks, a Trump campaign spokeswoman, said in an email about the posts by Mr. Senecal, “We totally and completely disavow the horrible statements made by him.’”
WaPo goes deep on Trump - WashEx: “The Washington Post has built a sizable army of reporters to dig into every facet of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s life, urged on by new owner Jeff Bezos to reveal everything about the potential nominees. Post Associate Editor Bob Woodward revealed Wednesday that the Post has assigned 20 staffers to Trump.”
[To wit - WaPo: “A recording obtained by The Washington Post captures what New York reporters and editors who covered Trump’s early career experienced in the 1970s, ’80s and ’90s: calls from Trump’s Manhattan office that resulted in conversations with ‘John Miller’ or ‘John Barron’ — public-relations men who sound precisely like Trump himself — who indeed are Trump…”]
#mediabuzz: The Megyn and The Donald - Host Howard Kurtz talks to Megyn Kelly ahead of her interview with Donald Trump, which airs on FOX broadcast stations on Tuesday. Watch #mediabuzz Sunday at 11 a.m. and 5 p.m.
[Trump is the top topic for Mr. Sunday, who sits down with Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, House Freedom Caucus member Rep. Tim Huelskamp, and RNC Chairman Reince Priebus. Watch “Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace” Check local listings for broadcast times in your area.]
POWER PLAY: MAPPING OUT THE RACE
Now that both parties have their nominees, how will each do in the crucial swing states? The latest Quinnipiac University poll looks like good news for Clinton, but the Democratic frontrunner may not want to get too comfortable. GOPAC Chairman David Avella and MoveOn.org’s Washington Director Ben Wikler analyze the odds with Chris Stirewalt. WATCH HERE.
Power Play: The Veepening - With all eyes on the general election, who will win the veepstakes? Avella and Wikler weigh in with their predictions. WATCH HERE.
Oregon is a presumed win for Bernie, but polling says Hillary has a chance at an upset - LAT
Gen. David Petraeus warns against anti-Muslim rhetoric in American politics (Cough, cough, Trump) - WaPo
Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., attacks Trump, fueling more questions about whether she’ll be Hillary’s running mate - The Hill
The likelihood of a split between the popular vote and the electoral college unlikely -FiveThirtyEight
Never Trump group looks to 2020 - Politico
“Look, anything I say right now, I’m not the president. Everything is a suggestion, no matter what you say, it’s a suggestion.” – Donald Trump on “Fox & Friends” this morning discussing his step back from his call to ban Muslims from entering the United States.
KOCH GROUP CHALLENGES FIRST GOP INCUMBENT
Koch-backed group Americans for Prosperity is spending in North Carolina’s congressional race, challenging a GOP member of Congress for the first time in the group’s history. Republican Rep. Renee Ellmers faces two primary opponents, but the group’s six-figure ad buy is focused more on Ellmers’ record in Washington than supporting one of her opponents. The district’s primary will be held June 7.
Since we’re on Koch… - Charles Koch and former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg wrote a joint op-ed on the importance of free speech on college campuses, arguing that free speech challenges our assumptions for the better.
WAIT ‘TILL THEY FIND OUT WHERE BACON COMES FROM
KPRC: “A Pearland [Texas] business owner is trying to save his restaurant’s reputation after a photo of him butchering a wild hog went viral. Jimmy Chi owns Tose Steak & Sushi at 1853 Pearland Pkwy. The photo, which was taken by a passerby at the end of April, shows Chi butchering the hog outside the back of his business. … He says the hog was given to him as a gift by a few friends who went hunting. ‘They went on a hunting trip that I was supposed to go on, but couldn’t, so they shot a couple hogs and gave me one,’ Chi said. … He said the hog never set foot inside the restaurant and he never intended to serve it to customers, rather to himself. … A few days after the photo was taken the Pearland Health Department inspected the restaurant and found no signs that the hog was brought in or served.”
AND NOW A WORD FROM CHARLES…
“…The meeting [between Trump and Ryan] was supposed to do something that would unify the party. To declare that an opportunity exists is what we already knew. This is a sham marriage and the reason is simple: good will on both sides.” – Charles Krauthammer on “Special Report with Bret Baier” Watch here.
Chris Stirewalt is digital politics editor for Fox News. Sally Persons contributed to this report. Want FOX News First in your inbox every day? Sign up here.
Chris Stirewalt joined Fox News Channel (FNC) in July of 2010 and serves as politics editor based in Washington, D.C. Additionally, he authors the daily Fox News Halftime Report political news note and co-hosts the hit podcast, Perino & Stirewalt: I'll Tell You What. He also is the host of Power Play, a feature video series on FoxNews.com. Stirewalt makes frequent appearances on network programs, including America’s Newsroom, Special Report with Bret Baier and Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace. He also provides expert political analysis for FNC’s coverage of state, congressional and presidential elections.