Biden stokes fears of stolen election

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On the roster: Biden stokes fears of stolen election - I’ll Tell You What: Living through history - Joint Chiefs chairman apologizes for march with Trump - Another 1.5 million laid off - A wild boar ate his homework, and his bag, and his pizza...

Fox News: “Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, in an interview Wednesday night with ‘The Daily Show,’ claimed that President Trump will attempt to ‘steal’ the presidential election. Biden's election-stealing comment on the Comedy Central program is a sharp allegation that reflects continued Democratic anxieties -- over everything from mail-in ballot policies to suspicions that the president may have colluded with Russia during the 2016 election despite no such charges coming from former Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into the matter. ‘It’s my greatest concern, my single greatest concern,’ Biden told host Trevor Noah. ‘This president is going to try to steal this election. This is a guy who said that all mail-in ballots are fraudulent, voting by mail, while he sits behind the desk in the Oval Office and writes his mail-in ballot to vote in a primary.’”

Elections officials brace for disaster - Bloomberg: “Human error and equipment failures that marred recent primaries in Georgia and other states are raising concerns that a technical meltdown risks a chaotic general election and the undermining of voter confidence in the integrity of November’s general election. In contests since the pandemic erupted, tens of thousands of voters in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Georgia and Nevada failed to receive absentee ballots in the mail on time. Meanwhile, those who tried to vote in person were left confused by a reduced number of polling locations and exasperated by long lines to cast their ballots. The problems could affect both supporters of Democrat Joe Biden and President Donald Trump, if traditionally Democratic cities face long lines to vote, which could suppress turnout, and if reliably Republican rural areas experience problems with mail-in ballots due to underfunded postal services. A tight race between Trump and Biden, or a poorly run election in a single swing state could also lead to litigation and a delay in announcing the winner of the presidential race.”

New voter rolls down 70 percent - USA Today: “The registration of new voters dropped dramatically in the U.S. amid the coronavirus pandemic, challenging efforts of both major political parties to enlist new supporters in battleground states ahead of the 2020 election. The number of new voters registered across 11 states in April 2020 decreased by 70% compared with April 2016, according to a report from the nonpartisan Center for Election Innovation & Research released Thursday. Voter registration was well ahead of the 2016 pace in most states through February. It started to decline in March, when states began enforcing stay-at-home orders and social distancing requirements to fight the spread of the COVID-19 virus. By April, registration plummeted as the two most popular methods of signing up new voters – third-party at schools and other public venues and ‘motor voter registration’ – virtually halted.”

James, NBA stars lead black voter drive - NYT: “The N.B.A. superstar LeBron James and a group of other prominent black athletes and entertainers are starting a new group aimed at protecting African-Americans’ voting rights, seizing on the widespread fury against racial injustice that has fueled worldwide protests to amplify their voices in this fall’s presidential election. ‘Because of everything that’s going on, people are finally starting to listen to us — we feel like we’re finally getting a foot in the door,’ Mr. James said in a phone interview on Wednesday. … The organization, called More Than a Vote, will partly be aimed at inspiring African-Americans to register and to cast a ballot in November. But as the name of the group suggests, Mr. James and other current and former basketball stars — including Trae YoungSkylar Diggins-Smith and Jalen Rose — will go well beyond traditional celebrity get-out-the-vote efforts.”

As Harris surges in veepstakes, activists warn Biden - WaPo: "As [Sen. Kamala Harris] seizes an outspoken role supporting the protests gripping the nation, top Democrats – including allies of Joe Biden in touch with his presidential campaign – increasingly see her as the strong favorite to become his running mate. … But … many of the activists who have helped energize the street protests warn that party figures are missing the mood of the moment. … ‘I think that he needs to figure out somebody that’s not just there because they’re a black woman, because they check a box,’ said Tay Anderson, 21, a Denver school board member and a leading voice in that city’s protests. ‘Nominating Kamala Harris in the wake of what’s going on is not the best solution. Nominating someone who’s put black people in jail doesn’t make sense at this moment. You have to have someone who’s not just a box- checker.’”

“The prosperity of commerce is now perceived and acknowledged by all enlightened statesmen to be the most useful as well as the most productive source of national wealth, and has accordingly become a primary object of their political cares.” – Alexander HamiltonFederalist No. 12

Smithsonian: “A portrait of an anonymous woman in Tudor garb has adorned the walls of Great Britain’s most prominent royal residences for hundreds of years. Researchers had long thought that the sitter’s identity was lost to history, but now, a new discovery has enabled experts to put a name to the face: Mary Boleyn, older sister of Anne Boleyn, the ill-fated second wife of Henry VIII. A team from the Jordaens Van Dyck Panel Paintings Project (JVDPPP) announced the find in a statement last month. The painting, previously known simply as Portrait of a Woman, is part of the United Kingdom’s Royal Collection and currently hangs in Mary, Queen of Scots’ bedchamber at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh. … Mary’s portrait was one of a set of 14 ‘Beauties,’ or specially commissioned portraits of royal women. Flemish painter Remigius van Leemput likely painted the series in the 1630s.”

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Trump: 41.8 percent 
Biden: 50.2 percent 
Size of lead: Biden by 8.4 points
Change from one week ago: First week of average
[Average includes: CNN: Trump 41% - Biden 55%; NBC News/WSJ: Trump 42% - Biden 49%; NPR/PBS/Marist: Trump 43% - Biden 50%; IBD: Trump 42% - Biden 49%; Monmouth University: Trump 41% - Biden 52%.]

(270 electoral votes needed to win)
Toss-up: (103 electoral votes): Wisconsin (10), Ohio (18), Florida (29), Arizona (11), Pennsylvania (20), North Carolina (15)
Lean R/Likely R: (186 electoral votes) 
Lean D/Likely D: (249 electoral votes)
[Full rankings here.]

Average approval: 40.6 percent
Average disapproval: 55 percent
Net Score: -14.4 points
Change from one week ago: ↓ 2.4 points
[Average includes: CNN: 40% approve - 57% disapprove; NPR/PBS: 42% approve - 55% disapprove; IBD: 42% approve - 52% disapprove; Gallup: 39% approve - 57% disapprove; CBS News: 40% approve - 54% disapprove.]

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This week, Dana Perino and Chris Stirewalt discuss what Chris calls the ‘profound shift’ in ‘American attitudes on race in racism’ in response to the events following the death of George Floyd. They also talk about congressional action from Capitol Hill following calls to 'defund the police,' and continued 2020 election topics including polling numbers and debate around online and mail-in voting. Plus, Chris is tasked with George H.W. Bush trivia. LISTEN AND SUSCRIBE HERE

WaPo: “The Pentagon’s top general apologized on Thursday for his appearing alongside President Trump in a photo opportunity near the White House after authorities forcibly removing peaceful protesters from the area, saying that it ‘was a mistake that I have learned from.’ Gen. Mark A. Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, made the remarks in a prerecorded graduation speech to students at the National Defense University. Milley advised the students that it is important to keep ‘a keen sense of situational awareness’ and acknowledged his failure to do so on June 1, as he walked from Lafayette Square in combat fatigues alongside the president, Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper and other senior advisers. ‘As many of you saw the results of the photograph of me in Lafayette Square last week, that sparked a national debate about the role of the military in civil society,’ Milley said.”

Trump to resume rallies on friendly turf in Oklahoma - USA Today: “President Donald Trump said Wednesday he plans to headline his first political rallies of the COVID-19 era in five states in the weeks ahead, at least three of them key battlegrounds that could decide whether he remains in the White House. Revivals of his signature political events will begin in Oklahoma, Florida, Texas, Arizona and North Carolina, Trump said, previewing a new phase in a race in which he has fallen behind Democratic challenger Joe Biden in several states – the main reason the president is eager to get back on the road. ‘We're going to start our rallies back up now,’ Trump told reporters at the White House. ‘We've had a tremendous run at rallies. ... It's been an amazing thing to behold.’ Trump plans to return to the stage on June 19 – a week from Friday – at a ‘beautiful new venue’ in Tulsa, Oklahoma, a state that is considered very friendly to him.”

Courts controversy with Juneteenth date - AP: “The rally will take place on Juneteenth, the commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States. Tulsa has its own troubling history on race. Its once-thriving African American business community was decimated in 1921, when a racist white mob killed hundreds of black residents. Black residents attempted to rebuild in the decades that followed, only to see their work erased during urban renewal of the 1960s.”

Gets back on the campaign cash hustle - AP: “President Donald Trump is resuming in-person fundraising events after a three-month hiatus as his campaign works to maintain a cash advantage over Democrat Joe Biden that it believes is vital to victory in November. Trump is traveling to Dallas on Thursday to raise more than $10 million for his campaign and the Republican Party, according to a GOP official who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the plan. He’ll hold another event Saturday at his private golf course in New Jersey. The moves come at a critical moment in the campaign. Trump’s reelection plans have been rocked by the coronavirus pandemic, a severe economic recession and weeks of nationwide protests over racial injustice. That’s added to a sense of urgency to build on the more than $250 million Trump already has in the bank to overcome stiff headwinds.”

Inhoffe looks to claw back commission on removing Confederate names - Roll Call: “Oklahoma Republican James M. Inhofe, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said Thursday he will try to dilute his panel's newly minted proposal requiring the Defense Department to rename bases and other assets named after Confederates. The committee approved a fiscal 2021 defense authorization bill, or NDAA, on Wednesday evening. The measure includes an amendment by Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., that would establish a commission that would make recommendations on how, not whether, to change the names of bases, ships and more. The commission would have up to three years to work. The committee adopted the amendment by voice vote during it's closed-door deliberations. But Inhofe told reporters he does not agree with the provision, and he indicated precisely how he might try to weaken it, either on the Senate floor or in conference.”

Lawmaker wondered if COVID rates for ‘colored’ Ohioans due to bad hygiene - The Columbus Dispatch: “During a hearing Tuesday on whether to declare racism a public health crisis in Ohio, a GOP state senator referred to ‘the colored population’ and questioned whether they get COVID-19 more often because they do not wash their hands as much. During a discussion with Angela Dawson, executive director of the Ohio Commission on Minority Health, Sen. Steve Huffman, a doctor from Tipp City north of Dayton, said, ‘I understand that African Americans have a higher incidence of prior conditions and that makes them more susceptible to COVID, but does not make them more susceptible just to get COVID.’ ‘We know it’s twice as often, correct? Could it just be that African Americans – the colored population — do not wash their hands as well as other groups? Or wear a mask? Or do not socially distance themselves? Could that just be maybe the explanation of why there’s a higher incidence?’”

Henninger: ‘The media’s self-censors’ - WSJ: “In the past week, the editorial page editor of the New York Times, the editor of the Philadelphia Inquirer and the editors of Bon Appétit magazine and the young women’s website Refinery 29 have been forced out by the staff and owners of their publications for offenses regarded as at odds with the beliefs of the current protests. It is impossible not to recognize the irony of these events. The silencers aren’t campus protesters but professional journalists, a class of American workers who for nearly 250 years have had a constitutionally protected and court-enforced ability to say just about anything they want. Historically, people have been attracted to American journalism because it was the freest imaginable place to work for determined, often quirky individualists. Suddenly, it looks like the opposite of that.”

WaPo: “Another 1.5 million people applied for unemployment insurance for the first time last week, adding to the tens of millions of people who have applied for the insurance since the pandemic began and continuing a months-long drop in the number of initial claims. The numbers remain at historically high levels. The number gig and formerly self-employed workers that applied for the supplemental insurance that is newly available for them went up to 705,000, from 620,000 the week before, under the expanded federal program that grants them benefits. More than 40 million people have applied for unemployment benefits during the pandemic, a sky-high toll that paints a picture of the economic devastation that the coronavirus and the shutdowns that have helped contain it have left in their wake. The numbers add to the complicated economic outlook that the United States faces as it works to reopen for business while containing further spread of the virus at the same time.”

Fed warns of years-long struggle - NYT: “The head of the Federal Reserve on Wednesday offered a grim assessment of how quickly the U.S. economy will recover from its pandemic-induced recession, suggesting that millions of people could remain out of work for an extended period as central bank officials estimated unemployment will be at 9.3 percent by the end of 2020. The Fed chair, Jerome H. Powell, said the labor market might have ‘hit bottom’ after recording a 14.7 percent unemployment rate in April, but made clear that it was too soon to know for certain. ‘This is the biggest economic shock, in the U.S. and the world, really, in living memory,’ Mr. Powell said… The sober projections, the Fed’s first estimates of 2020, depicted a very different economic path from the quick ‘V-shaped recovery’ that President Trump has suggested is underway as he pushes states to reopen and remove the stay-at-home orders that have contributed to bringing business activity to a halt.”

Virus surge continues - NPR: “The U.S. has reached another dire landmark in its fight against COVID-19, surpassing 2 million confirmed cases on Wednesday. New coronavirus infections are rising in at least 20 states, even as restrictions on daily life continue to ease across the country. As of Thursday morning, more than 112,000 people have died from COVID-19 in the U.S. — the most fatalities reported by any nation, according to a tracker from Johns Hopkins University. And most experts believe those numbers underestimate the true toll. The latest data also reflects the difficulty of quashing the coronavirus. While some early hot spots such as New York state have seen a sustained drop in new cases, COVID-19 hospitalizations have swelled recently in places like Texas, Arizona, Arkansas and California. Texas set new records for COVID-19 hospitalizations on three consecutive days this week, with a total of 2,153 hospitalized patients on Wednesday. The state was among the first to start the reopening process…”

Bob Greene: ‘Requiem for the Printing Press’ - WSJ: “This week the Miami Herald announced that it is officially moving out of its offices. Because of Covid-19, its reporters and editors have been working from home, and without a newsroom they’ll do that until at least the end of the year. … The loss has a powerful, bittersweet symbolism. As Brent Batten of Florida’s Naples Daily News, whose presses have been silenced and printing operations sent to Sarasota, about 100 miles away, put it: ‘We’re an office building attached to the most amazing piece of machinery any of us are ever likely to behold. Without it, we may as well be in a strip mall.’ It’s probably more important to keep a newspaper alive than to fret about where it’s printed. But in those buildings where, at deadline, there now is only stillness, and the floors don’t hum beneath the reporters’ feet, they know every night what it is they’re missing.”

Roll Call: “A ghost from the old Senate that haunts the chamber’s judicial confirmation fights seems to be disappearing from the floor this year — and might be fading away for good. At about this time during presidential election years, senators have invoked the so-called Thurmond Rule, an unwritten agreement that calls for the chamber to stop approving circuit court nominations in the few months before Election Day. Named after the late South Carolina Republican Sen. Strom Thurmond, senators from both sides have used it to block action on a president’s appeals court picks. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, for instance, cited the rule on June 13, 2012, as reason to halt judicial nominations at the end of President Barack Obama’s first term. McConnell was minority leader at the time. But there’s nary a whisper of the Thurmond Rule this year. And thanks to Senate rule changes and McConnell’s focus on filling the courts with President Donald Trump’s nominees, the old rule looks like it will be ignored.”

Ocasio-Cortez on defense ahead of primary - AP: “It’s Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s turn to defend her record and battle accusations that she’s lost touch with her district. The out-of-nowhere winner of 2018′s most spectacular election upset… faces a June 23 primary in which her chief rival, a former Republican, has adopted the mantra ‘AOC is MIA.’ …  Ocasio-Cortez began airing a TV spot this week that underlines the importance of turnout in what’s likely to be a low-turnout primary. ‘Listen, if we want change, we’ve also got to vote for it,’ she said. ‘She knows how dangerous primaries can be and she’s taking it seriously,’ said Sean McElwee, who conducts research for progressive candidates. …Michelle Caruso-Cabrera, Ocasio-Cortez’s top challenger, are focusing chiefly on two things. One is Ocasio-Cortez’s March vote against a $2 trillion economic relief package, the other her opposition to Amazon’s plan to build a jobs-rich headquarters in a Queens neighborhood in the district, which the company abandoned in 2019.”

Ossoff wins Georgia Senate outright primary - AJC

Medicaid spending could increase by nearly half a trillion dollars in COVID-19 fallout: study - Fox News 

The Judge’s Ruling: The government, lockdown orders and protests - WashTimes

“The more we encourage and focus on the race thing, the greater our attention is not focusing on the fact that this is class warfare.” – Fredrix, a 28-year-old self-described anarchist and participant in the Seattle protest commune called “The Autonomous Zone,” arguing to the NYT against the groups’ focus on police brutality.

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ISRAEL21c: “One Israeli boy recently had what is perhaps the best ever excuse for not doing his homework: a wild boar ate it. Luckily for him, he also had video evidence to prove it and a dad who found the whole episode pretty hilarious. Ido Kozikaro, an Israeli basketball player and contestant on TV show Survivor VIP, recently posted on Facebook a video showing a wild boar happily eating the contents of his son’s schoolbag to the delighted shrieks and exclamations of the boy and his friends. ‘When the kid comes back from school and says he doesn’t have any homework because a wild boar ate his bag and you don’t believe it and then… this,’ he posted on Facebook. In the video, Kozikaro’s son excitedly explains what is happening. ‘We ordered pizza and the wild boar ate all of our pizza and he also ate out of my bag, and he also ate the sweatshirt, and look, he also ate my bag,’ the schoolboy said. All this took part not in some remote, wooded enclave in Haifa, but rather in the very entrance to the boys’ school.”

“After a brief spurt of prominence and wealth owed to the Depression, Hitler and the cold war, Washington, we are told, has lapsed into a somnambular state. This is an exaggeration, but not too far from the truth.” – Charles Krauthammer (1950-2018) writing in Time magazine on May 21, 1990.

Chris Stirewalt is the politics editor for Fox News. Brianna McClelland contributed to this report. Want FOX News Halftime Report in your inbox every day? Sign up here.