Electoral College hackers handed twin defeats

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On the roster: Electoral College hackers handed twin defeats – Biden locking down key congressional endorsements – Take primary challenge claims with a grain of salt – Trump Mexico tariff threat goes kablooey – Dude.

ELECTORAL COLLEGE HACKERS HANDED TWIN DEFEATS 
National Review: “Nevada governor Steve Sisolak, a Democrat, vetoed legislation on Thursday that would have preemptively committed the state’s presidential electors to whichever candidate won the national popular vote. ‘After thoughtful deliberation, I have decided to veto Assembly Bill 186,’ Sisolak said in a statement. ‘Once effective, the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact could diminish the role of smaller states like Nevada in national electoral contests and force Nevada’s electors to side with whoever wins the nationwide popular vote, rather than the candidate Nevadans choose.’ ‘I recognize that many of my fellow Nevadans may disagree on this point and I appreciate the legislature’s thoughtful consideration of this important issue,’ he added. The legislation, which was approved by the state Senate last week, would have made Nevada a signatory to the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, which technically preserves the Electoral College but subverts its authority by requiring that signatories award all of their electors to the candidate that wins the national popular vote.”

Maine, too – WMTW: “The Maine House of Representatives on Thursday rejected plan to allocate the state’s four electoral votes to the presidential candidate who wins the popular vote, instead of the candidate who wins the Electoral College. The House vote against the popular vote proposal comes roughly two weeks after the Maine Senate narrowly approved the plan. In the 2016 election, Maine split its electoral votes. Three went to Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton and one went to now-President Donald Trump. Maine is just one of two states to split its electoral votes, and 2016 marked the first time the split happened. It now appears Maine will not sign on to the pact of 14 other states that would allocate their electoral votes based on the candidate who wins the popular vote.”

THE RULEBOOK: A FINE CONSERVANCY  
“WE HAVE seen the necessity of the Union, as our bulwark against foreign danger, as the conservator of peace among ourselves, as the guardian of our commerce and other common interests, as the only substitute for those military establishments which have subverted the liberties of the Old World…” – Alexander HamiltonFederalist No. 14

TIME OUT: ‘I WILL NOT FAIL THEE NOR FORSAKE THEE’
NatGeo: “[David Burnett] first went to Normandy in 1974. [He] was a 27-year-old news photographer shooting the French presidential election, and [his] visit happened to coincide with the 30th anniversary of the D-Day landings. … Since that trip, [he’s] returned to the beaches nearly a dozen times in the past half century, with each visit observing those hallowed sands and bearing witness to how the past refuses to be erased. … [Burnett sees his] responsibility as bridging the gap with photography to help people, particularly young people, understand the importance of what happened there—not just the soldiers who died, but also how the Allied invasion of German-occupied France changed the world. … [Burnett believes] history has a way of receding. Our recollections become secondhand, then thirdhand, and eventually just words in a history book. But [Burnett is] not sure the same fate awaits Normandy. … [He says] there’s something very powerful about putting your feet on the sand.”

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SCOREBOARD
Trump job performance 
Average approval:
 41.6 percent
Average disapproval: 53.2 percent
Net Score: -11.6 points
Change from one week ago: no change 
[Average includes: CBS News: 41% approve – 52% disapprove; Monmouth University: 41% approve – 52% disapprove; Quinnipiac University: 38% approve – 57% disapprove; Fox News: 46% approve – 53% disapprove; Gallup: 42% approve – 52% disapprove.]

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BIDEN LOCKING DOWN KEY CONGRESSIONAL ENDORSEMENTS
Politico: “Former Vice President Joe Biden expanded his lead in congressional endorsements Thursday, landing the backing of second-term Rep. Al Lawson of Florida. ‘They don’t make ‘em like Joe anymore,’ Lawson said in a statement obtained by POLITICO. ‘We have an opportunity now to meet head on the greatest challenges of our time, and ensure our best days still lie ahead of us and that is why I am endorsing him to be the next president of the United States.’ Lawson said Biden ‘has a long history of doing what’s right and not what’s easy to advance the causes of America’s working families.’ Lawson is the latest in a string of Democrats to line up behind Biden in Florida, which will be a key battleground state in the 2020 presidential election. He cited Biden’s ‘proven track record of bringing people together and delivering results’ on issues ranging from health care and the environment to civil rights and women’s rights.”

DNC further complicates debate rules – Refinery29: “With more women in the presidential race than ever before, the Democratic National Committee is requiring that each 2020 Democratic presidential debate includes at least one female moderator, Refinery29 is exclusively reporting. ‘The DNC is committed to an inclusive and fair debate process,’ DNC senior adviser Mary Beth Cahill told Refinery29. ‘That means that all 12 DNC sanctioned debates will feature a diverse group of moderators and panelists including women and people of color, ensuring that the conversations reflect the concerns of all Americans.’ To [Refinery29’s] knowledge, this is the first time the DNC has made this type of rule.”

Booker follows Trump’s cue in Biden swipes – HuffPo: “New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, a contender for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, sharply criticized one of the signature legislative achievements of former Vice President Joe Biden, the contest’s front-runner, calling a decades-old crime law that Biden helped write and pass ‘awful’ and ‘shameful’ for its role in increasing mass incarceration. In an interview with HuffPost while traveling on a campaign-rented RV between two stops in southeastern Iowa during Memorial Day weekend, Booker ― who has made criminal justice reform central to his White House bid ― said he disagreed with Biden’s assertion that the 1994 law didn’t significantly increase the U.S. jail population.”

Ouch: Warren gets roasted on Cherokee ancestry claims – WashTimes: “During an appearance on ‘The Breakfast Club,’ which has become a must-stop for the field of 2020 Democratic presidential contenders, the hosts grilled Ms. [Elizabeth] Warren on why she identified as Native American heritage on her Texas bar registration card and at Harvard, and whether she gained anything from it. Ms. Warren said it was a mistake and again apologized, explaining that she believed the family stories that were passed down from her parents and extended family. …Charlamagne Tha God, one of the hosts, interjected, ‘You sound like the original Rachel Dolezal, a little bit.’ ‘Rachel Dolezal was a white woman pretending to be black,’ he said. … Ms. Warren responded, ‘Well, this is what I learned from my family.’”

Tim Alberta: Gillibrand’s failure to launch – Politico: “But at this point, [KirstenGillibrand isn’t focused on winning the primary. She’s worried about surviving the next few months. Despite a soaring national profile in the U.S. Senate, Gillibrand has failed to achieve liftoff as a presidential prospect. She has not broken 2 percent in a single national poll since officially declaring her candidacy in mid-March, and her 0.4 percent average in the RealClearPolitics aggregate of surveys places her behind the likes of Julián CastroTulsi Gabbard and even geeky long shot Andrew Yang. Her bigger problem is fundraising. To secure a spot in the first double-header of Democratic primary debates in late June, candidates must meet two thresholds: surpassing 1 percent in three recognized national polls and collecting 65,000 unique campaign contributions. Gillibrand has checked the first box, however unimpressively. Yet the second mission remains unaccomplished.”

TAKE PRIMARY CHALLENGE CLAIMS WITH A GRAIN OF SALT
Sabato’s Crystal Ball: “Incumbent House members hardly ever lose primaries. In the post-World War II era, more than 98% of House members who have run for reelection have been renominated by their own parties. However, even such a lofty renomination rate suggests that a few House members will lose primaries next year. And the high victory rate for incumbents in primaries doesn’t take into account some members who may have retired in the face of possible primary challenges. There are several incumbent House members who should take seriously the threat of a primary in 2020. As of now, it appears that there is more primary action on the Democratic side than the Republican side. … This 98% renomination figure may actually understate the safety of incumbents in primaries, at least in this election. The reason is that 2020 is not a national redistricting cycle. While it is possible that some states will have new maps next year based on a pending Supreme Court decision, the lion’s share of states — if not all of them — will hold House elections next year under the same maps those states first created following the 2010 census and in advance of the 2012 election.”

Kraushaar: Top Trump Ally On the Ropes in Kentucky – National Journal: “Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin is the least popular governor in the country. The businessman-turned-politician has lobbed insults at his critics, preventing him from building much support beyond his base. His agenda has been stymied by internal Republican opposition and a flurry of lawsuits from his leading Democratic rival. He regularly makes impolitic statements that cause endless controversy. And he’s hoping to win reelection by painting his opponent as too liberal for Kentucky, while getting a boost from the healthy statewide economy. If that sounds like President Trump, rest assured his upcoming reelection campaign will also be straight out of the Trump playbook. Bevin is betting that he can win by turning his newly minted opponent, state Attorney General Andy Beshear, into an unacceptable, ideologically extreme alternative.”

TRUMP MEXICO TARIFF THREAT GOES KABLOOEY 
WaPo: “President Trump’s surprise announcement of an escalating series of new tariffs on all goods imported from Mexico is likely to upend hopes for early congressional action on his proposed North American trade deal and trigger economic upheaval on both sides of the border, according to trade analysts and business executives. Business leaders reacted with dismay to Trump’s statement Thursday that he would impose a new 5 percent tariff on all goods from Mexico beginning June 10 to force the Mexican government to take more aggressive actions to prevent Central American migrants from crossing its territory en route to the United States. And a prominent member of the president’s party, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Charles E. Grassley of Iowa, blasted Trump’s move as ‘a misuse of presidential tariff authority and contrary to congressional intent.’ Implementing the tariffs, he said, would ‘seriously jeopardize passage’ of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).”

PLAY-BY-PLAY
Recovered hard drives a sharp blow to Trump effort to add citizenship question to Census – NYT

Ocasio-Cortez, Cruz team up on lobbying ban – Politico

Nikki Haley re-emerges – Politico

AUDIBLE: FRIDAY FEELING? 
“Everyone dies and … I don’t believe in the Homeric idea that … immortality comes by … having odes sung about you over the centuries, you know?” – Attorney General William Barr said in an interview with CBS News. 

ANY GIVEN SUNDAY
This weekend Fox News Sunday will be live from Dubuque, Iowa ahead of the Fox News Town Hall with Senator Kirsten Gillibrand at 7pm ET hosted by Mr. Sunday himself. Watch “Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace.” Check local listings for broadcast times in your area.

#mediabuzz – Host Howard Kurtz has the latest take on the week’s media coverage. Watch #mediabuzz Sundays at 11 a.m. ET. 

FROM THE BLEACHERS
“Listening and reading about how House Democrats are divided into two camps on the impeachment of President Trump, I’m inclined to believe their division is based on a focus on short vs. long-term benefits. Those calling for impeachment seem to be only focused on the short-term benefits to themselves of such an action.  Television cameras and breathless reporters hanging on every word (of House members) looking for a great sound bite makes for lots of good exposure to those with greater political aspirations. They know impeachment will go nowhere (in the Senate), but they try to milk every last bit of good media time for the short time it plays out. This is at the expense of what appear to be the longer-term negative results of pursuing impeachment for the Democratic Party. Speaker Pelosi, on the other hand, appears to be playing the ‘long game’ and forgoing short-term benefits in favor of using whatever she can to leverage benefit for the eventual Democratic presidential nominee (as well as Democratic House and Senate candidates) this coming election.  I think Speaker Pelosi is really playing all this carefully and cleverly to her and the Democrats greatest benefit – all in good time.  I don’t agree with her politics, but hats off to her strategic mind and abilities!  Beware anyone who underestimates her in all this!” – Kent Haldorson, Beaverton, Ore.

[Ed. note: I’d better watch my back, Mr. Haldorson, because your analysis is right on the money!]

“I get a huge laugh out of those who get angry about whether Trump is a good president or a bad president. This debate always reminds of the words of comedian Robert Wuhl, who said, ‘We’ll get over it. Because Bad Presidents are as American as apple pie.’” – Chuck Howard III, Munford, Tenn.

[Ed. note: Good point, Mr. Howard. We would all do well to be less fixated – favorably or not – on the current occupant of the executive mansion.]

“Your response to Mr. Lawrence may be the best thing you have ever written. I know that it hit home for me. I myself have quoted Vinegar Joe many times in my long life. Thank you for your sensible advice.” – Gerald B. Stuyvesant, Albuquerque, N.M.

[Ed. note: Thank you, Mr. Stuyvesant! Richard Thaler is the father of modern behavioral economics – the branch of the discipline that taught the rest of the economists that people don’t always act rationally. Thaler and his colleagues reveled that people place value on things other than money and ease. It helps answer the ongoing frustration of economists who can’t understand why people don’t act in their own best interests – saving for retirement, going to the doctor, etc. As Thaler says of his operating principle: “We don’t think people are dumb. We think the world is hard.” When I’m doing my best, I remember that applies to politics and government, too. We would all do better to find more mercy for others, even our accusers.]   

Share your color commentary: Email us at [email protected] and please make sure to include your name and hometown.

DUDE.
AP: “A West Virginia principal accused of plagiarizing Ashton Kutcher in an address to his school’s graduating class says he didn’t mean to use someone else’s work. The News and Sentinel reports Parkersburg High School Principal Kenny DeMoss issued a statement Wednesday saying he should have cited his sources in the May 23 speech, but asserted the ‘thoughts and ideas’ were his own. A graduate posted a video to Facebook that spliced DeMoss’ speech with Kutcher’s 2013 Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards speech and has since amassed over 100,000 views. The speeches used similar wording and at times featured identical phrasing. DeMoss says he’s upset the speech has stolen the focus from graduating students. Wood County Schools Superintendent Will Hosaflook says it is a personnel matter that’s under investigation.”

AND NOW, A WORD FROM CHARLES…
“Many things are miraculous about the U.S. Constitution. The first is that, somehow, on this edge of the civilized world two and a half centuries ago, there could have been a collection of such political geniuses as to have actually written it.” – Charles Krauthammer (1950-2018) a column excerpted from Krauthammer’s posthumous book, “The Point of It All,” published in the Washington Post on Nov. 29, 2018.

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.

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