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March 13, 2024

Wednesday: Below the Fold

The rematch is official, not SOTU polling bump yet, J6 witness undercut, Buck’s shot, and more.

Cross-Examination

  • Biden vs. Trump rematch is official … for now: The rematch that the majority of Americans did not want will now officially occur. On Tuesday, both Donald Trump and Joe Biden enjoyed primary victories in Georgia, Mississippi, and Washington state. Those primary victories were never in doubt, and both candidates secured delegate totals needed to win their party’s nominations. This will be the first election since 1912 featuring a rematch of two U.S. presidents. Of course, given Biden’s advanced age at 81, his declining energy and mental acuity, and his negative polling numbers, speculation over whether Biden will remain the Democrats’ nominee is bound to continue. Meanwhile, Trump has a mountain of legal issues he’ll be forced to navigate as he seeks a second stint in the White House.

  • Biden got no SOTU polling bump despite MSM cheerleading: “The speech earned rave reviews from pundits — but so far, Americans don’t seem convinced by the president’s energetic new pitch.” So says the subhead from Yahoo News in a story about the much-anticipated but as yet nonexistent bump in Joe Biden’s polling numbers in the aftermath of last week’s State of the Union address, and the disappointment in poor Andrew Romano’s voice is palpable. “Pundits,” the disheartened journo continues, “may have fawned over President Biden’s State of the Union address last Thursday, praising it as a ‘homerun’ performance from a ‘fiery, powerful, vigorous guy’ that would ease nagging fears about his age and vitality. But voters barely seem to have noticed.” For the record, Romano forgot “feisty.” Scranton Joe was definitely feisty. A steroid cocktail with a Ritalin chaser will do that to a guy. As The Washington Post put it, “Fiery Biden takes on GOP, makes case for second term.” And Reuters: “Biden takes on Trump and Republicans in fiery State of the Union speech.” And the Associated Press: “Biden uses feisty State of the Union to contrast with Trump.” So, you see, the speech wasn’t nasty and divisive and otherwise yawn-inducing. Instead, it was “fiery” and “feisty,” and the 81-year-old Biden’s delivery was “powerful” and “vigorous.” One word of caution, though, for those of us who might enjoy a good guffaw: Polls are lagging indicators, and just because the RealClearPolitics average hasn’t budged since MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough laughably told us that this was “the best Biden ever,” it doesn’t mean his numbers won’t yet nudge up just a bit. But we wouldn’t bet a fiver on it.

  • Georgia judge dismisses multiple charges against Trump: Fulton County judge Scott McAfee has jettisoned six counts in the Georgia election interference case being overseen by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis against former President Donald Trump and his 18 co-defendants. According to McAfee’s order, the state failed to make the case in six counts of “solicitation of violation of oath by public officer.” As McAfee wrote: “The Court’s concern is less that the State has failed to allege sufficient conduct of the Defendants — in fact it has alleged an abundance. However, the lack of detail concerning an essential legal element is, in the undersigned opinion, fatal.” Trump and his colleagues still face an uphill legal struggle given the likely makeup of a potential Fulton County jury, but it’s reassuring to know that there’s at least one adult in the room. DA Willis, who still has plenty of egg on her face from credible allegations of an improper sexual relationship with her lead prosecutor, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

  • GOP report sheds new light on a darling J6 witness: Whatever happened to Cassidy Hutchinson anyway? Surely, you remember young Cassidy. She was the erstwhile assistant to former Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows, and she was one of the Democrats’ key witnesses in their investigative whitewash of January 6 rioting and Capitol building tourism. Recall that Hutchinson had testified under oath before the rigged J6 committee about having heard from White House deputy chief of staff for operations Tony Ornato that while in transit within the presidential limo, Trump was told that he couldn’t join his supporters at President’s Park South, also known as The Ellipse, on January 6. According to Hutchinson, an enraged Trump first lunged toward the steering wheel, “then used his free hand to lunge towards Bobby Engel,” his lead Secret Service agent. On Monday, however, the House Administration Committee’s oversight subcommittee released its report on J6 and, as the Washington Examiner reports, among its finding “were claims that Hutchinson’s account of former President Donald Trump’s actions on Jan. 6 was not corroborated by other White House employees.” In addition, the report noted that despite the select committee’s knowledge that Hutchinson’s testimony had changed over time to be more dramatic, and despite their failure to verify her version of events, they nonetheless promoted and sensationalized her testimony. Imagine that.

  • Buck’s shot at the GOP: We’re inclined to say “good riddance” to nominal Colorado Republican Ken Buck, who announced his resignation from Congress yesterday, but we need to be careful what we wish for. The GOP House is growing perilously close to becoming a Democrat-controlled House with Speaker Hakeem Jeffries. “It has been an honor to serve the people of Colorado’s 4th District in Congress for the past 9 years,” said Buck in an X post. “Today, I am announcing that I will depart Congress at the end of next week. I look forward to staying involved in our political process, as well as spending more time in Colorado and with my family.” Ah, the “spending more time with my family” excuse. What makes Buck’s shot so insidious, though, is the mid-term departure as opposed to an end-of-term departure. This leaves House Republicans scrambling ahead of a special election to be held sometime in the next five months. On second thought, yes, good riddance.

  • Uvalde chief resigns: On Tuesday, Uvalde, Texas, Police Chief Daniel Rodriguez announced that he will be resigning effective April 6. “I believe it is time for me to embrace a new chapter in my career,” he stated, adding, “I have full confidence that the police department will continue to thrive under new leadership.” Rodriguez and the Uvalde Police Department received a significant amount of deserved criticism following their lackluster response to the school massacre there almost two years ago. Indeed, Rodriguez’s resignation comes just one week after the Uvalde City Council released its commissioned independent investigative report into the police department’s immediate response to the school attack. The report found that none of the five initially responding officers violated the department’s policies or engaged in any misconduct. That finding only served to rub salt in the wounds of the families of those murdered, some of whom subsequently called for Rodriguez’s resignation.

  • Jill Biden’s “work husband” accused of being a sexually harassing bully: A top aide to Jill Biden is reportedly a bully who verbally sexually harasses White House staff. Anthony Bernal, an openly homosexual man, has worked for the Bidens for a long time. The report comes from unnamed sources within the White House. A former top aide to the Bidens who requested to remain anonymous claimed that Bernal’s abusive behavior toward staff was well known and long-running, but he was viewed as “untouchable” because Jill Biden sees him as her “work husband.” According to the report, Bernal used sexual harassment as a tool to intimidate and gain the upper hand over others. “It is to make people uncomfortable and to have power over them,” the source said. “It is Me Too — classic Me Too.” However, White House Chief of Staff Jeff Zients dismissed the report as “unfounded,” contending that “[Bernal’s] many fans at the White House know him to be both gracious and tough, holding himself up to the highest standards, with a heart dedicated to public service.”

  • Kansas judge rules keeping biological sex on ID is legal: District Judge Teresa Watson on Monday ruled in favor of Kansas’s rule that prohibits individuals from changing a state ID or driver’s license from their biological sex to match their declared gender identity. Last year, Kansas Democrat Governor Laura Kelly vetoed legislation that prohibited sex changes on ID cards. State Republican Attorney General Kris Kobach responded to Kelly’s veto by filing a lawsuit. After the judge’s decision, Kobach responded, “This decision is a victory for the rule of law and common sense. The Legislature wisely stated that state agencies should record biological sex at birth, and today, the court held that the meaning of the law is clear.” In her decision, Watson stated, “Information recorded on a driver’s license does not interfere with transgender persons’ ability to control their own bodies or assert bodily integrity or self-determination. It does not prevent them from mak[ing] their own decisions regarding their bodies, their health, their family formation, and their family life.”

Headlines

  • House passes bill that could see TikTok banned in U.S. (Fox Business)

  • Republicans subpoenaed 15 years of Hunter Biden phone records (The Hill)

  • 14 House Democrats vote with GOP to demand Biden control the border (Daily Wire)

  • U.S. to send Ukraine $300 million arms package as further aid stalls (Washington Post)

  • Biden’s Gaza floating port plan generating concern among military professionals (Legal Insurrection)

  • Israel confirms death of another American in Hamas’s Oct. 7 attack (Washington Free Beacon)

  • Islamic terrorists “posing as refugees” are invading Europe (PJ Media)

  • NAACP calls on black student-athletes to boycott Florida public colleges over anti-DEI policy (NBC News)

  • The VA is now offering abortions and rent-a-womb arrangements for gay couples with your tax dollars (Not the Bee)

  • U.K. National Health Service to stop prescribing puberty blockers to kids (National Review)

  • Canadian law would allow judges to hand down life sentences for “speech crimes” (Not the Bee)

  • Humor: Boeing jets come out as trans-safe: they are not safe but they ‘identify as safe" (Genesius Times)

For more editors’ choice headlines, click here.

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