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June 3, 2024

Monday: Below the Fold

Hunter Biden’s trial underway, Anthony Fauci’s confessions, Joe Manchin switches party affiliation, and more.


  • Biden is underwater in 48 of the 50 states: When a politician can’t even carry his home state, it’s usually a hint and a half. Think of Al Gore in 2020. All that fuss in Florida would’ve been moot had Gore simply carried his home state of Tennessee. Perhaps similarly, we’re seeing just how bad things are getting for Joe Biden. Civiqs has been polling nearly a half-million people across the 50 states since Biden’s first day in office, and the organization’s latest results found that only Hawaii (+7) and Massachusetts (+1) have Biden’s approval rating in positive territory. Perhaps most stunning are his numbers in his home state of Delaware, a reliably blue state that he carried by nearly 20 points in 2020. There, he’s currently at 35% approval and 57% disapproval for a -22 points rating. As for his worst state, that’s West Virginia, where his disapproval is at 78% and his approval is at 18% for a -60 rating. More crucially, Biden’s numbers in the swing states are worse than his overall rating. The Civiqs polls give Biden a net approval of -22, which is better than he’s doing in Pennsylvania, Nevada, Arizona, Georgia, and Michigan. How low can Limbo Joe go? Stay tuned.

  • Hunter Biden’s gun charge trial is underway: We’d be remiss if we didn’t wish First Lady Jill Biden a happy birthday today, as she’s spending it in a Delaware courtroom in support of her wastrel son Hunter, whose 2018 felony gun charge is finally being adjudicated. Specifically, he’s being charged with lying on a federal gun form. As for the president, he’s been trying to keep Hunter’s legal troubles at arm’s length, at least publicly. “I am the president, but I am also a Dad,” Joe Biden’s handlers penned in a statement this morning. “Jill and I love our son, and we are so proud of the man he is today. Hunter’s resilience in the face of adversity and the strength he has brought to his recovery are inspiring to us.” Just before the 2020 election, Biden called his son “the smartest guy I know.” Mind you, this was after he learned that his son had abandoned his laptop at a Delaware computer repair shop — a laptop replete with images of Russian hookers and blow, as well as incriminating evidence of influence peddling. If this is the smartest guy Joe Biden knows, the old man definitely needs to get out more.

  • Fauci’s confessions: Dr. Anthony Fauci is once again testifying before Congress regarding the lack of scientific evidence behind some of the COVID pandemic rules he supported and promoted. As it turns out, Mr. “I Am the Science” wasn’t basing his opinions on actual science. Two of the most glaring examples of Fauci’s faux science at play were the six-foot social distancing rule and child masking. The House Committee on Oversight and Accountability recently released transcripts from Fauci’s January closed-door testimony, which show that Fauci could not provide any scientific data or studies to support his recommendation for those two official pandemic policies. Fauci said he “was not aware of studies” on the six-foot distancing rule, which “would be a very difficult study to do.” When asked about the potential negative impact of child masking on their learning development, Fauci dismissed such concerns while admitting he could not cite any specific studies. “I believe that there are a lot of conflicting studies,” he said. Some say “there is an impact,” while others “say there’s not. I still think that’s up in the air.” In short, Fauci apparently went with his gut feeling and not the science when making these policy recommendations. That raises a lot of questions regarding his other pandemic policy recommendations.

  • Pandemic cash-out: While many Americans were forced to lock down during the COVID pandemic, which saw millions lose their jobs, those running the National Institutes of Health were rolling in the dough. According to recent reports, private drug companies shelled out some $710 million in royalty payments from 2021 through 2023 to scientists within NIH. Most of that money, $690 million, went to the 260 scientists at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, which was headed by Dr. Anthony Fauci. To obtain this information, OpenTheBooks, a watchdog organization, sued the NIH — twice. OpenTheBooks found that from 2009 through October 2021, the NIH received roughly $325 million in royalties. However, from the end of 2021 through 2023, the amount of royalty payments the agency received more than doubled. It’s not clear exactly what is responsible for the sudden increase in royalties, but it’s a good bet it’s tied to the COVID vaccines, as Moderna alone agreed to pay the NIH $400 million. Senator Rand Paul has sponsored a bill dubbed the Royalty Transparency Act that would require the agency to disclose all royalty payments and which NIH scientists they went to.

  • Manchin switches party affiliation from Democrat to independent: “Our national politics are broken and neither party is willing to compromise to find common ground.” So said retiring West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin, who has finally decided to wash his hands of the Democrat Party. To this, we say: Better late than never — but just barely. Manchin says he’ll still caucus with Senate Democrats, and he’s already done plenty of damage as a deciding Senate vote for some ruinous Biden policies. As our Nate Jackson pointed out more than a year ago, Manchin deserves plenty of blame for our current predicament, specifically the fiscal part of it: “Manchin loves to play the part of the fiscally sane middle man before going right along with just about everything Chuck Schumer and the rest of his Democrat pals want. He negotiated the terms of the Inflation Reduction Act and then provided the deciding vote. His act is all about getting reelected in West Virginia (Trump by 39 points).” The good news is that Manchin is on his way out, and the overwhelming favorite to replace him is the former West Virginia governor, Democrat-turned-Republican Jim Justice.

  • Crime? What crime in Manhattan? As he basks in the glow of his banana-republican show trial conviction of Donald Trump on 34 felony counts for what amounts to an incorrectly labeled bookkeeping entry, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg might want to take a look around him. If he does so, he might see a city awash in real and violent crime, as opposed to trumped up non-crimes. As the Wall Street Journal editorial board writes: “In the 28 days ending May 26, a period that covers about two-thirds of Mr. Trump’s trial, the New York Police Department’s patrol boroughs of Manhattan North and Manhattan South reported 4,900 total arrests, according to the NYPD’s CompStat crime tracking program. That figure is up about 700 compared with a year earlier. It includes six arrests for murder, 12 for rape, 15 grand theft auto, 210 burglary, 214 robbery, 362 grand larceny (over $1,000), and 390 felony assault.” Perhaps here, Bragg could invoke the name of former Washington, DC, “Mayor for Life” Marion Barry. After all, as Barry once claimed, if it weren’t for all the robberies and rapes and murders and the pushing of bystanders onto subway tracks, New York City would probably be a relatively safe place.

  • Mexico election: On Sunday, Mexico elected its first female president, Claudia Sheinbaum. Most recently the mayor of Mexico City, she won what is believed to be the largest election in the country’s history, with almost 100 million Mexicans voting, as she pulled in as much as 60% of the vote. She credited her victory to “our heroines who gave us our homeland.” Sheinbaum claimed, “We have demonstrated that Mexico is a democratic country with peaceful elections," but the record across the campaign season says otherwise, as more than 20 candidates were killed running for both local and state offices over the last three months. Sheinbaum comes into office facing many challenges, including cartel violence, drug running, illegal migration through the country, and a growing debt problem from the state-owned oil company. The early speculation is that the country will continue on the leftist track forged by outgoing President Andrés Manuel López Obrador. As Mexican political analyst Carlos Heredia contends, ”[Sheinbaum] needs him. She doesn’t have the charisma, she doesn’t have the popularity, she doesn’t have the political stamina of her own, so she needs to borrow that from López Obrador.“

  • Vermont climate cultists make oil companies pay for weather: Last Thursday, thanks to the Democrat-dominated legislature, Vermont became the first state to pass a law mandating that oil companies pay the damages for weather-related disasters. Bill S.259 establishes a Climate Superfund Cost Recover Program where large oil companies and other organizations deemed to be emitting "greenhouse” gases will be held accountable for the damages caused by extreme weather events. The bill calls it “climate change cost recovery.” Going back 30 years, the state will compile and calculate the cost of extreme weather events and damages and present the totals in 2026. Those companies deemed to have contributed over a billion metric tons of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere will be required to pay a portion of the damages. The American Petroleum Institute blasted the legislation, noting that it “retroactively imposes costs and liability on prior activities that were legal, violates equal protection and due process rights by holding companies responsible for the actions of society at large; and is preempted by federal law.” While Vermont’s Republican Governor Phil Scott refused to sign the bill, he did not veto it, so it has become law. Ultimately, this is a money-grabbing scheme aimed at collecting money to help cover the costs of over $2 billion in damages caused by a torrential flash flood last summer.


  • “I’m very honored”: Trump embraces felony conviction in return to the campaign trail (National Review)

  • Biden declares it’s “dangerous” for anyone to say Trump trial was “rigged” (PM)

  • GOP senators send message to Biden: No more cooperation on legislation or nominations (Hot Air)

  • Trump reportedly raises $200+ million since verdict (Daily Wire) | Republicans pull in record fundraising haul (Washington Free Beacon)

  • Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee diagnosed with pancreatic cancer (ABC News)

  • OPEC+ extends collective crude production cuts into 2025 (CNBC)

  • Laken Riley murder suspect Jose Ibarra pleads not guilty (Fox News)

  • Seventy-five-year-old woman sentenced to two years for praying outside an abortion clinic; husband fears she will die in prison (Not the Bee)

  • U.S. government, corporations dive into Pride Month homage (Daily Wire)

  • Anti-Israel protesters clash with gay pride marchers in Philly (Not the Bee)

  • Humor: Twelve things that are illegal during Pride Month (Babylon Bee)

For the Executive Summary archive, click here.

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