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Tuesday: Below the Fold

The Dems’ “unacceptable” pandemic fraud, Biden’s secret talks with Putin, and more.

Cross-Examination

  • The Dems’ “unacceptable” pandemic fraud: GOP House members are calling on the Labor Department to preserve records that show agency officials’ knowledge of the extent of fraud related to the COVID pandemic unemployment program. Republican lawmakers have sent several letters to Labor Secretary Marty Walsh related to their concern over fraud within the pandemic program. They contend, “The lack of a sufficient response and action from the [Biden] administration to date is disappointing and unacceptable.” Of the roughly $800 billion spent thus far in the pandemic relief program, there has been an estimated $200 billion in fraud. “The amount of UI fraud is staggering,” wrote Representatives Kevin Brady (R-TX) and Brad Wenstrup (R-OH) in a letter sent last Thursday to Walsh, which “is why congressional Republicans have repeatedly sought information about the billions of taxpayer dollars stolen due to fraud and worked to stop the ‘pay and chase’ model and improve accountability in pandemic unemployment programs.” They further requested “information about the administration’s knowledge of UI fraud and what is being done to recover stolen dollars.” In the likely event that Republicans gain control of at least the House, it is a foregone conclusion that the issue of COVID relief fraud will be dug into much more throughly.

  • Biden’s secret talks with Putin: It has recently come to light that Joe Biden’s national security advisor, Jake Sullivan, has been communicating for months with Russian President Vladimir Putin’s foreign policy advisor, Yuri Ushakov, and Putin’s national security advisor, Nikolai Patrushev. The reason behind the communications has been to reduce the risk of the use of weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear weapons, in Putin’s war against Ukraine. Neither the White House nor the Kremlin have admitted that the discussions have taken place. National Security Council spokeswoman Adrienne Watson simply stated, “People claim a lot of things,” and Russian spokesman Dmitry Peskov claimed, “Anglo-Saxon newspapers have been publishing numerous hoaxes.” Meanwhile, the traditional diplomatic communications between Moscow and Washington have effectively become nonexistent. While maintaining communications is undoubtedly important, one can image the Leftmedia outcry if it had learned that Donald Trump was holding secret talks with the Russians.

  • Afghanistan: A permanent pox on the Biden administration: As millions of Americans go to the polls today, Joe Biden and the Democrats are hoping that most voters don’t recall Biden’s disastrous surrender and abandonment of Afghanistan to the Taliban. Recall that Biden’s actions in Afghanistan cost the lives of 13 U.S. military personnel and hundreds of Afghan allies, which in turn initiated the dramatic plummet in his job approval rating, a descent he has not recovered from. What may be most ironic about Biden’s Afghanistan debacle was that he had intended for it to be a favorable political talking point: “Joe Biden ends America’s longest war.” Instead, it has become Biden’s biggest disgrace, inflicting a generational stain on America’s global reputation and likely directly leading to Vladimir Putin’s decision to invade Ukraine. The impact of Biden’s Afghanistan stain upon Democrat election hopes remains to be seen, but if history is any indicator, a sitting president’s party generally does not outperform his job approval rating in a midterm election. Currently, Biden’s approval is just 42%, which is a bad omen for Democrats. While Afghanistan is far from the only reason Biden is under water in the polls, it may be the one factor that most damaged his image in the minds of the American electorate.

Headlines

  • White House warns: We won’t have full results on Election Day (Townhall)

  • John Fetterman’s campaign sues to get undated and misdated mail-in votes counted (Washington Examiner) | Pennsylvania voters scramble to cast new ballots after GOP lawsuit (WaPo)

  • Kathy Hochul brushes off crime concerns, chides “hyperventilating” Lee Zeldin (NY Post)

  • Elon Musk endorses GOP in midterms (Post Millennial)

  • Karine Jean Pierre insists Biden’s claim he will “shut down coal plants” nationwide were twisted because it was “loud and hard to hear” (Daily Mail)

  • Sean Patrick Maloney: Families struggling with inflation should eat Chef Boyardee (Free Beacon)

  • Florida medical boards approve ban on “transgender healthcare” for children (Townhall)

  • Judge blocks New York gun law, excoriates Democrats trying to “eviscerate the Bill of Rights” (Daily Wire)

  • Subtropical Storm Nicole prompts Tropical Storm Warning and Hurricane Watch for Florida’s east coast (TWC)

  • Policy: The blue-city murder problem (Heritage Foundation)

  • Satire: Nate Silver prepares for biennial tradition of screaming that his wildly erroneous polls were somehow right (Babylon Bee)

  • Humor: Local man lives in constant daylight after saving it for 12 years (Genesius Times)

For more editors’ choice headlines, click here.

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