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Sen. Elizabeth Warren holds a town hall Dems block debate on police curbs


Elizabeth Warren

Sen. Elizabeth Warren holds a town hall Dems block debate on police curbs

**Want FOX News Halftime Report in your inbox every day? Sign up here.**On the roster: Dems block debate on police curbs – Left-wing insurgent set to topple 16-term Engel – Fauci says coming weeks crucial to controlling virus – Biden puts focus on Badger State – Die frucht des SchreckensgestankesDEMS BLOCK DEBATE ON POLICE CURBS Fox News:…

Sen. Elizabeth Warren holds a town hall Dems block debate on police curbs

Sen. Elizabeth Warren holds a town hall

**Want FOX News Halftime Report in your inbox every day? Sign up here.**

On the roster: Dems block debate on police curbs – Left-wing insurgent set to topple 16-term Engel – Fauci says coming weeks crucial to controlling virus – Biden puts focus on Badger State – Die frucht des Schreckensgestankes

DEMS BLOCK DEBATE ON POLICE CURBS 

Fox News: “A Republican-authored police reform bill failed in a Senate test vote Wednesday after Democrats opposed the bill on the basis it did not go far enough — sparking a furious war of words on the floor and marking an apparent impasse just weeks after George Floyd‘s death led to calls for new legislation. The procedural vote on whether to start debate was 55-45; it needed 60 votes in order to proceed. Republicans had 53 votes, but not enough Democrats joined them. This effectively freezes police reform in Congress for now, even if the House approves its own measure on Thursday. …Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell fumed, saying the bill was a ‘first offer’ and could have been altered during the debate process. Lawmakers in the House and Senate have proposed bills amid the movement to reform policing in the wake of Floyd’s death last month in Minneapolis police custody.”

Scott, McConnell aren’t ready to give up – Roll Call: “[TimScott, speaking on the floor after the vote, said he sat down with Democratic senators and was able to offer as many as 20 amendments to repair the bill, but they ‘walked out’ on him anyway. ‘This process is not broken because of the legislation,’ he said. ‘This is a broken process beyond that one piece of legislation. It’s one of the reasons why communities of color, young Americans of all colors are losing faith in the institutions of authority and power in this nation.’ As Scott finished his speech, which included deeply personal stories during his sometimes troubled childhood, the chamber erupted in applause. McConnell pointed the blame back on Democrats, saying the party insisted a bill be brought to the floor before Independence Day but now wants to ‘rewrite the bill behind closed doors in advance.’ The Kentucky Republican said the argument makes the Senate a parody of itself.”

THE RULEBOOK: SAFETY FIRST

“Safety from external danger is the most powerful director of national conduct.” – Alexander HamiltonFederalist No. 8

TIME OUT: LET’S FEAST

Smithsonian: “For two-and-a-half-weeks in June 1520, two of Renaissance Europe’s greatest monarchs—England’s Henry VIII and France’s Francis I—convened for a celebration of unmatched proportions. Named after the gold-embellished fabric used to craft the tents, costumes and decorations, the Field of Cloth of Gold cost the modern equivalent of some £15 million pounds, or almost $19 million. Ostensibly organized as an affirmation of the young kings’ friendship, the summit also afforded each ruler the chance ‘to outdo the other in splendor and military prowess,’ says historian Tracy Borman. Both men answered this appeal to vanity in full force. From June 7 to 24, around 12,000 royals, nobles, attendants and servants gathered in fields on the northern tip of modern-day France, between English-held Guînes and French-held Ardres, where they enjoyed nights of revelry in enormous temporary palaces of brick, timber, canvas and glass. Guests dined on such delicacies as 29,000 fish, 98,000 eggs, 6,475 birds, 2,200 sheep and 216,000 gallons of wine; competed in jousts, wrestling matches and other tests of athletic prowess; and performed in elaborate masques.”

Flag on the play? – Email us at HALFTIMEREPORT@FOXNEWS.COM with your tips, comments or questions.

SCOREBOARD

NATIONAL HEAD-TO-HEAD AVERAGE

Trump: 39.8 percent

Biden: 50.8 percent

Size of lead: Biden by 11 points

Change from one week ago: Biden ↑ 0.6 points; Trump ↓ 2 points

[Average includes: NYT/Siena: Trump 36% – Biden 50%; Fox News: Trump 38% – Biden 50%; Quinnipiac University: Trump 41% – Biden 49%; CNN: Trump 41% – Biden 55%; NPR/PBS/Marist: Trump 43% – Biden 50%.]

BATTLEGROUND POWER RANKINGS

(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.]

TRUMP JOB PERFORMANCE

Average approval: 41.8 percent

Average disapproval: 55.6 percent

Net Score: -13.8 points

Change from one week ago: ↑ 0.6 points

[Average includes: NYT/Siena: 41% approve – 56% disapprove; Fox News: 44% approve – 55% disapprove; Quinnipiac University: 42% approve – 55% disapprove; CNN: 40% approve – 57% disapprove; NPR/PBS/Marist: 42% approve – 55% disapprove.]

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LEFT-WING INSURGENT SET TO TOPPLE 16-TERM ENGEL

Bloomberg: “A progressive newcomer appeared on the brink of toppling veteran lawmaker Eliot Engel in Tuesday’s New York’s Democratic primary, in which left-leaning candidates found a surge of support that could begin reshaping of the state’s representation in the U.S. House. With thousands of absentee votes yet to be counted, Engel was trailing, by a wide margin, former middle school principal Jamaal Bowman, who challenged the 16-term congressman with the backing of Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders and progressive star Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Two other progressive candidates, New York City Council member Ritchie Torres and lawyer Mondaire Jones were leading in multi-candidate races to run for seats left open by retiring Democrats. Another longtime incumbent, Representative Carolyn Maloney, was in a surprising close contest with a challenger from the left. Ocasio-Cortez easily defeated a challenger backed by Wall Street money. ‘The left movement of the Democrats is clear, ‘New York based political consultant Hank Sheinkopf said. ‘This is a generational shift.’

Ocasio-Cortez flexes – NY Post: “Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez looks set to waltz to a second term as the self-described Democratic socialist dominated her primary competition Tuesday night. The incumbent — almost better known by her initials, AOC, than her actual name — rolled to victory, claiming 73 percent of the ballots cast at the polls during early voting and on primary day, with 74 percent of precincts reporting. Her best-funded opponent — Michelle Caruso-Cabrera, a former Republican and financial news reporter — had nabbed just 20 percent of the vote. … Ocasio-Cortez was expected to easily win the race, in which Caruso-Cabrera focused on her opposition to the Amazon headquarters deal for Long Island City, her far-left leanings as a leader of the congressional progressives and brought renewed attention to complaints she hasn’t focused enough on constituent services. But her last-minute attack ads on Caruso-Cabrera gave some poll watchers reason to think she was vulnerable.”

Meadows muffs effort to pick his House successor – Politico: “President Donald Trump’s perfect endorsement record in GOP primary elections crashed with a thud Tuesday night when his choice for an open seat in Western North Carolina was drubbed by a 24-year-old first-time candidate. The result of the GOP primary runoff in North Carolina’s 11th Congressional District was a major embarrassment for Trump’s new chief of staff, Mark Meadows, with many senior Republicans punting the blame toward him. Trump and Meadows went all in for Lynda Bennett, a real-estate agent who is a close friend of the Meadows, only to see her routed by Madison Cawthorn, a businessman who was partially paralyzed in a car accident. Cawthorn led Bennett by around 30 points when The Associated Press called the race. The president tweeted out his endorsement of Bennett in early June…”

It’s still too close to call in Kentucky – NBC News: “The Kentucky Senate Democratic primary race to determine who takes on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in November is too close to call, NBC News projects. Amy McGrath, a retired Marine lieutenant colonel, had a slight edge in a tougher-than-expected challenge from state Rep. Charles Booker. With 10 percent of the vote in by Wednesday morning, McGrath led Booker, 44 percent to 39.6 percent, a margin of slightly over 2,000 votes. But that tally includes only votes cast in person at the polls on Tuesday; none of the substantial number of mail-in ballots that could determine the outcome have been counted and will not be for days.”

FAUCI SAYS COMING WEEKS CRUCIAL TO CONTROLLING VIRUS

AP: “The next few weeks are critical to tamping down a disturbing coronavirus surge, Dr. Anthony Fauci told Congress on Tuesday — issuing a plea for people to avoid crowds and wear masks…. Fauci and other top health officials also said they have not been asked to slow down virus testing, in contrast to Trump’s claim last weekend that he had ordered fewer tests be performed because they were uncovering too many infections. Trump said earlier Tuesday that he wasn’t kidding when he made that remark. … The leading public health officials spent more than five hours testifying before the committee at a fraught moment, with coronavirus cases rising in about half the states and political polarization competing for attention with public health recommendations.”

Trump ignores corona precautions at megachurch rally in Arizona – Arizona Republic: “The crowd of about 3,000 supporters appeared similarly disinterested in dwelling on the pandemic, which has killed 1,342 Arizonans and 121,176 Americans since arriving in the U.S. early this year. Most of the attendees who packed into Dream City Church in north Phoenix did not wear face coverings. Nor did any of the event speakers, including the president. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends wearing face masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Both Maricopa County and Phoenix have enacted ordinances requiring masks in public places last week. But inside the megachurch, the vast majority of people flouted the new laws and questioned whether the pandemic was of real concern. During his speech, the president repeatedly assured his crowd that the U.S. was at ‘the end of the pandemic.’”

Hospitals cope with corona surge – AP: “Coronavirus hospitalizations and caseloads hit new highs in over a half-dozen states as signs of the virus’ resurgence mounted, with newly confirmed infections nationwide back near their peak level of two months ago. After trending downward for six weeks, the U.S. caseload has been growing again for over a week, particularly in the South and West. Some 34,700 new cases were reported nationwide Tuesday, according to the count kept by Johns Hopkins University. The number was higher than any other day except April 9 and the record-setting date of April 24, when 36,400 cases were logged. While new cases have been declining steadily in early U.S. hot spots such as New York and New Jersey, several other states set single-day case records Tuesday, including Arizona, California, Mississippi, Nevada and Texas. Some of them also broke hospitalization records, as did North Carolina and South Carolina.”

Republicans shy from Trump’s call for more stimulus spending – AP: “President Donald Trump’s call for another round of stimulus checks to most taxpayers is getting a lukewarm endorsement from his GOP allies on Capitol Hill, but it’s emerging as an early area of potential agreement with Democrats like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on the next coronavirus bill. In a fractured Washington, that could be a foundation of a winning coalition as lawmakers inch toward talks on the fifth, and possibly final, coronavirus relief measure before November’s elections. Trump told an interviewer Monday that he supports another round of direct economic stimulus payments similar to the $1,200 checks issued to most individuals earlier this year. … On Tuesday, neither Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin — the lead White House negotiator on the first package — nor Trump’s GOP allies raced to endorse the idea.”

BIDEN PUTS FOCUS ON BADGER STATE

AP: “Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden is turning to a quartet of experienced Wisconsin political operatives to lead his campaign in a state that helped deliver President Donald Trump an Electoral College majority four years ago. The former vice president’s campaign unveiled the team to The Associated Press on Wednesday. Wisconsin, where Trump won by fewer than 23,000 votes in 2016, joins newly emerging battleground Arizona as the first two states where Biden has named his campaign team. Two veterans of Sen. Tammy Baldwin’s successful 2018 reelection campaign will run Biden’s Wisconsin operation. Danielle Melfi, who was Baldwin’s political engagement chief, is Biden’s new state director. Scott Spector, who managed Baldwin’s campaign, will serve Biden as senior adviser.”

New poll shows Biden’s lead growing – National Review: “A new poll shows Joe Biden widening his lead over Donald Trump in the crucial battleground state of Wisconsin. Biden now leads Trump 49 percent to 41 percent, according to the new Marquette University Law school poll. Two earlier polls conducted by Marquette in May and March of this year each showed Biden leading Trump by just three points. Since May, independent voters’ views of Trump’s job performance have turned sharply against the president.”

Biden takes 14-point lead in latest national poll – NYT: “Joseph R. Biden Jr. has taken a commanding lead over President Trump in the 2020 race, building a wide advantage among women and nonwhite voters and making deep inroads with some traditionally Republican-leaning groups that have shifted away from Mr. Trump following his ineffective response to the coronavirus pandemic, according to a new national poll of registered voters by The New York Times and Siena College. Mr. Biden is currently ahead of Mr. Trump by 14 percentage points, garnering 50 percent of the vote compared with 36 percent for Mr. Trump. That is among the most dismal showings of Mr. Trump’s presidency, and a sign that he is the clear underdog right now in his fight for a second term. Mr. Trump has been an unpopular president for virtually his entire time in office. He has made few efforts since his election in 2016 to broaden his support beyond the right-wing base that vaulted him into office with only 46 percent of the popular vote and a modest victory in the Electoral College.”

Alberta: ‘Can Biden survive the despair of the black Democrat?’ – Politico: “‘Here’s the thing about Black people,’ Tonya Griffith said between sips of rose-colored liquid from a clear plastic cup. ‘We are real passive politically—until they give us a reason not to be. And trust me, we’re not feeling real passive right now.’ Three weeks ago, Griffith said, that wasn’t the case. Black voters she knows were coasting on autopilot during this election year. There was no feeling of intensity. And then came the killing of George Floyd. ‘That lit a fire under our ass like nothing I’ve ever seen,’ Griffith said. … ‘We look at Joe Biden and see more of the same. It’s about the era he came up. It’s about his identity—he’s a rich, old white man. What are his credentials to us, other than Obama picking him?’ … These sentiments resurfaced in almost every conversation I had. First, that Biden choosing a woman of color might actually irritate, not appease, Black voters. Second, that the inferno of June would flicker by summer’s end and fade entirely by November. And third, that Biden does little to inspire a wary Black electorate that views him as the status quo personified. It was thoroughly convincing. Here were high-information voters, giving their personal opinions while also analyzing the feeling of their community, all making the same points in separate conversations.”

Obama helps raise $7.6 million at Biden fundraiser – AP: “Former President Barack Obama warned Democrats against being ‘complacent or smug’ about the presidential race at a grassroots fundraiser Tuesday for presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden, calling on viewers to learn the lessons from 2016 and not take the election for granted. Referencing what he called a ‘great awakening’ going on among younger Americans pushing for reforms, Obama said that ‘just because this energy is out there does not mean that it assures our victory and it does not mean that it gets channeled in a way that results in real change.’ … The fundraiser marked Obama’s official return to the presidential campaign trail and underscored his unmatched popularity within the Democratic Party. Biden, who appeared virtually alongside Obama at the event, said it raised a record-breaking $7.6 million from more than 175,000 individual donors.”

TEAM TRUMP SEARCHES FOR SOCIAL MEDIA ALTERNATIVES

WSJ: “The Trump campaign, known for its social media savvy, is hitting digital roadblocks. Facebook’s decision to remove Trump campaign political ads and posts last week, citing its policy against organized hate, surprised campaign officials. … The campaign is unlikely to pull advertising on Facebook, campaign officials said, since it can reach around 175 million U.S. users. The campaign has spent $19.6 million on Facebook ads so far this year. But the rebuke from the social media giant, following restrictions from Twitter Inc. and Snap Inc.’s Snapchat, has top campaign officials considering alternatives, such as moving to another, lesser known company, building their own platform or doubling down on efforts to move supporters to the campaign’s smartphone app, according to people familiar with the discussions. But there is disagreement internally over what—if anything—to do next, the people said. No other platforms offer the reach of Facebook or Twitter, and with about five months until Election Day, time is running out. The situation has been described internally as ‘code red,’ a person familiar with the matter said.”

Ohio, a Trump stronghold in 2016, looks like a tossup – Quinnipiac University: “In a state that has picked the eventual presidential winner since 1964, former Vice President Joe Biden receives 46 percent of the vote, while President Donald Trump receives 45 percent in a general election matchup, according to a Quinnipiac University poll of Ohio registered voters released today. Among Republicans, Trump wins 92 – 5 percent, while Democrats go for Biden 93 – 3 percent. Independents are divided with Trump receiving 44 percent and Biden getting 40 percent. … Biden gets a mixed favorability rating as 42 percent of voters have a favorable opinion of him, while 45 percent have an unfavorable one. Trump’s favorability rating is underwater, as 43 percent have a favorable opinion of him and 53 percent have an unfavorable one.”

Kraushaar: Trump’s coalition is cracking up – National Journal: “For a president who has relied on a base-first strategy at all costs, hoping to win reelection without courting new voters, even the slightest slippage among rock-solid Republicans is alarming. The revelations from former Trump national security adviser John Bolton’s new book may not matter to Trump’s hardcore base, but there are plenty of softer Republican voters already close to breaking away. So what does it all mean for the November election? Right now, it looks more likely that Biden will win a landslide victory, picking up states uncontested by Democrats in recent elections, than it is that Trump can mount a miraculous turnaround in just over four months. Even as Trump tries to advance a law-and-order pitch amid growing violence and tumult in the nation’s cities, it’s unlikely to benefit the president because he’s the leader in charge. The chaos candidate is now the chaos president. Biden is the challenger pledging a return to normalcy.”

Donors tied to Chinese regime poured big money into Trump re-election – WSJ: “Soon after Donald Trump took office, people with ties to the Chinese state poured hundreds of thousands of dollars into his re-election bid to get close to and potentially influence the new president. The effort had early success in gaining access for those involved, helping them meet the president or top Republicans at fundraisers or at an internal GOP leadership meeting. It reveals how China seeks to build inroads into U.S. politics, gather information on U.S. leaders and if possible affect policy-making. Several of those involved worked closely with China’s national-security apparatus, including organizations linked to its military, and briefed prominent Chinese political figures about their efforts. As guests of a Republican official named Shawn Steel, Chinese nationals, including a man working for China’s central government, attended an invitation-only gathering in May 2017 where GOP leaders discussed campaign strategies and other issues.”

Gidley heads to the campaign team – Politico: “Long-serving White House communications official Hogan Gidley is moving over to Donald Trump’s campaign. Gidley, who has spent nearly three years as a top White House spokesman, will serve as the campaign’s national press secretary. The reelection effort has made several major staff moves in recent weeks as it prepares for the general election, elevating longtime Trump political adviser Bill Stepien and rehiring 2016 campaign aide Jason Miller.”

APPEALS COURT ORDERS FLYNN CHARGES DISMISSED

Fox News: “A federal appeals court on Wednesday ordered a lower court to allow the case against former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn to be dismissed, as requested by the Justice Department — likely ending the years-long legal saga stemming from the Russia investigation. The abrupt ending came in a 2-1 ruling and order from judges on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. This was the result of an appeal from Flynn’s lawyers asking for a so-called writ of mandamus — essentially an order telling a government official to carry out a certain duty — directing District Judge Emmet Sullivan to approve the DOJ’s motion to dismiss. … The unusual move from Sullivan to keep the case alive despite prosecutors’ wishes was preceded by an unusual move from the DOJ itself to drop the charges against Flynn even after he had pleaded guilty — saying the FBI interview that led to his charge of lying to investigators about his contacts with Russia’s ambassador had no ‘legitimate investigative basis.’”

PLAY-BY-PLAY

DOD reviewing options for troop withdrawal from Germany – AP

AUDIBLE: THE BEST AND THE REST 

“The vast majority of Americans know full well that imperfect heroes are still heroes; that our imperfect union is still the greatest nation in world history.” – Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in a floor speech denouncing mobs trying to topple statues of the Founding Fathers.

FROM THE BLEACHERS

“I’d really love your take on that head-to-head gap? Trump ~41% to Biden ~51%. It seemed there was always a similar gap in the Hillary to Trump Head-to-head. Trump’s numbers always changing but Biden or Hillary’s not. What are we to think of that mysterious 10% in 2020? Does it parallel 2016? What should we look for?” – Andrew Jezewski, Iowa City, Iowa

[Ed. note: Great question, Mr. Jezewski! Let’s go to the instant replay… Today, 132 days before the election, President Trump trails challenger Joe Biden by 11 points in our daily average of the five most recent properly conducted polls. Trump’s score in 39.8 percent, Biden’s in 50.8 percent. What did the average look like 132 days before the 2016 election? Hillary Clinton led Trump by 5.4 points, 45.4 percent to 40 percent. The good news for Trump is that he’s not doing any worse than he was four years ago. The bad news is that Biden is doing much, much better than Clinton. No matter what misadventures Trump undertook in 2016, Clinton could never seem to get to 50 percent. Trump’s numbers would tumble, but it never translated to these kinds of advantages for Clinton. Trump won in 2016 for a lot of reasons, but one way to look at is that among the large number of voters who weren’t keen on either candidate, Trump had the clear edge. Clinton, a wildly unpopular highly polarizing figure herself, could never fully translate dislike of Trump into support for her candidacy. That’s what Biden’s doing right now. If the top of Trump’s possible range is about 45 percent, he needs to drag Biden down far enough below 50 where an Electoral College victory is in reach. Trump can win while still trailing nationally by 3 points or so, but not if he’s trailing by nearly four times that much. What Trump needs is more scrutiny on Biden and less on himself, but that seems to go against his basic approach of always staying at center stage.] 

“If Joe picks Harris as his VP, and they grab the Golden Ring, whom will CA Gov Newsom select as her successor till 2022?” – Frederick H. Graefe, Washington, D.C.

[Ed. note: If I were Gavin Newsom, I would be looking at replacing one state attorney general with another and sending Xavier Becerra back to Washington. It eliminates an in-state rival for the ambitious Newsom and Becerra certainly knows his way around a committee room. I’m not sure how much pressure he would face for replacing a woman with a man, but that’s the one that looks most obvious to me.]

“What reforms should be made to the current state of the electoral college?” – Jackson Sperry, Chaska, Minn.

[Ed. note: It’s a question I’ve been thinking about quite a lot lately, Mr. Sperry. Given the degree to which our politics is beset by both demagoguery and disputes over election results, this would be a terrible time indeed to lose the Electoral College. But if it is to be preserved, then steps must be taken to increase public confidence in the institution. There’s a case at the Supreme Court now that seeks to explode the college by preventing states from binding electors to statewide results. Then there’s the long-running constitutional hack of state promising to bind their votes to the winner of the national popular vote. It’s of dubious constitutionality and would be a nightmare to apply, but one of these days somebody may find a way to gig that frog. So, reforms could be a useful deterrent. I have become increasingly enamored of James Madison’s proposal to choose electors by congressional district, keeping two winner-take-all electors per state. I need to keep noodling, but that’s what I’m thinking for now.]

“…there is now a raging debate about changing the name of Washington’s football team. That seems totally unnecessary. We can simply change the logo to a red potato. Eventually and quickly the words ‘Red Skins’ would evoke a culinary image, rather than one of subjugation. That would be an added bonus to this Eagles fan who already thinks of the ‘Skins as mashed potatoes…” – Steve Litwack, Sarasota, Fla.

[Ed. note: Too funny, Mr. Litwak! This gives new meaning to the phrase “boom, roasted.”]

“Thank you for the Robert Earl Keen reference [Friday]! I’ve been a daily reader of the Halftime Report (I’m including the previous formats before the current sports theming) since my sophomore year of college seven years ago. Robert Earl Keen’s greatest hits on cassette tape was the official soundtrack of the car rides to Little League with my father when I was a boy. I want to thank you for your always welcome insights on politics, as well as more consequential matters such as barbeque, bacon, and baseball. However, as an avid Braves fan, I will never be able to root for the Cardinals after the infield fly boondoggle of 2012. Please keep up the good work!” – Jacob RolandFalkville, Ala.

[Ed. note: Mine was George JonesWillie Nelson and Johnny Cash on my dad’s 8-track player, so I know where you’re coming from, brother. Keen always makes me smile. “Coming Home to You,” “Gringo Honeymoon” and my favorite, “Feeling Good Again” are always welcome on my playlists. I recall the game well. It was the one where the Braves were down by four runs, got a call they didn’t like and then their fans covered the field with garbage for the next half hour. I’m surprised that’s your least favorite Cardinals-Braves postseason memory. I would have thought last year’s 13-1 Divisional Series loss would have wiped out other memories of postseason suffering…. See you in October!]

“I’m a huge fan of you and Dana, and of course I never ever miss an episode of the podcast. I live in Indiana, born and raised, I was wondering do you have a particular author or book title you could recommend on the underground railroad? I know Indiana played a large role. I’m a presidential history nerd, of course I bought your book & loved it, and would just like to learn more. I am flat out blown away how much historical knowledge you have stored in your brain. I also love the trivia segment of the podcast, I normally only get 2 right.” – Emily BurkeKokomo, Ind.

[Ed. note: You are very kind, Ms. Burke! And I am very grateful. As far as books go, I don’t know how well-versed you are on the subject, but Eric Foner’s “Gateway to Freedom” is a great, complete and riveting place to start on reading about the Underground Railroad. It weighs in at less the 400 pages and really moves along for such a comprehensive work.]

“From one Chris to another – we need your voice right now! Starting the week without ‘From the bleachers’ for two straight days is pure agony, but I hope it helps you re-charge your batteries.” – Chris Arena, Durham, N.C.

[Ed. note: Thank you for affording me that brief respite for a fun, extended Father’s Day celebration with my manchildren. I’m back in the yoke and ready to pull!]

Share your color commentary: Email us at HALFTIMEREPORT@FOXNEWS.COM and please make sure to include your name and hometown.

DIE FRUCHT DES SCHRECKENSGESTANKES

Fox News: “The nasty odor of durian fruit coming from a package at a Bavarian post office left six workers hospitalized and caused 60 workers to be evacuated, according to reports. Twelve postal workers received treatment for nausea, the German broadcaster Bayerischer Rundfunk reported. Cops and firefighters were dispatched to Schweinfurt in Germany on Saturday because the package was suspected to contain a dangerous gas or a harmful substance. The fruit’s smell has caused numerous evacuations globally. Described as the ‘king of fruits’ across Southeast Asia, the spiky fruit has a smell that’s been compared to rotten meat, sewage and dead rats.”

AND NOW, A WORD FROM CHARLES…

“Many things are miraculous about the U.S. Constitution… the one that I think we appreciate the least, is the fact of the reverence that we have for it. This reverence is so deeply ingrained that we don’t even see it; we just think it’s in the air that we breathe. But it is extraordinarily rare. It exists in only a handful of countries. For almost all of the world, it is completely alien.” Charles Krauthammer (1950-2018) writing in his book “The Point Of It All.”

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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