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What A Day: Right-wing croissants

PARIS, FRANCE - JUNE 2: Marine Le Pen, President of the National Rally group in the National Assembly, addresses the crowd, as she joins Jordan Bardella, President of the National Rally (Rassemblement National), at the final rally before the upcoming European Parliament election on June 9th, held at Le Dome de Paris - Palais des Sports, on June 2, 2024., France, on June 2, 2024, in Paris, France. (Photo by Artur Widak/NurPhoto via AP)

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PARIS, FRANCE - JUNE 2: Marine Le Pen, President of the National Rally group in the National Assembly, addresses the crowd, as she joins Jordan Bardella, President of the National Rally (Rassemblement National), at the final rally before the upcoming European Parliament election on June 9th, held at Le Dome de Paris - Palais des Sports, on June 2, 2024., France, on June 2, 2024, in Paris, France. (Photo by Artur Widak/NurPhoto via AP)

EXCUSE OUR FRENCH

The far-right is surging in Europe, in a fresh sign voters around the world are chafing against the status quo.

  • Right-wing political parties scored significant gains in continent-wide European elections over the weekend. The European Parliament — the European Union’s legislative body — shifted rightward as a result. The center will continue to hold power, and pro-EU conservatives are expected to have the biggest group. But far-right parties will claim more seats than ever before. The results could impact real-life issues like climate change, where Europe has long been a global leader, and the continent’s future support for Ukraine’s war with Russia.

 

  • French President Emmanuel Macron’s centrist Renaissance party received a particularly stinging defeat, taking less than 15 percent of the vote compared with more than 31 percent for Marine Le Pen’s far-right “National Rally” party. Macron dissolved the French parliament and called a snap national election for later this month, three years early. Macron is betting French voters will balk at filling up their own parliament with right-wing nationalists. But one French newspaper described the move as an “extreme gamble.” Right-wing parties also outperformed in Austria, Germany, and Italy.

 

  • The results are the latest sign that voters worldwide have grown restless. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s right-wing party suffered major parliamentary losses to the opposition last week. South Africa’s African National Congress ruling party recently saw its worst electoral performance since the end of Apartheid. In the UK, the opposition Labour Party is polling far ahead of the ruling Conservatives, in elections scheduled for July 4.

What A Day

President Biden hopes to buck the global trend. His latest gambit: targeting Republicans turned off by Trump.

  • Biden has shifted notably to the right on the key issue of immigration in an apparent bid to win over independents and moderate Republicans. He has trailed Trump in most polls over the last few months, but gained a tiny bit of ground after Trump’s conviction in New York on 34 felony counts of falsifying business records. According to a new CBS/YouGov poll, 54 percent of Biden supporters say their main reason for voting for Biden is that they oppose Trump, up from 47 percent in March.

The political center is just holding on in Europe, as a larger minority of voters shifts its support to far-right parties. We’ll be breathing into a paper bag until November.

NEWS NEWS NEWS

The United Nations Security Council passed a resolution calling on Hamas to accept a cease-fire proposal. The proposal was put forward by the U.S. as an attempt to increase pressure on Hamas to take the deal. Fourteen member states voted in favor, while Russia abstained.

Centrist Israeli politician Benny Gantz announced he will quit the country’s three-man war Cabinet on Sunday. He excoriated Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for allegedly putting his own “political survival” over the country’s welfare and mismanaging the war effort. The move doesn’t threaten Netanyahu’s position directly, but underscores the prime minister’s increasing isolation and reliance on far-right domestic political allies.

Fox News aired a misleading clip of a Trump interview in which he was asked if he would declassify government files related to the disgraced pedophile Jeffrey Epstein, Semafor reported. “Yeah, I would,” Trump said in the edited clip. But in his full response, Trump said he would likely release government records related to Epstein’s death, but was more hesitant to declassify other documents related to Epstein or his associates. “I think that less so because, you don’t know, you don’t want to affect people’s lives if it’s phony stuff in there, because it’s a lot of phony stuff with that whole world,” the ex-president said. Okay great! Really reassuring stuff!

Trump met with the Manhattan probation office on Monday via video conferencing for a pre-sentencing interview, the Associated Press reported. The interview lasted less than 30 minutes and reportedly consisted of routine, uneventful questions and answers. The probation office is writing a report containing biographical details and other information for the sentencing judge that might not have come up during the trial.

New Jersey is reviewing whether to yank Trump’s liquor licenses at the three golf courses he owns there following his criminal conviction, the state’s Attorney General said Monday. State law prohibits giving liquor licenses to anyone who committed crimes involving “moral turpitude.” And let’s face it: few people have ever been more morally turpitudinous.

Disgraced former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani referred to Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis — the prosecutor targeting him in a sweeping racketeering case in Georgia — as “Fani the ho” in a deranged appearance over the weekend. Somehow using a misogynistic pejorative against a sitting District Attorney doesn’t even come close to the most insane things he’s said this month.

Jury deliberations began Monday in Hunter Biden’s Delaware gun charges trial. Law professor Jeff Schwartz told CNN he thought prosecutors presented a strong evidence-based case, but that the defense made a powerful emotional appeal to the jury about Hunter’s battles with drug addiction and the presence of his family in the courtroom. A verdict could come this week.

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