Today is December 18 and I am Dennis Michael Lynch. Below are my opinions on the stories grabbing headlines this morning. I hope you share this briefing as doing so will make you the smartest person in the room, in my opinion. And don’t forget to download the free DML App from the Google Play or Apple App Store to remain connected to me throughout the day.
1 – Joe Biden claims ‘foul play’ while defending son Hunter
During an interview with Stephen Colbert that aired Thursday night, Joe Biden finally answered a carefully worded question about his son Hunter being under federal investigation.
Colbert told Biden, “The people who want to make hay in Washington are going to try to use your son as as a cudgel against you. How do you feel about that? And what do you have to say to those people?”
“I have, we have, great confidence in our son. I am not concerned about any accusations being made against him,” Biden responded. “It’s used to get to me. I think it’s kind of foul play but look, it is what it is and he’s a grown man, he is the smartest man I know. I mean, from a pure intellectual capacity – and as long as he’s good, we’re good.”
EXCLUSIVE: President-elect Joe Biden is defending his son amid an investigation into Hunter Biden’s taxes.
The president-elect and Dr. Jill Biden spoke with @StephenAtHome for their first joint interview since the election.
— CBS Evening News (@CBSEveningNews) December 17, 2020
DML: There’s “foul play” all right… and it’s on the Biden side!
2 – Christie to GOP: Don’t Disturb the Electoral College — Biden ‘Clearly Won,’ Accept Defeat
Breitbart reports: Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said Thursday on CNN’s “Cuomo Prime Time” that it was time for Republican lawmakers to accept President Donald Trump lost the 2020 election and not try to “disturb the certification of the Electoral College.”
Cuomo said, “What do you say to members of your party who are in Congress who are even contemplating doing something on January 6th to disturb the certification of the Electoral College?”
Christie said, “Chris, you know, whenever anybody loses an election, party, an individual, there’s great disappointment, but elections have consequences. And this one was clearly won by president-elect Biden by the same margin in the Electoral College that President Trump won four years ago. And by even more, nearly double the popular vote. This election, there’s been no evidence put forward that’s shown me as a former prosecutor that there was any fraud that would change the result of the election. And so it’s time for us to accept that defeat. Also, by the way, accept the many victories we had that night. 14 new House members, two legislatures at the state level switched, and a governorship flipped to the Republican Party. We had a great night except at the top of the ticket. So we need to accept that, and we need to move on.”
“Elections have consequences and this one was clearly won by President-elect Biden. … It’s time for us to accept that defeat,” says GOP former NJ Gov. Chris Christie, adding that Republicans had a “great” election night “except at the top of the ticket.” https://t.co/l7ZHgmVB9Y pic.twitter.com/b99XqDwVzR
— CNN (@CNN) December 18, 2020
3 – ATF Decision Could Lead to Biggest Gun Registration, Turn-in Effort in American History
The Free Beacon reports: New guidance from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) could put millions of Americans in legal jeopardy.
The ATF published a notice Thursday that could require millions of AR-15 pistols and similar firearms—which are designed with braces that strap on to a shooter’s forearm—to be either registered, turned in, destroyed, or dismantled. But the standards laid out for determining the devices’ legality, such as caliber or weight, provide no objective measures, and the agency said it may also use undisclosed factors to judge the legality of the devices.
The agency conceded in the notice that some pistol braces are legal and should not be subject to the registration or destruction requirement. It said, however, that it could not provide a blanket determination for which pistols, or braces with which they’re often equipped, are legal and said it would have to examine each gun “on a case-by-case basis.” That means owners of the vast majority of the estimated three to four million AR-15 pistols and similar firearms may have to register with the ATF.
The notice said the agency plans to waive the $200 tax for those registering the affected firearms during a grace period to be announced later. The public has two weeks to offer comment on the ATF notice before it goes into effect.
Pretty similar, right? Well, here’s the Sig Sauer MPX in pistol and SBR formats. The ATF approved this pistol brace configuration. I have no idea why this is ok but the Honey Badger pistol isn’t. However, that seems to be the point. pic.twitter.com/U1AF6PRKc8
— Stephen Gutowski (@StephenGutowski) December 17, 2020
It will be interesting to see if the ATF pushing this now, under a Republican administration, will have a negative effect on gun voters turning out in the Georgia runoffs. This is exactly the sort of thing gun voters say they elect Republicans to stop.
— Stephen Gutowski (@StephenGutowski) December 18, 2020
There are instructions for how to comment at the bottom of the notice: https://t.co/OdoOyVVP02
— Stephen Gutowski (@StephenGutowski) December 17, 2020
DML: Americans need to be FLOODING them with comments over the next two weeks!
4 – Overdose deaths accelerated as pandemic hit, CDC says, with record 80k dead in a 12-month span
The Washington Examiner reports: The opioid epidemic has gotten worse during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to new data released by the Centers for Disease Control Thursday.
“The disruption to daily life due to the COVID-19 pandemic has hit those with substance use disorder hard,” said CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield.
The CDC reported Thursday that, based on provisional data, over 81,000 drug overdose deaths occurred in the United States in the 12 months ending in May 2020. That is the largest number of opioid deaths in a 12-month span.
Deaths due to synthetic opioids jumped 38.4%, the largest increase of any drug. Deaths from cocaine increased 26.5%.
New @CDCInjury Health Alert shows increases in overdose deaths during the #COVID19 pandemic, further emphasizes the need for expanded prevention efforts. Learn more: https://t.co/EY0WJh4rH1. pic.twitter.com/VqydiaypwA
— CDC (@CDCgov) December 17, 2020
DML: Over 80,000 deaths, and no one is even talking about them. I told you this would happen!
5 – Vice President Mike Pence receives coronavirus vaccine
The New York Post reports: Vice President Mike Pence received the COVID-19 vaccine on live TV Friday morning in a move designed to instill confidence in the American public that the newly approved shot is safe.
Pence, second lady Karen Pence and Surgeon General Jerome Adams took turns getting jabbed at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building near the White House.
They became the first high-ranking White House officials to receive the vaccine, developed by Pfizer-BioNTech and approved for use in the US a week ago.
— ABC News (@ABC) December 18, 2020
Second Lady Karen Pence also got vaccinated. pic.twitter.com/DheU0gM645
— The Recount (@therecount) December 18, 2020
DML: I am NOT taking it. No way. Never!
DML’s PARTING WORDS: Keep your immune system boosted! Visit DMLcbd.com today!