Today is July 2 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. Judge says injunction applies to Trump’s niece but not publisher with regard to tell-all book
The Hill reports: A judge ruled Wednesday that Simon & Schuster (S&S), the publisher of President Trump’s niece’s memoir, is not bound by a confidentiality agreement she signed, which the president’s brother Robert has cited to block the book’s publication.
Judge Alan Scheinkman of the New York Supreme Court’s appellate division upheld a restraining order against Mary Trump, which she signed as part of the settlement of the president’s father’s estate.
Scheinkman agreed that “while Ms. Trump unquestionably possesses the same First Amendment expressive rights belonging to all Americans, she also possesses the right to enter into contracts, including the right to contract away her First Amendment rights.”
(The judge said since the book publisher wasn’t the one who signed the NDA, it is protected by the First Amendment.)
Favorable ruling yesterday by the Court as I am close to completion of my book…https://t.co/lprtpkdl7K
— Michael Cohen (@MichaelCohen212) July 2, 2020
DML: Seriously? …. and Michael Cohen’s is next.
2. Afghan Contractor Handed Out Russian Cash to Kill Americans, Officials Say
The NY Times reports: KABUL, Afghanistan — He was a lowly drug smuggler, neighbors and relatives say, then ventured into contracting, seeking a slice of the billions of dollars the U.S.-led coalition was funneling into construction projects in Afghanistan.
But he really began to show off his wealth in recent years, after establishing a base in Russia, though how he earned those riches remained mysterious. On his regular trips home to northern Afghanistan, he drove the latest model cars, protected by bodyguards, and his house was recently upgraded to a four-story villa.
Now Rahmatullah Azizi stands as a central piece of a puzzle rocking Washington, named in American intelligence reports and confirmed by Afghan officials as a key middleman who for years handed out money from a Russian military intelligence unit to reward Taliban-linked fighters for targeting American troops in Afghanistan, according to American and Afghan officials.
Rahmatullah Azizi is named in U.S. intelligence reports and confirmed by Afghan officials as a key middleman who for years handed out $ from a Russian military intelligence unit to reward Taliban-linked fighters for targeting American troops in Afghanistan https://t.co/qxyReMUA2S
— Adam Goldman (@adamgoldmanNYT) July 2, 2020
DML: What next?
3. Republican Senators Introduce Legislation To Cancel Columbus Day
The Daily Caller reports: Two Republican senators introduced an amendment Wednesday to get rid of Columbus Day and make Juneteenth a new federal holiday.
Republican Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson and Republican Oklahoma Sen. James Lankford introduced the amendment to legislation introduced by Republican Texas Sen. John Cornyn which would make Juneteenth a federal holiday.
“In response to a bipartisan effort to give federal workers another day of paid leave by designating Juneteenth a federal holiday, we have offered a counterproposal that does not put us further in debt,” Johnson said Wednesday, Fox News reported. “We support celebrating emancipation with a federal holiday, but believe we should eliminate a current holiday in exchange. We chose Columbus Day as a holiday that is lightly celebrated, and least disruptive to Americans’ schedules.”
We support celebrating emancipation with a federal holiday, but believe we should eliminate a current holiday in exchange. We chose Columbus Day as a holiday that is lightly celebrated.
— Senator Ron Johnson (@SenRonJohnson) July 2, 2020
It is not deprecating Christopher Columbus’ achievements or expressing any value judgement regarding his place in history. I do not support efforts to erase America’s rich history — not the good, the bad, or the ugly.
— Senator Ron Johnson (@SenRonJohnson) July 2, 2020
DML: Just can’t make this stuff up!
4. House Armed Services votes to make Pentagon rename Confederate-named bases in a year
The Hill reports: The House Armed Services Committee has approved an amendment to the annual defense policy bill that would require the Pentagon to strip Confederate names from bases and other property within one year.
The amendment, offered by Reps. Anthony Brown (D-Md.) and Don Bacon (R-Neb.), was approved 33-23 as the committee considers its version of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).
The committee vote comes after President Trump threatened to veto the NDAA if it includes a requirement to rename bases.
I will Veto the Defense Authorization Bill if the Elizabeth “Pocahontas” Warren (of all people!) Amendment, which will lead to the renaming (plus other bad things!) of Fort Bragg, Fort Robert E. Lee, and many other Military Bases from which we won Two World Wars, is in the Bill!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 1, 2020
DML: The left won’t stop till they re-name everything!
5. Fauci: Avoid gatherings like Trump’s Rushmore fireworks show
Politico reports: Anthony Fauci discouraged Americans from attending events like President Donald Trump’s upcoming fireworks display at Mount Rushmore, pointing out that a large gathering of people in close proximity goes against best practices for stopping the spread of the coronavirus.
After being asked Wednesday by @jessicayellin on Instagram for his message regarding the July 3 event, the nation’s top infectious disease expert said: “You should avoid whenever possible gathering in crowds where people cannot maintain physical distance.”
“Avoid crowds, wear a mask, keep physical distance,” Fauci continued. “It doesn’t matter what the reason for the congregation, whether it’s a celebration here, the demonstration there. It doesn’t make any difference — wear a mask.”
Fauci says large gatherings like Trump’s Mount Rushmore July 4th celebration are a bad ideahttps://t.co/atBkvsAizx
— Matthew Choi (@matthewchoi2018) July 2, 2020
DML: Ok, Fauci, you stay home!