Today is December 24 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 – Republicans scramble to prevent year-end legislative disaster
The Hill reports: Republican leaders in both chambers are scrambling to get a bipartisan coronavirus relief and government funding package across the finish line and avert a year-end disaster after President Trump unexpectedly voiced last-minute objections to the legislation passed by Congress earlier this week.
Washington was blindsided Tuesday evening by Trump’s lengthy criticism of the $900 billion COVID-19 relief measure and $1.4 trillion omnibus that needs to be signed in the coming days to avoid a government shutdown.
Now, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), one of Trump’s most loyal Senate allies, and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) are trying to salvage the $2.3 trillion package, GOP sources said.
Graham is pushing for a vote on $2,000 stimulus checks, and a repeal of Section 230 in the Communications Decency Act that shields social media platforms from lawsuits for content posted on their sites, which is something President Trump wanted in the Defense bill.
On the House side, McCarthy is reportedly working to cut the wasteful spending. He slammed Democrats for their “selective hearing”, saying they are seizing on Trump’s demand for a larger stimulus checks but ignoring his complaints about wasteful spending.
Meanwhile, an old 2014 tweet from Trump has resurfaced, and he has pinned it to the top of his Twitter page. “I hope we never find life on other planets because there’s no doubt that the U.S. Government will start sending them money!” he wrote.
I hope we never find life on other planets because there’s no doubt that the U.S. Government will start sending them money!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 4, 2014
DML: Anyone who was “blindsided” that Trump opposed that horrible bill shouldn’t be in Congress! And Trump’s 2014 tweet is right on!
2 – Dark Money Behemoth That Hosts BLM Foundation Received $16 Million in Government Grants
The Free Beacon reports: The dark money network that houses the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation received nearly $16 million in taxpayer-funded grants last year, financial filings reveal.
The Tides Center, a California-based nonprofit incubator, reported the government grants on its 2019 tax forms. It operates by acting as a fiscal sponsor to several left-wing nonprofits, including the BLM Global Network Foundation, which has advocated for abolishing the nuclear family and defunding the police. This arrangement lets the nonprofits avoid disclosing their financial activity, and thus makes it difficult to know where the taxpayer-funded cash ultimately ends up.
The center’s 2019 windfall adds to the $170 million it has received in government grants since 2001—grants that have drawn criticism from nonprofit watchdogs. Scott Walter, president of the Capital Research Center, has called Tides as “liberal and politically active as they come” and questioned whether American tax dollars should be awarded to groups housed at such networks.
DML: There goes more of your tax dollars!
3 – Court orders release of man charged in Daniel Pearl killing
The Associated Press reports: KARACHI, Pakistan (AP) — A provincial court in Pakistan on Thursday ordered the release of a British-born Pakistani man charged in the 2002 murder of American journalist Daniel Pearl.
The Sindh High Court’s release order overturns government detention orders that Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh, the key suspect in Pearl’s slaying, should remain in custody. Sheikh was acquitted earlier this year of murdering Pearl, but has been held while Pearl’s family appeals the acquittal.
“The detention order is struck down,” said Faisal Siddiqi, the family’s lawyer. He said Sheikh would be freed until the appeal is completed, but would return to prison if the family is successful in overturning the acquittal.
However, Siddiqi said the Sindh provincial government is appealing the order to release Sheikh.
DML: This is an outrage!
4 – ICE: 4,000+ known or suspected gang members, including those in MS-13, deported in FY 2020
Fox News reports: ICE deported more than 4,000 known or suspected gang members in fiscal year 2020, including hundreds belonging to the MS-13 gang, the agency said in a new report.
The Immigration and Customs Enforcement end-of-year report for FY 2020 finds that the agency, which has come under fire from activists and lawmakers during the Trump administration, deported 185,884 immigrants.
Of that number, 64% had either criminal convictions or pending criminal charges — 399,235 aliens.
According to the report, 4,276 were known or suspected gang members, including 675 known or believed to have been a member of the brutal gang MS-13.
Additionally, 31 were known or suspected terrorists. Among the high-profile cases was the September removal of Saudin Agani, who ICE said provided material support to a terror organization, and the relative of the suspect who attacked two New York City cops earlier this year.
DML: And the radical left wants to abolish ICE?
5 – Kirk Cameron Supports Caroling Events Protesting California Stay-at-Home Order amid COVID Surge
People.com reports: Growing Pains actor Kirk Cameron is facing backlash after participating in a second Christmas caroling event held in protest of California’s stay-at-home order amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
On Tuesday evening, Cameron, 50, shared photos and videos on his Instagram Story from the caroling event at The Oaks mall in Thousand Oaks, California, a state where coronavirus cases continue to surge with tens of thousands of new cases being reported daily.
In the videos, dozens of attendees were seen singing closely together, many without masks, defying the state’s mandate that everyone must wear a face covering when outside of their home.
Following the event, the mall shared a statement condemning the gathering as “irresponsible.”
A large group of mostly maskless people gathered Tuesday to protest a likely extension of Los Angeles County’s stay-at-home order as California battles the raging COVID-19 surge. The demonstrators, lead by actor Kirk Cameron, sang various Christmas carols https://t.co/D06i1iEj8I pic.twitter.com/vckhWywn36
— CBS News (@CBSNews) December 23, 2020
We do not condone this irresponsible – yet constitutionally protected – peaceful protest event planned. We share your concern and have notified the Sheriff’s office. As well, we have reached out to the event planner to ask that they do not use The Oaks as their venue.
— The Oaks (@ShopTheOaks) December 23, 2020
— People’s City Council – Los Angeles (@PplsCityCouncil) December 20, 2020
BASED Christian Trump supporter @KirkCameron leads a massive Christmas Carol event in a Thousand Oaks, CA shopping mall parking lot. Hundreds in attendance. Libs are triggered because it was “”””maskless””””. #MerryChristmas pic.twitter.com/IthFJGHsqy
— 🐴One Horse Pony🐴Big Shot Gangster🦅 (@shot_gangster) December 23, 2020
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DML: God bless Kirk Cameron!
DML’s PARTING WORDS: Do everything you can to stay healthy – keep your immune system boosted! Visit DMLcbd.com today!