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Today is May 8. Below are some of the stories grabbing headlines this morning. I hope you share this briefing as doing so will make you the smartest person in the room. 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.
Legendary FOX 5 anchor John Roland passes away at 81:
Fox 5 New York – John Roland was a trusted voice in New York news whose reassuring manner guided viewers through tumultuous times. He anchored the number-one rated newscast, The 10 O’clock News, for nearly 30 years. Roland passed away Sunday at the age of 81.
Good Day NY anchor Rosanna Scotto remembered the late legend, saying, “He taught me about fairness in presenting the news. I felt his passion and respect for the audience who watched his nightly broadcast.”
Roland began his broadcasting career in the 1960s. His first major assignment was for NBC News in Los Angeles in 1966. After a short stint at NBC, Rolan was hired to report for the then-owned Metro Media Station in LA, KTTV. There he covered the Robert F. Kennedy assassination and the Charles Manson trial. In December 1969, Roland moved from the West Coast to the East Coast, to join Metro Media which later became FOX 5 News.
Roland was on the political beat during the week and in the anchor chair for the 10 O’clock News on weekends. He took over as the main anchor for the weeknight edition of the news in 1979.
Roland was known for his frank delivery and his compassion for New Yorkers who were living through the violent times in the city in the 1970s. And every now and then, he himself would make the news. In 1983, Roland and his friend were having a late-night dinner at the former Racing Club, a restaurant across the street from the Channel 5 studios, when three armed men entered the restaurant demanding money. Roland wrestled with one of the robbers and shot him in the leg. The other two robbers attacked Roland, hitting him over the head with a gun. The attack made the front page of every local newspaper that week.
Denny’s Insight: As some of you know from listening to the podcast, John was a very dear friend to our family. We’ve spent many holidays together, and Roland once took my father and I to the 2012 RNC convention in Tampa. He gave me insight and knowledge in how the world of politics and journalism works, but also how it’s changed since his days as a news anchor; he would relay his own experience navigating the changing landscape of the news world. He was wise but also downright funny. John always had a nice little jingle for every birthday that would pass: “78 and feeling great,” and then “79 and doing fine.” Our family is going to miss him dearly, and we wish we had more time with him… rest in peace John, we love you.
2. Debt limit divide comes to a head as Biden, McCarthy meet at White House:
The Hill – The political divide over raising the debt limit will come to a head this week when President Biden and Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) meet face-to-face at the White House.
The meeting — set for Tuesday — will mark the first time since Feb. 1 that Biden and McCarthy will speak at length about the debt ceiling and government spending. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) will also be in attendance.
The huddle comes one week after Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen announced that the U.S. could default on its debt as early as June 1 if the borrowing limit is not raised, upping the pressure on Congress and the White House to strike a deal and avoid economic catastrophe.
The Biden White House claimed the Republican plan to responsibly lift the debt ceiling would “literally melt bones.”
Our plan claws back billions in unspent COVID money & limits spending levels to what they were just 4 months ago. It’s not radical—it’s responsible. pic.twitter.com/PffAwxiTpV
— Kevin McCarthy (@SpeakerMcCarthy) April 29, 2023
Denny’s Insight: This meeting has been long overdue, but Biden’s incompetence prevents anything from getting done. And when you listen to Janet Yellen, this is the result, an unexpected looming deadline that ultimately puts our country in more debt. I’m not sure how much McCarthy and the president will get done with this meeting, but my optimism remains low when it comes to the Biden administration and efficiency.
3. Russia rains missiles across Ukraine ahead of May 9 Victory Day holiday:
Reuters – Russia launched its biggest wave of drone strikes on Ukraine for months on Monday, escalating attacks in the run-up to its May 9 Victory Day holiday celebrating the defeat of Nazi Germany, which Kyiv marked a day earlier in a new break with Moscow.
Kyiv’s mayor said Russia had fired 60 Iranian-made kamikaze drones at Ukrainian targets, including 36 at the capital, all of which had been shot down, although debris hit apartments and other buildings, injuring at least five people on the ground.
A food warehouse was set ablaze by a missile in the Black Sea city of Odesa, where officials reported three people were injured. It was the biggest drone swarm yet in a renewed Russian air campaign unleashed 10 days ago after a lull since early March.
Kyiv said Moscow was also making a final push to try to capture the ruined eastern city of Bakhmut, to deliver President Vladimir Putin what would be his only prize for a costly Russian winter offensive, in time for Victory Day.
Moscow is preparing for Tuesday’s Victory Day parade, the most important day in the calendar for Russia under Putin, who uses the 1945 Soviet triumph over Nazi Germany to justify his invasion of Ukraine.
Russia struck Kyiv and other parts of Ukraine, sowing destruction and injuries, officials said, as Moscow prepares for its Victory Day holiday that marks the anniversary of its defeat of Nazi Germany https://t.co/6IUnzKlBt4 pic.twitter.com/iEI1ezsuvS
— Reuters (@Reuters) May 8, 2023
Denny’s Insight: Many are speculating Putin may start ramping up his attacks against Ukraine as the summer months approach. We’re nearly breaching a year and a half of war between these two countries. And if Russia truly is going to turn up the heat, that means Ukraine will be asking for more money and more weaponry to defend itself. And we all know who they’re going to run to when they need more firepower…
4. Oklahoma Governor Stitt defends decision to ax PBS funding over ‘really problematic’ LGBTQ content:
Fox News – Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt, R., has strong words for critics after he vetoed a bill last week that would have funded operations of the state’s PBS station, Oklahoma Educational Television Authority (OETA), through 2026, accusing the station of indoctrinating young children.
“OETA, to us, is an outdated system. You know, the big, big question is why are we spending taxpayer dollars to prop up or compete with the private sector and run television stations? And then when you go through all of the programing that’s happening and the indoctrination and over-sexualization of our children, it’s just really problematic, and it doesn’t line up with Oklahoma values,” Stitt told Fox News Digital.
Unless the legislature is able to override his veto, the state PBS network will cease operations this year. Shows on the network include “Sesame Street,” “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood,” and “Clifford The Big Red Dog.”
The governor’s office provided examples of OETA content that it considers objectionable, including a segment of “Let’s Learn” in which a children’s book titled “The Hips on the Drag Queen Go Swish, Swish, Swish” is read by someone called Lil Miss Hot Mess.
The governor’s office also pointed to a “PBS Newshour” feature on parents’ support for various gender care treatments including puberty blockers, a gay character in “Work It Out Wombats” which airs on OETA, PBS Kids’ “Clifford the Big Red Dog” introducing LGBTQ characters, a plethora of Pride Month programming on OETA, a special about a town of Christians and drag queens who “step into the spotlight to dismantle stereotypes,” and a same-sex wedding featured on PBS Kids’ “Odd Squad.”
Denny’s Insight: Good for Stitt and Oklahoma for rejecting PBS’ indoctrinating propaganda. Children should be learning the fundamentals of reading, math, science, and good samaritan values, not the pillars of radical gender ideology. Seriously, what parents out there put their children in front of the TV and think a “how to dress in drag” segment is educational or valuable to development and growth? Simple answer: most normal parents don’t do that, and someone needs to tell PBS this.
5. Democrat Rep. Cuellar Rips Biden On The Border: ‘Only Image We See Is People Coming In. No Images Of People Going Back’:
The Daily Wire – Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX), whose congressional district is on the U.S.-Mexico border, slammed the Biden administration during an interview over the weekend for causing a historic illegal immigration crisis on the southern border.
Cuellar’s Sunday remarks on “Fox News Sunday” with host Shannon Bream come as Biden’s border crisis is set to get significantly worse this week as Title 42 is set to expire.
“Surely, we are seeing people coming in, the border is open,” Cuellar began. “There are some policies that in my opinion should have been implemented some years ago… We need to have a very simple thing at the border, repercussions. That is people that are supposed to stay here, should be able to stay under the law… And if they have to be returned, they have to be returned quickly. You got to have some repercussions because if you don’t repercussions at the border, people are going to see the border as a speed bump, and they’ll be coming in at this time. So we’ve got to have repercussions at the border.”
Cuellar said that the pull factors created by the administration have led to illegal aliens currently trying to come in from “over 60 countries,” saying that “it’s almost like a mini U.N. down there.”
— Fox News Sunday (@FoxNewsSunday) May 7, 2023
Denny’s Insight: It’s refreshing to see a Democrat break from the herd, especially during the “with us or against us” era of the Biden administration. But as we all know, this week is the week when Title 42 comes to a close. Border towns are already struggling with recent influxes of illegal immigration, and it’s going to get significantly worse beyond our imagination when May 11 hits. Seriously, if you’re a Democrat like Cueller who is frustrated with Biden’s total lack of competent leadership, now is the time to speak out. Democrats (and Republicans) need to shun Biden every which way until November 2024.