Today is January 20. 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.
1 – White House clarifies position on Ukraine after Biden press conference
Fox News reports: The White House on Wednesday clarified President Biden’s position on Ukraine after an earlier press conference caused some confusion.
Biden told reporters at a marathon press conference that Russia would be held accountable if it were to invade Ukraine, but there seemed to be a caveat when he went further and said it depends on the actions Moscow takes.
“It’s one thing if it’s a minor incursion and we end up having to fight about what to do and not to do,” he said. Detractors saw the comment as giving Russian President Putin permission to invade.
NEW: Biden says he believes Putin and Russia will “move in” on Ukraine pic.twitter.com/HPS9jYf7QX
— Bloomberg (@business) January 19, 2022
Jen Psaki, the White House press secretary, posted the White House’s statement shortly after the press conference that warned the Kremlin against any incursion:
President Biden has been clear with the Russian President: If any Russian military forces move across the Ukrainian border, that’s a renewed invasion, and it will be met with a swift, severe, and united response from the United States and our Allies. President Biden also knows from long experience that the Russians have an extensive playbook of aggression short of military action, including cyberattacks and paramilitary tactics. And he affirmed today that those acts of Russian aggression will be met with a decisive, reciprocal, and united response.
President Biden has tonight given the green light for Vladimir Putin to invade Ukraine. Outrageously irresponsible statement, and his worst foreign policy blunder since he abruptly abandoned the Afghan people. Sorry, but this is recklessly shameful conduct by the President.
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) January 19, 2022
We won’t see another Joe Biden press conference for another year after this train wreck.
— Benny (@bennyjohnson) January 19, 2022
Even CNN was horrified:
President Trump was impeached for a phone call with Ukraine.
President Biden is giving Putin the green light for a “mostly peaceful incursion” into Ukraine. pic.twitter.com/e6ul7aSz9Y
— Jenna Ellis (@JennaEllisEsq) January 20, 2022
DML: Magoo is not only incompetent, but he’s a national security threat!
2 – Canadian truckers block highway at US border to protest Covid vaccine mandates
The Independent reports: Dozens of Canadian truck drivers have blocked the highway near the US-Manitoba international border to protest against Covid-19 vaccine mandates.
Videos shared on social media showed truck drivers carrying Canadian flags and holding a demonstration on the Manitoba Highway 75, which connects the Emerson community in Manitoba with the US city of Pembina in North Dakota.
The demonstration slowed down traffic on both sides and caused delays for vehicles both entering and leaving Canada.
In the early morning hours on January 17, 2022, a truck convoy descended near the U.S.-Canada border in Emerson, Manitoba, Canada to protest the vaccine mandate policies both the U.S. and Canada are implementing. pic.twitter.com/WuvVxsnsfc
— Marie Oakes (@TheMarieOakes) January 17, 2022
Truckers at the U.S.-Canada border in Emerson, Manitoba, Canada protest against mandates impacting the trucking industry.
Canada’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate began on Jan. 15 for cross-border truck drivers.
The U.S. mandate for all foreign trucker drivers begins on Jan. 22. pic.twitter.com/RoER4qVrtk
— Marie Oakes (@TheMarieOakes) January 17, 2022
Below is a message from one fed-up trucker:
“Open your eyes to what is going on”
Part 1/3 pic.twitter.com/bOjml5xi93
— Dr° Ezra Kahan 🇨🇦 🇺🇲 🇦🇹 (@EzraKahan) January 17, 2022
DML: If you thought there was a “supply chain crisis” before, just wait until the effects of THIS play out! Truckers hit with mandate – but what about all the illegal aliens pouring right across the border, with no mandate at all!
3 – Absentee ballot drop boxes can’t be used in Wisconsin any longer, a Waukesha County judge rules
The Milwaukee Journal reports: A Waukesha County judge ruled Thursday that absentee ballot drop boxes can’t be used in Wisconsin, potentially upending aspects of the spring elections and the fall’s high-profile contests for governor and U.S. Senate.
After hearing three hours of arguments, Waukesha County Circuit Court Judge Michael Bohren determined state law allows absentee ballots to be returned in person or by mail — but not in a ballot drop box.
“It’s all good and nice, but there’s no authority to do it,” Bohren said of the use of drop boxes.
He said he would finalize an injunction in 10 days ordering the state Elections Commission to withdraw long-standing advice to municipal clerks around the state that says they can use absentee ballot drop boxes.
Drop boxes have long been available in some Wisconsin communities, but their use expanded greatly in 2020 when absentee voting exploded because of the coronavirus pandemic. More than 500 of them were available during the presidential election, according to a database compiled by the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism.
It’s time for elections officials to follow the law. Enough is enough. https://t.co/6H3beQ9TWy
— Senator Julian Bradley (@SenBradley) January 13, 2022
DML: One vote per each American citizen eligible to vote. What’s so hard about that. END the ballot box stuffing!
4 – NCAA updates policy on transgender participation, to let each sport set eligibility requirements
ESPN reports: The NCAA announced a new policy Wednesday in which eligibility requirements for transgender athletes will be determined by each sport’s national governing body.
The new requirements go into effect immediately. The previous policy, adopted in 2010, was uniform across all sports and was based on hormone therapy requirements.
The new policy comes at a time when transgender athletes continue to be a focus of national debate. Since 2020, 10 states have enacted laws restricting participation for transgender athletes in school sports, many of which affect collegiate participation at the competitive, club and intramural levels.
This winter, University of Pennsylvania swimmer Lia Thomas, who is transgender, recorded the top times in the country in the 200-yard and 500-yard women’s freestyle. Under the NCAA’s new policy, Thomas would need to be in compliance with USA Swimming’s criteria in order to participate at the NCAA championships in March.
USA Swimming did not respond to a request to provide details of its existing policy. The University of Pennsylvania also did not respond to a request for comment.
“We are steadfast in our support of transgender student-athletes and the fostering of fairness across college sports,” said John DeGioia, NCAA Board of Governors chair and Georgetown president. “It is important that NCAA member schools, conferences and college athletes compete in an inclusive, fair, safe and respectful environment and can move forward with a clear understanding of the new policy.”
— Inside the NCAA (@InsidetheNCAA) January 20, 2022
New NCAA transgender policy, mirroring recent changes at Olympic level. pic.twitter.com/x5uJW9egOV
— Bryan Fischer (@BryanDFischer) January 20, 2022
NCAA Board of Governors Pass The Buck On Transgender Athletes Policy
— OutKick (@Outkick) January 20, 2022
DML: What’s really going to change? Nothing, it appears. Outrageous.
5 – Pennsylvania parents outraged after school employee tapes mask to child’s face
Fox News reports: Parents in a Pennsylvania school district have expressed outrage after a photo of a school employee using tape to affix a mask to a child’s face went viral online. The school district has confirmed that the photo is genuine.
“Pro-mask or anti-mask, I hope we can all agree that taping masks to children’s faces crosses the LINE,” the Facebook group North Penn Stronger Together posted online Monday with the photo. “This was not a joke for the child or the parents.”
The North Penn School District confirmed that the picture is genuine.
“An image taken in one of our classrooms last week and circulating on social media does not represent the universal values that the North Penn School District strives to instill in both our students and staff,” the school district admitted in a statement Wednesday. “After an immediate investigation, it was determined that while the incident was isolated and no malice was intended, the actions of the teacher were entirely inappropriate and unacceptable, no matter the context.”
“We understand that the act of taping a mask to a student’s face is concerning to many and apologize that it occurred,” the district added. “The matter is serious and it is being addressed with the employee. However, all personnel and student matters are confidential and no further information can be provided.”
DML: This is child abuse! That woman should be fired immediately.
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