DML Morning Briefing: Thurs. May 27
By Team DML
Today is May 27 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.
1 – Senate passes bill requiring declassification of information on COVID-19 origins
The Hill reports: The Senate on Wednesday night passed legislation requiring the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) to declassify information about the origins of COVID-19.
The bill, spearheaded by Sens. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) and Mike Braun (R-Ind.), gives the ODNI 90 days to declassify “any and all information relating to potential links between the Wuhan Institute of Virology and the origin of the coronavirus disease.”
Among the declassifications the bill would require would be activities performed at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, including those on behalf of the People’s Liberation Army, and coronavirus-related activities prior to the outbreak.
It would also require the declassification of details on any researchers who fell ill in autumn 2019, including their names, symptoms and whether they visited hospitals. The bill would require the information to be given to Congress in an unclassified report.
President Biden on Wednesday asked the intelligence community to “redouble their efforts” to come to a definitive conclusion on the disease’s origins, calling on them to report back to him within 90 days.
This comes after the media mocked all suggestions over the past year that the virus may have originated from the Wuhan lab:
DML: Why did Biden cancel the investigation the Trump administration had already started?
2- First Ohio ‘Vax-a-Million’ lottery winners revealed
The Washington Examiner reports: An Ohio adult and teenager are the first two winners of the state’s “Vax-a-Million” lottery, which awards monetary sums to random residents who have received at least one COVID-19 shot.
Abbigail Bugenske of Silverton earned a $1 million check, while Joseph Costello of Englewood won a full scholarship to a state school, according to Ohio lottery officials. Ohio Gov. Mike Dewine, a Republican, posed for a picture with Costello on Wednesday.
The state’s lottery is offering “five, four-year full-ride scholarships, including room-and-board tuition, and books to any Ohio state college or university” for teenagers between the ages of 12 and 17 in addition to five $1 million payouts to adults over the age of 18.
Subsequent winners will be revealed each Wednesday through June 23. The competition, which is funded by federal coronavirus relief funds, has been the subject of pushback as a bipartisan group of legislators has argued it is a misuse of taxpayer funds. Dewine defended the program as a way “to generate excitement” for vaccinations.
DML: Well, there’s goes $1 million in taxpayer dollars!
3 – Progressive Oregon school board members push plan to fly BLM and pride flags alongside Old Glory
Fox News reports: An Oregon school board tabled a vote on flying Black Lives Matter, “progressive pride” and POW/MIA flags alongside Old Glory at its facilities and within each classroom earlier this month after a fiery meeting that saw young progressive members clash with the rest of the board.
Board member Robyn Stowers berated members who wanted to send the proposal to the Oregon School Boards Association for legal review, although they eventually prevailed. “You’re creating a roadblock in a racist system that does not reaffirm our students’ diversity,” she said. “Black Lives Matter, our progressive pride flag, these are our students identities.”
In March, the district superintendent had told the board she would be leaving at the end of June to take a superintendent job at another district in Texas. According to the Daily Wire, during the May board meeting, the board updated the “position purpose” statement of the district’s superintendent.
Board Member Amanda Orozco-Beach explained, “I wanted to include that we need to have a leader that understands that public schools are inherently racist institutions and they need to be committed to collaborate and work with the board to eliminate white supremacy culture in Gresham-Barlow schools,” Orozco-Beach said. “Our commitment to eliminating institutional racism and I think it’s important that if we hire our next superintendent that they would follow those values.”
DML: Conservatives better start running for school board positions – NOW!
4 – Tom Cotton Presses Biden’s ATF Nominee Over Prosecuting Hunter For Lying On Background Check To Purchase Firearm
The Daily Caller reports: Republican Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton pressed President Joe Biden’s Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) nominee David Chipman about investigating Hunter Biden — if confirmed — for reportedly falsifying information during a background check in order to illegally obtain a gun.
During a Wednesday hearing, Cotton asked Chipman to publicly commit to investigating Hunter Biden, referencing a Politico report that said Biden answered “no” to the question about drug use on the Firearms Transaction Record for a gun in October of 2018.
“Should Hunter Biden be prosecuted for breaking this law?,” Cotton asked Chipman.
DML: They’re not going to touch Hunter.
5 – Rachel Maddow warns 2020 election audits a ‘runaway train’ without Biden DOJ intervention
The Washington Examiner reports: MSNBC host Rachel Maddow said the “most important” story in the entire world right now is a push by Republicans to conduct audits of the 2020 election around the country, making the case for why the Biden administration should get involved.
The liberal political commentator, who, along with election officials, has heavily criticized the GOP-led Arizona Senate audit in Maricopa County and raised the alarm about similar efforts looking for potential fraud and irregularities in places such as Michigan, told her audience on Wednesday the question now is whether a “nationwide solution is required to stop this mess.”
Maddow referred to Kristen Clarke, who this week was confirmed by the Senate to lead the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department, as someone who could get involved as she argued that state election officials “playing whack-a-mole” can’t stop efforts questioning the integrity of the 2020 election.
“One of the things they could get involved in at the federal level to try to set a national expectation, a national standard here, to draw bright lines about what can’t be done, is around these slap-dash, privately run, bonkers, corrupting third-party audits of the last election,” she said.
But without a national response, Maddow said, “I’m telling you this thing is a runaway train.”
DML: What is she so afraid of?