The Rock of Talk 'Daily Blast' for Wednesday, December 23rd, 2020
The Conservative Calendar, Top 10 Clips of the Day, Top 10 Links of the Day, Morning Local News Briefing, US and Global News Briefing and The 'Rock of Talk' Debate of the Day
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Liberals believe and inexhaustible fund exists that can be tapped endlessly to pay for government social programs. Tax the rich and give it to a long line of moochers, pork barrel hustlers and ne'er-do-wells. These funds would otherwise have been employed as additional capital indispensable to economic progress. -James Cook
THE CONSERVATIVE CALENDAR
Forecast at The KIVA: High 37 Degrees at 3pm (Will feel like 26) Low 31 Degrees at 7am (Will feel like 20). Winds get to 24MPH at 2:00pm. Sunny and Windy. *Weather is from the KIVA Weather Station.
Today is Wednesday, Dec. 23, the 358th day of 2020. There are eight days left in the year.
In 1783, George Washington resigned as commander in chief of the Continental Army and retired to his home at Mount Vernon, Virginia.
In 1913, the Federal Reserve System was created as President Woodrow Wilson signed the Federal Reserve Act.
In 1933, President Franklin D. Roosevelt restored the civil rights of about 1,500 people who had been jailed for opposing the (First) World War.
In 1941, during World War II, American forces on Wake Island surrendered to the Japanese.
In 1962, Cuba began releasing prisoners from the failed Bay of Pigs invasion under an agreement in which Cuba received more than $50 million worth of food and medical supplies.
In 2001, Time magazine named New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani its Person of the Year for his steadfast response to the 9/11 terrorist attack.
In 2010, Chicago Board of Election Commissioners ruled that former White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel was a resident of the city and therefore eligible to run for mayor.
In 2019, a court in Saudi Arabia sentenced five people to death for the killing of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, a critic of the Saudi royal family; the five were among 11 people who were put on trial over the killing.
Today's Birthdays: U.S. Army Gen. Wesley K. Clark (ret.) is 76. Actor Susan Lucci is 74. Rock singer Eddie Vedder (Pearl Jam) is 56.
1115ET -- President - Elect Joe Biden to introduce Nominee for Secretary of Education, Dr. Miguel Cardona, Wilmington, DE
1530EST -- HHS and DoD will hold briefing with senior officals on Operation Warp Speed and Covid-19 vaccine distrubtion
1600ET -- Marine One departs the White House
1610ET-- Marine One arrives JBA
1620ET -- Air Force One departs Joint Base Andrews
1835ET -- Air Force One arrives West Palm Beach FL
UPCOMING LOCAL EVENTS
The Rock of Talk at 4pm on ABQ.FM / AM 1600 KIVA or anywhere at www.rockoftalk.com
TOP 10 CLIPS OF THE DAY
Trump: Covid Relief Bill Is a Disgrace
Jesse Watters: Sending Billions to Pakistan Will Only Be Spent on Arranged Marriages Not Gender Studies
Jason Rantz: It’s Not a ‘Social Justice Cause’ When Prisoners Are Prioritized To Get the Vaccine Before Seniors
Sen. McConnell: I Hope the President Will Not Veto the Covid Relief Bill
‘The Federalist’ Editor: Biden Talking About Relaxing Restrictions Will Increase Migrant Caravans at Border
Geraldo Rivera: Andrew Cuomo Has Been a ‘Master Media Manipulator’
Lindsey Graham: Hunter Biden Is Involved in a ‘Massive, Industrial Size Influence Peddling’
Biden: ‘Our Darkest Days in the Battle Against Covid Are Ahead of Us’
De Blasio: ‘I Believe in a Travel Ban from Europe’
Kurtz: ‘It’s Cheap Politics’ for Rep. Omar to Say Members of Congress Shouldn’t Get the Vaccine
TOP 10 LINKS OF THE DAY
MORNING LOCAL NEWS BRIEFING
New Mexico makes push with at-home COVID-19 test kits
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — New Mexico is partnering with a national health care company to provide free, at-home COVID-19 test kits. State health officials said Tuesday that the kits can be ordered via Vault Medical Services' website. All that's needed is an internet connection, email address and a photo. State officials acknowledged the lack of broadband access around New Mexico and said the new at-home option is meant to bolster the in-person testing clinics that have been operating since the pandemic began. The state also is launching a new registration app where people can sign up for vaccinations. More than 14,000 shots have been administered to health care workers so far.
New Mexico utility has plan for growing electric vehicle use
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — New Mexico's largest electric provider has a plan for incentivizing the buildout of infrastructure that would be needed to bolster the use of electric vehicles in the expansive state where even gas stations can be few and far between. The Public Service Co. of New Mexico filed the proposal with state regulators last week. Utility officials say it's the result of more than a year of research and community outreach. The proposal includes customer rebates for charging infrastructure and charging during off-peak times. If the Public Regulation Commission approves, the utility says a full program rollout could happen as early as 2022.
Navajo Nation reports 151 new coronavirus cases, 7 deaths
WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. — The Navajo Nation is reporting 151 new coronavirus cases and seven more deaths from COVID-19. The latest figures were reported Tuesday by the Navajo Department of Health for the reservation that extends into Arizona, New Mexico and Utah. The Navajo Nation has reported 755 deaths since the pandemic hit. The Health Department says the first doses of the recently approved vaccine made by Moderna have arrived at the Navajo Area Indian Health Service. The Navajo Nation is in a three-week lockdown requiring all residents to stay home except for emergencies, shopping for essentials like food and medicine or traveling to an essential job.
New Mexico's US Attorney to join Santa Fe practice
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — New Mexico's top federal prosecutor is stepping down as president Donald Trump prepares to leave office. U.S. Attorney John Anderson announced his resignation Tuesday effective just before midnight on Jan. 2. He says he'll join a law firm in the Santa Fe area. Trump was an assistant U.S. attorney in New Mexico for five years before joining Holland & Hart in Santa Fe in 2013. Trump appointed him U.S. attorney in 2017 and he was confirmed by the Senate early the next year. Attorney General William Barr says in a statement that Anderson's performance in office "brought great credit" upon himself and the Department of Justice.
Biden: Reversing Trump border policies will take months
WILMINGTON, Del. — President-elect Joe Biden says it will take months to roll back some of President Donald Trump's actions on immigration. He's offering a slower timeline than he promised on the campaign trail and one that may rile advocates pushing for speedy action on the issue. His Tuesday comments echo those made by two of his top foreign policy advisers in an interview with Spanish wire service EFE on Monday, tapping the brakes on rolling back Trump's restrictive asylum policies. Susan Rice, Biden's incoming domestic policy adviser, and Jake Sullivan, his pick for national security adviser, as well as Biden himself, warned that moving too quickly could create a new crisis at the border.
Police: Man says he killed neighbor to avenge son's death
LAS CRUCES, N.M. — New Mexico police say a 71-year-old man acknowledged killing his son's neighbor as the victim sat in a vehicle in his driveway. The man told authorities after his arrest that he believed his son's next-door neighbor had something to do with his son's death on July 4. The neighbor was found shot to death in his Las Cruces driveway Saturday. The 71-year-old was charged with first-degree murder and two counts of tampering with evidence. Court documents don't detail how his son died, but the man claimed that people living at the neighboring home had harassed his son before his death.
Premium oil and gas tracts in short supply in New Mexico
SANTA FE, N.M. — The State Land Office says there are fewer premium tracts available for leasing by oil and gas developers on trust land, particularly in the Permian Basin. The agency said Monday that's having an effect on revenues. Lease sales netted nearly $17 million for the year, marking a decrease of nearly 68% when compared to 2019. The sale completed earlier this month brought in more than $2.3 million for 2,880 acres. Despite the historic drop in prices earlier this year and the economic fallout stemming from the pandemic, industry officials say production in the Permian Basin has remained stable.
New Mexico State University grows brand with official coffee
LAS CRUCES, N.M. — New Mexico State University is growing its brand with a new coffee. Named after the desert peak that looms over the Las Cruces campus, "A" Mountain Roast adds to the school's collection of collegiate-licensed products. NMSU already has an official beer, wine and whiskey. The school announced the new coffee and its partnership with California-based Estas Manos Coffee Roasters on Monday. A portion of the proceeds will support more than 400 student athletes. School officials say the coffee will be available online, at Estas Manos popup locations and at other Las Cruces retailers beginning Tuesday.
US AND GLOBAL NEWS BRIEFING
2020: GA ELECTIONS
Members in GA's House of Representatives are holding a hearing Wednesday to discuss the voting process in Georgia. They are focusing on how they can ensure the security and efficiency of the January 2021 U.S. Senate runoff and other future elections. This comes as GA's Secretary of State is coordinating a whole of government effort to combat illegal voting in Georgia. The Office of the Secretary of State has already launched over 250 investigations into credible election concerns this year and begun a signature audit in Cobb County. White House chief of staff Mark Meadows visited Cobb County in Gerogia Tuesday to observe Georgia's audit of absentee ballot envelope signatures and ask questions about the process.
BIDEN'S BORDER PLAN?
President-elect Biden is warning that it will take his administration at least six months to undo President Trump’s immigration and border policies. As a candidate, Biden hammered Trump’s immigration policy, calling it inhumane and vowing to enact sweeping changes on his first day in office. Biden’s reversal follows warnings that removing asylum restrictions could lead to a new surge at the border. Democrat Rep. Ilhan Omar immediately blasted Team Biden, calling it a ‘classic bait and switch’ that ‘breaks a core campaign promise'.
MILLIONS TRAVEL DESPITE HEALTH WARNINGS
Despite the desperate warnings, tens of millions of people are leaving home and traveling by plane, train or automobile this holiday season. TSA screened more than 3 million people last weekend and even more will likely be flying this week.
COVID WORKPLACE HOLIDAYS
Many workplaces have parties, either on site or at other locations. What are most offices doing this year? Are there still secret santas? What are companies doing, if their workforces are primarily working at home this year? How does this affect teamwork and morale? Rich Edson talks to the executives and workers, as well as health experts to find out.
SMALL BUSINESSES BRACING FOR NEW CLIMATE RULES
As the Biden administration looks to make ambitious climate change moves, big corporations are taking notice — and they’re going green to align themselves with the incoming administration’s environment-centered priorities. While oil giants like Exxon have pledged to reduce green-house gas emissions over the next 5 years, big tech is also taking on environmental initiatives, including Apple's plan to achieve carbon neutrality across its supply chain by 2030. While large and powerful companies have the money and resources to do this, many fear that this could cost businesses who lack the means to curry favor with the Biden administration. We'll break down how Biden's green policy could impact small business.
TRUMP ADMIN EYES DEAL FOR NEW VACCINE DOSES
Pfizer is reportedly close to making a deal with the Trump administration to increase supply of its coronavirus vaccine by 100 million doses next Spring if it gets better access to manufacturing supplies. Pfizer has signaled that it should be able to produce at least 70 million if it can get more access to supplies and raw materials. Pfizer already has a federal contract, signed in July, to deliver 100 million doses of its vaccine by the end of March. Each person requires two doses of the vaccine, meaning 100 million doses would vaccinate 50 million people. A deal would help the U.S. offset a looming vaccine shortage that could leave as many as 110 million adult Americans uncovered in the first half of 2021. Will the U.S. beat out other countries?
CORONAVIRUS NOW ON ALL 7 CONTINENTS
For months, the hundreds of scientists and researchers who live in Antarctica have inhabited the only continent in the world without a reported case of COVID-19. But now the virus has reached even there. Three dozen people at a Chilean base have tested positive, the country's army announced Monday. On Tuesday, a regional health minister in Chile said there are 21 infections involving people aboard the Chilean navy's Sargento Aldea supply vessel. Passengers on that ship, which sailed to Chile from the Antarctic Peninsula, tested positive for COVID-19, the Chilean Antarctic Institute informed The Council of Managers of National Antarctic Programs on Friday according to an emailed statement. Another case has been reported at an Antarctic village where that ship docked, according to regional health secretary Eduardo Castillo. The U.S. National Science Foundation is aware of reports of the outbreak, a spokesperson said in an emailed statement to USA TODAY. But personnel at U.S. Antarctic Program stations would have no contact with Chilean stations, including the one with the reported outbreak: the O’Higgins Antarctic Station. No other country with a presence in Antarctica has yet publicly reported cases.
IA-DOJ SAYING LONG TERM CARE FACILITY PERFORMED EXPERIMNETS ON MENTALLY DISBLED RESIDENTS
The U.S. Justice Department has found that an Iowa state-run care center for people with intellectual disabilities likely violated the constitutional rights of residents by subjecting them to human experiments, some of which were deemed dangerous. A report released Tuesday identified broad failures at the Glenwood Resource Center, including poor treatment of residents and failure of the Iowa Department of Human Services to respond. The DOJ began investigating in November 2019 after reports of a high rate of deaths. The DOJ outlined detailed steps for improvement. Gov. Kim Reynolds and the Iowa DHS say they have cooperated with the investigation and will work with DOJ to resolve the problems.
OH-FACEMASKS TO BE MAILED TO RESIDENTS OVER 65 TO HELP COMBAT THE SPREAD OF COVID-19
Through the ’10 Million Mask Mailer’, 2.1 million Ohioans age 65 and older will be mailed a package with five disposable face masks and some information about staying healthy throughout the winter. The 10 Million Mask Mailer initiative was launched through a collaborative effort from The Ohio Department of Aging, The Ohio Department of Health, and the Ohio Department of Administrative Services. The Department of Aging will identify Ohioans age 65 and older through its Golden Buckeye program, after which contracted teams will work on assembling mailer envelopes. Information from the CDC indicates that the masks that will be included in each mailer envelop are among the most effective mask types.
GA TEEN IMPRISONED CAYMAN ISLANDS
A Georgia teenager who was imprisoned in the Cayman Islands earlier this month for breaking COVID-19 protocols, had her jail sentence reduced from four months to two months. 18 year old Skylar Mack, was supposed to quarantine for two weeks but on Nov 29th she removed her tracking device to watch her boyfriend compete in a jetski competition. Skylar's family feel she is being unfairly singled out and are pleading with the White House to help get her released.
ONE STOP SHOP: LAST MINUTE HOLIDAY GIFTS & COVID TESTING
In need of a last-minute Christmas gift and a rapid COVID test? You can get both at Woodfield Mall in suburban Chicago. While not specifically designed to be a “one stop shop” for mall customers, the private company Health Gauge has teamed up with the Simon Property Group location to use part of its parking lot as a drive-thru testing site. Tests will be available to anyone who wants one, no insurance required, for $99 — and results will be ready within an hour.
TIFF OVER TIPS
Restaurant servers could be required to share their extra earnings with the cooks and dishwashers in the kitchen under a new rule imposed by the Labor Department. The final regulation will make it legal for some restaurants to enforce a mandatory tip pool so that tips would be distributed among front-of-house servers and the non-tipped staff members. It’s a triumph for the restaurant industry since tip pools can help businesses cut down on labor costs and reduce wage disparities among all workers. Labor advocates, however, have criticized such proposals that enable restaurant owners to boast higher wages without having to spend any of their own money.
TAX SHOCK FOR UNEMPLOYED AMERICANS
The coronavirus pandemic devastated the job market in 2020, forcing millions of Americans to rely on unemployment benefits. These same people may be in for another shock when they file their taxes and find their usual refund replaced by a debt to the IRS. Unemployment benefits are subject to federal taxes, which are not automatically withheld. A recent survey showed that 38% of people didn’t know that their unemployment benefits are taxable, and 61% haven’t set aside any income to pay this coming tax bill.
‘ROCK OF TALK’ DEBATE OF THE DAY
Last night, President Donald Trump posted an address on Twitter in which he attacked the coronavirus economic relief bill that Congress just passed and demanded a number of significant changes. President Trump is calling on Congress to amend the just passed COVID-relief bill, asking for what he called “ wasteful and unnecessary items” to be removed from the bill and, notably, for the $600 stimulus checks to individuals to be increased to $2,000. The aid package is attached to a $1.4 trillion measure to finance government operations through September. If the President does not sign it, government funding would lapse on Dec. 28. What options does the President & Congress have?
Do you agree or disagree with President Trump on this move?
With all the aid and pork to other ‘relief’ not Covid 19 related isn’t President Trump exposing the swamp in D.C.?
How do you think Congress will respond to his demands?