The Rock of Talk 'Daily Blast' for Saturday, December 12th, 2020
The Conservative Calendar, Top 10 Videos of the Day, Top 10 Links of the Day, Morning Local News Briefing, US and Global News Briefing and Debate of the Day
“‘Where are we going, Pooh?’ ‘Home, Piglet. We’re going home because that’s the best thing to do right now.'” —A.A. Milne (aka Edward Bear who is also banned from all media and publications in China)
THE CONSERVATIVE CALENDAR
Today is Saturday, Dec. 12, the 347th day of 2020. There are 19 days left in the year.
On Dec. 12, 2000, George W. Bush became president-elect as a divided U.S. Supreme Court reversed a state court decision for recounts in Florida’s contested election.
In 1787, Pennsylvania became the second state to ratify the U.S. Constitution.
Rally to open up Rio Rancho
Saturday, December 12th, Noon
901 Unser Blvd SE, Rio Rancho, NM 87124-6365
Saturday, December 12th, Noon @ Roundhouse, Santa Fe
Meet up at 550 and i25, 10am, Caravan heads out at 11am to Roundhouse with The Jericho Walk at St Francis Cathedral, Santa Fe
Peaceful Protests against the Governor
Noon, Saturday, December 12th at the corner of Spruce and Gold, downtown Deming
To get your event or announcement on the KIVA Calendar email: firstname.lastname@example.org
TOP 10 VIDEOS OF THE DAY
Jill Biden Ignores Question on Hunter Tax Investigation, Security Removes the Press
Jim Jordan: It Seems Like Democrats Always Get the Defensive Briefing and Republicans Get Set Up
Gov. Beshear: Goal Is to Get the Entire Long Term Care Community Vaccinated By the 1st of March
NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio Tells New Yorkers to Cancel Their Holiday Travel Plans ‘Now’
Howard Kurtz: Media Had Much More Enthusiasm for Russia, Anything Involving Trump than for Hunter Biden Scandal
Cuomo: 74% of New Virus Cases in NY Are Coming from Private Gatherings — ‘Living Room Spread’
Ocasio-Cortez: ‘Shoutout to My Fellow Radicals’
Dr. Fauci: Unless We’re at Herd Immunity, We Still Have To Wear Masks Even When Vaccinated
Joe Biden Scampers off as Reporters Try Asking Him About Hunter Biden Scandal
Tucker: CNN’s Amanpour Is a Celebrity Script Reader, a Half-Wit, Whose Self-Esteem Far Outpaces Her Accomplishments
TOP 10 LINKS OF THE DAY
MORNING LOCAL NEWS BRIEFING
Navajo Nation reports 231 new COVID-19 cases, 12 more deaths
WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. — Navajo Nation health officials are reporting 231 new COVID-19 cases and 12 more deaths as they prepared to implement a weekend-long lockdown for reservation residents. The tribe has now reported 19,199 cases and 711 known deaths since the pandemic began. The lockdown that begins at 8 p.m. Friday will require everyone on the reservation except essential workers to stay at home. All businesses are are required to remain closed until the locldown ends at 5:30 a.m. Monday. The tribe also has a generral stay-at-home order in place through Dec. 28.
New Mexico reports 2nd highest daily COVID-19 death count
SANTA FE, N.M. — New Mexico health officials say another 43 people have died due to COVID-19 complications. The number released Friday is among the highest daily death tolls for the state in recent weeks. Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said her prayers are with those who have lost loved ones and she urged people to abide by the state's public health restrictions. Officials also reported an additional 1,849 confirmed cases, bringing the statewide total since the pandemic began to 116,565. New Mexico is preparing next week to receive its first round of vaccine doses. Officials say they will be delivered to frontline health care workers.
Education advocates push for early teacher vaccinations
SANTA FE, N.M. — Education advocates are calling for teachers and other school workers to get priority in the national coronavirus vaccine rollout expected to start next week. In New Mexico, state legislators are calling for educators teaching in-person to receive the vaccine alongside healthcare workers and first responders. In separate statements this week, Utah Gov. Gary Herbert and Indiana Congressman Rep. Jim Banks are saying that teachers should be in the second phase of vaccinations, after health workers but ahead of the general public. Teacher union officials from the National Education Association agree teachers should get priority, but caution that even with a vaccine for adults, schools will have to practice social distancing, mask-wearing and frequent hand-washing.
Indian Health Service plans for COVID vaccine distribution
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — The federal agency that provides health care to Native Americans says it's expecting more than enough vaccines to protect all the people working in the hospitals and clinics that it funds. The Indian Health Service was treated much like a state for distribution purposes. It submitted a plan to vaccinate more than 2 million Native Americans and Alaska Natives. The agency expects to receive 22,425 doses of the Pfizer vaccine next week and 46,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine by the end of the year. Those doses will cover the more than 44,000 people who work at hundreds of facilities that are receiving vaccine allocations through the Indian Health Service.
Window opens for Virgin Galactic test flight from spaceport
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The window is open for Virgin Galactic’s first rocket-powered test flight from Spaceport America in southern New Mexico as the company prepares for commercial flights next year. Saturday could be the day, but the exact timing of the launch depends on the weather. The test flight will give Virgin Galactic an opportunity to evaluate the interior space of the cabin where customers will be seated and to check fight controls during boost. While no passengers will be aboard, the flight will carry payload belonging to NASA. The test flight was initially planned for November. But it was pushed back because of COVID-19 restrictions.
Auditor: New Mexico MLK panel failed to meet fiscal duties
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — New Mexico State Auditor Brian Colón says the Martin Luther King Jr. State Commission and its executive director are failing to meet their fiscal responsibilities. Colón this week released audit findings, saying his office has yet to see what procedures have been implemented to address what he called critical issues. He said the shortcomings are concerning. Commission executive director Leonard Waites vowed to provide details of new policies and procedures by Dec. 21. The commission's problems go back years. The former executive director and two others were convicted of felony embezzlement and fraud for offenses that occurred from 2013 through 2015.
Wisconsin Air National Guard pilot was decorated combat vet
MADISON, Wis. — A Wisconsin Air National Guard fighter jet pilot who died when his F-16 crashed during a training exercise over Michigan's Upper Peninsula was a decorated combat veteran who had flown three tours of duty. The Madison-based 115th Fighter Wing said 37-year-old Air Force Capt. Durwood “Hawk” Jones from Albuquerque, New Mexico, joined the Air National Guard in 2011. He was a decorated combat veteran who was deployed to Japan, Korea and Afghanistan. He is survived by his wife and two children. Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers ordered flags to be flown at half staff starting Saturday. The Air National Guard unit has grounded its pilots while the crash is investigated.
FBI: Agent shot, wounded while serving warrant in New Mexico
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The FBI says an FBI agent was shot and wounded Friday while helping serve a federal search warrant in Albuquerque, FBI spokesman Frank Fisher said the agent was in stable condition when transported to a hospital for treatment of the injury and that it was not considered life-threatening. Fisher said in a brief statement that a suspect in the shooting was in custody. No identities were released and Fisher said no additional information was immediately available because the warrant was sealed and the investigation was continuing.
US NEWS BRIEFING
WASHINGTON — The U.S. has given the final go-ahead to the nation's first COVID-19 vaccine, marking what could be the beginning of the end of an outbreak that has killed nearly 300,000 Americans.
Shots for health workers and nursing home residents are expected to begin in the coming days after the Food and Drug Administration on Friday authorized an emergency rollout of what promises to be a strongly protective vaccine from Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech.
Initial doses are scarce and rationed as the U.S. joins Britain and several other countries in scrambling to vaccinate as many people as possible ahead of winter. It will take months of work to tamp down the coronavirus that has surged to catastrophic levels in recent weeks and claimed 1.5 million lives globally.
THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:
The White House is pressuring the FDA chief Stephen Hahn to grant an emergency use authorization for Pfizer's coronavirus vaccine by the end of the day. The vaccine won approval Thursday from an FDA panel of outside advisers, and FDA signoff is the next step to get the shots to the public.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo has reinstated indoor dining restrictions indefinitely in New York City in an effort to limit the increase in coronavirus cases and hospitalizations. Starting Monday, only takeout orders and outdoor dining will be allowed in the city.
JUNEAU, Alaska -- Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy is proposing what he calls an extraordinary response to revive Alaska's pandemic-stunted economy.
His proposal outlined Friday includes about $5,000 in direct payments to residents from the state's oil-wealth fund and an infrastructure plan he said is intended to create jobs. He says Alaskans and businesses are suffering, and now is the time to act.
The state's economy has been battered by the coronavirusndemic, with tourism and hospitality industries hit hard. North Slope oil prices have been below $50 a barrel for much of the year.
SANTA ANA, Calif. -- A California judge has ordered a 50% reduction in the populations at Orange County jails to protect incarcerated people from a major coronavirus outbreak.
Superior Court Judge Peter Wilson's decision comes in response to a lawsuit by the American Civil Liberties Union that said conditions at the jails violate the state's constitution and disability discrimination law.
The county has been ordered to file a plan with the court no later than Dec. 31.
Orange County Sheriff Don Barnes says his department is "evaluating the order, its impacts and our options for appeal."
KALAMAZOO, Mich. — The U.S. Justice Department is supporting Michigan faith-based schools in their court challenge to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's ban on in-person classes in high schools.
The department's Civil Rights Division filed an argument in favor of three Roman Catholic high schools and the Michigan Association of Non-Public Schools. A federal judge in Kalamazoo will hear arguments Monday.
The filing says schools and families have a constitutional right to practice their religion through in-person instruction. It cites a recent U.S. Supreme Court order that barred New York from enforcing certain restrictions on religious services in areas hit hard by the coronavirus.
Michigan's health department argues the teaching restriction is necessary to control the spread of the coronavirus, especially after Thanksgiving gatherings.
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — The U.S. federal agency that provides health care to Native Americans says it's expecting more than enough coronavirus vaccines to protect all the people working in the hospitals and clinics that it funds.
The Indian Health Service was treated much like a state for distribution purposes. It submitted a plan to vaccinate more than 2 million Native Americans and Alaska Natives.
The agency expects to receive 22,425 doses of the Pfizer vaccine next week and 46,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine by the end of the year. Those doses will cover the more than 44,000 people who work at hundreds of facilities that are receiving vaccine allocations through the Indian Health Service.
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Arkansas health officials on Friday reported a one-day record of 55 deaths due to COVID-19 and 2,770 new confirmed or probable cases.
"We have once again reached a grave milestone in this pandemic," Gov. Asa Hutchinson said in a statement.
"While we may have hope ahead from promising vaccine news, we cannot grow weary over the next few weeks," he said.
In a statewide address Thursday night, Hutchinson said the state is seeing a surge in cases after Thanksgiving and suggested Arkansans travel less for the coming Christmas holiday and take rapid tests both before and after travel.
The state Department of Health reported a total of 2,875 deaths due to the illness caused by the virus and 181,624 total cases since the pandemic began.
The health department reported 1,059 people hospitalized with the virus.
WICHITA, Kan. — A Wichita fitness studio's owner and his business are suing Kansas for compensation for being forced to shut down and reopen with restrictions this year because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The lawsuit filed this week in Sedgwick County District Court by Ryan Floyd and Omega Bootcamps Inc. argues that the state used his and the business' private property "for the benefit of the general public" when it and local officials imposed their restrictions. The lawsuit cites part of the state's emergency management law that says people can pursue claims for compensation in court if their property is "commandeered or otherwise used" by state or local officials.
The Kansas attorney general's office declined comment, saying it was reviewing the lawsuit. Gov. Laura Kelly's office did not immediately respond Friday to a request for comment.
RALEIGH, N.C. — The chief justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court says non-essential, in-person court proceedings will be halted starting Monday for 30 days due to a surge in COVID-19 cases. Chief Justice Cheri Beasley said Friday the pause is necessary to protect the health and safety of court personnel and the public. Since the start of the pandemic, judicial branch officials and employees have reported 291 confirmed positive cases. In addition, more than half of North Carolina's county courthouses have been partially or completely closed due to COVID-19, and 11 of those closures occurred this week.
DENVER -- The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment on Friday released the locations of health facilities in urban and rural Colorado to receive the first shipment of 46,800 doses of the Pfizer vaccine.
Facilities in Denver, Aspen, Colorado Springs and Fort Collins were some of the chosen locations for the first Pfizer vaccines. Initially, 46 health care facilities will receive Pfizer vaccine doses; 151 facilities will get subsequent Moderna vaccine doses; and 40 of them will get both.
The locations were selected for their abilities to store Pfizer vaccines in -60°C to -80°C temperatures and a willingness to redistribute vaccines to other providers.
BISMARCK, N.D. — North Dakota's death count per capita from the coronavirus has risen from 12th-highest in the country to fifth in just six weeks, according to Johns Hopkins University researchers.
The state's death count has gone from 75 deaths per 100,000 people to 146 deaths during that time, according to The COVID Tracking Project.
The state Department of Health on Friday reported 27 new deaths, 12 of which were from November due to a reporting lag. The statewide death toll since the pandemic began now stands at 1,130.
State Health Department officials on Friday confirmed 513 new cases of the coronavirus.
North Dakota had for many weeks led the country in the number of virus outbreaks compared to population.
The state now ranks fourth, with 1,350 new cases per 100,000 people in North Dakota over the past two weeks. One in every 136 people in North Dakota tested positive in the past week., according to Johns Hopkins University researchers.
NEW YORK — Indoor dining restrictions will be reinstated in New York City on Monday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced. Only takeout orders and outdoor dining will be allowed.
Nearly 1,700 patients are hospitalized in the city with the coronavirus, triple the number a month ago.
The government's top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, spoke with Cuomo by livestream this week, noting he expects hospitalizations to keep increasing until mid-January.
Cuomo's order came despite opposition from the restaurant industry, which warned of holiday season layoffs as the federal government hasn't passed additional COVID-19 relief.
Public health experts have repeatedly warned that indoor dining -- particularly in small, crowded restaurants where individuals are drinking and can take off masks when not eating -- poses a risk for airborne transmission. The CDC recently described such indoor dining as "high risk."
PHOENIX — Arizona has reported nearly 7,000 coronavirus cases, the third-highest number since the start of the pandemic.
The state reported 6,983 confirmed cases and 91 deaths on Friday.
Virus-related hospitalizations stood at 3,492. That's just short of the hospitalization peak during the state's COVID-19 surge last summer. Hospital officials and public health experts have warned that hospital capacity could be reached this month.
Arizona has reported 394,512 total cases and 7,245 confirmed deaths.
RALEIGH, N.C. — North Carolina reported more than 7,500 coronavirus cases, a single-day record.
More than 2,500 people are currently hospitalized with COVID-19, which represents a two-fold increase in the last 30 days.
The positivity rate has eclipsed 10% for nearly two weeks, reaching double digits for the first time since April.
Mandy Cohen, secretary of the state's Department of Health and Human Services, attributed much of the uptick to people gathering over Thanksgiving.
"Having more than 7,500 cases is staggering and alarming," Cohen says.
‘ROCK OF TALK’ DEBATE OF THE DAY
Progressive ice cream brand Ben & Jerry's has created a new flavor inspired by Colin Kaepernick, introducing the Change the Whirled flavor December 10th. It's a vegan ice cream, made with caramel non-dairy sunflower butter and fudge chips with graham crackers and chocolate cookies swirled in. Ben & Jerry's said it created the flavor to celebrate, quote, "Kaepernick's courageous work to confront systemic oppression and to stop police violence against Black and Brown people." Kaepernick said he was "honored" to partner with Ben & Jerry's on the flavor, saying in a statement, "My hope is that this partnership will amplify calls to defund and abolish the police and to invest in futures that can make us safer, healthier, and truly free." Kaepernick's portion of the proceeds from the ice cream flavor will go to support his "Know Your Rights" organization, which teaches Black and Brown children about how to deal with police interactions.
What do you think of Ben & Jerry's creating a new flavor inspired by and in partnership with Kaepernick?
Even though Ben & Jerry's is known to be a progressive company, could it be a little dicey from a business point of view that Kaepernick used the occasion to say he hoped the partnership would, quote, "amplify calls to defund and abolish the police"?