The Rock of Talk 'Daily Blast' for Thursday, December 24th, 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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For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. -John 3:16
THE CONSERVATIVE CALENDAR
Forecast at The KIVA: High 39 Degrees at 3pm (Will feel like 31) Low 15 Degrees at 3am (Will feel like 9). Winds get to 14MPH at 2:00pm. Sunny and Windy. *Weather is from the KIVA Weather Station.
Today is Thursday, Dec. 24, the 359th day of 2020. There are seven days left in the year. This is Christmas Eve.
In 1814, the United States and Britain signed the Treaty of Ghent, which ended the War of 1812 following ratification by both the British Parliament and the U.S. Senate.
In 1913, 73 people, most of them children, died in a crush of panic after a false cry of "Fire!" during a Christmas party for striking miners and their families at the Italian Hall in Calumet, Michigan.
In 1943, President Franklin D. Roosevelt appointed Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower supreme commander of Allied forces in Europe as part of Operation Overlord.
In 1968, the Apollo 8 astronauts, orbiting the moon, read passages from the Old Testament Book of Genesis during a Christmas Eve telecast.
In 1980, Americans remembered the U.S. hostages in Iran by burning candles or shining lights for 417 seconds — one second for each day of captivity.
In 2016, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accused President Barack Obama of a "shameful ambush" at the United Nations and said he was looking forward to working with his "friend" Donald Trump; Netanyahu's comments came a day after the U.S. broke with past practice and allowed the Security Council to condemn Israeli settlements in the West Bank and east Jerusalem.
In 2019, with the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris unable to host Christmas services for the first time since the French Revolution because of damage from a fire earlier in the year, the clergy, choir and congregation relocated to a Gothic church next to the Louvre Museum for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day services.
Today's Birthdays: Federal health official Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., is 80. General Jeff Sessions is 74. Rock musician Ian Burden (The Human League) is 63. Singer Ricky Martin is 49. TV personality Ryan Seacrest (TV: "Live With Kelly & Ryan") is 46.
UPCOMING LOCAL EVENTS
Merry Christmas! Infowars with Alex Jones will replace “The Rock of Talk” for Thursday and Friday
TOP 10 CLIPS OF THE DAY
Chris Cuomo: Trump Is the Worst U.S. President We Have Ever Seen
CNN: Trump’s Big Three — Manafort, Stone, and Jared Kushner’s Father Get Pardons
Gregg Jarrett: ‘Joe Biden Is Sucking the Joy out of the Christmas Season’
Tucker Mocks D.C.’s ‘Fauci Day,’ Calls Him ‘The High Priest of the Covid Cult’
Tucker: California Is Falling Apart and It’s a Road Map to the Rest of America
Tucker: Disparities in America Are Not Driven By Racism and Sexism, It’s Driven By Bad Behavioral Choices
Martha MacCallum: AOC’s IG Video of Getting Vaccine ‘Rubbed a Lot of People the Wrong Way’
Martha MacCallum: Trump Continues ‘To Break All the China,’ ‘Scolds’ Those Who Abandoned Him, Perhaps ‘Eyeing a Run in 2024’
Biden Falsely Claims that He Appointed ‘First Openly Gay Cabinet Member’
Kamala Harris: ‘Democrats Certainly Wanted to Get More Relief than the $600’
TOP 10 LINKS OF THE DAY
MORNING LOCAL NEWS BRIEFING
Woman denies felony charge that she coughed on health worker
SANTA FE, N.M. — A New Mexico woman charged with felony battery after being accused of coughing on a health care worker in a medical center has denied the allegation and said she only lifted her mask at the time. A criminal complaint filed with the Santa Fe Police Department by the worker claimed defendant Joy Ebel refused to wear a mask, verbally harassed employees at La Familia Medical Center in Truchas and coughed into the worker's face. Ebel has said she did not cough on anyone intentionally and she does not have COVID-19. She claimed the incident started because workers at the clinic did not like how she was wearing her mask.
Decade-long study reveals resilience of New Mexico acequias
ALCALDE, N.M. — Researchers from the state's two largest universities and a prominent national laboratory are detailing their findings from a decade-long study of New Mexico acequias. They say the traditional irrigation systems are as much about culture and community as they are about hydrology. Their 90-page publication was presented during the New Mexico Acequia Association's recent annual meeting. The researchers learned that the acequia system creates a responsive mechanism for the entire community to interact with the landscape and develop a specific water management approach depending on conditions. The researchers hope the publication will serve as a tool for legislators and others when making decisions about acequias.
New Mexico Rail Runner Express route gets new safety system
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Federal regulators have certified that the New Mexico Rail Runner Express has met a year-end deadline to install a federally required safety system on the state-owned passenger service. The Positive Train Control System is designed to prevent train collisions, high-speed derailments and incursions into track work zones. The passenger service's operator, the Rio Metro Regional Transit District, began installing the $60 million system on the 100-mile route between Santa Fe and Belen south of Albuquerque in April 2019. In addition to Rail Runner commuter trains, the route is also used by Amtrak long-distance passenger trains and Burlington Northern Santa Fe freight trains.
Navajo Nation reports 157 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths
WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. — The Navajo Nation has reported 157 new coronavirus cases but no additional related deaths. The latest figures reported Wednesday by the Navajo Department of Health bring the total number of cases on the reservation that extends into Arizona, New Mexico and Utah to 21,513. The death toll from the pandemic remains at 755. The Navajo Nation remains 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. Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez says residents must not become complacent just because frontline health care workers on the reservation have started receiving recently approved vaccines.
Texas company opts to settle case over New Mexico fuel spill
CIMARRON, N.M. — The state Office of Natural Resources Trustee has reached a proposed settlement with a Texas-based company over a fuel spill along a northern New Mexico river. A tanker truck carrying more than 1,000 gallons of fuel overturned in icy conditions in 2016 and spilled its liquid cargo into the Cimarron River near a wildlife management area. State officials said fish and invertebrates were killed and surrounding soil and sediment was contaminated. A portion of the river had to be closed to public access for several months. Under the settlement, Fronk Oil Co. will pay $150,000 toward restoration projects.
New Mexico to meet deadline for sending out relief checks
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Around 15,000 residents previously ineligible for pandemic stimulus checks have started receiving payments from the state. The group includes immigrants in the country without work authorization. Officials with the New Mexico Human Services Department said the $465 relief payments began arriving this week via direct deposit or checks. The Legislature allocated $5 million to the fund for those who hadn't received federal payments in April. Agency officials say they were able to identify an additional $2 million on top of that. COVID-19 cases have been declining in New Mexico, but the economic fallout from the pandemic continues.
New Mexico governor: Coronavirus poses no threat for Santa
SANTA FE, N.M. — It's official, at least according to New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham: Santa Claus and his reindeer are immune to COVID-19 and can safely visit homes across the state. Lujan Grisham's office on Wednesday announced that she had issued a proclamation assuring New Mexico children that health experts had determined the coronavirus poses no danger to Santa and his hoofed helpers. As for the formalities, the proclamation designates Santa as an essential worker and exempts him from New Mexico's social distancing and travel requirements. Lujan Grisham added that she hopes everyone stays safe over the holidays.
Congress passes bill on Navajo Nation water rights in Utah
SALT LAKE CITY — Congress has passed a long-awaited bill that would address water availability issues for residents living on the Navajo Nation in Utah who lack access to running water, a problem exacerbated by the pandemic. The Salt Lake Tribune reported that the Utah Navajo Water Rights Settlement Act was passed on Monday as part of a massive $2.3 trillion spending bill that includes $900 billion in coronavirus relief and a $1.4 trillion omnibus spending package. The legislation will next head to President Donald Trump for his signature. The legislation would recognize the Navajo Nation's right to 81,500 acre feet of water from the Colorado River basin in Utah.
US AND GLOBAL NEWS BRIEFING
HOUSE DEMS TO PUSH FOR HIGHER STIMULUS CHECKS
A source told FOX Business that Democrats will attempt to pass a standalone bill for $2,000 direct payments on Thursday, although it's unclear whether it would receive the unanimous consent needed to pass in the House or clear the Republican-controlled Senate. House Democrats are planning to force a vote this week on increasing the size of the stimulus checks included in the $900 billion coronavirus relief package after President Trump demanded Congress raise the payments from $600 to $2,000 per adult. "At last, the president has agreed to $2000," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi wrote on Twitter. "Democrats are ready to bring this to the floor this week by unanimous consent. Let's do it!" But some GOP lawmakers signaled a willingness to work with Democrats to give the president what he wanted. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said he does "appreciate" Pelosi's willingness to support Trump's "idea to increase direct payments."
Will Trump veto the relief bill if changes are not made? Will Dems and the GOP work together to increase the size of the stimulus checks?
HOW TO CREATE JOY THIS CHRISTMAS
Christmas…it starts and end with JOY! Have you seen the millions of JOY signs floating around? Or the JOY letters? Or the JOY phrases? They’re everywhere and most Americans love them ALL, but sometimes it's difficult to see and experience joy in tough times. In fact, most of us are looking for joy in every which way we possibly can these days. Jenn Gotzon-Chandler, star of the film The Farmer and the Belle is here so share her holiday secrets for joy and more!
In the midst of tough and uncertain times, how can we make our Christmas holiday joyful? What can be done to save "Santaland"? What can we learn from this year to make us appreciate the holidays much more? Why is it important to make an effort to laugh this Christmas and everyday?
SUPPORTING YOUR FAMILY IN A PANDEMIC
This pandemic has been hard for everyone, but it has affected each person differently. Depending who you are, your needs may have been different than others during this tumultuous season. And it's now more important than ever to reach out and be there for those you care for the most.
NEWS OF THE DAY / WILMINGTON
Amid the investigation into Hunter Biden's tax affairs, which include deals involving China, Fox has learned Hunter still has a 10% stake in a Chinese private equity firm. Pres-elect Biden pledged during the campaign that nobody from his family would be involved in "any foreign operation whatsoever" if he is president, but a source close to Hunter indicated to Fox he is still in the process of offloading that investment. At the same time, Joe Biden told reporters on Tuesday that he has not discussed the federal probe into his son with any of his atty gen candidates and says his final pick will "enforce the law as written, not guided by me." But which atty gen candidate will be nominated to the post is yet to be seen. In a Wilmington event yesterday, Biden introduced a different cabinet pick: Miguel Cardona as his choice for Education Secy, calling Cardona brilliant, qualified, and tested. Biden declined to take any questions from the press after that event.
Actions in Washington, DC, are being watched closely in GA as the senatorial candidates are only 2 wks away from Election Day. Both Sens. Loeffler & Perdue voted for the recent stimulus bill, and Loeffler told Fox yesterday she would agree with Pres Trump on getting rid of the waste in the bill and increasing the COVID payments to individuals. Both Democratic candidates Warnock & Ossoff agree. Still on the horizon: Trump's expected veto of the National Defense Authorization Act. So, where will the candidates stand on this issue?
MILLIONS IGNORE TRAVEL WARNINGS / CHICAGO
It's the day before Christmas and despite desperate warnings from healthcare officials, millions of travelers are rushing out to see family and friends by planes, trains, or automobiles. With COVID numbers on the rise, TSA says its screening lines are packed. A growing number of airports are giving flyers the option to get tested for COVID before getting on the plane, and some airports now require proof of a negative test before you can board.
Christmas parties at restaurants, hotels, bars... will they still be held? What is the economic impact on these industries if all the parties are scaled back or canceled? What is the mental health effect of not being able to celebrate the holidays with friends, especially for people who don't have close family? What about those people, for whom the holidays are unpleasant normally, because of their isolation? Will they feel better, since so many other people will be miserable this year?
PACKED PLANES: AIR TRAVEL HITS PANDEMIC PEAK / CHICAGO
About 84.5mil people will travel this holiday season, most by car. AAA estimates the vast majority of Americans, about 3/4, will follow the CDC's recommendation to stay home. While the airlines will not be nearly as busy as normal, more Americans will be traveling by plane this holiday than they have since the pandemic started. The uptick in travel comes as United and American Airlines bring back thousands of furloughed workers, thanks to the latest stimulus package. While that's welcome news to airline employees, they could be out of a job once again next year.
The House will try to pass by unanimous consent a bill to give Americans $2,000 in direct assistance payments. This comes after Pres Trump demanded it. Democrats, including Speaker Pelosi, Sen Schumer, and Rep Ocasio-Cortez, immediately supported Trump's request, but it remains to be seen if House Republicans will block it or not. If they don't, it would stand little to no chance of passing which the GOP-controlled Senate. Trump, in a video Tuesday night, railed against foreign aid and funding for the arts in the $900bil COVID relief deal. But those funds were actually included in the $1.4tril Omnibus spending bill. Congress combined both bills as 1 to move them more quickly through Congress before the Christmas break. Trump has not outright threatened to veto the bill, but by the time the more than 5,500-pg bill reaches the White House, he could just use a "pocket veto" and simplify refuse to sign it before the next Congress begins Jan 3.
RELIEF UNRESOLVED: UNANSWERED STIMULUS QUESTIONS
House Democrats return to Capitol Hill to offer a bill increasing stimulus checks to $2,000 using unanimous consent, leaving the ball in the GOP's court. It remains unclear if Pres Trump will actually veto the COVID Relief package, but it passed both chambers of Congress with veto-proof majorities. Republicans have blocked previous attempts to increase the size of the checks and now, a day before Christmas, only 4 days remain until the govt shuts down. The $900bil relief package offers $300bil for small businesses, direct payments of up to $600 for individual Americans, and added unemployment insurance until mid-March, currently set to expire this Saturday. Airline execs were ready to cut checks Christmas Eve to furloughed workers. Americans in need of help were hoping to get checks starting as early as next week.
CORD-CUTTING LEADING TO SURGE IN SURCHARGES
While millions of Americas are still working from home, some may find a big surprise in their next cable bill: an extra charge for using too much data. The increase kicks in Jan 1, and it affects Comcast customers in the Northeast who use more than 1.2 Terabytes. You'll be surprised: you can easily reach that cap if you're on daily zoom meetings and stream shows. With cord-cutting hitting new highs during the pandemic, it was a matter of time until cable companies found new ways to make up for lost revenue.
ROCK OF TALK’ DEBATE OF THE DAY
Why should Buffalo Bills fans have all the fun? We just got news that New York State health officials may allow 6,700 fans to attend the team's home playoff game next month. Every fan would be tested at the door, using a rapid-results COVID-19 test to make sure they aren't carrying the virus. If they pull this off, it will be the first permissible crowd event, at least in New York State, since the pandemic took hold last March.
Do you think rapid-results COVID-19 testing could be the star of rapid testing everywhere?
Assuming the tests were available, would you feel comfortable going to a crowd event where this kind of precaution was used?
Which do you miss most: crowd sports, crowded bars, crowd concerts or crowd shopping?