The Rock of Talk 'Daily Blast' for Wednesday, November 25th, 2020
The Top 10 Links of the Day, Conservative Snapshot and Morning Local News Briefing
When you print money, the money does not flow evenly into the economic system. It stays essentially in the financial service industry and among people that have access to these funds, mostly well-to-do people. It does not go to the worker. -Marc Faber
Here are today’s Top 10 articles you need to read, New Mexico News Snapshot and Global and US Daily News Snapshot from ‘The Rock of Talk‘
New Mexico News Snapshot
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - The state canvassing board has certified Joe Biden's win in New Mexico, delivering the state's five electoral votes to the Democrat. Approval came Tuesday as the board met remotely amid the surging pandemic. Biden's victory without a campaign visit to New Mexico extended a string of victories for his party in a state where Democratic voters outnumber Republicans by 14 percentage points. However, Biden's margin of victory fell short of that margin because of significant Republican turnout in some parts of the state. New Mexico was one of several states due to certify the election on Tuesday.
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - An audit performed as part of an investigation into the conduct of Spaceport America's former chief executive details what officials call a severe breakdown of internal controls that resulted in possible taxpayer funding waste and abuse. The report was made public Tuesday by the state auditor's office after it was finalized i n November by an independent forensic accounting firm. Former Spaceport CEO Dan Hicks was placed on administrative leave earlier this year and later fired after he was accused of circumventing internal controls and accounting procedures. He has declined to discuss about the allegations. State officials say they're addressing the transparency and oversight concerns.
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - New Mexico grocery stores and other essential businesses could avoid mandatory closures triggered by COVID-19 surges among employees if they agree to regularly test their workers and help with the state's contact tracing efforts. The state health and environment departments announced the voluntary program Tuesday. A business would have to submit a plan that details surveillance testing and contact tracing efforts for each of its locations. New Mexico on Tuesday reported an additional 2,107 COVID-19 cases, bringing the statewide total to nearly 86,500 since the pandemic began. Another 28 deat hs were reported and more than 870 people were hospitalized.
SANTA FE, N.M. - The New Mexico Legislature has approved a $330 million economic relief package aimed at helping unemployed workers and certain businesses that have been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic. Passage came Tuesday night as lawmakers rushed to wrap up a one-day session that was called by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham. If the Democratic governor signs the measure, the state could distribute $1,200 stimulus checks to people who are unemployed or who have run out of unemployment this year. Most of the proposed spending will be made possible by federal relief funding previously assigned to New Mexico.
Global and US Daily News Snapshot
GSA ASCERTAINS BIDEN AS THE WINNER AS TRUMP DOWNPLAYS THE DECISION
President Trump took to Twitter late Monday to respond to those who see the General Services Administration’s decision to make federal resources available to Joe Biden’s transition team as a sign that his legal challenge is losing steam. The GSA ascertained that Biden, the president-elect, is the “apparent winner” of the election earlier this month. Trump indicated in an earlier tweet that he directed his team to cooperate on the transition, but vowed to keep up the fight and followed up with another late-night tweet. “What does GSA being allowed to preliminary work with Dems have to do with continuing to pursue our various cases on what will go down as the most corrupt election in American political history?” Trump tweeted. “We are moving full speed ahead. Will never concede to fake ballots & “Dominion.”’ Trump’s tweet came shortly after officials in Michigan voted to certify the election, and Pennsylvania seemed to be inching closer to certifying a Biden victory.
STUDY SAYS AMERICANS SLEPT TERRIBLY IN 2020
A study asked 2,000 Americans about their sleeping habits over the tumultuous 2020 year — and how they hope to improve it in the New Year. The results found 51% pinpointing this year as their worst year for sleep. In addition, 42% of respondents said they can’t even remember the last time they got a good night’s sleep. Fittingly, six in 10 of those surveyed also said they plan to make sleep a top priority next year. Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Hatch, the survey found the top 2020 culprit for poor sleep was consuming too much news (34%). Another 22% of those polled said spending too much time with their family during quarantine has also taken a toll on their beauty rest. Other trends that had a negative impact on respondents included Zoom call fatigue (16%), burnout while working from home (16%) and even staying up too late watching a Netflix binge (13%).
NJ POLICE CHIEF WON’T ENFORCE STATE’S CORONAVIRUS SOCIAL GATHERING RULES
Howell Township, New Jersey, Police Chief Andrew Kudrick Jr. told “Fox & Friends Weekend” that his department will not enforce Gov. Phil Murphy's "draconian" coronavirus guidelines for the holidays. Murphy, a Democrat, has called for a 10-person limit for in-household gatherings. Kudrick Jr. says he doesn’t want to ruin Thanksgiving dinner for families this year. He plans to intervene only if there is an egregious violation but he trusts the public will act responsibly on their own.
NYC TO FINE BROOKLYN SYNAGOGUE THAT HELD MASSIVE WEDDING
City Hall will levy a $15,000 fine against the Brooklyn synagogue that broke social distancing regulations by hosting thousands at a clandestine wedding for the grandson of a top religious official in the Hasidic community, Mayor Bill de Blasio said late Monday. Hizzoner announced the fine and summons the day after The Post exposed how thousands packed into the Yetev Lev temple in South Williamsburg on Nov. 8 — dancing and singing at the top of their lungs with nary a mask in sight as they celebrate the nuptials of Yoel Teitelbaum, the grandson of Satmar Grand Rabbi Aaron Teitelbaum.
PENNSYLVANIA GOVERNOR HALTS ALCOHOL SALES BEFORE THANKSGIVING
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf announced the state will end alcohol sales the day before Thanksgiving, in hopes to curb coronavirus cases. He says alcohol sales go through the roof on the holiday with people crowding in bars and restaurants. He hopes the mandate will help slow the spread of the virus. Pennsylvania may see 22,000 cases in December, according to the governor.
GA SENATE RUNOFFS
GA's machine recount of votes is underway. Requested by the Trump campaign, it follows a hand recount of votes. This as high profile Republicans have been visiting the state in support of Sens Perdue & Loeffler as the GOP works to keep its majority in the Senate.
GA RUNOFFS COULD LEAD TO REGULATION ROLLBACK / WASHINGTON
Pres-elect Biden is looking to undo Trump-era regulations, and 2 GA Senate races could decide just how much of Pres Trump's agenda Biden can overturn. If Democrats end up winning both seats, Biden intends to use a law called the Congressional Review Act, which allows Congress to revoke new regulations within 60 legislative days of their completion, using just a simple majority instead of 2/3. Regulations under Trump set for reversal include a range of water rules, including stream & wetland protections, drinking water contamination, and the permitting of controversial energy & flood projects. Wall Street rule changes made by the Trump Admin could also be scrapped. We look at what regulations Biden can undo, both with and without wins in GA.
BIDEN EYES COSTLY CLIMATE AGENDA / WILMINGTON
Pres-elect Biden is planning a "whole govt approach" to tackle his ambitious climate plans through. Biden tapping fmr Secy of State John Kerry as his "Climate Czar," and one of his top priorities will be looking at how to advance climate priorities without Congress, if needed, as Republicans have raised concerns about exec orders to come. One of Biden's early exec orders is expected to require that every federal agency, dept, & program prepare to address climate change. The Biden transition team is eyeing candidates to fill the admin who support curbing climate change, with aides questioning whether candidates are "climate ambitious."
CORONAVIRUS OVERVIEW / NEW YORK
CDC Dir Redfield tells Dana Perino the coronavirus vaccine should be rolled out by the second week of Dec. This comes as state & federal officials are pleading with Americans to stay at home and redouble efforts to curtail the pandemic, defending unpopular public health measures as record hospitalizations pushed healthcare professionals to the brink. The US surpassed 86,000 hospitalizations yesterday, a record, as 30 states reported record numbers of patients this month. In NY, some sheriffs say they have no intention of enforcing Gov. Cuomo's recent mandate barring private gatherings of more than 10 people. While in NYC, expect vehicle checkpoints at key bridges and crossings, and strict enforcement of the travel quarantine according to the city's sheriff.
LA DINING BAN / SANTA MONICA
Restaurants in the nation's largest county will no longer be allowed to serve customers on site starting tonight. The order from LA County's Health Dept to prohibit indoor and outdoor dining at restaurants comes at a time when they say COVID numbers are at the "most alarming metrics we've ever seen." An effort to overturn the measure by local politicians concerned about thousands of suddenly unemployed residents, and the dubious science behind the order, narrowly failed. Nationally, the trade group representing restaurants says they've become a "convenient scapegoat" by weak-kneed lawmakers looking for cover to justify shutdowns.
COVID TESTING SITES / DALLAS
As we head into Thanksgiving, COVID testing sites are backed up across the country as people get ready to travel. Whether across town to Grandma's or on a plane to someplace that requires a test, people are looking for peace of mind before joining loved ones around the table. At one location in Dallas, a testing site had to be moved to accommodate all the people. That site has done twice as many tests this month as last. Still, health experts say tests can lead to a false sense of security, since even a negative outcome is just a snapshot in time and that the disease can be present, but not detectable for days.
VACCINE MANDATE DEBATE / NEW YORK
As we get closer to a coronavirus vaccine, states are now grappling with a new issue: a possible vaccine mandate. In NY, The NY State Bar Assoc passed a resolution urging the state to consider making it mandatory for all New Yorkers to undergo COVID-19 vaccination, even if people object to it for "religious, philosophical, or personal reasons." Some businesses are following suit as well, with Australia's largest airline, Qantas, planning to require all travelers on intl flights to be inoculated before boarding.
CA UNEMPLOYMENT SCANDAL
Investigators believe CA may have paid nearly $1bil in fraudulent pandemic related unemployment claims to inmates and cybercriminals using their stolen info. Death row inmate Scott Peterson's name was one of more than 35,000 inmate names used to file for unemployment benefits. According to investigators, more than 20,000 of these bogus claims were paid.
THANKSGIVING TRAVEL / ATLANTA
Thousands of Americans are traveling to visit family and friends for Thanksgiving, despite warnings from the CDC and public health officials to avoid travel this week. Experts believe social gatherings over Thanksgiving could lead to even bigger spikes in illness and deaths, and put hospitals under more stress. AAA projects Thanksgiving travel this year will fall by at least 10%, but that still means tens of millions of Americans will be on the road or in the skies.
AMERICANS HIT THE ROAD FOR THANKSGIVING / CHICAGO AREA
AAA is predicting that more than 48mil will take to the roads. While that number seems high, it's actually lower than previous years and marks the most dramatic one-year drop since 2008, when the country was crippled by the recession. While the CDC continues to warn travelers of the grave danger of traveling and spreading the virus, some travelers are marching on, whether to the airport or the expressways. We gauge the holiday traffic in Chicago from the roads.
-Eight Iranian-backed fighters were reportedly killed overnight in airstrikes south of Damascus, Syria. Syrian state media is blaming Israel for the attacks, but denying any casualties.
-Iranian-linked positions along the contested border between the two countries were also hit.
-The Israeli military remains on high alert in the North fearing a counterattack.
-A report this month in the Jerusalem Post indicated the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah has a presence in southern Syria that is larger than previously thought. Israel is careful not to kill Hezbollah fighters to avoid a larger conflict erupting.
FACEBOOK EXPOSED FOR ALTERING ALGORITHM
Facebook allegedly changed its algorithm post-election to favor news outlets like CNN and The NY Times, according to a new report from the NY Times. Meanwhile, sites like Breitbart and Occupy Democracy were less visible in users' News Feeds. Facebook allegedly made the change to reduce the speed of what they call "inaccurate election information" on its site. The news comes just weeks after Facebook & Twitter came under fire for censoring a NY Post story on Hunter Biden.
HOLIDAY SHIPPING DELAYS / CHICAGO
Ecommerce orders were already at holiday levels because of the pandemic, and now FedEx & UPS are gearing up for even greater demand. With record-shattering online holiday shopping expected this year, both delivery companies are on hiring sprees to keep up. The surge could tax logistics networks and as many as 7mil packages a day could be delayed between Thanksgiving & Christmas, according to ShipMatrix. The delay could be just 1 or 2 days, but Amazon is still urging customers to order early.