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Editor Daily Rundown: Trump Plans To Cut Funding In California Over Abortion Laws And New York Is Considering A Tax Hike On The Wealthy

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‘THEY ARE NOT GIVING US AN EDUCATION’ … ‘We Are Breaking’: Parents Describe How Virtual Learning Has Traumatized Their Children

[P]arents explained to the Daily Caller that extensive damage has already been done. They describe failing grades, despair, and their child’s sense of invisibility to the world that surrounds them after being away from their peers and classrooms for months with no firm end in sight. […]

Eileen, a Latin teacher at a Christian Classical school in Maryland, has been able to teach in her regular classroom since Sept. 3, when her school reopened with health and sanitation protocols implemented to prevent COVID-19 spread. Eileen’s 15-year-old daughter, who is a sophomore at a public school, has been learning virtually for 14 weeks. She goes to school with her mother once a week just to “be part of normal life,” Eileen tells the Caller.

In an essay Eileen’s daughter wrote about her virtual learning experience, she describes the despondency and defeat students and teachers feel. In some classes, students mute their audio feature to hide the fact that they’re playing video games instead of paying attention. Teachers have difficulty holding students accountable, making flouting the rules easier. Eileen’s daughter, an aspiring writer and accomplished student, also faces her own waning motivation.

“Every minute I sit at my desk I am being erased. It started with one of my dimensions. Then my voice was replaced by the chat, my face with a logo, and my life with progress checks,” Eileen’s daughter writes. “Virtual school is not real school. They are not giving us an education. They are teaching us how to not get caught using google translate. They are teaching us which websites will do your algebra homework for you. And if the Board of Education doesn’t take my education seriously, then why should I?” […]

Numerous parents described watching their children grow fatigued from sitting in front of a computer everyday for online lessons, sometimes making excuses about WiFi connection issues for respite. John Torre, from Connecticut, told the Caller that his 10-year-old daughter has suffered from headaches after being online all day, while his 8-year-old son will quit online lessons out of frustration. Jaclyn from Michigan says her 15-year-old daughter leaves her bedroom no more than 3 times throughout the day, and no longer talks to her beyond single-word responses.

Megan Knoll, a nurse in Minnesota, said she has watched her 12-year-old son slip into depression.

“As his English teacher put it in her latest email; ‘sorry for all of the emails, but, I just want to say good job! WE can do it!’ No, actually, we can’t. We are breaking,” she said.


THE ESSAY FROM EILEEN’S DAUGHTER IN MARYLAND… MARLO SAFI: I’ve been speaking to parents/guardians whose kids have been learning virtually for a few days now. A Maryland mother shared with me something her daughter, a sophomore in high school and aspiring writer, wrote. One of the more disturbing experiences that’s been shared with me (SCREENGRAB)


Pennsylvania Health Department Issues Guidelines For Attending ‘Large Gatherings’ Where ‘Sex’ Is Involved

Pennsylvania’s Department of Health has issued guidelines for attending “large gatherings” where sex might be involved during the pandemic.

“Large gatherings are not safe during COVID19, but if you attend a large gathering where you might end up having sex, below are tips to reduce your risk of spreading or getting COVID-19 through sex,” a statement posted on PA’s health department website read. The message surfaced Wednesday on social media.

Several of the suggestions for reducing the spread of the coronavirus if people do engage in sex included, limiting “the number of partners” and trying to “identify a consistent sex partner.”

“Wear a face covering, avoid kissing, and do not touch your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands,” the statement about engaging in sex added. “Wash your hands with soap and water often, and especially before and after sex.”

“If soap and water are not available use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer,” the message continued.


New York Floats Tax Hike On High-Income Citizens As They Flee NYC

New York is considering raising taxes on the wealthy while high-income citizens are fleeing New York City.

Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins are in talks with Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie about increasing tax rates to avoid up to $8 billion in cuts to social services and education, the Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday.

A state official told the Wall Street Journal that Stewart-Cousins is willing to impose new taxes on New Yorkers who make more than $2 million a year, and another official familiar with the negotiations said that the new taxes could affect citizens who make more than $1 million a year. Currently, personal income of over $1,077,550 is taxed by New York at a rate of 8.82%, and an additional tax is put in place by New York City. […]

The exodus of wealthy people has resulted in around $34 billion in lost income for the city, Reuters reported. New York is heavily dependent on wealthy citizens for tax revenue – 188,000 taxpayers account for around half of the $50 billion that the state collects in income tax each year, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Business groups have warned that increasing taxes could result in more wealthy people leaving the state.


EARLIER… LAT: California population growth hits record lows, stifled by COVID-19 and continued exodus

Like Fuller, a lot of Californians are running for the exit, a trend exacerbated this year by COVID-19 as more people moved away and pandemic restrictions slowed migration into the state, according to data released Wednesday.

California’s population is now growing at its slowest rate in more than a century.

The California Department of Finance, which monitors the state’s population data, found that from July 1, 2019 to July 1, 2020, California saw a net gain of only 21,200 new residents — a 0.05% growth rate not seen since 1900. As of July, the state’s population was 39.78 million.

Over that period, Los Angeles County reported a net loss of 40,036 people, more than any other county in the state.

“This is a real sea change in California, which used to be this state of pretty robust population growth,” said Hans Johnson, a demographer at the Public Policy Institute of California. “It hasn’t been for some time now. But it’s now gotten to the point where the state is essentially not growing population-wise at all.”


Vice President Mike Pence Will Receive Coronavirus Vaccine On Camera Friday Morning

Vice President Mike Pence will receive a coronavirus vaccine on camera Friday morning at the White House, the Trump administration formally announced on Thursday.

Pence, who stated his desire earlier in the week to receive the vaccine on camera to prove its safety, will be vaccinated side-by-side with Second Lady Karen Pence and Surgeon General Jerome Adams.

The ceremony is meant to “promote the safety and efficacy of the vaccine and build confidence among the American people,” the White House said in a statement issued to reporters Thursday afternoon.


NATALIE ANDREWS, WSJ: NEW: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to get coronavirus vaccine. “Because of government continuity requirements, I have been informed by the Office of the Attending Physician that I am eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine, which I will accept in the coming days.”


WHO LOVES AMERICA? Poll: Literally The Only Political Demographic That Mostly Does Not Take Pride In Being American Is ‘Progressive Activists’

“Progressive activists” are the only political demographic that does not mostly take pride in being American, according to data published by “More in Common US.”

“More in Common US” describes itself as “a nonpartisan nonprofit that seeks to strengthen democratic culture by bringing Americans together around shared values, beliefs, and identities.” They partnered with “YouGov” to identify how different Americans feel about the country and learned that “progressive activists” across the board have the most negative feelings about the United States.

“Progressive activists” are “deeply concerned with issues concerning equity, fairness, and America’s direction today,” according to the nonprofit. Making up 8% of the population, only 34% of this group expressed pride in being an American, the data showed.

The next lowest group was “Gen Z,” which saw 51% express pride. 60% of “passive liberals” reported that they are proud to be an American and 96% of “traditional conservatives” declared the same, “More in Common US” reported.


ZAID JILANI: Same pattern for the question if they could live anywhere in the world, they would choose America. Progressive activists are the only group where the majority wouldn’t’ rather live here.


PELOSI’S REVENGE? AOC LOSES POWER BATTLE IN CONGRESS… POLITICO: Kathleen Rice beats out AOC for spot on coveted House committee

Rep. Kathleen Rice has captured a prized seat on the House Energy and Commerce Committee after a contentious showdown with fellow New Yorker, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Rice and Ocasio-Cortez have been battling behind the scenes for weeks to secure one of the few open seats on the exclusive committee, which oversees everything from health care policy to climate issues. Tensions spilled into the open Thursday in a private meeting of the Steering and Policy Committee, where Democrats were forced to choose between the two members in a tense — and awkward — secret ballot vote.

Rice ultimately won in a lopsided vote of 46-13, though it wasn’t without some drama after some moderate Democrats openly criticized Ocasio-Cortez.

Just before the Steering Committee moved to vote on the Energy and Commerce slots, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her leadership team presented a slate of their preferred candidates for four out of the five seats.

But notably, top Democrats did not choose a nominee for the final seat, which is essentially reserved for a New York member — forcing Rice and Ocasio-Cortez into a head-to-head matchup.


JOE BIDEN: Let me be clear: The United States of America has always set an example for the world for the peaceful transition of power — and we will do so again.


GEOFF INGERSOLL: You unmasked Michael Flynn eight days before the inauguration, Mr. President-elect, why?


Kayleigh McEnany Slams Biden Campaign Manager For Calling Republicans ‘F*ckers’: ‘They Think We Are Deplorable, Irredeemable ‘F***ers”

White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany tore into top Biden aide Jen O’Malley Dillon Thursday after the incoming White House deputy chief of staff walked back her comment that Republicans are “a bunch of fuckers.”

The Biden campaign manager said she could have chosen her words better in a Thursday interview, prompting McEnany to point out the disparity between O’Malley Dillon’s comments and President-elect Joe Biden’s calls for unity.

“She can try to walk back, but this says volumes about her boss who calls for ‘unity’ while shouting that we are ‘assaulting democracy,’” McEnany tweeted from her personal account.

“They think we are deplorable, irredeemable ‘F***ers,’” she continued. “SICK.”


POLITICO: Top Biden aide walks back expletive description of Republicans

The mea culpa came in a virtual conversation Thursday with veteran Democratic operatives Stephanie Cutter and Teddy Goff, during which O’Malley Dillon acknowledged she “used some words that I probably could have chosen better” when speaking with author Glennon Doyle for a Glamour magazine interview published Tuesday.

In that interview, O’Malley Dillon recalled the blowback Biden faced from fellow Democrats throughout the party’s 2020 nominating contest for invoking a bygone era of Washington bipartisanship which many progressives viewed as unrealistic and outdated.

“In the primary, people would mock him, like, ‘You think you can work with Republicans?’” O’Malley Dillon told Glamour. “I’m not saying they’re not a bunch of f—ers. Mitch McConnell is terrible. But this sense that you couldn’t wish for that, you couldn’t wish for this bipartisan ideal? He rejected that.”

Addressing the controversy Thursday, O’Malley Dillon argued that “the point that I was really making” in the Glamour interview “is an incredibly important point. And that really is about the president-elect and why he was supported by over 81 million people, and what they were looking for.” She went on to restate Biden’s “belief that we can get things done, and we can get them done if we come together.”



Once the last of the other Democratic primary candidates dropped out and Biden was nominated, all prior negative media stories about his apparent cognitive decline and his family’s financial entanglements disappeared. From April 2020 on, a virtual news blackout surrounded Biden. His rare interviews were scripted. Biden communiques were teleprompted. Press conferences were either nonexistent or revolved around his favorite milkshake or his socks.

Mentions of Hunter Biden’s business dealings in China and Ukraine were taboo. It was sinful to reference reports of a Hunter Biden email allegedly detailing a 10 percent distribution of such revenue to the “Big Guy” — presumably Joe Biden.

Unlike Donald Trump, Joe Biden never really campaigned. After the primaries, he outsourced his fall 2020 campaign to subordinates and pet journalists to attack Trump.




PETER HASSON: So the president-elect’s first sit down interview since the public found out his son is under federal investigation is with… a liberal late night host


KEN VOGEL: BIDEN says he’s “not concerned about any accusations been made against” his son HUNTER BIDEN, casting them as “foul play.” *Biden’s team says the question that prompted this response wasn’t about the tax probe, but rather people using Hunter “as a cudgel”(VIDEO)


Jill Biden Defends Education Doctorate: ‘One Of The Things I’m Most Proud Of’ (VIDEO)

“That was such a surprise,” Biden said. “And it was really the tone of it that I think that, you know, he called me ‘kiddo.’ One of the things I’m most proud of is my doctorate. I mean, I worked so hard for it.”

Biden added that she was “so grateful” to those who came out in support of her.

“I’ve been suppressing my Irish-ness for a long time,” Joe Biden added later after commenting about how hard his wife worked for her degree.


Trump Says He Has ‘Nothing To Do With Potential Prosecution Of Hunter Biden’

President Donald Trump clarified Thursday morning that he is not involved in the Justice Department investigation into President-elect Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden.

“I have NOTHING to do with the potential prosecution of Hunter Biden, or the Biden family,” Trump tweeted. “It is just more Fake News. Actually, I find it very sad to watch!”

The Associated Press claimed Wednesday that Trump wants a special counsel to be named in the Hunter Biden investigation, effectively ensuring that President-elect Biden cannot dismiss it after being sworn in Jan. 20. Some White House aides reportedly warned the president that his public comments on the investigation could politicize the legitimate probe into Biden’s tax affairs and potentially cause problems for the president once he leaves office.


Navy Claims China’s ‘Aggressive Actions’ Are Compromising American Power At An ‘Alarming Rate’

A report from the U.S. Navy says American military advantages against China are “eroding” at an “alarming rate.”

Chinese and Russian global naval activities are attempting to tilt the balance of power both in the Indo-Pacific region, and internationally, according to the report.

Placing greater emphasis on China, the report warns of Beijing’s efforts to “corrode international maritime governance, deny access to traditional logistical hubs, inhibit freedom of the seas, control use of key chokepoints… and displace the United States as the preferred partner in countries around the world.”

In a bid to “exert control over natural marine resources and restrict access to the oceans,” China is placing increasing strain on America’s ability to protect its national interests in the Western Pacific, according to the report.

Combined with the aggressive growth of China’s maritime forces, the proliferation of long-range precision missile technology has made it impossible for the U.S. to “presume unfettered access to the world’s oceans in times of conflict.”


NEW ‘CROSSFIRE’ DOCS… STRZOK SEEMED TO KNOW STEELE WAS A YAHOO SOURCE… HAD INSIDE INFO ON JAN. 2017 CNN REPORTING… Peter Strzok’s Declassified Messages Give Insider View Of FBI’s Trump Campaign Probe

The documents, obtained by The Daily Caller News Foundation ahead of their release, show Strzok and his colleagues discussing strategies for how to handle the investigation, as well as how to approach interviews with targets of Crossfire Hurricane.

The declassified documents also show that Strzok was provided with real-time updates as FBI agents or undercover sources were meeting with Trump campaign advisers Carter Page and George Papaodpoulos, who were early targets of the investigation. […]

One message suggests that Strzok knew early on that Steele was a source for a story published in Yahoo! News alleging that Page had a secret meeting in Moscow with two Kremlin insiders.

“Looking at the Yahoo article, I would definitely say at a minimum Steele’s reports should be viewed as intended to influence as well as to inform,” Strzok wrote on Sept. 23, 2016.

Strzok, who was fired from the FBI in August 2018, was referring to a report from Yahoo! News about Page’s visit to Moscow in July 2016.

It would later be revealed that Christopher Steele was a source for the article, and that he had met with a handful of journalists in Washington, D.C. as part of an opposition research campaign commissioned by the DNC and Clinton campaign.

While Strzok indicated that he thought Steele was a source for the Yahoo! article, the FBI maintained its relationship with Steele and failed to inform the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) that the ex-spy had contact with journalists. […]

Strzok’s messages also show that he and others at the FBI had inside information about CNN’s plans to publish a story about then-FBI Director James Comey’s briefing to Trump regarding allegations in the dossier.

“Story no longer Sciutto, now Evan Perez. Internal nervousness about nature of allegations,” Strzok wrote to Page on Jan. 9, 2017, referring to two CNN reporters.

“Also Carl Bernstein (yes that Carl) called OPA, said he got a ‘dossier’ from McCain.”

“Awesome,” Page replied. “Let Carl run it down then.”

CNN reported on Jan. 10, 2017, that Comey had briefed Trump on Jan. 6, 2017, regarding an allegation in the dossier that the Kremlin had a sexual blackmail tape against Trump.

CNN’s report prompted BuzzFeed News to publish the dossier in full.


Trump To Cut Hundreds Of Millions In Funding To California Over State Abortion Laws

President Donald Trump is cutting California’s federal funding by $200 million over the state’s requirement for healthcare plans to cover abortions, his administration announced Wednesday.

The administration argues California is in violation of the Weldon Act, with mandates that insurers not be punished for declining to offer abortion coverage. Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar says despite the Trump administration’s efforts to bring the state into compliance, California “refused” to take any corrective action.

“Under President Trump, HHS has worked like never before to enforce laws Congress has passed to protect Americans’ religious freedom and conscience rights,” Azar said in a Wednesday statement. “California…violated federal conscience laws and refused to work with us to take corrective action, so we are now taking action to hold them to account.”

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra flouted the Trump administration’s January warning that the state was not in compliance, according to HHS.


A PROGRAMMING NOTE… This email will continue to hit your inbox each morning, but we’ll take a break for Christmas eve, Christmas day & New Year’s day. You should too! Have a wonderful Christmas, and we’ll be back in full force for 2021.