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January 1, Biden Leads Trump in Two Key Swing States



This Day in History | 1975

President Gerald Ford says the Vietnam War is finished as far as America is concerned. “Today, Americans can regain the sense of pride that existed before Vietnam. But it cannot be achieved by re-fighting a war.”

Good morning Middle Americans, 

We know President Trump likes the polls, when the polls like him. And right now, there are not too many polls that like the president. A quick look at the latest polls, which Real Clear Politics does a nice job of capturing in a snap shot, must burn the president’s eyes. Trump is losing in key swing states, his approval rating is tanking, and more Americans think the country is headed in the wrong direction than in the right direction. 

Meanwhile, Bernie Sanders is leaning on Joe Biden to adopt more initiatives from the Green New Deal for his official campaign platform. And just in case Biden doesn’t, Bernie Sanders hasn’t totally suspended his campaign, remaining on the ballot in some primary states with the hope of winning enough delegates to force the issue. 

You know who loves these small business loans? BANKS – that’s who. New report show they’ve made about $10 billion in fees from processing the loans.

Read all about it. 

-Fraser Dixon

Poll: Biden Leading Trump Bigly in Michigan and Pennsylvania

(Newsweek) – Two Fox News polls of registered voters in Michigan and Pennsylvania have presumptive Democratic Presidential nominee Joe Biden beating Trump by eight points in both states.

Trump won both states in the 2016 presidential election by narrow margins of less than one percent, making the states two of a handful of swing states that could decide the 2020 presidential election.

The Michigan poll showed Biden leading Trump 49 to 41 percent, and the Pennsylvania poll showed Biden leading Trump 50 to 42 percent.

Read more here

Head of Coronavirus Vaccine Research Says He Was Demoted for Questioning Drug Favored by Trump

(The Daily Beast) – The doctor in charge of the federal agency overseeing research into a coronavirus vaccine said on Wednesday he was forced out of the job after questioning the efficacy of an anti-malarial drug favored by the president.

Dr. Rick Bright was “involuntarily transferred” last week from the Department of Health and Human Services’ Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) to a role with fewer responsibilities at the National Institutes of Health after advocating for more stringent study of hydroxychloroquine, according to a statement from his lawyer, as first reported by The New York Times.

Learn more here

Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders vow joint climate work as part of endorsement

(Axios)  – Part of Bernie Sanders’ endorsement of presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden is a new plan for them to form joint “task forces” on six big topics, including climate change.

Time will tell, but I’ll be watching to see if it leads to substantial changes in Biden’s climate platform, which has disappointed the left even though it goes far beyond Obama-era policies.

Biden already rolled out changes to his health care and student debt policies last week designed to appeal to Sanders’ backers.

Driving the news: The two men said they would form task forces on climate, health care, criminal justice, immigration, the economy and education.

Axios’ Alexi McCammond writes that it’s a sign of Biden’s continued outreach to the progressive wing of the party.

What we don’t know: Who will be on the climate task force, but I’ll write more when I know something.

“They will be comprised of policy experts and leaders that represent the diverse viewpoints of the Democratic party,” a Biden campaign aide tells me.

“The groups will work together to identify shared policy goals that build upon Vice President Biden’s progressive vision for America,” the aide said.

Get informed here

Banks Earned More than $10 Billion in Fees Processing Small Business Loans

(NPR) – Banks handling the government’s $349 billion loan program for small businesses made more than $10 billion in fees — even as tens of thousands of small businesses were shut out of the program, according to an analysis of financial records by NPR.

The banks took in the fees while processing loans that required less vetting than regular bank loans and had little risk for the banks, the records show. Taxpayers provided the money for the loans, which were guaranteed by the Small Business Administration.

According to a Department of Treasury fact sheet, all federally insured banks and credit unions could process the loans, which ranged in amount from tens of thousands to $10 million. The banks acted essentially as middlemen, sending clients’ loan applications to the SBA, which approved them.

For every transaction made, banks took in 1% to 5% in fees, depending on the amount of the loan, according to government figures. Loans worth less than $350,000 brought in 5% in fees while loans worth anywhere from $2 million to $10 million brought in 1% in fees.

Find out more here

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