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January 1, STREAMING 2020 | Democrats Virtual Convention



This Day in History | 1877

Billy the Kid wounds an Arizona blacksmith who dies the next day. He was the famous outlaw’s first victim. Billy claimed he killed 21 men—“One for every year of my life.” Others say the number was closer to 10. 

Good morning Middle Americans, 

Are you ready for Michelle Obama and Bernie Sanders in prime time, streaming on a screen near you? It’s gonna be a little weird, no? And let’s be honest a lot of people will be watching just to see how weird it is going to be. If you’ve been watching live sports without crowds, you’ve  had a little taste of what it’s going to be like. We’ve been conditioned to expect a certain reaction from these events. In baseball.. After the crack we expect the home team to stand up and cheer. At political conventions…   The enthusiasm and applause from rabid political aficionados of party delegates will be replaced by…  strange pauses and inevitable technical problems, to which we empathize. But it’s just crazy this is all happening during what many people consider the most important election in a lifetime. 

Don’t look now but, Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s lead over President Trump has narrowed since last month, according to a new national poll. 

Also today: U.S. President Donald Trump said on Saturday he is considering a pardon for Edward Snowden. The SF Chronicle reports that a group of CA lawmakers is proposing a wealth tax that would hit about 30,400 Californians. The point is to stick it to the rich. While this kind of proposal generates a lot of heat, the’ve never really caught on. Because they’ve never worked – there’s never been a successful socialist country. And by successful we mean democratic with peaceful transfer of power. The American people have generally understood the law of diminishing returns. We’re not sure that’s true any more.  

Read all about it. 

-Fraser Dixon 

Democrats Begin their All-Virtual Convention

(AP) – The first national political convention of the coronavirus era has arrived. For four consecutive nights beginning on Monday, Democrats from across the country will gather — in front of their computers, television screens and smart phones — for the all-virtual affair that will showcase the diversity of the modern-day Democratic Party and test Joe Biden’s ability to energize his sprawling coalition.

President Donald Trump is working to step on the Democrats’ convention — and prevent Biden from earning any convention polling bounce. The Republican president launches a campaign tour on Monday that features in-person stops in three swing states, including Wisconsin.

At the same time, coronavirus deaths continue to mount. With little guidance from the Trump administration, state and local governments are still struggling with a patchwork of inconsistent policies to combat the virus and revive their economies as the new school year begins.

Meanwhile, a new crisis is roiling. The U.S. Postal Service is struggling with significant delays that threaten to disenfranchise millions of Americans who prefer to vote by mail in the middle of a pandemic. As state election officials cry for help, Trump is questioning the integrity of voting by mail and casting doubt on the ability of the postal service to deliver ballots and of election officials to count them.

Get the latest here

Trump Says He is Considering Pardon for Leaker Edward Snowden

(Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump said on Saturday he is considering a pardon for Edward Snowden, the former U.S. National Security Agency contractor – now living in Russia – whose spectacular leaks shook the U.S. intelligence community in 2013.

The Republican president’s comments followed an interview here Trump gave to the New York Post this week in which he said of Snowden that “there are a lot of people that think that he is not being treated fairly” by U.S. law enforcement.

“I’m going to start looking at it,” Trump told reporters about a possible pardon, speaking at a news conference at his Bedminster, New Jersey golf club.

U.S. authorities for years have wanted Snowden returned to the United States to face a criminal trial on espionage charges brought in 2013.

Read more here

California Set To Pass The Nation’s First Wealth Tax Targeting The Ultra Rich

(Zero Hedge) – It was about about nine years ago when consulting company BCG first suggested that in a time of out of control spending and soaring debt loads, the only fiscally sustainable “solution” was to implement a wealth tax (see “There May Be Only Painful Ways Out Of The Crisis“).

While the idea was well ahead of its time in 2011, and was quickly shut down in the court of public opinion, several years later none other than the IMF resurrected the idea of a wealth tax, which has only gained momentum in recent months, and despite widespread grassroots pushback, the concept of a “wealth tax” has moved front and center and most recently the chairman of Capital Economics, Roger Bootle, said that the world’s wealthiest could be subjected to higher tax rates as governments scramble to fund spending and repair their economies amid the coronavirus crisis.

Fast forward to today when the ultra-liberal state of California is now ready to take this “socialist” idea from concept to the implementation phase, with the SF Chronicle reporting that a group of CA state lawmakers on Thursday proposed a first-in-the-nation state wealth tax that would hit about 30,400 California residents and raise an estimated $7.5 billion for the general fund.

The proposed tax rate would be 0.4% of net worth (most likely ended up far higher), excluding directly held real estate, that exceeds $30 million for single and joint filers and $15 million for married filing separately.

Find out more here

Related: Hollywood’s Apocalypse NOW: Rich and Famous are Fleeing in Droves

Biden’s Lead Over Trump Narrows in New National Poll

(CNN) – Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s lead over President Trump has narrowed since last month, according to a new national poll. 

Biden leads Trump by just 4 points, with Biden at 50 percent and Trump at 46 percent, according to a CNN poll released Sunday. That marks a significant shift since the poll was last conducted in June, when the Democrat led Trump by 14 points, with Biden at 55 percent and Trump at 41. 

The movement in the poll among voters is concentrated among men, who were split about evenly in June but who now back Trump over Biden 56 to 40 percent, and voters between the ages of 35 and 64, who tilt toward Trump now but were leaning toward Biden in June, according to CNN

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