Welcome to Monday and a shortened work/school week. Today you’ll learn about an ex-French president’s corruption trial, a new FDA-approved coronavirus treatment (plus some breaking vaccine news), and the Beatles song originally titled “Scrambled Eggs.”
“If you want to make an easy job seem mighty hard, just keep putting off doing it.”
– Olin Miller
This Week at a Glance
Monday: MI & PA to certify election results
Tuesday: Release date for author Ernest Cline’s Ready Player Two (sequel to Ready Player One)
Wednesday: NCAA basketball tips off
Thursday: Thanksgiving 🦃
Friday: Miley Cyrus debuts her new album Plastic Hearts; Black Friday 🛍️
U.S. Treasury Declines to Extend Loans
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Thursday he would not renew several emergency lending programs distributed by the Federal Reserve, allowing them to expire on Dec. 31.
A deeper dive…
In a letter to Fed Chair Jerome Powell, Mnuchin requested the central bank return $455B in unused funds appropriated by Congress via the CARES Act for the Fed’s corporate credit, municipal lending, and Main Street lending programs (SMBs & nonprofits).
Mnuchin said the programs “have clearly achieved their objective” and the move would allow Congress to re-allocate the funds to other coronavirus relief programs.
The Fed’s Reservations
Mnuchin’s decision drew criticism from Powell, who in public remarks on Tuesday said he hoped the loan programs would stay in effect for the foreseeable future.
In an emailed statement to the press in response to Mnuchin’s letter, the Fed said it “would prefer that the full suite of emergency facilities established during the coronavirus pandemic continue to serve their important role as a backstop for our still-strained and vulnerable economy.”
Although the programs were not used extensively (issuing a combined ~$8.1B in loans), Fed officials argued their presence creates stability by reassuring financial markets and investors that credit would remain available to help affected businesses during the pandemic.
Mnuchin Strikes Back
Mnuchin defended his decision in a Friday interview with CNBC, saying: “It was very clear that the congressional intent is that it [the CARES Act] expires on Dec. 31 of this year.”
He added that the Treasury Department and Federal Reserve could deploy more than $750B through the Exchange Stabilization Fund should the need arise.
Questions about the rating system we use? Learn more
Share Today’s Dose of Discussion
Election Legal Challenges
🍫 A Pennsylvania judgethrew out a Trump campaign lawsuit on Saturday contesting the validity of mail-in ballots, which they claimed were tampered with by election officials. The Trump campaign filed an appeal on Sunday ahead of Monday’s deadline for the state to certify election results.
🍑 Georgia’s legislaturecertified its general election results on Friday, declaring Joe Biden the winner by 12,670 votes out of nearly 5M votes cast (a 0.25% gap). The Trump campaign filed for an official state recount on Saturday, as allowed by law when the margin is below 0.5%.
Hundreds of protesters broke into Guatemala’s congress on Saturday, burning part of the building. The incident came as ~10k people gathered in Guatemala City, the country’s capital, to protest against corruption and the 2021 budget, which they say was negotiated and passed by legislators in secret.
⚖️ Ex-French President Stands Trial
Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy appears in court today to face charges of corruption and influence peddling. Prosecutors have accused Sarkozy of attempting to bribe French magistrate Gilbert Azibert with a promotion in exchange for secret information regarding a separate investigation against Sarkozy.
More: Monday marks the second time in history a French president has stood trial. In 2011, a French court found ex-President Jacques Chirac guilty of corruption and handed him a two-year suspended prison sentence.
⛰️ The annual G20 summit was held virtually this past weekend. The 20 participating countries released a closing statement on Sunday vowing “to spare no effort to protect lives” and ensure affordable access to COVID-19 vaccines for all people. Dig deeper.
💊💉 COVID Corner
The FDAissued emergency use authorization for Regeneron’s COVID-19 antibody cocktail drug on Saturday. It was one of three treatments administered to President Trump after he contracted the virus.
Pfizer & BioNTechapplied for emergency use authorization from the FDA on Friday, with an advisory committee meeting tentatively scheduled for early December.
🚨Breaking News: AstraZeneca and Oxford University announced this morning that late-stage trials show their vaccine candidate is up to 90% effective, depending on the dose. Dig deeper.
✈️ Screen Routine
The TSA screened more than 1M daily airline passengers on Friday for the second time since the pandemic began (down from 2.5M this time last year).
🚗 Read it on Reddit
After wrecking his car in an accident several years ago, 34-year-old Cory Schneider of St. Petersburg, FL, returned to the road driving his late grandmother’s 1997 Ford Crown Victoria. Although the aged automobile served him well over the years – racking up ~100k reliable miles – Cory recently moved to North Carolina and felt the car no longer suited his needs.
Instead of trading in the vehicle for a newer one, Cory decided to donate it to a neighbor in need, creating a Reddit post asking if anyone in his area needed the 24-year-old car. He eventually chose 31-year-old Mark Selby, a local middle school teacher who totaled his vehicle in an accident two months ago.
When Mark arrived to pick up the complimentary car, he was surprised and delighted to find local entrepreneur Marcel Gruber had seen Cory’s Reddit post and donated $400 to help Mark cover any registration fees.
🏀 Hoop Dreams
When Coledo Wheeler of Dayton, OH, came home from work one day earlier this month, she was surprised to find a brand-new Spalding basketball hoop set up in her driveway, complete with a new basketball. Upon closer inspection, Coledo found a note attached to the new ball revealing the gifts’ unexpected source: a local FedEx delivery driver.
See, Coledo has an 11-year-old son, Elijah, who regularly plays basketball with his friends – using an old, dilapidated hoop. The driver, who identified herself only as “Aubrey,” wrote that she “Just wanted you and your son to have the best hoop that’ll grow with him, and all his friends!”
Elijah, who immediately knew Aubrey’s identity, was overcome with emotion when he saw the generous presents, shedding tears of joy – but immediately ready to shoot some hoops. The young boy thanked the friendly FedEx deliverer two days later when she returned to drop off sandbags to hold the basket in place.
🧣 No Longer On the Fence
Suzette Aposhian of Salt Lake City, UT, has an extensive collection of cold-weather clothing items, including hundreds of knit hats, scarves, and mittens. The garments, which pour in as donations throughout the year from across the state, are for “Scarves in the Park,” an annual clothing drive Suzette started in 2016.
On the first of every December, Suzette takes the clothing items to a local park and ties them to the tennis courts’ fence so anyone in need can take one – no questions asked. This year, Suzette hopes to hang more than 1,000 pieces of clothing on the fence.
Each article of clothing typically disappears within just a few days, accompanied by a note reading, “I am not lost or forgotten and neither are you.”
Self-reflection just got social
Daily Haloha is a simple and uplifting daily routine, wrapped in a charming little app. It’s designed to help us all look inward and then share outward with others, positively and anonymously.
Say hello to your new daily routine
Each day the entire world gets a new thought-provoking fill-in-the-blank question. Then, all you have to do is open the app, and…
1: Check in with yourself
Take a moment to pause, reflect, and fill in the blanks with a little bit of “you”.
2: Connect with another
Then “swap” your Haloha with another random human somewhere in the world, anonymously and judgment-free.
3: Be a part of the bigger picture
Then browse the Haloha Wall to see how the world is feeling.
Be a part. Not apart.
The Daily Haloha app is free! Because of course, the best things in life usually are.
🍔 Fresh Meat… police in Aurora, CO, reported a 14-hour wait for the opening of the state’s first In-N-Out Burger on Friday, with drive-thru lines stretching 1.5 to 2 miles long.
🦠 The Man Who Cried Pizza… the entire state of South Australia (pop. 1.7M) entered a six-day lockdown last month after a man told authorities he contracted COVID-19 after buying a takeout pizza – which didn’t actually exist. Dig deeper.
⚰️ Greatly Exaggerated… a French public radio station blamed a “technical problem” and apologized after mistakenly publishing the obituaries of some 100 public figures last week, including Queen Elizabeth, Clint Eastwood, and Pelé – who are very much alive.
🛫 Set to Jet… Costco unveiled a 12-month subscription to private jet service Wheels Up for just under $2K (cost of flights not included).
🍳 Scramblin’ Man
What Beatles song was originally titled “Scrambled Eggs”?
A) Yellow Submarine
B) Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
D) Eleanor Rigby
(keep scrolling for the answer)
Get Your FREE Stuff
Step 1. Use the button below or copy your unique referral link
As John Lennon and Paul McCartney were known to do at the time, the song Yesterday was composed with substitute working lyrics and titled “Scrambled Eggs” after the opening verse: “Scrambled eggs/Oh my baby how I love your legs/Not as much as I love scrambled eggs.”