🇺🇸 Forgiveness
December 24, 2021

Good morning, happy Friday, and merry Christmas Eve. We made it to both the end of the week and end of the year. Today’s edition — which is a shorter one — will serve as the final newsletter of 2021. As we gather for the holidays, it might be a good time to turn off Fox News and CNN and engage with people on an individual level, rather than how they identify as part of a larger group. Legendary comedian George Carlin once said:

“People are wonderful. I love individuals. I hate groups of people. I hate a group of people with a 'common purpose.' ‘Cause pretty soon they have little hats. And armbands. And fight songs. And a list of people they're going to visit at 3:00 a.m. So, I dislike and despise groups of people but I love individuals. Every person you look at; you can see the universe in their eyes, if you're really looking.”

2022 is going to be awesome. We have a lot of projects planned, including some based on your survey feedback. You are truly the best audience we could’ve asked for. Thank you for taking the opportunity to step away from one-sided coverage, see both sides, and make up your own mind rather than have someone else do the thinking for you. Enjoy the final week of 2021. We’ll see you next year.

Flag Polls

ab521640-e2ad-6400-4ea0-8848d603c575.png 12/23: Biden Job Approval, Rasmussen Reports Approve 41,
Disapprove 57
ab521640-e2ad-6400-4ea0-8848d603c575.png 12/23: Biden Job Approval, Trafalgar Group Approve 40,
Disapprove 56
ab521640-e2ad-6400-4ea0-8848d603c575.png 12/22: Direction of Country, Politico/Morning Con. Approve 37,
Disapprove 63
D 12/22: Gen. Congress Vote, Politico/Morning Con. Republicans 36,
Democrats 43

Trending On The Left

POLITICO: Republicans are trying to pin the ‘Big Lie’ on Stacey Abrams 

NY Times: Heir Apparent or Afterthought? The Frustrations of Kamala Harris

Huff PostPharma-Friendly Democrat Kurt Schrader Has a Progressive Primary Challenger

WaPo: Omicron could derail efforts to reverse vaccine inequality and end the pandemic, experts warn

Trending On The Right

Daily Wire: Majority of People Who Contract Omicron May Never Show Symptoms

Fox NewsMichigan governor flip-flops on vaccine mandate she said would hurt workforce

National Review: Biden Can’t Remember What He Promised on COVID-19 Testing

NY Post: Manchin calls for ‘greater understanding’ as Dems fume over BBB opposition



Reporting from the Left: President Joe Biden announced Wednesday he is extending the pause on student loan payments until May 1. The payments, which were set to restart on February 1, have been paused since the beginning of the pandemic. Biden pointed to the country’s ongoing COVID-19 crisis as the reason for the extension. (CNN)

Reporting from the Right: Outstanding student loan debt has doubled over the past decade, nearing a staggering $1.7 trillion. About one in six American adults owes money on federal student loan debt, which is the largest amount of non-mortgage debt in the US. It has been cited as a major hindrance in people’s "economic life" by Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell. (Fox Business)

From the Flag: Here’s what both sides are saying about the pause on student loan repayments.


Biden Caved to Progressives. Taxpayers on the Hook.

"The Forever Student Loan Emergency" Editorial Board, The Wall Street Journal: "Unlike its last pause through January, the Administration isn’t saying this extension is final—probably because it’s not. ... Over the summer the Administration resisted progressive pressure for another extension. But it ultimately surrendered, as it did with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s rental eviction moratorium. ... Claims of financial hardship for borrowers were dubious then and are even more so now as the unemployment rate among bachelor’s degree recipients has fallen to 2.3%. ... Forbearance cost the government about $95 billion since [the] Treasury hasn’t received a reprieve on its debt to fund the loans. The Administration’s latest extension will bring the taxpayer tab to $110 billion, most of which hasn’t been appropriated by Congress. ... Mr. Biden is under pressure to appease progressives after West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin shot down Build Back Better. ... Down in the polls and with his agenda marooned in Congress, Mr. Biden is likely to resort to governance by executive fiat. Loan forbearance may only be the start."


Chalk It Up as a Win for Progressives

"How the left forced Biden’s hand on student loans" Paul Waldman, The Washington Post op-ed: "When the White House announced Wednesday that the government will be extending the moratorium on federal student loan payments until May 1 of next year, it showed that even when the president doesn’t seem inclined to do what progressives want, they can bring him around. ... Biden has plenty of beliefs and opinions, but he’s not an ideologue — and never has been. Which means that if the left can mobilize enough pressure to convince him that following their course is the best move for him and his party, he’ll do it. ... Biden certainly could use a little party unity today, especially given the precarious state of Build Back Better. ... Biden no doubt realized that it wouldn’t be a bad time to show his party’s base that he can use his power to accomplish something tangible to help people. ... The bigger picture is that whether legislation on Capitol Hill is stalled or flowing freely, progressives are always going to have to keep Biden under pressure to get action on the things they care about. But this is one time, even if it’s only temporary, that they can say they won."


Majority Support Some Student Loan Forgiveness

Most Americans want the government to forgive at least some of the $1.7 trillion in outstanding student loan debt, Carmen Reinicke writes for CNBC. "Some 62% of voters support student loan forgiveness, according to a poll of nearly 2,000 registered voters conducted in December by Morning Consult." Claire Williams notes that "Generationally, millennials are the most likely cohort to believe that student loans should be forgiven entirely among all Americans (34 percent)." Additionally, "Partisan differences broke down predictably: 85 percent of Democrats support some kind of student loan forgiveness, while among Republicans, nearly half said no student loan debt should be forgiven."

Flag Polls: Do you think the US government should forgive at least some of the country’s outstanding student loan debt? Click here to share your thoughts.


Hit the Financial Gym in 2022

Many people’s New Year’s resolutions revolve around diet and exercise. That’s great — we want to get in better shape as well. However, life isn’t one-dimensional. Eating better and working out more should just be one goal on your list of improvements for 2022, but how can you strengthen other parts of your life? How can you be a better friend? A better spouse? A better citizen? We’ll let you ponder the answers to those questions. If you want to strengthen your financial acumen, hit the gym with The Street Sheet: a weekly newsletter from the same people who bring you The Flag. It’s a perfect way to get caught up on the markets and read about related stories you may have missed throughout the week. Click here to sign up.


NYE in Times Square, Kim Potter Guilty, Wild Ride on Wall Street

ABC: Mayor de Blasio has announced that the traditional New Year's Eve celebration in Times Square will have a reduced crowd size and a mask rule in place due to the increase in COVID cases and spread of the omicron variant.

CNBC: An army of Reddit traders, triple-digit gains, and a $100 million deli: In a wild year of trading, the unexpected became the norm in the stock market. Take a look back at what shaped Wall Street in 2021.

Fox News: The jury has found former Minneapolis-area police officer Kim Potter guilty of first- and second-degree manslaughter charges in the April 2021 death of Daunte Wright. 

CBS News: People infected with the Omicron variant of the coronavirus may be at lower risk of severe illness and hospitalization compared to those infected with the Delta strain, early studies from the United Kingdom and South Africa suggest.

Fox Business: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Thursday authorized the use of Merck and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics' molnupiravir pill for treating COVID-19, the second such emergency use authorization in two days.

The Hill: Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R) signed a bill into law Wednesday that requires doctors to try to save the life of a baby who is born alive after an attempted abortion or face criminal charges.

APDozens gathered outside Colorado's capitol building in protest of the 110-year sentence given to a Houston truck driver found guilty in a 2019 deadly car pile-up. 

CNN: Former President Donald Trump appealed to the Supreme Court on Thursday to block the release of documents from his White House to the House committee investigating the January 6 riot at the Capitol, escalating his effort to keep about 700 pages of records secret.


First National Christmas Tree, Christmas Evolution, Made in "Usa"

On December 24, 1923, President Calvin Coolidge touched a button and lit up the first national Christmas tree to grace the White House grounds. Above is a photograph of the first tree lit in the middle of the Ellipse outside the White House.

National GeographicHow Christmas has evolved over centuries

Narratively: Meet the People Who Believe They’ve Traveled to a Past Life

Stylist: The Best and Worst Foods to Eat Before Bed

Today I Learned there was a rumor in the 1960s that Japan made products in a town called Usa which were then exported to the US with the label "MADE IN USA" to make them appear as if they were made in the US.

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