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For as difficult as the past year has been, from politics to the pandemic, it has at least helped to illuminate and clarify certain things about the state of our country.

Above all, 2020 has illuminated and clarified the relationship between America’s elites—in government, Silicon Valley, Hollywood, corporate America and the corporate press—and everyone else. In short, our elites believe, contra Thomas Jefferson, that most people were born with saddles on their backs while a favored few were born booted and spurred to ride them, legitimately.

The rigors and suffering the coronavirus pandemic brought on again demonstrated the perseverance, resilience, and generosity of the American people, but also exposed, sometimes in mind-boggling detail, the greed, hypocrisy, and indifference of our elites.

We like to think we live in a country where everyone, rich and poor alike, is equal before the law. But we know now, thanks to the exigencies and emergencies of 2020, that isn’t true—or at least it’s only true sometimes, when the U.S. Supreme Court agrees to weigh in and enforce equal treatment.

But left unchecked, as many of our leaders were over the past year, we all know what they will do. In no particular order, then, here are the five big things we learned about America and its elites in 2020.

1. Democrats Don’t Care About Science—Or Religious Liberty

This year we learned Democrats aren’t the “party of science,” and in fact don’t care about science at all—especially if it gets in the way of their policy agenda or the exercise of emergency powers.

How else do you explain the actions of Democratic governors like New York’s Andrew Cuomo and California’s Gavin Newsom? They both tried to ban indoor religious gatherings based the unscientific belief that people are more likely to contract COVID-19 in a church than in a liquor store or a Lowe’s. In both cases, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that such restrictions were unconstitutional because they singled out houses of worship for unequal treatment.

Lost in the media coverage of these and similar cases was the disturbing fact that these governors weren’t basing their pandemic-related restrictions on science or data. When a Los Angeles judge earlier this month struck down an outdoor dining ban issued by county health officials, he noted that the county hadn’t presented any scientific evidence justifying the ban or even done a basic cost-benefit analysis on the effects of shutting down more than 30,000 restaurants.

“It’s not rational to make a decision without doing everything you’re supposed to do, and you haven’t,” the judge said. “You’re imposing restrictions but there’s no reason to believe it will help with ICU capacity.” In all these cases, science had nothing to do with the attempted shutdown. Power and prejudice did.

2. Lockdowns For Thee But Not For Me

Speaking of Newsom, he became the poster boy for elite hypocrisy when he was photographed at a fancy Napa Valley restaurant with a bunch of wealthy and powerful friends right after imposing harsh pandemic-related lockdowns on much of the state.

He wasn’t alone. All over the country, elected officials—almost all of them Democrats—were spotted flouting their own pandemic rules and restrictions. My colleague Tristan Justice catalogued some the most high-profile instances.

There was Austin Mayor Steve Adler telling residents to stay home—and threatening them with more restrictive measures if they didn’t comply—while he was vacationing in a Mexican resort town.

There was Denver Mayor Michael Hancock, who boarded a flight for Houston to visit his daughter for Thanksgiving right after telling residents to “avoid travel if you can.”

There was House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, mask-less, visiting a shut-down hair salon in San Francisco, and Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot doing the same thing—then getting caught mask-less in the streets with a bullhorn at a rally celebrating Joe Biden’s victory. Her excuse (they all have excuses) was that the “crowd was gathered whether I was there or not.”

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On and on, all over the country. The mayors of Los Angeles, Philadelphia, New York, D.C., all of them Democrats, all of them caught flouting their own lockdown orders.

We can conclude two things from this. The first is that our ruling elites, despite their grave intonations and warnings, don’t really believe the coronavirus is dangerous or that their lockdown orders are necessary—at least not for them. The second is that they hate you and think you’re stupid.

3. Lockdown Elites Don’t Care If Small Businesses Die

The elites’ hypocrisy went beyond their personal behavior. It also affected the pandemic policies they supported and imposed. Especially in blue states and cities, elected officials opted for pandemic restrictions that disproportionately harmed small businesses and working families, while giving generous carve-outs and exemptions to special interests.

Nothing illustrated this better than a viral video by a distraught restaurant owner in Los Angeles, who was justifiably upset over an outdoor dining ban that applied to all bars and restaurants but exempted the film and television industry. Angela Marsden, owner of the Pineapple Hill Saloon and Grill in Los Angeles, had spent tens of thousands of dollars to create an outdoor dining space that complied with Centers for Disease Control and county health guidelines in an attempt to save her business, only to have the rules changed on her without warning.

The real slap in the face, though, was an outdoor dining area for a television production set up not 50 feet from her restaurant. The two dining spaces were nearly identical. The only difference is that she, a small business owner, wasn’t powerful or important enough to the powers that be to get an exemption.

4. Silicon Valley Wants You to Shut Up

Another disturbing revelation in 2020 is that Big Tech doesn’t care about free speech or the free exchange of ideas, and will, given the right circumstances, censor what you can read and share on their platforms according to criteria they invent out of thin air.

We saw this over and over again, not only with COVID-19 commentary and reporting but with coverage of the presidential election and the many instances of fraud and illegal electioneering that were documented in the days and weeks after the election. Twitter and Facebook in particular were aggressive in their censorship of any opinions or information that challenged their chosen narratives about the pandemic and the election.

Again, science and data didn’t factor into these decisions. Experts like former White House advisor Scott Atlas were censored by Twitter for sharing studies that showed the ineffectiveness of masks. Amazon did the same thing to former New York Times reporter Alex Berenson’s booklet on the ineffectiveness of masks.

On election night, Twitter repeatedly censored President Trump but not former Vice President Joe Biden. Facebook “fact-checkers,” some of them funded by China and Russia, repeatedly flagged content critical of Democrats.

Most infamously, Twitter and Facebook conspired with corporate media before the election to impose a blackout on coverage of the Hunter Biden scandal, including an unprecedented move by Twitter to suspend The New York Post’s account for breaking the story of Hunter Biden’s laptop and emails. This was done to shield voters from the Biden family’s corruption. After the election, the FBI confirmed that it was in fact investigating Hunter Biden.

5. Elites Are Okay With Chaos and Violence From the Left

Another glaring instance of elite hypocrisy in 2020 was the reaction to riots and looting in American cities throughout the spring and summer. Because Democrats and corporate media agreed with the ideology and politics driving this violence, and approved of groups like Black Lives Matter (BLM) that were fomenting it, they excused it. Over and over, reporters and commentators characterized violent riots and urban unrest as “mostly peaceful protests,” sometimes even while showing images of burning buildings and mayhem in the streets.

By contrast, peaceful and orderly protests of pandemic lockdown orders in the spring were reported as dangerous and threatening, not because they were actually dangerous or threatening but because the protesters were mostly conservatives and Republicans who thought governors and mayors were overstepping their authority. At the same time, these same outlets downplayed or simply refused to report on the many instances of violence, including shootings, perpetrated by Antifa rioters and BLM demonstrators across the country.

When armed groups began showing up at these BLM “protests” to protect property and businesses from being looted and burned down, major outlets like The New York Times pretended the gunplay and violence started with the right, not the left. Biden’s deputy campaign manager even went on air and accused Trump of “inciting violence,” as if the mere fact of Trump presidency justified the violence and rioting.

We learned from all this that the left is prepared to burn down cities to seize power, and will make excuses for rioters and looters as long as it serves their political and ideological agenda.

That’s of a piece with everything else we’ve learned about our elites in 2020. They don’t really care about the things they claim to care about. They don’t care about science or data or even keeping us safe during a pandemic.

They don’t care about small businesses or working families or getting kids back to school. They don’t care about free speech or the free exercise of religion or anything else that hinders their power—and they certainly don’t care about you.



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Convicted fundraiser who tried to work his way into Biden’s inner circle sentenced to prison

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Amajor Democratic bundler, who raised large sums for Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton and consorted with Joe Biden, was sentenced to 12 years in prison for what prosecutors said was a “mercenary” political influence scheme.

Imaad Zuberi, a Californian businessman was sentenced Thursday for schemes to funnel foreign money into U.S. political campaigns, then take millions of dollars for himself.

The Los Angeles Times reported that U.S. Assistant Attorney Daniel J. O’Brien said Zuberi was “purely a mercenary, funneling money to whomever he believed would do his bidding.”

Among the many unsealed court records, Zuberi was seen photographed with Joe Biden and Barack Obama when they were Vice President and President. He was also pictured with former President Bill Clinton and former presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton. He took pictures with former Republican Rep. Paul Ryan when he was speaker of the House as well as the late Sen. John McCain of Arizona.

Also included in the Times report was a hacked email chain released on WikiLeaks. Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager Robby Mook messaged colleagues saying, “I’m OK taking the money and dealing with any attacks.” Jennifer Palmieri responded saying, “Take the money!”

He also attended Hillary Clinton’s election night party in New York City in 2016 as well as serving as a co-chair of The Trump Presidential Inauguration Committee.

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Zuberi made more than $950,000 in unlawful donations to the political committees of Obama, Clinton, McCain and others. Zuberi’s activities extended as far as a recent attempt to work his way into the Biden circle, according to Politico.  

In addition to the money he made, Zuberi also raised $270,000 for Hillary Clinton and $1.3 million for President Obama.

Zuberi, 50, pleaded guilty to a “three-count information charging with violating the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA)” for making false statements on a FARA filing as well as tax evasion and illegal contributions to political campaigns. He also pleaded guilty in a separate case earlier in June 2020 to a count of obstruction of justice.

“Zuberi turned acting as an unregistered foreign agent into a business enterprise,” Assistant Attorney General for National Secretary John C. Demers said in a Department of Justice news release.

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Cruz responds to pictures of him on Mexico flight, with Texas struggling from deadly winter storm

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Texas GOP Sen. Ted Cruz confirmed Thursday that he flew earlier this week to Mexico with family members, following the emergence of pictures appearing to show him in an airplane cabin and at a check-in counter, as fellow residents to recover from a deadly winter storm.

Cruz said in a statement that he accompanied his daughters on a flight Wednesday night to Mexico because they had the week off with school canceled.

“Wanting to be a good dad,” said Cruz, who also stated he is returning to Texas on Thursday afternoon.

The storms has been connected to at least seven deaths in Texas and knocked out power to as many as 2.5 million residents. The number of residents without electricity as of Thursday morning was down to less than 1 million, officials said.  

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“My staff and I are in constant communication with state and local leaders to get to the bottom of what happened in Texas,” Cruz also said. “We want our power back, our water on, and our homes warm.”

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South Carolina House passes bill that would prohibit most abortions if a fetal heartbeat is detected

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The South Carolina House of Representatives on Wednesday voted 79-35 to pass legislation that would prohibit most abortions. 

The bill must pass through a procedural vote in the House on Thursday prior to heading to GOP Gov. Henry McMaster who has indicated that he will sign it, according to the Associated Press. Two Republicans voted against the legislation while two Democrats voted for it. The state Senate passed the measure last month. 

The bill requires doctors to carry out an ultrasound to check for a fetal heartbeat and if a heartbeat is identified an abortion can only be performed in certain circumstances.

The legislation would not penalize a woman for obtaining an unlawful abortion, though the individual responsible for performing the abortion could face consequences.

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The outlet reported that other states have approved similar or even more stringent abortion prohibitions which could be implemented if the Supreme Court throws out the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision. All of the other states’ abortion bans are currently entangled by court challenges and if the South Carolina bill is approved it will likely face litigation that prevents it from going into effect, according to the AP.

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