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TODAY: The End Is Near

LEADS

Can You Believe Your Eyes That All This Happened in 2020?
https://www.thedailybeast.com/can-you-believe-your-eyes-that-all-this-happened-in-2020

The Century Crammed Into a Year Mercifully Ends
https://spectator.org/2020-year-century/

2020: An Awful Year With a Legacy We Won't Soon Escape
https://reason.com/2020/12/28/2020-an-awful-year-with-a-legacy-we-wont-soon-escape/

The Year in which Comforting American Myths Were Ravaged
https://www.aier.org/article/the-year-in-which-comforting-american-myths-were-ravaged/

2020 Exposed the Myth of American “Security”
https://inthesetimes.com/article/security-state-police-military-ice-homeland-security-covid-pandemic-war-prison

2020 Shatters the Myth of American Exceptionalism
https://www.politico.com/news/magazine/2020/12/31/2020-american-exceptionalism-452947

America is a failed state. Biden’s inauguration won’t suddenly change that
https://www.salon.com/2020/12/31/america-is-a-failed-state-bidens-inauguration-wont-suddenly-change-that/

America’s Vaccine Rollout Is Already a Disaster
https://nymag.com/intelligencer/article/americas-vaccine-rollout-disaster.html

As U.S. Vaccine Drive Lags, Fast-Moving Coronavirus Variant Is Making Inroads
https://www.nytimes.com/live/2020/12/30/world/covid-19-coronavirus-updates

The Small Colorado Town Shrugged Off the Pandemic. Then Came the Coronavirus Variant.
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/12/30/us/simla-colorado-coronavirus-variant.html

COVID Variant: New, Highly Contagious Strain Found In San Diego County
https://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2020/12/30/covid-variant-california-newsom-new-strain-california/

Mink infected with mutated coronavirus strain escaped from Oregon farm afflicted by COVID-19 outbreak
https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2020/12/29/covid-oregon-mink-infected-coronavirus-escaped-farm-where/4075579001/

2020 in a Nutshell: New York Sees a Series of Assaults by Vicious Squirrels
https://redstate.com/alexparker/2020/12/31/queens-rego-park-squirrel-attacks-micheline-frederick-n302169

2020 was the year of scary bugs, and 2021 will be even worse
https://www.cnn.com/2020/12/30/us/2021-murder-hornets-cicadas-scary-bugs-trnd/index.html

2020 was an extraordinary year for fires. Expect more like it.
https://www.axios.com/fires-crisis-2020-future-wildfires-31ff931f-0142-43a1-bdad-9cd3939bd053.html

From floods and fires to locusts, 'climate breakdown' cost rich and poor in 2020
https://news.trust.org/item/20201228120441-o8j4o/

2020: A dismal economic year, unless you were on Wall Street
https://www.nbcnews.com/business/economy/2020-dismal-economic-year-unless-you-were-wall-street-n1252590

Emergency cash calls, tech IPO frenzy push 2020 banker fees to record high
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-global-ecm-wrap/emergency-cash-calls-tech-ipo-frenzy-push-2020-banker-fees-to-record-high-idUSKBN295111

2020 was the year of inequality: can we turn it around in 2021?
https://news.trust.org/item/20201229101839-r6dml/

2021: Year of the Post-COVID Bounceback
https://www.nationalreview.com/2020/12/2021-year-of-the-post-covid-bounceback/

Don't say 2021 will be a good year. Please.
https://mashable.com/article/dont-jinx-new-year-2021/

Here We Go Again: 21 Saucy Predictions for 2021
https://hackernoon.com/here-we-go-again-21-saucy-predictions-for-2021-w01p34ro

Nostradamus' 2021 predictions: zombie apocalypse, famine and solar storms
https://www.plymouthherald.co.uk/news/uk-world-news/nostradamus-2021-predictions-zombie-apocalypse-4833885

Are we doomed? An investigation
https://www.vox.com/the-highlight/22201977/2020-doomsday-apocalypse-astrologers-memes-investigation

POLITICS and FLEAS

Trump and Melania will fly back to D.C. TODAY and skip their $1,000-a-head Mar-a-Lago New Year's Eve party as Mitch shoots down $2k stimulus checks and Senate Republicans prepare to challenge Biden's win
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9100855/Trump-set-return-Washington-EARLY-miss-Mar-Lago-New-years-Eve-party.html

Sen. Hawley will object to Electoral College results, ensuring a doomed fight to overturn Biden's win
https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2020/12/30/josh-hawley-join-republican-objections-joe-biden-electoral-college-win/4086744001/

Sen. Josh Hawley Seizes The MAGA Moment – Now It Is Up To Us
https://www.conservativehq.org/post/sen-josh-hawley-seizes-the-maga-moment-now-it-is-up-to-us

Hey, GOP: This is Your Do or Die Moment
https://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2020/12/hey_gop_this_is_your_do_or_die_moment.html

Hawley’s anti-democracy stunt will force GOP to vote on Trump's lies
https://www.stltoday.com/opinion/columnists/kevin-mcdermott/mcdermott-hawley-s-anti-democracy-stunt-will-force-gop-to-vote-on-trumps-lies/article_ab9bf692-0515-51e7-995a-df337685877e.html

Walmart issues apology for tweet calling Hawley 'sore loser' after his pledge to contest Biden's win
https://thehill.com/homenews/532128-walmart-issues-apology-after-tweet-calling-hawley-sore-loser-following-his-pledge-to

Walmart Staffer Behind Josh Hawley 'Sore Loser' Tweet Gets Offered Free Rent Money
https://www.newsweek.com/walmart-staffer-behind-josh-hawley-sore-loser-tweet-gets-offered-free-rent-money-1558187

Josh Hawley led the GOP push for stimulus checks. Where else will he take his party?
https://www.washingtonpost.com/powerpost/stimulus-hawley-trump/2020/12/30/53618400-4481-11eb-b0e4-0f182923a025_story.html

The GOP Just Let Democrats Have Their Stimulus and Campaign On It Too
https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2020/12/2000-checks-covid-stimulus-georgia-runoff-senate-elections.html

Loeffler, Perdue Will Struggle to Win Georgia Without $2,000 Stimulus Checks: Newt Gingrich
https://www.newsweek.com/loeffler-perdue-will-struggle-win-georgia-without-2000-stimulus-checks-newt-gingrich-1558080

Family tied to company with history of hiring unlawful 'aliens' among Kelly Loeffler donors
https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/family-tied-company-history-hiring-unlawful-aliens-kelly/story?id=74903440

Sen. David Perdue became wealthy outsourcing work to Asia. Now the former CEO stands with Trump, who wants to ‘end our reliance on China.’
https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/perdue-outsourcing-trump/2020/12/30/29242e28-4084-11eb-a402-fba110db3b42_story.html

Trump administration declassifies unconfirmed intelligence on China bounties on US forces in Afghanistan: report
https://www.axios.com/scoop-trump-administration-declassifies-unconfirmed-intel-on-chinese-bounties-84131ec6-c54f-4556-8d0f-547131a343ef.html

Iran accuses Trump of 'plot to fabricate pretext for war'
https://thehill.com/policy/international/middle-east-north-africa/532192-iran-accuses-trump-of-plot-to-fabricate-pretext

U.N.: Trump's Blackwater pardons violate int'l law, an affront to justice
https://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2020/12/30/UN-Trumps-Blackwater-pardons-violate-intl-law-an-affront-to-justice/1481609385116/

‘Great victory’: Gun rights activists celebrate as Trump administration pulls stabilizing-brace ban
https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2020/dec/30/stabilizing-brace-ban-pulled-trump-administration-/

Trump’s big policy win: Stronger showers, faster dishwashers. It’s something almost no one asked for.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2020/12/30/trump-shower-toilets-dishwasher-rollbacks/

Trump Appointee Seeks Lasting Control Over Radio Free Europe, Radio Free Asia
https://www.npr.org/2020/12/30/951126591/trump-appointee-seeks-lasting-control-over-radio-free-europe-radio-free-asia

Large majority of Republicans want to keep Trumpism alive
https://www.wnd.com/2020/12/large-majority-republicans-want-keep-trumpism-alive/

Donald Trump Is Not the Lord Jesus Christ. Got It? Are You Sure?
https://stream.org/donald-trump-is-not-the-lord-jesus-christ-got-it-are-you-sure/

2020, a good year for bad religion
https://religionnews.com/2020/12/30/2020-a-good-year-for-bad-religion/

FOREIGN ENTANGLEMENTS

EU 'regrets' new US tariffs on German, French products
https://www.dw.com/en/eu-regrets-new-us-tariffs-on-german-french-products/a-56101854

EU agrees investment deal with China, says it will help 'rebalance economic ties'
https://www.france24.com/en/europe/20201230-eu-agrees-investment-deal-with-china-says-it-will-help-rebalance-economic-ties

Europe Embraces Multipolar World With Nord Stream 2 and China Investment Deal
https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2020/12/29/europe-embraces-multipolar-world-with-nord-stream-2-and-china-investment-deal/

Russia is our most important ally, say over 50% of Chinese people, as leaders Xi & Putin discuss closer ties between countries
https://www.rt.com/russia/511023-china-important-neighbor-relations/

Russia, Turkey to Develop Military Ties Despite US Sanctions
https://www.thedefensepost.com/2020/12/29/russia-turkey-develop-military-ties/

Ambassador: U.S. sanctions against Turkey not to affect defense cooperation with Ukraine
https://www.ukrinform.net/rubric-defense/3164306-ambassador-us-sanctions-against-turkey-not-to-affect-defense-cooperation-with-ukraine.html

Ukraine signs contract for 1.9 million doses of Chinese COVID-19 vaccine
https://www.kyivpost.com/ukraine-politics/ukraine-signs-contract-for-1-9-million-doses-of-chinese-covid-19-vaccine.html

How China won 2020
https://www.axios.com/how-china-won-2020-2f3cb621-cef6-43f0-b1c0-07c010b5d3de.html

PANDORA'S BOXCUTTER

This Year Was A Disaster For The Planet
https://www.huffpost.com/entry/climate-change-2020-deadly-records_n_5fe24139c5b64e4421005303

David Attenborough: ‘We’ve had enough for the moment about disasters’
https://www.irishtimes.com/culture/tv-radio-web/david-attenborough-we-ve-had-enough-for-the-moment-about-disasters-1.4446937

20 moments in science to make you feel better about 2020
https://www.sciencefocus.com/news/20-positive-science-news-stories-from-2020/

THE MEDIA SCRUM

In Memoriam 2020: The Musicians We Lost
https://www.npr.org/2020/12/31/950086106/in-memoriam-2020-the-musicians-we-lost

Paul Stanley Pledges to ‘KISS 2020 Goodbye’ With Explosive Sendoff
https://www.spin.com/2020/12/paul-stanley-kiss-dubai-concert-interview/

Concert Held For Hundreds in COVID Test Records No Infections: Researchers
https://www.newsweek.com/covid-pandemic-sala-apolo-concert-research-trial-no-attendee-infections-1558215

The government says Brexit touring plans were “rejected” by EU – but the music industry demands action to prevent “catastrophe”
https://www.nme.com/news/music/brexit-music-touring-europe-eu-rejected-action-demand-petition-2847066

A Requiem for Live Music
https://jezebel.com/a-requiem-for-live-music-1845898129

ODDS, ENDS

A Guide to Wokespeak
https://www.nationalreview.com/2020/12/a-guide-to-wokespeak/

Alternative facts, witch-hunt, bigly: the Trump era in 32 words and phrases
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/dec/28/alternative-facts-bigly-witch-hunt-trump-era-words-phrases

Covid-19, cocooning, new normal – 10 phrases that defined 2020
https://www.irishtimes.com/news/ireland/irish-news/covid-19-cocooning-new-normal-10-phrases-that-defined-2020-1.4448012

The year of Karen: how a meme changed the way Americans talked about racism
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/dec/27/karen-race-white-women-black-americans-racism

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