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Monday's Mini-Report, 12.21.20

Today's edition of quick hits.


Today's edition of quick hits:

* Remember, Trump can't fire him twice: "Attorney General Bill Barr undercut President Donald Trump's election conspiracy theories on Monday, when he said he would not appoint a special counsel to investigate election fraud or Hunter Biden because there is no need."

* Cyberattack: "The Treasury Department was hacked as part of the large-scale Russian campaign that still has the federal government reeling, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Monday. Speaking to CNBC, Mnuchin said that 'our unclassified systems did have some access' from hackers."

* Afghanistan: "A car bomb blast that rocked Afghanistan's capital Sunday morning killed at least nine people, according to the Afghan Interior Ministry. Interior Minister Masoud Andarabi told reporters at the site of the attack that the attack wounded around 20 other people, including a member of parliament, Khan Mohammad Wardak. Andarabi said the lawmaker was in 'good condition.'"

* Russia: "The Trump administration has notified members of Congress that it plans to close the last two remaining United States consulates in Russia."

* Perna explains: "The Army general in charge of getting COVID-19 vaccines across the United States apologized on Saturday for 'miscommunication' with states over the number of doses to be delivered in the early stages of distribution. 'I failed. I'm adjusting. I am fixing and we will move forward from there,' Gen. Gustave Perna told reporters in a telephone briefing."

* The latest misguided step: "The Trump administration is rushing to approve a final wave of large-scale mining and energy projects on federal lands, encouraged by investors who want to try to ensure the projects move ahead even after President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. takes office."

* Worth watching: "Jim Clyburn (D-SC), chairman of the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus, announced Monday that he is issuing subpoenas to force the Department of Health and Human Services to cooperate with his probe into political interference in the Centers for Disease Control's COVID-19 work."

* A new day: "A statue of Confederate general Robert E. Lee has been removed from the United States Capitol, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam announced Monday. For 111 years, the statue stood alongside that of the nation's first president, George Washington, as the state of Virginia's contribution to the National Statuary Hall. Each state is allowed two statues in the collection. Virginia plans to replace the statue of Lee with one of civil rights icon Barbara Johns."

* Oh my: "The Capitol has been tense of late. But this comment by Rep. Clay Higgins (R-La.) ... stood out as particularly emblematic of this unsettling moment. Higgins, on Sunday afternoon, described Biden's election win as a 'conspiracy to dismantle the American elections process.' This is, of course, a baseless allegation. Higgins added, for good measure, that Biden's presidency would amount to a conspiracy to end America altogether."

* She's right: 'While Georgia's two Republican senators fend off campaign attacks on their stock trading, their Democratic colleague Elizabeth Warren is re-launching her bill to prevent lawmakers from making individual stock trades."

* Michael Pack, back in the news: 'The head of U.S.-funded international broadcasting is pressing ahead with his shakeup of the Voice of America and sister outlets by naming new leaders for two of its main networks and moving to defund one of the federal government's top democracy promotion initiatives."

* Profoundly discouraging: "Fifty-five news outlets have closed for good since the pandemic began — and that's on top of more than 2,000 newspapers that have folded since 2004. Thousands of local journalists have been fired or furloughed."

See you tomorrow.