Morning Reading – New Years Eve – December 31, 2020
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Today is my Dad’s birthday. He would have been 99 years old today had he lived long enough to see the day. A member of the greatest generation, he would have been very disappointed at 2020.
The San Francisco Bay Area was hit with two separate earthquakes early Thursday morning.
I got a text the other day from the biggest smartass I know. Haven’t spoken to him in years. He said, “Happy New Year dont die”…
How does one respond to that? … Happy New Year, don’t die is a pretty fitting way to say goodbye to 2020. This one’s in the books. Another one to hang in the gallery. See you next year.
“He made it back from two deployments, two separate, dangerous deployments. He came home and this is what killed him.”
How did we get from 100 million promised doses to just a few million people vaccinated? It is a lesson in misunderstanding American federalism and a failure of national leadership. The federal government and Operation Warp Speed saw their role as getting vaccines to the states, without considering what supports states would need to get vaccines to the people.
Politics stymied science, in a tension that would define the pandemic. China’s delayed initial response unleashed the virus on the world and foreshadowed battles between scientists and political leaders over transparency, public health and economics that would play out across continents.
Think about this statement for a moment: The incentives Josh Hawley and many of his fellow Republicans officeholders confront lead them to conclude that they should pretend the lie is true.
“When we talk in private, I haven’t heard a single Congressional Republican allege that the election results were fraudulent – not one,” he said. “Instead, I hear them talk about their worries about how they will ‘look’ to President Trump’s most ardent supporters.”
Like all of you, I am eager to move past the challenges of 2020. I’m hopeful that we emerge more productive from the “great refactoring” we all endured, and that we can all reclaim the ~30% of cognitive load that has been consumed by political craziness, gaslighting, and a seemingly never-ending stream of things to worry about.
But how exactly do dogs make us happier? In a previous study, Dr. Powell’s group had shown that owning a dog promotes the flow of oxytocin, a hormone that decreases our heart rate and fosters feelings of well-being and relaxation. Plus, she adds, dogs “encourage their owners to get out in nature, maintain a sense of routine, and stay in touch with their neighbors.
Take 15 minutes on New Year’s Day and write down five things you are grateful for. Each evening before retiring, study your list for five minutes. Each week, update the list by adding two items. I personally do this, and I can tell you that the list gets easier and easier to build.
If 2019 was the Year of Trump, then 2020 was the Year of Covid-19 and Trump. Only the most devastating pandemic in a century could have bumped our loudmouthed president into second place.
It turns out that if you tell someone their facts are wrong, you don’t usually win them over; you just entrench false belief.
I’ve known officeholders who could talk endlessly about policy or hand out political gossip as if it were candy. What I hadn’t encountered was a politician like Mr. Biden, willing to let his guard down and reflect on his vulnerabilities. I