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The next 48 hours could be the most tumultuous of the never-ending 2020 election

The next two days look to be the most tumultuous, telling of the wild, never-ending 2020 election.

Driving the news: Twin runoffsin Georgia today determine control of the U.S. Senate. And perhaps half or moreof the Republicans in Congress will cast an unprecedented number of votes to invalidate President-elect Biden’s clear win, as the House and Senate meet to certify the Electoral College votes.

Why it matters: It's insane and revealing that those joining the protest — more than 100 House members (and perhaps 140+), plus 13 senators — could amount to more than half of Capitol Hill's Republicans.

  • This shows the political strength could maintain in exile, tormenting Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell and other establishment Republicans.

Reality check: The Republican lawmakers won't change the outcome, but they'll drag out what's usually a low-drama process.

  • As Speaker Pelosi put it Sunday in a memo to House Democrats: "At the end of the day, which could be the middle of the night, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will be officially declared the next President and Vice President of the United States."
A business near the White House yesterday. Photo: Joshua Roberts/Reuters

The 2020 election's final fight could be in the streets: A law enforcement source tells me tens of thousands of people — mostly pro-Trump, but perhaps some from the left — are expected to converge on Washington tomorrow as Congress meets.

  • Trump has tweeted repeated promotions for the "Stop the Steal" protests.
  • D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser asked residents to stay away from downtown — and said the District has mobilized the National Guard, and will have every city police officer on duty to handle protests, the WashPost reports.

At a rally in Georgia last night for the GOP Senate candidates, Trump continued his baseless claim that he won the state: "Big difference between losing and winning and having it stolen ... We win every state, and they're gonna have this guy be president?"

  • Trump tried to publicly pressure Vice President Pence, who'll preside over tomorrow's proceedings: "I hope Mike Pence comes through for us ... He's a great guy. 'Course, if he doesn't come through, I won't like him quite as much."
  • He also denounced "y0ur incompetent governor" and "your crazy secretary of state" — both Republicans — as he plugged Georgia Sens. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue.

Several Republican and Democratic lawmakers emerge as troublemakers

Several Republican and Democratic lawmakers are emerging as troublemakers within their parties and political thorns for their leadership.

Why it matters: We're calling this group "The Mischief Makers" — members who threaten to upend party unity — the theme eclipsing Washington at the moment — and potentially jeopardize the Democrats' or Republicans' position heading into the 2022 midterms.

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Former Obama speechwriter "preemptively frustrated" with Biden's unity efforts

President Obama's former speechwriter says he's "preemptively frustrated" with President Biden's effort to find unity with Republicans.

What they're saying: Cody Keenan told Axios that Biden's messaging team has "struck all the right chords," but at some point "they're gonna have to answer questions like, 'Why didn't you achieve unity?' when there's an entire political party that's already acting to stop it."

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Conservative group puts $700k behind Hawley

A Republican group is raising and spending huge amounts of money defending Sen. Josh Hawley after he was ostracized for early January’s attack on the U.S. Capitol.

Why it matters: The Senate Conservatives Fund is backfilling lost corporate and personal donations with needed political and financial support, helping inoculate the Missouri lawmaker as he weighs re-election or a possible presidential campaign in 2024.

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Kaine, Collins' censure resolution could bar Trump from holding office again

Sens. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) are forging ahead with a draft proposal to censure former President Trump, and are considering introducing the resolution on the Senate floor next week.

Why it matters: Senators are looking for a way to condemn Trump on the record as it becomes increasingly unlikely Democrats will obtain the 17 Republican votes needed to gain a conviction, Axios Alayna Treene writes. "I think it’s important for the Senate's leadership to understand that there are alternatives," Kaine told CNN on Wednesday.

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"Roz" Brewer will become only the 2nd Black woman to permanently lead a Fortune 500 company

Rosalind "Roz" Brewer is about to become only the second Black woman to permanently lead a Fortune 500 company. She starts as Walgreens CEO on March 15.

Why it matters: It's a stark reminder of how far corporate America's top decision-makers have to go during an unprecedented push by politicians, employees and even a stock exchange to diversify their top ranks.

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Apple's quarterly sales top $100 billion for first time

Spurred by strong sales of the latest iPhones, Apple reported it took in a record $111 billion in revenue for the three months ended Dec. 31, as the company crushed expectations.

Why it matters: The move showed even a pandemic didn't dull demand for Apple's latest smartphones.

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Facebook stock whipsaws amid ad targeting concerns

Facebook's stock showed volatility in after-hours trading Wednesday, despite adding users and beating on top and bottom lines.

Why it matters: Investors seem spooked by proposed changes to user data collection by Apple that would impact Facebook's ad business, in addition to perennial threats of new federal privacy regulations.

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Fed chair says low interest rates aren't driving stock market prices

Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell told reporters on Wednesday that rock-bottom interest rates aren't playing a role in driving stock prices higher, while noting that vulnerabilities to the financial system are "moderate."

Why it matters: The statement comes amid unshakeable stock prices and a Reddit-fueled market frenzy — prompting widespread fears of a bubble and the role monetary policy has played in that.

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