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Election routines carry chaos to Harrisburg and D.C. | Morning Publication – The Philadelphia Inquirer

Good morning.

First: It’s a big day in Congress and that “big, beautiful, complicated, diverse” attention hog Pennsylvania is swallowing up the spotlight until the very end. Joe Biden’s the next president. That’s it. But today’s going to be a spectacle. We’ll keep you in the loop with exactly what’s happening.

Then: We’re also bringing you speedy updates on the strangely tense battle over a Pennsylvania Senate race.

And: Philly might be able to start the second wave of coronavirus vaccines as early as February, but that all depends.

— Ashley Hoffman (@_ashleyhoffman, morningnewsletter@inquirer.com)

This was supposed to be boring.

Congress is about to inevitably certify Biden’s unambiguous win with that rubber stamp on the American people’s will. But an unprecedented number of Republicans in Congress are still objecting to Pennsylvania’s presidential election results. Their false allegations echo those the president has promoted nonstop long before he lost. They didn’t hold up in court, where many Trump-appointed judges threw them out. But they are most welcome in buses full of GOP activists as they travel from Pennsylvania to Washington to protest, bringing the noise to a typically quiet day.

What are the checks and balances we’re looking at here? What would it take to really challenge the election results? What about the GOP members who don’t support the objection? Just how far can this objection go? What’s the key difference between this and when Democratic representatives challenged Trump’s 2016 victory?

We take the most natural questions one by one in our nice and clear guide to what you need to know today.

It’s gotten to a point where people are shouting as fury in the chamber grows during another process that was supposed to be a sedated snooze of a ride.

Republicans are refusing to give a Democratic state senator the seat he officially won in the election. In a rare move, a number of them even yanked Democratic Lt. Gov. John Fetterman from presiding over the session on the basis that they didn’t believe he was playing by the rules. And in another rare move, Democrats are refusing to back a Republican senator from taking the chamber’s top leadership position in response. This process is usually nothing more than a formality.

The tension may last, and we’re bringing you speedy updates to make the conflict easy to follow.

Get into this fun shot of one of Shira Walinski’s vibrant murals. (She also does lunch trucks.) Thanks for sharing, @city_of_architectural_love.

Tag your Instagram posts or tweets with #OurPhilly and we’ll pick our favorite each day to feature in this newsletter and give you a shout-out!

“The problem is, it is the actions of Republicans — from the White House, Congress, and the Pennsylvania General Assembly — that have undermined people’s faith in the voting process and served to question the results of the elections because they don’t like the outcome.” — the Inquirer Editorial Board, a group of journalists who operate separately from the newsroom, writes that Republicans are showing it’s democracy that’s really at stake with Pennsylvania’s fiasco.

A man wanted to give his terminally ill wife a call from Joe Biden for her last Christmas, and they almost went to sleep before a call from “Anonymous, Washington, DC” came, The News Journal reports.

So how did TikTok kids turn the story of the culinary rat wonder Ratatouille making his mark on the anti-rodent restaurant industry into a musical? BuzzFeed went behind the scenes.

The first out transgender state senator, Delaware Sen.–elect Sarah McBride, gave New York magazine an interview about her “state of neighbors.”

The “unexpected angels” of the Breathing Room have come bearing Christmas gifts and snack bags since 1997.

Serving 1,200 families a year, they give relatives a helping hand when their family members are getting treated for cancer. If the pandemic may have tried to disrupt the connection between the Breathing Room volunteers and the families they serve, it was unsuccessful.

This is how they persevered to pivot in the pandemic.

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