The Winter Solstice marked the turning point of the season to longer days and shorter nights, and here’s to hoping the COVID vaccine marks the turning point for the end of this pandemic. Here’s to hope, merry Christmasses and happy holidays.

• If you need a little fun in this COVID season, and who doesn’t, watch the schedule for the Stanford vs. Oregon women’s basketball game. The virus is forcing a changing schedule, but the Stanford women continue to be ranked first in the country, and Oregon is right up there. It should be a great game.

• As President Donald Trump prepares to become unemployed on Jan. 20, he has ordered the federal government to abandon contemporary design for new government buildings in the nation’s capital. Instead, according to his Dec. 21 executive order, “classical architecture shall be the preferred and default architecture” in Washington. The order zings starchitect Thom Mayne, designer of Eugene’s splendid federal courthouse, panning his San Francisco federal building as “art for art’s sake.” You need only look at the loser-in-chief’s failing properties around the world to see that he’s the emperor of good taste.

Congressman Peter DeFazio says he applauds the historic nomination of Pete Buttigieg as secretary of transportation. As the chair of the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure in the House, DeFazio will work closely with Buttigieg. Some critics say that Buttigieg’s experience is only with the city of South Bend, Indiana, hardly comparable to running the whole country’s transportation system. We agree with DeFazio. This is one of Biden’s more interesting appointments. We hope he makes it into the job.

• On Dec. 21, the Oregon Legislature held its third special session of 2020 to deal with the chaos of our pandemic-induced economic disaster. Despite a disruption from right wingers, legislators passed four bills that provide some Band-Aids. One caps fees from delivery apps and allows restaurants to sell mixed drinks to go. Another offers schools liability and whistleblower protections. Legislators also extended the eviction moratorium to June and set aside $150 million for renter aid. And a fourth bill sets aside $600 million for pandemic-related services and for Oregonians affected by the Labor Day wildfires. During the session, right-wingers (some of them armed) took to the capitol, angry about the governor’s ongoing state of emergency, calling for her arrest. Protesters kicked in a door, attacked journalists and tried to disrupt the Legislature. So much for “law and order” from the right wing. 

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