This was the action of someone who, however much he might yearn to escape Trump’s long shadow, knows that his party’s base is wedded to the former president and could decide the outcome of the 2022 midterm elections.
Democrats shouldn’t give up on investigating 1/6, Avlon argued. “What’s clear is that if we cannot unite and reason together after an attack on our democracy, then it will only embolden future insurrection attempts — and that is unacceptable.”
Anneliese M. Bruner‘s great grandmother, Mary E. Jones Parrish, was a journalist and teacher who survived the Tulsa massacre that began a century ago on May 31. In a newly republished, book-length account, Parrish wrote, “The rich man of power and the fat politician who have maneuvered to get into office, and even our Congress, may sit idly by with folded hands and say, ‘What can we do?’ Let me warn you that the time is fast approaching when you will want to do something and it will be too late.”
It took five days, but McConnell’s counterpart in the House, Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy condemned Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene’s comparison between Covid-19 mask mandates and Jews being persecuted in Nazi Germany.
Zoom out, and the overall picture is disturbing, wrote Frida Ghitis, “Countless Republican leaders either declare or refuse to deny the Big Lie, the claim that the election was stolen. Tens of millions of Republicans erroneously believe Trump won. Almost one-quarter of Republicans believe it may become necessary to use violence to ‘save the country.’ Then they are told by Republican outrage peddlers that the US Constitution protects their right to own firearms for the purpose of rising up against the government. And then — the match to start lighting the fuse — they are told that Democrats are similar to Nazis.
At the center of the investigation is the Trump Organization’s longtime chief financial officer, Allen Weisselberg. “Having spent nearly 50 years inside the Trump organization, he has almost certainly played significant roles in businesses ranging from Miss Universe to Trump’s casinos, and he has handled Trump’s personal finances,” noted Michael D’Antonio.
Bernie Sanders’ message
President Joe Biden’s top legislative priority is a sweeping plan to rebuild America’s infrastructure. After failing to secure even one Republican senator’s vote for his Covid-19 relief package in March, he is engaging in talks to see if there’s a bipartisan path to passage of a bill.
The stakes are enormous, wrote Sen. Bernie Sanders. “We can create millions of good paying union jobs rebuilding our crumbling roads, bridges, water systems and constructing the millions of units of affordable housing we desperately need.” The Vermont senator said that goal, and many other progressive aims, could be achieved “if the Democrats in the House and Senate are able to stand together.”
W. Kamau Bell wrote that Biden’s first speech to Congress last month made him think the President had just finished watching Sanders speak. Biden noted then that millions of jobs were lost in the pandemic while billionaires saw their net worth go up by $1 trillion.
Many Democrats believe that they will have to go it alone to achieve the kind of infrastructure package Biden is pushing. “There is no outcome, substantive or political, that Republicans would rather have than to see the infrastructure bill go down in flames,” wrote Paul Waldman in the Washington Post. “Democrats could let them write every word of it, and that would still be true.
Covid-19 has killed at least 3.5 million people and sickened more than 160 million around the world. Yet the cause of the pandemic is still unclear. This week, scientists and public officials argued that one potential cause — the possibility of a leak from a virology lab in Wuhan, China — deserved more study. The Wall Street Journal reported that three of the lab’s researchers sought hospital care with symptoms similar to both Covid-19 and to seasonal maladies in November, 2019.
The Trump administration had given credence to the “lab leak” theory, and while Biden’s team had shut down a State Department initiative to prove the hypothesis, the President this week ordered US intelligence agencies to step up their investigation of it.
“An investigation into the true origins of the virus is essential not only for scientific reasons, but also because policymakers around the world need this knowledge to better prepare themselves for future pandemics,” wrote Lanhee J. Chen.
Ordinarily, the World Health Organization would be the obvious choice to carry out such a probe.
A letter to my Black son
One year after the killing of George Floyd, Keith Magee wrote a letter to his almost 7-year-old son, “an endlessly curious, cheeky bundle of energy… brimming with self-confidence, slow to fret and quick to trust. You were lucky enough to be born in a country where dreams can come true, so they say, and I hope that this will be the case for you.”
On the day Derek Chauvin was convicted of killing Floyd, Gene Seymour noted, the Library of America published “a long-lost novel that began with White policemen beating and torturing an innocent Black man into confessing to a double murder he didn’t commit.” It was by Richard Wright, the author of the 1940 best-seller, “Native Son.”
On Monday, the Stone Mountain Memorial Association, which administers the Confederate memorial outside Atlanta, voted to relocate Confederate flags and “tell the truth” about the history of the site, Nicole Hemmer observed. The truth is that the enormous bas-relief sculpture of Confederate leaders arose out of the mythology of the “Lost Cause,” which held “that Confederate soldiers had fought bravely, that the war had been about states’ rights, that life had been better under slavery for both the enslaver and the enslaved.”
At the time the United Daughters of the Confederacy was raising funds for the memorial, Hemmer wrote, the “the 1921 racist pogrom” that destroyed Tulsa’s “Black Wall Street” neighborhood took place. It “destroyed not only a community but generations of wealth. And then it was carefully erased: the law enforcement records related to the massacre disappeared; the story that helped incite the massacre was removed from the local paper’s archive,” Hemmer pointed out.
Crying foul over Belarus
Honoring the heroes
Memorial Day has a special resonance this year as the first US holiday since the widespread lifting of masking and social distancing mandates — a time when family gatherings, trips to beaches, parks and restaurants will soar. Yet it remains a day dedicated to the memory of those who fought and died in war.
In the 1930s, Jewish teenagers fleeing persecution in their native Germany and Austria arrived in the UK on kindertransport. When war broke out, their German language skills were recognized as an asset by the British, and they were recruited into a secret unit Prime Minister Winston Churchill named X Troop, wrote Leah Garrett, the author of a book on the subject.
The new Disney film “Cruella,” wrote Sara Stewart, “boils down to a battle of wills between two fabulously snarky women.” She describes it as “a celebration of visual excess that stealthily aligns with the worldview of the Disney corporation itself.”
What it doesn’t do is “adequately explain the Cruella de Vil whose bloodlust for skinning puppies fueled the 1961 animated classic and its source, Dodie Smith’s 1956 novel.” Stewart observed, “The big Mouse would, understandably, like to whitewash that little detail. It does so with an intoxicating dose of Disneyfied glam.”