That call, which Trump defended as “perfect,” and the administration’s pausing of security aid to Ukraine, would become the focus of his first impeachment, which ended with Trump’s acquittal in the Senate.
The former president never could solve the riddle of how to defeat Biden, who he accused of being a puppet for the “radical left.”
In reality, Trump lost to him because the coronavirus pandemic changed everything — but only some people got the message. One of them was Biden.
In a speech to a joint session of Congress Wednesday, with a soft-spoken, almost whispered urgency, President Biden made his case for a breathtaking overhaul of America’s social contract.
The President’s argument, in just his first 100 days, for $6 trillion in new spending would have been unthinkable before the coronavirus, which has killed more than half a million Americans and sickened 30 million others. When the pandemic hit, suddenly a nation skeptical of government began looking to Washington for help. Trump and Congress initially reacted by approving a series of Covid-19 relief packages, but Senate Republicans ultimately balked at the Democrats’ $3-trillion HEROES Act.
Biden is aiming much higher.
The image of two women — Vice President Kamala Harris and Speaker Nancy Pelosi—behind a US President at a joint session for the first time, Ghitis wrote, along with Biden’s words, “were a reminder of how far we’ve come, how awful things were, and how far we still have to go.”
The initiatives that Trump could once parody as “radical left” are much more in the American mainstream now, with polls showing many as broadly popular — even though Biden’s 53% approval rating is on the low side compared with other presidents (aside from Trump) at this point in their terms.
Don’t bet against Biden
For more on politics:
Joe Rogan’s dubious advice
Joe Rogan told his huge podcast audience, “if you’re like 21 years old, and you say to me, should I get vaccinated? I’ll go no.”
Dr. Jonathan Reiner questioned Rogan’s assessment. Yes, most young people would survive a case of Covid, but it has already killed 2,374 Americans under 30, Reiner noted.
The CDC this week loosened its mask-wearing guidance for vaccinated people in outdoor settings but some experts argue it should do more to stress the benefits of getting a vaccine, particularly for the benefit of those who are hesitant.
India reported more than 400,000 new Covid-19 infections and 3,500 deaths Saturday. Crematorium workers are struggling to keep up with the shocking number of new deaths, CNN reported.
Lies on the grill
Republican members of Congress and voices in right-wing media concocted a story that Biden wants to limit Americans to eating no more than four pounds of beef a year. Rest easy, wrote Jill Filipovic: “Joe Biden isn’t going to take away your hamburgers.”
The lie that Barack Obama was born outside the US and thus ineligible to be president was spread eagerly by conservatives, aided by Donald Trump. Mainstream media fact checks debunked it, but didn’t dent the conspiracy theory, “which actually grew in popularity during Obama’s second term in office. The case of birtherism shows that debunking a lie, unless handled very carefully, doesn’t work. Exposing a lie for the falsehood it is can actually spread misinformation further by repeating the false claims. So the more journalists try to do their work — the work of exposure — the worse the situation gets.”
“I’m sick with worry,” Whitfield wrote. “I’m tired because I can’t sleep, worrying about my two sons and daughter — and other sons and daughters like mine.
“This comes at a time when I’m supposed to be over the moon about the milestones ahead for my 16-year-old son, who is nearing the end of his sophomore year in high school, starting his first job in a few weeks and looking forward to trading in his driver’s permit for a permanent driver’s license in a few months.”
A fearful journey to America
Nina Trieu Tarnay was 6 years old when her family joined the exodus from Vietnam by boat. “Out on the water, the smell of diesel mixed with the ocean salt, the sound of the engine puttering along was slightly louder than my mom’s muffled cries,” she wrote. “I recall being terrified and wanting to cry, but knowing I shouldn’t, I clenched my teeth and fought the urge.”
Celebs run for office
Olympic gold medalist and reality TV star Caitlyn Jenner jumped into the recall race to replace California’s governor, Gavin Newsom. She is a Republican who identifies as transgender, noted Allison Hope.
“Jenner supported Trump before publicly denouncing him. And Republicans’ legislative attacks on the transgender community have grown disgustingly pointed. So progressives who are worried about the effects of Jenner’s run have a point.”
As Lauren A. Wright noted, Jenner is not alone among celebrities in seeking political office. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Herschel Walker are considering candidacies. And America’s still processing the presidency of Donald Trump, a reality TV star.
“For the most part, they lack the relevant experience and skills needed to successfully navigate government institutions and strike bipartisan compromises…they tend to surround themselves with stalwarts and sycophants, amateurs who have neither incentive nor knowledge to work through the arduous and unglamorous work of legislating.”
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