As House Republicans set the stage for removing Rep. Liz Cheney from her party leadership post this coming week, it became clearer than ever that the defeated former President owns the GOP. And, four months after rioting Trump supporters invaded the Capitol to try to stop certification of Joe Biden’s victory, it’s also clear that the GOP owns the baggage that comes with pledging fealty to Trump.
That includes the Big Lie, the fantastical — and disproved — notion that Trump really won the election but had it stolen from him by fraud. The danger for Republicans looking to regain power in Congress in 2022 is that the vast majority of Americans know that Biden won, fair and square. In a new CNN poll, 97% of Democrats, 69% of independents, and 65% of all registered voters say Biden legitimately won the election. It’s only among Republicans that the Big Lie flourishes — with 70% believing Biden didn’t legitimately win.
Rep. Zoe Lofgren released a report in March calling out the social media posts of Republican legislators who backed Trump’s big lie. Now a GOP congressman from Georgia has filed a complaint against Lofgren, accusing her of breaking House rules in revealing what her colleagues were doing on social media, wrote Frida Ghitis.
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What goes up…
On April 29, a rocket bearing the crew quarters for China’s new space station took off from Hainan Island. This weekend parts of that roughly 40,000-pound projectile fell back to earth.
In just one hour, the plunging Long March rocket traveled three times the distance covered by the actual Long March, which took 12 months. Most of the rocket was consumed as it burned through the atmosphere, and the remains landed in the Indian Ocean, west of the Maldives, according to China’s Manned Space Engineering Office.
As Alice Gorman, an archaeologist who studies “space junk.” notes, “Old satellites, rocket bodies, fragments and particles make up an estimated 9,000 tons of material circling Earth, from a few hundred kilometers to over 35,000 km in altitude. …Space junk reenters the atmosphere on a daily basis, although it mostly goes unnoticed because it burns up long before it can hit the ground.”
Curtains going up
Disneyland has reopened. Broadway theaters are coming back in the fall. Air travel is at its highest level since the pandemic began. One third of Americans are fully vaccinated against the virus. And Goldman Sachs is telling its US workers to get ready to return to the office by mid-June. America is a on a path to reopening as Covid-19 cases fall, but questions remain about how to adapt to the changing reality.
Sharing vaccine knowledge
Facebook’s Trump ban upheld
Donald Trump’s hopes of a swift return to Facebook were dashed Wednesday when the social media platform’s oversight board upheld the ban imposed after the Capitol riot. It recommended that Facebook decide within six months how long the ban will last.
Psychologist John Duffy wrote for CNN’s “Life, But Better” section that, “Years ago, the vast majority of my client couples who weren’t happy in their relationship chose to remain married out of convenience or routine, or even a sense of familiarity. Over the past few years, many are deliberately choosing to part ways. My client base mirrors the divorce rate for Americans 50 and over, which has doubled since 1990.”
The roots of Mother’s Day
Last Mother’s Day, many family gatherings were canceled due to the pandemic. “If you’re like me,” wrote Tess Taylor, “you spent last Mother’s Day crying, because you missed your own mother and because being a mother had become intensely hard beyond any imagining and there seemed to be no end in sight to the guilt, to the too muchness of everything.” This year, Taylor is planning to reconnect with family at a brunch.
But while returning to more traditional ways of celebrating, she argued, we should also look back at the holiday’s origin. “The pandemic has been a wake-up call that it’s time to take Mother’s Day back to its revolutionary roots. This didn’t start out as a greeting-card holiday. It came into being as a series of grassroots expressions of the need for a better world.”
“In antebellum Appalachia, Ann Reeves Jarvis helped start ‘Mother’s Day Work Clubs’ to help local women (and later organized ‘Mothers’ Friendship Day’ when mothers gathered with former Union and Confederate soldiers to foster reconciliation). Abolitionist Julia Ward Howe (best known for writing “The Battle Hymn of the Republic”) wrote the ‘Mother’s Day Proclamation’ calling on mothers to pursue world peace. Temperance fighters and other activists organized other local Mother’s Day celebrations in the late 19th century, and the official holiday arose in the 1900s as the result of Ann Reeves Jarvis’s daughter Anna’s efforts to honor her mother after she died in 1905.”