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Letters from an American by Heather Cox Richardson

Ahavati
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anna_grin said:they were actively campaigning to purge Catholicism from the Church of England and Catholic practices in general. they tended to catch treason charges for that. so it was a persecution they really brought on themselves

once in america they reneged on their promise for a society of religious freedom, forcing quakers who had travelled with them to follow their doctrine

they weren’t quite the victims they made themselves out to be


Well I never thought them to be victims to begin with. But I do contend they became the monster they professed to hate. Christianity in general has a very bloody history - in that respect they mirrored it in America. You'll find no sympathy for them here.

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I typically don't post politics on Sunday because funday; however, at least many who need assistance now know it's on the way:

March 6, 2021

Today, after almost 24 hours of debate, the Senate passed the American Rescue Plan, designed to help America rebuild after the scorched-earth devastation of the coronavirus pandemic.

The vote was 50 to 49, with all the Democrats voting yes and all the Republicans voting no. Senator Dan Sullivan (R-AK) had to leave the vote to attend his father-in-law’s funeral (and, frankly, while I try not to editorialize here, more power to him for choosing his family at this moment), but would have voted no. That would have made Vice President Kamala Harris cast the deciding vote, but the bill was going to pass.

It is hard to overestimate the importance of this measure both for the present moment and as a sign of the direction in which the Democrats in charge of the United States hope to take the nation.

The relief measure is designed to address the dislocations of a pandemic that has, so far, taken more than a half a million American lives and thrown more than 10 million of us out of work.

America currently has a population of about 331 million people. By the end of 2020, more than 83 million Americans were having trouble meeting bills or buying food, and by January 2021, 30 to 40 million Americans were at risk of eviction because they could not make their rent payments. This crisis hit women and people of color the hardest because they tend to work in face-to-face jobs, which did not translate to remote work, and because the loss of childcare drove women out of the workforce. Thirty-nine percent of low-income households saw job losses early in the pandemic.

The American Rescue Plan addresses this crisis. It includes checks of $1400 for people who make less than $75,000, making up the difference between the $600 the last coronavirus relief measure provided and the $2000 the former president demanded. But that is just the tip of the iceberg. The bill provides federal unemployment benefits of $300 a week until Labor Day to supplement state benefits. It provides $350 billion for state, local, and tribal governments, which will prevent further job cuts and enable services to continue. It provides $130 billion for schools, as well as support for rent payments and food. With its expansion of child tax credits, subsidies for childcare, expansion of food assistance, lowering of costs under the Affordable Care Act, and rental assistance, the American Rescue Plan could cut child poverty in half by the end of this year.

Its benefits should begin helping low-income and moderate-income people immediately, injecting money into the economy to help us recover from the economic effects of the pandemic, even as we are starting to get vaccinated to emerge from the pandemic itself.

The bill is a statement about the role of the government. Rather than trying to free individuals from the burdens of supporting an active government by cutting taxes and services—as Republicans since Reagan have advocated-- this bill uses government power to support ordinary Americans. It is a return to the principles of the so-called liberal consensus that members of both parties embraced under the presidents from Democrat Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who took office in 1933, to Jimmy Carter, who left the White House in 1981. Carter was defeated by Ronald Reagan, who told Americans in his Inaugural Address that “government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.”

Since then, the focus of our lawmakers has been to cut government services, not build them.

And yet, those cuts have not created a more equal society in the United States; they have dramatically moved wealth upward. It is worth remembering that, while $1.9 trillion is an eye-popping sum of money, the 2017 Republican tax cut under former president Donald Trump cost at least $1.5 trillion and, if Congress makes the individual tax cuts permanent, will cost $2.3 trillion over the next ten years. (Unlike the individual tax cuts, the corporate tax cuts in the law do not expire.) The 2017 vote for yet another tax cut won no Democratic votes, just as this American Rescue Plan earned no Republican votes.

The change in the direction of government signaled by this bill could not be more dramatic.

The bill will now go back to the House, which will vote to accept the amendments. It will then to go to the Oval Office for President Biden’s signature.

—-

Submitted March 07, 2021

Notes:

https://www.thebalance.com/cost-of-trump-tax-cuts-4586645

https://avalon.law.yale.edu/20th_century/reagan1.asp

https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2020/12/17/americans-fall-through-eviction-cracks-during-covid-19-crisis-column/6056483002/

https://www.brookings.edu/essay/why-has-covid-19-been-especially-harmful-for-working-women/

https://static1.squarespace.com/static/5743308460b5e922a25a6dc7/t/601acf15866c634924d12963/1612369686861/Poverty-Reduction-Analysis-Biden-Economic-Relief-CPSP-2021.pdf

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/03/06/us/politics/biden-stimulus-plan.html

https://www.axios.com/republicans-pass-historic-tax-cuts-without-a-single-democratic-vote-1515110718-8cdf005c-c1c9-481a-975b-72336765ebe4.html


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Bloody Sunday - Selma Alabama, March 07, 1965

March 7, 2021

Black Americans outnumbered white Americans among the 29,500 people who lived in Selma, Alabama, in the 1960s, but the city’s voting rolls were 99% white. So, in 1963, Black organizers in the Dallas County Voters League launched a drive to get Black voters in Selma registered. The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, a prominent civil rights organization, joined them.

In 1964, Congress passed the Civil Rights Act, but it did not adequately address the problem of voter suppression. In Selma, a judge had stopped the voter registration protests by issuing an injunction prohibiting public gatherings of more than two people.

To call attention to the crisis in her city, Amelia Boynton, who was a part of the Dallas County Voters League but who, in this case, was acting with a group of local activists, traveled to Birmingham to invite Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., to the city. King had become a household name after the 1963 March on Washington where he delivered the “I Have a Dream” speech, and his presence would bring national attention to Selma’s struggle.

King and other prominent members of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference arrived in January to press the voter registration drive. For seven weeks, Black residents tried to register to vote. County Sheriff James Clark arrested almost 2000 of them for a variety of charges, including contempt of court and parading without a permit. A federal court ordered Clark not to interfere with orderly registration, so he forced Black applicants to stand in line for hours before taking a “literacy” test. Not a single person passed.  

Then, on February 18, white police officers, including local police, sheriff’s deputies, and Alabama state troopers, beat and shot an unarmed 26-year-old, Jimmie Lee Jackson, who was marching for voting rights at a demonstration in his hometown of Marion, Alabama, about 25 miles northwest of Selma. Jackson had run into a restaurant for shelter along with his mother when the police started rioting, but they chased him and shot him in the restaurant’s kitchen.

Jackson died eight days later, on February 26. The leaders of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in Selma decided to defuse the community’s anger by planning a long march—54 miles-- from Selma to the state capitol at Montgomery to draw attention to the murder and voter suppression. Expecting violence, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee voted not to participate, but its chair, John Lewis, asked their permission to go along on his own. They agreed.

On March 7, 1965, the marchers set out. As they crossed the Edmund Pettus Bridge, named for a Confederate brigadier general, Grand Dragon of the Alabama Ku Klux Klan, and U.S. senator who stood against Black rights, state troopers and other law enforcement officers met the unarmed marchers with billy clubs, bull whips, and tear gas. They fractured John Lewis’s skull, and beat Amelia Boynton unconscious. A newspaper photograph of the 54-year-old Boynton, seemingly dead in the arms of another marcher, illustrated the depravity of those determined to stop Black voting.

Images of “Bloody Sunday” on the national news mesmerized the nation, and supporters began to converge on Selma. King, who had been in Atlanta when the marchers first set off, returned to the fray.

Two days later, the marchers set out again. Once again, the troopers and police met them at the end of the Edmund Pettus Bridge, but this time, King led the marchers in prayer and then took them back to Selma. That night, a white mob beat to death a Unitarian Universalist minister, James Reeb, who had come from Massachusetts to join the marchers.

On March 15, President Lyndon B. Johnson addressed a nationally televised joint session of Congress to ask for the passage of a national voting rights act. “Their cause must be our cause too,” he said. “[A]ll of us… must overcome the crippling legacy of bigotry and injustice. And we shall overcome.” Two days later, he submitted to Congress proposed voting rights legislation.

The marchers remained determined to complete their trip to Montgomery, and when Alabama’s governor, George Wallace, refused to protect them, President Johnson stepped in. When the marchers set off for a third time on March 21, 1,900 members of the nationalized Alabama National Guard, FBI agents, and federal marshals protected them. Covering about ten miles a day, they camped in the yards of well-wishers until they arrived at the Alabama State Capitol on March 25. Their ranks had grown as they walked until they numbered about 25,000 people.

On the steps of the capitol, speaking under a Confederate flag, Dr. King said: “The end we seek is a society at peace with itself, a society that can live with its conscience. And that will be a day not of the white man, not of the black man. That will be the day of man as man.”

That night, Viola Liuzzo, a 39-year-old mother of five who had arrived from Michigan to help after Bloody Sunday, was murdered by four Ku Klux Klan members tailing her as she ferried demonstrators out of the city.

On August 6, Dr. King and Mrs. Boynton were guests of honor as President Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act of 1965.  Johnson recalled “the outrage of Selma” when he said "This right to vote is the basic right without which all others are meaningless. It gives people, people as individuals, control over their own destinies."

[ Continued below ]

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The Voting Rights Act authorized federal supervision of voter registration in districts where African Americans were historically underrepresented. Johnson promised that the government would strike down “regulations, or laws, or tests to deny the right to vote.” He called the right to vote “the most powerful instrument ever devised by man for breaking down injustice and destroying the terrible walls which imprison men because they are different from other men,” and pledged that “we will not delay, or we will not hesitate, or we will not turn aside until Americans of every race and color and origin in this country have the same right as all others to share in the process of democracy.”

But less than 50 years later, in 2013, the Supreme Court gutted the Voting Rights Act. The Shelby County v. Holder decision opened the door, once again, for voter suppression. Since then, states have made it harder to vote. And now, in the wake of the 2020 election, in which voters handed control of the government to Democrats, legislatures in 43 states are considering sweeping legislation to restrict voting, especially voting by people of color. Among the things Georgia wants to outlaw is giving water to voters as they wait for hours in line to get to the polls.

Today, 56 years after Bloody Sunday, President Biden signed an executive order “to promote voting access and allow all eligible Americans to participate in our democracy.” He called on Congress to pass the For the People Act, making it easier to vote, and to restore the Voting Rights Act, now named the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Act after the man who went on from his days in the Civil Rights Movement to serve 17 terms as a representative from Georgia, bearing the scars of March 7, 1965, until he died on July 17, 2020.

The fact sheet from the White House announcing the executive order explained: “democracy doesn’t happen by accident. We have to defend, strengthen, and renew it.” Or, as Representative Lewis put it: “Never, ever be afraid to make some noise and get in good trouble, necessary trouble.”
—-

Submitted March08, 2021

Notes:

https://www2.census.gov/prod2/decennial/documents/37721510v1p2.pdf

https://millercenter.org/the-presidency/presidential-speeches/august-6-1965-remarks-signing-voting-rights-act

https://kinginstitute.stanford.edu/encyclopedia/selma-montgomery-march

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/feb/25/fight-to-vote-newsletter-voting-rights-act

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/gop-voting-restrictions/2021/02/19/d1fab224-72ca-11eb-85fa-e0ccb3660358_story.html

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/biden-voting-bloody-sunday-order/2021/03/07/ce45b082-7f60-11eb-9ca6-54e187ee4939_story.html

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/03/06/us/politics/churches-black-voters-georgia.html

https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements-releases/2021/03/07/fact-sheet-president-biden-to-sign-executive-order-to-promote-voting-access/

https://www.cnbc.com/2021/03/07/biden-calls-to-restore-voting-rights-act-signs-order-to-expand-access.html

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/06/10/john-lewis-black-lives-matter-protesters-give-until-you-cannot-give-any-more/

WARNING: Due to the graphic content, If you are under Age 17 or have heart conditions, DO NOT WATCH this video. This video does not promote any racism, views, or any other related content (against) by YouTube Terms of Service. All actors or actresses in this scene are not actually hurt as this event in the content is based on actual events that happened in 1963 taking place in Selma, Alabama, USA, Viewer's Discretion Is Advised.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rZ17ryVuVdY

JohnnyBlaze
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Quite a history lesson relevant to this modern day. Thank you for taking the time to bring it to our attention. We don't EVER want to go back there. xo

Blackwolf
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I remember seeing Martin Luther King
on black and white television give that
speech , when I was ten years old...

My father was always one who supported
all who were fair with people , and respected
them , though I remember him decking a
neighbor , for calling a boy I was playing with
a "n****r"...broke some teeth

He was someone who stood up for being *human*

All of us...together , or those who choose not shall suffer

This is how I live...we all have our own beauty , and we all deserve rights

Ahavati
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Blackwolf said:I remember seeing Martin Luther King
on black and white television give that
speech , when I was ten years old...

My father was always one who supported
all who were fair with people , and respected
them , though I remember him decking a
neighbor , for calling a boy I was playing with
a "n****r"...broke some teeth

He was someone who stood up for being *human*

All of us...together , or those who choose not shall suffer

This is how I live...we all have our own beauty , and we all deserve rights


We were living in England at the time, Blackwolf. I will be ever grateful to my parents ( from Georgia and Mississippi ) for getting us out of the hell-hole of the south at that time. Prior to moving to England, I was attending Kindergarten or first grade in Mississippi. It was post desegregation and all out war in the schools and on the buses. Fights were a common thing.

It was there I learned the N word as well, being called an n-lover for playing with a black girl on the playground. I was drug ( by the hair ) across the playground by older white boys while being kicked and spat on by older white girls. It was such a horrifying and traumatic event that I could not understand.

In England, I was the only white girl who was allowed to babysit for an interracial couple. I caught hell for that too from whites at the same time British were screaming "Yankee go home!". People can be monsters, much worse monsters than exist in the imagination of any of us.

anna_grin
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holy shitoley is all i can really say

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anna_grin said:holy shitoley is all i can really say

You should've lived it. In many ways I still am. This always takes its toll on me emotionally. I honestly don't think anyone could ever understand ( unless they've experienced it first hand ) the unmitigated hell that blacks have been through in this country.

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March 9, 2021

The only big thing I see today is that Bob Smietana of the Religion News Service broke the story that evangelical Beth Moore, a hugely popular leader, has left the Southern Baptist Church. A survivor of sexual assault, Moore objected to her denomination’s support for Trump in light of the Access Hollywood tapes in which he boasted of sexual assault. She has increasingly parted ways with church leaders and now has announced that she is leaving the denomination. Her departure could lead a number of women out of that church.  

The departure of a leader from the Southern Baptist Church sparked by opposition to Trump and church support for him indicates the growing split in the Republican Party. Trump today continued his attempt to undercut the Republican National Committee by hamstringing its fundraising. He issued a statement saying that while he “fully” supports the Republican Party, “I do not support RINOS [Republicans in Name Only] and fools, and it is not their right to use my likeness or image to raise funds.” He urged people to donate to his own political action committee to help the America First movement. “We will WIN, and we will WIN BIG!” he wrote. “Our Country is being destroyed by the Democrats!”

The party split is intense enough that House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, who is pro-Trump at this point, declined to appear today with Republican conference leader Liz Cheney, who said last week that Trump had no future in the party.

Meanwhile, Illinois Representative Adam Kinzinger, a Republican, is pushing back against the former president, calling him desperate to remain relevant. Kinzinger says his goal is to rebuild the Republican Party, reclaiming it from Trump and fearmongering and divisiveness to become a conservative party again. “I think part of saving the Republican Party is just being really clear about what the Republican Party has become,” Kinzinger told Jeff Zeleny of CNN. “We have such a great history, I think, but now we’re off the rails.”

Republican lawmakers are planning to get around their unpopularity by suppressing the vote. Iowa’s Republican Governor Kim Reynolds yesterday signed into law what election lawyer Marc Elias called the “first major suppression law since the 2020 election.” Among other things, it shortens early voting and seriously restricts mail-in voting. Today, the League of United Latin American Citizens of Iowa sued to keep much of the law from being enforced. The lawsuit calls the new measure “a cynical manipulation of the electoral process.”

Elias has been in the courts defending the security of the election since the 2020 election, pushing back against the lawsuit designed to delegitimize President Biden’s election. Now he has turned his efforts to trying to hold at bay the voter suppression laws being pushed by Republican legislatures around the country.

“I am very worried about the future of our Democracy,” he tweeted.

He told MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow: “I am begging America and the media to pay attention to this. Right now we are facing an avalanche of voter suppression that we have not seen before, at least not since Jim Crow. In state after state—it’s not just Iowa; it’s not just Georgia; it’s not just Arizona… It’s also Montana. It’s also Missouri. It’s also Florida. It’s also Texas. The list goes on and on. Donald Trump told a Big Lie that led to an assault on democracy in the Capitol on January 6. The assaults we’re seeing going on now in state capitols with the legislatures may be less deadly, and be less violent, but they are every bit as damaging to our democracy.”

—-

Submitted March 10, 2021

Notes:

Twitter avatar for @Acosta
Jim Acosta
@Acosta
Trump sends more love to the GOP... Image
March 9th 2021

981 Retweets7,073 Likes
/photo/1


https://www.newsweek.com/adam-kinzinger-responds-donald-trump-rino-statement-1574685

https://religionnews.com/2021/03/09/bible-teacher-beth-moore-ends-partnership-with-lifeway-i-am-no-longer-a-southern-baptist/

Twitter avatar for @JakeSherman
Jake Sherman
@JakeSherman
something for close house watchers. After  House R conf mtg today, leadership will hold its weekly news conference. you know who wont be there? @GOPLeader. Last time, he & @Liz_Cheney had a tiff over her saying Trump has no future in the party. This week he wont even appear w her
March 9th 2021

332 Retweets1,581 Likes

https://www.cnn.com/2021/03/09/politics/adam-kinzinger-illinois-voters/index.html

Twitter avatar for @marceelias
Marc E. Elias
@marceelias
I am very worried about the future of our democracy. Please watch and share. @maddow @maddowBlog Image
March 10th 2021

3,161 Retweets 5,951 Likes

JohnnyBlaze
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^ I'm glad to hear there are some Republicans in Congress with their heads screwed on straight. Beth Moore is news to me, but I'm as religious as a ham sandwich and not wired into such circles.

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Forty House Republicans on Wednesday voted against Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene's latest motion to adjourn, yet another sign her party is growing increasingly frustrated with the Georgia Republican's procedural delay tactics.

That figure was more than double the 18 Republicans who voted against her motion last week to end House business for the day.

Some of those Republicans who have bucked Greene and GOP leaders have correctly predicted that the number of "no" votes will only grow as Greene continues to force more of these votes.

[ . . . ]

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/41-republicans-vote-against-greene-motion/ar-BB1es0vQ?ocid=uxbndlbing

Thank goodness!

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That thrills me to no end. Republican or Democrat - we need people who want to work for the people.  

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JohnnyBlaze said:That thrills me to no end. Republican or Democrat - we need people who want to work for the people.  

Not so fast!

Michigan county GOP censures Republican congressman for vote against Marjorie Taylor Greene

Michigan GOP Rep. Fred Upton was censured Tuesday by a local Republican Party in his congressional district for his vote to remove Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene from her House committee assignments.

[ . . . ]


You can't seem to vote your conscience as a republican or you'll be censured.  

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March 10, 2021

Today was a big day for the United States of America.

The House of Representatives passed the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, accepting the changes to the measure that the Senate had added. This bill marks a sea change in our government. Rather than focusing on dismantling the federal government and turning individuals loose to act as they wish, Congress has returned to the principles of the nation before 1981, using the federal government to support ordinary Americans. With its expansion of the child tax credit, the bill is projected to reach about 27 million children and to cut child poverty in half.

The bill, which President Biden is expected to sign Friday, is a landmark piece of legislation, reversing the trend of American government since Ronald Reagan’s 1981 tax cut. Rather than funneling money upward in the belief that those at the top will invest in the economy and thus create jobs for poorer Americans, the Democrats are returning to the idea that using the government to put money into the hands of ordinary Americans will rebuild the economy from the bottom up. This was the argument for the very first expansion of the American government—during Abraham Lincoln’s administration—and it was the belief on which President Franklin Delano Roosevelt created the New Deal.

Unlike the previous implementations of this theory, though, Biden’s version, embodied in the American Rescue Plan, does not privilege white men (who in Lincoln and Roosevelt’s day were presumed to be family breadwinners). It moves money to low-wage earners generally, especially to women and to people of color. Representative Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) called the child tax credit “a new lifeline to the middle class.” “Franklin Roosevelt lifted seniors out of poverty, 90 percent of them with Social Security, and with the stroke of a pen,” she said. “President Biden is going to lift millions and millions of children out of poverty in this country.”

Republican lawmakers all voted against the bill despite the fact that 76% of Americans, including 59% of Republicans, like the measure. Still, the disjunction between the bill’s popularity and their opposition to it put them in a difficult spot. Senator Roger Wicker (R-MS) tweeted positively about the bill this evening, leaving the impression he had voted for it. Twitter users wanted no part of the deception, immediately calling him out for touting a bill he had opposed (although he had been a Republican co-sponsor of the amendment about which he was boasting).

Wicker’s public embrace of the measure after voting no suggests that Republicans might recognize that, without the power to stop popular legislation as they could previously, they need to consider getting on board with it.

For right now, though, Republicans are continuing to push tax cuts. Senators John Thune (R-SD) and Mike Crapo (R-ID) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) are leading an effort to repeal the estate tax. According to Michael Hiltzik of the Los Angeles Times, this tax falls on estates over $11.7 million, about a fifth of which are worth $50 million or more. The average estate affected by the tax is worth $30 million, and it affects about 2,500 people a year. It is enacted on capital gains that have not been taxed during the original owner’s lifetime, and usually involves stock. While Crapo calls the tax “the most unfair tax on the books,” Hiltzik calls the attempt to eliminate it “a massive handout to rich families.”

It was not just finance in the news today. This afternoon, the Senate voted 70-30 to confirm Merrick Garland as the attorney general. He will be sworn in tomorrow. Biden chose Garland to rebuild faith in the independence of the Department of Justice, whose credibility was sorely battered over the past four years when it appeared to be operating in the interest of the president rather than the American people. Garland has a reputation as a fair-minded, centrist judge, but Republicans who voted against his confirmation—Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas, for example—seem already to be trying to undercut Garland’s investigations, suggesting that he will embrace a “radical agenda” as attorney general.

As soon as Garland is sworn in tomorrow, he will be briefed by FBI Director Christopher Wray and others on the Capitol attack.

Garland’s was not the only nomination to go through today. Former representative Marcia Fudge (D-OH) is now the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. Michael Regan is the new head of the Environmental Protection Agency, charged both with addressing environmental racism and with helping the nation fight climate change. With their addition, 6 of 24 Cabinet positions will be held by Black Americans, the most in U.S. history.

Amidst all the excitement about the Biden administration’s achievements today, the former president was also in the news. The Wall Street Journal obtained a recording of a phone call Trump made in December 2020 to Frances Watson, the chief investigator of the Georgia Secretary of State’s office. Watson was in the process of looking for fraud in an audit of mail-in ballots in Cobb County after the election. Trump urged her to look at Fulton County, as well, where he insisted she would “find things that are going to be unbelievable.”

[ Continued on next page ]

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