Now that Donald Trump has held the first political rally of his 2024 presidential election run, somewhere outside Phoenix in Arizona, those of us still hanging onto a modicum of sanity in our cherished nation that has gone so deeply into a moral, intellectual and political bog ask of ourselves this: Can anything be done?
Marking the first anniversary of the inauguration of Joe Biden this January 20, 2022, the numbers in things that matter to the health of the nation and its people are way, way better than a year ago. Just on the economy, initial unemployment claims are down from 812,750 to 210,750, the unemployment rate is down from 6.4 percent to 3.9 percent, and compared to the loss of 9.4 million jobs a year ago, the number is now up by 6.4 million.
CNN’s Fareed Zakaria has one of the most engaging Sunday morning politically-themed interview shows on all TV. He is not a showman. He is not out to win an audience with a special something. He’s serious, clearly well-educated and dedicated to his task, which is not simply to be an interviewer or a journalist. It is not to be a newsman in the usual sense. No, it has become clear that his goal is to use his skills and acumen for the purpose of making the world a better place.
Today, January 6, 2022, marks the first anniversary of the massive physical assault on the nation’s Capitol that threatened to overthrow the democratic institutions of our republic at the instigation of then-sitting president Donald Trump. Even now, just one year later, the very notion that this thug, this criminal sociopath had actually held the position of President of the United States seems eerily surrealistic and uncanny to many, myself included. It was like a four-year hiatus of unreality, viewed from hindsight, even as we picked through it day by day for an incredible four full years.
While the passing this week of towering human rights champion Bishop Desmond Tutu stands as the most significant globally, a more recent death has occured of another seminal figure, entomologist Dr. E.O. Wilson, hailed by many as one of the greatest scientists of our time for his contributions in the areas of conservation, biodiversity and the planet.
The interesting thing about the new film just released over this holiday season, “Don’t Look Up,” is the breadth of its satirical critique of our modern society. There is really very little that is left unscathed in our current society by it, and every bit is deserved. As such, the film, chock full of top-drawer acting talent, sends a powerful holiday message: America, stop acting like idiots because the very existence of our species and our planet are at stake.
The kind of music that evokes the truest of holiday sentiments isn’t always the usual drinking song-derived carols that clog the radio airwaves and virtually everything else this time of year.
In an exclusive 2021 wrap-up interview with the News-Press this week, Falls Church’s own U.S. Rep. Donald S. Beyer Jr. was optimistic about the direction President Joe Biden has the nation heading. Even with the current apparent impasse with West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, the essential features of the president’s “Build Back Better” initiative will prevail.
All that documentation that Trump Chief of Staff Mark Meadows dumped onto the Select Committee examining the January 6 insurrection has provided a wealth of proof beyond a reasonable doubt that President Trump engaged in egregious and explicit acts of high treason against the U.S. government.
There are all the usual must-see events back in person after the great pandemic this season, and the saying is true that “absence makes the heart grow fonder” just watching, for example, mice and nutcrackers go at it. It is also the time for some blockbuster motion picture releases, and this year, we feel particularly motivated to call attention to what, in our view, is one of the amazing and poignant Hollywood offerings, the remake of the 1950s Broadway hit musical, “West Side Story.”