Former New Jersey Gov. Jim Florio (D), who spent 15 years in the U.S. House before he became his state’s governor in 1990, pushing through one of the strongest gun-control laws in the country but also an unprecedented tax hike that drove him from office after a single term, died on Sunday, the Washington Post reports.
Richard Haass: “There are decades where nothing happens, and there are weeks where decades happen. Those words are apocryphally attributed to the Bolshevik revolutionary Vladimir Lenin, referring to the rapid collapse of tsarist Russia just over 100 years ago. If he had actually said those words, Lenin might have added that there are also decades when centuries happen.”
“The world is in the midst of one such decade. As with other historical hinges, the danger today stems from a sharp decline in world order. But more than at any other recent moment, that decline threatens to become especially steep, owing to a confluence of old and new threats that have begun to intersect at a moment the United States is ill positioned to contend with them.”
“Americans are remembering 9/11 with moments of silence, readings of victims’ names, volunteer work and other tributes 21 years after the deadliest terror attack on U.S. soil,” the AP reports.
“Victims’ relatives and dignitaries will convene Sunday at the places where hijacked jets crashed on Sept. 11, 2001 — the World Trade Center in New York, the Pentagon and a field in Pennsylvania.”
“Other communities around the country are marking the day with candlelight vigils, interfaith services and other commemorations. Some Americans are joining in volunteer projects on a day that is federally recognized as both Patriot Day and a National Day of Service and Remembrance.”
Tevi Troy: “The controversy surrounding the FBI’s raid on Mar-a-Lago is not going away anytime soon. As more details come out, we know one thing for sure: If we are going to have investigations of presidents after their time in office, we are going to see more controversy about prosecutorial tactics in the years ahead.”
“In thinking about how to engage in these investigations, history, as always, is a helpful guide, as investigating an administration even after the president has left office has actually happened many times.”
Axios: Former leaders have been jailed or charged all over the world.
“Europe’s worst drought in years has pushed the mighty river Danube to one of its lowest levels in almost a century, exposing the hulks of dozens of explosives-laden German warships sunk during World War Two near Serbia’s river port town of Prahovo,” Reuters reports.
This looks interesting: A Man of Iron: The Turbulent Life and Improbable Presidency of Grover Cleveland by Troy Senik.
The author is quoted in the New York Times on the parallels to Donald Trump possibly seeking another term after defeat: “Unlike Donald Trump, Grover Cleveland largely stayed out of the public eye after losing re-election in 1888, rarely spoke in public, and was deeply hesitant about running for another term.”
- Hardcover Book
- Senik, Troy (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
- 384 Pages - 09/20/2022 (Publication Date) - Threshold Editions (Publisher)
“The great and original champion of our party, Abraham Lincoln, was defeated in elections for the Senate and the House before he won the most important election of all. Lincoln ultimately prevailed, he saved our union, and he defined our obligation as Americans for all of history….This primary election is over. But now the real work begins.”
— Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY), in her concession speech.
“This is a wonderful result for America, and a complete rebuke of the Unselect Committee of political Hacks and Thugs. Liz Cheney should be ashamed of herself, the way she acted, and her spiteful, sanctimonious words and actions towards others. Now she can finally disappear into the depths of political oblivion where, I am sure, she will be much happier than she is right now.”
— Donald Trump, reacting to Cheney’s loss.
Leonard Steinhorn: “When Donald Trump poached Ronald Reagan’s 1980 campaign catchphrase ‘Let’s Make America Great Again,’ it was not just the slogan but the meaning behind it that bonded the two Republican campaigns. What it embodies is less an ideology or even a conservative worldview than a deep yearning and determination to restore an idealized version of 1950s America that many Republicans believe has been lost. For the last half-century, that idea has informed much of what the GOP has come to represent.”
“In reality, however, the 1950s were great only for some Americans. Restoring that America — as many Republicans are attempting to do in places where they wield political power — would hurt almost everyone else.”
In the 1830s, President Andrew Jackson — whom Donald Trump has repeatedly said he admires — threatened to hang his vice president, John C. Calhoun, the Washington Post reports.
Just published: Undelivered: The Never-Heard Speeches that Would Have Rewritten History by Jeff Nussbaum.
“From Richard Nixon’s refusal to resign the presidency to Hillary Clinton’s 2016 acceptance of it; from Dwight Eisenhower’s apology for the failure of the D-Day invasion, to Emperor Hirohito’s apology for his role in World War II.”
- Amazon Kindle Edition
- Nussbaum, Jeff (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
- 366 Pages - 05/10/2022 (Publication Date) - Flatiron Books (Publisher)
New Yorker writer Ken Auletta has a new biography about Harvey Weinstein, the disgraced movie executive and sexual predator, but he tells the New York Times the most evil person he ever met was Roy Cohn: “He was the worst human being I’ve ever met. No one even close.”
Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter quietly celebrated their 76th wedding anniversary, “a milestone that is so rare that the U.S. Census Bureau doesn’t keep statistics on how many couples make it that far,” the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports.
“Six decades after the historic trial in Jerusalem of Adolf Eichmann, one of the chief engineers of the Holocaust, a new Israeli documentary series has delivered a dramatic coda: the boastful confessions of the Nazi war criminal, in his own voice,” the New York Times reports.
“The hours of old tape recordings, which had been denied to Israeli prosecutors at the time of Eichmann’s trial.”
“Eichmann went to the gallows insisting that he was a mere functionary following orders, denying responsibility for the crimes of which he had been found guilty.”
The British Embassy made a July 4th playlist.
“When inflation surged in the late 1970s, President Jimmy Carter convened his top economic advisers for weekly lunch meetings in which they tended to offer overly optimistic forecasts of how high prices would rise,” the New York Times reports.
“But the political consequences of rising prices could not be escaped: By 1978, Democrats had lost seats in the House and Senate. A year later, Mr. Carter’s Treasury secretary, W. Michael Blumenthal, was ousted in a cabinet shake-up. In 1980, Mr. Carter lost his re-election bid in a landslide as the Federal Reserve, intent on bringing inflation down, raised interest rates so aggressively that it tipped the economy into a painful recession.”
“President Biden and the Democrats in power now face a similar predicament as they scramble to tame inflation after a year of telling Americans that price gains would be short-lived. In recent weeks, Mr. Biden has pressed oil refineries to ramp up production, proposed a three-month gas tax holiday and called on the Federal Reserve to do what is needed to cool an overheating economy. But to veterans of the Carter administration, the echoes of the past call for a greater sense of urgency from Mr. Biden despite his limited power to bring prices down.”
David Frum: “The culture war raged most hotly from the ’70s to the next century’s ’20s. It polarized American society, dividing men from women, rural from urban, religious from secular, Anglo-Americans from more recent immigrant groups. At length, but only after a titanic constitutional struggle, the rural and religious side of the culture imposed its will on the urban and secular side. A decisive victory had been won, or so it seemed.”
“The culture war I’m talking about is the culture war over alcohol prohibition. From the end of Reconstruction to the First World War, probably more state and local elections turned on that one issue than on any other. The long struggle seemingly culminated in 1919, with the ratification of the Eighteenth Amendment and enactment by Congress of the National Prohibition Act, or the Volstead Act (as it became known). The amendment and the act together outlawed the manufacture and sale of alcoholic beverages in the United States and all its subject territories. Many urban and secular Americans experienced those events with the same feeling of doom as pro-choice Americans may feel today after the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade.”
“Only, it turns out that the Volstead Act was not the end of the story. As Prohibition became a nationwide reality, Americans rapidly changed their mind about the idea. Support for Prohibition declined, then collapsed. Not only was the Volstead Act repealed, in 1933, but the Constitution was further amended so that nobody could ever try such a thing ever again.”
James Barron: “It was a 1968 October Surprise story that might have changed the course of history.”
“Imagine Hubert Humphrey taking office as President in January 1969, not Richard Nixon. We wouldn’t be at the 50th anniversary of the Watergate break-in, to name just one consequence with wide-reaching effects for American democracy.”
From Roll Call and the Iowa Capital Dispatch on January 5, 2021: Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) told reporters that Vice President Mike Pence wouldn’t be available on January 6 to count the electoral votes for the 2020 presidential election.
Said Grassley: “Well, first of all, I will be — if the Vice President isn’t there and we don’t expect him to be there, I will be presiding over the Senate.”
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