The Week That Was (May 28 - June 3, 2021)

The Week That Was (May 28 - June 3, 2021)

Context, perspective, and yes, even a little “shade.”

Every Friday, I take a look back at the week that was, mostly as seen through my Twitter feed:

In our democracy, it is our hope that elected politicians the will of the people but also, the best traits of the people. Last Friday, we saw neither. We saw fear override common sense. Senate Republicans used the filibuster to block the creation of an independent commission to investigate the January 6 insurrection at the Capitol. (The final vote was 54 - 30. The bipartisan commission bill needed 60 votes to proceed and bypass the filibuster.) Put simply, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and his compatriots are fearful of where the commission’s findings would lead. This all boils down to one question: Can the Republican Party handle the truth? The answer is a clear, resounding, no.

After an unsurprising, yet still disappointing, show of Republican spinelessness, Saturday lifted my spirits considerably when I saw an occasion worthy of some celebration. No marriage is the same, but every marriage is an adventure and a leap of faith. To take the jump and make a partnership work, takes honesty, care, effort, and a bit of courage. So a big tip of the Stetson to the parents of Nell Minow. 72 years of marriage is quite a feat (talk about Steady!) It is also a milestone that I hope to reach with my wife, Jean —we’re 64 years and counting. Every day with her is a gift.

Time has a way of slipping past —suddenly days have quietly turned into years without any notice. That’s why it’s so important to value the present moment. As the phrase goes, “stop and smell the roses.” Or in this case, dwarf pansies. This story of the reappearance of a rare flower reminded me that we have the power to cherish each moment, each day in our lives. If we make the most of it, maybe we can bloom too.

Sunday showed that flowers were not the only things blooming. So was outrage. When Vice President Kamala Harris tweeted, “Enjoy the long weekend” Fox News understood it as a direct assault and degradation of the true purpose of Memorial Day. That rebuke did not apply to their own organization, however. Less than half an hour later, they were tweeting the latest trends in Memorial Day cocktails. Fox News, it’s hard to hear the significance of your message over the margarita blender. If I can offer a word of advice, next time don’t drink and ride your high horse.

(For those who want to read or listen to our reflection on Memorial Day during a time of pandemic, click here.)

Speaking of drinks, here’s a shot courtesy of Texas Senate Republicans: racism, straight up, no chaser. Senate Bill 7 features a slew of voting restrictions and election changes, including limiting early voting hours, eliminating drive-thru voting, restricting voting by mail, and more.

The bill is designed to have fewer people vote, with measures that will particularly impact Black people and people of color. This shameful power grab shows, once again, that Republicans cannot handle the truth and deeply fear it.

That fear even extends to the governor of the great state of Texas. After House Democrats staged a walkout to break quorum and block the passage of Senate Bill 7, Governor Abbot fired back. On Monday he threatened to veto Article 10 of the state budget, which funds the legislative branch —effectively stripping funding and salaries for lawmakers and legislative staff from the upcoming fiscal year which starts September 1st. (Abbott has until June 20 to veto legislation.) I suppose, “Don’t mess with Texas” doesn’t apply to those pushing an agenda, huh Governor?

While Abbott is trying to mimic Trump-style politics in the Lone Star State, back in the nation’s capital, the marquee of the Trump name is taking a hit - quite literally. On Tuesday, the Washington Post reported that the Trump Organization. is trying to sell the lease to its Washington DC hotel… again, after an unsuccessful attempt in 2019. I don’t blame potential clients and buyers for taking their business elsewhere. Between sharing a bed with Putin and the size of the Donald’s ego, it’d be a tight fit.

The Trump Hotel had been a magnet for those seeking access to the last administration and its tenuous ethical lines. It was a place for the MAGA set to fete and be feted. But one celebration I can pretty much be certain won’t take place at that hotel is a party for my old friend Andy Cohen, who celebrated his birthday on Wednesday. I remember the day I met Andy, oh so many years ago at CBS News. Even back then he was a nuclear power plant of energy, rearing to go and full of talent and ideas. It’s been a pleasure to see his successes over the years and to work with him again at RadioAndy (SiriusXM channel 102). But more important than his many contributions to television and media, is his character. Andy is a wonderful person, full stop. All the best to you, my friend.

And while we’re celebrating, let’s give a cheer to Anheuser-Busch for helping convince Americans to get vaccinated. (Hold the drinks for Fox News though.) And a hearty hoorah to the researchers who made the vaccine possible, Yay Science!

The rising vaccination rate is a big win for the Biden Administration. Not bad for a man who has apparently been stuck in his basement. On Thursday photos came out of the President and the First Lady celebrating the latter’s 70th birthday via pedals and spokes. Sort of playing against the Fox News-driven stereotypes? But after the previous dustup over Joe and his Peloton, I can imagine it felt good to hit the open road.

Finally, I always like ending a week with a little awe and wonder of nature. Holy Moths, Batman!

Well that’s a walk through some of the week as I saw it. See you here again next Friday. Have a great weekend.