The Washington Post, Aaron Blake, Eugene Scott, 1/20/2021

“Chief Justice Roberts, Vice President Harris. Speaker Pelosi, Leaders Schumer, McConnell, Vice President Pence, my distinguished guests and my fellow Americans, this is America’s day.

This is democracy’s day. A day of history and hope of renewal and resolve through a crucible for the ages. America has been tested anew and America has risen to the challenge. Today, we celebrate the triumph not of a candidate, but of a cause, the cause of democracy….”

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/interactive/2021/01/20/biden-inauguration-speech/

The Washington Post, Annie Linskey, 1/20/2021

“…President Biden has filled the Oval Office with images of American leaders and icons, focusing the room around a massive portrait of Franklin D. Roosevelt that hangs across from the Resolute Desk. It is a clear nod to a president who helped the country through significant crises, a challenge Biden now also faces.

“The Oval Office is synonymous with the power and majesty of the American presidency. All incoming presidents change the decor of the largely symbolic room to offer a sense of their personality and the type of presidency they hope to have. Biden’s is notable for the sheer number of portraits and busts of well-known American historical figures….”

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2021/01/20/biden-oval-office/

The New York Times, Aishwarya Kavi, 1/20/2021

“Mr. Biden’s first actions as president are sharply aimed at sweeping aside former President Donald J. Trump’s pandemic response, reversing his environmental agenda, tearing down his anti-immigration policies, bolstering the teetering economic recovery and restoring federal efforts to promote diversity.

“Mr. Biden has signed an executive order appointing Jeffrey D. Zients as the official Covid-19 response coordinator who will report to the president, in an effort to “aggressively” gear up the nation’s response to the pandemic….

“Though it is not a national mask mandate, which would most likely fall to a legal challenge, Mr. Biden is requiring social distancing and the wearing of masks on all federal property and by all federal employees. He is also starting a ‘100 days masking challenge’ urging all Americans to wear masks and state and local officials to implement public measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus….”

Read more: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/20/us/biden-executive-orders.html

The Washington Post – Opinion. Dana Milbank, 1/19/2020

“…It is a noble sentiment. It is exactly what so many Americans want to hear. But it’s not what the country needs to hear — and it won’t work.

“There can be no unity without truth. There can be no healing without accountability.
“The outgoing president incited a failed coup d’etat. For hours, he declined to call off his supporters as they rampaged through the Capitol, leaving five dead and forcing lawmakers to hide in fear of assassination….”

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2021/01/19/biden-will-offer-unity-healing-first-we-need-truth/

As I write this there are only a few hours left until President-Elect Joe Biden is sworn in as President, and Kamala Harris is sworn in as Vice President.  This is to ask you to join us in watching the Swearing-In. 

The ceremony opens at about 11:30 AM and can be seen on many stations including NPR, CNN, and others.  As our regular readers know, My Rural America’s primary goal is to share information about how national policymaking in Washington affects rural America … and we will soon return to this goal.

But on January 6th, our US Capitol was attacked by its own citizens.  See this short video: 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/video/c/embed/494c074a-8427-4145-9297-4558a1166e5e

41 minutes of shared fear: A video timeline from inside the Capitol siege – The Washington Post

The attack could have meant the loss of democracy for our country.  Fortunately, it did not. 

President-Elect Joe Biden won solidly in the 2020 election with 78 Million voters — more than any other president in our history, and 306 electoral votes — the same number of electoral votes that Donald Trump won in 2016.  As noted in the story below, the attackers acted on misinformation.

The Hill, Alexander Bolton, 1/19/2021

“Outgoing Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Tuesday accused President Trump of provoking the violent crowd that stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.

“‘The last time the Senate convened, we had just reclaimed the Capitol from violent criminals who tried to stop Congress from doing our duty. The mob was fed lies. They were provoked by the president and other powerful people,’ McConnell said on the Senate floor, marking the first convening of the full Senate since the attack.

“McConnell’s statements carry significance ahead of an anticipated Senate impeachment trial….”

Read more: https://thehill.com/homenews/senate/534804-mcconnell-trump-provoked-crowd-that-stormed-capitol

Politico, Natasha Korechi, 1/19/2021

“There is a heightened urgency to Biden’s inaugural speech, as he confronts multiple crises and seeks to bridge a deep political divide….

“Biden will speak at a time when there is a show of force in the nation’s capital, with the center of the district shuttered to the public and thousands of armed troops roaming the streets to stave off the kind of deadly unrest that unfolded inside the Capitol building on Jan. 6….

“But Matt Teper, who worked as a speechwriter for Biden in the Obama White House, predicted Biden would spend little to no time talking about Trump specifically….”

Read more: https://www.politico.com/news/2021/01/19/joe-biden-inaugural-speech-lincoln-460506

The Counter, Sam Bloch, 1/19/2021
“Experts fear that the profound disruptions of 2020—including changes to school lunch—may have a lasting, harmful legacy….

“Kids tend to gain the most weight during the summer. From a health standpoint, 2020 looked like a 10-month summer….”

Read more: https://thecounter.org/covid-19-childhood-obesity-health-school-lunch-crisis/

Smithsonian Magazine Smart News, Norah McGreevy, 1/8/2021

“On Wednesday, far-right insurrectionists stormed and occupied the U.S. Capitol as Congress met to certify the results of the 2020 presidential election. The mob forced lawmakers to flee for safety, smashed windows, vandalized offices and posed for photos in the House chambers….

“Images from the scene show attackers waving the Confederate battle flag in the halls of the Senate….”

Read more: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/history-violent-attacks-capitol-180976704/