From American Historian Heather Cox Richardson's July 15 letter Read →
Today Americans began to see the concrete effects of the American Rescue Plan show up in their bank accounts, as the expanded child tax credit goes into effect for one year. Through this program, the Child Tax Credit increased to $3,000 per child aged 6 to 17 and $3,600 per child under 6. All working families will get the full credit if they make up to $150,000 for a couple or $112,500 for a family with a single parent. The government sent payments for almost 60 million children on Thursday, totaling $15 billion.
This is a really big deal. In America, one in seven children lives in poverty. This measure is expected to cut that poverty nearly in half. Studies suggest that addressing childhood poverty continues to pay off over time, as it helps adults achieve higher levels of mobility.
But this huge achievement of the Biden presidency—every single Republican voted against it—has taken a backseat in the news to two blockbuster stories about the former president.
The first is the continuing information coming from a forthcoming book by Pulitzer Prize–winning Washington Post reporters Carol D. Leonnig and Philip Rucker called I Alone Can Fix It: Donald J. Trump’s Catastrophic Final Year. Their eye-popping accounts of the days surrounding the January 6 insurrection broke last night with accounts of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley, comparing the former president to Hitler and fearing that he was going to refuse to leave office.
In response, the former president and his supporters are attacking Milley. Fox News Channel personality Tucker Carlson showed an image of Milley with a gay pride flag, an anti-fascist sign, and a reference to “thoroughly modern Milley,” a play on a popular film title from 1967.
The former president released a long and rambling statement, rehashing past grievances, that nonetheless had a statement that stood out. “I never threatened, or spoke about, to anyone, a coup of our Government,” he said. “[I]f I was going to do a coup, one of the last people I would want to do it with is General Mark Milley.” It was an odd denial.
Also interesting in the book excerpts were stories that suggest why Republican leaders were eager to avoid an investigation into the insurrection.
Accounts in the excerpts told of Representative Liz Cheney (R-WY) confronting Representative Jim Jordan (R-OH) during the insurrection. “That f--king guy Jim Jordan,” she allegedly told Milley. “That son of a bitch.... While these maniacs are going through the place, I’m standing in the aisle and he said, ‘We need to get the ladies away from the aisle. Let me help you.’ I smacked his hand away and told him, ‘Get away from me. You f--king did this.’” Cheney has accepted a position on the House select committee to investigate the insurrection, set up after the Republicans killed the bipartisan, independent commission.
Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT), who almost ran into the rioters, also blamed his colleagues. While they were being sheltered in a secure room, he allegedly went up to Senators Josh Hawley (R-MO) and Ron Johnson (R-WI), who had supported Trump’s challenge to the election, and told them: “This is what you have caused."
Along with General Milley and other generals, many of us were apprehensive of what the former president would do after losing the election. Well, he DID incite a coup. On January 6th in broad daylight. And this unthinkable, un-American fact doesn't matter to his followers. No amount of terrifying footage of the insurrection on the Capitol means anything to them. I am as apoplectic at these current events as I was after reading "The Emperor's New Clothes" at an early age. This bad movie gets even worse as we witness the followers wanting to reinstate this psychotic buffoon back to the presidency. I remember when many on the right continually referred to President Obama as the antichrist. I find it odd that I have not heard anyone refer to this evildoer as the antichrist even once.