F. Scott Fitzgerald responded with 10 pages of handwritten comments.
Among them: “slow and needs cutting…rather gassy…definitely dull…offensive…too glib.” But in his notes, which are now among Hemingway’s papers at the JFK Presidential Library, he also called it a “beautiful book” and urged Hemingway to end what would eventually be titled, “A Farewell to Arms,” with a “wonderful” passage that included these lines:
But President Joe Biden invoked it Thursday evening to sum up the year-long pandemic: “Finding light in the darkness is a very American thing to do…We have seen front-line and essential workers risking their lives, sometimes losing them, to save and help others, researchers and scientists racing for a vaccine, and so many of you, as Hemingway wrote, being strong in all the broken places.”
The President held out hope that every adult American could be eligible for a vaccine by May 1 — and that people could safely gather in small groups for traditional July 4 family barbecues. “When Biden speaks about the pandemic, when he implores Americans to do their part, when he speaks about losses, and about his determination to defeat the virus,” wrote Frida Ghitis, “there’s a striking earnestness in his demeanor. He promises to tell the truth. We’ve all learned to become cynical, skeptical of politicians, but Biden sounds, as he might say, like the real deal.”
Republicans and relief
The bill put members of the opposition party in Congress in an odd position: Covid relief is widely popular. Most Americans are going to welcome the arrival of thousands of dollars in their bank accounts, and businesses, schools and local and state governments will benefit. But not a single Republican legislator voted for it. As CNN’s Manu Raju noted, Sen. Roger Wicker of Mississippi even tweeted in support of $28.6 billion in aid to restaurants — despite having voted against the bill.
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For many, this week’s anniversary of the declaration of the pandemic was an emotional moment, a time to look back at all that has been lost and to look ahead at our aspirations for a return to normal life.
When Tess Taylor found out she was eligible for a shot, she took her 9-year-old son, “put on our favorite music in the car, got celebratory frozen yogurt and headed out” to the Oakland coliseum where FEMA workers directed them through a maze of traffic cones to a tent where “Keith, the masked man with kind eyes, was jabbing my shoulder, and I didn’t have to look. He said something nice to my son — ‘I bet you’re quite a slugger!’ — and poof, we were pulling ahead to the place where we could honk our horn in case anything goes wrong, except no one was honking….”
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Biden’s administration is the third one in a row to face a crisis at the southern border, wrote Raul A. Reyes: “The number of migrant children detained at the border has tripled in the last two weeks, and the government is straining to process them in a timely manner.”
Meghan, Harry and Oprah
Amid a chorus of sympathy for Harry and Meghan after the interview, Piers Morgan drew attention, first with his assertion that he didn’t believe what the duchess said — and then, after a co-host criticized his comments, for walking off the set of his British morning TV show
Carol Bryant isn’t happy with the way the Bidens are treating Major, “the first shelter dog to live in the White House.” Bryant is past president of the Dog Writers Association of America and winner of the organization’s “Best Dog Blog” award.
Major and the Bidens’ older dog, Champ, both German Shepherds, were banished to Delaware after a “biting incident” at the White House which injured a Secret Service officer.
On the positive side, Bryant noted, “How great that a not-so-average Joe walked into a shelter and gave an unwanted pet a second chance. We need more Joes in the world giving dogs like Major forever homes.”