On Day 12, it was “meet the moment” or bust—and Big Tech is all hands on deck.
Full Speed Ahead on COVID Relief—With Or Without Republicans.
On Sunday, Biden met with ten Republican Senators who presented details of an alternate economic relief bill one-third the size of the American Rescue Plan.
The official readout notes, in part:
The President expressed his hope that the group could continue to discuss ways to strengthen the American Rescue Plan as it moves forward, and find areas of common ground — including work on small business support and nutrition programs. He reiterated, however, that he will not slow down work on this urgent crisis response, and will not settle for a package that fails to meet the moment.
“To meet the moment” is shaping up to be a signature phrase for supporters of the President, used recently by Sen. Chuck Schumer, Rep. Ilhan Omar, Sen. Tammy Duckworth, and others to describe Biden’s planned actions to fight COVID-19. “Meeting the moment” is a foregone conclusion—no matter what Biden does in office—because the standard is completely unmeasurable.
So Why Are We Circling Back?
The White House press office has reportedly been asking reporters in advance what they plan to ask in the briefing room.
Some members of the press corps raised the issue on a White House Correspondents Association (WHCA) call, with WHCA leaders advising journalists to push back or not respond. The White House did not deny the allegation, characterizing the exchanges as “regularly engaging with the reporters who will be in the briefing room to understand how the White House can be most helpful in getting them the information they need.”
Invitations to “circle back” have been plentiful nonetheless.
Biden Finds A Friend in Facebook.
Facebook can’t wait to cooperate with Joe Biden, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said on January 21.
In remarks on a leaked conference call recorded by Project Veritas, Zuckerberg noted that Biden “has already issued a number of executive orders on areas that we as a company really care quite deeply about.”
“I think that these were all important and positive steps, and I am looking forward to opportunities where Facebook is going to be able to work together with this new administration on some of their top priorities, starting with the COVID response,” he said.
On Black History Month, Biden’s Somber Statement Finds Nothing to Celebrate.
Biden’s statement on February 1 marking the beginning of Black History Month contains no references to any African American historical figures or specific achievements, and strictly refers to events of 2020 and 2021 with actual and purported links to racial justice issues.
The statement also contained this line indicting America as a whole: “We have never fully lived up to the founding principles of this nation that all people are created equal and have the right to be treated equally throughout their lives.”
Statements from former President Trump on the same occasion explicitly acknowledged the “inhuman conditions, discrimination, and prolonged hardship” that accompanied the 1619 arrival of the slave trade to the American colonies—and the “the vibrant culture, singular accomplishments, and groundbreaking triumphs that we honor and celebrate,” recognizing African American icons by name.