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“A Broken Land”: Biden and the True Costs of Unity

By Evan OsnosJanuary 21, 2021In launching his Presidency around the pursuit of unity, Biden will immediately face the hard political calculations of making it concrete—a challenge worthy of his “whole soul.”Photograph by Hector Emanuel for The New YorkerThe Inauguration of Joe Biden as the forty-sixth President was the culmination of stories long and...

Jewel Tones and Bernie Sanders’s Mittens: Inauguration Day Fashion 2021

At Joe Biden’s Inauguration, Jill Biden wore a relatively unknown designer, Alexandra O’Neill, and chose to wear the color blue “for the pieces to signify trust, confidence, and stability.”Photograph by Patrick Semansky / AFP / GettyIt was a strong day for coats. Senator Bernie Sanders, for instance, arrived at the most pomp-heavy and paparazzied political...

Joe Biden’s Cancellation of the Keystone Pipeline Is a Landmark in the Climate Fight

Demonstrators gather in front of the White House to protest the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, in the summer of 2011.Photograph by Melissa Golden / ReduxIn his first hours in office, Joe Biden has settled—almost certainly, once and for all—one of the greatest environmental battles this country has seen. He has cancelled the permit allowing the Keystone...

The Best Inaugural Music Moments

At Joe Biden’s Inauguration, Jennifer Lopez, aglow in an all-white ensemble, performed a medley of “This Land Is Your Land” and “America the Beautiful.”Photograph by Alex Wong / GettyLive music has been a significant part of every Presidential Inauguration since 1789, when George Washington journeyed on horseback from Mount Vernon to New York City,...

Can the COVID-19 Vaccine Beat the Proliferation of New Virus Mutations?

Viruses are always looking for hidden opportunities that mutations create, much as hackers search out flaws in application codes.Photograph by Alex Lentati / LNP / ShutterstockAll viruses change. SARS-CoV-2 had been remarkably stable as it coursed around the world, being so well adapted to the human host. This stability allowed the development of vaccines...

Trump Wanted a Big Sendoff—and Didn’t Get It

President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump board Air Force One at Joint Base Andrews, on Wednesday, before heading off to Palm Beach, Florida.Photograph by Pete Marovich / NYT / GettyThe grubby part of a glistening Inauguration Day played out just before 9 A.M., at Joint Base Andrews, where Donald Trump had come to say goodbye to the Presidency....

Amanda Gorman’s Inaugural Poem Is a Stunning Vision of Democracy

Gorman pairs the word “democracy” with “delay,” which tells us that democracy is a thing expected, anticipated—not a thing that we have built, or possessed, but a dream.Photograph by Chris Kleponis / CNP / ABACA / ReutersAmong the firsts in Amanda Gorman’s inaugural poem, “The Hill We Climb,” is the concept of democracy that it assumed. Democracy, according...

Joe Biden’s Love Letter to the Truth

On Wednesday, Joe Biden’s presence where pro-Trump rioters had recently smashed and looted was a victory for democracy and a rebuke of his predecessor.Photograph by Patrick Semansky / GettyWords matter. Just two weeks ago, Donald Trump’s words—his lies—were powerful enough to send a crazed mob into the Capitol, seeking to overturn the democratic will...

Janet Yellen’s Confirmation Hearing Provides a Glimpse Into the Biden Era

As Janet Yellen’s Senate hearing made clear, the most pressing economic task is fixing the mess that the departing President made of the pandemic.Phtoograph by Alex Wong / GettyThe Biden era in Washington got under way on Tuesday morning, with a Senate confirmation hearing for Janet Yellen, the President’s pick for Treasury Secretary. The seventy-four-year-old...

Joe Biden Will Have to Address the War in Afghanistan—Again

This time around, for President Biden, the war in Afghanistan is not as consequential for the U.S., yet American troops remain in the country as the fight grinds on.Photograph by Jacquelyn Martin / APWhen Joe Biden became Vice-President, in 2009, tens of thousands of American troops were fighting a spreading Taliban insurgency in Afghanistan, and the...

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