Thumbs up to the Biden administration and those who are communicating and cooperating reasonably with a government that is stable, reasonable and restoring America to its citizens and the world.

The new administration is re-establishing the norms of American democracy that have been absent the last four years. This turnaround has occurred in a matter of two weeks.

President Joe Biden has been meeting with Republicans and having civil discussions. He’s reached out to our allies and re-established friendships and respect. He speaks to all of the American people and has not once resorted to name-calling. (What a low bar, right?)

He has surrounded himself with competent and intelligent people who have quickly attacked a number of problems that grew without the help of any transition team of the previous administration. He is holding regular press conferences and not demeaning and debasing the press, the Fourth Estate of American government.

America, and the world, is breathing a collective sign of relief.

McConnell’s stand

Thumbs up to GOP Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s condemnation of freshman Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga.

McConnell labeled Greene’s “loony lies” a “cancer for the Republican Party.”

There are no limits on Greene’s lunacy. A QAnon conspiracy fan, she has said no airplane hit the Pentagon and that 9/11 was faked. Greene said horrifying school shootings were staged and that the Clintons crashed JFK Jr.’s airplane. And those are just a few of her bizarre falsehoods.

She recently recanted many of those statements before and after she had been brought before the House where she was stripped of her committee assignments.

Despite her instability, the GOP put her on, of all things, the House education committee. Democrats stripped her of those committee assignments Thursday. Now the GOP is trying to find its way as Trump adherents and mainline Republicans fight for the future soul of the party.

McConnell, who spent the past four years deferring to Trump, appears to now be on the right side of the GOP’s internal debate. He will need other Republican leaders to join him in shedding the party of Trump and all of its conspiracies and falsehoods.

More vaccines, please

Thumbs up to the coming third vaccine against the novel coronavirus. Johnson & Johnson on Thursday formally submitted its formula to federal regulators for emergency approval.

One obvious advantage to the J&J vaccine, as compared to the already-in-use two-dose vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna, is that it’s a one-dose vaccine. Another is that it is a more easily handled vaccine. It may be slightly less effective than the other two, but the data released so far says it’s still good enough to use in this global pandemic.

Dr. Anthony Fauci said months ago that humanity will need multiple vaccines to break the pandemic. The vaccines from J&J and AstraZenica — being used heavily in the United Kingdom but not yet submitted to U.S. regulators — gives the West four. Russia and China have formulas of their own.

The urgency remains. While it is wise to subject the J&J vaccine to the same scrutiny that the others did, let us hope it is approved without undue delay, and that J&J can ramp up production.

Loss of a leader

Thumbs down to the death of Capt. Sir Tom Moore, the centenarian who inspired the United Kingdom with his fundraising walks around his garden. He died of COVID-19, three months before his 101st birthday.

The British World War II vet became an international sensation last spring when his offer to raise money for the U.K.’s National Health Service collected more than $40 million in pledges.

He would make laps with his walker around his garden, wearing a coat, tie and military medals on his chest.

His charitable efforts and energy inspired and cheered up people around the world as it dealt with the pandemic.

And now COVID has claimed a very visible and valued adversary.

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