Opinion

Losing everything

What or who is important to you? The recent devastating floods in eastern Kentucky remind us all that life can be swept away in a moment.

Hundreds of families lost everything. One couple lost their house and everything in it, but also lost their family – four children ages under 2 through 8 years old were swept away by the raging flood. One woman who had also lost her house and everything in the house said she and her family were alive, and that’s all that mattered.

None of us wants to lose our houses and everything we’ve worked for most of our lives. However, it’s all junk in comparison to our children and other loved ones.

From the fires of California to the floods of eastern Kentucky to the pummeling of Ukraine by Russia, loss and devastation can come to us all. We don’t want loss. We recoil from natural disasters, invaders or diminishing health.

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A reminder of what Congress can do

Watching the hearings held by the Jan. 6 committee as it delves into the events at the Capitol last year and what lay behind them, I’ve been struck by what you might think of as the “meta-coverage.”

It’s been fascinating to see.

Most news stories, of course, have focused on the alarming revelations uncovered by the committee – in essence, the lengths to which a sitting president and his allies went in trying to short-circuit the clearly expressed will of the American people.

But some coverage has instead focused on how the select committee has gone about its work: the technology it’s using and its careful structuring of the hearings to create a clear narrative of the events leading up to and following the attack on the Capitol.

As Axios’ Mike Allen put it recently, “The committee ditched the flabby traditional format and has methodically built a taut, colorful narrative with a prosecutor’s precision and a cinematographer’s flair.” He and others cite the influence of former ABC News president James Goldston, who, as Allen writes, “has been producing each hearing as if it were a ‘20/20’ episode,” as well as the committee’s discipline in building an easy-to-grasp accretion of facts and testimony.

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