Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images.

“My name’s Joe Biden. I’m a Democrat and I love John McCain.”

Today, the family of Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) held services in his honor in his home state of Arizona. It was part of a four day series of events that will reach its zenith on Saturday when former Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush eulogize the “maverick” who both challenged them in presidential elections.

But on Thursday, it was time for former Vice President (and senator) Joe Biden to honor the man he called his “brother” along with 20 other U.S. senators, family and friends in attendance.


You can watch the full service here.

“I pray you take some comfort knowing that because you shared John with all of us your whole life, the world now shares with you the ache of John’s death,” Biden said to McCain’s family.

Biden has known more than his own share of tragedy, surviving a deadly car crash before coming to the U.S. Senate and more recently losing his son Beau to cancer.

But his eulogy to McCain was focused less on tragedy and more on what makes America so special. And it was something he said was at the very heart of who McCain was as a person.

I was thinking this week about why John’s death hit the country so hard,” Biden said. “I think it’s because they knew that John believed so deeply and so passionately in the soul of America.”

Photo by William Thomas Cain/Getty Images.

Families fight. It’s normal. But for strong families it always comes back to love and respect. McCain and Biden were like family.

"I always thought of John as a brother," Biden said. "We had a hell of a lot of family fights. We go back a long way."

Critics of McCain say he had a bad temper, something he fully admitted himself. But for Biden, the ways they came together for the country and the world greatly outweighed their personal and political differences.

“All politics is personal. It's all about trust. I trusted John with my life and I would and I think he would trust me with his,” Biden said.

Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images.

Biden’s message to the country: things have changed. That doesn’t mean they can’t get better.

“The last day John was on the Senate floor, what was he fighting to do?” Biden said, talking about McCain’s instantly famous decision to give a “thumbs down” to President Trump and the Republican Party’s attempt to repeal Obamacare.

“He was fighting to restore what you call ‘regular order,’” Biden said. “Just have to treat one another again, like we used to.”

“We both loved the Senate, proudest years of my life were being a United States senator,” he said. “We both lamented, watching it change.”

“John’s story is the American story, grounded in respect and decency, basic fairness, the intolerance in the abuse of power,” Biden added.

“To paraphrase Shakespeare, we shall not see his like again.”

Photo by CDC on Unsplash

When schools closed early in the spring, the entire country was thrown for a loop. Parents had to figure out what to do with their kids. Teachers had to figure out how to teach students at home. Kids had to figure out how to navigate a totally new routine that was being created and altered in real time.

For many families, it was a big honking mess—one that many really don't want to repeat in the fall.

But at the same time, the U.S. hasn't gotten a handle on the coronavirus pandemic. As states have begun reopening—several of them too early, according to public health officials—COVID-19 cases have risen to the point where we now have more cases per day than we did during the height of the outbreak in the spring. And yet President Trump is making a huge push to get schools to reopen fully in the fall, even threatening to possibly remove funding if they don't.

It's worth pointing out that Denmark and Norway had 10 and 11 new cases yesterday. Sweden and Germany had around 300 each. The U.S. had 55,000. (And no, that's not because we're testing thousands of times more people than those countries are.)

The president of the country's largest teacher's union had something to say about Trump's push to reopen schools. Lily Eskelsen Garcia says that schools do need to reopen, but they need to be able to reopen safely—with measures that will help keep both students and teachers from spreading the virus and making the pandemic worse. (Trump has also criticized the CDCs "very tough & expensive guidelines" for reopening schools.)

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