HONOLULU — When Japanese bombs began falling on Pearl Harbor, U.S. Navy Seaman 1st Class David Russell first sought refuge below deck on the USS Oklahoma. But a split-second decision on that December morning 80 years ago changed his mind, and likely saved his life. “They started closing that hatch. And I decided to get out of there,” Russell, now 101, said in a recent interview. Within 12 minutes his battleship would capsize under a barrage of torpedoes. Altogether 429 sailors and Marines from the Oklahoma would perish — the greatest death toll from any ship that day other than the USS Arizona, which lost 1,177. Russell plans to return to Pearl Harbor on Tuesday for a ceremony in remembrance of the more than 2,300 American troops killed in the Dec. 7, 1941, attack that launched the U.S. into World War II.
ATLANTA — Former U.S. Sen. David Perdue will challenge Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp for governor, he announced Monday, setting up a bitter 2022 Republican primary fight while Democrat Stacey Abrams is likely to await the winner. Perdue had been flirting with the bid for months, encouraged publicly by former President Donald Trump. The 71-year-old former senator said he was running to stop Abrams from becoming governor and claimed Kemp would lose to her in November because some hard-core Trump Republicans oppose Kemp.
WASHINGTON — House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy appears to have settled on a strategy to deal with a handful of Republican lawmakers who have stirred outrage with violent, racist and sometimes Islamophobic comments. If you can't police them, promote them. The path to power for Republicans in Congress is now rooted in the capacity to generate outrage. The alarming language, and the fundraising haul it increasingly produces, is another example of how Donald Trump, the former president, has left his mark on politics, changing the way Republicans rise to influence and authority. Success in Congress, once measured by bills passed and constituents reached, is now gauged in many ways by the ability to attract attention, even if it is negative as the GOP looks to reclaim a House majority next year by firing up Trump's most ardent supporters. That has helped elevate a group of far-right lawmakers — including Reps. Lauren Boebert of Colorado, Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia and Paul Gosar of Arizona — whose inflammatory comments once would have made them pariahs. Rather than face punishment for personal attacks that violate longstanding norms of Congress, they've been celebrated by conservatives, who have showered Boebert and Greene with campaign cash.