A Bakery Owner’s Free Cakes Just Sweetened the Day for High Schoolers in Several States

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Bakery owner Bill Hanisch knew what to do when his old high school’s graduation ceremonies were called off: He announced that he’d bake hundreds of free personalized cakes, and appreciation came so fast that parents and administrators offered donations if he’d bake for their schools too. He’s taken almost 1,000 orders from towns along the Mississippi River in Minnesota and Wisconsin.

School colors decorate the cakes, with mini diplomas, “Congrats,” and student names. “It’s really taken off and we’re all loving it,” Hanisch said. Any way you slice it, cake news right now is like icing on the devastation and challenges that mark the pandemic, and stories of sweetness don’t always sit right when pain is growing. But acts of generosity, creative compassion, and community strength are rising. Recharge salutes Hanisch Bakery and the Washington Post’s Cathy Free for highlighting it.

Back to business:

We asked, you answered. Recharge asked yesterday if you think President Trump deserves immunity on Twitter because he’s a powerful world figure whose lies, harassment, and abuse we need to record regardless of violations. Reader James McKendry of Petersburg, Virginia, writes: “Twitter should remove access…Enough people can make a difference. Mitch McConnell said no more relief money and it looks like he felt pressure to rethink his position. Taking on the president may sound big, but he is truly a little man. Let’s do this.”

More fight left. The first woman to earn the title of chess grandmaster while playing for the United States, and a seven-time US champion, Irina Krush is crushing more than the competition: She’s beating back the coronavirus. The world learned that she’d contracted the virus and was suffering badly—admitted to the hospital twice—weeks later. She’d kept it to herself, sharing it only when she started to feel better. She’s back to demolishing humans. (I was one of Krush’s fallen, defeated when we were kids in a matchup on board four, with former world champion Anatoly Karpov on board one. Krush eviscerated me; her opening attack was strategic, sacrificing a pawn for positional advantage in a queen’s gambit. And no I’m not the Daniel King who’s an international chess champion, live broadcaster, and author of 15 books.) What Krush sees, she destroys. The virus stood no chance.

H/T to Krush’s longtime friend and chess rival, and poker star, Jennifer Shahade for organizing the online women’s tournament Isolated Queens II in response to the pandemic.

Spin the daily blog at motherjones.com/recharge, and make it shine at recharge@motherjones.com.

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REAL QUICK, REAL URGENT

Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

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