SARAH BETANCOURT – Massachusetts has the lowest US gun death rates, and John Rosenthal says mass shootings wonâ€™t stop without real national action.
CHARLES M. BLOW – Feel-good gestures from politicians and the police shift no power. Real change lies within a system overhaul.
PAUL STREET – The case for Trumpâ€™s ouster grows stronger by the week. Beyond his possible obstruction of justice, criminal acceptance of foreign emoluments while in office and felonious campaign finance violationsâ€”any one of which could provide grounds for legal proceedings against himâ€”the president has routinely embraced authoritarian rulers around the world and engaged in obvious appeals to violence. He has, at every turn, revealed himself to be entirely unfit for office.
TED GLICK – When did this silence begin? A piece in last weekâ€™s Guardian newspaper reminded me of how far back it goes, to a meeting the White House organized for leaders of environmental groups in March of 2009 at the Old Executive Office building next to the White House. At the meeting, according to the Guardian, aides to Obama made it clear that they did not plan to talk much about climate and wanted their supporters to do the same.
HEATHER RODGERS and SAMANTHA COOK – Environmental groups have long warned that Americaâ€™s ravenous consumption of fossil fuels is not sustainable as a matter of public health or econmic health â€” either on a national or planetary level. But on the heels of a boom in domestic natural gas production â€” most of it the result of the adoption of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking â€” their opponents are in the ascendency. The conservation and convert-to-clean-fuels messages of the environmentalists are increasingly deridedas out of touch, unrealistic, and harmful to the economy.
DAVID ROBERTS – I know lots of websites (including Grist!) allow â€œguest bloggersâ€ to repost stuff. But I think of The Christian Science Monitor as something of an institution. Itâ€™s disappointing to find misleading dreck on its site. Do I have to squint at the small print before I can trust an article on CSM now? Is there no editing? You kids get off my lawn!
DAVID SWANSON – Almost 10,000 Americans have sent messages to the Italian Embassy in Washington thanking Italy’s high court for upholding the conviction of 23 Americans (22 CIA officers and one military official) for the offense of kidnapping a man off the street in Milan on February 17, 2003, and shipping him to Egypt to be brutally tortured.
LORI WALLACH – On Sept. 6, as President Barack Obama promised jobs and transparency in his Democratic National Convention acceptance speech, his top trade officials were cloistered in conditions of extreme secrecy at the Lansdowne resort in Leesburg, Va., negotiating a massive â€œtradeâ€ agreement that will promote more U.S. job offshoring and ban Buy American procurement preferences.
RITIKA SINGH and BENJAMIN WITTES – Political parties in the United States, like a spatting couple in a bad marriage, have been fighting over the law of counterterrorism for more than a decade. And like the spatting couple, they have developed an almost rote script for their fight. The script has a logic of its own. It is a comfortable one for both spousesâ€”and the fight is soothing in its own way. Republicans and Democrats alike wrap up some portion of their partyâ€™s identity and self-image in the conflict over national-security policy. The fight gives each side the impressionâ€”and the confidenceâ€”that the other endangers America. And it gives each side something to tell voters about why they should vote one way rather than another.
LAWRENCE WITTNER – The Republican Party has stood up with remarkable consistency for the post-9/11 U.S. government policies of widespread surveillance, indefinite detention without trial, torture, and extraordinary rendition. It has also supported government subsidies for religious institutions, government restrictions on immigration and free passage across international boundaries, government denial of collective bargaining rights for public sector workers, government attacks on public use of public space (for example, the violent police assaults on the Occupy movement), and government interference with womenâ€™s right to abortion and doctorsâ€™ right to perform it.
LAWRENCE WITTNER – On some issues, there is a serious disconnect between candidates for public office and the public they are hoping to represent. Take the case of Mitt Romney and military spending.