Do I hear the gods of war laughing in the background?
“Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India said on the opening day of the summit meeting that poor nations have the right to burn carbon to grow their economies.“Justice demands that, with what little carbon we can still safely burn, developing countries are allowed to grow,” he wrote in a column published in The Financial Times. “The lifestyles of a few must not crowd out opportunities for the many still on the first steps of the development ladder.”Citing statistics showing that carbon pollution last year was equal to the year before while economic growth continued, Mr. Obama rejected arguments that cleaning up the world’s air would be too costly or lead to poorer lifestyles.“We have proved that strong economic growth and a safer environment no longer have to conflict with one another,” he said.”
Source: Obama, at Conference, Says U.S. Is Partly to Blame for Climate Change – The New York Times
“So it’s worth paying attention to what Mr. Erickson says. And as you might guess, he doesn’t think highly of President Obama’s antiterrorism policies.Still, his response to the attack in Paris was a bit startling. The French themselves are making a point of staying calm, indeed of going out to cafes to show that they refuse to be intimidated. But Mr. Erickson declared on his website that he won’t be going to see the new “Star Wars” movie on opening day, because “there are no metal detectors at American theaters.”Paul KrugmanMacroeconomics, trade, health care, social policy and politics. Health Reform Lives! NOV 23 Fearing Fear Itself NOV 16 Republicans’ Lust for Gold NOV 13 Despair, American Style NOV 9 Austerity’s Grim Legacy NOV 6See More »It’s a bizarre reaction — but when you think about it, it’s part of a larger pattern. These days, panic attacks after something bad happens are the rule rather than the exception, at least on one side of the political divide.Continue reading the main storySign Up for the Opinion Today NewsletterEvery weekday, get thought-provoking commentary from Op-Ed columnists, The Times editorial board and contributing writers from around the world.Consider first the reaction to the Paris attacks. Lightsabers aside, are Mr. Erickson’s fears any sillier than those of the dozens of governors — almost all Republicans — who want to ban Syrian refugees from their states?”
Source: The Farce Awakens – The New York Times
A critical fix Congress could make right now would be to change the law so that a person’s sentence is determined by his role in a drug operation, and not by the entire amount of drugs found in that operation, which is a poor measure of culpability.
One version of the sentencing reform legislation, introduced in the House by Jim Sensenbrenner, Republican of Wisconsin, and Robert Scott, Democrat of Virginia, would have addressed this issue squarely by applying many mandatory minimum sentences only to the leaders of a drug organization. But that smart idea was heavily watered down in the bills passed by the Senate and House Judiciary Committees in recent days. Congress should resurrect this sensible provision, which would go a long way toward bringing some basic fairness and rationality back into the nation’s horribly skewed drug laws.”
Making a real dent in the federal prison population will require broader reforms than what Congress is currently considering.
Source: Cut Sentences for Low-Level Drug Crimes
“The House is expected to vote Thursday on H.R. 4038, the American Security Against Foreign Enemies (SAFE) Act of 2015, which Republican sponsors say “would put in place the most robust national-security vetting process in history” for refugees, one that would “do everything possible to prevent terrorists from reaching our shores.”Conceived partly in response to the Paris attacks, the bill seeks to “pause” admission of Syrian and Iraqi refugees. Though there are real fears of terrorism, this measure represents election-year pandering to the xenophobia that rears up when threats from abroad arise. People who know these issues — law enforcement and intelligence professionals, immigration officials and humanitarian groups — say that this wrongheaded proposal simply would not protect Americans from “foreign enemies.” ”
Source: Refugees From War Aren’t the Enemy – The New York Times
“In California, some gun smugglers use FedEx. In Chicago, smugglers drive just across the state line into Indiana, buy a gun and drive back. In Orlando, Fla., smugglers have been known to fill a $500 car with guns and send it on a ship to crime rings in Puerto Rico.In response to mass shootings in the last few years, more than 20 states, including some of the nation’s biggest, have passed new laws restricting how people can buy and carry guns. Yet the effect of those laws has been significantly diluted by a thriving underground market for firearms brought from states with few restrictions.”
Source: How Gun Traffickers Get Around State Gun Laws – The New York Times