Visual source: Newseum
The Times-Picayune looks back at Hurricane Katrina six years after the disaster:
[Memorial] events are important and fitting. We need to gather together to mourn our losses and remember. It is only human to look back.
But Katrina observances aren't limited to retrospection. The disaster that struck on Aug. 29, 2005, was a beginning as well as an ending: the beginning of our recovery as a community, as families, as individuals. The anniversary of the storm is also an occasion to celebrate how far we have come in only six years and to rekindle the energy and hope that has fired our renaissance. [...]
The hard work of rebuilding this community goes on every day, not only on those set apart to commemorate what happened here. But this anniversary is a fitting time to salute that effort and commit to continuing it.
USA Today details the discretionary spending that saves lives during natural disasters and points out it's on the chopping block for ideological reasons:
When lawmakers crow about cuts in discretionary spending, they are being disingenuous at best. They are ignoring the real drivers of government spending while trying to present themselves as fiscally virtuous. What's more, budget cutting often serves as a cover for advancing ulterior motives, typically a desire to hamstring a federal agency.
NOAA, for instance, has been under assault from global-warming deniers — hardly a service to people who simply want to be guided by the best science available, regardless of politics. Meanwhile, the agency needs money for a new weather satellite to replace one that will die in 2016.
This is not to say the discretionary budget is sacrosanct. It most definitely isn't. But a week that featured both an earthquake and a hurricane in the nation's most populous region serves as a reminder of the gap between what Americans expect of their government and their willingness to pay for it. Another term for that gap is the deficit.
Paul Krugman on Rick Perry's radical rejection of climate change and what it means for the GOP:
According to Public Policy Polling, only 21 percent of Republican voters in Iowa believe in global warming (and only 35 percent believe in evolution). Within the G.O.P., willful ignorance has become a litmus test for candidates, one that Mr. Romney is determined to pass at all costs.
So it’s now highly likely that the presidential candidate of one of our two major political parties will either be a man who believes what he wants to believe, even in the teeth of scientific evidence, or a man who pretends to believe whatever he thinks the party’s base wants him to believe. [...]
Now, we don’t know who will win next year’s presidential election. But the odds are that one of these years the world’s greatest nation will find itself ruled by a party that is aggressively anti-science, indeed anti-knowledge. And, in a time of severe challenges — environmental, economic, and more — that’s a terrifying prospect.
The New York Times on Alabama's draconian and cruel immigration law:
The law, which takes effect Sept. 1, is so inhumane that four Alabama church leaders — an Episcopal bishop, a Methodist bishop and a Roman Catholic archbishop and bishop — have sued to block it, saying it criminalizes acts of Christian compassion. It is a sweeping attempt to terrorize undocumented immigrants in every aspect of their lives, and to make potential criminals of anyone who may work or live with them or show them kindness.[...]
You’d think that any state would think twice before embracing a law that so vividly brings to mind the Fugitive Slave Act, the brutal legal and law-enforcement apparatus of the Jim Crow era, and the civil-rights struggle led by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. But waves of anti-immigrant hostility have made many in this country forget who and what we are.
Congress was once on the brink of an ambitious bipartisan reform that would have enabled millions of immigrants stranded by the failed immigration system to get right with the law. This sensible policy has been abandoned. We hope the church leaders can waken their fellow Alabamans to the moral damage done when forgiveness and justice are so ruthlessly denied. We hope Washington and the rest of the country will also listen.
The Chicago Sun-Times on autism and vaccines:
Belief in a false link between vital childhood vaccinations and autism has persisted for years, fueled by bad science and distressed parents searching for answers.
It is time to put this falsehood to rest.
One study after another has found no link, and now the most comprehensive, independent analysis of research on childhood vaccines has come to the same conclusion.
Paul West on the changing dynamics of the Republican field:
Reporting from Washington— Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney may be forced to shake up his strategy to win the Republican presidential nomination now that Texas Gov. Rick Perry has seized the top spot in the latest Gallup poll.
Among Romney's likely shifts: softening his focus on New Hampshire, the first primary state, and starting a more aggressive campaign in Iowa, where the race actually begins.[...]
Also up for discussion inside the Romney camp: an accelerated advertising push, including attack ads against Perry.
E.J. Dionne looks at Dr. King's real legacy:
We tend to honor the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. we want to honor, not the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. who actually existed.
We forget the King who at the time of his ministry was labeled an “extremist,” who explicitly called out “moderates” for urging African Americans to slow down their march to justice, who quite brilliantly used the American creed as a seedbed for searing criticisms of the United States as it existed.[...]
We have rendered King safe so we can honor him. But we should honor him because he did not play it safe. He urged us to break loose from “the paralyzing chains of conformity.” Good advice in every generation — and hard advice, too.
Paul Kane reports on the coming onslaught of the Republican rollback agenda:
House Republicans are planning votes for almost every week this fall in an effort to repeal environmental and labor requirements on business that they say have hampered job growth.
With everyone from President Obama to his Republican challengers in the 2012 campaign focusing on ways to spur economic growth, House Republicans will roll out plans Monday to fight regulations from the National Labor Relations Board, pollution rules handed down by the Environmental Protection Agency and regulations that affect health plans for small businesses. In addition, the lawmakers plan to urge a 20 percent tax deduction for small businesses.