Classic WHY: Just Asking—Media Outfoxed on Spate of Bizarre Shootings?
By Russ Baker
In the wake of the Charleston shootings, it’s worth revisiting this discussion about how—and why—the media discourages deeper scrutiny of violence in the US.


Obama’s Health Care Legacy Sealed
The Roberts Court has spoken and the President’s signature law is now cemented with two key challenges rebuffed by the highest court in the land. Functionally speaking, the 6-3 decision gave a constitutional seal of approval to crucial Federal subsidies that support 6.4 million Americans in 34 states. Legally speaking, any future legal challenges will face two precedent-setting hurdles in any attempt to use the courts to overturn the law. The first challenge was defeated in 2012 by a 5-4 vote.

Obama Has Issued 19 Secret Directives
Yesterday, the President changed official US policy regarding efforts by the families of hostages to pay a ransom to free a loved one. Basically, the President admitted that it’s wrong to prosecute them for trying to free a family member. But, in so doing, the White House unintentionally tripped-up in the numbering of “presidential directives” and had to quickly amend it from PPD-29 to PPD-30… which means that sometime in the last 17 months the President issued PPD-29. But no one knows what that order was or what it did. The cat isn’t out of the bag, but everyone knows that there is a cat in a bag, even though we haven’t been allowed to see the bag.


Our Runaway Spending on the Elderly
Economic commentator Robert J. Samuelson opines on the age-old question of “entitlements” and the growing budget crunch facing decision-makers in the not-so-distant future. Samuelson worries about the long-term health of both Social Security and Medicare. This perennially-punted political question is, perhaps predictably, about to be kicked down the road again as a cast of contenders for 2016 finds itself caught between a desire to win the White House and the reality that the only solution to the problem is to ask Americans—particularly older Americans who turn out to the polls in high numbers—to give up some benefits. Good luck with that.

Five Things That Won’t Work in Iraq
Peter Van Buren points out that, in one form or another, the US has been at war in Iraq since 1990. Think about that for a minute. It’s an obvious, but also quite stunning, point that is easy to forget amidst the hurly-burly of the post-9/11 era. It is also a sobering starting point for Van Buren’s clinical assessment of the five approaches doomed to fail as the US reboots its efforts in Iraq… like more trainers, boots on the ground, aligning with Iran, arming the Kurds and that ever-elusive “political solution.” Say “Goodnight,” Gracie.


Jet Contrails Actually Do Alter the Weather
A lot of people have spent a lot of time speculating about “contrails”—the puffy white pillars of exhaust that trail behind high-flying jets. Some call them “chemtrails” and there are many theories about these rapidly-expanding clouds that often criss-cross the sky in giant grid patterns. But those who think that it’s part of a plan to alter the weather aren’t that far off. Although there is no evidence that the government is using contrails to change the weather, there is plenty of evidence that they influence ground-level temperatures and even local weather patterns… that’s according to a new study published in the International Journal of Climatology.

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