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Charles Blow blames Republicans and their ‘blood pact with the NRA’ for Las Vegas massacre

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The gun control debate is essentially over, according to Charles Blow — who said it’s time to examine the harmful pairing of the Republican Party and the NRA.

“In a way, the gun-control debate had been dying all along,” Blow wrote in Thursday’s New York Times.

Blow said the debate died a little bit when Americans accepted having as many guns as people and enduring the gun-related deaths of more than 30,000 people a year, and the debate died further with the rise in gun sales after mass shootings.

“The fact here is that the NRA, the gun lobby and their congressional co-conspirators have, unfortunately, won this round,” Blow wrote. “They have proved that the fear of infringement is thicker than the blood of children.”

But he said the death of that debate opened the door to a new one, aimed at the promotion of fear and paranoia over public health and safety by the gun lobby and their Republican enablers.

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“Many people who buy guns are simply racked with an irrational fear, one of several concocted and promoted by the NRA: fear of crime or fear of government,” Blow wrote. “Either way, the logical conclusion of these fears is apocalyptic. Crime is simply not as pervasive as people think; weapons are harder to get and properly use in response to crime than people think, and the government is neither nearing tyranny and totalitarianism (although I sometimes think it would be if this administration had its druthers) nor plotting confiscations.”

He said it’s time to wind down the fear stoked by the NRA and GOP, and examine why they’re so dependent on paranoia.

“Republicans made a blood pact with the NRA, and that has prevented us from making any progress,” Blow wrote. “Individual Americans are going to have to awaken to the reality that our gun hoarding has become a hysteria and we are actually safer as a country with fewer weapons, rather than with more of them.”

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‘White Identity Politics’ and white backlash: How we wound up with a racist in the White House

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Today's Republican Party is the largest, most powerful and most dangerous white racist organization in the United States -- if not the world. Donald Trump, the president of the United States, is its leader. These are plain if not understated facts. No embellishment is needed. The examples are many.  Over the last few days Donald Trump has repeatedly dug into his bucket of racist political scatology, saying on Twitter and elsewhere that four nonwhite members of Congress ("Progressive' Democrat Congresswomen," as he mockingly put it) should leave America and go back to their own "crime infested" and "totally broken" countries.

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Trump’s packed Supreme Court backs ‘forced arbitration’ that bars workers from taking abusive bosses to court

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Corporations are rapidly rendering sexual harassment, race and gender discrimination, life-threatening workplaces and wage theft immune to employee legal action.

They achieve this by forcing the vast majority of non-union private-sector workers to sign away their rights to go to court or use class or collective arbitration. Instead many millions of workers are being forced to forgo these efficient legal ways to resolve issues and to file individual arbitration claims.

A new report from the Economic Policy Institute and the Center for Popular Democracy says that by 2024 more than 80% of non-union private-sector workers will find courthouse doors chained shut by forced arbitration clauses that ban lawsuits and collective actions. (EPI is a nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank created in 1986 to press the needs of low- and middle-income workers in economic policy discussions.)

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Corporations can legally put carcinogens in our food without warning labels — here’s why

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A recent study by the Environmental Working Group revealed something horrifying: Glyphosate, the active ingredient in the popular weedkiller Roundup, was present in 17 of the 21 oat-based cereal and snack products at levels considered unsafe for children. That includes six different brands of Cheerios, one of the most popular American cereals.

I've written before about the limits of corporate free speech when it comes to public safety, but on that occasion I discussed this insofar as it involved corporate-sponsored climate change denialism. Yet here we have something more tangible, more direct: The safe glyphosate limit for children is 160 parts per billion (ppb), yet Honey Nut Cheerios Medley Crunch has 833 parts per billion and regular Cheerios has 729 ppb. While the potential risks of glyphosate are fiercely debated, many scientists believe that it is linked to cancer.

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