Doug Mastriano first burst onto the national scene on Nov. 25, 2020, when he led a hearing in Gettysburg during which aggrieved Republican voters, Rudy Giuliani, and former President Donald Trump himself aired baseless allegations of fraud in the presidential election. But Mastriano, a GOP state senator from Franklin County, couldn’t have pulled that off by himself: A colleague, State Sen. Dave Argall, let Mastriano use the panel he chaired to host the hearing. It was a harbinger of things to come. For weeks leading up to Mastriano’s victory Tuesday in the Republican primary for Pennsylvania g...
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Climate change activists all around the world have been cringing in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in West Virginia v. Environmental Protection Agency. In late June, the High Court ruled, 6-3, that the Clean Air Act of 1963 doesn’t give the EPA broad authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from power plants.
The High Court’s decision comes at a time when climate change is asserting itself in a variety of devastating ways, from record flooding in Sydney, Australia — where around 50,000 people have been ordered to evacuate their homes — to wildfires in California.
Liberal economist and New York Times opinion writer Paul Krugman slams the Supreme Court in his July 4 column, arguing that the 6-3 majority of Republican-appointed justices is doing its part to make a bad problem even worse.
“The megadrought in the western United States has reduced Lake Mead to a small fraction of its former size, and it now threatens to become a ‘dead pool’ that can no longer supply water to major cities,” Krugman observes. “Climate change is already doing immense damage, and it’s probably only a matter of time before we experience huge catastrophes that take thousands of lives. And the Republican majority on the Supreme Court just voted to limit the Biden Administration’s ability to do anything about it.”
Krugman adds, however, that as “bad” as the Supreme Court’s ruling in West Virginia v. Environmental Protection Agency was, some climate change activists expected it to be even more “sweeping.”
“I guess, given where we are, objectively bad decisions must be graded on a curve,” Krugman comments. “And for what it’s worth, I have a suspicion that at least some of the Republican justices understood the enormity of what they were doing and tried to do as little as possible while maintaining their party fealty. For party fealty is, of course, what this is all about.”
Krugman continues, “Anyone who believes that the recent series of blockbuster Court rulings reflects any consistent legal theory is being willfully naïve: Clearly, the way this Court interprets the law is almost entirely determined by what serves Republican interests. If states want to ban abortion, well, that’s their prerogative. If New York has a law restricting the concealed carrying of firearms, well, that’s unconstitutional. And partisanship is the central problem of climate policy.”
The Times columnist points out that “letting the planet burn” and promoting a “looming apocalypse” wasn’t always a “key GOP tenet.”
“The Environmental Protection Agency, whose scope for action the Court just moved to limit, was created by none other than Richard Nixon,” Krugman notes. “As late as 2008 John McCain, the Republican nominee for president, ran on a promise to impose a cap-and-trade system to limit greenhouse gas emissions. Republican positioning on the environment is also completely unlike that of mainstream conservative parties in other western nations.”
Krugman makes a distinction between “mainstream conservative parties” and “authoritarian” far-right parties like “Hungary’s Fidesz or Poland’s Law and Justice,” arguing that the GOP has more in common with Fidesz.
“Why, exactly, are authoritarian right-wing parties anti-environment?” Krugman writes. “That’s a discussion for another day. What’s important right now is that the United States is the only major nation in which an authoritarian right-wing party — which lost the popular vote in seven of the past eight presidential elections yet controls the Supreme Court — has the ability to block actions that might prevent climate catastrophe.”
While the United States Catholic bishops continue a debate over whether politicians should get communion, another group of bishops is working on making desperate deals with drug traffickers, Vice News said citing Mexican newspaper Milenio.
“There is a need for a social pact,” said Bishop Sigifredo Noriega. “A pact where even the bad guys could have a say.”
The "bad guys" he's talking about are organized crime groups that have been increasing decades-long violence in Mexico. The Catholic church is estimated to have multiple billions of dollars but they're not about to use it for a holy war against the drug cartels in Central America.
Two priests were killed last month in church and they are searching for solutions. The assumption seems to be that giving them "a say" might persuade the narcos to work cooperatively within the community to traffick their drugs without so many murders.
"The bishop of Zacatecas suggested 'directly speaking' with members of organized crime," said the report. It explained, "Zacatecas is one of Mexico’s states most affected by violence related to drug trafficking, and is leading in the ranking on murders this year."
Father Javier Campos was 79 years old when he was murdered and Father Joaquín Mora was 80. Their deaths are said to be a result of drug boss José Noriel Portillo “El Chueco” (of the Sinaloa Cartel) chased a tourist guide into the church. The priests tried to protect the man but they were all three killed, said Chihuahua state authorities. They were then dumped two days later about 125 miles from the church.
"The murder of the Jesuit priests reinforces the call to examine the security strategy in Mexico, as we are experiencing a wave of historical violence: the number of murders so far this six-year term exceeds 122,000 people," the Archdiocese of Mexico said in an editorial.
Jason Daxon, 25, was shot multiple times in a road rage incident in Georgia, and his family thinks it was racially motivated, WSB-TV reports.
“It’s just a senseless racist act of violence,” said Daxon's fiancé Angeline Peterson.
“The man just shot through his own window into Jason’s car: he tried to kill him, he tried to kill him,” said Peterson. “It’s not like he was doing anything to antagonize this man, he was just simply trying to pass him on the road, and the man would not let him in.”
Video of the incident was posted to social media and shows 61-year-old Wade McEwan pulling alongside Daxon and firing multiple shots through the window into Daxon's vehicle. Daxon was hit once in the arm and once in the back.
Daxon is reportedly a Grammy nominated songwriter. He survived the shooting but was hospitalized in critical condition. McEwan was arrested and charged with aggravated assault, reckless conduct and reckless driving.