Exclusive: With solid Republican opposition and many Democrats scared of the gun lobby, Congress is turning its back on a renewed assault weapons ban, a collapse made easier by the refusal of Newtown officials to release crime-scene photos of the bullet-riddled bodies of 20 first-graders, writes Robert Parry.
Even as Democratic leaders propose gun-safety laws – after the slaughter of 20 first-graders in Newtown – they try to sound “reasonable” by genuflecting to the myth of Second Amendment “rights.” But this acceptance of right-wing propaganda is dooming these life-saving initiatives, says Beverly Bandler.
For years, the NRA and the American Right have played games with some imprecise wording in the Second Amendment, which was always about a state’s right to have a well-regulated militia, but now those games are distorting U.S. foreign policy, too, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
Though the Voting Rights Act was overwhelming reauthorized by Congress in 2006, the five Republican justices on the U.S. Supreme Court may gut the law in the name of “states’ rights.” Justice Scalia led the way with provocative, offensive and even weird arguments, notes William Boardman.
The American Religious Right has been eager to tear down – or chip away – the wall that separates government from religion and thus declare the United States a “Christian nation.” But the principle of a secular state has served the country well, says retired Baptist Minister Howard Bess.
Exclusive: After a messy confirmation — which asked new questions about drone assassinations and old questions about enhanced interrogations — John Brennan has taken over at CIA. But his past may not be so easily forgotten in a world looking for accountability, writes ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern.
There was a time in America when someone like Ramsey Clark could be Attorney General and assert the power of the federal government on the side of civil rights, but that now seems like ancient history, as Clark reflects on the past and present with Dennis J. Bernstein.
Exclusive: In the U.S. system, the “supreme law” of the land is set by the Constitution and the federal government, though states, counties and cities have wide discretion over local matters. But problems arise when right-wingers start espousing the notion of “state sovereignty,” says Robert Parry.
After the Civil War, Reconstruction tried to suppress white racism but was aborted prematurely leading to a near century of Jim Crow segregation in the South. Now, five right-wingers on the U.S. Supreme Court are contemplating a replay by stabbing at the heart of the Voting Rights Act, writes Lawrence Davidson.
The NRA’s rejection of virtually all gun-safety proposals is not only a repudiation of common sense but a bare-knuckle assertion of right-wing power, money and propaganda over the desire of most Americans to better protect themselves and their kids from guns. It will take a determined electorate to prevail, says Beverly Bandler.