Tribune News Service

Op-Ed Budget for Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Updated at 4:30 a.m. EDT (0830 UTC)

This budget is now available on the Web at www.TribuneNewsService.com, with direct links to stories and art. See details at the end of the budget.


^Commentary: Blaming mental health for mass shootings shows 'complete lack of understanding' of gun violence in America<

^MASS-SHOOTINGS-MENTALHEALTH-COMMENTARY:BZ—<GOP pivots towards mental health, video games and rates of interpersonal gun violence in urban centers like Chicago in the wake of mass carnage are both disingenuous and tiring. It shows a complete lack of understanding about gun violence in America and an even greater lack of conviction in addressing it.

800 by Louise A. Flavahan. MOVED


^Commentary: Scientists can't be trusted on gene editing<

^GENE-EDITING-PROGRESSIVE-COMMENTARY:MCT—<In mid-July, a bipartisan trio of U.S. senators — Democrats Dianne Feinstein of California and Jack Reed of Rhode Island and Republican Marco Rubio of Florida — introduced a resolution calling for the creation of an international commission to set ethical standards for gene-editing research.

How badly is this needed? Let's just look at what has happened since.

700 by Pete Shanks. MOVED


^Commentary: Democrats' impeachment bumblings are damaging Congress' strongest check on the president<

^IMPEACHMENT-COMMENTARY:LA—<By misrepresenting the impeachment process, Democrats risk politicizing and destroying Congress' most powerful constitutional check on the executive. I'm not worried about the president's interests here. I'm worried that Democrats' political bumblings are weakening the strongest recourse our chamber has to hold any resident of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. accountable.

650 by Doug Collins. MOVED


^Commentary: Michael R. Bloomberg: New Democratic unity can overpower the NRA<

^BLOOMBERG-GUNS-COMMENTARY:BLO—<The fact is, 30 Americans are murdered with guns every day. Very few of those murders make national news.

But think about it: That's the equivalent to multiple mass shootings every 24 hours. And, on top of that, another 61 people commit suicide with guns every day.

1600 by Michael R. Bloomberg. MOVED


^Commentary: Could El Paso be another Birmingham and turn around anti-Latino hate?<

^ELPASO-COMMENTARY:PH—<There is almost a straight line between Birmingham, Ala., and El Paso, Texas.

You can take Interstate 20 from just outside Birmingham, cross Mississippi, then Louisiana, and the entire breadth of the state of Texas to El Paso, a distance of 1,272 miles. Or about 18 hours by car.

750 by Valerie Russ. MOVED


^Commentary: Donald Trump: the amusical president<

^TRUMP-MUSIC-COMMENTARY:BZ—<The last installment of PBS's "In Performance at the White House" was broadcast in 2016. It appears that only the United States Marine Corps Band performs at the White House under the current president.

Thomas Jefferson called music "the favorite passion of my soul," but Donald Trump has other passions.

750 by Steven G. Kellman. MOVED



^Frank Shyong: Mass shooters seek notoriety, and we the media provide it. Is there another way?<

^SHYONG-COLUMN:LA—<Tom Teves has told the story of losing his son Alex in an Aurora, Colo., movie theater so many times over the last seven years that the details come automatically.

His son Alex was in the third-to-last row. Techno music blasted in the shooter's headphones to hide the screams of the injured. It was July 20, 2012, and Alex was sitting next to the woman he had already told his parents that he planned to marry.

Teves wishes he could stop talking about it. It's a story about grandchildren he never got to hold and memories he never got to make, with no happy ending or healing or lessons to share.

1750 by Frank Shyong. MOVED


^Will Bunch: Jeffrey Epstein will never be held accountable, but what about the many, many others?<

^BUNCH-COLUMN:PH—<Jeffrey Epstein died on Saturday exactly as he'd lived — thinking of nobody else but himself, with the people we trust to protect our society from predators like Epstein looking the other way, and with a lot of very rich and very powerful people breathing an almost audible sigh of relief, convinced that for the umpteenth time they've gotten away with all of it.

2000 by Will Bunch. MOVED


^Doyle McManus: Slow Journalism: Just the thing for an August afternoon<

^MCMANUS-COLUMN:LA—<Like every other right-thinking person, I begin every vacation with an earnest resolution to unplug from the internet: no Twitter, no Facebook, only occasional peeks at email. We spend too much of our lives overwhelmed by information; summer getaways give us a chance to take a breath.

Then, like many people, I fail to keep my promise.

850 by Doyle McManus. MOVED


^Justin Fox: Trump's bungling a good (yes, good) policy<

^FOX-COLUMN:BLO—<The Washington, D.C., area is already rich and overcrowded, and with the arrival of Amazon.com Inc.'s second headquarters it's about to get thousands more high-paying jobs. Lots of other metropolitan areas, especially in the middle of the country, are less rich and less crowded. So why not move some good government jobs out of Washington?

800 by Justin Fox. MOVED



^Cal Thomas: None dare call it 'conspiracy'<

^THOMAS-COLUMN:MCT—<After the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, investigators discovered that the lone man assigned to guard the president, John Parker, had abandoned his post to watch the play from an adjacent box at Ford's Theater. Worse, at intermission, Parker adjourned to a nearby saloon to have drinks with some friends. It was during the second act that John Wilkes Booth entered the president's box and shot him.

Maybe something as simple and explainable as that will be the conclusion of an investigation into the death of billionaire financier and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein in a Manhattan federal prison.

750 by Cal Thomas. MOVED

^Carl Hiaasen: Jeffrey Epstein's wealth and power gave him protection that his victims never got<

^HIAASEN-COLUMN:MI—<The more we learn about the late Jeffrey Epstein's 13 months in so-called custody at the Palm Beach County Stockade, the clearer is the lesson:

It definitely helped to be rich, even if you were a monstrous sexual predator.

950 by Carl Hiaasen. MOVED



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^Editorial: Trump's callous attack on immigrants who need public aid<

^IMMIGRATION-EDITORIAL:LA—<The Trump administration is moving — again — to make it more difficult for even legal immigrants to get a foothold in the United States.

750 by The Times Editorial Board. MOVED


^Editorial: Trump guts the Endangered Species Act. Polar bears and bald eagles, take notice<

^ENV-ENDANGEREDSPECIES-EDITORIAL:LA—<The Trump administration announced reckless and potentially devastating new rules Monday that will weaken the Endangered Species Act, which currently bestows a mantle of protection over 1,663 species of animals and plants. Of those, 1,275 are considered endangered and close to extinction. Another 388 are listed as threatened — the polar bear is one — and at risk of becoming endangered.

600 by The Times Editorial Board. MOVED


^Editorial: 2020 Democrats are talking gun control. Will they propose ideas that would actually work?<

^GUNCONTROL-EDITORIAL:BZ—<The twin mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton have brought gun control to the forefront of the Democratic presidential race in a way it hasn't been for at least a generation, but not all of them are pushing hard enough to make a real difference.

850. MOVED


^Editorial: America's mental illness is guns<

^GUNS-EDITORIAL:PH—<Rattlesnakes are only poisonous if you think they are.

Women can stop their bodies from getting pregnant as a result of rape.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives is prohibited from computerizing gun sale records into a searchable database that would allow them to easily trace guns used in crimes.

All of these statements are insane. And one of them is true: the ATF is forced to rely on primitive digital records on gun sales, forcing a cumbersome search, via paper or phone, whenever a gun used in a crime is investigated.

500. MOVED


^Editorial: Justice for Jeffrey Epstein's accusers<

^EPSTEIN-ACCUSERS-EDITORIAL:TB—<The death of convicted sex offender and wealthy financier Jeffrey Epstein in a Manhattan jail cell Saturday provided yet another shock in a grotesque, appalling story that still has many unanswered questions. Epstein was found unresponsive, and authorities say he somehow managed to kill himself — despite having previously been under suicide watch.

600. MOVED


^Editorial: Trafficking victim sentenced to life for murder committed at 16 now finds mercy as well as justice<

^HUMANTRAFFICKING-EDITORIAL:DA—<In the sordid and brutal world of human trafficking, two recent stories deserve a closer look and a deeper understanding. Both stories involve justice — one for a person just emerging from a long run behind bars and the other for a person who always seems just outside of the grasp of the law.

650. MOVED


^Editorial: An EPA decision reviving Alaska's Pebble Mine endangers Bristol Bay and a vibrant fishing economy<

^EPA-ALASKA-EDITORIAL:LA—<Just five years ago, the Environmental Protection Agency determined that a proposal to dig a massive open-pit copper and gold mine near southwest Alaska's Bristol Bay — one of the world's most important salmon fisheries — threatened an environmental disaster. So it issued rules to severely curtail the potential project.

What a difference an election makes.

700. MOVED


^Editorial: English learners not getting the help they were promised in 2013<

^CALIF-ENGLISH-LEARNERS-EDITORIAL:SD—<In 2013, when then-Gov. Jerry Brown announced a bold effort to direct more resources to English-language learners and other disadvantaged students, The San Diego Union-Tribune Editorial Board was among those cheering. We wrote, "If he can help millions of struggling kids master English, that would be a wonderful accomplishment — arguably the highlight of his third term as governor."

It was all downhill from there.

300. MOVED


^Editorial: Mental health crisis is so serious that presidential candidates should address it<

^MENTALHEALTH-EDITORIAL:SD—<Among middle-aged and older Americans, high rates of drug overdoses and suicides have pushed U.S. life expectancy down for three years in a row for the first time in a century.

250. MOVED



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