Politics

Abbreviated Pundit Roundup: Texas political officials under pressure and feeling the heat

Dallas Morning News:

Republicans join push for Abbott to call special legislative session after Uvalde attack

State senator says Legislature must act to ‘lessen the chance of the next Uvalde Tragedy.’ Gov. Greg Abbott said ‘all options are on the table.’

 Two Republican state legislators on Friday urged Gov. Greg Abbott to call a special session in wake of the Uvalde school massacre.

In a tweet, Amarillo Sen. Kel Seliger said the Legislature should reconvene “until we do SOMETHING The FBI or DPS BELIEVE will lessen the chance of the next Uvalde Tragedy.” Seliger, who is not seeking reelection this year, offered no specific policy proposals.

Hours later, Plano Rep. Jeff Leach, who chairs a judiciary committee, echoed the call.

“Texans expect & deserve this & the time demands it,” he said in a tweet, without explicitly mentioning Uvalde.

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Sewell Chan/Twitter:

TX authorities now acknowledging a devastating failure of judgment.

“Based on the information we have, there were children in that classroom at risk and it was an active-shooter situation, and not a barricaded subject.” 

“The incident commander inside believed they needed more equipment and more officers to do a tactical breach.” Meanwhile, there were 19 officers available to act. 

TX DPS Director McCraw: “It was the wrong decision, very wrong. There’s no excuse for that. … When there’s an active shooter, the rules change. There is no longer a barricaded subject. You don’t have time.” 

McCraw: “I don’t have anything to say to the parents other than what had happened. … We’re not here to defend what happened. We’re here to report the facts.” 

Reporter: Uvalde parents now know that not everything possible was done to save their children. Are parents owed an apology?

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Katherine J Wu/Atlantic:

An ER Doctor’s ‘Third Way’ Approach to the Gun Crisis

Why violence demands not just policy solutions, but public-health ones

America has, of course, been squaring off with a very different sort of epidemic over the past two and a half years. COVID has showcased the power of public-health initiatives. It has also forced us to acknowledge what happens when those same efforts falter. Outbreaks of infectious disease are complex: They are about pathogens, yes, but also about the people who ferry them from place to place, the tools we use to hamper their spread, and the preventive behaviors communities are and are not willing to take. They spread fast and disproportionately affect certain people, but they can be stopped before they spiral out of control. In much the same way, “there is a long pathway that gets people to the point where they pick up a gun with the intention to hurt themselves or another,” said Ranney, who five years ago co-founded AFFIRM at the Aspen Institute, an initiative taking a health-based approach to ending the American firearm-injury epidemic.

I called [Megan] Ranney to talk with her about the public-health approach to reducing firearm injury. Our conversation has been edited for clarity and length.

She’s one of the country’s subject matter experts on the topic.

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Thomas Zimmer/Twitter:

This perfectly captures the state of the political discourse on the Right.
It’s a massive problem that much of the established media will keep pretending these are serious people because they feel the need to uphold the myth that there are two roughly equivalent sides/parties.

Since mainstream journalism is predicated on the idea that politics is a game between two teams that are essentially the same and journalists aspire to “neutrality,” which they define as equidistance from either side, whatever comes from the GOP has to be elevated to credibility. 

Stating clearly what the Republican Party has become would run counter to mainstream journalism’s eternal quest for “neutrality” and “balanced” coverage, its overwhelming desire to signal “nonpartisanship.” And so the GOP continues to be covered as if it were a “normal” party. 

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Azeem Ibrahim/Foreign Policy:

Russia’s War in Ukraine Could Become Genocide

Moscow is already carrying out ethnic cleansing.

I traveled to Ukraine myself to investigate the question and gather evidence. My think tank, the New Lines Institute for Strategy and Policy, along with the Raoul Wallenberg Centre for Human Rights had previously investigated allegations of genocide, with pioneering work on the genocide of the Rohingya in Myanmar and the Uyghurs in China’s Xinjiang province.

The report we produced on the allegation of genocide in Ukraine was built on three planks and three specialized teams. The first group was made up of language experts, who were able to make use of primary source evidence, including signal intercepts. The second was composed of practitioners of open-source intelligence, whose work has been vital in investigating and verifying the extraordinary number of photographs and video produced by modern conflict in countries awash with cameras. And the third was a team of more than 30 international legal specialists and scholars of genocide, who were able to compare the data gathered to statutes, history, and the 1948 Genocide Convention.

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