FROM Mark Hemingway
Scientific uncertainty and the politics of climate change Last Friday, the New York Times introduced a new, conservative columnist: Bret Stephens, former editor at the Jerusalem Post and the Wall Street Journal. He's also a former climate-change denier, who now says he believes that human activity is responsible for global warming. But, in his first column he wrote that, "claiming total certainty about the science... creates openings for doubt [when] much that passes for accepted fact is really a matter of probabilities." The response has been deafening... from readers, including scientists, saying the paper's encouraging climate-change denial. The Times' Public Editor says readers need to hear different perspectives and it's time for "Busting up the paper's mostly liberal echo chamber." But scientists say climate change should be treated as an emergency that could be worse than predicted.
Separating Fact and Fiction: Truth and Lies in American Politics Today Nobody should be surprised when politicians distort the facts or tell outright lies. In 2007, the St. Petersburg Times introduced a feature called PolitiFact . It's complete with a "Truth-O-Meter," and a range from "True" through "Mostly True" to "Mostly False," "False" and finally, "Pants on Fire." PolitiFact joined the Annenberg Public Policy Center's FactCheck.org . The Washington Post now has a regular feature called The Fact Checker . While such checkers promise to give voters the truth, they themselves are critiqued from the Right and the Left, accused of choosing the facts they check according to hidden agendas. Does one side lie more than the other? Do the media add to the confusion by trying to find "balance" between the two or are "facts" really what voters want to know? If so, why do they sometimes cling to beliefs in proven falsehoods?
Obama 'All Fired Up' Again, but Is It Too Little, Too Late? President Obama is barnstorming for healthcare reform to be passed by Democrats only. But members of his own party still need convincing. Public opinion polls are not encouraging, and Republicans say, come November, any bill Democrats vote for "will be the issue in every race in America." After yesterday' s rally for healthcare reform in Pennsylvania, Democratic Senator Arlen Specter said, "That' s the most fiery I' ve seen him since the early campaign…"
Obama 'All Fired Up' Again, but Is It Too Little, Too Late? President Obama is barnstorming for healthcare reform to be passed by Democrats only. But members of his own party still need convincing. Public opinion polls are not encouraging, and Republicans say, come November, any bill Democrats vote for "will be the issue in every race in America." We look at the "fixes" House Democrats are demanding in the bill passed by the Senate. Has the President waited too long to assume a dominant role? Will compromise be a historic achievement or a political trap for his party?
Who's to blame for the opioid crisis? Some of the lawyers who took on Big Tobacco are now going after Big Pharma. It’s all about the deadly epidemic of opioid use. Are the drug companies to blame? What about the users? Later, on today’s Talking Point: making sense of Britain’s upset election.
Will the Senate write a healthcare bill in secret? While Democrats and Republicans argue White House relations with Russia, another question is being decided behind closed doors: who gets help buying health insurance and who doesn't? We hear how the pros and cons are being shrouded in secrecy.
The longest US war: Will Trump send more troops to Afghanistan? The Trump White House is divided over the Pentagon's request for more troops in Afghanistan—where the US has been fighting for the past 16 years. Is there a formula -- either for "victory" or a political settlement? Is there an end in sight for America's longest war?