Saturday Evening Reads

-President Obama, in Chicago yesterday to promote his gun control initiative, lamented the violence that plagues the city’s youth. “Last year, there were 443 murders with a firearm in this city, and 65 of them were 18 and under. That’s the equivalent of a Newtown every four months,” he said, according to POLITICO. Just two and a half hours after he had left, the paper also reported that there were four shootings in the city, but none of them were fatal.

-In a recent column [hat tip: Salon’s David Daley], James Wagner, the President of Emory University, hailed the “three-fifths” compromise between slave and non slave states. The deal allowed slaves to be counted as three-fifths of a person in censuses despite their complete disenfranchisement. Wagner praised the two sides for setting “sights higher, not lower, in order to Identify their common goal and keep moving toward it.” Wagner, unsurprisingly, did not reach out to the Emory Black Student Alliance for comment. But he did manage to demonstrate –albeit inadvertently — the crude immorality of compromise for compromise’s sake.

-Bernie Sanders has an op-ed in the Guardian, promoting legislation that he cosponsored with Barbara Boxer aimed at reducing carbon emissions. “Unless we take bold action to reverse climate change, our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren are going to look back on this period in history and ask a very simple question: Where were they?” Sanders states. A question that will be asked if a miracle were to occur and the bill, as it stands, is approved by Congress: would the provision that raises tariffs on goods originating from countries that don’t price carbon enable foreign companies to sue the United States government in investor-state tribunals created by NAFTA and the WTO?

-Update from this morning’s bombing in Quetta, Pakistan: the death toll is now believed to be at least 64, according to Reuters, and the Sunni militant group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi claimed responsibility. Local police said the bomb, which was detonated in Quetta’s main bazaar, was fastened to a motorcycle. “This is a continuation of terrorism against Shi’ites,” Wazir Khan Nasir, the deputy inspector of police in Quetta, said.

-Marco Rubio departed on a trip to Israel and Jordan today in what is most likely a bid to bolster his credentials ahead of Republican Presidential primaries in 2016. Rubio will be meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Palestinian National Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, and Jordanian King Abdullah, according to The Hill. This blogger will resist hackish inclinations to remind Senator Rubio that staying hydrated is a great way to beat jetlag (oh, damn) and instead point out that the “democracy” and “religious freedom” in Israel that Rubio praised today is, by definition, nominal, as it is in all states that elevate one religion over another.

Samuel Knight

Samuel Knight is a freelance journalist living in DC and a former intern at the Washington Monthly.