Outside Reading — Tell the Sky and Tell the Sky edition

Climate Law Empowers E.P.A., Blunting Justices’ Restrictions by Lisa Friedman

In The New York Times, Lisa Friedman provides sound reporting and analysis about the landmark bill that commits to United States to addressing climate change, which, to be clear, is an economic issue, a national defense issue, and a public health issue. What I appreciate about this legislation, and other laws and policies delivered of late by the productive Democrat-controlled White House and federal legislature, is that is represents the proper governmental response to the concerns of the day. Friedman’s article is peppered with right-wing gasbags decrying the bill as a subversion of the recent ruling by the Supreme Court of the United States that nonsensically blunted the authority of the Environmental Protection Agency. That’s a misunderstanding, perhaps deliberately so, of how our system works. After years — decades, really — of shrugging their shoulders in resignation every time a rigged-to-the-right Supreme Court invented legal theorems to turn back progress, the Democrats are finally engaging the way they should: When the Supreme Court writes there’s no law that provides a certain authority, then you go ahead and write and pass the law that fills in the identified gap. This is what should be happening with voting rights, reproductive rights, workers’ rights, and every other genuine exemplar of American greatness (as opposed to the retrograde notions of codified oppression and bigotry that the red cap gang like so much) that is under assault by the strategically malicious Republican party.

Biden’s Student Debt Plan Isn’t Ideal. It’s Still a Win. by Tressie McMillan Cottom

Also writing for The New York Times, for the editorial page rather than the news section, Tressie McMillan Cottom assesses the Biden Administration’s plan for student loan debt relief. From the jump, I can’t overstate how much I appreciate McMillan Cottom’s position that the package is less than ideal and yet still worthwhile, a refutation of the all-or-disgruntlement mindset that typifies too much of modern political discourse. She persuasively explains that for all its flaws this policy will be a boon for many people deeply deserving of the support.

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