1. “Senate Rejects 4 Measures to Control Gun Sales.” The Senate on Monday failed to advance four separate measures aimed at curbing gun sales, the latest display of congressional inaction after a mass shooting.
“Eight days after a gunman claiming allegiance to the Islamic State killed 49 people in an Orlando, Fla., nightclub, the Senate deadlocked, largely along party lines, on amendments to block people on the federal terrorism watch list from buying guns and to close loopholes in background check laws. Families of gun violence victims looked on from the Senate chamber as the votes were held. Further action on gun safety measures or mental health provisions seemed unlikely before the fall election, given the rush to finish a series of spending bills and the relatively limited time that Congress will be in session before November.”
2. “America’s Long, Rich History of Trashing Poor Whites.” In White Trash, historian Nancy Isenberg charts America’s perennial exploitation of one of the country’s most derided groups.
“In her dense and important new book, White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America, Nancy Isenberg identifies a clarifying precedent for the Webb model of political aggrievement. In 1858, South Carolina’s James Henry Hammond, a leading intellectual of the white supremacist movement, argued before the Senate that, ‘there must be a class to do the menial duties, to perform the drudgery of life’ in order to allow elites to cultivate ‘civilization, progress, and refinement.’ Hammond argued that the South had done the right thing by enslaving genetically inferior blacks, the natural fit for such a role in the U.S. But Yankees, by forcing poor whites to compete with blacks for menial work, had essentially become traitors to their race. ‘The North had committed a worse offense,’ Isenberg writes, ‘it had debased its own kind.’”
3. ”Green Room Director Remembers Anton Yelchin: ‘There’s Nothing More Valuable Than Good People’” Jeremy Saulnier shares his memories of the late actor and how he changed his relationship to filmmaking.
“In an industry governed by Excel sheets and foreign sales estimates, Anton reminded me that there’s nothing more valuable than good people. He put me back in the comfort zone I knew growing up, making backyard films with best friends, and created a protective bubble where creativity could thrive. Decompressing from our recent press tour together, he treated me to dinner. I was telling him how amazing it was to find such a young cast (25 and under) with so much talent and experience. It was lightning in a bottle, and we captured it. Soon, I said, you kids will be playing good guys and bad guys, husbands and wives. But we got your youth on screen, we archived it. It felt like a mission accomplished.”
4. “The Shadow Doctors.” The New Yorker‘s Ben Taub on the underground race to spread medical knowledge as the Syrian regime erases it.
“In the past five years, the Syrian government has assassinated, bombed, and tortured to death almost seven hundred medical personnel, according to Physicians for Human Rights, an organization that documents attacks on medical care in war zones. (Non-state actors, including isis, have killed twenty-seven.) Recent headlines announced the death of the last pediatrician in Aleppo, the last cardiologist in Hama. A United Nations commission concluded that ‘government forces deliberately target medical personnel to gain military advantage,’ denying treatment to wounded fighters and civilians ‘as a matter of policy.’”
5. “How American Politics Went Insane.” It happened gradually—and until the U.S. figures out how to treat the problem, it will only get worse.
“Chaos syndrome is a chronic decline in the political system’s capacity for self-organization. It begins with the weakening of the institutions and brokers—political parties, career politicians, and congressional leaders and committees—that have historically held politicians accountable to one another and prevented everyone in the system from pursuing naked self-interest all the time. As these intermediaries’ influence fades, politicians, activists, and voters all become more individualistic and unaccountable. The system atomizes. Chaos becomes the new normal—both in campaigns and in the government itself.”
Video of the Day: Andrea Arnold’s American Honey gets an official trailer:
Links for the Day: A collection of links to items that we hope will spark discussion. We encourage our readers to submit candidates for consideration to firstname.lastname@example.org and to converse in the comments section.