Editorial: Mislabeling plastic as recyclable defeats the purpose and damages the planet

A bill passed last week by the California Legislature would ban manufacturers from putting the triangular chasing-arrows symbol, signifying that their plastic products and packaging are recyclable, on items that are not anywhere near recyclable. Although this first-in-the-nation measure didn’t receive much outside attention, the bill deserves to be imposed nationwide in order to halt the widespread and destructive use of the recyclable symbol — along with the overuse of plastics in packaging.

Ramesh Ponnuru: Moderates are the real health-care progressives

One-point-five trillion dollars is a lot of money. But by reportedly saying that’s the most he is willing to have the federal government spend on a package of social, climate and infrastructure programs, Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia is forcing his fellow Democrats to make choices they avoid in their $3.5 trillion plan. Some of the most difficult for them involve health care.

Editorial: Biden’s smart COVID plan depends on enforcement

On Thursday, President Joe Biden took bold new steps to defeat the resurgent pandemic — by strengthening the COVID vaccine mandate for federal employees and contractors, pushing big private companies to impose mandates of their own, and announcing a series of other initiatives. He was right to act, and these measures deserve wide support.

Editorial: Physicians who mislead the public deserve to have their licenses suspended

Physicians are sworn by their Hippocratic Oath to do no harm. Physicians who spread misinformation or disinformation, especially during a raging pandemic, have the potential to do a great deal of harm. When the public turns to physicians as trusted sources of medical advice, it is essential that the advice is based on scientific research alone, not political fantasy.

Editorial: Use the opioid settlements to fight the opioid crisis

Makers and sellers of prescription painkillers will soon begin paying out billions of dollars to settle lawsuits that have accused them of fueling the opioid epidemic. Most recently, more than 40 states have agreed to accept $26 billion from Johnson &Johnson and three big drug distributors, to be paid out over 18 years. It’s a considerable sum — except when measured against more than half a million lives lost this century to opioid overdose, or the tens of billions that state, local and tribal governments spend each year to address the painkiller-heroin-fentanyl scourge.

Ramesh Ponnuru: Police don’t deserve an impenetrable legal shield

Glenn Youngkin wants to talk about qualified immunity. Not many people know what it is — and even people who think they do often misunderstand it — but Youngkin, the Republican candidate for governor of Virginia, says it’s one of the top reasons to vote for him. Terry MacAuliffe, the Democratic candidate, wants to abolish qualified immunity for police officers. Youngkin says that would expose them to “frivolous lawsuits” and is part of an anti-police, soft-on-crime agenda.

Editorial: Are Americans safer after war in Afghanistan?

Is America safer after its 20-year war on terrorism in Afghanistan has resulted in the Taliban’s victory? The answer, like the war itself, is muddled. The lack of resolution should cause considerable discomfort to Americans who lived through the trauma of 9/11 and cheered the U.S. military’s quick routing of al-Qaeda and its Taliban hosts in 2001. After the World Trade Center’s collapse, Americans had every right to believe President George W. Bush’s declaration from atop the wreckage that the United States would make the terrorists pay.

Editorial: 9/11 victims’ families, and all of America, deserve to know more

Eight days before the 20th anniversary of the darkest day in New York City history, President Joe Biden honored a promise to the families of Sept. 11’s victims and initiated the impending release of classified documents related to the terrorist attacks. As it should be: Almost nothing we learn about the Saudis or our own government, no matter how uncomfortable, can justify further obfuscation.

Editorial: A retreat on racial preferences

The Biden Administration has been losing in court on its racially biased policies, and last week something remarkable happened. It gave up. Without explanation, the Justice Department declined to appeal a federal court injunction against a discriminatory loan-forgiveness program for farmers.

Commentary: Let’s honor Labor Day by protecting workers

As we celebrate Labor Day and “essential workers” amid a viciously resurgent pandemic, we ought to match our rhetoric with some concrete protections for these workers — you know, all those warehouse employees, meatpackers, farmworkers and supermarket staff that industry groups love to thank online while doing little, if anything, for them in the real world.

Editorial: McCarthy’s thuggish threat to telecom companies deserves an ethics probe

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy has entered dangerous new territory in warning telecom companies not to comply with lawful requests from the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 assault on the Capitol. McCarthy’s threat that his party “will not forget” if the companies comply sounds more like something from a Mafia thug than a political leader. An ethics probe into that threat is warranted — as are some hard questions about what potential revelations, exactly, McCarthy and his party are so afraid of.