Do we need protection from ‘Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah’?

Listen, I don’t want to sound authoritarian, but I hereby announce that the coming week is “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah Week” and that everyone 16 or older is required to sing its lyrics in public at least once a day. After all, the oomph of this delightful ditty has been making millions feel bubbly for decades, and now its Disney owners are banning it from their domain.

Aiming for loopholes: Biden background check plan heads in the right direction

With his announcement that the Justice Department will seek to tighten up the definitions of who counts as a gun dealer and must then conduct mandated background checks on potential customers, President Joe Biden is taking another small step in the direction of the broad reimagining of which people get guns and how in the United States.

In Atlanta, violent radicals on the left help feed the radical right’s narrative

The violent protest against the construction of a police training center in Atlanta exemplifies how little the radical left has learned since the 2020 Black Lives Matter protests and the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol insurrection. Violence and destruction couched as civil disobedience, regardless of the claimed justification, rarely if ever yields the kind of societal or political change the instigators seek.

Eli Lilly comes through for Americans with diabetes

A hearty thank you to Eli Lilly, one of the planet’s top three producers of insulin, for slashing the price of its most widely prescribed form of insulin by 70% while capping related out-of-pocket costs at $35 a month. That means diabetics with private insurance will now pay costs on par with the congressionally mandated rate for Medicare beneficiaries set at the start of the year.

What the NYC mayor got wrong about church and state

New York Mayor Eric Adams declaring “I walk with God” at an interfaith breakfast Tuesday morning is heartening, as God should inspire. The First Amendment safeguards the free exercise of religion, so it’s perfectly fine for an elected official to be animated by his Christian faith — and to talk about it. Indeed, it was church-affiliated activists who motivated Adams as a young man “to go into law enforcement and fight from within.” If he continues to find daily strength and solace and moral guidance from the words of the Bible, well, God bless him. However Adams should be wary of using his bully pulpit to declare that creating children who are “better for our world” demands that “we,” a first-person plural noun that coming from him now means city government, necessitates “instilling in them some level of faith and belief.”

McCarthy’s leadership strategy shows no sign of working

The Republican majority in the House isn’t even two months old, but it’s already clear that Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s attempt to mollify his party’s extremist faction risks hurting the country without guaranteeing the thing he wants most: to keep his job as House leader. There might not be immediate consequences to McCarthy’s maneuvers, but the Republican leader is on the path to a painful government shutdown before the year is through, and he may even be on his way to a disastrous debt default.

Commentary: Teenage mental health crisis: The kids are not OK

Recently, my suicidal 15-year-old grandson ingested and smoked a cocktail of several drugs. His loving parents found him nonresponsive, with a heart rate near 200 beats per minute. The emergency responders and doctors saved his life. Sadly, it was not his first attempt.

Editorial: McCarthy gave Capitol footage to Carlson. Real journalists must have access too

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy is supposed to work for the American people first and his party second. Fox News conspiracy-monger Tucker Carlson isn’t supposed to be anywhere on that list. McCarthy’s outrageous decision to give Carlson exclusive access to thousands of hours of Capitol security camera data that is generally shielded for security reasons should settle once and for all any lingering doubts about the unique political cravenness of this so-called leader.

Editorial: When political interests dominate news coverage, it’s the public that suffers

A public radio reporter in West Virginia was sacked after she reported on the abuse of people with disabilities in state-run facilities. Her report posed a political embarrassment for West Virginia’s Republican governor, Jim Justice, whose former senior aide is now the top executive at West Virginia Public Broadcasting. That ex-aide wound up firing the reporter. For the news-consuming public, this case serves as a warning sign of the dangers when news organizations fall under the control of political actors.

Editorial: Tesla allegedly fires staffers for labor organizing

Elon Musk really likes bots — except, perhaps, when they’re cluttering Twitter. The also-CEO-of-Tesla likes them so much that he’s built “full self-driving” software that’s so unready for prime time, it just triggered the recall of 362,758 automobiles. (For the record, we love vehicle-assist safety technology keeping cars in their lane, avoiding collisions and so on, and we look forward to the time when true autopilot is a reality; that day, however, has not yet arrived.)

Commentary: The COVID ‘emergency’ is ending. Here’s who will be hurt most

In the State of the Union, President Joe Biden stated that “we have broken COVID’s grip on us.” Indeed, COVID-19 deaths are down about 75% since last year’s speech. Consistent with that progress, the Biden administration announced in January that it will end the public health emergency (and national emergency) declarations on May 11.

Editorial: The US must pass a law to prosecute crimes against humanity

At the annual Munich Security Conference on Saturday, Vice President Kamala Harris was direct, saying, “In the case of Russia’s actions in Ukraine, we have examined the evidence. We know the legal standards, and there is no doubt: These are crimes against humanity.” She spoke of “gruesome acts of murder, torture, rape, and deportation.”

Editorial: Florida takes a dangerous turn with permitless carry

After winning reelection in November with nearly 60% of the vote, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis had political capital to spend on any number of priorities. Sadly, he’s settled on one of the most the ill-considered choices available: allowing the public to carry concealed firearms without a license.

VIEWPOINT 2: US should turn Ukraine war over to its European allies

Instead of a quick Russian victory, Russia’s second invasion of Ukraine seems to be settling into a drawn-out slugfest. After Ukrainian soldiers surprisingly thwarted Russia’s offensive on Kyiv, Ukraine’s capital city, the gleeful United States rallied NATO nations to provide the Ukrainians with tens of billions in weapons technology.