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On this week’s Slate Political Gabfest, Emily Bazelon, David Plotz, and John Dickerson discuss the fatal shootings in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and San Bernardino, California; the steep mountain left to climb at COP21; and the uproar in Chicago over the killing of Laquan McDonald.
Here are some of the links and references mentioned during this week’s show:
- There have been 11 killings at abortion clinics since 1993. What role has aggressive pro-life rhetoric played? Was Robert Dear—who uttered the words “no more baby parts”—influenced by the fabricated Planned Parenthood videos and comments by GOP candidates? Or, is Dear simply deranged?
- Was the San Bernardino shooting motivated by radical Islamic ideology? If so, how will this affect the presidential race?
- How important has access to guns been in the shootings? Will this ignite gun control as a focus for the candidates?
- Are the Paris Climate Change Conference (COP21) pledges enough? Should we aim to contain the global temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius? What’s ideal and what’s practical?
- Do Americans even care about climate change? How bad will it have to get for real public investment?
- Why on Earth did it take Chicago 13 months to bring charges against Officer Jason Van Dyke? Is it mere coincidence that the indicting and horrendous video of Laquan McDonald’s death were buried at almost the exact time Mayor Rahm Emanuel faced a tight run-off election? Should Emanuel step down?
- The McDonald family was paid $5 million to keep quiet about the video. Meanwhile, Chicago has paid victims of police misconduct $500 million over the past decade. Is that not indicative of some profound systemic problem?
- Read more of Slate’s coverage of news & politics.
John chatters about the appearance of mysterious ghost ships laden with corpses off the coast of Japan. Also, he sneaks in a second chatter about a recent Washington Post article profiling a resilient, young, low-skilled worker in the South.
Emily chatters about a story David Simon told to a recent criminal justice White House panel that she moderated: The Wire actress Felicia Pearson, aka “Snoop,” has become ensnared in the all too common cycle of debt due to exorbitant ankle monitor fees—among other horrifying issues she now faces as a ward of the criminal justice system.
Topic ideas for next week? You can tweet suggestions, links, and questions to @SlateGabfest (#heygabfest). (Tweets may be quoted by name unless the writer stipulates otherwise.)
Podcast production by Jocelyn Frank. Links compiled by Elle Bisgaard-Church.