A blue Texas, Donald Trump vs. Republicans, Canadian truckers, overdose deaths: ICYMI

·5 min read

In today's fast-paced news environment, it can be hard to keep up. For your weekend reading, we've started in-case-you-missed-it compilations of some of the week's top USA TODAY Opinion pieces. As always, thanks for reading, and for your feedback.

— USA TODAY Opinion editors

1. Is this the beginning of the end for Trumpism or the Republican Party?

By Jill Lawrence

"It was a Republican National Committee meeting that will live in infamy, and perhaps in history. The RNC’s decision Friday to rebrand deadly mob violence at the U.S. Capitol as “legitimate political discourse” and censure two GOP House members investigating the attack has exposed a party so divided against itself that, as Abraham Lincoln told his fellow Republicans in 1858, it cannot stand."

2. Texas might be a red state now, but the Lone Star State is turning blue right before our eyes

By Chris Chu de León

"Despite the fact that people of color made up 95% of the population growth in the past decade, the state’s halls of power remain almost exclusively in the hands of old, white male lawmakers. Although Texas is on the cusp of turning blue, these same lawmakers banned abortion after about six weeks and restricted voting rights, culminating in possibly the most conservative legislative session in a generation."

3. From Canadian truckers to European protests, the world is fed up with COVID crackdowns

By James Bovard

"If hypocrisy were a panacea, the coronavirus would have been banished from earth long ago. Politicians and government officials have brazenly violated the COVID-19 edicts they impose on everyone else. But after two years of prohibitions designed to placate fears rather than protect public health, can oppressed citizens around the globe compel their rulers to end absurd restrictions vexing their daily lives?"

Don Landgren, USA TODAY Network
Don Landgren, USA TODAY Network

4. Wolves have walked with us for centuries. States are weakening their protections.

By Deb Haaland

"For centuries, wolves have been exploited for their furs, killed in the name of protecting people, livestock and game species and nearly eliminated through government-sponsored actions. Decades of hard work by states, tribes and stakeholders on the ground, along with federal protections, successfully recovered gray wolves after two centuries of decline to the brink of extinction."

5. Dr. Marc Siegel: I can see the end of the COVID pandemic on the horizon

By Dr. Marc Siegel

"This is the fear version of reality, the message the news media use to stoke us into a frenzy. They know how to probe our weak points, know how to keep us in a state of alarm, know that we will continue to hide behind our masks as we walk alone along the dark cold streets, nervously looking for signs that an interloper harboring omicron BA.2 may be nigh."

Marc Murphy, USA TODAY Network
Marc Murphy, USA TODAY Network

6. Where are the detailed Pentagon reports like the one on the Kabul bombing for civilian casualties?

By Sarah H. Yager

"I have never seen an official Pentagon report on civilian casualties as detailed as the one I watched Friday. In the 20 years since the beginning of the U.S. global counterterrorism campaign, Human Rights Watch has investigated at least 27 incidents of the U.S. killing civilians, and other organizations have documented many more. As far as we know, U.S. military officials were held responsible in only one of them, when a Doctors Without Borders was hit in Kunduz, Afghanistan. Most of the time, mourning families received no acknowledgement of their loved one’s death and no explanation for why it happened."

7. Fentanyl kills more young Americans than COVID. The underlying causes should worry us all.

By Henna Hundal

"But while we work to stop the bleeding, we also have to probe its source. Why are thousands of young American lives entangled in such tragedy? What – more upstream than the fentanyl itself – is fueling the uptick in addictions and overdoses? In an era where, from social activism to scientific research, it’s plain to see how “sharp and astute and tolerant and thoughtful and entrepreneurial our young people are,” as former President Barack Obama once put it, why are overdoses taking a front-row seat?"

Andy Marlette/USA TODAY Network
Andy Marlette/USA TODAY Network

8. Afghan women and kids we abandoned are in crisis, but it's not hopeless if we act quickly

By Natalie Gonnella-Platts

"First, the global community can’t look away. You can’t identify as a feminist and remain silent on what’s happening in Afghanistan. Afghan women are fighting for their existence. And amid the catastrophic circumstances in country, women and children are shouldering most of the burden of hunger and poverty. Some parents have already faced the unimaginable choice of selling their organs and their children just to feed their families."

9. Ice-shanty prostitutes? Or a publicity-seeking mayor who embarrasses his town again? You decide.

By Connie Schultz

"Hello from northeast Ohio, where womenfolk are worrying about what their ice-fishing husbands are up to, now that we know their ice shanties can be magnets for prostitution. Kidding, kidding. Nobody believes this is happening, except for Craig Shubert, the mayor of Hudson, Ohio. He apparently is imagining sturdy ice fishermen in padded parkas casting aside their poles as they coo, 'Come to Daddy, you Carhartt-clad vixen.'"

10. Amir Locke's death proves we learned nothing from Breonna Taylor about no-knock warrants

By Ben Crump

"It is a fact not only of Black history but also of our present that encounters with police are more dangerous for us. Black Americans are three times more likely than white Americans to be killed by police, according to a study published in 2020 from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. And in the urban area of Chicago, that rate is 6.5 times higher. No-knock warrants, which are disproportionately used against Black Americans, contribute to those sobering statistics."

You can read diverse opinions from our Board of Contributors and other writers on the Opinion front page, on Twitter @usatodayopinion and in our daily Opinion newsletter. To respond to a column, submit a comment to letters@usatoday.com.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Afghan women's rights, Fentanyl, COVID-19, Republicans : Top columns

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