President Trump just signed a massive, $717 billion defense bill named for Senator John McCain. But for most of the media, the controversy here wasn’t the price tag or its effects — it was that Trump refused to personally thank McCain when he signed it.

This week in OtherWords, I argue that the real scandal is the media’s lack of interest in the bill itself. As a result, the bill sailed through Congress easily, even though it will sap resources from our communities and stoke conflict abroad.

Meanwhile, Jill Richardson reports on a court’s finding that Monsanto knew its signature Roundup pesticide could be dangerous, but sold it anyway. And Dan Ritzman explains what’s at stake in the GOP’s decision to let companies explore for oil in one of our last unspoiled wildernesses.

On a happier note, Celia Bottger encourages local communities here to take inspiration from Ireland’s decision to fully divest itself from fossil fuels. And Negin Owliaei reports on how former Toys R Us employees are taking the fight to the vulture capitalists that profited from the company’s demise.

Finally, Jim Hightower reports on the consolidation of media and banking power in our country, while Khalil Bendib mocks the Trump defense team’s “unimpeachable logic.”

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Peter Certo

Peter Certo is the editorial manager of the Institute for Policy Studies and the editor of

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