For this weekend’s reading list we have the story of almost certainly innocent death row inmate Troy Davis, the contrast between the fundamentalist Republicans and the pragmatic President Obama, the waste of taxpayer money that is government use of private contractors over federal employees, why the Solyndra “scandal” is nothing of the sort, and how recklessness and a lack of oversight led to the BP oil spill.

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Explaining the Death Penalty to My Children – the writer tries to explain why Georgia is preparing to execute Troy Davis next week for a murder that he almost certainly did not commit. Mr. Davis’ execution is scheduled for Wednesday, September 21. If you want to help prevent him from being executed, click here to send a letter to the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles, or call the Board directly at (404) 656-5651.

Republicanism as Religion – Andrew Sullivan writes about the 2012 elections are a show down between the GOP’s blind ideological purism that rivals that of the most fundamentalist religions and President Obama’s approach that is based in pragmatism, civility, and reason.

Bad Business: Billions of Taxpayer Dollars Wasted on Hiring Contractors – a report from the Project on Government Oversight about how billions of dollars of taxpayer money is being wasted by increasing use of private contractors in place of federal government employees.

Green Jobs Stimulus: Why Solyndra’s Loan Guarantees Were in the Stimulus Bill – an explanation for why the federal Department of Energy loan guarantees to now-bankrupt solar company Solyndra were not, contrary to the GOP’s attempts to gin up another fake controversy, a sign of corruption. Instead, they were part of a sensible stimulus program.

What Happened at the Macondo Well? – a review of four books regarding how reckless profiteering and lack of oversight allowed the BP oil disaster to occur, and as to whether we will learn from the experience.