Good morning! Here are some of the stories we’re reading on a somewhat slow news day…
Stat of the day: 42 percent — reduction in Kentucky’s uninsured population as a result of Obamacare, according to TPM.
SCOTUS finally sticks up for the rich –> In another blow to our already minimal campaign finance regulations, the Supreme Court struck down aggregate contribution limits in McCutcheon. Andy Kroll has the details at Mother Jones.
Illegal –> A federal appeals court ruled that Florida Gov. Rick Scott’s last-minute voter purge was illegal. Josh Israel reports for ThinkProgress.
Theeeey’re back! –> Cameron Joseph reports for The Hill that “senior officials from former President George W. Bush’s administration are wading into the fight over the Republican Party’s direction and future.”
Related? At The Huffington Post, Luke Johnson notes that March was the first month since July of 2002 in which no US troops died in combat.
Strike? –> At MSNBC, Bill McKibben suggests that climate scientists stop issuing reports about the looming catastrophe of climate change until we listen to what they’ve said already.
Out-of-control crime –> A survey of 1,088 fast-food workers found that 89 percent of them report that they’ve been a victim of wage theft at one time or another. Tiffany Hsu has the story at the Los Angeles Times.
So much for that anti-poverty agenda –> Paul Ryan released his latest budget “roadmap,” and at Slate, Jamelle Bouie notes that “instead of new poverty reforms or anything else to showcase the congressman’s interest in low-income Americans, it contains the usual barrage of tax cuts for the wealthy, financed by massive cuts to the social safety net.” ALSO: Igor Volsky turns a critical eye to the roadmap’s claims about Obamacare for ThinkProgress.
Progressive cities –> Katrina vanden Heuvel in The Nation: “On Universal Pre-K, de Blasio Shows Democrats How to Lead From the Left.”
Freedom of hate –> Buzzfeed’s Tony Merevick reports that Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant is likely to sign a bill — similar to the one Arizona’s Jan Brewer recently vetoed — giving social conservatives special rights to discriminate.
Working America needs a rival system –> At Salon, Edward McClelland argues that workers in the capitalist West benefited hugely from communism during the Cold War because competition with the Soviets forced our elites to spread around the prosperity.
Deadly crackdown –> The militarization of the US-Mexico border is resulting in more migrant deaths, reports Nora Caplan-Bricker for The New Republic.
Compassionate conservatism –> Texas Governor Rick Perry ordered prisons in the Lone Star state to ignore a federal law, signed by George Bush, that was designed to cut down on prison rape. Perry says the measure is too burdensome. David Edwards reports for The Raw Story.
“Buddhist Wiccan cop” –> Words one doesn’t often see together, but apparently there is one in Los Angeles, and she’s suing for harassment and gender discrimination according to the Woodland Hills Patch.
“The only Republican at a Senate hearing on the Paycheck Fairness Act” –> It was Tennessee’s Lamar Alexander, and he wanted to know how the equal pay bill would help men. A gobsmacked Laura Bassett reports for The Huffington Post.
End of an era –> Charles Keating, a central figure in the 1980s Savings and Loan scandal — for which bankers actually went to jail — died at age 90. Robert McFadden recalls those events for The New York Times.
Serious religion –> In South Carolina, the woolly mammoth’s designation as the official state fossil is being held up over an amendment thanking God for creating it, according to Reuters. And Starbucks has apologized to a Louisiana woman after she complained that a barista had drawn satanic symbols in the foam of her skinny vanilla latte — Ed Kilgore swears the story isn’t an April Fool’s prank.