Good morning! Today is International Fairies Day, but we have no clue how you’d go about marking the occasion. Might as well start off with some morning reads…
Stat of the day: 5 percent — share of the US population that became newly insured in 2014, according to Gallup. More than half say they got insured through Obamacare health exchanges.
Jihad, Inc. –> At McClatchy, Hannah Allam reports that one reason ISIS militants have been so “resilient to counterinsurgency” is their embrace of “a largely self-funded, corporation-style prototype” with “a sophisticated bureaucracy that was almost obsessive about record-keeping.” AND: Anne Gearan, Abigail Hauslohner and Ben Van Heuvelen report for the NYT that Sunni tribesman have now seized control of Iraq’s largest oil refinery after a bloody standoff between ISIS fighters and government troops, but it’s not clear where their loyalties lie. ALSO: Mick Krever reports for CNN: “Iraqi Kurdish President Massoud Barzani gave his strongest-ever indication on Monday that his region would seek formal independence from the rest of Iraq.”
“Hampered” –> Scott Lemieux reports for TAP that a key Supreme Court ruling issued yesterday “made it harder for the government to regulate polluters, but doesn’t appear to impede the administration’s new climate regs.”
Transparency? –> At The Guardian, Jameel Jaffer writes that while the release of a legal memo justifying the use of drone strikes against US citizens working with terrorist organizations abroad is a win for transparency, one-third of the document is redacted and “the American public still does not have the information it needs in order to evaluate the lawfulness and wisdom of its government’s policies.”
Global warming “on your doorstep” –> Rebecca Leber looks at yet another frightening report on climate change for The New Republic. This one breaks down the US by region, and projects the likely effects for each one.
Way to support the troops –> A whistleblower at the Phoenix VA tells CNN’s Scott Bronstein, Drew Griffin and Nelli Black that veterans who died waiting for services from the agency were mysteriously resurrected by her superiors, on paper at least, to make the “statistics look better.”
California leads –> Patrick McGreevy reports for the LAT that California lawmakers “gave final approval Monday to a measure asking Congress to call a convention to amend the U.S. Constitution and overturn the Citizens United court decision that eliminated limits on corporate spending in elections.”
Blogger-in-Chief –> Barack Obama writes at the HuffPo that “family leave, childcare, flexibility and a decent wage aren’t frills. They’re basic needs.”
Even worse than the TPP? –> At AJA, David Cay Johnston reports that “national governments wanted to conceal the terms of the proposed Trade in Services Agreement (TISA) while keeping consumers, unions, environmentalists and the vast majority of businesses in the dark,” but “thanks to Wikileaks, they failed.”
“The very foundation of the republic is in danger” –> At Salon, Rick Perlstein argues that “gun nuts” are “terrorizing America” — “from Cliven Bundy defeating the cops to the ‘open carry’ movement’s menace” — and says that “the left’s timidity” is partially to blame.
Your… tax dollars at work? –> Terence McDonald reports for The Jersey Journal that a charter school in Jersey City appears to have hacked the public school district’s computer system to obtain students’ personal information, which it then used to market a taxpayer-funded,
for-profit private school.