Morning Reads

Good morning! Today is International Tiger Day, so be extra kind to any tigers you might encounter.

Throwing in the towel –> On Monday, a federal appeals court struck down Virginia’s gay marriage ban, and Sahil Kapur reports for TPM that after the ruling was announced, North Carolina AG Roy Cooper said he wouldn’t even bother defending his state’s ban because “it’s time to stop making arguments we will lose.” ALSO: At National JournalBrian Resnick writes about the psychology behind opposition to LGBT rights.

Gaza –> The UN Security Council called for an immediate and unconditional ceasefire in Gaza. The statement does not have the force of an official resolution. ALSO: Ayman Mohyeldin, Paul Ziad Nassar and Cassandra Vinograd report for NBC News that Israeli forces struck Gaza’s only power plant, a move that “threaten[s] to deepen an already dire humanitarian situation.” AND: According to The Jerusalem Post, five IDF soldiers were killed in two separate incidents. The death toll among the Palestinians surpassed 1,100. AND: At a “hastily convened ‘solidarity’ meeting” organized “by Jewish groups in Washington,” Susan Rice defended Israel against international criticism and pledged unconditional US support. Paul Lewis reports for The Guardian.

Super PAC to end super PACs –> Nicholas Confessore reports for the NYT that Lawrence Lessig’s Mayday PAC, which will back candidates who support deep campaign finance reform, launched a $12 million advertising campaign this week.

Related –> At, Russ Choma has a remarkable report about two wealthy candidates who had never sought office, a campaign consultant and a mysterious nonprofit organization that may have been illegally coordinating with the campaigns.

Co-conspirators –> Andrew Ross Sorkin reports for the NYT that, led by JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs, major investment banks that received billions in taxpayer bailout money have collected nearly $1 billion in fees for helping US corporations dodge taxes through “inversion.” These American companies merge with a smaller foreign competitor and move their headquarters’ addresses abroad — without actually moving any offices.

Blatant –> Conservatives raising taxes on working people to pay for cuts for the rich is nothing new, but, at MoJo, Kevin Drum says it’s remarkable how brazenly skewed the House Republicans’ latest bill is.

The next phase –> Bryce Covert reports for ThinkProgress that fast food workers will turn from brief walkouts to acts of civil disobedience in their fight for decent wages and the ability to organize.

Two can play that game –> Citing the Hobby Lobby case, the Church of Satan claimed that its followers should be exempt from some restrictions on abortion because they violate their deeply held religious beliefs. Scott Kaufman reports for The Raw Story.

Anti-science –> Slate’s Phil Plait reports that “babies across the US are suffering from horrific injuries — including hemorrhages, brain damage, and even strokes (yes, strokes, in babies) — because of parents refusing a vitamin K shot.”

Sick –> A new report by the CDC finds that people living in the deep South have shorter life expectancies and are more likely to be ill in their final years than other Americans. Sam Collins reports for ThinkProgress. 

Poor door –> Stephen Colbert looks at that Manhattan apartment building that will have separate entrances for the wealthy and the rest of us.

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