Morning Reads

As we continue our effort to keep you up-to-date on how money corrupts American government and politics, as well as other news of the day, we’re pleased to publish this daily digest compiled by’s Michael Winship.

“2014 was a doozy” –> Ryan Koronowski at ThinkProgress writes, “According to the American Meteorological Society and NOAA’s ‘State of the Climate in 2014’ report, several markers measuring the earth’s climatic trends set historical records,” and quotes NOAA’s Thomas R. Karl: “The variety of indicators shows us how our climate is changing, not just in temperature but from the depths of the oceans to the outer atmosphere.”

2015 is shaping up even worse. Meanwhile, at The American Prospect, Nathalie Baptiste fills us in on “The Three Climate Deniers in Congress Whose Districts Will Soon Be Underwater.”

Jeb speaks out on the revolving door, but… –> Former Florida Governor Bush made a big speech in Tallahassee yesterday attacking the culture of Washington, especially the practice of government officials and representatives becoming lobbyists and vice versa. He called for a six-year cooling-off period before ex-members of Congress could hit up their former colleagues for lobbying favors and said that while governor he had clamped down on the relationship between state reps and the lobby industry. Yet at International Business Times, David Sirota and Andrew Perez point out that, in and out of office, Bush has had a very cozy relationship with the Southern Strategy Group, a lobby firm “which has employed former Florida officials and is among the top donors to Bush’s presidential campaign.”

“Scott Walker Signs Restrictive Abortion Bill in Wisconsin” –> The National Memo reports that it’s now a felony in that state to perform an abortion at or beyond twenty weeks. No exceptions. ALSO: Steven Rosenfeld at AlterNet.

Nothing halfway about the Iowa way to treat you –> The Donald may be riding high in the GOP polls but Iowa’s largest newspaper, The Des Moines Register, wants him out of the race now: “In just five weeks, he has polluted the political waters to such an extent that serious candidates who actually have the credentials to serve as president can’t get their message across to voters.”

The progressive rift over Bernie –> In the wake of this year’s Netroots Nation conference in Phoenix, at which question and answer sessions with Democratic presidential candidates Bernie Sanders and Marty O’Malley were interrupted by representatives of the #BlackLivesMatter movement, a debate within the progressive movement has gone more public. Dara Lind at Vox describes it as, “a conflict between Sanders-loving economic progressives on one side, and organizers for racial justice on the other… But while Sanders is the catalyst, the conflict — at least as Sanders’ critics see it — isn’t really about whether to support Sanders or Hillary Clinton for the 2016 nomination. It’s about who gets to call themselves a progressive champion, and when politicians should heed activists’ demands to pay more explicit attention to certain issues.”

The Washington Post describes it as part of “Bernie’s Base Problem” and James Hohmann and Elise Viebeck write, “The senator’s standard stump speech – a call for political revolution – does not include much specifically aimed at Latino or African-American voters.”  And David Dayen at The New Republic notes, “The tragedy is that Sanders and the protesters probably agree on nearly every issue, but they don’t have a language to talk to each other about it. As a result, the anger builds and the communication breaks down. This is fixable, but those who want to lead a progressive movement need to understand that taking the crisis in black communities for granted won’t work with this new generation of organizers.”

Must read –> Robin Wright’s fascinating “Letter from Iran” in the current issue of The New Yorker: “These days, the energy — and the locus for charting Iran’s future — is less in heady debates about an ideal Islamic state than in a practical scramble to exploit twenty-first-century technology to change society.” It includes a detailed look at the often chaotic and vitriolic negotiations that led to last week’s nuclear deal.

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