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.

Sandra Bland was laid to rest on Saturday –> Jon Queally at Common Dreams reports on her funeral in Chicago as well as the Movement for Black Lives Convening conference in Cleveland, also this weekend. But Ian Millhiser at ThinkProgress writes that while wrapping up, the conference, “protesting police violence against African Americans ended in police violence against African Americans on Sunday, when at least one officer deployed pepper spray against men and women protesting the arrest of a 14 year-old teenager.”

Meanwhile, The Intercept’s George Joseph got hold of hundreds of Department of Homeland Security documents under the Freedom of Information Act which he says reveal that DHS “has been monitoring the Black Lives Matter movement since anti-police protests erupted in Ferguson, Missouri last summer… including location data, on Black Lives Matter activities from public social media accounts, including on Facebook, Twitter, and Vine, even for events expected to be peaceful. The reports confirm social media surveillance of the protest movement and ostensibly related events in the cities of Ferguson, Baltimore, Washington, DC, and New York.”

And this: From the website Counter Current News: “A Native American activist was recently arrested and found dead in jail under conditions very similar to those of Sandra Bland in Texas. Rexdale W. Henry, 53, was recently found dead inside the Neshoba County Jail in Philadelphia, Mississippi, on July 14th. He had been arrested over failure to pay a minor traffic citation.” Plus: The Jackson Free Press offers ongoing coverage of the investigation into the death of Jonathan Sanders in Stonewall, Mississippi, an African-American man who died on July 8 “following a physical encounter with a white police officer.”

Attacks on Planned Parenthood continue –> Over the weekend, D.R. Tucker at Washington Monthly offered this update on the controversy over those edited videos of Planned Parenthood officials and included several useful links to other coverage. Good point: “It’s in times like these that one wishes there was a ‘rationality caucus’ within the Republican Party that would join with Democrats to push back against the far-right attack on Planned Parenthood. After all, it wasn’t that long ago that a number of high-profile Republicans thought Planned Parenthood was positive.” ALSO: Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards appeared on Sunday’s “This Week with with George Stephanopoulos” to defend her organization and attack the smear campaign against it.

World’s Greatest Deliberative Body –> The US Senate held a rare Sunday session yesterday, with two weeks left before they recess for the rest of August, or as they call the break, a “State Work Period.” But progress of sorts was made. Roll Call: “In a pair of losses for conservatives, the Senate voted overwhelmingly Sunday to revive the Export-Import Bank while failing to overcome a filibuster of an attempt to repeal Obamacare — with more fireworks to come.”  Much of the session was spent rebuking Sen. Ted Cruz for calling Majority Leader Mitch McConnell a liar on the floor last Friday. Talking Points Memo: “5 Points On Ted Cruz’s Sunday Senate Shenanigans,” by Tierney Sneed.

Really, Mike, really? –> To get any attention, the other GOP candidates seem compelled to try to out-Trump Trump (see Senator Cruz, above). As Ha’aretz reports, “Former Arkansas governor and GOP presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee blasted President Barack Obama on Saturday over the nuclear deal reached between Iran and world powers, saying that by trusting the Iranians, the president ‘will take the Israelis and march them to the door of the oven.'” President Obama responded this morning from Ethiopia: “The particular comments of Mr. Huckabee are just part of a general pattern that would be considered ridiculous, if it wasn’t so sad.”

Citizens United aftershocks never quit –> A New York Times editorial laments the IRS’ cave on regulating dark money in politics. And at Truthout, Candice Bernd details how “corporate speech advocacy groups are trying to chip away at what’s left of disclosure requirements.”

Must read –> Glenn Greenwald in The Intercept: “A Crucial Realization about Journalism is Learned by Being its Subject.” And “The Middle Class at Risk,” a report just released this morning by the Center for American Progress Action Fund: “American families are being squeezed more and more as middle-class costs rise faster than middle-class incomes.”

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