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.

Has the man met the moment? –> Asks Molly Ball at The Atlantic, writing about Bernie Sanders: “You don’t often hear politicians admit that they didn’t expect to catch on. But Sanders and his team have a bracing habit of saying things politicians and their aides are not supposed to say — a minor violation of norms that reminds you how accustomed we are to being lied to in politics.” At the Washington Monthly “Political Animal” blog, Ed Kilgore writes about Sanders’ “Southern strategy.” And ICYMI, Ezra Klein at Vox has one of the most in-depth conversations with candidate Sanders yet.

The death of Samuel DuBose –> AP:  “A University of Cincinnati officer who shot a motorist during a traffic stop over a missing front license plate has been indicted on murder charges, a prosecutor said Wednesday, adding that the officer ‘purposely killed him’ and ‘should never have been a police officer.'” The video shot by the policeman’s body cam is damning and horrific (CONTAINS GRAPHIC FOOTAGE). Jeremy Stahl at Slate writes that, “Reading the initial police report after having watched the video is a frightful lesson on the lengths to which officers will go to protect one another.” Charles M. Blow at the NY Times: “… The very idea that this violence is conducted by people acting as an arm of government, in your name but against your body, is too hard a pill to swallow. How can my taxes pay your salary while your actions drain blood from my body? How is it that I have to be afraid of cops as well as criminals? Whom do I turn to when the cops become the criminals?” MORE from Mother Jones. AND The Root.

None shall pass –>  In their latest feat of environmental derring-do, Greenpeace protesters are dangling from the St. Johns Bridge across the Willamette River in Oregon, Katie Herzog at Grist reports, “to block the MSV Fennica, a Shell icebreaking vessel that’s been docked in Portland for repairs… Shell can’t begin its Arctic drilling until the icebreaker arrives.” According to Oregon Public Broadcasting, “Organizers say they have enough supplies to remain suspended from the bridge for several days.”

Also in Oregon, another climate change alarm bell. Natasha Geiling at ThinkProgress finds that, “This year — with snowpack levels throughout the Pacific Northwest historically low and temperatures historically high — sockeye salmon are in trouble. Out of the more than 507,000 salmon that have passed through the Bonneville Dam, some 235,000 have died — a number that Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife fisheries manager John North told Reuters is unprecedented.” 

Skipping out –> The US House of Representatives vamoosed for its five-week summer recess yesterday and won’t be back until September 8.  Cristina Marcos at The Hill reports, “In one of its final votes before adjourning, the House passed a three-month extension of highway funding that punts this month’s debate to Oct. 29. House GOP leaders opted to let members go home for the August recess a day early in part to leave the Senate with no other option but to pass the temporary highway funding patch.” The office of New York State Democratic Congresswoman Louise Slaughter notes, “The Highway Trust Fund is currently on its 33rd short-term extension in the last six years, despite the fact that there are tens of thousands of structurally deficient roads, bridges, and tunnels across the country.”

Leaving with so much other work undone, The Hill adds, “Lawmakers of both parties were openly gleeful about leaving for the long August break.” But at the Campaign of America’s Future’s blog, Isaiah J. Poole suggests we should take advantage of the short-term solution to mobilize for “a bold, job-producing surface transportation plan, paid for with honest revenues, including from corporations and the wealthy paying their fair share.”

Must read –> Jim Rutenberg in The New York Times Magazine, “A Dream Undone: Inside the 50-year campaign to roll back the Voting Rights Act.” AND: Our friend and colleague Ari Berman’s new book, “Give Us the Ballot: The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America.”

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