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.

Big Voting Rights Win in Texas –> On the eve of today’s 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act, the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit unanimously upheld a lower court’s ruling that the Texas Voter Photo ID law is discriminatory. J. Gerald Hebert, executive director of The Campaign Legal Center: “This is a great victory for the hundreds of thousands of Texans disenfranchised by this discriminatory law. This historic ruling marks the first time that a U.S. Court of Appeals has found a voter ID law in violation of the Voting Rights Act following the Supreme Court’s disastrous Shelby County decision struck down Section 5 of the VRA.” MORE at BuzzFeed News, including the full text of the decision. AND: The usual excellent analysis from Rick Hasen at his Election Law Blog.

Hiroshima –> So much coverage this week of today’s 70th anniversary of the Hiroshima atomic bombing. Kimberly Truong at Mashable writes about ceremonies yesterday and today in the Japanese city. On its website, The New Yorker has John Hersey’s remarkable account of the attack and its aftermath, an article which in 1946 took up an entire issue of the magazine. ALSO: At Lapham’s Quarterly, Susan Southard discusses the occupation that followed Japan’s surrender and how US censors prevented the Japanese population from reading or seeing anything about Hiroshima or the second bomb three days later in Nagasaki.

This should be interesting –> Bernie Sanders has accepted an invitation to speak at a September convocation at the late evangelist Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University, usually a pulpit for conservative Republicans preaching to the converted. Said Sanders, “It goes without saying that my views on many issues — women’s rights, gay rights, education and many other issues — are very different from the opinions of some in the Liberty University community. I think it is important, however, to see if we can reach consensus regarding the grotesque level of income and wealth inequality in our country, about the collapse of the middle class, about the high level of childhood poverty, about climate change and other issues.” Godspeed, Bernie.

Today in Conspiracy Land –> Russ Choma in Mother Jones: “Just hours after three Rand Paul associates were indicted on federal charges that they worked to cover up an attempt to buy an Iowa state senator’s endorsement for the 2012 Ron Paul campaign, the Paul camp is claiming that the indictments are timed to trip up the Kentucky senator on the eve of the first GOP presidential debate.” Choma says no, that Paul’s people have been speaking to Federal investigators for a year and hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees have been spent.

Meanwhile, Robert Costa and Anne Gearan at The Washington Post report, “Former president Bill Clinton had a private telephone conversation in late spring with Donald Trump at the same time that the billionaire investor and reality-television star was nearing a decision to run for the White House… Four Trump allies and one Clinton associate familiar with the exchange said that Clinton encouraged Trump’s efforts to play a larger role in the Republican Party.” Daniel Strauss at Politico writes, “Despite there being a long-standing relationship between the Clintons and Trump, both professional and personal, the report taps into the conspiracy theories that Trump is carrying some water for Democrats.” Cue the talk radio outrage.

So long, Jon –> There’s a certain unfairness that the first GOP debate takes place tonight, the same night as Jon Stewart’s final Daily Show. Because his farewell will be taped before the candidates go at it, we’ll have to survive without his usual, intelligent, outraged take on the event and rely instead on what the candidates actually say for comic relief. Here are some thoughts from The New York Times, Bill Carter in The Hollywood Reporter,, and this from Slate, written by former Daily Show senior correspondent Brian Unger on what it was like before Stewart came on board and how the show became a comedy — and news — institution.

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