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.

Ferguson, one year later –> In Ferguson, Missouri, peaceful memorial events a year after the police shooting death of Michael Brown were disturbed Sunday night when gunshots were fired. Apparently, they began between two rival groups and concluded after four detectives exchanged shots with a man who was critically wounded. St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar: “They were criminals; they weren’t protesters. Protesters are the people out there talking about a way to effect change.” 

At St.Louis Public Radio, Jason Rosenbaum and Camille Phillips covered this weekend’s remembrances of Michael Brown’s killing in Ferguson, and previewed further demonstrations today. Activists and organizer DeRay McKesson marks the anniversary and writes in The Guardian, “We did not discover injustice, nor did we invent resistance last August. Being black in America means that we exist in a legacy and tradition of protest, a legacy and tradition as old as this America. And, in many ways, August is the month of our discontent. This August, we remember Mike Brown. But we also remember the Watts Rebellion, and the trauma of Katrina – three distinct periods of resistance prompted or exacerbated by police violence. Resistance, for so many of us, is duty, not choice.”

Sandhya Somashekhar, Wesley Lowery and Keith L. Alexander at The Washington Post report that as of the anniversary of Michael Brown’s death, “So far this year, 24 unarmed black men have been shot and killed by police — one every nine days…  Black men accounted for 40 percent of the 60 unarmed deaths, even though they make up just 6 percent of the U.S. population. The Post‘s analysis shows that black men were seven times more likely than white men to die by police gunfire while unarmed.”

ALSO: At Mother Jones, Molly Redden recalls how demonstrations in Ferguson a year ago were countered by the police with tear gas, rubber bullets and military-style assault vehicles. The magazine has obtained copies of more than 450 police department requests for armored tactical vehicles from the Pentagon. Learn more and find out if your police department was one of them.

Poverty in US nearly doubles –> Max Willens at International Business Times covers a new report on the architecture of segregation from The Century Foundation, “finding that the number of people living in high-poverty areas has almost doubled since 2000… the number of Americans living in high-poverty areas rose to 13.8 million in 2013 from 7.2 million in 2000, with African-Americans and Latinos driving most of the gains. The report points to racially motivated policies such as exclusionary zoning and trends such as white flight as the primary culprits.”

Hillary on student debt –> Associated Press: “Calling for a ‘new college compact,’ Hillary Rodham Clinton on Monday will unveil a $350 billion plan aimed at making college more affordable and reducing the crushing burden of student debt. At a town hall meeting in New Hampshire, the state with the highest average student debt in the country, Clinton will propose steps to reduce the cost of four-year public schools, make two-year community colleges tuition-free and cut student loan interest rates, according to campaign aides.” AND: New report from Demos, “The Case for Debt-Free College.”

“Sound, stringent and innovative deal” –> Here’s that letter from 29 top American scientists, most of them physicists, congratulating Obama on an Iran nuclear agreement that “will advance the cause of peace and security in the Middle East and can serve as a guidepost for future nonproliferation agreements.”

New from health care activist Wendell Potter –> Writing about Thursday’s GOP debate for the Center for Public Integrity: “…The 10 candidates who are currently leading the polls said so little about health care during their two hours on stage that one has to wonder if they’ve given any thought to an Obamacare alternative. They haven’t.”

Quote of the weekend –> “Trump’s base is more the people who used to have season tickets to the Roman Coliseum. Not sure that they vote in great numbers, but they like blood sport.” — Joseph W. McQuaid, publisher of the New Hampshire Union Leader.

You can get our Morning Reads delivered to your inbox every weekday! Just enter your email address below…


  • submit to reddit