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.

This NY Times headline says it all –> Health Proposals by Walker and Rubio Are Less Concerned About the Poor.”

Hillary Clinton: Arctic drilling “not worth the risk” –> Via Twitter yesterday, the Democratic presidential candidate broke ranks with the Obama White House and announced her opposition to  offshore drilling by Shell Oil in the Arctic’s Chukchi Sea. It was a welcome move to environmentalists who have urged Clinton to take a tougher stance on fossil fuels.

National Journal’s Clare Foran and Ben Geman report, “While Shell is the only company currently seeking to drill offshore in the U.S. Arctic, Clinton’s stance will likely have broader effects on the industry if elected. ‘When she said that given what we know now, offshore drilling in the Arctic is not worth the risk, she was referring to both new and existing leases,’ a campaign aide said. Obama’s Arctic offshore policies have sought to blend new protections with limited development.”

Also on Tuesday, at an international symposium in Istanbul, 60 Muslim scholars and religious leaders issued the Islamic Declaration on Global Climate Change: “What will future generations say of us, who leave them a degraded planet as our legacy? How will we face our Lord and Creator?” At Common Dreams, Jon Queally has details. AND Hoda Baraka of “Coming on the heels of a historic letter from the Pope to millions of Catholics around the world, today’s declaration further underlines the reality that communities of faith are joining the global call for climate action in force. ”

Infiltrating #BlackLivesMatter –> George Joseph at The Intercept reports on some 300 documents obtained from the Metropolitan Transit Authority and the Metro-North Railroad via FOIA requests confirming “that undercover police officers attended numerous Black Lives Matter protests in New York City between December 2014 and February 2015… The protest surveillance and use of undercover officers raises questions over whether New York-area law enforcement agencies are potentially criminalizing the exercise of free speech and treating activists like terrorist threats. Critics say the police files seem to document a response vastly disproportionate to the level of law breaking associated with the protests.”

Barriers falling –> In a week when the first two women will graduate from the US Army’s Ranger School and the White House hired its first full-time transgender staff member, Navy Times reports that Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Jon Greenert “said he and the head of Naval Special Warfare Command, Rear Adm. Brian Losey, believe that if women can pass the legendary six-month Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL training, they should be allowed to serve.”

When in doubt, punt –> The Nation’s sports editor Dave Zirin on the National Labor Relations Board’s decision against allowing Northwestern University NCAA football players to organize a union: “… the idea that the NLRB could call the current system ‘stable,’ with its myriad scandals, its gutter economy of payoffs and fake classes, its absence of healthcare for players, its paltry oversight of head injuries, and, standing astride it all, a leadership body in the NCAA that operates as a cartel, would be laughable if it wasn’t so insulting to our intelligence. College football is stable the way that Pinochet’s Chile was stable: As long as everyone keeps their mouth shut, the system works just fine.”

Meanwhile, the Gallup poll finds, “Americans’ approval of labor unions has jumped five percentage points to 58% over the past year, and is now at its highest point since 2008, when 59% approved. In the interim, the image of organized labor had suffered, sinking to an all-time low of 48% in 2009…”

Must read –> Jacobin magazine’s Summer 2015 issue, “Struggle and Progress,” marking the 150th anniversary of the end of the Civil War “and the unfinished struggle to win justice in the United States and beyond.” Especially noteworthy, a lengthy interview with historian and Bill Moyers Journal guest Eric Foner on “abolitionists, Reconstruction, and winning ‘freedom’ from the Right.”

Songs in the key of Trump –> In Derry, NH, tonight, Trump will hold his first town hall meeting at 6:30 PM. “Trump has plenty of practice fielding questions from journalists at news conferences,” The Washington Post notes, “but this will be the first time he answers questions from voters.” While you wait, here’s Josh Groban singing Donald Trump’s Greatest Tweets.

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