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 BillMoyers.com’s Michael Winship.


“The antidote to economic anxiety is better government” –> At Al Jazeera America, David Cay Johnston writes, “Those turning out to hear Sanders and Trump may not understand the economics of aggregate demand and the government policies that prompt their anxiety. However, they do know that 35 years after Ronald Reagan won the presidency with promises that lower income tax rates and the handcuffing of government regulators would make America prosper, the results are dire: falling incomes, flat to falling wages except at the very tip top, a severe narrowing of asset ownership, slow job growth and job insecurity — all while the rich get ever richer.”

ALSO, at Talking Points Memo, Sean McElwee notes that all the news coverage of China and the stock market the last few days is indicative of a “distinctively upper class bias” in the media: “Imagine a world in which the stories that affect low-income and non-white Americans garnered the same news coverage as a bloop in the stock market… We’d be inundated by coverage about the fact that banks are buying up thousands of homes and renting them to people (often people of color, exacerbating the racial wealth gap), or that the richest 1 percent of Americans own more than one third of the wealth.” There’s more.

And then Charles Koch huffed and he puffed –>  According to Mike Allen at Politico, Charles Koch is upset and “flabbergasted” because in his recent Las Vegas speech President Obama said, “… Massive lobbying efforts backed by fossil fuel interests, or conservative think tanks, or the Koch brothers pushing for new laws to roll back renewable energy standards or prevent new clean energy businesses from succeeding — that’s a problem.” Koch thinks that’s “beneath…the dignity of the president, to be doing that.”

Meanwhile, Reuters reports, “A court in the Netherlands has ordered Russia to pay compensation for seizing the Greenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise during a protest against an offshore oil platform two years ago, a ruling which Moscow dismissed as lacking legal authority.” See Bill Moyers’ conversation with Greenpeace International executive director Kumi Naidoo shortly after the vessel was seized.

An excellent question –> At The Nation magazine, an article by Michelle Goldberg asks, “Can Hillary Clinton Win Over the Left?” She writes, “… After spending so many decades trying to shed her reputation for liberalism, Clinton has amassed a record that many on the left find troubling, if not unforgivable. The wildfire growth of Bernie Sanders’s campaign suggests that a large part of the grassroots is dissatisfied with her.”

FYI, civil rights activist and academic Cornel West has endorsed Bernie Sanders. Josh Voorhees at Slate has details. AND in an opinion piece, H.A. Goodman declares at The Hill, “Although many Democrats still won’t admit the obvious, below are three reasons why Sanders has become the new Democratic front-runner in 2016.”

Trump’s trickle down –> GOP strategists are worried that Donald Trump’s pronouncements could damage the Republican Party’s chances of holding onto the US Senate. The Hill’s Ben Kamisar spoke with some of them as well as Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee spokeswoman Sadie Weiner, who said, “He is doing most of the work for us.”

ALSO, At Common Dreams, Christian Christensen writes about international media coverage of Trump and concludes, “Trump is… political and journalistic junk food: a diversion from a deeper, uncomfortable discussion about what ails both the US and Europe. There are serious people out there talking about these ailments. It’s time we ate our vegetables.” This was written just hours before Trump briefly kicked Univision anchor Jorge Ramos out of a press conference, then argued with Ramos about immigration.

Ferguson forced to clean up its act –> ICYMI, Ferguson, Missouri, notorious not only for the killing of Michael Brown but widespread abuse by its police and judicial system levying racially-biased fines and tickets to raise revenues, is making some major changes in anticipation of a new municipal reform law. Lily Fowler at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported, “Among the most significant was the decision by the court to withdraw all warrants issued prior to Dec. 31, 2014, whether such warrants are for minor traffic violations or more serious offenses.” That’s close to 10,000 warrants.

Must Read –> Terrence McCoy in The Washington Post on the relationship between lead poisoning in the inner city and predatory real estate practices.


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