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. We won’t be publishing on Labor Day Monday but will be back on Tuesday. Have a great holiday weekend!

Doing time in Kentucky –> Yesterday, county clerk Kim Davis was found in contempt by US District Court Judge David L. Bunning for refusing to issue marriage licenses to same sex couples. A statement from the ACLU of Kentucky noted, “In holding Davis in civil contempt of court, Judge Bunning decided that financial sanctions were insufficient to induce her compliance with the court’s order and remanded her to custody of the US Marshals. Five of the six deputy clerks for Rowan County agreed under oath to begin issuing marriage licenses to all eligible couples immediately.” (The holdout was Davis’ own son, who works for her at the courthouse.)

BUT, as Mike Wynn and Chris Kenning at The Louisville Courier-Journal pick up the story: “… When the deputies agreed to comply, Bunning said that could purge the contempt charge against Davis, and he offered to allow her back in the courtroom to discuss the matter. Davis apparently declined. [Davis’ attorney Roger] Gannam spoke with her briefly and said she refused to grant her staff any authority to provide the forms in her absence, so Bunning again ordered her to jail… At issue now is whether licenses issued by deputies are considered legally valid without Davis’ consent.”

Nonetheless, this morning, the deputies began issuing licenses.

“Why I tweeted the photo of the dead Syrian toddler” –> Liz Sly in The Washington Post: “My colleagues and I have been writing about Syria’s war for four years, about the desperation of the refugees who fled the country and the 250,000 people, including children, who have died over the course of the conflict. Some of us, Syrian and foreign journalists, have died, too, trying to tell their stories. Yet it has seemed that no one really paid much attention — at least, not in terms of seriously trying to solve the problem, seriously trying to help. If it takes photographs of dead children to make people realize children are dying, so be it.” ALSO: Peter Bouckaert at Human Rights Watch: Dispatches. AND: Jon Queally at Common Dreams.

AND: An important read, at Mashable, outlines “six concrete ways you can help during the refugee crisis.”

Bernie has an Rx –> Bernie Sanders hopes to make prescription costs a campaign issue by introducing legislation to allow the government to slash prices. Andrew Breiner at ThinkProgress writes, “The bill would let Medicare negotiate with companies on drug costs, let people legally import cheaper drugs from Canada, cancel a company’s ‘government-backed monopoly’ on a drug if the company is ‘found guilty of fraud in the manufacture or sale of that drug,’  and require pharmaceutical companies to report things like research and development costs. It would also stop drug companies from paying competitors off to keep them from developing far cheaper generic versions of drugs.” Bob Borosage at Campaign for America’s Future adds, “… If nothing changes… Medicare projects that drug costs will continue to rise about 10 percent a year for the next decade. Millions more Americans will simply be unable to afford the drugs they need. This isn’t because drugs are expensive. This is because we are getting robbed.”

“The Truth of Black Lives Matter” –>A New York Times editorial: “The ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement focuses on the fact that black citizens have long been far more likely than whites to die at the hands of the police, and is of a piece with this history. Demonstrators who chant the phrase are making the same declaration that voting rights and civil rights activists made a half-century ago… But politicians who know better and seek to strip this issue of its racial content and context are acting in bad faith. They are trying to cover up an unpleasant truth and asking the country to collude with them.”

Weekend read — and listen –> Here’s the original version of the late Oliver Sacks’ essay, “The Man who Mistook His Wife for a Hat,” as published in 1983 by the London Review of Books. AND: In honor of the holiday, Ten Top Labor Day Songs: Peter Rothberg at The Nation takes “a stab at the impossible task of naming the best songs ever written about working people.”

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