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.

Cheney reaction–> Dick Cheney hasn’t gotten this much attention since the last time he went duck hunting. In a speech at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) yesterday, the former US vice president and Halliburton CEO attacked the nuclear deal with Iran, called it “madness” and said the Obama administration had made “concession after concession after concession” in an “intricately crafted capitulation.” In a blistering rebuttal, the White House issued a two-and-a-half-minute video reminding viewers of Cheney’s role in the 2003 invasion of Iraq and its ongoing, horrible consequences. AND, according to former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, Peter Baker and David E. Sanger at The New York Times report, “she and Mr. Obama succeeded where the Bush-Cheney administration failed by escalating pressure and forcing Tehran to the bargaining table — and on Wednesday she will outline a tougher stance to enforce the resulting deal.”

ALSO, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid told CNN, “There are a lot of good reasons for this deal. But the best is that Cheney’s against it. I mean, think about this: The architect of the worst foreign policy decision in the history of America — to invade Iraq. Look what it has done. Why would anyone with any degree of intelligence agree with him?”

At Common Dreams, Sarah Lazare has a summary of the day’s Cheney news, including the banner tug-of-war a Code Pink protester got into with an audience member. Epic. AND, Mike DeBonis at The Washington Post writes, “Pro-deal statements from Sens. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Gary Peters (D-Mich.) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) mean 41 senators are now publicly backing the deal, enough to keep a disapproval resolution from emerging from the Senate and making its way to President Obama’s desk and forcing a veto.”

“Refugee Blues” –> At The Huffington Post, Bob Kuttner reports, “I have spent the past week in Denmark and Sweden, exploring how the economic crisis and the immigrant crisis are affecting European politics. Elsewhere in Europe, social democrats are running for cover, because so many of their working-class constituents are feeling economically insecure and many are scapegoating immigrants and voting for the populist right. But in Sweden, Prime Minister Löfven, former head of the Metalworkers union, has done a remarkable thing. He has embraced the refugee cause, as has his entire government.”

Worry about inequality, not inflation –> Nobel Prize economist (and Moyers & Company guest) Joseph Stieglitz writes in The Guardian, “In the US, workers are being asked to sacrifice their livelihoods and well-being to protect well-heeled financiers from the consequences of their own recklessness. The Fed should simultaneously stimulate the economy and tame the financial markets.”

Dust from the campaign trail –> Kim Davis, the Kentucky anti-gay marriage country clerk,  got sprung from the slammer yesterday, Kira Lerner at ThinkProgress reports, and candidates Mike Huckabee and Ted Cruz rushed to be at her side, although Tierney Sneed at Talking Points Memo notes that a Huckabee aide bodyblocked Cruz out of the key photo op. No one knows yet whether Davis will resume her resistance to issuing same-sex marriage licenses, but Huckabee said if necessary, he’d gladly go to jail in her place. On Fox News, Lindsey Graham responded, “Well, we’ll miss Mike.”

Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton apologized for using a private email server while she was Secretary of State. Donald Trump told a biographer that he “felt” he was in the military because he went to a military school.  Executive firings at United Airlines link back to the “Bridgegate” investigation of a Chris Christie appointee. And Happy Birthday (a day late) to Bernie Sanders.

Infuriating –> ICYMI, Hannah Levintova’s story, in last week’s Mother Jones: “In late July, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved a 2016 federal agency funding bill that came with instructions to the Internal Revenue Service to vastly expand the paperwork for the Earned Income Tax Credit. This buried provision adds a layer of red tape for which the tax-preparation company H&R Block has lobbied heavily for more than a year, in letters and hearings. H&R Block and other tax-prep companies stand to benefit handsomely, while taxpayers who are unable to navigate the complicated new forms will face two costly alternatives: Pay a tax preparer to parse the forms, or give up the EITC, a crucial tax break for low-income families.”

Scary –> Washington Post headline: “You can print your own guns at home. Next it will be nuclear weapons. Really.”

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