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.

Happy Rosh Hashanah –> L’shana tova to all our Jewish colleagues, friends and readers. Happy 5776!

DEVELOPING –> Tony Abbott is out as Australia’s prime minister.

Must read –> Chico Harlan in The Washington Post, “What it’s like to live on $2 a day in the United States.” Harlan writes, “That’s a single gallon of gasoline. Or half a gallon of milk. If you took a D.C. bus this morning, you have 25 cents left for dinner. Among this group in extreme poverty, some get a boost from housing subsidies. Many collect food stamps — an essential part of survival. But so complete is their destitution, they have little means to climb out.”

“Mistaken identity,” racial profiling and the NYPD –> Here in New York, last week’s police assault of retired African-American tennis star James Blake, innocently standing outside a midtown hotel, is the talk of the town. Shaun King at AlterNet has details. Here’s the video.

ALSO, an important report on seeking racial equity in Ferguson, Missouri, is released today.

Shutting down the border –> Germany, which has been taking in the majority of refugees and asylum seekers, announced that for now it was closing its border with Austria and suspending train service between the two countries. Max J. Rosenthal at Mother Jones reports, “Reinstating border checks is sign of how frustrated the German government is with its neighbors—and how divisive the refugee problem is within the EU… Germany says the border closure is temporary. But it’s the first major EU country to take such a step to deal with an ongoing crisis like this, and many are wondering whether it will prompt other… countries to do the same.” ALSO, Al Jazeera. Los Angeles Times. Agence France-Presse. ALSO, Sarah Wildman in The Forward: “Why Refugees’ Plight Is Personal for Me — and All Jews.”

AND, New Europe: “At least 34 refugees drowned in Eastern Aegean on Sunday, as the overcrowded wooden fishing boat, carrying the people in need, toppled because of the strong winds. Greek media reported that four babies, eleven children and ten women were among the victims.”

It’s official –> Jeremy Corbyn is the new head of Britain’s Labour Party. At The Nation magazine, D.D. Guttenplan writes, “A 100-to-1 outsider when he entered the race at the beginning of the summer, the veteran left-wing MP and chair of the Stop the War coalition had trouble scraping together the 35 nominations from his fellow Labour members of parliament. Branded a fringe figure by the media and party insiders, Corbyn’s forthright opposition to austerity — he was the only one of the four leadership candidates to vote against the Conservative government’s punitive new welfare bill — brought hundreds of thousands of new members and supporters into the Labour Party. Yet when the votes were counted, Corbyn won nearly 60 per cent of the total, giving him the largest mandate of any leader of any British political party—ever…

“Corbyn’s first task will be to turn a fractious, deeply divided party into an effective opposition. At the same time, he’ll need to find a way to start to bridge the very real political gap between Labour MPs and rank and file party members. But those who expected a Corbyn victory to tear the party apart will probably be disappointed.”

Flash to Dr. Ben Carson –> In an interview with Carla Marinucci of the San Francisco Chronicle last week, GOP presidential candidate Ben Carson said of climate change activists, “I know there a lot of people who say ‘overwhelming science,’ but then when you ask them to show the overwhelming science, they never can show it. There is no overwhelming science that the things that are going on are man-caused and not naturally caused. Gimme a break.”

So, Dhyana Taylor of The Huffington Post reports, California Governor Jerry Brown sent Carson a flash drive packed with the evidence: “a copy of the synthesis report from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), along with a letter asking Carson to utilize his ‘considerable intelligence’ to review the material.” Brown added, “These aren’t just words. The consequences are real.” He should know — raging wildfires continue to plague the drought-ridden state.

Quote of the weekend –> “Let’s stop just reading the newspapers, OK?” New Jersey Governor and presidential candidate Chris Christie to NBC News’ Chuck Todd on “Meet the Press,” when Todd questioned Christie about the ousting of United Airlines CEO Jeff Smisek and its connection to the Bridgegate scandal.

RIP –> Frank Gilroy, playwright, friend and filmmaker. And NBA Hall of Famer Moses Malone.

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Homepage photo: To huge applause, Jeremy Corbyn made his first public speech at the rally in Parliament Square, just hours after being elected Leader of the Labour Party. Here he is, back stage at the demo. Credit: RonF, Flickr / CC 2.0

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