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.

Debate Night 2 –> Tonight’s the night, the Republican candidates will be jousting in front of the fuselage of Ronald Reagan’s Air Force One at his presidential library in Simi Valley, California. The four not-ready-for-primetime candidates debate at 6 pm ET (Jindal, Graham, Santorum, Pataki), then the top 11 rumble at 8 pm ET, both live on CNN and live-streamed at At ThinkProgress, Kira Lerner has a list of “13 Things You’ll Probably Hear During The Second GOP Debate That Are Totally False.”

ALSO, at Bloomberg Politics, James Nash reports that, “As he struggles to bring under control devastating wildfires that he blames at least partly on global warming, California Governor Jerry Brown has an un-welcome message for the Republican presidential candidates gathering in his state… ‘I would challenge [them] to speak to what is certainly one of the fundamental issues of our time,’ Brown said in an interview. ‘They fancy themselves defenders of life but they actually are willing merchants of destruction. I would like to see them be honest about climate change.'”

Brown’s words came as “President Obama’s top climate change negotiator met with his Chinese counterpart in Los Angeles on Tuesday to announce joint actions by cities, states and provinces in both countries to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.” (The New York Times)

“Fortress Europe” –> As Hungary closes its borders, Jon Queally at Common Dreams has an excellent update on the refugee crisis. ALSO, at Al Jazeera English, Helena Malikyar writes about “the other refugee crisis” — “Until last year, Afghans were the largest global refugee population at 2.6 million people – almost 10 percent of the country’s entire population. Today, estimated at 12 percent, they are ranked as the second largest group (after Syrians) to have reached European shores and borders. According to the United Nations’ refugee agency, UNHCR, more than 40,000 Afghans have sought asylum in Europe from January until August this year.”

Say it ain’t so, Joe –> At International Business Times, David Sirota and Matthew Cunningham-Cook report, “Though the vice president has long portrayed himself as a champion of the struggling middle class — a man who famously commutes on Amtrak and mixes enthusiastically with blue-collar workers — the Delaware lawmaker has played a consistent and pivotal role in the financial industry’s four-decade campaign to make it harder for students to shield themselves and their families from creditors, according to an IBT review of bankruptcy legislation going back to the 1970s.”

On the other hand –> Kevin Liptak at CNN Politics reports that at a reception last night, Biden spoke about Donald Trump: “There’s one guy absolutely denigrating an entire group of people, appealing to the baser side of human nature, working on this notion of xenophobia in a way that hasn’t occurred in a long time…

“This will pass: Trump, and that stuff that you’re hearing on the other team.”

Why Louisiana is the epicenter of the war on Planned Parenthood –> Michael Hiltzik in the Los Angeles Times: “The anti-Planned Parenthood campaign mounted by Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal’s administration has become the one-stop shop for everything you need to know about the politicization of women’s reproductive health rights. What’s especially disheartening about Louisiana is that it’s the model for a state that needs more of the services that Planned Parenthood provides out of its clinics in Baton Rouge and New Orleans, not less.”

Kochs’ congressional ghostwriter –> “Critics of Koch Industries say the company uses its vast political machine to manipulate political and policy debates in the U.S. The LinkedIn profile of a former officer of the company lends credibility to that argument. In it, he boasts that as part of the Koch Industries’ communication team, he helped write opinion columns and letters that were signed by members of Congress.” Lee Fang at The Intercept has more.

It’s morning in America, er, Cornwall –> Seems the Jeb! Bush super PAC Right to Rise has a new attack ad contrasting Jeb!’s sunny vision of a Reagan-esque USA with Trump’s bleak pessimism. Only problem is that the gorgeous sunrise in the spot is stock footage filmed in Cornwall, England, and a shot of a construction worker was filmed at a building in southeast Asia. Exporting jobs! Politico’s Eliza Collins and Daniel Strauss have the story.

AND, in other Right to Rise TV ad news (what are the odds of THAT?), Dave Weigel at The Washington Post explains why a blocked-out placard on a podium says something important about money and politics.

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