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Morning Reads: Obama Tears Into Trump; House Plot to Throw Out Dodd-Frank

A roundup of some of the stories we're reading at BillMoyers.com HQ...

Morning Reads: President Obama Tears Into Trump

President Barack Obama speaks following a National Security Council meeting on the Islamic State at the Department of Treasury in Washington, DC, June 14, 2016. (Photo credit: SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

President goes on the attack –> In a speech following a National Security Council meeting about the Islamic State yesterday, Obama ripped into Donald Trump and the Republican Party: “Where does this stop? … Are we going to start treating all Muslim Americans differently? Are we going to start subjecting them to special surveillance? Are we going to start discriminating against them because of their faith? We’ve heard these suggestions during the course of this campaign. Do Republican officials actually agree with this? Because that’s not the America we want. It doesn’t reflect our democratic ideals. It won’t make us more safe; it will make us less safe — fueling ISIL’s notion that the West hates Muslims.”

And: “For a while now, the main contribution of some of my friends on the other side of the aisle have made in the fight against ISIL is to criticize this administration and me for not using the phrase ‘radical Islam.’ That’s the key, they tell us — we can’t beat ISIL unless we call them ‘radical Islamists.’ What exactly would using this label accomplish? What exactly would it change? Would it make ISIL less committed to trying to kill Americans? Would it bring in more allies? Is there a military strategy that is served by this? The answer is none of the above.”

And: Some New Yorkers riding the subway Monday took care of business when a man began verbally harassing two Muslim women on the F train. DNA Info has the details.

DC voted yesterday –> And so we officially bid farewell to the Democratic Party primary season. Hillary Clinton won almost 79 percent of the district’s vote.

But: There’s no new news regarding Bernie Sanders’ plans. He and Hillary Clinton had a two-hour meeting last night, and both campaigns emerged with statements saying the candidates had “agreed to continue working to develop a progressive agenda.”

Party hacks –> Ellen Nakashima for The Washington Post: “Russian government hackers penetrated the computer network of the Democratic National Committee and gained access to the entire database of opposition research on GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump, according to committee officials and security experts who responded to the breach. The intruders so thoroughly compromised the DNC’s system that they also were able to read all email and chat traffic, said DNC officials and the security experts.”

The scandal that keeps on giving –> Yes, it’s “Bridgegate” again, that 2013 shutdown of the George Washington Bridge, allegedly to punish a Democratic mayor who would not endorse New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s bid for reelection. Republican Gov. Christie, currently moonlighting, according to The New Yorker’s Ryan Lizza, as “a sort of manservant” to Donald Trump — literally doing things like fetching the GOP candidate’s McDonald’s orders — is accused of destroying a cell phone, text messages and emails related to the Bridgegate scandal. Andrea Bernstein and Matt Katz report for public radio station WNYC.

Paul Ryan would love to toss out Dodd-Frank –> The House speaker’s Wall Street reform agenda includes a plan drawn up by House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX), one of the big banks’ staunchest allies on the Hill, to cancel Dodd-Frank, the Democrats’ signature financial reform legislation following the 2008 crash. Ryan Rainey reports for the Morning Consult.

And: At the Los Angeles Times, David Lazarus looks at Hensarling’s motives, quoting Deepak Gupta, former senior counsel for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which was created by Dodd-Frank: “Jeb Hensarling is a wholly owned subsidiary of the financial services industry.”

Lazarus continues, “Too harsh? Not when you consider that, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, Hensarling has received more than $5.5 million from financial firms and industry groups since being elected to the House in 2002. The top two contributors to his political endeavors are JPMorgan Chase ($105,000) and the American Bankers Assn. ($85,000).”

Net neutrality is here to stay. We think. –> Cecelia Kang at The New York Times: “High-speed internet service can be defined as a utility, a federal court has ruled in a sweeping decision clearing the way for more rigorous policing of broadband providers and greater protections for web users. The decision affirmed the government’s view that broadband is as essential as the phone and power and should be available to all Americans, rather than a luxury that does not need close government supervision.” Nonetheless, some of net neutrality’s opponents vow they’ll appeal the case all the way to the Supreme Court.

House votes to make dark money darker –> A bill now headed for the US Senate would allow nonprofit groups to shield their donors from the IRS. This may sound inoffensive to some, but in recent years megadonors have made use of these groups to shield their identities while pouring enormous sums into politics. “Only one Republican, Rep. Chris Gibson of New York, who is retiring from Congress at the end of his term, opposed the bill,” Kathy Kiely reports for our site.

Our monthly reminder: Climate change is real. –> Andrea Thompson at Climate Central writes, “The streak continues: May was record warm for the globe, according to NASA data released Monday. It’s now even more likely that 2016 will be the hottest year ever recorded, despite the demise of one of the strongest El Niños on record… So far this year every month has been record warm. February and March actually set consecutive records for the most anomalously warm month, according to data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). February retained that record by NASA’s reckoning.”

Morning Reads was written by John Light and edited by Michael Winship. See a story that you think should be included in Morning Reads? Tell us in the comments!


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