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Morning Reads: President Obama Meets With Sanders; Back in 2009, Trump Supported Aggressive Climate Action

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Morning Reads: President Obama Meets with Sanders

Barack Obama returns to the White House last night, June 08, 2016, after a trip to New York where he made an appearance on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon and participated in a DNC event. (Photo by Aude Guerrucci - Pool/Getty Images)

Time to talk –> At Bernie Sanders’ request, he and President Obama will have a chat today at the White House. The president and his staff already have congratulated Hillary Clinton on the Democratic nomination, and Obama is expected to play a big role on the trail, vigorously campaigning and working to mend a split many feel has torn the party apart and could hurt all of its candidates’ chances in November. Politico reports that Sanders and Obama spoke on the phone Sunday, and today’s meeting will continue that conversation, the contents of which neither wanted to comment on in any detail.

And: At Washington Monthly, Nancy LeTourneau observes: “The ability to see the world through his opponent’s eyes and find common ground has been the foundation of this President’s approach to negotiating with everyone from congressional Republicans to the leaders of Iran. Back when Obama was dealing with Republicans over things like the federal budget, Bernie Sanders and many of his supporters saw this approach as weak and/or naive at best (‘corporatist capitulation’ at worst). But now, Sanders has reached out to the president as the negotiator who can help him continue the ‘conversation about the significant issues at stake in this election that matter most to America’s working families.’ It will be interesting to see if someone like Bernie Sanders is more open to embracing common ground than the Republicans.”

And: Jeff Shesol at The New Yorker: “At the most basic level, Obama’s and Clinton’s interests are aligned. To protect his policy achievements, Obama needs Clinton to win. In order to win, she needs him to energize young voters, Latinos, African-Americans, and independents — all groups that view Obama far more favorably than they do Clinton. That common interest helps explain why the Obama and Clinton camps have been able, so far, to avoid the sort of sniping, second-guessing, and public displays of ambivalence typically seen between eighth-year presidents and their preferred successors.”

Before he was a politician… –> Donald Trump signed on to a full-page ad in The New York Times by “business leaders” urging a positive outcome at the 2009 Copenhagen climate conference (which eventually failed, but laid some of the groundwork for last year’s Paris summit). The ad, in the form of an open letter addressed to the president and Congress, said: “If we fail to act now, it is scientifically irrefutable that there will be catastrophic and irreversible consequences for humanity and our planet… We support your effort to ensure meaningful and effective measures to control climate change, an immediate challenge facing the United States and the world today.” Ben Adler and Rebecca Leber report for Grist. We love their headline: “Donald Trump once backed urgent climate action. Wait, what?”

Of course: At The New York Times dot Earth blog, Andrew Revkin laments: “Will these contradictions matter to the voters who’ll make a difference in November? I’d like to think so, but I wouldn’t count on it.”

Toss it out –> Among all the problems this election has laid bare are the many flaws in America’s patchwork election system. And it’s not just Sanders voters who recognize it — Trump complained of a “rigged” delegate system, and Clinton consistently performed worse in caucuses, where it’s difficult for all voters to make their voices heard. At The Guardian, Freedom of the Press Foundation Director Trevor Timm catalogues the many aspects of elections that Americans should rethink. “Why, in 2016, do we even have this convoluted system?” he asks. “We don’t live in the 1800s anymore, and it’s not like the party primary rules are written into the Constitution like the antiquated electoral college is. A recent poll showed that a whopping 71 percent of the public would prefer to cut out delegates altogether and vote directly. Just eliminate them.”

Finally –> It’s been one year this month since the Supreme Court legalized gay marriage. And now, today, gay couples will be able to get married in Alabama, too. Reuters: “A federal judge in Alabama has issued a permanent injunction barring state officials from denying same-sex couples the right to marry in that state, according to court documents made public on Wednesday.”

Kasich’s back –> And perhaps unexpectedly, he’s back in the news for legalizing pot. Jessie Balmert at the Cincinnati Enquirer: “Gov. John Kasich signed a plan to legalize medical marijuana into law Wednesday, making Ohio the 25th state to approve its use… Kasich was quiet about whether he supported legalizing medical marijuana, saying only that he would follow doctors’ recommendations and wanted to help children in pain. But he ultimately signed the bill, which will take effect in 90 days.”

What can we learn from the tweets Trump deletes? –> At the Sunlight Foundation, Libby Watson takes a look at a tool the foundation developed called “Politwoops,” which logs tweets politicians try to take back. “Trump doesn’t often delete tweets,” Watson writes, “even when he retweets a white supremacist. Most of Trump’s entries in Politwoops are typos, and he quickly re-tweets a version of the same tweet, including his famous threat to ‘spill the beans’ on Ted Cruz’s wife that was deleted and promptly tweeted again. And last week Trump deleted and reposted a tweet promoting an event in California that included a screenshot from a flight simulator after the creator of the image placed a copyright claim on it. Looking at the last few weeks of Trump’s deleted tweets, though, there’s an interesting pattern: Nearly all of the tweets he deletes are about his media appearances.”

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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