Morning Reads

Happy election day! A political nerd’s favorite day of the year. Here’s some of the stuff we’re reading this AM before heading to the polls…

Big win for a big man –> TNR‘s Nate Cohn ponders what Chris Christie’s expected landslide win in NJ may portend for the 2016 presidential contest.

Mapping the campaign cash –> At MoJo, Alex Park and Tasneem Raja map the industries that donate the most to candidates in each of the 50 states.

From pot to schools –> Josh Eidelson with five “under the radar” races to watch today for Salon.

Politicians don’t think much of voters –> At The Monkey Cage, Larry Bartels writes about research suggesting that politicians don’t think they’ll be held accountable by an electorate that’s tuned out and has a short attention-span.

Silly season –> At Gothamist, John Del Signore warns that a shocking New York Post revelation that NYC Mayoral front-runner Bill de Blasio once went on a university-sponsored trip to the Soviet Union could cost him “the crucial ‘senile conservative’ demographic.”

The politics of health care reform is fun –> Cancer patient pens op-ed in the WSJ blaming the ACA for the fact that she has to switch insurance companies. Health care wonk points out that her insurer was actually pulling out of the market because of competition with larger companies that enjoy a state tax break. Without comment, a White House advisor tweets a link to the wonk’s article. Prominent right-wing blog outraged, accuses the White House of “smearing” a cancer patient.

Headline says it all –> “Recessions can hurt, but austerity kills.” Jon Henley in The Guardian.

Billionaire says it’s time to give back –> William Greider reports for The Nation on a billionaire money-manager telling his clients they should pay higher taxes and give something back to working people.

That makes it alright then! –> NSA official defends agency snooping by comparing it with NYPD’s controversial ‘stop-and-frisk’ program, according to McClatchy’s Ali Watkins.

ENDA –> Republican Sen. Mark Kirk uses first floor speech since suffering a stroke to push the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. BUT: Greg Sargent writes at The Plum Line that the House is moving backward on LGBT rights.

Torture –> Medical personnel violated professional standards by assisting CIA in torturing suspected terrorists post-911, says new report. Via The Guardian.

Booze is worse? –> NYT op-ed says marijuana and alcohol appear to be substitutes, and the former is less harmful to society.

Busted again –> More alleged plagiarism discovered in Rand Paul’s past writings, according to Andrew Kaczynski at Buzzfeed.

Thawing –> Iran says UN chief nuclear inspector is visiting Tehran, according to AJE.

Emergency –> Texas abortion providers file emergency petition to stay law that would shutter one-third of the state’s clinics. Jessica Mason Pieklo reports for RH Reality Check.

Number four –> India launches mars spacecraft, becoming the fourth country to visit the red planet, reports AP.

Goldilocks –> Study finds 8.8 billion Earth-size “goldilocks” planets — not too hot, not too cold for life — in our solar system alone.

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