Morning Reads

Good morning! Today is Kindness Day — how will you celebrate? While you’re thinking it over, here are some of the stories we’re reading this AM…

Liz smash! –> Elizabeth Warren unloads on too-big-to-fail banks that have only gotten bigger; calls for passing a new Glass-Steagall Act. Luke Johnson reports for HuffPo.

Customer support? –> Amy Goldstein, Juliet Eilperin and Lena Sun report for WaPo that is unlikely to be entirely fixed by the end of this month.

Bubba’d –> Bill Clinton makes the White House squirm by saying people should be allowed to keep their awful health insurance, reports Josh Gerstein in Politico. BUT: Jonathan Cohn writes at TNR that the Big Dog’s wrong on this one. AND: Dean Baker argues at HuffPo that “rate shock” is the result of insurance companies ripping off their customers — dog bites man — and not the ACA.

Razor’s edge –> In Virginia’s AG race, Democrat Mark Herring pulls ahead of the author of the state’s voter ID law by 163 votes. ALSO: In Seattle, socialist city council candidate Kshama Sawant has pulled ahead of her opponent by 41 votes, and the SeaTac $15/hour living wage ordinance hangs onto a 43-vote lead (expect litigation!).

Civil war? –> At The Nation, Rick Perlstein says that reports of a rift between big business and the hard-right are being exaggerated — they’ve always had a complicated love affair.

Incarceration nation –> MoJo’s Josh Harkinson on an ACLU report highlighting 23 petty offenses that have landed people in jail with life sentences.

How would a patriot act? –> At Truthdig, Robert Scheer on a bipartisan bill that would end bulk NSA data trawling. ALSO: A new survey of PEN American Center writers indicates that more than a quarter of their members are avoiding controversial topics in their work because of government surveillance fears.

Ripoff –> Atlanta Braves to leave their 17 year-old publicly subsidized stadium for a new, $625 million publicly subsidized stadium in the ‘burbs, reports Mark Byrnes for Atlantic Cities. ALSO: Cobb County’s GOP chairman says one condition for the deal is that there be no public transportation allowing ‘those people’ from Atlanta to come out for the games, according to AJC’s Jay Bookman. #Outreach!

Corporate propaganda –> Lisa Graves writes in Salon about corporate PR firms posing as non-ideological think tanks.

The view from outside –> At The Guardian, Aussie Karen Pickering looks at American gun culture, regular fiscal showdowns and spiraling inequality and concludes that we’ve gone a little batty.

How we view the outside –> Slate’ s Joshua Keating with a brilliant piece about how the US media would report Michael Bloomberg’s 12 years in the NYC mayor’s office if he were a foreign political leader.

She can see the Vatican from her house! –> Sarah Palin worries about the pope’s lack of belligerence on social issues, but suspects that the LIE-beral media may be making it all up. Igor Bobic with the story for TPM.

Great #longread –> At TNR, Mariah Blake with the story of the civil war that tore apart Sun Myung Moon’s Unification Church.

Is old sock-y an adjective? –> Irish researchers are trying to develop a proper lexicon to describe the varied flavors of cheese. They came up with 21 adjectives!

And finally, World Kindness Day was established in 1988 as a day to put others before yourself. Here are three ideas for something you could do today: Send aid to those suffering in the Philippines. Give food to a food bank. Donate a winter coat to someone who needs one.

What other acts of kindness would you suggest? Let us know in the comments!

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