Morning Reads

Good morning! Here are a few of the stories we’re reading over our coffee this AM at Moyers & Company HQ…

Nadir? –> Public approval of Obama and his signature legislative achievement both hit new lows, according to the latest CBS poll. RELATED: TNR’s Jonathan Cohn with “Six Things the Media Don’t Understand About Obamacare.”

Going nuclear –> Alexander Bolton reports for The Hill that senate Dems, facing blanket rejection of Obama’s judicial nominees, feel that they have little choice but to limit the use of the filibuster.

Permawar –> NBC’s Richard Engel reports on a leaked draft of an agreement that could keep US troops in Afghanistan for “many years to come” — and keep US taxpayers on the hook for funding Afghan troops as well. ALSO: AP reports that a number of European countries are getting together to advance a common military drone program.

When cuts turn deadly –> Michael Tomasky writes at The Daily Beast that years of cuts to Virginia’s mental health budget played a roll in the tragic death of VA lawmaker Creighton Deeds’s disturbed son Gus. And he notes that there’s a shortage of mental health beds nationwide.

We’re 43!! –> At MoJo, Chris Mooney points out that our climate policies rank 43rd in overall effectiveness. But at least we beat those pesky Canadians!

How can you study when you can’t eat? –> Good question asked by Stacia Brown at Salon, noting that hunger and homelessness are on the rise on America’s college campuses.

Wal-Mart loses, workers win –> At The Nation, Peter Dreier runs down a recent NLRB ruling that found Wal-Mart had broken the law by harassing employees who spoke out about its poverty wages and abusive labor practices.

Name-brand ripoff –> Charles Ornstein, Tracy Weber and Jennifer LaFleur report for ProPublica that Medicare is wasting hundreds of millions of dollars by not cracking down on doctors who prescribe costly name-brand drugs when generic versions are available.

SCOTUS on Texas –> The Supreme Court allowed Texas’ extreme anti-abortion restrictions to stand. Lyle Denniston with the story for ScotusBlog.

Let them eat freedom® –> At NYMag, Jonathan Chait looks at Paul Ryan’s new “anti-poverty agenda” and comes away unimpressed.

What a charmer –> Democratic state rep in Hawaii gets his kicks destroying the worldly possessions of homeless people. ThinkProgress’s Scott Keyes with the maddening tale.

Rebranding –> The lobbyists’ lobby — yes, that exists — is changing its name to the “Association of Government Relations Professionals,” according to Dave Levinthal at the Center for Public Integrity.

Selfie –> Oxford Dictionary names “selfie” — a picture taken of oneself with a cellphone camera — its Word of the Year for 2013.

What else is happening? Let us know in the comments! 

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