Morning Reads

Good morning! And happy International Ninja Day! How will you celebrate? While you’re thinking it over — or perhaps sharpening your katana — here are some of the stories we’re reading…

#D5 –> Fast food workers strike in 100 cities today — RJ Eskow has 12 fast facts about this latest day of action at the Campaign for America’s Future blog. ALSO: You can find out what’s going on near you here. AND: Mother Jones has a series of charts that show why they’re fighting. ALSO, TOO: At The Atlantic, Emily Badger writes about the slow deterioration of the minimum wage — which was once enough to keep a family of three out of poverty.

Do they want to kill the planet? –> The Guardian’s Suzanne Goldenberg and Ed Pilkington report on ALEC’s multifaceted plan to block renewable energy development, starting with charging people who install solar panels on their homes for feeding power back into the grid.

Cruel irony –> Map of food-stamp usage shows that Republican lawmakers represent more districts with heavy participation in the program than Democrats.

Some of these guys have a lot to learn” –> Seeking to avoid another Todd Akin-type meltdown, the RNC is tutoring its male candidates about “messaging against women opponents,” according to John Bresnahan and Anna Palmer in Politico.

LIZ SMASH! –> Elizabeth Warren hits back at Third Way by asking them to disclose their Wall Street donors; puts group on the defensive. Alan Zibel reports for the WSJ.

Why we can’t have nice things –> Al Jazeera America’s Wilson Dizard reports that the oil and gas industry is suing Colorado towns that have passed bans on fracking.

They don’t tire –> Ari Berman reports for The Nation that Ohio officials are resurrecting voter suppression efforts that were struck down by a court last year.

And we can’t retire –> Survey: “More than half of US workers aren’t saving enough money to be able to cover essential living expenses in retirement.” Stuart Pfeifer reports for the Los Angeles Times.

Bishops and health care –> At Salon, Katie McDonough takes a look at growing tensions within the church over the US Congress of Bishops’ involvement in health care at Catholic hospitals.

And homeschoolers –> At The American Prospect, Kathryn Joyce has a fascinating #longread about kids raised in ultraconservative religious households experiencing difficult journeys to independence once they leave home.

Profiles in courage –> In the House, a huge bipartisan majority voted to extend a ban on undetectable plastic guns — because undetectable guns! — but House leaders set it up so that Republican constituents can’t know if their representative supported the measure. Stephen Webster has the story at The Progressive

Risky gambit –> At The Monkey Cage, Henry Farrell argues that Iran hawks in Congress aren’t helping negotiators by taking a hard-line on sanctions, as many of them claim.

Family tree gets convoluted –> Discovery of 400,000-year-old DNA from an early human ancestor is throwing much of what we thought we knew about human evolution into doubt. If you’re into science, this New York Times piece by Carl Zimmer is a must-read.

What else is going on? Tell us in the comments!

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