Morning Reads

Good morning! Today is National Chocolate Covered Anything Day — what will you cover in chocolate? While you’re mulling over your options, check out some of the stories we’re reading this morning…

Worst Congress in memory –> The budget deal passed in the House now moves to the Senate. BUT: Damian Paletta reports for the WSJ that Republicans plan on staging another debt-limit fight next year.

High-tech poverty –> At AlterNet, Evelyn Nieves finds thousands of homeless people have set up shanty-towns in the heart of Silicon Valley. ALSO: David Streitfeld reports for the NYT that Amazon’s warehouse workers are taking a fight for decent pay and tolerable working conditions from Germany to Seattle.

Pushing back the ‘centrists’ –> At TNR, Center for American Progress head Neera Tanden says that Democrats who oppose measures to combat inequality are marrying bad policy with losing politics.

Blitz coming –> Now that the ACA website is more or less functional, the WSJ’s Timothy Martin reports that health insurers are expected to buy a $500 billion in local TV ads promoting their products next year. That’s more than double what they spent last year.

Packing heat –> The Center for Public Integrity’s Nicholas Kusnetz gives us an inside look at schools that have armed their staffs.

Incentives –> The EU is preparing to offer a massive aid package to both Israel and the Palestinians if they can resolve their decades-old conflict. John Kerry is backing the proposal, reports Robert Tait for The Telegraph.

Ripoff –> At MoJo, Dave Gilson looks at the trillion-dollar boondoggle known as the F-35 Strike Fighter, which continues to have serious operational problems.

Dismal science –> The US Catholic has a good interview about the economics of inequality with St. John’s economist Charles Clark. And Pope Francis responds to conservative criticism and says that although he’s personally not a Marxist, he has known plenty of good Marxists.

‘Tis the season –> For Alex Pareene’s annual Hack List for Salon.

Rampant crime –>The Guardian’s Jessica Aldred reports that wildlife poaching has exploded into a huge international trade that threatens to destabilize some African countries.

┬áTrust the Huffington Post –> To celebrate the day with “11 Foods That Should Never be Dipped in Chocolate.”

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