Morning Reads

Good morning! Only 364 shopping days left until Christmas! Before working on your list, take a look at some of the stories we’re reading on this slow holiday news day…

He’s freaking them out –> Katie Glueck reports for Politico that Pope Francis’ economic views are ‘rattling’ the GOP.

A year-end review worth noting –> Salon’s Josh Eidelson looks back at an eventful year for the American labor movement.

Somalia? –> At AlterNet, RJ Eskow considers what a libertarian paradise with no social safety net and limited public services would look like in the real world.

The 60-minute ‘infomercial’ –> David Carr wonders in The New York Times whether recent reporting by 60 Minutes — including the discredited Benghazi piece and last week’s “friendly” NSA segment — means the show has lost its mojo.

Dickensian, and not in a Christmasy way –> Fox News’ Kelley Beaucar Vlahos writes about the return of debtors’ prisons.

A Takei delegation –> The Nation’s Dave Zirin on that US delegation to the Sochi Olympics that has no senior officials but several prominent gay athletes.

Heard this tune before –> Neil King and Patrick O’Connor report for The Wall Street Journal that business groups and the GOP establishment are employing a multi-faceted strategy to decrease the influence of the tea parties and far-right outside spending groups.

Flying while multilingual –> A federal judge ruled that the TSA and the FBI were acting within the law when they arrested a student boarding a plane for possession of Arabic flashcards. Scott Kaufmann has the details at The Raw Story.

Ask an expert –> Catholic Church ‘angelologist’ Father Renzo Lavator says angels are obviously real, but of course have no wings.

Is anything else going on out there?

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