Morning Reads

Good morning! It’s National Cuddle-up Day, and here in NYC the weather is certainly right for the occasion. Here are some of the stories we’re reading as we gear up for a new week…

The high cost of bad policy –> Harvard economist Lawrence Katz estimates that the expiration of benefits for the long-term unemployed is costing the economy $1 billion per week. ALSO: Mike Lillis and Vicki Needham report for The Hill that John Boehner is “open” to extending the benefits as long as the costs are offset with other cuts.

Numbers keep getting bigger –> In 2012, we’d never heard of the Koch brothers-backed Freedom Partners. As media orgs continue to dig into the shadowy group, the amount of money we know it spent keeps growing — in today’s WaPo, Matea Gold reports that the group raised $400 million.

Iraq war: the sequel? –> At The Nation, Greg Mitchell says that while there won’t be boots on the ground,┬ámore US military action in Iraq is likely after al Qaeda-aligned militants seized control of Fallujah.

Labor on the precipice –> Salon’s Josh Eidelson on a key case coming up before the Supreme Court which could result in all public workers falling under the disastrous Right-to-Work-for-Less law.

The rich are different –> At Slate, Matthew Hutson looks at new research which finds that the wealthy believe they are inherently superior to — and more deserving than — the rest of us.

Related? –> Robert Reich says that 2013 was a high-water mark in wealth redistribution — that is, in upward redistribution from America’s working majority to its investor class.

Freaking out –> In Utah, opponents of marriage equality are calling for an “uprising,” and one of them has launched a hunger strike. Tony Merevick reports for Buzzfeed. UPDATE: This morning, the Supreme Court blocked same-sex marriages from being performed in Utah until the state’s appeal is heard by a federal appeals court in Denver. Adam Liptak has the breaking story for the NYT.

Enforcing laws is so pre-9/11 –> FBI quietly drops law enforcement as its highest priority. John Hudson reports for FP that the agency is now focused primarily on national security.

Obamacare a stepping stone? –> TNR’s Noam Scheiber argues that the ACA paves the way for single-payer healthcare.

War on Texas Women –> At AJA, Lindsay Beyerstein has a must-read report on the real-word consequences of Texas’ restrictive abortion law. It’s not a pretty picture.

Buh-bye -> Citing family health issues, Liz Cheney exits the Wyoming Senate race. Tom Kludt has the story for TPM.

Reincarnation –> NPR’s Rachel Martin has a fascinating interview with Jim Tucker, a psychologist who studies incidents of small children “remembering” events that happened long before they were born.

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