Morning Reads

Good morning, and happy Ratification Day! 230 years ago, the Treaty of Paris was ratified by the Confederation Congress, officially ending the Revolutionary War — it’s been a pretty good run since. Here are some of the stories we’re reading on this historic day…

Highly anticipated numbers –> TNR’s Jonathan Cohn puts new Obamacare enrollment data into perspective.

Old-school detective work beats spying –> Analysis of 225 terror cases by the New America Foundation, reported by WaPo’s Ellen Nakashima, finds that NSA surveillance did little to make us safer. According to the study, traditional law enforcement techniques have been highly effective.

Quiet win for the banks –> At Slate, Matt Yglesias writes that a “boring decision made by boring regulators in a boring town on Sunday deals a significant blow to global financial stability.” ALSO: Dan Roberts reports for The Guardian that Republicans in Congress have dropped their demand to further slash the food stamp budget, and will settle for cutting funding for Wall Street regulators instead.

They really want a war –> Just days before the interim agreement with Iran goes into effect, Carol Lee reports for the WSJ that the House plans to pass new sanctions that threaten to undermine the current detente.

The war against people living in poverty –> Krugman in NYT: “Enemies of the Poor.” Ehrenreich at The Atlantic: “It Is Expensive to Be Poor.”

Race to the top –> At TNR, Nancy Cohen reports that Los Angeles is considering a $15 per hour minimum wage for hotel workers. It joins Seattle and Chicago in considering $15 per hour laws for at least some groups of workers.

Fallujah, ten years after the battle –> At The Guardian, USMC vet Ross Caputi says that exaggerated claims about Fallujah being taken over by al Qaeda today remind him of the same false claims made in 2004. Click through for what he sees as the real story.

High cost of lax regulation –> MoJo’s Chris Mooney says that the West Virginia chemical spill highlights our government’s coddling of the industry.

Power struggle –> Scotusblog’s Lyle Denniston runs down what’s at stake in a challenge to presidents’ recess appointment powers before the Supreme Court.

Money makes you selfish –> At Pacific Standard, Tom Jacobs looks at a new study which finds that people are less willing to help others if they’ve just held some cash in their hand.

And in dinosaur news –> Scientists believe they’re observed modern alligators and crocodiles using lures to trick their prey. If their use of tools is confirmed, it could tell us something about the complexity of dinosaur behavior, according to Brian Switek at NatGeo.

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