Morning Reads

Good morning, and happy National Pie Day! While you think about how you’ll honor the occasion — and there are so many ways — take a look at some of the stuff we’re reading this a.m…

Outage –> Great Firewall of China blamed for knocking 500 million Chinese households off the internet for eight hours, according to Paul Carsten and Pete Sweeney at Reuters.

Watching the watchers –> Charlie Savage reports for the NYT that a government watchdog report declares NSA’s bulk telephone record sweeps illegal, and calls for an end to the program.

LIZ! –> Calling it both a “moral and economic” issue, Senator Elizabeth Warren will offer legislation that would refinance $1.2 trillion in student loan debt.

Sabotage –> TPM’s Sahil Kapur reports that the GOP’s latest efforts to kill Obamacare revolve around the repeal of an obscure provision designed to keep premiums low.

Elections have consequences –> Shortly after winning by a margin of a few hundred votes, new Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring says the state’s gay marriage ban is unconstitutional.

An uncertain impact –> Buried in the recent budget is a minor provision that could strip away the IRS’ ability to counter dark money groups, but nobody really knows for sure because the wording is so vague. Patrick Caldwell reports for MoJo.

Inequality of opportunity –> NYT op-doc on a pregnant teen living in a poor rural community shows how the deck is stacked against some Americans at birth.

Why we can’t have nice things –> At TAP, Andrew Levison offers evidence that conservative economic narratives have become widely embraced by the American public.

THANK YOU! –> “It’s 1,000 days too early to talk Hillary vs. Christie for president,” writes Kristen Soltis Anderson in The Daily Beast.

Aging white reactionaries” –> Salon’s Brian Beutler argues that the GOP’s efforts to rebrand are being stymied by the fact that any move it makes to reach out to new voters results in a furious backlash from its base.

No medal for eco-friendly practices –> At Grist, Amelia Urry reports that the Sochi Olympics are shaping up as one of the most environmentally destructive events in memory.

Some folks just don’t deserve pie –> Multi-millionaire Kevin O’Leary, often called “Canada’s Donald Trump,” says that it’s “fantastic” that 85 people control almost half of the planet’s wealth.

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