Morning Reads

Good morning — and happy Friday! Here are some of the stories we’re reading as we push toward the weekend…

Plea deal? –> Attorney General Eric Holder hinted in an interview that he might be open to a plea bargain that would allow Edward Snowden to return from exile without being thrown into Gitmo or fed to hungry sharks. Paul Lewis, Spencer Ackerman and Dan Roberts report for The Guardian.

No plea deal –> WaPo’s Rosalind Helderman and Carol Leonnig report that disgraced former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell rejected a proposal by prosecutors that would have allowed him to avoid trial and his wife to avoid charges altogether in exchange for pleading guilty to one count of corruption.

A lot remains to be done –> At TNR Mike Konczal offers four fights that remain ahead in the campaign to rein in Wall Street.

Their day in court –> Climatologist Michael Mann’s defamation suit against Mark Steyn and his fellow climate crackpots at National Review is moving forward. According to MoJo’s Mariah Blake, the defendants need to find new representation after Steyn insulted the judge hearing the case and their lawyers dropped them.

Dumb intellectual –> Dinesh D’Souza, author, former college president and intellectual light of the conservative movement, has been indicted on charges of campaign finance fraud. Hunter Walker and Eric Lach report for TPM.

We saw this one coming –> Josh Rogin at The Daily Beast: “US Investigating Dennis Rodman for Busting Sanctions.”

Kabuki –> Salon’s Alex Pareene writes that the bipartisan commission tasked with improving America’s elections was always doomed to fail because one major party really doesn’t want the system to be fixed.

Green for the green –> Banks aren’t offering accounts to marijuana businesses for fear of running afoul of federal laws against laundering drug money. It’s one of a number of legal quirks resulting from states legalizing marijuana ahead of the federal government. But Politico’s Josh Gerstein reports that the Obama administration will soon issue new rules that will make it easier for banks to work with legal pot enterprises.

Rotten through and through –> The Nation’s Dave Zirin writes that all the furor over Russia’s anti-gay legislation is obscuring the fact that Sochi “appears to be the most corrupt Olympics in history.”

Awkward –> Welder lauded as a “job creator” by Wisconsin Gov Scott Walker in a speech turns out to be a convicted sex offender, reports Daniel Bice at the Milwaukee J-S.

And you thought Occupy Oakland was bad –> FP has an eye-opening photo gallery of the violent street clashes in Kiev that have reportedly left a number of protesters dead.

Psyched! –> The British Psychological Society’s blog looks at new research suggesting that people who agree to participate in psychological studies are better adjusted than the population as a whole, throwing the entire field into suspicion.

Cannibal rats –> Everyone’s talking about the Russian ghost ship populated by “cannibal rats” that’s drifting towards shore somewhere in the UK.

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