Morning Reads

Good morning! Twenty-four years ago today, Nelson Mandela was released after a 27-year stay in a South African prison — four years later, he became president. In newer news, here are our Morning Reads…

Snatched –> The WaPo obtained closed circuit TV footage of a US special forces team abducting an alleged former associate of Osama bin Laden in Libya. Adam Goldman has the story.

Greasing the wheels –> A prominent lobbying firm has agreed to a record fine for lavishing California lawmakers — including Gov Jerry Brown — with improper gifts, according to Patrick McGreevey at the LAT.

Just a tad suspicious –> A black man married to a white woman was found dead in a Texas forrest with his throat slit, and the local sheriff concluded he’d died of a drug overdose. Family members say he had no history of drug use. Yvette Caslin reports for Rolling Out.

Today’s outrage=no biggie –> At TNR, Jonatha Cohn writes that despite some political drama over the Obama administration’s decision to delay a mandate that large employers have to provide their workers with insurance coverage, the real-world impact of the decision should be minor.

Mas –> TAP’s Paul Waldman blasts employers who falsely claim that Obamacare is forcing them to cut employees benefits. ALSO: CBO Director Doug Elmendorf answers questions about what his agency’s recent report really said about the ACA and employment.

Parched –> Alex Park and Julia Lurie report for MoJo that California’s drought may be the worst in 500 years.

So much for freedom of contract –> Brent Snavely reports for the Detroit Free Press that “the crusade by anti-union forces in Tennessee, including the state’s governor and senior senator, is now as much a fight with Volkswagen management as with the UAW.” ALSO: At TAP, Harold Meyerson says a pro-union vote would make history in two ways.

Beacon of peace and democracy –> In Iraq, a suicide bombing instructor — who knew they existed? — accidentally killed himself and most of his students, reports Duraid Adnan for the NYT.

Civil war –> Jeremy Peters reports for the NYT on the ongoing efforts by the business establishment to marginalize fringe Republican congressional candidates who might cost the GOP winnable seats.

Justice? -> Aviva Shen’s headline at ThinkProgress sums up an Occupy Wall Street story: “Activist Allegedly Beaten Into Unconsciousness By Police Faces 7 Years In Prison For Elbowing Cop.”

R.I.P. –> Shirley Temple Black died in her home at age 85. Enjoy a classic scene with Temple dancing and singing with Bill “Bojangles” Robinson from the 1935 film, “The Littlest Rebel.”

Very awkward –> An interview with Samuel L. Jackson went awry when a TV entertainment critic confused him with Laurence Fishburne. Sarah Gray has a write-up — and video — for Salon.

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