Morning Reads

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

Slackers –> One fifth of Obamacare enrollees haven’t paid their first month’s premiums. Robert Pear reports for The New York Times.

Progress is bumpy –> In Kansas, lawmakers are advancing a “gay segregation bill” that would not only allow private companies to discriminate based on sexual preference but also give public employees the right to refuse service to LGBT Americans. Mark Joseph Stern has the details at Slate. YET: A federal judge also struck down Virginia’s same sex marriage ban yesterday — just days after a provision of Kentucky’s ban was ruled unconstitutional.

Criminals in the state house –> Peter Beck, a powerful Ohio state lawmaker, has been charged with 69 felonies in a bizarre money-laundering and fraud scheme related to a church that prosecutors describe as a “cult.” Chrissie Thompson reports for The Cincinnati Enquirer.

Schadenfreude alert –> Salon’s Alex Pareene on the “sad fake ‘millennial’ anti-debt group” that’s now mired in debt.

Shameless plutocracy –> Having recently warned of a “progressive Kristallnacht,” billionaire Tom Perkins says wealthy people should get more votes than the rest of us. Apparently, he ignored our advice to shut up.

Veritas –> Gotcha videographer James O’Keefe sued for defamation and wrongful termination. Dave Weigel with the details for Slate.

We’re exhausted –> Upworthy’s Carolyn Silveira has some snappy graphics that show how overworked Americans are — and why we should take every Friday off.

“Giant evil” –> Church of England considering divestment from fossil fuels to fight the “giant evil” of climate change, reports Ari Phillips for ThinkProgress.

Failing upward –> At The Nation, Rick Perlstein eviscerates Democratic Leadership Council founder Al From’s revisionist history of the business-friendly Democratic group.

Time for a raise –> Jacob Fischler reports for Buzzfeed that House Democrats are trying to get enough signatures on a discharge petition to force a vote on a minimum wage hike.

Maybe he’s not a romantic –> At TNR, Jeffrey Ball writes that Valentine’s Day is an “environmental travesty.”

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