Morning Reads

Good morning! Today is Johnny Appleseed Day, which you can celebrate by planting an apple tree or eating an apple or perhaps just using your iPhone….

Stat of the day: 61 percent — the share of young Republicans who favor marriage equality, according to Pew.

Back to the drawing board –> Sahil Kapur reports for TPM that House Republicans are considering cutting physicians’ fees for treating Medicare patients unless Dems agree to delay Obamacare’s individual mandate.

Radioactive –> TEPCO may have no choice but to dump “hundreds of thousands of tons” of contaminated water from the doomed Fukushima nuclear plant into the Pacific, reports The Guardian’s Justin McCurry.

Banana Republic –> Tony Romm reports for Politico that in advance of its announced merger with Time Warner, Comcast “donated to almost every member of Congress who has a hand in regulating it.”

Dirty money –> Prosecutors say that DC Mayor Vincent Gray knew about a costly “shadow campaign” waged with illegal campaign contributions from a large donor, according to WaPo’s Ann E. Marimow, Matt Zapotosky and Paul Schwartzmann.

Big numbers –> At Truthout, Dean Baker calls out the media (the NYT, specifically) for reporting big budget numbers without any context — as if people know whether $75 billion is a lot or a little to spend on infrastructure for a country of over 300 million people.

How’s that “free market” working? –> A hedge fund manager made a billion-dollar bet that a company’s stock would drop and then launched an all-out lobbying campaign to get Washington lawmakers to regulate it out of existence. Michael Schmidt, Eric Lipton and Alexandra Stevenson report for the NYT.

“Stuck on stupid” –> Protesters fighting Florida’s Stand Your Ground law said the Sunshine State is just that, according to Aaron Deslatte with McClatchy.

“The financial trade is controlled by old, rich white dudes” –> Patrick Caldwell reports for MoJo that Wall Street is fighting to block a rule that would require financial institutions to “self-assess” their efforts to promote diversity in the sector.

Unsustainable –> The population of Tucson has grown, and as the West faces increasing water problems, Slate’s Eric Holthaus wonders whether Tucson, Ariz., can survive climate change.

Outsourced –> TNR’s Alec MacGillis asks what the postal service is doing entering into a partnership with Staples, a company that faces bigger problems than the agency does.

Stay calm –> At The Atlantic, James Fallows writes that knee-jerk analyses of events like the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight 370 or Russia’s incursion into Crimea are too often wrong.

Coming home to roost –> TNR’s Danny Vinik argues that Republican rhetoric designed to whip up the base is making it difficult for lawmakers like House ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp to show that they’re serious about governing.

Everyone we don’t like is a terrorist –> Juan Cole writes that in the Middle East, everyone accuses their political opponents of being “terrorists.”

“This is your brain on murder” –> Salon is running an excerpt from Dean Haycock’s Murderous Minds: Exploring the Criminal Psychopathic Brain: Neurological Imaging and the Manifestation of Evil about how the brains of violent felons show certain organic characteristics in brain scans.

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