Morning Reads

Good morning — and a happy 67th birthday to Willard “Mitt” Romney! Here are some reads for the morning…

Stat of the day: 515,000 — the number of union members whose political donations equal that of one Koch brother, according to Jonathan Cohn at TNR.

Bring on the lazy punditry –> Republican David Jolly defeated Democrat Alex Sink in a closely watched special election in Florida last night — a rematch is scheduled for November.

“Certain to anger the business lobby in Washington” –> Obama issued an executive order requiring companies to pay overtime to several million workers who were classified as managers or professionals. Michael Shear and Steven Greenhouse report for the NYT.

Traumatized –> Half of the residents of a town near the Fukushima nuclear power plant showed signs of PTSD, and two-thirds had symptoms of depression. Joshua Keating has the story at Slate.

When the middle men have lobbyists –> New Jersey became the third state to bar Tesla from selling its cars directly to consumers, according to Chris Welch at The Verge.

A “de facto political operation” –> Kate Zernicke and Matt Flegenheimer report for the NYT that the Port Authority was a “tool” used by Chris Christie long before those lane closures brought national attention to the operation.

Arbeit –> At The Nation, William Greider writes that German companies’ progressive labor policies may have a bigger impact on the US than you might think.

Today is National Girl Scout Day! –> And according to Politico’s Robin Marty, the religious right has been boycotting the organization on various flimsy grounds for years. The latest is in response to a tweet with a link to a story mentioning Wendy Davis.

“Grueling, dangerous, poorly compensated and rife with labor abuses” –> Herding isn’t as romantic as you might think — Kari Lydersen looks at the lives of modern cowboys for In These Times.

Sex sells –> A new study quantifies the value of the commercial sex trade in eight US cities — Kevin Hall and Daniel White have the details for McClatchy.

Fracked –> Tara Lohan at AlterNet: “California Gov. Jerry Brown Faces Protests Over Fracking as Epic Drought Looms.”

4.2 million –> New enrollment totals for Obamacare released, and Jonathan Cohn offers  some context with the raw numbers.

We need a Manhattan Project –> At The Guardian, Tom Delay (not the corrupt one) writes that we need a major technological mobilization to save the Earth’s climate.

Another nail in the coffin –> The Senate passed a bill that would end public funding for political conventions, further undermining an already outdated public financing system for US elections. Josh Israel reports for ThinkProgress.

Good eats? –> At NatGeo, Brian Clark Howard tells of an unforgettable experience photographing — and bonding with — leopard seals, one of whom tried to feed him penguins for several days.

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