Morning Reads

Good morning — and happy St. Pat’s! Don’t start celebrating until you check out our Morning Reads…

Ninety-five percent –> In a controversial ballot measure, Crimeans voted overwhelmingly to join Russia. Mike Eckel and John-Thor Dalhburg report for the AP (via Yahoo News). AND: TNR’s Julia Ioffe says that Putin will go after Eastern Ukraine next because “geography demands it.”

In case you’re feeling too cheery this morning –> A NASA-funded study suggests that “global industrial civilization could collapse in coming decades due to unsustainable resource exploitation and increasingly unequal wealth distribution.”┬áNafeez Ahmed reports for The Guardian.

But if we do survive… –>At WaPo, Greg Sargent reports that several more lawmakers have signed onto the push to increase Social Security benefits. RELATED: Campaign for America’s Future Co-director Roger Hickey looks at the growing progressive populist movement.

The times they are a-changin’ –> Guinness dropped its sponsorship of NYC’s Saint Patrick’s Day parade for refusing to let LGBT groups participate, Mayor Bill de Blasio will join an unofficial gay-friendly parade in Queens and Boston Mayor Martin Walsh is skipping the holiday entirely after talks on the subject broke down with that city’s parade organizers.

Speaking of the Irish –> In the NYT, Timothy Egan notes the irony of Paul Ryan using the same “culture of dependency” rhetoric as the British employed during the potato famine which sent Ryan’s forefathers fleeing to the US.

The crime is worse than the cover-up –> So writes David Cole in the New York Review of Books about the controversy over the Senate’s report on the CIA’s Bush-era detention and torture programs.

R.I.P. –> At Salon, Thomas Frank writes that American meritocracy is dead, as the one percent have successfully rigged the game.

A new species is born –> A group of pro-marijuana legalization Republicans held their inaugural meeting in Texas this weekend, according to Houston’s ABC affiliate.

Pro-wage theft –> Spencer Woodman reports for In These Times that business lobbyists have killed off a measure to address wage theft in Iowa, where workers get ripped off by their bosses to the tune of $600 million annually according to one estimate.

Quite a coincidence –> Lee Fang reports for The Nation that Chris Christie’s “pension reform” ended up steering “big pension management contracts to the Wall Street donors who have helped boost his political fortunes.”

Revolution –> At Yes!, Diane Brooks writes about the Seattle teachers who boycotted standardized tests and ended up launching a nationwide movement “to liberate our kids from a test-obsessed education system.”

Not everyone’s living longer –> Annie Lowery reports for the NYT that there is a “longevity gap” that’s growing along with our income gap.

Close call –> A Delta airliner landed safely in Atlanta after losing an eight-foot piece from one of its wings, according to ABC News.

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