Morning Reads

A somber good morning on this, the 11th anniversary of the launch of our invasion of Iraq. For most Americans the war is long over, but Iraq remains unstable and bloody to this day.

Stat of the day: 703 — the number of Iraqis killed last month in the conflict that the United States exited in 2009 — down a hair from the 733 deaths in January — according to the UN.

Blood on their hands? –> At The Nation, Greg Mitchell remembers Bill’s 2006 special about the media’s complicity in the drumbeat to war, “Buying the War,” with an excerpt from Mitchell’s book, So Wrong For So Long: How the Press, the Pundits — and the President — Failed on Iraq. BUT: Eleven years later, Salon’s Elias Isquith writes that Iraq war cheerleader Bill Kristol is now complaining about Americans’ commonsense hesitance to start new wars.

Heating up –> A Crimean military base was overrun and a Ukrainian officer was killed in a firefight yesterday, according to Kim Sengupta in The Telegraph.

How many shoes will drop? –> William Rashbaum reports for the NYT that federal prosecutors are investigating potential conflicts of interest with two huge Port Authority contracts that Chris Christie ally David Samson awarded to contractors with direct ties to his law firm.

The revelations continue –> Barton Gellman and Ashkan Soltani report for WaPo that the NSA has a program which captures every phone call made by a country, and can replay them. AND: Spencer Ackerman reports for The Guardian that the Pentagon’s intelligence watchdog had no knowledge of this or other programs that have been recently revealed in the press.

Hidden hand will leave some coal in the ground –> William Koch says that cheap natural gas is making him leave the coal business. Lindsay Abrams has the story for Salon. BUT: In a rare policy statement, the American Association for the Advancement of Science said that climate change may soon be irreversible, according to Suzanne Goldenberg in The Guardian. ALSO: A major oil pipeline leaked 7,000-10,000 gallons of crude oil into a nature preserve in Ohio on Monday, according to Reuters’ Edward McAllister (via The Raw Story).

Dirty hippies agribusiness –> MoJo’s Josh Harkinson looks at the “landscape-scarring, energy-sucking, wildlife-killing reality of pot farming.”

Lazy punditry –> Dean Baker cordially invites Megan McCardle and others to retire the “young invincibles are killing Obamacare” narrative.

Speaking of bad journalism –> Continuing a long battle, NYT Public Editor Margaret Sullivan takes the Gray Lady’s editors to task for relying on extraneous quotes from anonymous sources. The current effort began in earnest with the paper’s apology for Judith Miller and other Times reporters selling the Iraq war to the public.

“Squid-ink careerist nonsense”  –> Nate Silver’s new “data-driven” journalism project continues to take fire, this time from Ryan Cooper at The Week, who calls Silver’s new hire, Roger Pielke Jr., a “climate troll” and borderline denier.

Hunger strike –> In Texas, immigrant detainees have started one, reports Andrew Mortazavi for In These Times.

Hipster Republicans –> Lightening the mood on a depressing news day, here’s Salon’s Alex Pareene mocking a new GOP ad campaign designed to make the party seem “cool” to those crazy millennial kids.

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