Good morning! On this date in 1911, 145 workers, many of them immigrants, died in the Triangle Shirtwaist Company fire in New York City, unable to escape the locked doors of the sweatshop. The notoriously abusive bosses, Max Blanck and Isaac Harris, were tried for manslaughter but acquitted. It did, however, prompt the city to finally enact some reforms.
Deep State –> Charlie Savage reports for the NYT that Obama is calling for the overhaul of the NSA’s bulk data collection program. BUT: At The Nation, William Greider argues that the intelligence agencies, rather than our elected officials, call the shots in Washington.
Ukraine –> William James and Katya Golubkova report for Reuters that both the West and Russia are drawing lines in the sand over Ukraine. AND: Ahead of a new vote on an aid package to Kiev, Harry Reid suggested that Republicans who blocked the last one may bear some responsibility for Russia’s moves into Crimea. Bradley Klapper with the story for the AP.
“How The Koch Brothers Are Hacking Science” –> Headline on energy economist Frank Ackerman’s piece at TPM about a Koch-backed think tank that “turns out study after study for right-wing, anti-government groups.”
A jury of one’s lawyers –> At TNR, Alec MacGillis writes that Chris Christie’s “exoneration by his own lawyers is even more conflicted than it looks.”
Can corporations pray? –> Hobby Lobby’s challenge to the ACA birth control mandate will be heard today. AND: Adam Liptak reports for the NYT that the ruling could have far-reaching consequences that go well beyond health insurance. Ian Millhiser points to the “roadmap” many Christian right leaders endorsed in order to understand what they ultimately hope to gain in the case.
Corporate personhood was designed to protect us from them –> Historian Naomi Lamoreaux and legal scholar William Novak write about the real legal history of corporations for Slate.
Burned betting big on Newt –> Matea Gold and Phillip Rucker at WaPo: “Billionaire mogul Sheldon Adelson looks for mainstream Republican who can win in 2016.”
Really? –> MoJo’s Chris Mooney reports that creationists aren’t only upset with Neil DeGrasse Tyson’s Cosmos for its discussion of climate change or evolution, but also because Tyson pointed out that comets
aren’t “bad mojo” are pretty old.
The return of the idle rich –> Paul Krugman reviews Thomas Picketty’s new book, Capital in the 21st Century, and explains how huge untaxed inheritances and a system tilted toward protecting the interests of the richest can easily lead to oligarchy.
“An era that never existed and can’t exist today” –> At The Atlantic, Mike Konczal examines at the conservative fantasy of a social safety net based entirely on voluntary charity.
Deadly mud –> As the death toll from the Oso, Washington mudslide rises, Eric Holthaus reports for Slate’s Future Tense blog that climate change may make such terrible events more common.
Cover-Up –> An investigation by CBS’s 60 Minutes unearthed a document that shows the Nixon administration covered up the My Lai massacre of over 500 unarmed Vietnamese civilians for fear that it would hurt them politically.
Troll-in-chief –> The Obama administration is poking the tea party with a new Obamacare logo fashioned after their beloved “Don’t Tread On Me” Gadsden flag, reports Benny Johnson at Buzzfeed.
Blanck and Isaac, job creators –> This satirical 2012 Nashville Scene piece by Betsy Phillips celebrating the owners of the Triangle Shirtwaist Company owners for creating jobs despite the yoke of government regulation is a classic.
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