Morning Reads

Good morning! Robert E. Lee surrendered to Ulysses S. Grant 149 years ago today. It took a while for word to get around that the war had ended — the last American killed in the conflict is believed to have been mortally wounded during a May 13 skirmish in Texas (not counting a Civil War buff in Virginia who died in 2008 when an old cannonball he was restoring exploded).

Time to expose the CIA’s dark side” –> An LAT editorial calls for the release of the Senate’s report on CIA torture in order to “confront the abuses of our past.”

Nihilists –> Slate’s Dahlia Lithwick reports that Virginia Republicans seem to be willing to shut down the state’s government rather than expand Medicaid.

Tentative and fearful” –> A retiring Securities and Exchange Commission trial lawyer says that his bosses are too timid — and too concerned about getting cushy jobs after their government service ends — to go after Wall Street fraudsters. Robert Schmidt reports for Bloomberg.

LIZ!! –> John Nichols writes for The Nation that regardless of whether she runs in 2016, Senator Elizabeth Warren is showing Dems how to speak to the American public’s economic insecurities.

The rent is too damn high –> At TomDispatch, Laura Gottesdiener looks at what happened when Wall Street became a top landlord in New York City. Spoiler alert: it’s not a pretty picture.

 It’s the plutocracy, stupid –> That’s the short version of Vanderbilt University scholar Larry Bartels’ WaPo piece looking at a forthcoming study measuring “economic elite domination” in US politics.

Speaking of which –> In the NYT, Mark Liebovich writes about wealthy politicians jumping through hoops to make it seem like they know what it’s like to struggle to make ends meet.

Renewables –> MoJo’s Tim McDonnell reports that investment in renewable energy is down, but points out that it’s not all bad news.

Your profession has been vilified, scapegoated, mined for profit, and deprofessionalized” –> An open letter of apology to America’s teachers from Elizabeth Weill-Greenberg, at HuffPo.

People have opinions –> They have lots of them about that couple rescued at sea when their young daughter became ill. Michael O’Hare says it’s a perfect example of moral hazard among wealthy people. At Slate, fellow sailor Diane Selkirk defends the couple’s decisions. And TNR’s Mark Oppenheimer takes note of their online exhibitionism, writing that it’s “bizarre” how “the Kaufmans made a show of such a go-it-alone adventure.”

Time for a raise –> SEIU filed paperwork this week to get a $15 minimum wage on the November ballot in San Francisco. The mayor and the city’s Chamber of Commerce aren’t pleased with the move, reports John Coté for the SF Chron.

Sweeteners for their patrons –> Alan Ota reports for Roll Call that House Republicans may hold their noses and extend emergency benefits for the long-term jobless — if they’re attached to corporate tax cuts.

Food fight –> At a tense hearing on the Hill, Eric Holder once again tangled with Rep. Louie Gohmert, who in a previous exchange famously told Holder, “The attorney general will not cast aspersions on my asparagus.”

Change your passwords! –> A huge security bug was uncovered that could allow bad guys to access your “secure” data. Listen to CNN’s Heather Kelly and do it ASAP.

You sexy thing –> Researchers using a new DNA analysis technique resolved a scientific debate by confirming that homo sapiens and homo neanderthalensis — aka Neanderthals — did interbreed, reports Haaretz.

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