Morning Reads

Good morning! Next stop: the weekend…

Stepping back from the brink? –> Justin Sink reports for The Hill that diplomats from the EU, Russia, Ukraine and the US have hashed out a deal to end the violence in Ukraine. Let’s hope it sticks.

Snowden on Putin –> In The Guardian, Edward Snowden says that despite the criticism he’s received, his interview with Putin wasn’t a “whitewash.”

Nation of laws –> Federal officials decided to back down from their standoff with Cliven Bundy, the Nevada rancher who refused to pay to graze his cattle on public land, in order to avoid bloodshed with his heavily armed supporters. Jonathan Allen reports for Reuters that the militia movement is now “energized by their success” and are “already talking about where else they can exercise armed defiance.”

If Dick Morris thinks it’s a bad idea… –> At Salon, Heather Parton (aka Digby) explains why the pundit who gets everything wrong hates the idea of selecting presidents according to the national popular vote.

We Could Be Living in a New Stone Age by 2114” –> In their “Inquiring Minds” podcast, Indre Viskontas and Chris Mooney interview Jared Diamond, author of Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed, about his new book and the future of humanity. It comes with a write-up at Mother Jones.

Mr. Piketty goes to Washington –> At Truthout, Mark Weisbrot writes about the “extraordinarily interesting discussion” that Capital in the Twenty-First Century author Thomas Piketty has inspired within the DC Beltway.

Race matters –> “A study released by the University of Minnesota this week indicated that people of color are exposed to air that is 38 percent more polluted than the air breathed by white people.” Scott Kaufman has the details at The Raw Story.

The world’s dumbest idea? –> At The Week, John Aziz argues that it’s got to be taxing or levying fees on solar energy production.

Promises –> Jarrett Murphy looks at New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s first 100 days in office for The Nation, and concludes that he’s “taken big swipes at inequality,” but also faced relentless opposition along the way.

Frankenstein’s monster –> Daniel Strauss reports for Talking Points Memo that an erstwhile tea party darling in Nebraska is now taking fire from tea partiers who accuse him of being a “government bureaucrat.” This appears to be part of a trend.

RIP –> At The New Republic, Michael Jacobs marks the death of literary legend Gabriel Garcia Marquez by recalling a 2010 encounter with the “man of the people, a lover of low life, a person with the grassroots appeal of a football star.”

“Religious liberty, human equality and justice are advanced” by Roe v. Wade –> That was the position taken by Southern Baptists before the politicization of the religious right that we know today. Erik Loomis unearths a fascinating piece of history at Lawyers, Guns & Money.

Treat wage theft as a crime –> Over at The Washington Post, Catherine Rampell writes in an op-ed that in the fight for fair wages, we should start by “enforcing the meager minimum already on the books.”

Earth-like –> Astronomers have found a planet 500 light years away that is the closest match to our own ever discovered. Kenneth Chang reports for The New York Times.

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