Morning Reads

Good morning! Not-so-fun fact: Today is the 99th anniversary of the sinking of the Lusitania by a German U-boat off the coast of Ireland. Of the 1,959 souls aboard that day, 1,195 would lose their lives. Debates about whether she was secretly carrying munitions and other war material in her hold continue to this day.

Joining the search –> After eight more Nigerian girls were kidnapped overnight Monday, the Nigerian government accepted US offers of assistance finding the missing and dealing with the extremists who abducted them. Darlene Superville reports for the AP.

It’s not the people who vote that count, it’s the people who post the vote counts to the Internet –> Russia claimed that 83 percent of Crimeans turned out for their recent referendum and 97 percent favored independence from Ukraine, but — oops! — Forbes’ Paul Roderick Gregory reports that Putin’s Human Rights Council briefly posted very different results showing turnout of 30-50 percent, with around half opting for independence. ALSO: At Politico, David Patrikarakos looks at the young Ukrainians training for guerrilla warfare in the forests outside of Kiev.

They run the country so what’s the hold up? –> Robert Frank: “CNBC survey shows millionaires want higher taxes to fix inequality.” Are selfish billionaires keeping them in check?

Nothing like it “since Reconstruction” –> The LAT’s Alana Semuels surveys America’s election landscape 11 months after SCOTUS gutted the Voting Rights Act. ALSO: WaPo’s editorial board calls for Congress to “get its act together” and hold votes on fixes to the tattered law.

Sickening observation” –> Richard Kim at The Nation: “Clayton Lockett probably received more government healthcare on the day of his execution than most Oklahomans do in a year.”

There’s no civil war –> At Real Clear Politics, Sean “The Conservative Nate Silver” Trende argues that the line between “establishment” and “tea party” Republicans is as blurry as can be, and to the extent they do differ it’s mostly over tactics and messaging rather than beliefs or policy preferences.

Streets versus Wall Street –> David Sirota and Nathaniel Mott report for Pando Daily that Los Angeles spent $41 million more on fees to Wall Street than it did maintaining its own streets last year.

“There Is No Issue We Won’t Get Involved In” –> The Koch brothers-backed Americans for Prosperity has declared war — fought with dishonest attack ads — on the Columbus Zoo over a proposal to raise property taxes by $23 per $100,000 of value to fund zoo programs.

You’re my obsession –> Catherine Thomson reports for TPM that Fox News urged a group of meteorologists who were scheduled to discuss climate change with Obama to ask him about BENGHAZI!! ALSO: Nancy Pelosi wants the House select committee investigating the attacks to be evenly split between Republicans and Democrats just like the House Ethics Committee. Politico’s Jake Sherman and John Bresnahan report that she’s not going to get her way, which may lead to a Dem boycott of John Boehner’s show. ALSO, TOO: Slate’s Dave Weigel thinks Republicans will impeach Obama over the nontroversy if they take the Senate, but adds that “the trick is doing it without looking crazy.”

Journalism –> Conservatives are apoplectic over a survey of US journos conducted by the University of Indiana School of Journalism which found that only 7 percent of them ID as Republicans, but that isn’t a big deal when one considers that 65 percent don’t identify with either major party. More troubling for us is the huge gender pay-gap, and the fact that while most journalists see their watchdog function as important, the share willing to use “confidential business or government documents without authorization” dropped from 81.8 percent in 1992 to just 57.7 percent last year. (Link is a PDF file.)

He used to be so nice –> At The Daily Beast, David Freedlander wonders what happened to red meat-throwing Mike Huckabee’s nice guy persona from 2008. Was it always just an illusion?

Choose wisely –> Whitney Friedlander reports for Variety that Dorchester Hotels, which include Hollywood’s Beverly Hills Hotel, are facing a boycott after the swanky chain’s owner, the Sultan of Brunei, passed new laws that subject those who engage in homosexual activity or extramarital sex to “amputation and death by stoning.”

So Jersey shore –> A minke whale that washed up dead on a shore in Atlantic City “suffered some further indignity: someone tagged it with graffiti.” Worse still, the perpetrators may have been members of a fraternity. Via: ABC News.

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