Morning Reads

Good morning — and happy Friday! Twenty years ago today, the newly elected South African General Assembly selected Nelson Mandela to be the country’s first black president.

Obama targets Pulitzer Prize-winner –> James Risen, The New York Times’ veteran national security reporter, may end up in prison for protecting his sources for a story about Bush’s intelligence war against Iran, reports Matthew Rothschild for The Progressive.

Competition is healthy –> At Salon, Heather “Digby” Parton argues that it would be good for progressives — and Hillary Clinton if she runs — to have a competitive Democratic primary in 2016.

“It hasn’t become a Cliven Bundy thing” –> So far, cooler heads have prevailed, but Lauren Villagran reports for the Albuquerque Journal that a dispute over water rights in New Mexico between ranchers and the Forest Service has become volatile as the Southwest remains parched. AND: BLM workers in Utah are removing the markings on their vehicles after a wrangler was threatened at gunpoint by anti-government extremists. Erin Alberty reports for The Salt Lake Tribune.

Deadly ideology –> Harold Pollack at Politico: “Now we know: Rejecting the Medicaid expansion could kill nearly 6,000 people each year.”

Deadly prosperity –> MoJo’s Tim McDonnell on a new report that finds “exceptionally high fatality rates in the oil and gas and construction industries” in booming North Dakota.

Crack babies are back –> Amelia Thomson-DeVeaux has an interesting #longread at TAP about “the new moral panic over drug-dependent babies.”

“Tea Party Gets Into the News Biz” –> The conservative Heritage Foundation is launching a news site that it promises will feature “straight reporting” on Benghazi, Fast and Furious, etc. Joshua Green reports for Bloomberg Businessweek.

Because why not? –> Matea Gold reports for WaPo that the FEC gave its blessing to the use of bitcoins for campaign donations.

Death Lobby –> The CBC’s Neil Macdonald is righteously outraged by gun zealots who are making it impossible for manufacturers to sell “smart guns” that have the potential to cut down on gun violence and accidental shootings.

Al Jazeera America –> AJA gave the most coverage, by far, of the landmark climate change report issued this week, according to ThinkProgress. There’s no need to mention which cable outlet devoted the least amount of time to the report.

A matter of principle –> At Slate, Micah Schwartzman and Nelson Tebbe chide those who buy into religious conservatives’ framing of the issue of prayer at town hall meetings. AND: Salon’s Elizabeth Stoker writes that the religious right is handling SCOTUS’ recent ruling on those prayers with all the grace and humility you might expect.

Here comes the sun –> Obama will announce today that the White House has finally completed a four-year project to install solar panels on the presidential residence. Lesley Clark has some interesting details for McClatchy.

“Pinocchio rex” –> Paleontologists have unearthed a long-nosed cousin of T-Rex formally called Qianzhousaurus sinensis, and given it an appropriate nickname. Via: Science Daily.

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