Morning Reads

Good morning! On this date in 1958, then-Vice President Richard Nixon’s motorcade was attacked by furious crowds during a “goodwill tour” of Venezuela. And in 1981, Pope John Paul II was shot and wounded at St. Peter’s Square.

Scary stuff –> Brad Plumer at Vox: “A major section of West Antarctica’s massive ice sheet is melting into the ocean, and it’s unlikely that anything can stop its eventual demise. That will mean even higher sea levels in the centuries ahead.” It’s unclear how far sea levels will rise when it goes.

“Shocking” corruption –> Thanks to the Dodd-Frank financial reforms, private equity firms now have to register with the SEC. At The New Republic, Mike Konczal reports that the regulator has completed its first round of reviews of these leveraged buyout operations and found, “violations of law or material weaknesses in controls over 50 percent of the time.”

Guilty –> Speaking of the SEC, it got a conviction in one of the biggest criminal cases the agency has tried in years when a jury found the billionaire Wyly brothers, one of whom died in 2011, guilty of creating a maze of offshore trusts that netted them $550 million in illegal trading profits. Nate Raymond reports for Reuters.

A win for your lungs –> At Grist, John Upton says a federal court’s decision to uphold the EPA’s restriction of soot emissions is a win for the agency, but really it’s a win for people who breathe. Upton adds that the ruling was the “Obama administration’s third big environmental legal victory in a month.”

A rose by any other name –> A new poll from NBC News finds that 57 percent of Kentucky voters have a negative opinion of “Obamacare,” but only 22 percent dislike “Kynect” — the name of the Bluegrass State’s Obamacare exchange.

“Blue-red divide” –> Jason Millman reports for The Washington Post that hospitals in states that expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act are now seeing a major drop in uninsured patients.

Huh? –> Mother Jones’ Dana Liebelson ponders Kentucky’s odd claim that marriage equality would be bad because it would hurt the state’s birthrate. No, we don’t get it either.

Baby bias –> At Pacific Standard, Tom Jacobs writes about a new study which found that “6-month-old infants display signs of a specific bias: The belief that bad outcomes are caused by someone, or something, as opposed to chance.” This “negative agency bias” has been observed in adults for years.

Pale liberal media –> The American Prospect’s Gabriel Arena takes note of the paucity of writers of color at left-leaning publications that otherwise prize diversity.

Teachers’ revolt spreads –> At In These Times, Sarah Jaffe writes about a group of Brooklyn teachers who “struck a blow” against Common Core by refusing to administer standardized tests to their kids.

Look ma, no bombs! –> Jonathan Tirone and Kambiz Foroohar report for Bloomberg that diplomats will begin drafting what may be a final resolution to the years-long standoff over Iran’s nuclear program this week.

Horrible people –> A conspiracy nut who believes the Sandy Hook massacre was a hoax stole a peace sign at a park dedicated to one of the young victims, and then called the girl’s mother to say he did it because her daughter “never existed.” Tom Boggioni reports for The Raw Story.

In deep –> Titanic director James Cameron’s unmanned submersible research vehicle imploded under enormous pressure in deep water off of New Zealand, according to Agence France Presse. And The Independent reports that archeologists believe they’ve discovered the wreck of Christopher Columbus’s flagship, the Santa Maria, off the coast of Haiti.

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