Morning Reads

Good morning — and happy Friday! On this date in 1918, Congress passed the Sedition Act, which criminalized speech deemed to be detrimental to the war effort. Those convicted under the act faced fines as high as $10,000 and up to 20 years in prison. Most major newspapers were in favor of the Draconian anti-speech legislation. Among those prosecuted under the law was labor organizer Eugene Debs, who was sentenced to 10 years for making a speech calling for people to resist the draft (he would serve two before his sentence was commuted).

Amend it –> On Thursday, Harry Reid “wholeheartedly endorsed” a constitutional amendment that would give Congress the power to regulate campaign contributions, according to Politico’s Burgess Everett. Watch a video of Reid’s statement on YouTube.

Internet “fast lane” moves forward –> With dozens of protesters outside, the FCC advanced a proposal that could allow cable companies to charge content providers a premium for faster delivery. Alina Selyukh has the details for Reuters. ALSO: Activists want FCC Chair Tom Wheeler to reclassify broadband service as a utility, but Brendan Sasso reports for National Journal that telecom execs and Republican leaders are threatening to launch a “legal war” if he does so. 

Fake reform –> David Lightman and Marisa Taylor report for McClatchy that a new bill to curb NSA spying “looks like change, but isn’t really.”

The new normal? –> 16,000 new evacuation orders were issued on Thursday as wildfires continued to burn out of control in Southern California. Veronica Rocha, Jill Cowan and Robert Lopez report for the LAT.

Clown show –> Rep. Darrell Issa is apparently continuing his BENGHAZI!! “investigation” despite the formation of John Boehner’s special select committee. It’s easy to forget the whole thing began as a desperate political attack in the 2012 campaign. ALSO: MSNBC’s Steve Benen offers some “adventures in Fox News polling.”

Final frontier –> Elon Musk’s SpaceX is trying to capitalize on frosty US-Russian relations to get a chunk of America’s space business, reports Julia Ioffe for TNR.

The Canadian Dream –> Nick Kristof on how “the American dream has derailed, partly because of growing inequality” — and why other countries now offer a better deal to their middle classes.

Separate and unequal –> Slate’s Jamelle Bouie looks at the resegregation of American schools as we approach tomorrow’s 60th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education.

A secret and deadly “cocktail” –> The Guardian, the AP and three Missouri newspapers filed a lawsuit challenging “the growing secrecy adopted by death penalty states to hide the source of their lethal injection drugs.”

Bitter dead-enders –> Angered by the tepid talk of the GOP possibly moderating on some social issues, a group of conservative hardliners gathered in Washington this week to urge party leaders to hold the line on issues like immigration and marriage equality. Robert Costa reports for WaPo.

Speaking of which –> The front-running candidate running for a US Senate seat in Montana this year believes creationism should be taught in our public schools, reports Dana Liebelson for MoJo.

Let slip the dogs of war –> NatGeo’s Rebecca Frankel tells the story of military dogs, including one heroic animal that went above and beyond to deliver a crucial message to a besieged unit during World War I.

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