Morning Reads

Good morning! Today marks the 50th anniversary of the launch of Lyndon Johnson’s “Great Society.” The 200 pieces of legislation that passed over the following four years would transform our nation — they were greater than the sum of their parts — but Johnson hoped his vision would have become a reality by this date and we still have a very long way to go.

Corporate person shirks responsibility –> Sean Cockerham reports for McClatchy that BP is petitioning the Supreme Court to throw out its settlement agreement covering damages from the Deepwater Horizon disaster.

Pope Francis –> On Wednesday, he made a Biblical argument for fighting climate change, saying, “Creation is not a property, which we can rule over at will; or, even less, is the property of only a few. Creation is a gift, it is a wonderful gift that God has given us, so that we care for it and we use it for the benefit of all, always with great respect and gratitude.”

A real scandal –> Barack Obama said he was outraged over allegations of gross mismanagement at the Department of Veterans Affairs, but at least for now he continues to back VA boss Eric Shinseki, according to Michael Shear and Jonathan Weisman in The New York Times. ALSO: At National Journal, Jordain Carney and Stacy Kaper write that “the roots of the problem… stretch back decades,” and the agency’s legacy of “failures spreads across time and party affiliation.”

Amend it –> John Bonifaz and Ryan O’Donnell write at Truthout about former Justice John Paul Stevens and the campaign to amend the Constitution to fix Citizens United.

Speaking of SCOTUS –> At Slate, Ian Millhiser argues that the court’s conservative majority is so rigidly ideological that progressives should avoid litigation in all but a few of areas of the law.

Dickensian –> NPR’s Joseph Shapiro on the rise of debtors’ prisons, despite a 30-year-old Supreme Court decision making them illegal.

Dumb bipartisanship –> Democrats and Republicans in the House are coming together to pass a defense budget that ignores the military’s request to kill off costly weapons systems that are mismatched to today’s needs. Meanwhile, the White House is threatening to veto the bill if it again contains language limiting the administration’s options for dealing with detainees at Guantanamo Bay. Donna Cassatta has the details for the AP.

Canary in the coal mine –> Katie Valentine reports for ThinkProgress that some of the Florida communities that are most vulnerable to climate change are preparing for the worst, even as state leaders in Tallahassee continue to deny that it’s a threat.

You keep using that word, I do not think it means what you think it means –> A young actress made a statement suggesting that she thinks feminism has something to do with hating men, which prompted a discussion about how many young women have internalized conservative arguments about what feminism is about. That this solid article by Marisa Meltzer appears in The New York Times’ Fashion & Style section is itself telling.

Head in the sand –> The NRA got funding for public health research into gun violence stripped from the CDC budget, but Lois Beckett reports for ProPublica that Democrats are now pushing to raise the budget from zero to $10 million.

Oops –> A photo editor for the Associated Press accidentally included a big chunk of a cover letter she’d written to land a job at Buzzfeed in a photo caption sent out to media outlets around the world. Via: Gawker.

Don’t forget that you can get our Morning Reads delivered to your inbox every weekday! Just enter your email address below…

  • submit to reddit