Morning Reads

Good morning! Ninety-seven years ago today, Joe Kennedy, Sr., and Rose Fitzgerald had a baby boy named John in Brookline, Massachusetts. He’d go on to do some big things.

Pushing back –> Obama gave a foreign policy speech at West Point yesterday, and Slate’s Fred Kaplan writes that it was largely a rebuke of critics who say he’s not aggressive enough.

Systemic –> The VA’s Inspector General’s office issued a preliminary report finding systemic problems in the agency, and expanded its review to 42 facilities across the country. Jeremy Herb reports for Politico.

Bit of common sense coming to CA? –> In the wake of the UCSB massacre, California lawmakers are considering legislation that would allow law enforcement and private citizens to seek a restraining order preventing a potentially dangerous individual from buying guns.

Keeping the villagers at bay –> At The Guardian, Nafeez Ahmed writes that a new “inclusive capitalism” initiative organized by some of the titans of high finance is nothing more than a “Trojan horse” — a PR campaign designed to dampen populist anger at rising inequality.

Crazy –> University of Miami Geologist Harold Wanless writes at The Conversation that “rising sea levels will be too much, too fast” for Florida, but that reality hasn’t stopped a construction boom in areas that in the future are going to be underwater.

Political science –> Speaking of Florida, a statistician from the California Institute of Technology testified in a lawsuit that the state’s election maps were drawn with “statistically significant partisan bias,” and a Stanford political scientist said it was “virtually impossible” that the map had been drawn without “intentional” partisanship. Aaron Deslatte reports for The Orlando Sentinel.

How dumb does he think they are? –> Mitch McConnell is running for re-election on the promise that he will “pull Obamacare up by its roots.” Problem: Hundreds of thousands of Kentuckians have gotten subsidized health care through the state’s exchanges. TNR’s Brian Beutler writes that McConnell’s solution is to offer a “big lie” that the exchange, called “Kynect,” has nothing to do with the Affordable Care Act.

End of an era –> David Joachim reports for the NYT that the outcome of a primary contest in Texas means that the next Congress will be the first in 70 years with no World War II combat vets.

Social conservatism declining, but that doesn’t pay the bills –> Digby — Heather Parton — writes at Salon that while it appears Americans are becoming more liberal on social issues, the bad news is that “conservative economic dogma” remains “fully inculcated within the body politic.”

Trolling –> Dave Weigel writes at Slate that Karl Rove’s whisper campaign about Hillary Clinton’s mental acuity is designed to embolden a primary challenger from her left and get a serious Republican to run in 2016.

Not just Jill Abramson –> GW media scholar Nikki Usher writes at WaPo that women are being pushed out as newsrooms increasingly shift to online publishing and hire more techies, who are more likely to be men. ALSO: Claire Cain Miller reports at the NYT Bits blog on newly released numbers “that offer a stark glance at how Silicon Valley remains a white man’s world.”

Oktoberfest isn’t Oktoberfest without beer –> Kathy Stephenson reports for The Salt Lake Tribune that officials in predominantly Mormon Utah are cracking down on some of the exceptions to the state’s extremely stringent alcohol laws, and that Oktoberfest at the ski slopes may be no more.

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