Morning Reads

Good morning! It was on this date in 1752 that Benjamin Franklin flew a kite in a storm, got a charge and proved that lightning was electrical in nature. 

Forgotten here, but not gone –> Liz Sly and Ahmed Ramadan report for The Washington Post that fundamentalist insurgents have taken over the Iraqi city of Mosul after government troops fled.

Firestorm –> We told you about Phillip Puckett, the Democratic state senator in Virginia who resigned, throwing the chamber to the Republicans — reportedly in exchange for a cushy job for himself and a judgeship for his daughter. After being scorched in the press, Puckett is withdrawing his name from consideration for the job, but Ian Millhiser reports for ThinkProgress that if a deal had been struck, it would be bribery under Virginia law whether or not it was completed.

Fox News Republicans –> A new Brookings study reveals some interesting differences between the 53 percent of Republicans who turn to Fox News for their information and the 47 percent who trust another news outlet. Danny Vinik has the details for The New Republic.

The NRA has created a monster” –> Cliff Schecter surveys the recent gun carnage in Georgia and Las Vegas for the Daily Beast. ALSO: Dylan Scott reports for Talking Points Memo that the couple who ambushed two Las Vegas police in a pizza parlor, Jerad and Amanda Miller, thought the standoff between the federal government and rancher Cliven Bundy was “the start of a revolution” (Jerad Miller was interviewed at the Bundy Ranch by a local news station).

“Huge victory” for oil and gas industry –> Over the objections of just about everyone in Louisiana who isn’t employed by the oil industry, Gov. Bobby Jindal signed a bill killing the state’s lawsuit against 97 oil companies for “a mercilessly efficient, continuously expanding system of ecological destruction” on its coastline. Ari Phillips has the details at ThinkProgress.

A “continuous pattern” of discrimination –> Speaking of litigation, Citigroup lost its bid to dismiss a suit filed by Los Angeles charging that the megabank engaged in systematic mortgage discrimination in the lead-up to the housing crash. Dena Aubin reports for Reuters.

Does Seminole County really need an armored personnel carrier? –> New York Times reporter Matt Apuzzo looks at the military equipment flooding American police departments large and small.

Scary stuff –> The Washington Post’s Terrence McCoy asks, “Can anything stop West Africa’s outbreak of Ebola?”

Blessings and curses –> Paul Starr writes at TAP that Dems are both blessed and cursed with the coalition that’s emerged in recent years — it’s large and growing, but also made up of voters who traditionally turn out in low numbers.

Didn’t happen –> Lots of media outlets picked up on news that a “supercomputer” passed the famed “Turing Test” for artificial intelligence, but Tech Dirt’s Mike Masnick says it didn’t happen — and adds that the Turing Test is kind of silly anyway.

Products we should never have to invent –> Amanda Kooser at CNET: “Bulletproof blanket seeks to shield kids during school shootings.”

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