Morning Reads

Good morning! On this day in 1972, Nixon’s Watergate burglars were arrested. It would prove to be the beginning of the end for “Tricky Dick.”

Boots on the ground –> Obama informed Congress that he was deploying up to 275 troops to Iraq “for the purpose of protecting US citizens and property.” AND: The AP reports that the administration is considering “an array of options for combating fast-moving Islamic insurgents, including airstrikes or a contingent of special forces.” MEANWHILE: Mitchell Prothero reports for McClatchy that Iraq’s senior Shiite cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, broke his longstanding support for the central government and issued a religious call for Shiites to take up arms against ISIS militants. AND: Al Jazeera reports that a “defiant” Iraqi PM Nouri al-Maliki is talking tough and rebuffing requests to try to bring Sunni and Shia together. ALSO: Hayes Brown at ThinkProgress: “The People Who Broke Iraq Have A Lot of Ideas About Fixing It Now.” ALSO TOO: George Zornick writes at The Nation that Hillary Clinton “still doesn’t get it on Iraq.”

A pen and a phone –> Obama “will sign an order barring federal contractors from discriminating against employees ‘on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity,'” reports Matthew Hoye for CNN.

A very revealing BENGHAZI!! hearing –> WaPo’s Dana Milbank reports that a panel discussion on BENGHAZI!! turned ugly on Monday when the panelists started hurling anti-Islamic slurs at an American University law student wearing a traditional Muslim headcovering. The young woman who was attacked, incidentally, is a “pro-life, pro-family values, pro-business” Republican who once ran in an Oregon primary as a Democrat, but later switched her party affiliation.

Stick with the green you know? –> Philip Oltermann reports for The Guardian that Greenpeace lost around $5 million speculating on currencies last year. The organization blames a rogue staffer for the loss.

Just what America needs –> At Politico, Kenneth Vogel and Darren Goode report that the Koch brothers “unveiled a significant new weapon in its rapidly expanding arsenal — a super PAC called Freedom Partners Action Fund.” It will spend heavily in the midterms.

We’re! Number! 11! –> For the first time since 2010, the US came in dead last in the Commonwealth Fund’s annual ranking of health care systems in 11 advanced democracies.

Daughters and human rights –> A new study finds that “judges with daughters are more likely to vote in favor of women’s rights than ones with only sons.” Adam Liptak has the details at The New York Times.

True agenda –> The Green family, owners of Hobby Lobby, say they just want to practice their faith in peace, but Stephanie Simon reports for Politico that “they’re also using their billions to sell the American public on the literal truth of Scripture,” with the ultimate goal of turning the US into a “Christian nation.”

Plutocracy is bipartisan –> Democrats are in total control of Rhode Island’s government, and Josh Eidelson reports for Bloomberg Businessweek that they’re using their power to prevent voters in Providence from passing a living wage ordinance for workers at big hotels.

More outreach –> NC State House Speaker Thom Tillis, who is running for the US Senate, told a reporter that unlike the growing populations of African-Americans and Hispanics, the “traditional population of North Carolina” has remained flat.

The gang that couldn’t shoot straight –> According to David Drucker at The Washington Examiner, Raúl Labrador, the tea party’s favorite to replace Eric Cantor, didn’t stand much of a chance because he “didn’t have basic contact information for many of his colleagues, such as their direct cell phone numbers.”

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