Morning Reads

Good morning! Forty-two years ago today, Richard Nixon signed the Higher Education Act of 1972, which included the groundbreaking Title IX legislation that barred discrimination in the funding of higher education programs. It led to, among other things, an explosion of women’s participation in collegiate sports.

The Big Story…

Danger signs –> At Slate, Richard Hasen argues that the criminal case developing around Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker “could shred the remaining limits on influencing elections.”

Sanctions-busters –> France’s largest bank, BNP Paribas, is reportedly nearing a plea agreement with the US government for violating our sanctions against Sudan and Iran. Tom Schoenberg reports for Bloomberg that the bank may have to fork over a $9 billion fine.

No way to run a democracy –> At The Daily Beast, Jedediah Purdy argues that the Supreme Court “is increasingly a threat to our ideal of self-government.”

Not a fan –> Thomas Frank writes at Salon that the new Gilded Age that Hillary Clinton decries “had its roots in the dark side of Bill’s economic record,” and asks, “why trust her now?”

Pope takes on Mafia –> Pope Francis “traveled to the heart of mob territory,” where he “declared that all mobsters are automatically excommunicated from the Roman Catholic Church.” In the past, the Italian mafia has enjoyed the church’s quiet acceptance of their business.

Gilded grassroots –> WaPo’s Ben Terris profiles Jenny Beth Martin, a co-founder of the Tea Party Patriots who makes $450,000 per year getting tea partiers riled up.

Doing it right –> In the first two weeks of June, Germany set a new record by generating half of its energy needs from the sun.

Doing it halfway –> Despite the squeals of outrage from the fossil fuels industry, TNR’s Rebecca Leber reports that when you dig into the details of the EPA’s new regulations on emissions from power plants, the limits aren’t terribly ambitious.

Legal protections needed –> Josh Eidelson reports for Bloomberg Businessweek that a majority of Americans believe that it’s illegal to fire somebody just for being gay, but in most states they’re wrong.

Dog lovers are just troublemakers” –> Agence France Presse on a heated dispute surrounding Yulin, home of China’s annual dogmeat festival. Animal rights activists from outside the city are trying to halt sales of dog, but they appear to have created a backlash, with some local citizens saying that they’re only eating dog to spite the outsiders.

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