Morning Reads

Good morning! It’s Julian Assange’s 43rd birthday. He was born on the same day that Jim Morrison, the lead singer for The Doors, died in Paris at age 27.

Stat of the day: 272,000 — the average number of jobs added to the economy over the past three months, according to a very, very strong jobs report issued this morning. The unemployment rate dropped to 6.1 percent.

ISIS –> CBS and the AP report that the fundamentalist group has erased large swaths of the border between Iraq and Syria, and driven other rebels groups out of two Syrian towns. ALSO: Ibrahim Al-Marashi offers “the three biggest myths” about the fighting in Iraq over at HuffPo.

Two good guys with guns –> On the first day Georgia’s new “guns everywhere” law went into effect, two armed men had a bit of a “misunderstanding” at a convenience store that could have led to a tragedy. Dean Poling has the story at The Valdosta Daily Times. ALSO: MoJo’s Mark Follman on Target’s polite request that its customers refrain from bringing their assault rifles into its stores to shop.

Insulting to women” –> Missouri’s Democratic Governor, Jay Nixon, vetoed a bill that would have required a three-day waiting period for women seeking an abortion. Tara Culp-Ressler reports for ThinkProgress. (Missouri has no waiting period for gun purchases.)

Chaos” –> A media call organized by Mississippi Sen. Thad Cochran’s reelection campaign went horribly wrong when a conservative “journalist” continually interrupted the call to attack Cochran for courting Democratic voters for his primary win over tea party favorite Chris McDaniel. Alexis Levinson reports for Roll Call.

Taliban, LLC –> At The New Yorker, Steve Coll argues that after the Hobby Lobby decision, there’s no legally coherent reason why followers of the Taliban (with clean histories) couldn’t set up a closely held corporation and refuse to pay for insurance that covers vaccinations, which they believe violate “God’s will.” ALSO: Molly Ball reports for The Atlantic that religious leaders are already using the decision to claim a right to discriminate against gays and lesbians. AND: At HuffPo, Chris Rodda catches Hobby Lobby taking a passage from James Madison arguing in favor of a strict separation between church and state, editing it so it reads like he’s taking the opposite position and then, for good measure, attributing it to Thomas Jefferson.

Related –> ThinkProgress’s Ian Millhiser argues that Sam Alito is the “most partisan” justice on the Supreme Court. AND: At Salon, Heather “Digby” Parton writes that the nomination of someone whose legal views were so obviously extreme should have been filibustered.

A matter of fairness –> At TNR, Nicholas Stephanopoulos explains how “to end gerrymandering once and for all.”

Very bad –> Christa Case Bryant reports for The Christian Science Monitor that the kidnapping and murder of a 16-year-old Palestinian in East Jerusalem — which Palestinian witnesses say was an act of vengeance for the three Israeli teens found murdered earlier in the week — has led to clashes across the city. AND: At Vox, Max Fisher explains that Palestinians “are suffering what, by every indication, appears to be collective punishment by the Israeli government for the actions of a few rogue militants.” YET: Nir Hasson reports for Ha’aretz that 1,000 Israelis protested against “anti-Arab racism and violence in a rally on Wednesday” in central Jerusalem.

Fractivism –> Steve Mufson in the WaPo: “How two small New York towns have shaken up the national fight over fracking.”

We’re off tomorrow –> Business Insider offers every state’s favorite patriotic, Fourth of July-themed song. Have a great weekend!

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