Morning Reads

Good morning! Sorry it’s Monday, but it’s also National Chocolate Day, which may be the best day of the year.

Arrests –> The arrests of six Jewish extremists in the apparent revenge killing of a Palestinian teenager have shocked people on both sides of the Israel-Palestinian conflict, reports Isabel Kershner for the NYT.

Ugly –> The LAT reports that the mayor of Murrieta, California, which has seen ugly anti-immigrant protests in recent days, insists that his is “a caring, compassionate community” and that the demonstrations were the work of outsiders.

First blood –> Tehran confirmed that an Iranian airforce serviceman killed in Samarra was the country’s first casualty in Iraq’s civil war. Jason Rezaian reports for WaPo. ALSO: Ghazi Balkiz reports for NBC News that Baghdad’s Sunni population fear the country is slipping backwards to its “darkest days.”

We’re going to fix it” –> We told you last week that, behind closed doors, the House Ethics Committee killed a requirement that lawmakers disclose who picks up the tab for their “all-expenses-paid trips around the world.” After public outcry, the committee is changing its mind.

Balance” –> At Slate, Phil Plait looks at a directive sent to hundreds of BBC journalists urging them to stop “balancing” stories grounded in science with climate change deniers, young earth creationists, vaccine conspiracy theorists and others who hold marginal views “when the science being discussed [is] solidly understood.”

Taking a page from Big Oil –> Coral Davenport reports for the NYT that the Natural Resources Defense Council helped get Obama’s new power plant regulations enacted by following “the strategy used by the American Petroleum Institute, the lobbying arm of the oil industry, to write an energy policy for Vice President Dick Cheney during the Bush administration.”

Speaking of natural resources –> At AlterNet, Cliff Weathers looks at a Florida community that’s confronting “acid fracking” — and feckless state regulators — near the fragile Everglades.

Beyond “red” and “blue” –> MoJo’s Chris Mooney looks at a new study of political polarization that considers how “tight” or “loose” states are in terms of having “many strongly enforced rules and little tolerance for deviance.”

Just move on –> At Salon, Michael Mazenko writes that Bill Gates’ “fixation” with Common Core is “catching hell on all sides, ” and urges him to cut his losses and move on.

Dirty money and high housing costs –> Michael Hudson, Ionuț Stănescu and Sam Adler-Bell report for The Nation that “corrupt politicians from all over the globe are stashing their ill-gotten wealth in luxurious Manhattan apartments.”

Catastrophic success” –> Oliver Willis argues at The Daily Banter that while Fox News “has been a financial success for Rupert Murdoch and News Corp,” the cable network has had a damaging impact on conservative politics in America.

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