Morning Reads

Good morning! Here are some of the stories we’re reading at Moyers & Company this a.m….

Stat of the day: 63 percent — the share of likely voters who know which party controls the House and Senate, according to Rasmussen. These aren’t just registered voters, but those expected to go to the polls in November.

ISIS –> An anonymous Turkish official told Agence France Presses on Thursday that its government “will refuse to allow a US-led coalition to attack jihadists in neighboring Iraq and Syria from its air bases, nor will it take part in combat operations against militants.” The Islamic State is holding 49 Turkish hostages, including diplomats and children. AND: Michael Gordon reports for the NYT that John Kerry is in Saudi Arabia urging the Arabic states to speak out against the Islamic State more forcefully, and contribute to the efforts to destroy the group. ALSO: Here at, we rounded up some reactions to President Obama’s strategy for confronting ISIS, and offered some context for evaluating its likelihood of success. ALSO, TOO: Juan Cole writes that despite the aggressiveness of his rhetoric, Obama’s approach is fundamentally defensive, and says that’s a good thing.

The dangers of an out-of-control state” –> Norm Ornstein writes at The Atlantic that the government’s “immense power over liberty and life is especially evident in the criminal-justice system, in the hands of police and prosecutors.” He says conservatives who are wary of government should join liberals in advocating criminal justice reform, but rarely do because of their “intense respect for the existing order, a fear that it can be undermined by crime or disorder, and the belief that police and prosecutors are the front line of protecting that order.”

Plutocrats win one –> The Udall Amendment, which would have overthrown Citizens United and other court rulings on campaign finance, was blocked by a GOP filibuster in the Senate yesterday despite gaining the majority support of 54 senators.

Strong arm –> Craig Timberg reports for WaPo that the government “threatened to fine Yahoo $250,000 a day in 2008 if it failed to comply with a broad demand to hand over user data that the company believed was unconstitutional, according to court documents unsealed Thursday that illuminate how federal officials forced American tech companies to participate in the NSA’s controversial PRISM program.”

Science and anti-science –> MoJo’s Chris Mooney hits back on the “liberal war on science” story by noting that vaccine hysteria and GMO skepticism don’t correlate with liberal ideology.

Missouri –> Reuters reports that “the FBI is investigating a possible attempt to bomb the office of a Missouri congressman early Thursday morning, when a window was broken and devices resembling Molotov cocktails hurled at the building.” Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, an African-American Democrat, has been an outspoken critic of the police in Ferguson, saying that their militarized outfits made the suburb look “like Fallujah.”

The workers don’t have protections. The companies don’t withhold taxes. The regulators don’t seem to care” –> McClatchy has a special report on widespread abuses in the construction industry.

Rebellious kids –> At ThinkProgress, Ian Millhiser looks at “the strange case of a father who sued the Obama administration to keep his daughters from getting birth control.”

Takers –> Mark Joseph Stern at Slate: “Not only do some conservative Christians want a special right to discriminate against gay people; they also want the state to fund that discrimination.”

Not something you want to run into –> Rebecca Morelle reports for the BBC that a Spinosaurus aegyptiacus fossil was unearthed in Morocco, allowing scientists to confirm earlier theories that the largest carnivorous dinosaur ever discovered was a semi-aquatic swimmer with “flat, paddle-like feet and nostrils on top of its crocodilian head that would allow it to submerge with ease.”

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