Morning Reads

Good morning! It’s World Toilet Day, a day sponsored by the United Nations to raise awareness of the fact that “of the world’s seven billion people, 2.5 billion people do not have improved sanitation” and one million people are still forced to perform basic bodily functions out in the open. 

Terror –> At 972 Mag, Israeli analyst Noam Sheizaf condemns in no uncertain terms the Palestinian terror attack that left four rabbis dead in a Jerusalem synagogue, but adds that the right-wing government of Benjamin Netanyahu sold the public a bill of goods by promising them that they could have peace and prosperity without resolving the decades-old conflict with the Palestinians. AND: The Daily Beast’s Michael Tomasky happened to be nearby, traveling under the auspices of the Foundation for Middle East Peace, and shares his thoughts as an outsider seeing a Jerusalem that’s become more divided than ever.

Fail –> A bill to force approval of the Keystone XL pipeline was defeated in the Senate last night. AND: MoJo’s Kate Sheppard looks at Big Oil’s plan to build an “oil route around Obama” should the president veto a similar measure from the next Congress.

Here we go again –> Sahil Kapur reports for TPM that “Republican leaders are facing strong conservative pressure to return to brinkmanship and threaten a government shutdown” over Obama’s anticipated executive order on immigration, but “senior Republicans are looking for ways to pull conservatives back from the ledge.”

Counterintuitive –> On its face, it seems silly to argue that the midterms were bad for the Republican Party, but Chris Ladd, a conservative columnist at the Houston Chronicle, makes a compelling case that the way the GOP won makes the party’s long-term future look bleak.

Ferguson –> Tensions continue to simmer as we await a grand jury’s decision about whether Darren Wilson will face charges for shooting Michael Brown. Meanwhile, the situation has been exacerbated by a Ferguson corrections officer’s indictment in connection with the rape of a pregnant woman arrested for driving with an expired license plate, and the release of a video purporting to show Wilson aggressively arresting a man for videotaping him while he issued a summons. Michael Daly has all the details at The Daily Beast.

New Cold War –> NATO officials are concerned by the Russians’ continuing military build-up on the Ukrainian border, but Russia may have offered a way out — if Ukraine gives up any notion of joining NATO. The BBC has the story.

Executive excess –> The Nation’s Katrina vanden Heuvel looks at IPS’ latest report on bloated CEO pay, Fleecing Uncle Sam, which finds that last year almost a third of the companies with the highest CEO compensation paid their top exec more than they forked over in taxes. ALSO: The Russian parliament passed a bill that would tax Russian companies sheltering profits in offshore havens. Which raises an obvious question: If they can do it, why can’t we? Via: The Moscow Times.

A textbook example of a boss’s campaign to destroy a union” –> At In These Times, Moshe Z. Marvit looks at a Pennsylvania health care corporation that the National Labor Relations Board ruled had engaged in a vicious and largely illegal anti-union campaign.

The Republican Party may be more openly xenophobic than it’s ever been” –> Salon’s Elias Isquith considers the ramifications of Iowa Rep. Steve King — an immigration hardliner who once compared immigrants to dogs — playing a leading role in Iowa’s 2016 presidential nomination process. AND: Slate’s Jamelle Bouie argues that the GOP could have made a host of policies, including immigration policy, significantly more conservative had they chosen to work with the Obama administration.

Speaking of immigration –> Stephen Colbert is predictably outraged over Obama’s immigration scheme, but even his Mexican colleague, Esteban Colberto, has his doubts. Our usual warning: a little rough language, although most of it’s bleeped.

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