Morning Reads

Good morning!

Today is the 53rd anniversary of “Operation Chopper,” the first time US military participated in a major combat operation in Vietnam.

Europe’s most militant” –> Jim Yardley reports for the NYT that the group waging a campaign of terror in France last week came together after the invasion of Iraq, but their radicalization hardened in the French prison system. Authorities deemed them a minimal threat, according to Yardley, and officials must now be troubled “by the possibility that other homegrown groups may be passing unnoticed — or may be similarly underestimated.” MEANWHILE: Millions of people across France — and the world — marched in unity on Sunday. CNN reports there was a notable absence of high-level US officials in Paris, where more than 40 heads of state were in attendance. AND: There were no unity rallies for the 19 victims of a young suicide bomber in Nigeria on Saturday who may have been just 10-years-old. The Atlantic’s Matt Schiavenza explores why the “attacks in France so thoroughly bur[ied] the atrocities in Nigeria.” ALSO: Reza Azlan said on Sunday’s Meet the Press“Anyone who keeps saying that ‘We need to hear the moderate voice of Islam, why aren’t Muslims denouncing these violent attacks?’ doesn’t own Google.” Josh Feldman has more at Mediaite.

A massive transfer of wealth from the super-rich” –> That’s how WaPo’s Lori Montgomery and Paul Kane describe a new tax plan being unveiled today by a group of Democrats who are “dissatisfied with the party’s tepid prescriptions for combating income inequality.”

NYPD: End the slowdown or no time off  –> New York Police Chief William Bratton declared that his cops’ work slowdown was over on Friday, and the NY Post reports that, “throughout the city, precincts are being ordered to hand up to borough commanders ‘activity sheets’ indicating the number of arrests and summonses per shift.” Officers who aren’t sufficiently active are being denied vacation and sick days.

Diminishing returns –> The federal government’s sanctions programs have doubled in that past decade, but the LAT’s Paul Richter reports that “the limits of their effectiveness have become more visible. So too has their potential for causing strain in America’s alliances.”

Is the boom over? –> Ernest Scheyder reports for Reuters that North Dakota’s boomtowns are starting to feel the pain of low oil prices. AND: Some senators are calling for a hike in the federal gas tax in order to “eliminate huge annual deficits in the federal Highway Trust Fund that pays for road and bridge work around the country,” according to USA Today’s Mary Troyan.

A tale of two education systems” –> At AlterNet, Paul Buchheit writes that, “except for the debilitating effects of poverty, our public school system may be the best in the world.”

Keystone –> Grist’s Heather Smith offers a rundown of Friday’s ruling by the Nebraska Supreme Court clearing a major hurdle for the Keystone XL pipeline. AND: ICYMI, we have video of Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders ripping to shreds claims about the project’s benefits.

The rest of the story –> Former US Senator Bob Graham called for 28 “missing” pages of the 9/11 Commission’s report to be declassified, claiming at a press conference last week that the redacted pages “point a very strong finger at Saudi Arabia as the principal financier” of the attacks. Eleanor Clift has more at The Daily Beast.

The Obama era –> NY Mag asked more than 50 prominent historians to predict how history may view Barack Obama’s presidency. One told the magazine that it was a “fool’s errand,” but that didn’t stop them and the results make for an interesting read.

Is America crazy?” –> That’s the question Ann Jones, writing at TomDispatch, says US citizens abroad have to answer when subjects like our gun culture or the huge fight against decent public health care come up.

Don’t try this! –> Slate’s A.J. McCarthy offers this stomach-turning video of base jumping in Utah’s Moab Mountain range…

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