Morning Reads

As we continue our effort to keep you up-to-date on how money corrupts American government and politics, as well as other news of the day, we’re pleased to publish this daily digest compiled by’s Michael Winship.

#AllBlackLivesMatter –> AP reports that her family has ordered an independent autopsy on the body of Sandra Bland, the 28-year-old African-American woman who was arrested on July 10 by police in Waller County, Texas. She had just gotten a job at her alma mater, Prairie View A&M University. Waiting to post bond, she was found dead in her jail cell three days later. The medical examiner called it a suicide by asphyxiation: “Authorities say Bland hanged herself with a plastic bag three days after being pulled over by police for a traffic violation and then arrested for allegedly kicking an officer during the stop. Friends and family have questioned that account.” The FBI and Texas Rangers are investigating.

Rashad Robinson, executive director, “Police cannot police themselves. The Waller County and Prosecutor’s office’s disregard for Sandra’s life and attempt to cover up this incident is beyond unacceptable, it’s criminal. We urge District Attorney Loretta Lynch to investigate and prosecute the Waller county police and prosecutors office for the killing and cover up of Sandra Bland and systemic discriminatory policing.” MORE from Henry Giroux at Truthout. AND Jaeah Lee at Mother Jones.

A raucous political weekend –> All hell broke loose on Saturday, especially among his Republican rivals, when presidential candidate Donald Trump attacked Senator and former Vietnam POW John McCain, declaring, “He’s not a war hero. He was a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured, okay?” Widely denounced, Trump later backpedaled a bit but in a USA Today op-ed writes, “A number of my competitors for the Republican nomination have no business running for president. I do not need to be lectured by any of them.” The Washington Post: “What Donald Trump was up to while John McCain was a prisoner of war.”

Simultaneously, at the progressive Netroots Nation conference in Phoenix, Democratic candidates Marty O’Malley and Bernie Sanders were interrupted by protesters from the #BlackLivesMatter movement. Lauren McCauley at Common Dreams writes, “Protesters said they were galvanized by this week’s one year anniversary of the police killing of Eric Garner and the suspicious and tragic death of Sandra Bland. During the event, they chanted and challenged the candidates to ‘Say her name,’ referring to Bland and other women killed while in police custody, and to ‘Say that black lives matter.'” More from The Guardian.

Later Saturday night, Sanders addressed 11-12,000 people at a rally in Phoenix — his largest turnout yet — and on Sunday, spoke to nearly 10,000 in Dallas, Texas, and 5200 in Houston. Alternet’s Zaid Jilani has more details.

Cuando salí de Cuba –> BuzzFeed News: “After decades of icy relations, Cuba and the United States officially established full diplomatic relations Monday after an agreement struck earlier this summer went into effect after midnight.” Cuba’s foreign minister officially raises a flag at their reopened embassy in Washington on Monday and meets with Secretary of State Kerry.

Fire and rain –> Drought-drenching rains aided firefighters battling blazes in California but flash floods washed out a bridge on I-10 connecting California and Arizona. Meanwhile, The New York Times reports that air support and rescue efforts around the wildfires are being hampered by amateur nitwits flying their hobby drones too close to the action.

Is our children learning? –> At Washington Monthly’s “The Grade” education blog, Alexander Russo has a helpful guide to the status of Congress’ reauthorization of “No Child Left Behind.”

Recommended –> Andy Kroll’s “Rumble at the Super PAC” in National Journal, an account of Priorities USA Action’s rocky transition from fundraising for Barack Obama’s reelection to becoming “the flagship Hillary Clinton super PAC.” AND: Ex-New York Times labor reporter Steven Greenhouse likes this piece by our friend and colleague Harold Meyerson at the The American Prospect: “How the American South Drives the Low-Wage Economy.” ALSO: In our continuing coverage of “America’s craziest governor,” read Politico as it asks, “Is Paul LePage overplaying his hand or no longer playing with a full deck?”

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