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.

Senate Planned Parenthood attack fails –> But, Becca Andrews at Mother Jones writes, “the failure of the measure, which aimed to take away more than $500 million in federal funding from the organization, is likely just a prelude to a fiercer debate to come.” Brian Beutler at The New Republic thinks that debate could be a real problem for Republicans.

Climate disconnect –> On a day when President Obama announced his new carbon emission reduction plans and wildfires raged across northern California, Denise Robbins at MediaMatters notes,  “Major U.S. newspapers ran front page stories about devastating California wildfires alongside reports on the Environmental Protection Agency’s newly-finalized Clean Power Plan, President Obama’s flagship policy to address climate change. Yet with only one exception, these newspapers’ wildfire articles ignored the documented role that global warming has played in worsening wildfires.” Dar Jamail at Truthout writes about the fires he’s seeing in Washington State and adds, “… Well over 12 million acres of forest and tundra in Canada and Alaska have burned in wildfires, and the smoke covering the Arctic sea ice is yet another anthropogenic climate disruption (ACD) amplifying feedback loop that will accelerate melting there.” That’s just for starters — keep reading him if you want to hear some really bad news. All of which leads Adrienne LaFrance at The Atlantic to ask, “If climate change continues at this pace, is anywhere going to be safe?” Answer: start looking for rentals in Switzerland.

More from this weekend’s Koch conference –> Josh Israel at ThinkProgress got hold of the official ground rules imposed by the Koch Brothers on the select few in the media who were invited to cover their exclusive California conclave of candidates and wealthy — but anonymous — conservative donors. At the Hullabaloo blog, Digby commented, “The Koch confab is basically a return to the old smoke-filled rooms… Maybe we’ll get lucky and one of the waiters or bartenders in attendance will have recorded some of it [on] their phones.”

And Lee Fang at The Intercept reminds us that despite Charles Koch’s attempt to compare his efforts to those of Frederick Douglass, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Susan B. Anthony, “the political network developed by the Koch brothers — the one that wins policy debates on Capitol Hill and elects favored candidates at the ballot box — has continued to elevate a narrow set of issues relating to upper income taxes and environmental deregulation.”

Democratic debates –> Eleanor Clift at The Daily Beast has learned, “the Democratic National Committee will announce its debate schedule later this week, with six debates beginning in the fall, and with penalties for candidates and media outlets that stray from the sanctioned schedule… The sooner the debates begin, the sooner candidates like Sanders and O’Malley are helped. They need the oxygen, the airtime, the access to donors — all the benefits that flow from standing on the stage with the frontrunner.”

Photo Oops –> See for yourself. In New Hampshire yesterday, GOP presidential candidate and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker thought he was pausing for a fan photo with two enthusiastic young supporters. In reality, Jenna Johnson at The Washington Post reports, they were climate activists from Bill McKibben’s 350 Action, and when they flipped their campaign sign, “Suddenly Walker was posing with a fake, game-show-style check made out to him from the billionaire Koch brothers, Charles Koch and David Koch, who plan to spend $889 million on the upcoming election.”

Must Read –> The Los Angeles Times’ Michael Hiltzik on “Huckabee, the Holocaust and the degradation of political discourse.” AND: From Jonathan Keane at The Daily Dot, “How to hack a city—and why we should.” ALSO: Mike Lofgren at Consortium News on “The Soft Power Hoax.” He describes soft power as “the magical notion that our presumed cultural attractiveness, combined with a really cool Twitter feed, could advance American interests (as the Beltway elite defines them) throughout the world.”

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