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

Chutzpah alert –> In a speech at the Reagan library, Jeb Bush blamed the chaos in Iraq on President Obama and Hillary Clinton. The New York Times’ Adam Nagourney reports.

Oath Keepers, go home –> As protests and arrests continued in Ferguson, Missouri, marking the one-year anniversary of Michael Brown’s killing, armed members of the Oath Keepers, a notorious, right-wing militia, appeared on the scene. The organization has been described by the Southern Poverty Law Center as “a fiercely antigovernment, militaristic group that improbably claims more than 30,000 law enforcement officers, soldiers and military veterans as members.” They said they were in Ferguson to protect a journalist from conspiracy theorist Alex Jones’ Infowars denied asking for help and St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar said their presence was “both unnecessary and inflammatory.”

As many observed, imagine if African-American civilians appeared on the street dressed in paramilitary gear and carrying automatic weapons — and note, as The Guardian reported, “A group of young black men were incorrectly arrested on suspicion of firearm possession during a protest in Ferguson, Missouri, as a group of white militiamen, armed with rifles and wearing body armour and camouflage claimed they were granted permission to walk through the protests by police officers.” MORE at Talking Points Memo and ThinkProgress.

#BlackLivesMatter talk with #Hillary2016 –> Although they were unable to confront Hillary Clinton at a campaign event in Keene, NH, yesterday, the candidate later had a private meeting with five representatives of the Black Lives Matter movement.  “What we got was a Hillary Clinton who was willing to delve into the issues given her platform constraints,” Julius Jones told Politico, “but she was not willing to take responsibility for or give much voice to the anti-blackness current. She validated some of the points that we offered, but she didn’t offer many of her own.”

Donald Trump is a godsend –> To campaign finance reform? HuffPo’s Sam Stein: “… it’s been a bit of a guilty pleasure to watch Trump pull back the curtain on how money drives the political process. Nearly every candidate in the presidential race (on both sides of the aisle) has expressed discomfort with a culture that requires so much dialing for dollars… But, save for a few, they all partake in the system… Trump, by contrast, has declared himself impervious to big-moneyed interests by the mere act of already being one of them.” AND, ABC News: “Donald Trump’s Surprisingly Honest Lessons About Big Money in Politics.”

Planned Parenthood update –> As Republican candidates continue to denounce the group and we breathlessly await the return of Congress to see whether conservative senators really will try to shut down the government if Planned Parenthood isn’t defunded, Pema Levy at Mother Jones reminds us that, “lost in the polarized debate over Planned Parenthood is a fact that [Jeb] Bush would likely prefer not to highlight: His family, dating back to his grandfather, was instrumental in launching and securing federal funding for the group.”

AND, at New America MediaJessica González-Rojas, executive director of the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health, writes, “These attacks are merely the latest salvo in a far-reaching, systematic, ideological crusade to deny personal reproductive health decision-making. Those behind this crusade, and their allies in Congress, want to deny legal abortion, contraception and other services to anyone and everyone. Falling short of that goal, these extremists will content themselves to undermine the health and autonomy of those who are already most marginalized: the young, the undocumented, and those struggling to make ends meet.”

The latest wrinkle in Wall Street crime –> $100 million in illegal profits. Reuters: “Prosecutors announced charges against nine people in an insider-trading case that marks the first time criminal charges have been brought for a securities fraud scheme involving hacked inside information, in this instance 150,000 press releases from distributors Business Wire, Marketwired and PR Newswire.”

Google becomes Alphabet –> What does it all mean? Not much, according to James Kwak at The Baseline Scenario.

When Bernie met Chomsky –> Zaid Jilani at Alternet has video from 30 years ago of then-Burlington, Vermont, Mayor Bernie Sanders introducing a speech by Noam Chomsky. And he reports what Chomsky thinks of Sanders’ presidential bid.

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