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.

Money pours into Iran vote –> Jonathan Weisman and Nick Confessore at The New York Times: “… Tens of millions of dollars [are] flowing into ad campaigns… The furious lobbying lays bare the volatile politics of the Iran accord… It also reveals donors’ divisions over the deal — and the extraordinary access those donors have wielded to speak directly to lawmakers and their top aides.”

Even the Kochs think stadium deal stinks –> Yesterday, Wisconsin Governor and presidential candidate Scott Walker signed a bill giving $250 million in public financing to the Milwaukee Bucks for a new basketball arena. The Koch brothers’ Americans for Prosperity Wisconsin: “Government shouldn’t be in the business of financing private sports stadiums.” At ThinkProgress, Alice Ollstein reported, “On the very day that Walker began pushing for taxpayers to foot much of the bill for the new arena, one of the team’s owners donated $150,000 to his super PAC. The investor, Jon Hammes, has donated directly to Walker’s past campaigns, as well, to the tune of tens of thousands of dollars, and this year, Walker hired him as his national finance co-chairman. Another Bucks owner, Ted Kellner, gave $50,000 to Walker’s Super PAC.”

Remember Greece? –> Their latest bailout deal is to be voted on by the Greek Parliament today and needs to be okayed by the eurozone finance ministers tomorrow. Yves Smith has an update at her Naked Capitalism blog. Meanwhile, China has devalued its currency for the third straight day.

Jimmy Carter has cancer –> “Recent liver surgery revealed that I have cancer that now is in other parts of my body,” the former president announced. “I will be rearranging my schedule as necessary so I can undergo treatment… A more complete public statement will be made when facts are known, possibly next week.” President Obama said, “Jimmy, you’re as resilient as they come, and along with the rest of America, we are rooting for you.” Recently, Carter told Thom Hartmann that our political system has become “an oligarchy, with unlimited political bribery being the essence of getting the nominations for president or to elect the President. And the same thing applies to governors and U.S. senators and congress members.”

Meet Jeremy Corbyn –> We’re a little late to the dance on this, but at Common Dreams, Deirdre Fulton writes, “New polling shows longtime left-wing lawmaker Jeremy Corbyn, a leading anti-war and anti-austerity voice in the UK, surging toward victory in his quest to become leader of Britain’s opposition Labour Party.” Here’s a profile of Corbyn in The Guardian by Esther Addley in which one campaign insider says, “OK, he’s not Mick Jagger, but you see that he has awakened all these hopes in people.” And by way of negative endorsement, here’s an op-ed by former Labour Prime Minster Tony Blair, screaming bloody murder: “The party is walking eyes shut, arms outstretched, over the cliff’s edge to the jagged rocks below.” Blimey.

And in Canada –> Seth Klein, of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, writes in The Toronto Star about economic journalist and New Democratic Party candidate Linda McQuaig: “She found herself in a heap of trouble last week for saying this on CBC TV: ‘A lot of the oilsands oil may have to stay in the ground if we’re going to meet our climate change targets. We’ll know that better once we properly put in place a climate change accountability system of some kind.’ McQuaig was attacked from all sides for committing the great sin of telling the truth in an election campaign.” ALSO Today is Earth Overshoot Day, “when humanity’s annual demand for the goods and services that our land and seas can provide… exceeds what Earth’s ecosystems can renew in a year.”

Must read and must see –> Larry Cohler-Esses, assistant managing editor at The Forwardjust became the first journalist for a Jewish-American, pro-Israel newspaper allowed into Iran since the 1979 revolution. “Far from the stereotype of a fascist Islamic state,” he reports, “I found a dynamic push-and-pull between a theocratic government and its often reluctant and resisting people.” And look at this fascinating, interactive graphic story on segregation from Nathaniel Lash at the Tampa Bay Times: “Why Pinellas County is the worst place in Florida to be black and go to public school.”

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