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.

Trumpster-Con –> The three Americans as well as a British citizen who subdued a gunman on a high-speed train en route to Paris received the French Legion of Honor today, and world markets are crashing in reaction to China’s fiscal crisis, but over the weekend many were still talking about Donald Trump’s pep rally in Alabama Friday night.

John Cassidy at The New Yorker offers “Five Theories of Donald Trump” and Heather Digby Parton at Salon (via Alternet) suggests, “… His dark, authoritarian message of intolerance and hate is likely making it difficult for him, or any Republican, to win a national election, particularly since all the other candidates feel compelled to follow his lead… And while Trump’s fans may want to blame foreigners for all their troubles, most Americans know that their troubles can be traced to some powerful people right here at home.  Powerful people like Donald Trump.

“Still, history is littered with strongmen nobody took seriously until it was too late.”

ALSO, Matt Taibbi at Rolling Stone.

An action plan from #BlackLivesMatter –> Mother Jones‘ Kevin Drum describes Campaign Zero, a new set of “specific and achievable goals” generated by the Black Lives Matter movement. “Campaign Zero should allow them to avoid the fate of Occupy Wall Street, which generated a ton of passion but never really offered any place to channel it,” Drum writes. “BLM has now done both, and has a good shot at making their issues important ones during the upcoming presidential campaign.”

AND: Bernie Sanders spent the weekend on the stump in South Carolina, and according to Common Dreams, “met with groups of black leaders, including ministers and business owners, and visited with Black Lives Matter activists after his rallies. Also, Sanders’ campaign staff met with the Charleston chapter of activist group Black Lives Matter on Friday night, said local activist Muhiyidin D’Baha who attended Saturday night’s Charleston speech. ‘They’ve been really good in receiving critique. We’re really hoping that we have impacted his message.'”

BUT: What do you suppose Elizabeth Warren and Joe Biden talked about when the vice president invited her to lunch on Saturday? The Boston Globe: “’I think that would be a great ticket,’ quipped Larry Rasky, a longtime Biden adviser, suggesting that a Biden-Warren team could be in the cards. An aide to Warren declined to comment on her willingness to play that role.”

More foreign policy vets speak out in favor of Iran deal –> Brent Scowcroft, national security adviser to Presidents Gerald Ford and George H.W. Bush, wrote in The Washington Post, “… Decades of experience strongly suggest that there are epochal moments that should not be squandered. President Nixon realized it with China. Presidents Reagan and George H.W. Bush realized it with the Soviet Union. And I believe we face it with Iran today.” And, at US News and World Report, Lawrence Wilkerson, former chief of staff to Secretary of State Colin Powell, writes, “There are potentially deadly repercussions of a U.S. rejection of this agreement. Rejection means the U.S. is alone. No one else, not even Britain, will follow us. We will be acting entirely unilaterally, without friends or allies (with the exception of Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu). And those who claim that we can simply return to sanctions are hopelessly blind to reality.”

Meanwhile, according to Stephen M. Walt at Foreign Policy, “… The real problem is that the neoconservative worldview — one that still informs the thinking of many of the groups and individuals who are most vocal in opposing the Iran deal — is fundamentally flawed. Getting Iraq wrong wasn’t just an unfortunate miscalculation, it happened because their theories of world politics were dubious and their understanding of how the world works was goofy. When your strategic software is riddled with bugs, you should expect a lot of error messages.”

A disturbance in the force –> Maybe this bounced off your deflector shields, but there has been an ongoing ideological fight in the science fiction world over the esteemed Hugo Awards, the Oscars of fantasy and sci-fi writing. At Wired magazine, Amy Wallace has a detailed report on Saturday night’s presentation ceremony and the internecine political sniping that has pitted George R.R. Martin of Game of Thrones fame against factions known as — we’re not making this up — the Sad Puppies and the Rabid Puppies.

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