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.

The Great Fall of China –> That’s the joke name that’s making the Wall Street rounds for something that’s not so funny. The Financial Times: “US stocks closed down almost 4 per cent after a ferocious rout in international markets triggered by a tumultuous session for Chinese equities that even Xinhua, the official state news agency, dubbed ‘Black Monday.’ The Chinese stock market crash has exacerbated concerns over the health of one of the global economy’s most important engines, and rippled through Asian and European bourses.” China’s markets closed another 7.6% lower today but, The New York Times reports, “The Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index rose about 2 percent at the open, and the Dow Jones industrial average rose more than 300 points, or more than 2 percent.”

Sabri Ben-Achour at public radio’s Marketplace says not to worry: “… Yes, the U.S. is a little bit vulnerable to a Chinese slowdown, but we’re also vulnerable to a lot of other things. Like the weather. Or the Federal Reserve.” Nevertheless, GOP presidential candidates had a field day, jumping up and down on President Obama’s China policy just as he plans to meet next month with President Xi Jinping.

But Michael Hiltzik of the Los Angeles Times used Monday’s market volatility to make a different point to the Republican candidates: “One would think no one needs more evidence to understand why privatizing Social Security is a terrible idea and well-nigh unworkable, but the recent convulsions in the stock market provide the opportunity for a refresher… Downturns like Monday’s may not presage a long-term bear market, but there will be many more days and weeks like this in the life span of ordinary workers. They should be protected from these risks by the one program that offers them shelter, not exposed to more of them.”

Lockheed Martin’s illegal lobbying –> The aerospace giant is paying the Department of Energy $4.7 million to settle charges that it illegally used federal money to lobby the federal government. Patrick Malone at the Center for Public Integrity reports that a Lockheed subsidiary used the money to push for the renewal of its contract managing the Sandia National Laboratory in Albuquerque, soliciting “senior Obama administration officials and key lawmakers with funds taken from its existing federal contract.” And according to Lisa Rein at The Washington Post, “Lockheed executives, who hired a former New Mexico congresswoman to help them, didn’t just press people with influence to re-hire them for a deal worth $2.4 billion a year… They urged them to close the bidding to competition.”

Bernie’s March on Washington –> Brent Budowsky in the Observer: “… a Facebook-driven grassroots movement of Bernie Sanders supporters is seeking 100,000 or more RSVP’s from other Sanders supporters to attend a mass rally at the Washington Mall on or around October 17, with the theme ‘enough is enough,’ in support of the Sanders candidacy… Even assuming that some who formally sign an RSVP for a Sanders march on Washington will not ultimately attend, the publicity surge leading into the event would be enormous. The grassroots movement through social media mobilizing Sanders supporters to attend would go mega-viral the minute Sanders agrees to attend, if he does, and the likely crowd attending this rally would be far larger than any event for any candidate in either party.”

Over the weekend, the Sanders campaign issued several policy proposals on women rights. Nathalie Baptiste at The American Prospect has more.

Another day, another gaffe –> Alice Ollstein at ThinkProgress writes, “At a press conference on Monday in McAllen, Texas, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush hit back at reporter who challenged his use of the term ‘anchor babies’ to describe U.S. citizen children of undocumented parents. When told, in Spanish, that many in the Latino community consider the term an offensive slur, Bush rolled his eyes and replied in Spanish: ‘Look, I know Hillary Clinton is attacking me for using that term, but it is ludicrous to suggest I’m using a derogatory term. What I was saying is that there are cases of real fraud in what we call “anchor babies.” The parents organize to commit fraud and we have to enforce our laws.'”

And then, just to make it worse, he added, “Frankly, it’s more related to Asian people coming into our country, having children, and taking advantage of a noble concept, which is birthright citizenship.”

The Borowitz Report –> “Sentiment Building to Deport Nation’s Billionaires.”

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