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 Roanoke murders –> The shooting deaths of TV reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward, allegedly by Bryce Williams, who shot and killed himself as well, are the first killings of American journalists on US soil since 2007. ThinkProgress quotes Christophe Deloire of Reporters Without Borders, who called the murders an “unprecedented tragedy, even in a country where thousands of people are killed each year by firearms.”

At The Washington Post, Danny Hayes writes about the “issue attention cycle” that makes it so hard to pass gun control laws in America. The New York Times’ Nicholas Kristof declares, “Whether or not Williams was insane, our policies on guns are demented — not least in that we don’t even have universal background checks to keep weapons out of the hands of people waiting to go boom.” And Paul Vale of The Huffington Post UK details how worldwide, “thousands penned tweets pleading with the nation to ‘wake up,’ end the ‘gun madness’ and ‘do something’ about the country’s ‘serious problem.’ It has long been a point of bafflement among the other industrialised nations that the US is unable to tackle an epidemic in which gun related deaths far outstrip those in western Europe, Canada and Australia, particularly as gun control demonstrably works.”

AND, Walmart announced yesterday it would stop selling assault rifles in its stores, insisting it was a question of low sales and not a response to Roanoke and other killings.

Katrina –> President Obama visits Louisiana today, 10 years after Hurricane Katrina. Leslie Eaton and Cameron McWhirter at the Wall Street Journal report, “… As the $135 billion rebuilding winds down, federal employment data reveal a local economy increasingly skewed to low-wage jobs, especially restaurant work, one of the few sectors now employing more people than before Katrina. Those jobs drag down average incomes, analysts say, widening the economic divide between whites, who are generally richer than before, and blacks, who aren’t.”

Follow the money — and multiply by 10 –> Russ Choma, Mother Jones: “Last December, the outgoing Congress slipped language into a spending bill that created a loophole allowing donors to make much larger contributions to political parties. Both parties supported the rule change at the time. But only one has been able to capitalize on it. According to filings last week, the Republican National Committee has raised nearly 10 times as much as its Democratic counterpart from donors who took advantage of the new loophole.”

Second week for hunger strike at Chicago high school –> “A small group of parents and community members in the South Side of Chicago have gone on a hunger strike until the Chicago Board of Education agrees to a proposal to revitalize a local school,” Casey Quinlan at ThinkProgress reports. “… Advocates have reignited a discussion on school closings in black and Hispanic communities, which has the support of Rev. Jesse Jackson, Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers and Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools.”

Interesting read –> In The Washington Post, University of  Georgia professor Cas Mudde compares the Donald Trump campaign to elements of the European right-wing: “He never developed a real ideological platform and has been inconsistent on core issues – from pro-choice to anti-abortion, from pro-universal health care to anti-Obamacare, etc. However, his current popularity does seem to be based on a combination of features that defines Europe’s contemporary populist radical right: nativism, authoritarianism, and populism.”

ALSO, Univision’s Jorge Ramos explains to Fox News’ Megyn Kelly why Trump must answer to Hispanic media.

RIP –> Just in the last couple of weeks we have lost several pioneers of the civil rights movement. Now we note the death of Amelia Boynton Robinson, the activist who asked Martin Luther King, Jr., to come to Selma, Alabama, and march for voting rights in the face of brutal and bloody resistance. She was 104. “To honor the legacy of an American hero like Amelia Boynton,” President Obama said, “requires only that we follow her example — that all of us fight to protect everyone’s right to vote.”

Her death comes as the NAACP continues a  “Journey for Justice” march that began in Selma on August 1 and is scheduled to arrive in Washington, D.C., on September 15.


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