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.

North to Alaska –> President Obama arrives in Anchorage today for a three-day trip to a land where the impact of global warming is dramatic and real. And while the official purpose of the president’s visit is to speak out on climate change, some environmental groups are skeptical. Elijah Zarlin, director of climate change campaigns at CREDO, writes that because Obama recently approved Shell Oil drilling in the Arctic’s Chukchi Sea, the Alaska trip could be his “Mission Accomplished” moment.

The president also is officially changing back the name of Alaska’s Mt. McKinley to Denali.

Thank you for not burning up the planet –> At Grist magazine, Heather Smith explains that “when it comes to selling action on climate change, the best past examples of relevant advertising/marketing methods come from the anti-smoking campaigns of the ’80s and ’90s.” ALSO, this from Jeff Biggers at Common Dreams: “Call It What It Is: A Global Migration Shift From Climate, Not a Migrant or Refugee Crisis.”

Trying to outtrump Trump–> Katie Valentine at ThinkProgress reports that on “Meet the Press,” presidential hopeful Scott Walker said that in addition to a wall across the border with Mexico, a second wall between us and Canada is “a legitimate issue for us to look at.” Huh?

ALSO, at ThinkProgress, editor-in-chief Judd Legum lets us know that at a New Hampshire town hall meeting on Saturday, Chris Christie “compared legal immigrants to FedEx packages, arguing they should be tracked continuously by the government. Christie even promised to bring in FedEx founder Fred Smith to set up the system.” On Fox News Sunday, Christie said, “I don’t mean people are packages, so let’s not be ridiculous.” So barcode tattoos are out of the question, then?

A small suggestion: Trump, Christie, Walker and their fellow GOP candidates might want to keep in mind this National Journal article by Alexia Fernandez Campbell, “Every 30 Seconds, a Latino Reaches Voting Age. You Read That Right.”

Bernie Sanders on CNN –> Julian Hattem at The Hill reports that Sanders told Jake Tapper on Sunday that the Democratic National Committee was “dead wrong” in limiting the number of debates among the party’s presidential candidates, and, “in addition to officially sanctioned debates from the Democratic Party, candidates running for the White House should also be forced to debate environmental issues before a panel of environmentalists, as well as issues specifically important to young voters and to ‘working people.'”

AND, Crooks and Liars adds that Sanders outlined his policy differences with Hillary Clinton and how he’d deal with an obstructive Congress: “No president, not Bernie Sanders or anybody else, can do it unless millions of people say, you know what? This country belongs to all of us,” the senator said. “Our government must represent all of us, and not just a handful of billionaires. It can’t be done within the Beltway itself. We need a mass movement, and that’s what we are trying to create, and are succeeding in creating right now.”

“Gun Control Advocates Make Slow Progress — Just Not in Washington” –> The New Republic’s Suzy Khimm writes, “Since the Sandy Hook shooting in December 2012, a handful of blue states have embraced universal background checks to close the loophole for private gun sales. And some red states have moved to prevent certain types of individuals, such as domestic abusers or the mentally ill, from obtaining firearms. ALSO, Christine Dickason at the Institute for Policy Studies has “Three Necessary Reforms to Reduce Gun Violence in America.”

Meanwhile, Bernie Horn at the Campaign for America’s Future blog has a list of “Key Progressive Victories in States and Localities.”

“I have decided in 2020 to run for president” –> So sayeth Kanye West, at last night’s MTV Video Music Awards.

“I would have rebuilt the walls of Jericho and made the Canaanites pay for it” –> The Trump Bible.

Interesting reads –> From past Bill Moyers Journal guest Sam Tanenhaus at BloombergView: “Jesse Jackson Created the Modern Democratic Party.” ALSO, George Packer at The New Yorker on Trump, Sanders and the pros and cons of populism.

AND Steve Lopez at the Los Angeles Times has the poignant story of the busboy who in June 1968 held Robert Kennedy as he lay mortally wounded at LA’s Ambassador Hotel.

RIP –> Neurologist and brilliant writer Oliver Sacks, author of The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, Awakenings and A Leg to Stand On. Read his recent Sunday New York Times essay, “Sabbath.”

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