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.

Big win for peace –> Democrats in the Senate blocked the GOP’s attempt to derail the Iran nuclear deal. Deirdre Fulton at Common Dreams has an excellent summary of coverage. And President Obama addressed public concerns over the agreement at the question-and-answer website Quora.

In a statement, National Iranian American Council Action Executive Director Jamal Abdi said, “This is a stunning victory for supporters of peace and diplomacy. This vote should settle the debate once and for all that this is a good deal.” But not so fast, Bill Scher at the Campaign for America’s Future blog reminds us, there’s no end to the antics of those opposed. AND, at The New York Times, Jennifer Steinhauer writes, “House Republicans were already scrambling Thursday to find ways to undercut the accord and maintain or restore sanctions against Iran. ‘This debate is far from over and, frankly, it’s just beginning,’ said Speaker John A. Boehner. ‘We will use every tool at our disposal to stop, slow and delay this agreement from being fully implemented.'” ALSO, The Washington PostAP.

White House says US will take in more Syrian refugees –> Reuters’ Julia Edwards  via Ha’aretz: “President Barack Obama has directed his administration to prepare to take in at least 10,000 Syrian refugees over the next year… It is the first specific commitment the United States has made toward increasing its acceptance of refugees from the war-torn country.

“…But refugee advocates and some members of Congress say taking in an additional 10,000 refugees does not go far enough toward addressing the humanitarian crisis triggered by the war, which has prompted a massive refugee influx into Europe. In a letter distributed to House Democrats and seen by Reuters, Democratic Representative David Cicilline asked Obama to accommodate 65,000 Syrian refugees by the end of 2016. Religious groups have called for the United States to accept 100,000 Syrian refugees.”

Eleanor Acer of Human Rights First: “Ten thousand is just an embarrassingly low number given the scale of this crisis and that the U.S. has long been a global leader in resettlement.”

Weekend must read –> Julia Ioffe in Foreign Policy, “Je Suis Refugee: America can — and must — do more to help Europe’s migrants. I’m living proof of why.”

“Ridiculous show trial” –> The American Prospect’s Nathalie Baptiste on three ways Wednesday’s House Judiciary Committee hearing on Planned Parenthood “was clearly not designed to seek the truth.”

Help! –> Sara Jerde at Talking Points Memo: Mike Huckabee thinks the Supreme Court’s 1857 Dred Scott decision upholding slavery “remains… the law of the land.”

James Bond just gave $50,000 to support Bernie Sanders –> But in doing so, actor Daniel Craig “may have played into a villain’s hands,” according to Pema Levy at Mother Jones. He gave the money to the Americans Socially United super-PAC, “which claims to support the Vermont senator’s dark-horse bid for the Democratic nomination, according to the Center for Public Integrity (CPI). The pro-Sanders super-PAC is run by a self-described lobbyist, Cary Lee Peterson, who ‘has routinely run afoul of creditors and the law,’ with two outstanding warrants in the state of Arizona… Peterson’s group has not filed the legally required campaign finance disclosures, CPI reports. Moreover, Sanders, who supports campaign finance reform, doesn’t want super-PACs supporting his campaign and has asked Americans Socially United to stop its efforts on his behalf.”

Nonetheless, apparently stirred but not shaken, 007 told CPI, “Currently, I have been informed of no evidence to question that my donation has not been used as intended. Should that situation occur, then clearly, I will review my position.”

Possible bad news  –> At Washington Monthly’s “Republic 3.0” blog, Anne Kim warns that although Americans may finally be putting away more for retirement, they’re also “borrowing more from their retirement accounts, thereby potentially erasing a big chunk of these gains… More than 1 in 5 Americans — or 21.9 percent — have an outstanding loan against their 401(k).” This could result in “significant long-term damage to Americans’ retirement security.”

Definite good news –> Rachel Cernansky at the environmental magazine Ensia: “One by One, States Are Giving Consumers the Right to Know About Chemicals in Products.”

How to make an honest buck on Wall Street –> If you’re presidential candidate Marty O’Malley, you take a guitar and a song in your heart down to Manhattan’s financial district, then rely on the kindness of strangers with spare change — and Gummi bears.

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