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.

Another campaign cash outrage –> Robert Maguire and Will Tucker at OpenSecrets report, “Political organizations working to influence the 2016 elections outside the party or official campaign structure had spent more than $25.1 million as of Sept. 21. That’s an increase of more than 34 percent over their counterparts at this point in the 2014 midterm elections — and a five-fold leap over their outlays by this date in the last presidential cycle [2012], a Center for Responsive Politics review of Federal Election Commission data shows.​”

Scott walks –> Another one bites the dust of the campaign trail as Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker lumbers into the sunset. Although most attributed his withdrawal to dismal poll numbers and a lackluster style, “Walker, speaking from Madison, said he was inspired as a child by Ronald Reagan’s ‘eternal optimism’ and that the GOP race had devolved into a scrum of ‘personal attacks,'” Kerry Eleveld at Daily Kos reports.”For that reason, he said he felt he was being ‘called’ to lead in an ‘unusual’ way.” Walker: “The Bible is full of stories about people who are called to be leaders in unusual ways. Today, I believe that I am being called to lead by helping to clear the field in this race so that a positive conservative message will rise to the top of the field.”

At Mother Jones, Russ Choma writes, “With so many candidates remaining, Walker’s biggest impact on 2016 may have to do with where his deep-pocketed former backers turn next.” AND satirist Andy Borowitz at The New Yorker says the Koch Brothers want their $900 million back, “‘no later than midnight Friday.’

“’B-but where am I going to come up with that kind of dough?’ Walker asked.

“’We don’t care how you get it, Scott,’ the Kochs reportedly said. ‘Just get it.'”

“The Unseen Costs of Defunding Planned Parenthood” –> At TruthoutKatie Klabusich writes, “The US House approved the Defund Planned Parenthood Act of 2015 (HR 3134) in a vote of 241-187, on September 18, which, if enacted, could result in as many as 650,000 Americans losing access to preventative care, and potentially several thousand more unintended pregnancies being carried to term, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO)… Reproductive rights and justice groups widely condemned the vote to reduce the reach of a reproductive health-care network that one-fifth of US women rely on at some point in their lives — to say nothing of the non-binary and trans people who trust Planned Parenthood because of the way our health-care system routinely fails the majority of those patients.”

ALSO, Paul Waldman at The American Prospect reports that as the threat of a government shutdown over funding Planned Parenthood continues, “The release of those tapes were obviously the PR coup that pushed the abortion issue to the top of the agenda, but there’s a reason why Republicans were so ready to start pounding lecterns and shouting into cameras. Abortion is the the one ‘culture war’ issue where conservatives don’t feel like they’re in a hasty retreat.”

Costly warm-up –> At Common Dreams, Jon Queally writes about a new report from the journal Nature Climate Change: “The melting of the Earth’s permafrost could unleash hundreds of billions of tons stored CO2 and methane by the end of this century, warned prominent researchers on Monday, with resulting economic costs that could reach $43 trillion in damages related to the runaway impacts of climate change.” AND Coral Davenport, The New York Times: “Senate Democratic leaders on Tuesday plan to unveil a measure intended to signal their full-throated support of President Obama’s aggressive climate change agenda to 2016 voters and to the rest of the world.”

How low can you go? –> Billionaire Jamie Dimon, head of JPMorgan Chase, on “Meet the Press” Sunday said that slashing exorbitant executive pay was pointless: “If you took all the compensation of all the C.E.O.s of the top 500 companies in America it wouldn’t make a dent in this problem.” Vanity Fair‘s Emily Jane Fox writes, “The comments come at a time where C.E.O.s are making 300 times more than typical workers, the Economic Policy Institute found. Since 1978, compensation for chief executives has increased by 997 percent.”

This low –> Caitlin Cruz at TPM reports that Texas police say that a disabled vet who claimed his pick-up truck was vandalized by Black Lives Matter activists and then solicited $6000 to pay for repairs, actually tore up the interior of the truck himself for “insurance reasons.”

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