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 Obama-Putin debates –> Edward-Isaac Dovere at Politico: “President Barack Obama took repeated swipes at Vladimir Putin, Dick Cheney and even Donald Trump, without mentioning them by name, in an address to the United Nations on Monday, holding them up as examples of forces playing off fears and attempting to pull the country and world backward.” ALSO: Colum Lynch and John Hudson at Foreign Policy: “Presidents Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin each blamed the other Monday at the United Nations for fueling extremism in Middle East, and especially for the bloody mess in Syria, but grudgingly conceded they may have no choice but to work together to end more than four years of massacres, migrations, and depredations that have already claimed more than 240,000 deaths.”

Shell puts Arctic drilling on ice –> Tim McDonnell at Mother Jones reports, “After years of botched attempts, mountains of red tape, billions of dollars, and countless face-offs with protesters, Royal Dutch Shell announced today that it is pulling the plug on all oil and gas exploration in the Arctic ocean ‘for the foreseeable future.’

“… There was always a chance this could happen. Given the sky-high costs of drilling and transporting oil in the Arctic, making the venture profitable required a complex soup of numbers to all fall in Shell’s favor, particularly how much oil there really was down there and how much Shell could expect to sell it for… The decision was also a major win for environmental groups, many of whom have made Shell’s Arctic exploration a central focus of their campaigns over the last year.” ALSO: Jon Queally at Common Dreams.

And while we’re on the subject of climate –> New York magazine’s Jonathan Chait reports on a new study finding that, “Of all the major conservative parties in the democratic world, the Republican Party stands alone in its denial of the legitimacy of climate science. Indeed, the Republican Party stands alone in its conviction that no national or international response to climate change is needed. To the extent that the party is divided on the issue, the gap separates candidates who openly dismiss climate science as a hoax, and those who, shying away from the political risks of blatant ignorance, instead couch their stance in the alleged impossibility of international action.” What’s more, “The virulence of anti-government ideology in the United States has no parallel anywhere in the world.”

Big money election cheats –> “… Cam­paigns and out­side groups are push­ing the lim­its that pro­hib­it them from co­ordin­at­ing farther than ever,” Adam Wollner writes at National Journal. “Su­per PACs are freed from the in­di­vidu­al donor lim­its that cam­paigns [must abide by], but they’re also sup­posed to ex­ist as in­de­pend­ent or­gan­iz­a­tions… But in 2016, cam­paigns are in­creas­ingly of­f­load­ing tasks to their bet­ter-fun­ded al­lies with little fear of re­per­cus­sion from a dead­locked Fed­er­al Elec­tion Com­mis­sion.” Here are Wollner’s “10 Ways Super PACs and Campaigns Coordinate, Even Though They’re Not Allowed To.”

Johnny, we hardly knew ye –> The Intercept’s Lee Fang reports that for the denizens of Washington’s K Street, John Boehner’s resignation announcement “was a reason to mourn. ‘We are grateful for Speaker Boehner’s leadership in so many areas,’ said Chip Bowling, the chief lobbyist for the corn growers industry. ‘Speaker Boehner’s departure will leave a hole, to be sure,’ said John Engler, a lobbyist who represents the chief executive officers of major American corporations.

“… As he raised millions from corporate political action committees, Boehner encouraged lobbyists to have a direct influence over the policy process. Under Speaker Boehner, the reverse revolving door became a blur, with more and more corporate lobbyists hired to manage the day-to-day business of key congressional committees and to serve as senior staff.”

Interesting reads –> At Vox, “A Theory of How American Politics Is Changing,” by Ezra Klein. “… The relative importance of insider and outsider politicking is changing,” he writes, “and that’s part of why talented outsider candidates have had such a good year while masters of the inside game have had such a bad year.” AND Robert Reich on “Why We Must End Upend Pre-Distribution to the Rich.”

Genius –> This year’s MacArthur Foundation “genius” grant recipients include Ta-Nehisi Coates, “Hamilton” writer and star Lin-Manuel Miranda, photographer and video artist LaToya Ruby Frazier, and poet Ellen Bryant Voigt.

News from Waterworld –>  There’s H2O on Mars. Rush Limbaugh thinks it’s a plot. AND, the latest on The Curious Case of the Congressman Who Swiped the Pope’s Water Glass. Bob Brady — you owe the taxpayers $3.94…

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