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.

Tragedy in Kunduz –> A hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan, run by Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) came under aerial attack; 22 were killed, including a dozen hospital staff. Alissa J. Rubin of The New York Times reported, “The Pentagon, which has said it may have inadvertently struck the hospital during a military operation, said in a statement on Sunday that a preliminary investigation of the episode would be completed in a matter of days. The Afghan government also vowed to investigate the airstrike.” Richard Sisk at the website wrote, “An Air Force AC-130 Special Operations Command gunship may have carried out the strike.” The city was occupied by the Taliban a week ago.

In an official statement, MSF condemned the bombing “in the strongest possible terms.” MSF President Meinie Nicolai said, “This attack is abhorrent and a grave violation of International Humanitarian Law. We demand total transparency from Coalition forces. We cannot accept that this horrific loss of life will simply be dismissed as ‘collateral damage.'” At The Huffington Post, Kim Bellmare shares the account of a nurse who survived the airstrike.

TPP –> All weekend long, as talks continued in Atlanta, the media buzz was that a formal announcement of a Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal (TPP) was imminent. Last-minute snags got in the way, but an agreement was reached this morning, announced by U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman. It still will need a congressional thumbs up or down, as well as approval by the other signing nations’ parliaments. Yesterday, Kevin Zeese and Moyers & Company guest Margaret Flowers at Popular Resistance had this report.

First Monday in October –> The Supreme Court begins its new session today with cases on abortion, birth control, public-sector unions, and racial justice high on its agenda. Previews from The EconomistThe Atlantic, Associated Press (via Talking Points Memo), the Los Angeles Times.

Guns –> At Slate, Christina Cauterucci and Greta Weber report on “the origins of every gun used in the high-profile massacres of Obama’s presidency.” Writing in The Guardian, Peter Daou, who grew up surrounded by violence in Lebanon, says, “America’s obsessive relationship with firearms is familiar to me; I know the intoxicating sense of power that a gun bestows, particularly to a young man. But in the aftermath of the terrible violence I witnessed and with the passage of time, I know that guns are dangerous and illusory shortcuts to strength and maturity and no guarantee of personal safety.”

AND, ICYMI, here’s the New York Daily News op-ed written by Andy Parker, father of the young Virginia TV reporter who was murdered in August: “By refusing to act, [Republican legislators] are aiding and abetting domestic terrorism. Shame on them for being the cowards that they are. Is the support of a fringe element of the NRA so important that they are willing to accept our children as collateral damage?” AND, Judd Legum at ThinkProgress writes about Australia, which passed strict gun control laws in 1996: “In the last 19 years, there have been no mass shootings in Australia, defined as five or more people being shot.” He notes, “In the wake of Oregon mass murder, Australians are disgusted and perplexed by the American response.”

Must read –> In the new issue of Mother Jones magazine, “The Fall of King Coal,” Tim Murphy’s portrait of  Don Blankenship, the former CEO of Massey Energy, “a harsh taskmaster whose cutthroat management style transformed what was once a modest family business into the region’s largest coal producer.” Now on  trial on charges of “conspiracy to violate safety laws, defrauding the federal government, securities fraud and making false statements to the Securities and Exchange Commission,” Blankenship, under whose management a blast at the Upper Big Branch coal mine killed 29, could face up to 31 years in prison.

AND,  just as Janet D. Stemwedel at notes that government scientists still are not allowed to study the impact of guns on society, the journal Preventive Medicine has published a special issue on the epidemiology and prevention of gun violence. Guest editors David Hemenway and Daniel W. Webster offer this introductory editorial (h/t Anna Clark at the Columbia Journalism Review). AND, John Judis in National Journal,”The Return of the Middle American Radical: An intellectual history of Trump supporters.”

Quote of the weekend –> “One of the definitions of insanity is changing nothing, and then pretending that something will change​.” Stephen Colbert on his broadcast Friday night, in the wake of the Oregon community college slayings.

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