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 John Light.

Hillary Says No to TPP –> The Democratic frontrunner finally is speaking out against the Trans-Pacific Partnership. “As of today, I am not in favor of what I have learned about it,” she told PBS’s Judy Woodruff late yesterday afternoon. “I don’t believe it is going to meet the high bar I have set.” George Zornick at The Nation: “There will be endless analysis and chatter about how this impacts the Democratic presidential primary—but forget that for now. The real intrigue is how Clinton has impacted what’s sure to be a close vote in Congress on the TPP next year, because from almost any angle, Clinton’s position will make its passage much more difficult.”

Clinton cited concerns about currency manipulation and provisions that are too friendly to large pharmaceutical companies as her major concerns. But at Vox, Timothy B. Lee argues that “her explanation for why she’s coming out against the deal now — after years of supporting it — makes no sense.”

Bernie gets an endorsement –> The Democratic establishment has been giving Bernie Sanders — and all other candidates not named Clinton — the cold shoulder. But “Senator Bernie Sanders has scored his first endorsement from a member of Congress, getting it just ahead of next week’s first Democratic debate,” reports Alan Rappeport for The New York Times. “The backing of Representative Raúl M. Grijalva of Arizona is especially significant as he is a longstanding member of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, offering the independent from Vermont a valuable spokesman as he seeks to court Hispanic voters.”

Launching an investigation –> Doctors Without Borders (MSF) is calling for a fact-finding mission into the Kunduz hospital bombing through the International Humanitarian Fact-Finding Commission. Lauren McCauley at Common Dreams: “MSF has asserted that Saturday’s airstrike amounts to nothing less than a war crime. Twenty-two people died in the attack, including 12 MSF staff members and 10 patients, and an additional 37 were wounded. Since that time, U.S. officials have altered their account of the bombing a total of four times, the most recent explanation given by General John Campbell being that the attack, which was called in by U.S. Special Forces, ‘mistakenly struck’ the hospital. However, MSF has repeatedly said that the U.S. military was aware of the hospital’s GPS coordinates.”

MEANWHILE, “President Barack Obama apologized to Doctors Without Borders on Wednesday for the American air attack… and said the U.S. would examine military procedures to look for better ways to prevent such incidents.” (AP via The Washington Post)

For the crime of being poor → Kendall Taggart and Alex Campbell at Buzzfeed: “People in Texas get thrown behind bars just because they can’t afford their traffic tickets. That’s a disaster for people who are already struggling. It’s also completely against the law.”

“How Did the Democrats Become Favorites of the Rich?” → In The New York Times’ opinion pages, Thomas Edsall dives into the research of three political scientists seeking to explain why, on economic issues, “the Democratic Party has inched closer to the policy positions of conservatives, stepping back from championing the needs of working men and women, of the unemployed and of the so-called underclass.”

An end to solitary confinement At The American Prospect, Margo Schlanger & Amy Fettig look at eight steps we can take to “reduce, make more humane, and ultimately eliminate a practice that, in Justice Kennedy’s words, drives prisoners ‘to the edge of madness.’”

Climate on the ballot in the Northwest → In Oregon, voters will have a chance to decide whether or not their state should phase out coal by 2030. And a large coalition in Washington is pushing to give voters a say on a state-wide carbon cap. MEANWHILE: Chris Megerian and Javier Panzar at the LA Times: “Gov. Jerry Brown on Wednesday signed a pared-down climate change measure that will increase renewable energy generation and make buildings more energy efficient… Brown said the law would help the state lead a worldwide effort and improve the health of Californians. The legislation, SB 350, originally included provisions to cut down the amount of fuel used by on California’s roads, but those measures were cut from the bill after moderate Democrats in the state caved to pressure from oil industry lobbyists.

“Florida candidate for U.S. Senate admits to sacrificing goat, drinking its blood.” –> That’s the headline on an AP scoop from earlier this week. “I did sacrifice a goat. I know that’s probably a quibble in the mind of most Americans,” he said. “I sacrificed an animal to the god of the wilderness … Yes, I drank the goat’s blood.”

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