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.

What a nightmare –> Russ Choma at Mother Jones: “The House GOP now has a full-blown leadership crisis on its hands. As Republican lawmakers gathered on Thursday to elect a new speaker, John Boehner’s presumptive heir for the top spot, Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), unexpectedly bowed out of the race, telling his colleagues he was ‘not the guy.'” The Washington Post’s Robert Costa tweets that Paul Ryan has become the new establishment favorite for the job — Boehner urged him to take the job twice yesterday by phone. MEANWHILE: Rep. Mark Takano (D-CA) pitched in by posting a Craigslist ad. He wrote that the job required an “extremely patient and motivated person” ready for the “challenge of a lifetime.”

Hillary’s got a plan –> At Bloomberg View, Hillary Clinton laid out her “Plan to Prevent the Next Crash.” It includes “a new fee on risk,” giving bank regulators “the authority they need to reorganize, downsize or even break apart any financial institution that is too large and risky to be managed effectively,” greater regulation of high frequency trading and “shadow banking” and vetoing “any legislation that would weaken Dodd-Frank.” She specifically stops short of endorsing a new Glass–Steagall Act, however, writing “I certainly share the goal of never having to bail out the big banks again, but I prefer the path of tackling the most dangerous risks in a different way.”

Is the plan any good? –> At Vox, Mike Konczal takes a closer look at both Hillary and Bernie Sanders’ plans, using a speech Elizabeth Warren gave in April on the “unfinished business of financial reform” as a framework for comparison.

“Bernie Sanders’s agenda is based on the idea that Dodd-Frank did little to combat the threat of the largest financial institutions, and we need to focus directly on them as both a political and an economic threat. Clinton’s approach looks to the financial markets as a whole. Their focus on the largest banks is driven by turning up the regulations introduced in Dodd-Frank, rather than going completely outside the framework. The core of what they introduce that is new is meant to frame the problem of finance as broader than any group of large institutions.”

A win for journalism –> Conservative donor Frank VanderSloot sued Mother Jones for a 2012 article mentioning his support for GOP presidential candidates, and his involvement with various anti-marriage-equality campaigns in his home state of Idaho. Mother Jones won the suit, but not before expending $2.5 million in legal fees. The magazine writes: “If VanderSloot had prevailed, he would have proven that with enough money to throw at lawyers, you can wipe the slate. You can go after those who document the past and the present, and if you can’t make them cry “uncle” you can at least append a legal asterisk to their work forevermore.”

One dark money group is sending tons of cash to Marco Rubio –> Of course, we don’t know who is behind it. Julie Bykowicz reports at the AP: “The Florida senator is benefiting in unprecedented ways from a nonprofit group funded by anonymous donors. While other presidential candidates also have ties to secret-money groups, the Rubio arrangement is the boldest.”

Enough is enough –> At The Washington Post’s Plum Line blog, Greg Sargent argues that its time for Joe Biden to let us know whether he’s going to run: “The game Joe Biden is playing now, in holding back on making his decision and telling us what he plans to do, just has to end, and fast. At best it’s becoming a farcical distraction that is beneath him. At worst it’s becoming a serious waste of our time.”

Hideous mistake –> Oklahoma officials used the wrong drug in a recent execution. Mahita Gajanan at The Guardian: “The [autopsy] report revealed that officials injected Warner with potassium acetate, when state protocol calls for an injection of potassium chloride, which stops the heart. It is the third and final drug used for executions, following a sedative and paralytic.”

Questionable perk of being Speaker: frequent flyer miles –> Over at Vox, Andrew Prokop pointed out a correction that “hilariously drives home the money-in-politics-problem” we have in Washington. He noticed this correction posted to a story on The New York Times’ website about the typical time the Speaker of the House spends traveling to raise money: “It is three weekends a month, not three weekends a year.”

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