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.

Jeb! takes a stand –> Candidates had to submit reports to the FEC yesterday tallying how money much they’ve raised over the last three months. The filing deadline prompted an unexpected announcement from Jeb Bush’s campaign: The former Florida governor is now in favor of reigning in the power anonymous donors wield over the electoral process. Benjy Sarlin reports for MSNBC: “The Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio campaigns are in the midst of a spin fight after releasing their latest fundraising numbers, with the Bush side touting a superior haul of cash and Rubio’s aides boasting a more frugal operation with more cash on hand. Amid the war of words, a Bush aide criticized Rubio’s reliance on anonymous donors and confirmed to MSNBC that the former Florida governor supported legislation to rein in the practice.” (Jeb Bush, of course, also receives funding from anonymous donors — though less than Rubio.)

Related: WaPo political reporter Matea Gold tweeted one “amazing” stat from the FEC reports: “Clinton and Sanders together had more cash on hand than 12 GOP candidates combined.” See the latest “money race” numbers at The Washington Post.

Shkreli gets berned –> Bernie Sanders, meanwhile, is rejecting money from one big donor seeking to influence his message. David Nather at The Boston Globe’s Stat: “The man who has become the public face of rising drug prices [Turing Pharmaceuticals head Martin Shkreli] says he has donated to presidential candidate Bernie Sanders — who has been bashing Big Pharma on the campaign trail — to try to get a meeting so the two can talk it out. Sanders isn’t interested. His campaign said Thursday that he’s giving the money to a Washington health clinic instead — and the drug executive isn’t getting the meeting.”

Another year –> Obama announced yesterday that US troops will stay in Afghanistan through 2017. CNN: “The plan announced Thursday keeps 9,800 U.S. troops in Afghanistan before an anticipated drawdown to around 5,500 by the time Obama leaves office. The troop’s mission will remain the same, Obama emphasized — to train and support Afghan security forces and carry out counterterrorism operations.” This means, NPR points out, that Obama entered office promising to end two wars, and instead will leave office fighting three.

“A second Snowden” –> That’s what Wired’s Andy Greenberg is calling the source of internal documents from America’s drone wars that were leaked to The Intercept. “The revelations about the CIA and Joint Special Operations Command actions include primary source evidence that as many as 90 percent of US drone killings in one five month period weren’t the intended target, that a former British citizen was killed in a drone strike despite repeated opportunities to capture him instead, and details of the grisly process by which the American government chooses who will die, down to the ‘baseball cards’ of profile information created for individual targets, and the chain of authorization that goes up directly to the president,” Greenberg writes in summary. Access the full report at The Intercept.

“What do we really know about Osama bin Laden’s death?” –> Jonathan Mahler breaks it all down at The New York Times magazine in a fascinating #longread for the weekend.

Another head in the sand –> John Kasich, a Republican presidential candidate who once looked like he might acknowledge reality on climate change, has instead chosen a different path. His energy plan, released yesterday, would make it easier to drill for oil and gas, lift the crude oil export ban, roll back Obama’s executive order cutting power plant pollution and build the Keystone pipeline.

RELATED: Bill McKibben got arrested yesterday after staging a one-person protest at a gas station in Vermont to bring attention to the recent investigations by InsideClimate and the LA Times that revealed how Exxon knew about climate change decades ago, and chose to wage a political campaign denying the science. ALSO: USA Today’s editorial board: “With every passing month, the arguments for inaction on climate change are melting away faster than glaciers in Alaska.” They explain why arguments that (1) the science is uncertain, (2) other nations won’t work with us and (3) environmental regulation kills jobs are all hogwash.

DOJ hones in on hate groups –> Ryan Reilly at HuffPo: “Domestic terrorism is a ‘real threat’ that ‘demands to be addressed in new and creative ways,’ John Carlin, Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Justice Department’s National Security Division, said at an event at George Washington University on Wednesday. With the nation’s focus on Islamic extremists since the Sept. 11 attacks, domestic extremism ‘doesn’t get discussed as much as it should,’ Carlin said.”

Have you played “Hillary’s Debate Land”? –> Hillary and her democratic rivals get the Nintendo treatment. (Tip: Use your phone to play.)

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