Good morning! Here’s your daily digest of money-in-politics news and the headlines of the day, compiled by BillMoyers.com’s John Light. (You can sign up to receive Morning Reads daily in your inbox!)
Republican debate tonight –> This one’s on Fox Business Network, and you can watch for free online. It starts at 9 p.m., ET, with a pared-down cast: Trump, Carson, Rubio, Bush, Cruz, Fiorina, Kasich and Paul. Other candidates will square off at 7 p.m, ET. One of the issues that may make its way into the debate is how the debates themselves are conducted. Fox hosts have said they will try to make themselves “invisible,” Ed Pilkington and Ben Jacobs report for the Guardian.
Christie blocks voting reform –> Gov. Chris Christie yesterday vetoed legislation to make it easier for New Jersey residents to vote. Terrence Dopp at Bloomberg: “The measure, dubbed the ‘The Democracy Act,’ would have expanded early voting, created online registration and automatically enrolled people applying for a driver’s license unless they opted out. Christie, who vetoed a bill in 2013 that would have required polls to open two weeks before elections, has said the latest effort would have raised the risk of fraud.” That last item — automatic enrollment — would be a step forward that some reformers have long pushed for, but Oregon is the only state to make it law so far.
University of Missouri –> Student anger over racism at the University of Missouri became an even bigger story yesterday when, in response to ongoing protests from black students and their allies (including a hunger strike by one student and threat by the football team to go on strike), both the university system’s chancellor and president announced their resignations. Edwin Rios has more at Mother Jones.
ALSO: At The Washington Post, Elahe Izadi chronicles the events leading up to the resignations. The main campus in Columbus, Missouri, is only a few hours’ drive from Ferguson. Mashable news editor Juana Summers: “I was a black student at the University of Missouri. Racism there is nothing new.” AND: At The Nation, Dave Zirin offers his three takeaways. AND: Austin Huguelet and Daniel Victor at the NYT on controversy around attempts by both students and university staff to block media access to some aspects of the protests.
Bernie takes a pass –> Gabriel Debenedetti reports for Politico that, though a number of wealthy Silicon Valley political donors are interested in hearing his pitch, Bernie Sanders isn’t showing up to ask for money: “Sanders has visited the region just once since launching his campaign, and not to raise money, while Clinton has made three fundraising trips here.”
What now? –> Amy Goldstein at The Washington Post speaks with some of Kentucky’s poorest residents about what it would mean if Governor-elect Matt Bevin were to make good on campaign promises to toss out Kentucky’s Obamacare exchange. Here’s one out-of-work, coal-country Bevin supporter: “… It doesn’t look to me as if he understands,” [Dennis] Blackburn said. “Without this little bit of help these people are giving me, I could probably die… It’s not right to not understand something but want to stamp it out.”
The latest blow to the fossil fuel industry –> New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has released the results of an investigation into whether Peabody Coal misled shareholders about how climate change would affect their investments. The company won’t have to admit it broke the law, writes Tim McDonnell at Mother Jones, but “must file revised shareholder disclosures to the Securities and Exchange Commission with new language acknowledging that ‘concerns about the environmental impacts of coal combustion… could significantly affect demand for our products or our securities.'” Last week, Schneiderman launched a similar investigation of Exxon.
Hidden nations –> David Robson at the BBC: “The globe, it turns out, is full of small (and not so small) regions that have all the trappings of a real country – a fixed population, a government, a flag, and a currency. Some can even issue you a biometric passport. Yet for various reasons they are not allowed representatives in the United Nations, and are ignored on most world maps.” Robson visits a geographer who just has published An Atlas of Countries That Don’t Exist.
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