Morning Reads

Good Morning! Here’s your daily digest of news we’re following, compiled by’s John Light. (You can sign up to receive Morning Reads daily in your inbox.)

Sixty-one years ago today, the US Senate voted to censure, or “condemn,” Senator Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin. He was the most prominent, driving force behind the Red Scare of the 1950s, a witch hunt for alleged Communists and sympathizers that destroyed lives and careers. Formal censure was the nail in the coffin for McCarthy’s career; he died in 1957 at the age of 48.

Ramping up –> Debate has begun, and the British House of Commons is expected to vote today on whether to authorize the Royal Air Force to join in the bombing of ISIS. Live updates via The Guardian. AND: The Pentagon is sending more special forces to Iraq, reports Helene Cooper for the NYT. Defense Secretary Ashton Carter “did not say precisely how many new forces would be added but said they would be more than 50. He also did not say where exactly they would be based in Iraq.”

Head rolls –> Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has fired Garry McCarthy, superintendent of the Chicago Police Department, responding to public outrage over the department’s botched investigation of a white officer’s killing of teenager LaQuan McDonald. But, Ta-Nehisi Coates writes at The Atlantic, “an accountability that ends with him is the minimum possible. Many people charged with the safety of Chicago’s citizens, from actual officers on the scene up to the mayor, were in position to know that this was murder. That it took a year to reach that determination is evidence of something beyond ‘one bad cop,’ something even beyond ‘one bad superintendent.'”

What if –> The Republican party establishment is starting to panic: Donald Trump may actually be their nominee! “Many leading Republican officials, strategists and donors now say they fear that Mr. Trump’s nomination would lead to an electoral wipeout, a sweeping defeat that could undo some of the gains Republicans have made in recent congressional, state and local elections,” writes Jonathan Martin at The New York Times. Even the GOP’s biggest donors, including the Koch brothers and Paul Singer, are afraid to attack Trump and endure the inevitable high-profile stream of insults that would follow.

Who needs facts? –> While Trump’s not the first politicians to run a truth-free campaign, the mainstream media’s inability to correct him is on full, embarrassing display, writes David Roberts at Vox. In the past, “media at least posed some threat to a lying politician, as established by such mythologized episodes as Edward R. Murrow repudiating Joseph McCarthy and the Washington Post exposing Watergate. What’s happened from (roughly) Gingrich forward is that the right has used coordinated institutional power and the explosion of new communications technology to sap the media’s power to do damage.”

Here’s what he wasn’t –> The New York Times has a big piece by Richard Fausset diving into the background of the man allegedly behind this weekend’s Planned Parenthood shootings. Though Robert Dear was prone to Christian rants, Fausset finds, the killer was full of contradictions. BUT: Surprise! The killer is not, as Ted Cruz derisively put it, “a transgendered leftist activist.”

Taking exception –> The Manchester Union-Leader in New Hampshire endorsed Chris Christie last weekend, a vote of confidence that, if history is any indicator, could give the flagging New Jersey governor a large bump in the polls. But Rick Moran, editorial page editor at New Jersey’s largest newspaper, the Newark Star-Ledger, says it’s a bum call: “The paper knows almost nothing about his record as governor.”

Different rules apply –> The SEC is pursuing the first-ever investigation into congressional insider trading, looking at allegations that a House staffer gave a tip to a lobbyist. But Congress is trying to resist the agency at every turn, writes Lee Fang for The Intercept.

Did inequality create ISIS? –> Thomas Piketty, author of Capital in the Twenty-First Century, thinks it’s possible. At New York magazine, a skeptical Annie Lowrey explores his argument.

Just some loose change –> Congress is poised to pass a five-year, $305 billion bill to replenish the Highway Trust Fund, the longest period of funding since 2005. The legislation uses all sorts of gimmicks to raise the money, and leaves unanswered the question of how America will fix its crumbling infrastructure, writes Russell Berman at The Atlantic.

Not that easy –> Though Republicans are threatening to undo any global climate agreement reached in Paris, Greg Sargent writes at The Washington Post’s Plum Line blog that, if Obama gets the kind of deal he’s hoping for, the GOP could have a tough time of it.

Interesting venue –> Vogue has a photoshoot with a selection of female “climate warriors,” including UN climate change chief Christiana Figueres and diplomats and activists from around the world.

You can get our Morning Reads delivered to your inbox every weekday! Just enter your email address below…

  • submit to reddit