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Daily Reads: A Frustrated North Carolina GOP Attacks the Courts; Did Voter Suppression Give Us to Trump?

A roundup of stories we're reading at BillMoyers.com HQ...

A Frustrated North Carolina GOP Attacks the Courts

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Seems almost universal –> In a sign of how pervasive workplace sexual harassment is, “more than 140 women — including legislators, senior legislative aides and lobbyists — came forward to denounce what they describe as pervasive sexual misconduct by powerful men” in the California legislature. Adam Nagourney and Jennifer Medina have more at The New York Times.

Rigged” –> At Mother Jones, Ari Berman writes that claims that voter suppression played a significant role in 2016 “were practically ignored, when they weren’t mocked,” but the reality is that those efforts ultimately “threw Wisconsin to Trump,” and “possibly handed him the whole election.”

More than one burning crisis” –> The Nation’s Michelle Chen writes that “toxic smoke, destroyed homes and fears of deportation are hitting immigrant communities all at once across Northern California.”

Vann Newkirk II reports for The Atlantic that Hurricane Maria “exposed and intensified” Puerto Rico’s “ecological crisis and its human consequences,” and asks: “Can it build a sustainable future?”

Really odd behavior –> Nahal Toosi reports for Politico that “staffers at the National Security Council drafted and circulated a statement of condolence for President Donald Trump to make almost immediately after a deadly ambush of US soldiers in Niger earlier this month,” but for some reason “Trump never publicly issued the statement.” Now, “some two weeks later, [he’s] in hot water over his initial silence on the soldiers’ deaths.”

According to The Washington Post, “President Trump, in a personal phone call to a grieving military father, offered him $25,000 and said he would direct his staff to establish an online fundraiser for the family, but neither happened, the father said.” And CNN later reported that Trump sent a personal check after his staff initially refused to comment on the Washington Post story.

Clash at the Supreme Court” –> At Slate, Mark Joseph Stern explains why rumors of a serious feud developing between Neil Gorsuch and Elena Kagan “are such a bombshell.”

Deadly negligence –> Ryan Grim and Aída Chávez report for The Intercept that “children in the for-profit foster care system are dying at alarming rates, but the deaths are not being investigated.” A two-year Senate investigation found that “the companies and agencies charged with keeping foster children safe often failed to provide the most basic protections or take steps to prevent tragedies.”

Somalia’s pain –> Abdi Latif Dahir writes for Quartz that last week’s deadly attack, which killed more than 300 in Mogadishu, has touched the whole country profoundly. “The collective rage over the bomb attack ignited a renewed sense of unity among Somalis, leading to protests in major cities and the staging of solidarity events. Even the leaders of Somalia’s feuding federate states put aside their political differences and condemned the attack.”

Garbage in, bad law out –> Esquire’s Charles Pierce writes about how easy it is for the Supreme Court to make bad law when the justices rely on bad data to guide them. 

Shake-up –> Alex Seitz-Wald reports for NBC News that “a shake-up is underway at the Democratic National Committee as several key longtime officials have lost their posts, exposing a still-raw rift in the party and igniting anger among those in its progressive wing who see retaliation for their opposition to DNC Chairman Tom Perez.”

So much for not doing evil –> “Unlike Russian efforts to secretly influence the 2016 election via social media,” an “American-led campaign” to instill fear and loathing of Muslims during the final months of the 2016 election season “was aided by direct collaboration with employees of Facebook and Google.” Benjamin Elgin and Vernon Silver have that story for Bloomberg.

Meanwhile, “Twitter took 11 months to close a Russian troll account that claimed to speak for the Tennessee Republican Party even after that state’s real GOP notified the social media company that the account was a fake,” reports Kevin Collier for Buzzfeed.

And his colleagues, Rosalind Adams and Hayes Brown, spoke with four American activists who were enlisted by Russian operatives during the 2016 election, and found that “while they found their contacts strange, they never suspected that they were the target of foreign recruitment.”

A move that experts say breaks federal law” –> According to Emily Singer and Ashley Edwards at Mic, an email was sent to Army recruiters this week instructing them not to enlist any lawful permanent residents. Given that “a Defense Department official said in April that the Trump administration had no plans to deny noncitizen recruits from serving,” the notice has left recruiters confused.

Fox picked for henhouse guard –> Donald Trump nominated Thomas Farr — a prominent Republican lawyer who defended North Carolina’s strict voter-ID law that was struck down when a court ruled that it targeted “African-Americans with almost surgical precision” — to be a federal judge. In his second appearance in today’s roundup, Ari Berman writes for Mother Jones that “Farr could be in charge of deciding voting rights cases like the one he lost.” His Senate confirmation hearing is scheduled for today.

Meanwhile, Trip Gabriel reports for The New York Times that North Carolina’s ultra-conservative legislature has seen parts of its agenda blocked in the state courts, and now Republican “lawmakers have seized on a solution: change the makeup of the courts.”

Crackpots and political dunces” –> The conservative Washington Post blogger Jennifer Rubin pulls no punches in criticizing “the Trump administration’s economic ignorance,” citing a number of others on the right who worry that the White House’s “quackery” may imperil the GOP’s efforts to cut taxes.

Not recommended for in-bed reading –> Next year, a special version of Ray Bradbury’s classic Fahrenheit 451 will be released that can only be read when heated up with a flame. Andrew Liszewski has more at Gizmodo, and Jo Frenken shared this video to Instagram.



Daily Reads was compiled by BillMoyers.com staff and edited by Kristin Miller.

We produce this news digest every weekday. You can sign up to receive these updates as an email.