What We're Reading

Daily Reads: Will Pipeline Protesters Be Branded as ‘Terrorists’?; Sens. Didn’t Know We Had Troops in Niger

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

Will Pipeline Protesters Be Branded as 'Terrorists'?

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Be wary of a premature ‘Mission Accomplished’ moment” –> At Foreign Policy, Stephen Walt considers five questions about the meaning of the imminent demise of the so-called Islamic State.

White supremacism in the military –> “Nearly 1 in 4 troops polled say they have seen examples of white nationalism among their fellow service members, and troops rate it as a larger national security threat than Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan,” according to a new Military Times poll of 1,131 active duty US service members. Leo Shane III reports that those concerns were more pronounced among service members of color.

The same poll finds that while Donald Trump enjoys a 44-40 approval rating from service-members overall — better than among the general public — there’s a significant gap between officers and enlisted men and women. “While almost 48 percent of enlisted troops approve of Trump,” writes Shane, “only about 30 percent of officers say the same.”

Malleable –> Trump came close to deporting a Chinese dissident who’s seeking asylum in the US after blowing the whistle on corruption within China’s ruling party. That was after Vegas casino magnate and Republican National Committee finance chairman Steve Wynn urged him to do so. Wynn, writes Eric Levitz at New York magazine, “owns multiple billion-dollar gambling properties” in China, and “must get his casino’s licenses renewed by Chinese authorities on an annual basis.”

This is immoral –> Over three weeks ago, Congress let funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which provides coverage to 9 million low- and middle-income children, lapse, and Sarah Kliff reports for Vox that, in “an unprecedented moment for the CHIP program,” there appears to be “no clear resolution in sight.”

Rachana Pradhan and Sarah Frostenson report for Politico that “states haven’t started to pare back coverage yet, but they’re relying on short-term patches to keep their CHIP programs afloat.” Some can keep that up for a while longer, but “at least 13 states may soon tell CHIP enrollees they’ll lose coverage.”

Francis Revives the Workers’ Church” –> At The American Prospect, John Gehring writes that “the Catholic Church in America — once an ally of workers and their unions — grew deferential to big money in recent decades,” but now, prompted by Pope Francis, “a new generation of labor priests and bishops is trying to change that.”

Fighting fire with inmates –> Around 1,500 of the 11,000 people fighting the Wine Country fires are “inmates from minimum security conservation camps run by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, where they are trained to work on fire suppression and other emergencies like floods and earthquakes,” writes Celina Fang for The Marshall Project. Fang’s text and the photographs of Brian Frank tell their story.

Terrorizing dissent –> In “a sign of increasing tensions between activists protesting projects including Energy Transfer Partners LP’s Dakota Access Pipeline and the administration of President Donald Trump,” Reuters’ Timothy Gardner reports that 84 members of Congress — including two Democrats — sent a letter to the Department of Justice on Monday asking “whether the domestic terrorism law would cover actions by protesters that shut oil pipelines last year.”

Purge  –> At The New York Times, Adam Liptak tells the story of a Navy vet who skipped a couple of elections in Ohio and then found himself purged from the voters rolls. “On Nov. 8,” writes Liptak, “the Supreme Court will hear arguments about whether [state] officials had gone too far in making the franchise a use-it-or-lose-it proposition.”

Polarization –> Political scientists have long observed that most Americans are not ideologically consistent in their views, but a new Pew study suggests that with rising polarization, that may be changing. Jocelyn Kiley writes that, “from views of government and the social safety net to opinions about immigrants, race and homosexuality, Americans are less likely than in the past to hold a mix of conservative and liberal views.”

Is there a third way?” –> Molly Ball has a great piece in The Atlantic about following staffers from the centrist think-tank Third Way as they conducted a listening tour in rural Wisconsin. Ball writes that the researchers were shaken by the degree of partisan animus they found among the people they spoke to, but ultimately came back to Washington and issued a report that “somehow reached the conclusion that Wisconsinites wanted consensus, moderation and pragmatism — just like Third Way.”

Slavery in 2017 –> Sky TV’s Adele Robinson followed a non-profit group as they executed a predawn rescue of a Polish family that had been enslaved by human traffickers in the Midlands, UK.

The bitter fruit of demonizing the media –> In Russia, where supporters of the regime are as likely as our own to see the press as “enemies,” a man rushed the studio of a popular radio journalist, Tatyana Felgenhauer, on Monday and stabbed her in the neck before being subdued by guards. The station, writes The Guardian’s Shaun Walker, “is one of few outlets for independent journalism in Russia, featuring reports and discussions sharply critical of the Kremlin,” and its journalists, who “are frequently equated with traitors in Russia,” have faced attacks in the past.

It’s a big world out there –> CNN reports that “some senators are saying they didn’t know the US had troops in Niger as questions swirl about the raid that killed four US servicemen there earlier this month.”

“US officials increasingly believe that the military unit ambushed by an Islamic State militant group (ISIS) affiliate in Niger was attacked as the result of being set up by people in a village sympathetic to local jihadis,” reports Jack Moore for Newsweek.

At The Daily Beast, Spencer Ackerman looks at “the four biggest questions about the deadly Niger firefight” that left four Green Berets dead earlier this month.

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



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