What We're Reading

Morning Reads: Surprise Endorsement for Clinton; 500 Homicides in Chicago

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

Morning Reads: Surprise Endorsement for Clinton

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton speaks to members of the media aboard her campaign plane on Sept. 6, 2016. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Candidate night –> Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump will be on the same stage tonight, but not at the same time. Each will participate in the Commander-in-Chief Forum, sponsored by NBC News and the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, to answer questions for 30 minutes apiece on national security and veterans affairs. The event will be broadcast on NBC and MSNBC live at 8 pm ET.

Surprising endorsement –> The Dallas Morning News has endorsed Hillary Clinton. “We don’t come to this decision easily,” the editorial board writes today. “This newspaper has not recommended a Democrat for the nation’s highest office since before World War II — if you’re counting, that’s more than 75 years and nearly 20 elections… We’ve been critical of Clinton’s handling of certain issues in the past. But unlike Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton has experience in actual governance, a record of service and a willingness to delve into real policy.” The endorsement comes the day after another editorial in the paper was headlined, “Donald Trump is no Republican.”

In other newspaper editorial news, The New York Times has gone after Trump for that $25,000 campaign contribution in 2013 to Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, just before her office decided not to participate in litigation against Trump University. The money came from Trump’s charitable foundation in violation of tax regulations and a $2,500 penalty was paid to the IRS. “While it hasn’t been proved that Mr. Trump or Ms. Bondi violated bribery law, there’s little doubt that they abused the public trust,” the Times editorial board notes. “… If Ms. Bondi promised to back off the Trump University suit in exchange for campaign money during that 2013 phone conversation, it could be a crime. As for Mr. Trump, the $2,500 I.R.S. fine is a tiny penalty, unless voters impose consequences of their own.”

Carried interest  –> Pro Publica, in association with The Daily Beast, is out with a report this morning that despite her attacks on the carried interest loophole, the tax break so beloved by private equity firms, Hillary Clinton “is receiving all of the industry’s support. As of the end of July, the executives and employees of the four biggest private equity firms (the Blackstone Group, Carlyle Group, KKR and Apollo Global Management) had given her campaign a combined $182,295 in direct contributions, according to the database compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics.”

Which raises an important question: “Would she as president really follow through with a campaign proposal that will raise billions of dollars in revenue from the very industry that has favored her so completely over her opponent?”

Tragic stat –> Aamer Madhani at USA Today reports from Chicago, “With a holiday weekend spate of violence that killed 13 people, the homicide toll in the nation’s third-largest city hit 500, a grim milestone that puts the city on track to reach a murder rate it hasn’t seen since the drug wars of the 1990s.

“The Labor Day weekend murders come after police recorded 92 murders in August, the deadliest month for Chicago since June 1993. With murders up roughly 50% for the year, Chicago has tallied more homicides than the much larger cities of New York and Los Angeles combined.”

Chicago police superintendent Eddie Johnson told reporters, “It’s not a police issue, it’s a society issue… Impoverished neighborhoods, people without hope do these kinds of things. You show me a man that doesn’t have hope, I’ll show you one that’s willing to pick up a gun and do anything with it.”

And, Darren Seals, a leader of the protests in Ferguson, Missouri, after the police death of Michael Brown in 2014, was found fatally shot in a burnng car yesterday. A homicide invesigation is underway.

The fight against the Dakota pipeline  –> Reuters (via NBC News): “A pipeline company agreed to halt until Friday construction of an oil pipeline in parts of North Dakota where a Native American tribe says it has ancient burial and prayer sites, a lawyer for the company said in court on Tuesday. After violent clashes over the weekend between protesters and security officers near the construction site, the Standing Rock Sioux tribe and a neighboring Native American tribe had asked the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on Sunday for a temporary restraining order against Dakota Access, the company building the pipeline.”

In The New Yorker, environmental activist Bill McKibben writes, “The events at Standing Rock… allow Americans to realize who some of the nation’s most important leaders really are. The fight for environmental sanity — against pipelines and coal ports and other fossil-fuel infrastructure — has increasingly been led by Native Americans, many of whom are in that Dakota camp today. They speak with real authority — no one else has lived on this continent for the longterm. They see the nation’s history more clearly than anyone else, and its possible future as well.”

School’s out forever –> Melissa Korn at The Wall Street Journal: “ITT Technical Institute, among the nation’s largest for-profit college chains by revenue, abruptly closed more than 130 campuses, forcing more than 40,000 students at campuses in 38 states to begin looking for another school after the government banned it from enrolling new students receiving federal aid. It follows last summer’s liquidation of Corinthian Colleges Inc.

“The for-profit college industry has shriveled in recent years, with enrollments of the largest chains plummeting by more than half in the past five years. The pullback came as the government clamped down on aggressive recruiting practices and stricter policies intended to ensure that schools are preparing students for gainful employment.”

What Ailes You –> The latest from the continuing saga of Fox News and its former chairman, Roger Ailes: Yesterday morning, parent company 21st Century Fox announced that it had agreed to pay former Fox News host Gretchen Carlson $20 million to settle her sexual harassment suit against Ailes. “We sincerely regret and apologize for the fact that Gretchen was not treated with the respect and dignity that she and all of our colleagues deserve,” the company said. At the Los Angeles Times, Stephen Battaglio wrote, “The unusually candid expression of regret over Ailes’ alleged actions demonstrates how much Fox wants the controversy to go away. Coming in the midst of a presidential election, the scandal had raised questions about the future leadership of a network that has long dominated cable TV news ratings.”

Later in the day it also was announced that longtime Fox host Greta Van Susteren, who has publicly supported Ailes, was departing Fox as well, allegedly in a salary dispute.

Morning Reads was written by Michael Winship and edited by Theresa Riley. See a story that you think should be included in Morning Reads? Tell us in the comments!

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