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Morning Reads: AP Declares Dem Race Over, Sanders Campaign Objects; Media Industry Swoons Over Campaign Spending to Come

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

Morning Reads: AP Declares Dem Race Over, Sanders Objects

Hillary Clinton and New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo walk in the 2016 Memorial Day parade in Chappaqua, New York. (Photo by Eric Thayer/Getty Images)

AP declares it’s over –> “Hillary Clinton has commitments from the number of delegates needed to become the Democratic Party’s presumptive nominee for president, and will be [the] first woman to top the ticket of a major US political party,” the wire service reported yesterday. The new count comes from a survey of committed delegates, including superdelegates.

But for six states, it still isn’t over –> California, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico and South Dakota are all holding primaries today, and North Dakota is holding its Democratic caucus. And don’t forget the District of Columbia next week.

From Hillary Clinton: Via Twitter, “We’re flattered, @AP, but we’ve got primaries to win.” And later: “We are on the brink of a historic moment, but we still have work to do. Let’s keep fighting for every vote.”

From Sanders campaign spokesman Michael Briggs: “It is unfortunate that the media, in a rush to judgement, are ignoring the Democratic National Committee’s clear statement that it is wrong to count the votes of superdelegates before they actually vote at the convention this summer. Secretary Clinton does not have and will not have the requisite number of pledged delegates to secure the nomination.”

At The Washngton Post, Robert Costa writes that after tonight’s results, “Sen. Bernie Sanders plans to take stock of his presidential campaign at his home in Burlington, Vt. … ‘Let’s assess where we are after tomorrow before we make statements based on speculation,’ the Vermont senator said Monday at a news conference… when asked whether he is willing to endorse rival Hillary Clinton in the coming weeks… But Sanders made clear that he is far from ready to cede the nomination to Clinton.”

Escalating crazy –> Donald Trump’s campaign staff apparently had urged his high-profile supporters not to mention the Trump University fracas and his racist tantrums against Judge Gonzalo Curiel — but when Trump found out about that directive during a call with surrogates yesterday, he demanded that they “take that order and throw it the hell out.” According to Bloomberg Politics, Trump “openly questioned how the campaign could defend itself if supporters weren’t allowed to talk. ‘Are there any other stupid letters that were sent to you folks?’ Trump said. ‘That’s one of the reasons I want to have this call, because you guys are getting sometimes stupid information from people that aren’t so smart.’” (To be clear, he’s talking about his own staff.)

On how his surrogates should treat the press asking questions about his sporadic tirades against Curiel, Trump said, “The people asking the questions — those are the racists. I would go at ’em.”

And: Republicans who endorsed Trump aren’t feeling too good about Trump’s latest obsession. The New York Times: “Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, [a] former primary rival of Mr. Trump’s, urged Republicans who have backed Mr. Trump to rescind their endorsements, citing the remarks about Judge Curiel and Mr. Trump’s expression of doubt on Sunday that a Muslim judge could remain neutral in the same lawsuit, given Mr. Trump’s proposed ban on Muslim noncitizens entering the country. ‘This is the most un-American thing from a politician since Joe McCarthy,’ Mr. Graham said. ‘If anybody was looking for an off-ramp, this is probably it,’ he added. ‘There’ll come a time when the love of country will trump hatred of Hillary.’”

Dollar signs in their eyes –> America’s media industry is rubbing its hands in glee over Donald Trump’s ascent to the top of Republican campaign finance machine. Lee Fang writes, “The Intercept reviewed the past six months of investor earnings calls and presentations of major media companies. In the first few months of this year, some executives expressed concern that Trump might continue to rely on his extraordinary free media exposure and spend less money than traditional Republican candidates. But over the last two months, the concern has dissipated and transformed into excitement that this year is on track to be the most expensive election in history.”

Trade deals undermine climate regulations –> Valerie Volcovici for Reuters: “More than 450 groups on Monday called on Congress to reject the Trans-Pacific Partnership if it comes up for a vote this fall, saying the trade deal would allow fossil fuel companies to contest US environmental rules in extrajudicial tribunals… Congress is expected to vote on the TPP after the Nov. 8 election during a lame-duck session. President Barack Obama wants the agreement ratified before he leaves office on Jan. 20, but opposition to the deal has grown during this year’s presidential campaign.”

Parsing Charles Koch’s thoughts on climate change –> The Washington Post’s Jim Tankersley interviewed the influence-buying conservative on what he thinks about climate change. Reporter Chris Mooney provides commentary about what Koch gets right and wrong.

RIP –> Playwright and screenwriter Peter Shaffer, creator of Five Finger Exercise, The Royal Hunt of the Sun, Equus and Amadeus.

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

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