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Morning Reads: Bernie Sanders’ Next Step; GOP Platform Goes Hard Right

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

Morning Reads: Bernie's Next Step; GOP Platform Goes Hard Right

Bernie Sanders introduces presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton at Portsmouth High School, July 12, 2016, in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. (Photo by Darren McCollester/Getty Images)

The Democratic Party declares itself unified –> Bernie Sanders endorsed Hillary Clinton yesterday morning during a joint appearance in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, the state where his decisive primary win back in February intensified what would be another six months battling for the future of the Democratic Party. Sanders’ endorsement comes a month after his primary loss in California, and follows his team’s effort to get his talking points incorporated into the Democratic platform. Clinton’s campaign manager told Politico that Sanders agreed to join with Clinton after making sure they were on similar pages concerning health care reform and education policy.

Meanwhile, this will not be the last we — or Democratic leadership — hear from Bernie Sanders. He and his top campaign staffers will stump for Clinton on the campaign trail, and if Democrats take back the Senate, Sanders could be made chair of the body’s Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, which could move legislation to enact Sanders’ key policies. Vox’s Matthew Yglesias: “As chair, he’ll have influence over legislation, of course, but also the ability to call hearings on whatever subject he likes. If Sanders can’t be president, he’d surely enjoy the opportunity to offer a platform to proponents of expanding Social Security and terrorizing the health care industry.”

Warren pushes to keep Wall Street out of the White House –> Zachary Warmbrodt at Politico: “Elizabeth Warren just scored a victory in her battle to keep bankers out of Washington jobs. Tucked into the Democrats’ draft party platform is a pledge long promoted by the liberal Massachusetts senator that could limit Wall Street’s influence in a Hillary Clinton administration. Under the header of fixing the financial system, Democrats adopted Warren’s mantra that ‘personnel is policy,’ vowing to only appoint officials ‘who are not beholden to the industries they regulate.’ The language could give progressives ammunition to oppose any prospective agency officials who they do not think will act in the public interest.”

Obama in Dallas –> The president responded to last week’s violence — the shooting of two black men by police, and the killing of five police officers — during his speech at a memorial service for the police in Dallas: “All of it has left us wounded, and angry, and hurt. It’s as if the deepest fault lines of our democracy have suddenly been exposed, perhaps even widened. And although we know that such divisions are not new — though they have surely been worse in even the recent past — that offers us little comfort. Faced with this violence, we wonder if the divides of race in America can ever be bridged… But, Dallas, I’m here to say we must reject such despair. I’m here to insist that we are not as divided as we seem.”

A doozy –> Just as Democrats are adopting a decisively progressive platform, the GOP is dashing like mad in the opposite direction. Jeremy Peters for The New York Times: “Republicans moved on Tuesday toward adopting a staunchly conservative platform that takes a strict, traditionalist view of the family and child rearing, bars military women from combat, describes coal as a ‘clean’ energy source and declares pornography a ‘public health crisis.’ It is a platform that at times seems to channel the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Donald J. Trump — calling to ‘destroy ISIS,’ belittling President Obama as weak and accusing his administration of inviting attacks from adversaries. But the document positions itself far to the right of Mr. Trump’s beliefs in other places — and amounts to a rightward lurch even from the party’s hard-line platform in 2012 — especially as it addresses gay men, lesbians and transgender people.”

And, the GOP on “clean coal” –> Rebecca Leber writes for Grist that “For years the coal industry — and at one point, even President Obama — promoted the idea of ‘clean coal,’ that expensive and imperfect carbon-capture-and-storage technology could someday make coal less terrible. But there’s no way it is clean. The RNC language just happens to reflect the same talking points favored by the lobby group, American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity (ACCCE), which on its website calls coal ‘an affordable, abundant and increasingly clean domestic energy resource that is vital to providing reliable low-cost electricity.’ The RNC copied most of that language correctly, give or take a few words.”

Buy yourself nothing nice –> We’re not making this up: “A Republican running for Congress who says government must rein in its spending spent more than $5,000 in campaign money on teeth whitening, clothes from Men’s Wearhouse, equipment from a gun shop and shirts for his church’s teen-abstinence event, The Arizona Republic has found.”

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

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