What We're Reading

Morning Reads: Bloomberg Won’t Run, Fearing a President Trump or Cruz

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

Morning Reads: Bloomberg Won't Run, Fearing a President Trump

Former mayor of New York City Michael Bloomberg attends the Paris Climate Summit, December 04, 2015. (Photo by Thierry Chesnot/Getty Images)

More primaries and caucuses –> Voters in Hawaii, Idaho, Michigan and Mississippi will pick a candidate today. Michigan is especially key for Democrats. The New York Times has a list of what to watch for.

Bloomberg says no –> The media mogul and former New York City mayor announced in a column for his company’s Bloomberg View that he will not run for president. At The New York Times, Maggie Haberman and Alexander Burns report that Bloomberg had put together a robust campaign infrastructure — but polling showed that he could not win enough states to reach the 270 votes required in the Electoral College. With a three-way split among candidates, a Republican Congress would decide the outcome of the election, and Bloomberg didn’t want to risk the possibility of a President Cruz or Trump.

Conspiring –> “Billionaires, tech CEOs and top members of the Republican establishment flew to a private island resort off the coast of Georgia this weekend for the American Enterprise Institute’s annual World Forum, according to sources familiar with the secretive gathering. The main topic at the closed-to-the-press confab? How to stop Republican front-runner Donald Trump,” Ryan Grim, Nick Baumann and Matt Fuller report for The Huffington Post.

Gift to special-interest donors –> The Washington Post’s Matea Gold: “A divided Federal Election Commission cannot agree to investigate whether super PAC donors used corporations to mask their identities in the 2012 campaign, effectively giving a green light to contributors writing checks through limited-liability companies in this year’s elections.” The FEC is gridlocked 3-3 along partisan lines, leaving it unable to lay down the law on many aspects of the post-Citizens United election landscape.

Irony, or something –> A Donald Trump-branded tower in New Jersey is being financed in large part through Chinese investors who, in exchange for investing at least $500,000, get a visa to come to the United States, reports Jesse Drucker for Bloomberg Politics. Key components of a Trump stump speech, of course, involve railing against both immigration and China.

Racial taunt –> Dave Zirin at The Nation: “In the Midwest, in two instances that we know about, high school basketball teams with Latino players have been denigrated by white fans and students from opposing teams with the chant ‘Trump.'” (In both cases, the racist schools lost.)

Get out the vote –> Latinos who have been legally living in the United States without seeking citizenship are deciding to apply for it this year so they can vote against Trump, reports Julia Preston for The New York Times: “Over all, naturalization applications increased by 11 percent in the 2015 fiscal year over the year before, and jumped 14 percent during the six months ending in January, according to federal figures. The pace is picking up by the week, advocates say, and they estimate applications could approach 1 million in 2016, about 200,000 more than the average in recent years. While naturalizations generally rise during presidential election years, Mr. Trump provided an extra boost this year.”

Drone deaths –> Spencer Ackerman at The Guardian: “A senior White House aide has pledged to release how many terrorism suspects and civilian casualties the US has killed in its drone strikes since 2009, the first-ever disclosure surrounding the US’s most controversial lethal operations. Lisa Monaco, Barack Obama’s counter-terrorism and homeland security adviser, said in a Washington speech on Monday that the expanded transparency would bolster public support for drone strikes and other counter-terrorism practices that she indicated would last ‘for years to come.'”

Expanding access –> The Federal Communications Commission is proposing a subsidy to help expand high-speed internet. At The Verge, Amar Toor reports, “The final proposal calls for a $9.25 monthly broadband subsidy for low-income households, and is part of a broader overhaul of the FCC’s Lifeline program, which has subsidized phone services for the poor since 1985. The Lifeline overhaul will be put to a vote on March 31st and is expected to be approved by the majority-Democrat FCC.”

“Are Big Power Companies Pulling a Fast One on Florida Voters?” –> The Florida Supreme Court will consider “a proposed ballot initiative that purports to strengthen the legal rights of homeowners who have rooftop solar panels. But critics in the solar industry and environmental groups claim that if the measure passes in November, it would actually deal a major blow to rooftop solar by undermining one of the key state policies supporting it,” Tim McDonnell reports for Mother Jones.

Nothing to see here –> Despite key climate-related news events – chief among them the Paris climate deal — television news coverage of climate change actually fell between 2014 and 2015, according to a study by Media Matters for America. Example: Over the course of an entire year, ABC devoted a pathetic 13 minutes to the issue.

The men who first saw the tiny hands –> NPR’s David Folkenflik sat down for an interview with Spy magazine founders Kurt Anderson and Graydon Carter. In the ’80s, the satirical publication set its sights on Donald Trump, dubbing him a “short-fingered vulgarian.” As last week’s debate illustrates, the pejorative torments the short-fingered vulgarian to this day.

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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