What We're Reading

Morning Reads: July the Hottest Month Ever Recorded; North Carolina Pushes to Keep Discriminatory Laws

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

Morning Reads: July the Hottest Month Ever Recorded

A police officer cools off by riding through an open fire hydrant on a hot afternoon during a Black Lives Matter protest in downtown Philadelphia during the Democratic National Convention (DNC) on July 26, 2016. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Climate record broken for fifteen months in a row –> July wasn’t just hot — “July 2016 was absolutely the hottest month since the instrumental records began,” climate scientist Gavin Schmidt wrote on Twitter. The previous hottest month was July 2015. There is now a 99 percent chance, Schmidt tweeted, that 2016 will beat out 2015 for the hottest year on record.

Declare war: “This is no metaphor,” Bill McKibben writes in The New Republic. “By most of the ways we measure wars, climate change is the real deal: Carbon and methane are seizing physical territory, sowing havoc and panic, racking up casualties, and even destabilizing governments…. It’s not that global warming is like a world war. It is a world war.”

“The Summer of the Shill” –> Rolling Stone’s Matt Taibbi is concerned that our media seems so fully lined up against one party or the other: “What’s crucial to understand is that a great many commercial media outlets now are not so much liberal-leaning as Democratic Party-leaning. There’s a huge difference between advocacy journalism and electoral advocacy. Not just occasionally but all the time now, private news organizations are doing the work that political parties used to have to pay for in the form of ads.

“In the same way that Fox used to (and probably still does) save on reporting and research costs by simply regurgitating talking points from the RNC, blue-leaning cable channels are running segments and online reports that are increasingly indistinguishable from Democratic Party messaging.”

Trump’s Muslim ban 4.0 –> Trump used a campaign stop at Youngstown State University to elaborate on some of his foreign policy plans, including a declaration that his “ban” on Muslims entering the US would take the form of “extreme vetting,” including a test to measure religious and political beliefs. At The Washington Post, Philip Bump annotates the speech with context and fact checks.

Politifact offers its own analysis.

Guilty –> Pennsylvania’s Democratic attorney general Kathleen Kane has been found guilty of nine criminal charges, “including perjury and criminal conspiracy, convicting her of leaking grand jury information, and then lying about it, in an effort to discredit a political rival,” Jess Bidgood writes for The New York Times. “Ms. Kane was caught up in a web of scandal and counterscandal, threaded with lewd emails, political rivalries and alleged leaks. It has cost other state officials, including two State Supreme Court justices, their jobs and Ms. Kane her law license, although she has remained on the job as attorney general…

“The judge has not yet set a sentencing hearing, but Ms. Kane could face prison time. The two felony perjury charges alone each carry up to seven years in prison.”

Last ditch effort –> North Carolina is pushing to keep it’s discriminatory voting restrictions in place until after ballots are cast in November — Republican Gov. Pat McCrory, a force behind the state’s recent turn to the right, is up for reelection. Tierney Sneed for Talking Points Memo: “North Carolina is asking the Supreme Court to allow it to enforce its photo voter ID law, its cutbacks to early voting and its elimination of pre-registration. The petition did not include requests that its ban on same-day registration and prohibition of out-of-precinct be in effect in November’s election. All five provisions had been deemed discriminatory in their intent by a three-judge panel of the 4th US Circuit Court of Appeals in late July. The decision was a reversal of a district court’s ruling that sided with the state.”

Related: A new study, reported by Rob Wile for Fusion, finds that while white people wait an average of 12 minutes to vote, Latinos wait an average of 19 minutes and blacks an average of 23 minutes — almost double the wait time for whites.

Voting rights and police reform –> At The Atlantic’s City Lab, Brentin Mock writes about a recent paper suggesting that the same formula used to identify voter discrimination in the 1965 Voting Rights Act, which was gutted three years ago by the Supreme Court, could help identify police departments that need federal supervision. This proposal, Mock notes, “attempts to position the reform discussion squarely on preventing police violence to begin with.”

So long –> We say goodbye and thanks to our friends at The Nightly Show, hosted by Larry Wilmore, which was cancelled by Comedy Central yesterday. Thursday’s program will be their last. “My only regret is we won’t be around to cover this truly insane election season,” Wilmore said last night. “Though, on the plus side, our show going off the air has to mean one thing: Racism is solved. We did it.”

Morning Reads was compiled 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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