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Morning Reads: North Carolina’s Racially Biased Redistricting Struck Down

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Morning Reads: North Carolina's Racially Biased Redistricting Struck Down

A man enters First Ward Elementary School, Precinct 13, to cast his vote on November 4, 2014 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Davis Turner/Getty Images)

Struck down –> North Carolina’s congressional district maps have been rejected by a federal court, Matthew Burns reports for WRAL. Five years ago, the state’s congressional maps were redrawn by the Republican-dominated legislature; the court determined that two of them had been gerrymandered along racial lines: “The three-judge panel ruled that the 1st Congressional District, which spreads like an octopus across northeast North Carolina and has a tentacle that dips into Durham County, and the 12th Congressional District, which snakes along Interstate 85 between Greensboro and Charlotte, were drawn specifically so that the majority of voters in each were black.” The ruling casts uncertainty on the state’s primary election, scheduled for March 15.

The most immoderate moderate –> In Saturday night’s GOP debate, Bush, Christie and Kasich — the three governors competing against Marco Rubio to win the hearts of New Hampshire’s moderate conservative voters — went after the Florida senator, with Christie taking the lead. New York magazine’s Ed Kilgore reports, “Worse yet, Rubio responded to a pounding from Christie for being a paper-thin senator with no accomplishments by playing the part to a T: robotically repeating talking points even as the New Jersey governor mocked him for robotically repeating talking points.”

AND: Donald Trump was on the warpath. Adam Edelman at the NY Daily News writes, “The bombastic billionaire on Sunday doubled down on his call for increasing harsh interrogation techniques on suspected terrorists, explaining that he wanted to ‘go a lot further than waterboarding.'”

The best candidate for young women? –> Noting that young women in New Hampshire support Bernie Sanders in greater numbers than Hillary Clinton, the Clinton campaign launched a counterattack: “Two feminist icons, Madeleine Albright and Gloria Steinem, called on young women who supported Mr. Sanders to essentially grow up and get with the program,” reports Alan Rappeport for The New York Times.

BUT: Hunter Walker at Yahoo News writes, “Many women who showed up at a presidential campaign rally for Sen. Bernie Sanders, D-Vt., at Great Bay Community College on Sunday said they were insulted and ‘offended’ by supporters of Hillary Clinton who have suggested it is somehow anti-feminist to back Sanders instead of Clinton’s quest to become the first female president.”

How those special interests work –> At The American Prospect, Eliza Newlin Carney pushes back against the idea that this year private-interest money is less important: “The failure of Bush or any other big spender to win an election says little about the actual role that money plays in politics and — perhaps more important — in policy-making… the real issue is not just how political money boosts candidates, but how it helps big donors win the tax breaks, contracts, and policies they seek. Also overlooked in the argument that money doesn’t matter is the ever-growing role that millionaire and billionaire donors are playing in elections other than the race for the White House.”

Return of the vampire squid –> At Rolling Stone, Matt Taibbi writes, as only he can, about Goldman Sachs head Lloyd Blankfein’s comment last week that Bernie Sanders and his young supporters were “dangerous.” Taibbi: “People like Blankfein are oddly uncreative when it comes to deflecting criticism. The people who don’t like them are always overemotional communists. All those young people who are flocking to the Sanders campaign? Dupes, misled by dumb professors who’ve never been to Cuba. And their anger toward Wall Street? Causeless and random, just a bunch of folks riding an emotional pendulum that brainlessly swings back and forth. Don’t take it personally, people are just moody that way.”

More than testing the waters –> Ralph Ellis, K.J. Kwon, Tiffany Ap and Tim Hume at CNN: “North Korea launched a satellite into space Sunday, its state media reported, triggering a wave of international condemnation and prompting strong reaction from an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council. Though North Korea said the launch was for scientific and ‘peaceful purposes,’ it is being widely viewed by other nations as a front to test a ballistic missile, especially coming on the heels of North Korea’s purported hydrogen bomb test last month.”

Opposition to TPP mounts among Republicans, too –> Paul Kane and Kelsey Snell at The Washington Post: “Sen. Rob Portman, a former U.S trade ambassador, announced Thursday that he opposes a sweeping 12-nation Pacific Rim trade agreement, dealing a setback to a deal that is seen as a key part of President Obama’s economic legacy.”

Unbelievable –> Using a nuisance abatement law first enacted in the 1970s, New York City residents “can be permanently barred from their homes without being convicted or even charged with a crime,” report ProPublica and the New York Daily News. This happened more than 500 times in the 18-month period reporters examined, and primarily happened to minorities.

Sarah Palin’s unique way of speaking –> She’s a big fan of certain types of dependent clauses, and the participle phrase, finds Anna North at The New York Times’  Talking Note blog. “… Her speeches on the campaign trail aren’t simple; they are actually incredibly complicated,” North writes. “… In fact, a lot of what Sarah Palin says sounds like it’s been poorly translated from the Latin. With her ‘he who’ and ‘one who,’ she’d sound almost Ciceronian if it weren’t for the holes in her logic and the way those complicated sentences sometimes dribble off into vaguely sinister, possibly offensive nonsense.”

Today’s 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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