What We're Reading

Morning Reads: Obama Tells Donors to Get Behind Clinton; Michigan Governor, EPA Get Slammed For Flint

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

Morning Reads: Obama Tells Donors to Get Behind Clinton

Barack Obama delivers remarks during a reception for Women's History Month in the East Room of the White House, March 16, 2016 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Obama weighs in for Hillary –> Maggie Haberman and Michael D. Shear for The New York Times: “In unusually candid remarks, President Obama privately told a group of Democratic donors last Friday that Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont was nearing the point at which his campaign against Hillary Clinton would end, and that the party must soon come together to back her. Mr. Obama acknowledged that Mrs. Clinton was perceived to have weaknesses as a candidate, and that some Democrats did not view her as authentic. But he played down the importance of authenticity, noting that President George W. Bush — whose record he ran aggressively against in 2008 — was once praised for his authenticity.”

BUT: Nate Cohn, also for the Times, outlines the math of how Bernie could still, possibly, accrue enough delegates to win the nomination. Many of the states voting over the next month are more Sanders-friendly.

Tracking the superdelegates –> Who wins a close Democratic nomination campaign will likely be determined by the superdelegates — unelected, party-chosen representatives with a vote. Many are lobbyists, and Libby Watson has an update on the Sunlight Foundation’s effort to find out who they are and for whom they work.

Hell freezes over –> GOP establishment bigwig Senator Lindsey Graham, who famously, and very recently said, “If you killed Ted Cruz on the floor of the Senate, and the trial was in the Senate, nobody would convict you,” has decided to endorse… Ted Cruz. The senator was straightforward about the irony: “This is an odd moment… Do I think Ted Cruz is the most electable person? No, I think John Kasich is more electable.” But Ted Cruz, he said, is “best able to stop Trump and get to 1,237. It is an outsider year.” (Kasich, at this point, has no path to winning the 1,237 delegates necessary to secure the nomination without a brokered convention.) Tarini Parti reports for Buzzfeed.

New SEC nominees –> The Securities and Exchange Commission has the power to force corporations to tell their shareholders what they’re spending on politics, but has waffled on doing so. Will new nominees to the SEC support disclosure? Justin Miller writes for The American Prospect.

Pointing fingers –> “House Democrats said Michigan’s governor should resign over Flint’s water crisis, while Republicans said the head of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) should quit at a fiery hearing on Thursday. Democrats focused most of their fire on Gov. Rick Snyder (R), blaming him both for allowing an emergency manager to switch Flint’s water supply as a cost-savings measure and for not acting quickly enough to respond to the ensuing health problems,” Devin Henry and Timothy Cama report for The Hill.

Mainstreaming extremism –> At Vox, Ezra Klein writes that the GOP’s refusal to consider a Supreme Court nominee is illustrative of a larger trend in the party: “In practice, what this means is they are hoping to hold the Supreme Court vacancy so it can be filled by… President Donald Trump. They are refusing to do their institutional duty so that the decision can be made instead by a committed anti-institutionalist. There is a deep pull in political punditry toward asserting symmetry between the two political parties — whatever sins one party is guilty of, surely the other party is no better. But this was a week in which the pretense of symmetry between the modern Democratic and Republican parties fell away.”

A win for the telcos –> Municipal broadband is supported by Internet advocates as one way to break the cable monopoly’s grip on American broadband, which is slower and spottier than in many other developed countries. But Jon Brodkin at Ars Technica writes, “Tennessee lawmakers have defeated a proposal to expand municipal broadband, with one state representative accusing fellow elected officials of caving to pressure from lobbyists.” According to the Chattanooga Times Free Press, Republican State Rep. Kevin Brooks “and other proponents… blasted powerful investor-owned telecommunication providers such as AT&T and Comcast for the loss. ‘It’s a testament to the power of lobbying against this bill and not listening to our electorate,’ Brooks told reporters.”

Post-capitalism –> The current system isn’t working for most families, and as more and more work is automated, that problem could get worse, not better. What alternatives exist? Ben Schiller explores for Fast Company.

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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