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Morning Reads: Pence Describes Imaginary Running Mate; Yahoo Spies for US Government

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

Morning Reads: Pence Describes Imaginary Running Mate

Democratic vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine (L) and Republican vice presidential nominee Mike Pence (R) during the vice presidential debate at Longwood University on October 4, 2016, in Farmville, Virginia. (Photo by Andrew Gombert - Pool/Getty Images)

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Vice presidential debate –> Mike Pence and Tim Kaine faced off last night at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia. As per Joan Walsh at The NationKaine was on the attack. But at the end of the night, many felt Pence had done well — largely by trying to hoodwink the audience into believing Donald Trump was a traditional Republican.

“For an hour and a half on Tuesday night, the Republican Party’s vice presidential nominee parried with Democrat Tim Kaine as if Trump were as mild-mannered as Mitt Romney and as doctrinaire as Paul Ryan,” The New Republic’s Brian Beutler writes. “He shook his head in disbelief when Kaine faithfully recited Trump’s litany of offenses — his racist and sexist attacks on political and legal enemies, his affinity for autocrats and dictators, his promises to deport all immigrants and ban Muslim travel and immigration — as if Kaine had just invented them.”

In an article headlined, “Mike Pence can’t believe Tim Kaine would insult Donald Trump by quoting him,” Philip Bump of The Washington Post writes, “It’s clever to suggest that quoting Trump is somehow an unfair disparagement of him. It doesn’t work as well when you isolate the charges that were made.” To that end, Politico offers “6 things Trump definitely said that Pence claimed he didn’t.” The Huffington Post has a video version. The Guardian signs in with some fact checks.

Aiding and abetting –> Joseph Menn for Reuters: “Yahoo Inc last year secretly built a custom software program to search all of its customers’ incoming emails for specific information provided by US intelligence officials, according to people familiar with the matter. The company complied with a classified US government demand, scanning hundreds of millions of Yahoo Mail accounts at the behest of the National Security Agency or FBI… Some surveillance experts said this represents the first case to surface of a US internet company agreeing to an intelligence agency’s request by searching all arriving messages, as opposed to examining stored messages or scanning a small number of accounts in real time.”

Paris agreement goes into effect –> Following Sunday’s ratification by India and the European Union’s yesterday, the four largest polluters in the world — the United States, China, India and the EU, collectively responsible for some 60 percent of global emissions — are on board with the climate deal. Enough countries have now ratified it for it to go into effect in 30 days. That’s the good news.

Now some bad news: David Roberts reports for Vox that the deal falls far short of putting us on track to stay under the 2 degrees Celsius of global warming that scientists say is our limit. And The New York Times summarizes a new poll from the Pew Research Center: “Americans are deeply divided on the causes, cures and urgency of climate change, and party identification is one of the strongest predictors of individual views.” Those Americans may elect a man who would and could opt out of the deal, rendering it useless for the rest of the world.

Fracking execs press case with Trump –> Discussing fracking in July, Trump made the case for something called “local control” — that voters should have the right to decide whether or not fracking takes place in their communities. “I’m in favor of fracking, but I think that voters should have a big say in it. I mean, there’s some areas, maybe, that don’t want to have fracking, and I think if the voters are voting for it that’s up to them,” he said. That position put him in line with Hillary Clinton. But yesterday, fracking execs pushed Trump in a meeting that quickly became private. Brandon Rittiman reports for Denver’s NBC affiliate: “Lynn Peterson, CEO of Synergy Resources, told Trump that he sees local control over fracking as a threat in the first few minutes of the Tuesday roundtable on the top floor of a downtown office building. Trump did not address the issue of local control before his campaign staff ushered the press out of the room so the group could continue talking in private.”

Living wills –> Five banks are providing “living wills” to regulators describing how they could be broken up. Under the Dodd-Frank reforms, all banks have to do this, but so far, the five in question have not yet submitted a plan that regulators found believable. Donna Borak and Emily Glazer report for The Wall Street Journal: “The stakes are high for J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., Bank of America Corp. and three others. If regulators deem these revisions of their so-called living wills — made public by the government Tuesday — to be insufficiently credible, those institutions could be ordered to hold higher levels of capital on their books, or to restructure and shed business lines. Regulators are facing considerable pressure from politicians to use this process to break up the biggest banks, with many — notably Massachusetts Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren — arguing these institutions remain ‘too big to fail.'”

Hurricane Matthew headed for US –> The BBC reports: “The most powerful Caribbean hurricane in nearly a decade has left thousands of people displaced in Haiti, with rescuers struggling to reach the worst-hit areas. Hurricane Matthew is said to have devastated parts of the country, where at least two people have died. The storm has now moved off the north-eastern coast of Cuba towards Florida, where warnings are in place. South Carolina is to start evacuating more than a million people.” Meteorologist Philip Klotzbach noted on Twitter yesterday, “Hurricane #Matthew has been a Cat. 4-5 in the Caribbean longer than all other Atlantic hurricanes from 2008-2016 combined.”

Wait, wait, don’t tell me –> From ABC News: “The official GOP website made a grand old gaffe ahead of the vice presidential debate Tuesday night — declaring Republican candidate Mike Pence the winner before the event was scheduled to start. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the GOP announced that Mike Pence was the ‘clear winner’ of the debate, more than an hour ahead of the start time.”

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!



We produce this news digest every weekday. You can sign up to receive these updates as an email newsletter each morning.