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Morning Reads: The Frontrunners Win Big — But the Race Isn’t Over

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

Morning Reads: The Frontrunners Win Big, But The Race Isn't Over

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks at a rally during a campaign event on Super Tuesday in Miami. (RHONA WISE/AFP/Getty Images)

Super Tuesday –> Frontrunners Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton did very well last night — but none of their opponents seem ready to throw in the towel. Marco Rubio won a state, and Ted Cruz won three. John Kasich came in a close second to Trump in Vermont. Bernie Sanders won four states: Minnesota, Colorado, Oklahoma and Vermont.

If the Republican Party hopes to stop Trump, they have 14 days left to get it together, writes Andrew Prokop at Vox: “After March 15, 58 percent of delegates will already be allotted. The bigger the lead Trump amasses in this period when so many delegates are at stake, the more likely it will be prohibitively difficult for any one candidate to catch up to him.”

AND: Brian Beutler writes for New Republic that a Trump nomination could have an upside: “Conservatives remain loath to acknowledge the obvious, but the liberal critique of their politics is correct, and it took the Donald Trump juggernaut to wake them up to it. Indeed, the fact that liberals had a more accurate read on conservative politics than most professional conservatives seems to bother many conservatives more than the substance of the critique itself.”

MEANWHILE:  A big turnout from Southern black voters was a huge asset for Hillary Clinton, notes Jamelle Bouie at Slate. And Tim Murphy writes at Mother Jones: “Things will get worse for Sanders before they gets better. Because of the way the primary map is drawn, Clinton’s best states — basically, southern states with high African American populations — will all have voted by the middle of March.” Nonetheless, the Sanders campaign has promised to press on until the convention in July.

Our bad –> The New Hampshire Union Leader, which backed Chris Christie for president during that state’s primary, retroactively withdrew its endorsement in the wake of Christie’s endorsement of Trump. AND: Six New Jersey newspapers are so appalled by the endorsement, and by Christie’s absence from the state while running for president himself, they’ve asked him to step down as governor and recommended a recall vote if he does not.

Case that could reshape America –> A wide-reaching abortion case will be argued before the US Supreme Court today, the first major challenge to Roe v. Wade in more than a decade. At issue is the Texas abortion law that places strict restrictions on clinics. “Justice Antonin Scalia’s death last month may have muted the prospect of truly bold action, but even a 4-to-4 tie would have enormous consequences because it would leave in place an appeals court decision that could drive down the number of abortion clinics in Texas to about 10, from roughly 40,” Adam Liptak reports for The New York Times.

AND: Dorothy Samuels notes at the Brennan Center for Justice’s blog, “… It is apparent from the background of this legal clash… that the case implicates a principle that transcends the immediate abortion controversy, one central to the rule of law — namely, the truth and integrity of judicial decision-making. Including, I’d add, by the Supreme Court itself.”

ALSO: Heidi Williamson writes for TalkPoverty that Texas, where restrictive abortion laws are already in place, provides a cautionary tale for Ohio, where Governor John Kasich just signed a similar law: “If the current state of affairs in Texas is any indication, low-income women in Ohio are about to see their economic security plummet.”

Nonsensical –> Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz has loaned her political capital to an effort that supports payday lenders and challenges efforts by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to rein in the exploitive industry. “The misleadingly titled Consumer Protection and Choice Act would delay the CFPB’s payday lending rules by two years, and nullify its rules in any state with a payday lending law like the one adopted in Florida,” Zach Carter writes for The Huffington Post. “Consumer groups are appalled by the bill. The Consumer Federation of America, the NAACP, The National Consumer Law Center, The National Council of La Raza, The Southern Poverty Law Center and hundreds of others wrote a letter to every member of Congress in December urging them to oppose the legislation.”

A story by New York magazine’s Eric Levitz has this headline: “DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz Helpfully Illustrates Everything Bernie Sanders Hates About the Democratic Establishment”

The records keep falling –> “The temperature of the lowest section of the atmosphere hit its highest level on record in February, as estimated by weather satellites. The planet was 0.83 degrees Celsius warmer than the long-term average, according to Roy Spencer, research scientist at the University of Alabama at Huntsville, who worked with John Christy to develop the original analysis of satellite-derived global temperatures.” Spencer is a noted climate skeptic, but, “The record-setting February reading represents an inconvenient data point for those that claim the Earth isn’t warming,” Jason Samenow reports for The Washington Post.

AND: At Slate, Eric Holthaus explains further: “… What’s actually happening now is the liberation of nearly two decades’ worth of global warming energy that’s been stored in the oceans since the last major El Niño in 1998. Numbers like this amount to a step-change in our planet’s climate system. Peter Gleick, a climate scientist at the Pacific Institute in Oakland, California, said it’s difficult to compare the current temperature spike: ‘The old assumptions about what was normal are being tossed out the window… The old normal is gone.'”

Weird –> Reuters’ Jonathan Landay reports, “Osama bin Laden wrote a letter calling on the American people to help President Barack Obama fight ‘catastrophic’ climate change and ‘save humanity’, in the latest evidence of his worries about environmental issues, newly released documents show. The letter was among materials that were seized in the May 2, 2011, U.S. raid on bin Laden’s hideout in Pakistan that killed the al Qaeda chief and which were released on Tuesday by the Obama administration.”

Important –> “Are Donald Trump’s fingers weirdly short?” The Washington Post demands an answer.

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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