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Morning Reads: The Super Tuesday Stakes for Sanders Are “Incredibly High”

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

Morning Reads: The Super Tuesday Stakes for Sanders Are High

Bernie Sanders speaks at a campaign rally at United Auto Workers Union Local 600 February 15, 2016 in Dearborn, Michigan. (Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)

It’s super Tuesday! –> Voters in a dozen states participate in the presidential nominating contest today. Domenico Montanaro at NPR has what you need to know.

The secret tape –> Buzzfeed‘s Ben Smith thinks Donald Trump, in an off-the-record interview with The New York Times, told the paper what he “really” thinks about immigration. The implication is that once in office, he would not actually seek to deport 11 million immigrants; that would just be, in the words of Times columnist Gail Collins, “the first bid in some future monster negotiation session.” Smith is calling on Trump to ask the paper to release the tape, and Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz have joined him.

$36 million –> Nicholas Confessore reports that’s how much Bernie Sanders raised in February alone, a huge number even though his chances of winning the nomination, after today, might be slim. At The Washington Post, Paul Waldman writes that on this Super Tuesday the “stakes for him [Sanders] are incredibly high, much higher than for Hillary Clinton.”

BUT: An editorial at The Nation cautions against dismissing Sanders too soon: “Hillary Clinton now has 92 pledged delegates to 65 for Sanders—out of 2,383 needed to win. (She’s way ahead on superdelegates, but if Sanders wins enough primaries to close the gap, those superdelegates will have to respect that momentum or risk destroying the party.) South Carolina is not the end of the Democratic contest. Not with 17 states voting in the next two weeks. It isn’t even the beginning of the end, with crucial battleground states like Florida, Illinois, North Carolina, and Ohio voting later on in March. It is just the end of the beginning.”

Don’t panic? –> At The Nation, Joshua Holland believes that although Trump has won three primaries and looks poised to win several more today, the phenomenon does not demonstrate a yearning among a silent majority to lurch toward fascism. Primaries attract just a sliver of the electorate: “If you follow the horse-race coverage, it’s easy to think a candidate enjoys broad popular support when in fact he or she is only backed by a tiny slice of the public. Trump’s win in the Nevada Caucuses may have dominated the news for a couple of days, but he did it with the support of just 2.3 percent of eligible voters in the Silver State… In that light, Trump’s success is neither a sign that America has a major ‘fascism problem,’ nor an ‘indictment of the American Republic.'”

Conspiracy theorist –> The New York Times’ Maggie Haberman observes that “Mr. Trump’s willingness to touch on what passes for fact on fringe websites puts him in a unique class for a national major party front-runner.” Trump recently expressed interest in rumors that Scalia was murdered and joked (?) on Twitter that Obama might have attended Scalia’s funeral had it been held in a mosque, an allusion to the birther conspiracy theory once touted by Trump that the president of the United States is secretly a foreign-born Muslim.

Show Les the money –> “Les Moonves, the chief executive of CBS, celebrated Donald Trump’s candidacy for the second time on Monday, calling it ‘good for us economically.’ Moonves, speaking at the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media, and Telecom Conference at the Park Hotel in San Francisco, described the ‘circus’ of a presidential campaign and the flow of political advertising dollars, and stated that it ‘may not be good for America, but it’s damn good for CBS, that’s all I got to say,'” Lee Fang reports for The Intercept. 

Here’s an idea –> At Slate, conservative writer Reihan Salam lays out his plan to revitalize the party that he feels Trump’s destroyed: “The GOP can no longer survive as the party of tax cuts for the rich. It must reinvent itself as the champion of America’s working- and middle-class families. In every campaign, Democrats and Republicans talk about getting the working class and the middle class back on their feet. Those are almost always empty words. The GOP must now become a genuinely populist party, putting the concerns of voters ahead of those of donors. The alternative will be a decade or more of marginalization and defeat, during which the left will have free rein.”

AND: At Bloomberg View, Megan McArdle solicited emails from die-hard Republicans who would never support Trump, and received hundreds of impassioned responses, which she excerpts.

Apple wins this round –> Joel Rubin for the LA Times: “In a New York case that mirrors the legal wrangling unfolding over the FBI investigation into last year’s mass shooting in San Bernardino, U.S. Magistrate Judge James Orenstein denied a request from federal prosecutors that he make Apple unlock a drug dealer’s iPhone.”

AND: “Apple, summoned to Capitol Hill to explain why it is refusing to help the government access a terrorist’s phone by developing malware to hack in, says Congress should be the one answering questions,” Jenna McLaughlin writes for The Intercept. She reports that Apple’s top lawyer will use his testimony before the House Judiciary Committee to call for a public debate.

Big moment –> Just a handful of days after the tenth anniversary of the last time Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas spoke during oral arguments… he spoke.

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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