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Morning Reads: Michelle Obama Takes on Trump; He Says He’s Victim of Globalist Conspiracy

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

Morning Reads: Michelle Obama Takes on Trump

Michelle Obama speaks in Manchester, NH, on Oct. 13, 2016. (Photo by Keith Bedford/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

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Michelle Obama’s speech –> Delivering what many believe was the finest speech she has ever given, the First Lady went after Donald Trump in New Hampshire yesterday: “Last week, we saw this candidate actually bragging about sexually assaulting women. And I can’t believe that I’m saying that a candidate for president of the United States has bragged about sexually assaulting women. And I have to tell you that I can’t stop thinking about this. It has shaken me to my core in a way that I couldn’t have predicted. I’d love nothing more than to pretend that this isn’t happening and to come out and give my normal campaign speech. But this was not just a lewd conversation. This wasn’t just locker room banter. This was a powerful individual speaking freely and openly about sexually predatory behavior and actually bragging about kissing and groping women.”

The conspiracy narrative –> Monica Langley for this morning’s Wall Street Journal: “Donald Trump will broaden his attack against the media to hit globalism and the Clinton Foundation by charging that Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim is part of a biased coalition working in collusion with the Clinton campaign and its supporters to generate news reports of decades-old allegations from several women.” Yep. Really.

The donors want out –> The New York Times: “Several of the Republican Party’s most generous donors called on the Republican National Committee on Thursday to disavow Donald J. Trump, saying that allegations by multiple women that Mr. Trump had groped or made inappropriate sexual advances toward them threatened to inflict lasting damage on the party’s image. To an elite group of Republican contributors who have donated millions of dollars to the party’s candidates and committees in recent years, the cascade of revelations related to Mr. Trump’s sexual conduct is grounds for the committee to cut ties with the party’s beleaguered standard-bearer, finally and fully.”

Trump and the press –> Joel Simon, head of the Committee to Protect Journalists, worries about Trump’s campaign and freedom of the press, noting that Sunday’s presidential debate was the first ever broadcast in Iran — in “an effort to highlight the dysfunctionality of the American political system to the Iranian public.” In the Columbia Journalism Review, Simon writes, “In many countries around the world — from Russia to Turkey — elected autocrats pose a tremendous challenge to press freedom. I call these leaders democratators because they have used the authority gained at the ballot box to undermine and weaken the institutions that constrain their power, including the press. If Trump were to be elected president, he would likely become America’s first democratator. Though he now appears likely to lose, the Trump campaign has already had a negative influence — as anyone who watched debate night from Tehran already knows.”

Official data on police killings –> Eric Lichtblau for The New York Times: “The Justice Department said Thursday that it would start collecting nationwide data early next year on police shootings and other violent encounters with the public, after a series of protests and investigations since 2014 spurred by a string of deadly episodes. The project, the most ambitious the federal government has undertaken in tracking the use of force by police officers, is meant to fill what officials say is a huge and frustrating void in publicly available data on the shootings that have roiled the country…

“But a number of the reporting steps will rely on local police officials to voluntarily submit data, and some civil rights advocates said the Justice Department had not made clear how it would impose financial penalties set by Congress to encourage the reporting of police shootings.”

What WikiLeaks tell us about the Obama administration –> David Dayen writes for The New Republic that the emails hacked from John Podesta’s account reveal that on Oct. 6, 2008, Michael Froman, head of Citigroup and the future US trade representative tasked with finalizing the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), circulated a list of Cabinet positions and the people he thought then-presidential candidate Barack Obama should pick to fill them. “The cabinet list ended up being almost entirely on the money,” Dayen writes. “This was Oct. 6. The election was Nov. 4. And yet Froman, an executive at Citigroup, which would ultimately become the recipient of the largest bailout from the federal government during the financial crisis, had mapped out virtually the entire Obama Cabinet, a month before votes were counted. And according to the Froman/Podesta emails, lists were floating around even before that.”

Green Republicans? –> The Environmental Defense Fund, an environmental group that often seeks to engage Republicans, is spending $250,000 backing two GOP House members, Bob Dold and Pat Meehan, in swing districts. “The group praised both lawmakers for co-sponsoring a bipartisan bill that would create a commission to study economically viable climate policies,” Jack Fitzpatrick reports for Morning Consult. “Dold, in the suburbs of Chicago, represents one of the most Democratic-leaning districts held by a Republican. Meehan, meanwhile, represents a slightly Republican-leaning district southwest of Philadelphia. Both are the kind of districts that Democrats would have to win if they are to take control of the House, a goal that some strategists say could be in reach after recent revelations of Donald Trump’s comments on sexual assault.”

Complete destruction –> Video taken by a drone circling overhead shows the Syrian city of Aleppo devastated by the efforts of the Assad Regime and their Russian allies to bomb rebel forces out of the city.

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.