Morning Read



The CUNY-Petraeus plot thickens

Cory Robin questions the timing of the City University of New York's timing about a letter pushing back on a report on former CIA Director David Petraeus's salary for a course he's teaching at the school.

Why is Kerry spending his time in Israel?

Why in the world is Secretary of State John Kerry currently attempting to stimulate the peace process in Israel? Right Turn's Jennifer Rubin provides some possible explanations.

ADP: 188k jobs added in June

Hot Air's Ed Morrissey warns that the ADP's latest employment report doesn't necessarily mean an increase in job creation.

Federal spying, snail mail edition

A former FBI agent says that the U.S. government snoops through snail mail,  writes The Atlantic Wire's Rebecca Greenfield.


Border guards to prohibit products that don't meet conservation standards

Effective in August, items not meeting energy conservation standards will no longer be able to pass through customs, The Hill's Julian Hattem reports.

Neil Diamond to debut Boston Marathon tribute song at Capitol

As part of the 33rd annual Independence Day event at the Capitol, Neil Diamond will perform a new tribute song in recognition of the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing, The Hill's Judy Kurtz reports.




Grimes's uphill battle for Senate seat
Hot Air's Ed Morrissey argues that Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes is not likely to beat Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) for the Senate seat in Kentucky, a historically red state.

Republicans skeptical as immigration bill moves to House
The Corner's Lindsey Grudnicki comments on Lou Barletta's (R-Pa.) interview where he addresses the Corker-Hoeven amendment, stating that it "creates the image of strength while in reality it is the opposite."

Red states implement strict abortion regulations
The Plum Line's Jamelle Bouie criticizes Texas's Senate Bill 5 that aims at restricting abortions by requiring that clinics be located within 30 miles of a hospital.

DOMA prompts tough choices for same-sex spouses
TPM's Brian Beutler recognizes the Obama administration for unlocking benefits for same-sex couples living in "recognized" states, but notes that those couples living in "nonrecognition" may face serious questions regarding where to live for estate planning purposes.


Director of National Intelligence: "I apologize"
In a letter to Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Director of National Intelligence James Clapper apologized for misleading Congress regarding NSA surveillance activity, The Hill's Jeremy Herb reports.

Farm lobby: "Move a unified farm bill forward"
Agriculture organizations are lobbying against the conservative push to split the farm bill into separate food stamp and farm subsidy portions, The Hill's Erik Wasson reports.




Happy birthday, Gettysburg

Monday was the 150th anniversary of the battle of Gettysburg, Robert Farley of Lawyers, Guns & Money notes.

Rubio isn't the winner of immigration reform

Contrary to Chris Cillizza's argument, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) isn't a winner on immigration reform, Daniel Larison writes.

Future uncertain for Davis

At RedState, Matt Vespa writes that Texas State Sen. Wendy Davis's (D) political future is far from a sure thing,

Media Circus at the George Zimmerman trial

The George Zimmerman trial has descended to the level of a "full-blown media circus" according to Dacia Mitchell at This Week In Blackness


Putin keeps things interesting

Vladimir Putin's added a new twist to the story of Edward Snowden when he suggested that Russia could grant Snowden's asylum request. The Hill's Jeremy Herb and Justin Sink have more.

North Carolina is the new Wisconsin

North Carolina is now the primary partisan battleground in 2013, according to The Atlantic's David Graham.




A Strategic Transformation
Talking Points Memo's Hunter Walker comments on Virginia attorney general Ken Cuccinelli's transformation from hard-line Tea Party conservative to moderate Republican in light of his decision to run for governor.

Positive forecast for public debt
Wonkblog's Lydia DePillis says the declining debt-to-GDP ratio is due to improvements in healthcare reform and tax increases on the wealthy, among other variables.

A melting pot for gangs?
The Gateway Pundit's Jim Hoft criticizes the Gang of Eight's immigration proposal, saying it will grant citizenship to a sweeping majority of "criminal gang members" seeking amnesty.

IRS at the "nexus" of big government
Hot Air's Ed Morrissey argues that the IRS epitomizes the problems of an over-sized government.


Senate passes immigration bill on 68-32 vote
The Senate passed a comprehensive immigration reform bill on Thursday, but the legislation faces significant hurtles as it moves to the House, The Hill's Alexander Bolton reports.

Perry scolds Davis for abortion filibuster
Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) criticized state Sen. Wendy Davis (D) for filibustering a measure that would ban abortions after 20 weeks, due to her background as a teenage mother, The Hill's Jonathan Easley reports.




Obama, Clinton favorability fall in latest WaPo/ABC poll

Hot Air's Ed Morrissey writes that recent polling shows a significant decrease in both President Obama and Hillary Clinton's favorability.

Posturing in the US v. Snowden

Jay Sterling Silver at The Huffington Post argues that in the case of the search for Edward Snowden, the government's intentions may not be as pure as they seem.

California acts quickly on same-sex marriage after Supreme Court ruling

The governor ordered state officials to begin issuing licenses to same-sex couples seeking to marry, shortly after the Supreme Court struck down the state's "Proposition 8" same-sex marriage ban, Lyle Denniston of SCOTUSblog writes.

Aftermath of the same-sex marriage debate

Even after the Supreme Court's rulings on Wednesday, national and state debates over the legality of same-sex marriage will continue, argues Jeffrey Bell at The Weekly Standard blog.


NRCC hitting Dems on Obama's climate change proposal

The National Republican Congressional Committee is already using Web ads to attack President Obama's climate change agenda. They're using the possibility of a rise in electricity rates that would lead to job cuts and a weaker economy to defend their position, The Hill's Alexandra Jaffe reports.

Celebs you might see promoting ObamaCare

Expect to see several celebrities promoting ObamaCare over the next six months, among them Eva Longoria, Oprah Winfrey, LeBron James and Beyoncé and Jay-Z, according to The Hill's Elise Viebeck.




Equality on the battlefield would "violate common sense"
The American Conservative's Patrick J. Buchanan disagrees with the Pentagon's new plan to fully integrate women into high-risk combat roles.

The effects of Obama's lackluster foreign policy
Right Turn's Jennifer Rubin highlights the problems the U.S. is facing due to President Obama's reliance on risk-averse foreign policy.

Supreme Court on Voting Rights Act: "Things have changed"
The Daily Beasts Adam Winkler argues against the Supreme Court's decision to strike down a key part of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, including a provision to curb racial discrimination against voters.

Cuccinelli wrong to equate gay marriage, polygamy
Huffington Post's Jason Linkins criticizes Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli for writing that legalizing gay marriage could eventually lead to legalizing polygamy.


Obama considers environmental impact of Keystone project
President Obama vows to seriously consider greenhouse gas pollution and climate change before approving the Keystone XL pipeline, The Hill's Justin Sink reports.

Obama sees Supreme Court ruling as setback
In light of the recent Supreme Court decision regarding the Voting Rights Act, President Obama recognizes that voter discrimination still exists and says he is "deeply disappointed" in the court's ruling, The Hill's Sam Baker reports.




An explanation of Jan Brewer's praise of immigration reform

MSNBC's Benjy Sarlin explains why Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R) is offering kind words for the Gang of Eight's immigration reform bill.

Flake still not reconsidering stance on background checks

Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) has not changed his stance on tightening restrictions on background checks for gun purchasers, Luca Gattoni-Celli writes at The American Spectator's Spectacle Blog.

Fisher vs. University of Texas in plain English

Amy Howe, writing at SCOTUSblog, explains the Supreme Court's decision on Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin.

Krugman and Cowen on Fed rates

Economists Tyler Cowen and Paul Krugman both had the same view of Fed rates in 2011 and were both wrong, Cowen writes at his Marginal Revolution blog.


IRS chief: Agency improperly screened groups until last month

The new acting chief of the Internal Revenue Service said the agency had still been improperly screening groups seeking tax-exempt status until May, The Hill's Bernie Becker reports.

Leahy offers bill to sunset FISA provisions

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and a number of other senators offered new legislation to end a number of secret government surveillance programs. The Hill's Pete Kasperowicz has more.




Same-sex marriage is not inevitable

The Corner's Brian Brown discusses Illinois's inability to pass marriage equality legislation, regardless of prominent state supporters, such as Governor Pat Quinn (D) and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel (D).

No faith in Gang of Eight

Gateway Pundit's Jim Hoft reports on the Gang of Eight's compromise to tighten boarder security, stating that Democrats have no true intention of boosting security.

Exodus International dissolves, impact on gay community

The New Republic
's Molly Redden reports on a prominent gay conversion therapy group's decision to shut down operations. 

New amendment to farm bill promotes long term poverty

Mother Jones's Erika Eichelberger disagrees with many House GOP members who are in favor of cutting the government's food stamps program by $20 billion, a program that keeps many Americans out of extreme poverty.


New boarder security amendment aims to sway Republicans

Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) is optimistic that a new amendment added to the immigration bill focused on tighter border security will sway Republicans in the Senate, according to The Hill's Justin Sink.

Turmoil surrounding Obama's climate change proposal

According to The Hill's Molly K. Hooper, Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) strongly opposes President Obama's second-term climate change proposal.




Missing Michael Hastings
Buzzfeed’s Ben Smith eulogizes his former colleague, 33-year-old Rolling Stone reporter Michael Hastings who died in a car accident on Tuesday.

Why people in power cast themselves as 'war' casualties
The Huffington Post's Lori Day argues that the "war on men" is a fictional phenomenon created to help men in power play the victim.

Inevitable: Lisa Murkowski declares support for gay marriage
Hot Air's Allahpundit says Lisa Murkowski's recent public statement supporting gay marriage isn't at all surprising and predicts Susan Collins will be the next Republican to "turn."

Is Obama about to get serious on climate change?
Mother Jones's Kevin Drum says that Obama is finally on the verge of prioritizing climate change.


House moves to slash community development, transit spending
The House Appropriations Committee passed a bill that cuts housing and community development spending, The Hill's Erik Wasson reports.

Doctors: Remove soda from food stamp program
The AMA will begin attempts to eliminate soda and other sugary drinks from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, The Hill's Sam Baker reports.




Republicans need to face immigration head on

Stuart Stevens at the Daily Beast argues that illegal immigration is a significant problem that all members of the GOP must acknowledge and work together to solve.

IRS found targeting conservative Hispanic group

Gateway Pundit's Jim Hoft reports that VOCES Action, a conservative Hispanic group, received special attention from the Internal Revenue Service even though its mission statement does not include the words "Tea Party" or "patriot."

Boehner is bluffing with Hastert Rule

House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) may actually be bluffing on his promise to only push an immigration reform bill through his chamber if it has the support of a majority of House Republicans, writes The Plum Line's Greg Sargent.

Inflation: Not something to worry about

Mother Jones' Kevin Drum argues that the slight increase in inflation from April to May should not concern policymakers. Instead, Drum thinks that Congress should focus more on decreasing unemployment.


White house continues to push for gun control

Vice President Biden called on Congress to pass legislation expanding background checks on gun purchases, The Hill's Justin Sink reports.

NSA chief: We can't lose these intel tools

According to The Hill's Carlo Muñoz, National Security Agency chief Gen. Keith Alexander said the NSA's intelligence program has intercepted at least 50 terrorist attacks against the US, including a plot to blow up the New York Stock Exchange.