Quick Takes

* If you want a good rundown on the story about the Sanders campaign’s accusations to the DNC about supposed illegal fundraising with Hillary Clinton, Steve Benen has it covered. After documenting all the facts, here is how he concludes:

So, the accusations themselves appear difficult to defend, but maybe there’s a political upside to this?

I’m not sure what that would be. It’s certainly possible that raising allegations, even baseless ones, might give Sanders yet another fundraising boost, though given the recent success of his fundraising juggernaut, that may not make much of a material difference.

Complicating matters, the Sanders campaign has made no secret of the fact that it hopes to persuade Democratic officials to elevate the Vermont senator, regardless of the results from the nominating contests. It’s a bold request, made more difficult when Sanders accuses the Democratic Party of hatching an illegal fundraising scheme that doesn’t appear to exist.

* A federal appeals court just made all those “bathroom laws” being passed in red states a bit more complicated.

A federal appeals court in Richmond has sided with a transgender high school student, saying that he can proceed with his lawsuit arguing that his school board’s decision to ban him from the boys’ bathroom is discriminatory.

In backing high school junior Gavin Grimm, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit deferred to the U.S. Education Department’s interpretation of policies that give transgender students access to the bathrooms that match their gender identities rather than their biological sex. The federal department has said that denying transgender students access to the school bathrooms of their choice is a violation of Title IX, which prohibits gender discrimination at schools that receive federal funding.

* Sahil Kapur talked to several Republican operatives to find out if Sanders claim about being more electable holds true.

“Republicans are being nice to Bernie Sanders because we like the thought of running against a socialist. But if he were to win the nomination the knives would come out for Bernie pretty quick,” said Ryan Williams, a former spokesman for 2012 GOP nominee Mitt Romney’s campaign. “There’s no mystery what the attack on him would be. Bernie Sanders is literally a card carrying socialist who honeymooned in the Soviet Union. There’d be hundreds of millions of dollars in Republican ads showing hammers and sickles and Soviet Union flags in front of Bernie Sanders.”

* Karlanna Lewis writes about efforts to criminalize hip hop.

In 1999 a psychologist conducted a study presenting a folk song about a murder, Kingston Trio’s “Bad Man’s Blunder,” as a rap song to one group and as a country song to another. The group believing the song was rap had a much more negative reaction. If ordinary people experience a different reaction to the same lyrics depending on whether they come from a white mouth or a brown mouth, we must rectify our own prejudices—not penalize the speakers subject to our irrational fears.

* Finally, Reuters won the Pulitzer Prize for photography based on their coverage of the migrant crisis. Check them all out at that link. Here is one example.

Nancy LeTourneau

Nancy LeTourneau is a contributing writer for the Washington Monthly.