Thursday Reads: The Confederate Flag, The GOP Clown Car, and Other News


Young Lady Reading, by Mary Cassatt

Young Lady Reading, by Mary Cassatt

Good Morning!!

The Confederate Flag Debate in South Carolina

The South Carolina House has voted to remove the Confederate flag from the state capital grounds, according to The Charlotte Observer. The bill will now go to Governor Nikki Haley. Once she has signed it, I hope the flag will be taken down immediately.

The Confederate flag will leave the South Carolina State House grounds after five decades this week after the House overwhelmingly approved a bill to remove the Civil War icon early Thursday morning.

The House voted 94-20 to banish the flag from the Capitol after more than 12 hours of debate over the historic measure.

The bill now heads to Gov. Nikki Haley for her signature. Haley started the call for removing the flag in the days after nine African-Americans were shot and killed in a historic Charleston church last month.

Nurse reading to a little girl, Mary Cassatt

Nurse reading to a little girl, Mary Cassatt

“It is a new day in South Carolina, a day we can all be proud of, a day that truly brings us all together as we continue to heal, as one people and one state,” Haley said in a Facebook post.

If Haley signs the bill Thursday, the flag could be taken down Friday.

A two-thirds majority vote in the House was needed for final passage, a requirement of the the 2000 law that took the flag off the State House dome and put it next to the Confederate Soldier Monument on the north side of the Capitol.

The House gave final approval to the final two readings of the bill within minutes of each other at 1 a.m. Thursday. The Senate approved removing the flag on Tuesday.

Republicans fought tooth and nail, but

The House did not change the Senate bill after spending much of Wednesday considering amendments from Republicans who insisted on finding another way to honor the Confederate dead if the controversial banner was removed from the State House grounds.

More than 25 amendments were voted down or rejected before they came for a vote.

Auguste reading to her daughter, Mary Cassatt

Auguste reading to her daughter, Mary Cassatt

In a sudden shift, Jim Webb, who is supposedly running for president as a Democrat, “says Confederate flag was ‘long due’ to come down in South Carolina.” From the Washington Post:

Democratic presidential contender Jim Webb, a former senator from Virginia, sought Thursday to clarify his views on the Confederate battle flag, saying it has “long been due to come down” from the capitol grounds in South Carolina.

Webb’s position was more opaque in a Facebook posting last month in which he called for respecting “the complicated history of the Civil War” at a time when emotions were running high following the shootings at an historic African American church in Charleston, S.C.

During an appearance Thursday on “CBS This Morning” — billed as Webb’s first interview since declaring as a long-shot presidential candidate last week — he spoke approvingly of the South Carolina legislature’s overnight vote to take the flag down.

“It assumed a lot of unfortunate racist and divisionist overtones during the civil rights era,” Webb said.

I don’t see how the flag could have been more racist or divisive in the 1960s that it was 100 years earlier when it represented the fight to preserve slavery and secession.

Speaking again of the “very complex history of the Civil War itself,” Webb cited a statistic that only 5 percent of whites in the South owned slaves and that four slave states remained in the union during the Civil War.

“If you were a young person being called to duty during that period, this was a very complicated decision to make, and we should remember that,” Webb said.

Whatever. These days, only 1% of the population wants to turn everyone else into serfs, and they have quite a bit of power to control the public dialogue.

The GOP Clown Car

Francoise in a round backed chair, reading, Mary Cassatt

Francoise in a round backed chair, reading, Mary Cassatt

The powers that be in the Republican Party are struggling to get fake presidential candidate Donald Trump under control, and they are doing a very poor job of it.

NBC News reports: GOP Chief Reince Priebus Calls Donald Trump to Tell Him to ‘Tone It Down.’

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus called presidential candidate Donald Trump and asked him to pull back his rhetoric on immigration, a source familiar with the conversation told NBC News on Wednesday.

The source, who asked not to be identified, said Priebus made the request to “tone it down” during an almost hour-long conversation covering a wide range of issues when he returned an earlier call from Trump.

Trump disputed that account on Twitter, saying that Priebus said during the call that he was “doing well.”

Hahahahahahahahaha!!! They’re going to need someone a lot more powerful than Priebus to get Trump to STFU.

According to The Washington Post: GOP leaders fear damage to party’s image as Donald Trump doubles down.

The head of the Republican National Committee, responding to demands from increasingly worried party leaders, spent nearly an hour Wednesday on the phone with Donald Trump, urging the presidential candidate to tone down his inflammatory comments about immigration that have infuriated a key election constituency.

The call from Chairman Reince Priebus, described by donors and consultants briefed on the conversation and confirmed by the RNC, underscores the extent to which Trump has gone from an embarrassment to a cause for serious alarm among top Republicans in Washington and nationwide.

But there is little they can do about the mogul and reality-television star, who draws sustenance from controversy and attention. And some fear that, with assistance from Democrats, Trump could become the face of the GOP.

Rather than backing down from his comments about illegal immigrants — whom he characterized as rapists and killers, among other things — Trump has amplified his remarks at every opportunity, including in a round of interviews Wednesday.

He insisted to NBC News that he has “nothing to apologize for” in his repeated remarks about Mexicans. But he also predicted that, if he secures the GOP nomination, “I’ll win the Latino vote.”

OMG! ROFLMAF! The Republican Party’s “image” is already shot to hell. I’m not sure even keeping Trump in the Clown Car can make it much worse.

Mrs. Duffee Reading on Striped Sofa, Mary Cassatt

Mrs. Duffee Reading on Striped Sofa, Mary Cassatt

Dana Millbank: Donald Trump is the monster the GOP created.

It has been amusing to watch the brands — the PGA, NBC, Macy’s, NASCAR, Univision, Serta — flee Donald Trump after his xenophobic remarks. Who even knew The Donald had a line of mattresses featuring Cool Action Dual Effects Gel Memory Foam?

But there is one entity that can’t dump Trump, no matter how hard it tries: the GOP. The Republican Party can’t dump Trump because Trump is the Republican Party.

One big Republican donor this week floated to the Associated Press the idea of having candidates boycott debates if the tycoon is onstage. Jeb Bush, Lindsey Graham and other candidates have lined up to say, as Rick Perry put it, that “Donald Trump does not represent the Republican Party.”

But actually, he does represent the party’s views. He’s just more up front about them than the rest of the mealy mouthed GOP candidates.

But Trump has merely held up a mirror to the GOP. The man, long experience has shown, believes in nothing other than himself. He has, conveniently, selected the precise basket of issues that Republicans want to hear about — or at least a significant proportion of Republican primary voters. He may be saying things more colorfully than others when he talks about Mexico sending rapists across the border, but his views show that, far from being an outlier, he is hitting all the erogenous zones of the GOP electorate.

Anti-immigrant? Against Common Core education standards? For repealing Obamacare? Against same-sex marriage? Antiabortion? Anti-tax? Anti-China? Virulent in questioning President Obama’s legitimacy? Check, check, check, check, check, check, check and check.

Mary Cassatt, The Reader

Mary Cassatt, The Reader

More good stuff at the link. BTW, Trump is topping all other GOP candidates in the South Carolina PPP poll. What does that tell you?

PPP’s newest North Carolina poll finds that Donald Trump’s momentum just keeps on building. He’s the top choice of Republican primary voters in the state, getting 16% to 12% for Jeb Bush and Scott Walker, 11% for Mike Huckabee, 9% for Ben Carson and Marco Rubio, 7% for Rand Paul, 6% for Ted Cruz, 5% for Chris Christie, 4% for Carly Fiorina, 2% for Rick Perry, 1% each for Lindsey Graham, Bobby Jindal, and Rick Santorum, and less than 1% each for John Kasich and George Pataki.

Trump’s favorability rating in North Carolina is 55/32, much higher than we were finding in national polls prior to his entry into the race. Trump’s really caught fire with voters on the far right- 66% of ‘very conservative’ voters see him favorably to only 24% with a negative view of him. Trump is polling particularly well with younger voters (29%) and men (20%).

Another racist homophobe has the highest favorability rating in SC–Mike Huckabee at 65/19.

Another popular Clown Car passenger, Jeb Bush, has put his foot in his mouth once again. In an interview with New Hampshire’s ultra-conservative Manchester Union Leader, Bush recommended that “people should work longer hours.”

Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush said Wednesday that in order to grow the economy “people should work longer hours” — a comment that the Bush campaign argues was a reference to underemployed part-time workers but which Democrats are already using to attack him….

He was answering a question about his plans for tax reform and responded:

“My aspiration for the country and I believe we can achieve it, is 4 percent growth as far as the eye can see. Which means we have to be a lot more productive, workforce participation has to rise from its all-time modern lows. It means that people need to work longer hours” and, through their productivity, gain more income for their families. That’s the only way we’re going to get out of this rut that we’re in.”

Already the Democratic National Committee has pounced, releasing a statement that calls his remarks “easily one of the most out-of-touch comments we’ve heard so far this cycle,” adding that Bush would not fight for the middle class as president.

Read about Bush’s “clarification” at the Washington Post.

Mrs. Cassatt reading to her grandchildren, Mary Cassatt

Mrs. Cassatt reading to her grandchildren, Mary Cassatt

More News (links only)

Newsweek: Real Vampires Exist, and They Need Counseling Too.

Reuters, via Raw Story: Same-sex couples to get federal marriage benefits: attorney general.

Raw Story: All GOP presidential hopefuls decline speaking invite to America’s largest annual gathering of Latino.

Talking Points Memo: Matthews Blasts Cruz: SCOTUS ‘Seized’ 2000 Election, ‘You Did Not Complain’ (VIDEO).

Gawker: Garbage Joke News Website Fools Presidential Hopeful Martin O’Malley

Buzzfeed: White Supremacy, LMFAO, LOL. Inside the lightning-fast, wildly absurd, occasionally terrifying world of app-based teenage white supremacy.

Washington Post: Thomas Piketty accuses Germany of forgetting history as it lectures Greece.

Tech Times: Exxon Documents Hint That Oil Companies Have Known About Climate Change Since 1981.

56 Comments on “Thursday Reads: The Confederate Flag, The GOP Clown Car, and Other News”

  1. Delphyne49 says:

    I just saw this on FB and thought I’d share the link here – how Donald Trump sees the world.

    He is a moron and is just one of the faces of the GOP hydra monster.

  2. janicen says:

    Citizens United gave us Donald Trump the viable candidate. The party doesn’t have the power anymore because the party doesn’t control the bulk of the money. The money can come from anywhere and when it’s funneled through pacs the sources don’t have to be disclosed and all of those pesky campaign finance regulations can be sidestepped. We have the Koch’s tossing in their billions to buy themselves a POTUS while lunatics like Trump can march around as the party’s front runner. It would be hilarious if it weren’t so terrifying. How are they going to get this genie back into the bottle?

  3. Chris Fitzhugh says:

    I remember in 1966 when Reagan was running for governor in California when he seemed so out of touch and lame. I thought he didn’t have a prayer.To my surprise, he won. I agree janicen that Trump is scary as well as laughable. Never underestimate the stupidity of the American people. For an entertaining yet chilling description on American critical thinking (or lack of it), check out George Carlin’s “Waking Up From the American Dream” on YouTube.

    • janicen says:

      Agreed. I never thought Reagan would be elected either but I take solace in the fact that corporations are running from Trump. Let’s hope we don’t see a repeat of the Reagan legacy.

      • Sweet Sue says:

        When I first saw George W. Bush “speak,” I turned to my husband and said “well, we (Democrats) don’t have anything to worry about.”

    • bostonboomer says:

      Hi Chris,

      I thought Reagan was a joke back then and when he ran for prez. Actually, I was right. He was a very bad joke played on this country by the super-rich.

    • roofingbird says:

      Reagan was terrifying. I (feared) knew he would be elected when I saw the ad with the little girl on the beach, an atom bomb going off and his damned face.

      • Fannie says:

        Oh, yeah, I remember him in as Governor in Ca……..swore I was going to move to Canada.

  4. RalphB says:

    Great piece about an under publicized Hillary event in Iowa.

    Susie Madrak: How Hillary Clinton Plans To Build A Democratic Bench

    You may not be aware of this, but Obama is famous within the political community for what has at times seemed like utter indifference and even outright hostility to building the party (for instance, refusing to campaign for local races or share his voter lists with Democratic campaigns), and it’s one of the more infuriating parts of his legacy. Now, this is the kind of stuff a wonk like me really likes to hear! …

    • Fannie says:

      Classic Hillary, looking to the future, and describing how we should and can take charge by voting and becoming a part of the system to move into positions of power.

      We know that there are people (in both parties) that no matter how much she has done, what her years as a public servant has been, they will refuse to vote for her because she is a woman, and they will not vote for this woman. The democrats are out saying it’s Elizabeth Warren, Elizabeth Warren, and she’s not going to commit herself to running, and so it’s not Hillary, it’s Bernie. Again, it’s male white privilege, and hound Hillary like the republicans and the media has done. And I’ll never forget how John Edwards was stealing the show, and bashing her, and had his wife, Elizabeth, doing the same, in the face of 2 America’s, and look at the scum he was, while his wife laid dying. That’s what I see when I read his name.

      I’m just glad that she comes out swinging, and with a plan for success. Because she’s right about midterm elections.

    • Beata says:

      Great link, Ralph. Thanks! I shared it with a couple other Hillary blogs. It’s what we’ve all been thinking and talking about since 2008: the Democratic Party needs to be rebuilt. Hillary’s the person who can do that.

  5. Sweet Sue says:

    I’m betting that after Webb’s first national interview, CBS didn’t cut to a passel of stale Talking Heads to dissect his every word and facial tic.

    • Beata says:

      Sue, he was defiant and untrustworthy! And his eyes! Did you see how they glowed and rolled back in his head? A classic case of demon possession!

  6. Sweet Sue says:

    BB, is your rash cleared up?

    • bostonboomer says:

      No, but it is getting better. Unfortunately, it still itches like crazy, but my face looks better. The rash is also still spreading. I’m just hanging in there and hoping for the best. Thanks for asking, Sweet Sue!

  7. ANonOMouse says:

    FYI…..The gay marriage fight is still blazing in parts of the South and KS. My county clerks office locked the door on the day of the SCOTUS decision. They opened the following Monday after threat of a lawsuit. My partner and I decided to go to a more liberal county to get our Marriage License. Yesterday we got our license and today we got our rings. There is a waiting list in the more liberal nearby cities and we decided we don’t want to wait until the end of July or the beginning of August, so we’ll be traveling to a resort town in the mountains of N.E. TN to get married next week. The wedding chapels in the resort mountain villages are literally advertising “Welcome Marriage Equality” on the internet. We called and made reservations and we’re packing our bags.

    At this point no one in my county of residence will marry gay couples. If some bright young business person down here had an ounce of sense, he/she would become sanctioned to perform marriage and open an Everyone welcome Wedding Chapel. Since the Clerk here and in most of the surrounding counties went out of the wedding officiating business the day of the SCOTUS decision, some ambitious person could make a pot load of money, not only off of gay people, but off of straight people too who would have used the County Clerk or a County Judge if they hadn’t gone out of the wedding business. There’s big money to be made in these gay hating counties, I just wish I had the resources to do it myself.

    • RalphB says:

      Great news for you Mouse! Best wishes for the happy couple.

    • Beata says:

      Congratulations, Mouse and partner! I’m very happy for you both. xoxo

      Good points about embracing gay marriage being good for business. Glad to hear the TN mountain resort areas see the wisdom in that.

    • bostonboomer says:

      I’m so happy for you, Mouse!

    • janicen says:

      Awww! It sounds romantic. Congratulations and best wishes to you both! I’m very happy for you.

    • ANonOMouse says:

      Thank you Beata, Ralph & BB. We’re both very happy and excited about being able to validate our love and commitment to each other. When we went to get our marriage license we brought pictures of us on our anniversary day over the past 31 years. The lady who issued us a marriage license was so sweet and helpful and everyone got a big kick out of looking at our pictures from 1984 through 2015, especially our big hair from the 80’s. We’ve both aged so much, but I have more so than my partner because she is 6 years younger than I. There were several gay couples in line behind us. They were all probably at least 30-40 years younger than us, but all of them wanted to know our story. The clerk told us that she had issued marriage licenses to several couples that have been together from 30-50 years, but the winner was a couple (two ladies) that have been together for 65 years. My partner and I know them well and I’ve mentioned them several times over the years when gay marriage came up here. When we went to get the rings we took the same pictures with us. We explained to everyone that having our pictures was like having our “younger selves” there to celebrate it with us. I didn’t know I could feel this kind of excitement anymore. Thanks to all of you and everyone who has helped us to live our dream.
      I’ll see y’all in a couple of weeks. PEACE & LOVE!!!

      • Delphyne49 says:

        Oh, Mouse – I loved reading this right before heading off to bed! I am so happy for you and your partner, big hair, younger selves and all from the ’80s! Beaming you both love and so much happiness now and always! xo

      • bostonboomer says:

        What a beautiful story! Have a wonderful time! You’ll have memories to treasure forever. Take care, both of you.

      • janicen says:

        Thank you for sharing your joy with us. It comes through in your writing as if we were there with you. The elation we all felt when the Supremes made their decision was wonderful but feeling the experience and seeing it through your eyes is something I will never forget and always treasure. You don’t need to thank us mouse, we thank you!

      • NW Luna says:

        So late catching up to wish you and your bride all the best! Your writing brought tears to my eyes. LOVE!

    • Fannie says:

      Congrats to you Mouse, hoping everything goes smooth for the both of you. My best wishes!

    • Sweet Sue says:

      Congratulations to you and your beloved.

  8. List of X says:

    I don’t think there’s anyone in GOP who is powerful enough to shut Trump up. At least not until they can get their hands on a Predator drone.

  9. RalphB says:

  10. Beata says:

    Indiana’s Superintendent of Public Instruction, Democrat Glenda Ritz, is running for Governor. She has a very good chance of winning the 2016 Democratic primary and challenging incumbent Mike Pence. In 2012, Ritz received more votes in her race for Superintendent than Pence did as Governor. Many Indiana Republicans as well as Democrats are supporting her candidacy.

    From Day One, since taking office, Ritz has battled with Pence over control of the state’s educational system. In particular. she has fought against Pence’s ever-increasing voucher program, which she rightly believes weakens Indiana’s public schools. In January 2015, under Pence’s direction, the GOP-controlled Indiana House and Senate voted to strip Ritz of her chair on the State Board of Education. This is an unprecedented power grab by the GOP. For over 100 years, the elected Superintendent has also held the chair on the State Board of Education.

    Republican Indiana Senate President Pro Tem, David Long, justified the removal of Ritz as chair of the State Board of Education by saying, “In all fairness, Superintendent Ritz was a librarian, okay?” Long also questioned Ritz’s qualification to be Superintendent of Public Instruction ( an office to which she was elected by the people of Indiana ) on the same grounds – she’s a librarian! Ritz has master’s degrees in both education and library science. She has been a school library media specialist ( a position which requires full teacher certification ) for more than 30 years.

    From February, 2015:

  11. Beata says:

    I’m up early this morning because I have a brain MRI scheduled today. I’ll be getting sedation through an IV so I hope it won’t be as traumatic as usual. Wish me luck!

    Thank you, Luna, for recommending IV sedation!