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July 3, 2015 at 12:01:03
Mike Huckabee has sure had a lot of opinions over the years

David Fahrenthold has compiled a list of all the things Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee has denounced over the years. Let's take a look, shall we? 1.) Dancing, in general. "Christian teens stay away." (1973) 2.) Twerking, by Miley Cyrus. "Shameless and tasteless display of ... quite ordinary private parts." (2015) 9.) Pop music, in general. "A knuckle-dragging sub-pidgin of grunts and snarls." (1998)

 

July 3, 2015 at 11:00:05
Activists give schools named after prominent Confederates a look-see

This map shows a few of the nearly 200 schools named for prominent leaders of the Confederacy. An interactive version is available here. More public schools are named after Confederates than after the former slaves and abolition activists Frederick Douglass and Harriet Tubman. In fact, more public schools are named for Rebel Gen. Robert E. Lee than for Douglass: 78 in all, according to a count by the website Vocativ. And they aren't all in the South. One of them is in San Diego. Another is in East Wenatchee, Washington. All in all, Vocativ found 188 public and charter K-12 schools across the country named for prominent Confederates or for places named after prominent Confederates. Students in Hanover County, Virginia, for instance, can graduate from Stonewall Jackson Middle School and enroll at Lee-Davis High School, named for General Lee and the Confederacy's first and only president, Jefferson Davis. Matthew Watkins, Mallory Busch and Annie Daniel report:

 

July 3, 2015 at 10:00:06
Americans believe false things about the Civil War because even our textbooks bow to the apologists

An invented 'heritage' At the Washington Post , Prof. James Loewen writes that the reason so many people believe false things about the Civil War and the Confederacy is because many of our textbooks teach those wrong things to this day. Teaching or implying that the Confederate states seceded for states' rights is not accurate history. It is white, Confederate-apologist history. It bends -- even breaks -- the facts of what happened. Like other U.S. history textbooks, "Journey" needs to be de-Confederatized. So does the history test we give to immigrants who want to become U.S. citizens. Item 74 asks, "Name one problem that led to the Civil War." It then gives three acceptable answers: "slavery, economic reasons, and states' rights." If by "economic reasons" it means issues about tariffs and taxes, which most people infer, then two of its three "correct answers" are wrong! No other question on this 100-item test has more than one "right" answer. The reason is not because the history is unclear, but because neo-Confederates still wielded considerable influence in our culture and our Congress until quite recently, when a mass of politicians rushed to declare the Confederate flag unsuitable for display on government grounds. Loewen also reiterates a point that cannot be made often enough: Modern notions that the Civil War was fought over ephemeral notions of "states' rights" or other high-minded considerations, as opposed to an unapologetic battle for the right to keep human slaves, is a product of segregationist forces in the civil rights era. It's hardly a coincidence that so many memorials of the war date conspicuously to the days of George Wallace, rather than Jefferson Davis. For example, South Carolina's monument at Gettysburg, dedicated in 1965, claims to explain why the state seceded: "Abiding faith in the sacredness of states rights provided their creed here." This tells us nothing about 1863, when abiding opposition to states' rights as claimed by free states provided South Carolinians' creed. In 1965, however, its leaders did support states' rights. Indeed, they were desperately trying to keep the federal government from enforcing school desegregation and civil rights. The one constant was that the leaders of South Carolina in 1860 and 1965 were acting on behalf of white supremacy. It's a good read, and a reminder that we shouldn't be surprised that a good chunk of the public doesn't think the Civil War was fought over slavery when a half-century effort has sought to whitewash that history and give it a more noble-sounding sheen. But yes, maybe that ought to be the next thing we take a good, long look at.

 

July 3, 2015 at 08:50:07
Cartoon: Scalia's poetry slam

It seems only fitting to use Antonin Scalia's own words for a poetry slam, since the justice's snarky dissents are filled with so many poetic gems. The Affordable Care Act victory was followed quickly by the same-sex marriage win, and Scalia's dissents have become increasingly irate and colorful. Turns out, trying to bring health insurance to millions of people in the United States is not illegal and neither is letting two people who love each other get married. Go figure. Once the fulminating conservatives cool off, hopefully health insurance and marriage will become boring again and we'll look back on this and laugh.  

 

July 3, 2015 at 08:00:07
Just how strong are the GOP's gerrymanders? Daily Kos Elections' median district scores explain

Partisan advantage by congressional delegation Republished from March. In 2010, as Daily Kos readers are well aware, Republican swept to victory in Congress, taking back the House and making big gains in the Senate. At the same time, they also captured many governorships and legislatures, giving them control of the decennial redistricting process. With the map-maker's pencil firmly in hand, these new GOP majorities were able to draw district lines that favored them both at the congressional and legislative levels.

 

July 2, 2015 at 22:00:07
Open thread for night owls: Naomi Klein speaks on Pope's eco-encyclical

Below is an excerpt from Naomi Klein's remarks delivered at a press conference introducing "People and Planet First: the Imperative to Change Course," a high-level meeting being held at the Vatican this week to explore Laudato Si', Pope Francis' encyclical letter on ecology: I have spent the past two weeks reading hundreds of reactions to the encyclical. And though the response has been overwhelmingly positive, I have noticed a common theme among the critiques. Pope Francis may be right on the science, we hear, and even on the morality, but he should leave the economics and policy to the experts. They are the ones who know about carbon trading and water privatization, we are told, and how effectively markets can solve any problem. I forcefully disagree. The truth is that we have arrived at this dangerous place partly because many of those economic experts have failed us badly, wielding their powerful technocratic skills without wisdom. They produced models that placed scandalously little value on human life, particularly on the lives of the poor, and placed outsized value on protecting corporate profits and economic growth. That warped value system is how we ended up with ineffective carbon markets instead of strong carbon taxes and high fossil fuel royalties. It's how we ended up with a temperature target of 2 degrees which would allow entire nations to disappear--simply because their GDPs were deemed insufficiently large.

 

July 2, 2015 at 20:10:07
Pew: Party and ideology matter a lot on climate and energy but not as much on other science issues

A study and statistical modeling of a previous survey by the Pew Research Center concludes that Americans are much more likely now than a few decades ago to line up on scientific issues according to their ideological leanings and party identification. But this alignment is not uniform and how tightly partisanship links to opinions on scientific issues depends a great deal on what those issues are: "In this politically polarized culture, there is a strong temptation to think that people's partisan connections and their ideology dominate their thinking about every civic issue," said Cary Funk, associate director for science research and lead author of the new Pew Research analysis. "What's striking about these findings is that politics sometimes is at the center of the story about public attitudes and sometimes politics has very little to do with the way people think about science issues in the public arena. We find there are striking differences that center on age, educational attainment, gender, and race and ethnicity." Okay. That's not exactly surprising. But the details are nonetheless interesting. Everyone who follows such matters is familiar with the way this works in one key area: climate change. Of Democrats and independents who lean Democratic, 71 percent say the Earth is warming due to human activity, compared with 27 percent of Republicans (a difference of 44 percentage points). These differences hold, according to Pew's statistical modeling, even when accounting for other characteristics of Democrats and Republicans, such as their different age and racial profiles.

 

July 2, 2015 at 20:10:07
Pew: Party and ideology matter a lot on climate and energy but not as much on other science issues

A study and statistical modeling of a previous survey by the Pew Research Center concludes that Americans are much more likely now than a few decades ago to line up on scientific issues according to their ideological leanings and party identification. But this alignment is not uniform and how tightly partisanship links to opinions on scientific issues depends a great deal on what those issues are: "In this politically polarized culture, there is a strong temptation to think that people's partisan connections and their ideology dominate their thinking about every civic issue," said Cary Funk, associate director for science research and lead author of the new Pew Research analysis. "What's striking about these findings is that politics sometimes is at the center of the story about public attitudes and sometimes politics has very little to do with the way people think about science issues in the public arena. We find there are striking differences that center on age, educational attainment, gender, and race and ethnicity." Okay. That's not exactly surprising. But the details are nonetheless interesting. Everyone who follows such matters is familiar with the way this works in one key area: climate change. Of Democrats and independents who lean Democratic, 71 percent say the Earth is warming due to human activity, compared with 27 percent of Republicans (a difference of 44 percentage points). These differences hold, according to Pew's statistical modeling, even when accounting for other characteristics of Democrats and Republicans, such as their different age and racial profiles.

 

July 2, 2015 at 17:30:04
'Love triumphed': Celebrating equality

In the wake of the Supreme Court extending marriage equality across the entire country, we've heard some of the worst Republican politicians--and Supreme Court justices--had to say about why they oppose equality. As we head into a long weekend that's supposed to be a celebration of American independence, let's look back at a few of the best things public figures had to say. Hillary Clinton: "This morning, love triumphed in the highest court in our land. Equality triumphed, and America triumphed." "Instead of trying to turn back the clock," Clinton continued, Republicans "should be joining us in saying no to discrimination once and for all."

 

July 2, 2015 at 16:51:03
Cartoon: Changing times in America

Click image to enlarge. Fighting mainstream social progress has never ultimately proven to be a good look, and it's bad for business to look a fool. Thus, one of the most reliable events following progress' acceptance is that business (or at least, smart business - I'm looking at you , Hobby Lobby.) will jump on board. It can be seen in companies' sudden recall of Confederate flag products, and in all the newly rainbow-infused logos across the internet this week.

 

July 2, 2015 at 15:50:05
Jeb!'s super coordination with his super-PAC may have broken campaign finance laws

Remember all that time that Jeb! was running for president even though he wasn't? Well, turns out he was coordinating heavily with Right to Rise, his super-PAC. Of course, campaign finance laws prohibit such coordination, but Jeb thumbed his nose at the law because he hadn't "announced"--never mind all those speeches and trips to Iowa and New Hampshire. On a recent phone call with donors, Mike Murphy, head of Right to Rise, made it painfully obvious just how close that coordination was. Russ Choma reports: During that call, Murphy made it clear that he had, until Bush's official announcement, been party to Bush's deliberations over how to run his future campaign. He told the donors that he "can't coordinate anymore" with the Bush campaign but was "well informed as of a week ago," according to Buzzfeed. Then Murphy delved into a discussion of the strategy that the campaign would follow and the complementary strategy the super-PAC would employ. Murphy indicated that Bush and Right to Rise officials had intensive conversations about how the super-PAC would support the official campaign following Bush's announcement. He noted the Right to Rise had already shot video footage of Bush to use in videos and political ads. "We're going to be the first super-PAC to really be able to do just positive advertising, to tell his story, which is the missing ingredient right now," Murphy told the donors. After Bush declared his candidacy, the super-PAC released its first digital ad on YouTube, featuring chirpy music and snappy animated text, lauding Bush's success and describing itself as an "independent, transparent organization"Our goal is to show you Jeb's heart."

 

July 2, 2015 at 15:49:58
Why is Fox News so invested in propping up Donald Trump?

Democrats aren't the only ones looking to make Trump the face of the Republican Party I'll admit I'm a bit flummoxed as to why Fox News has been defending Donald Trump so energetically. Conventional wisdom is that Donald Trump is a raving clown whose mere presence in the presidential race is an embarrassment to a party desperately trying to be seen as serious and responsible; Sean Hannity, the Fox & Friends crew, and other Fox network staples have been rather quick to rise to his defense--nay, to applaud him for his services. Monica Crowley:

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