fresh voices from the front lines of change







The Confederate battle flag at South Carolina’s capitol was finally lowered today, after flying for more than half a century. Many American’s cheered as the symbol of hatred and bigotry finally came down. Wingnuts, not so much.

Both South Carolina’s state Senate and House voted on a measure to finally remove the Confederate battle from capitol grounds, after lots of emotional debate. The prize for “Best Complete Meltdown” goes to Sen. Lee Bright, who’s also state co-chair of Sen. Ted Cruz’s presidential campaign, for a tour de force that veered into gay marriage, and gave new meaning to the term “hissy fit.”


The debate was not without its deeply stirring moments. Sen. Paul Thurmond, whose father Strom Thurmond famously ran for president as a segregationist “Dixiecrat,” looked past his own ancestry and called for the flag’s removal.


Rep. Jenny Horne, a descendant of Confederate president Jefferson Davis, gave a heartfelt appeal for the flag’s removal.


The flag’s supporters revealed their true faces in the comments on Gov. Halley’s Facebook page, after she posted an acknowledgement of the vote in the state’s House. Others expressed their displeasure by sending death threats to South Carolina legislators.

Others took their complaints to Twitter.

Meanwhile, in Washington, DC, House Republicans sought to turn back the clock on the Confederate flag. On Tuesday night, the House passed two Democratic amendments that would stop the display of Confederate flag on gravesite on federal land, and make permanent the National Park Service’s policy to pull Confederate flag merchandise from it’s stores after the Charleston Massacre. Rep. Ken Calvert (R, California) offered an amendment that would have changed all of that, reopening the debate hours after the South Carolina legislature voted to remove the flag.

Realizing how bad this would look, especially for a flag that even Lynyrd Skynyrd dumped as a symbol in 2012, House GOP leadership cancelled the vote. Speaker John Boehner said he wanted lawmakers to have more conversation on the issue, rather than making it into a “political football.” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi forced a vote, and said nobody should need much time to decide what to do with a symbol of hate.

“What is it that you have to study? Do we have to study hatred in its manifestation in the confederate flag?” she said in response to a question from a reporter. “This is simple.”


Trumped Again

Like Frankenstein vainly pursuing his own monster, Republicans are having a hard time stopping billionaire Donald Trump. The GOP embraced and enabled Trump, now he’s become an albatross around its neck — and a great gift to Democrats. Can the GOP stop Trump before 2016? Maybe not. This was the week Trump firmly took the wheel of the GOP’s “clown car” primary, and steered it into a ditch.


The funniest story of all is the one about RNC chair Reince Priebus calling Trump to tell him to “tone it down.” Trump denies this ever happened, because “He knows better than to lecture me.” What’s more laughable than Republicans trying to tell Trump to tone it down is the idea that anyone can control Donald Trump, including himself! Donald Trump is running for one reason only: to satisfy his ego, which has proven insatiable so far.

Here’s the best of the rest of the worst in wingnuttery this week:


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