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A View From Charleston

TPM Reader CS gives us a view from Charleston and why he thinks the damn broke on the preservation of Confederate symbols. I'm particularly interested in the second catalyst he notes ...

As a Charleston resident, I’ve noticed that there seem to be two main catalysts driving the removal of the flag—at least here in South Carolina.

First and foremost, a member of the South Carolina Senate was murdered. Not just any member, but a very highly respected and very well liked member. I have been pleasantly surprised by the number of Republican Senators who have come forward to release very personal statements about Sen. Pinckney’s death, especially among the Lowcountry delegation. The statements made about him strike me as more than just the generic nice things one is supposed to say.

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"The White Man's Flag"

One of the many enjoyable things about writing historically-themed posts is finding out new things or re-finding out things I'd dimly known or learned at some point but had almost entirely forgotten. That happened today as I was writing about the history of the Confederate flag and the fact that what we know as the Confederate flag was actually never the national flag of the pretended Confederate States of America. What I didn't remember, though, was this issue of the "White Man's Flag" which was the official national flag of the CSA for most of its history. As I noted in this post, the second flag of the Confederacy was what we recognize as the 'confederate flag' in the top left corner on a field of pure white. And unless you think this is just ironic given what the Confederacy stood for ... nope not ironic.

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On The Trail of Chronic Disease Freedom

Back in February we brought you the news of one-time county sheriff Richard Mack of Arizona, head of the nonsense "constitutional sheriff" movement, a group of yahoos who got confused and believe that sovereign authority rests not with the state or the head of state or the individual or the people but with county sheriffs. Go figure. Not surprisingly, Mack is a big opponent of Obamacare. So it was a source of eye-popping and some ungenerous schadenfreude when, having not purchased insurance under the ACA for liberty, he and his wife both got seriously ill and were reduced to starting a GoFundMe page to raise money for their medical expenses.

That got us thinking about the ironies of Obamacare, the staunch opponents of Obamacare who are nevertheless in desperate need of it and more. So we sent a reporter to Arizona to find out more. He talked to Mack. But he also found more: the flip side of the coin, the many ways that the ACA has already seeped deep into the sinews of society and government and the economy. We also learn a lot of about politicians, law enforcement professionals and ordinary citizens who may be staunch conservatives and opposed to Obamacare on ideological grounds but have also come to accept that it is either essential for their work or simply and quite clearly helping their constituents.

Here's the piece. Check it out.

The Strange Demise of the Confederate Flag

I've been telling fellow TPMers in our editorial chats over the last few days that I was genuinely surprised that the Charleston church massacre has apparently proved the watershed that is leading to a wholesale abandonment of at least the Confederate flag (and perhaps other symbols of the Confederacy) from public spaces in the South. Certainly, this is not to discount the shocking scale of Dylann Roof's crime. But the Confederate flag - actually the Confederate battle flag or flag of the Army of Northern Virginia, you probably would not recognize the actual national flags of the Confederacy - is a damn persistent thing.

(For the actual national flags of the pretended Confederate States of America, see the list of flags at the bottom of this post.)

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Stay Tuned

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R) is expected to address the media at 4 p.m. ET, and there are some indications that she will back a move to finally remove the Confederate battle flag from the grounds of the state Capitol.

The Kind Of Day It's Been So Far

Fox's Bill Hemmer: “I mean as a white American, my entire life I know that this is an electric word. And you stay away from it. … This is something that we thought was entirely off-limits and now you have the President using it.”

Oren Unhinged

I'm starting to think Michael Oren may end up soon as an official Fox News contributor. This new piece in Foreign Policy is basically an edges sanded down version of something you might read on NRO or Newsmax.

This is the guy who said it is critical for Israel to mend ties with the White House.

Presidentials Return Money from White Supremacist Leader Who Inspired Dylann Roof

Over the weekend, what appears to be a manifesto writen by alleged Charleston massacre perpetrator Dylann Roof emerged. And in addition to a fairly typical list of white supremacist ideas and storylines, several key things jumped out at me. First was that Roof said that he had been radicalized by the Trayvon Martin shooting. And first shaken into "racial awareness" by media reactions to the Martin/Zimmerman saga, he then found a group called the Council of Conservative Citizens (CCC) online, which revealed to him a purported epidemic of black on white violent crime which, at least in his own accounting, led him on the path which ended at the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston last Wednesday.

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