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    Will Congress Remove Confederate Statues From the Capitol?

    By Matt Ford More than 150 years after Ulysses S. Grant’s forces captured the Confederate capital, some members of Congress are trying to eject Robert E. Lee and his allies ...

Will Congress Remove Confederate Statues From the Capitol?

By Matt Ford

More than 150 years after Ulysses S. Grant’s forces captured the Confederate capital, some members of Congress are trying to eject Robert E. Lee and his allies from Capitol Hill.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi on Thursday backed the growing calls to remove a group of Confederate statues from the Capitol building complex. “The Confederate statues in the halls of Congress have always been reprehensible,” she said in a statement. “If Republicans are serious about rejecting white supremacy, I call upon Speaker Ryan to join Democrats to remove the Confederate statues from the Capitol immediately.”

Eight Confederate leaders are honored in the National Statuary Hall Collection. Among them are depictions of Confederate President Jefferson Davis, Vice President Alexander Stephens, and Lee. (Some also count West Virginia’s John Kenna, who served in a Confederate Army unit when he was 16 years old, and Louisiana’s Edward White, whose wartime service record is incomplete, as Confederates.)

Congress created the collection in 1864. The original law authorizing it allowed each state to place two statues in the collection; an amendment passed in 2000 allows the states to replace them at their discretion. That doesn’t mean Congress has no control, however: Because the collection was created under federal law and rests on federal property, lawmakers could theoretically amend the original statute to forbid Confederate statues and order the removal of any already present.

New Jersey Senator Cory Booker announced Wednesday night he would draft a bill to excise them from the Capitol building. “This is just one step,” the Democrat wrote on Twitter. “We have much work to do.” (The text of the bill is not yet available, according to his congressional office.)

Booker’s efforts look poised to face an uphill battle in Congress: No Republican members have yet backed the statues’ removal, and House Speaker Paul Ryan …read more

Via:: The Atlantic



‘Before I Make a Statement, I Need the Facts’

By Krishnadev Calamur

President Trump said Tuesday he waited days to condemn the events in Charlottesville, Virginia, because he wanted to get all the facts. Trump has not explicitly described as terrorism the attack that took place there, which like today’s Barcelona attack involved a vehicle striking pedestrians.

In response to a question about whether it met the definition of terrorism, given the by-then widely reported extremist right-wing political ideology of the attacker, Trump said: “You can call it terrorism. You can call it murder. You can call it whatever you want.” He described the debate over the term, which according to most definitions involves politically motivated violence designed to inspire fear, as “legal semantics.” But now it’s Thursday, and just hours after reports emerged of a fatal attack in Barcelona, Trump took to Twitter to call it terror, and prescribed a solution to eliminate “radical Islamic terror” based on a historical falsehood.

By Sunday, a day after the attack in Charlottesville that killed one person amid a demonstration including far-right and neo-Nazi groups, reports had already emerged of the suspected attackers’ white-supremacist ideology and fascination with Nazis. It took Trump a day to condemn neo-Nazis in a statement on Monday, and another day to equivocate on the definition of “terrorism.” In Barcelona, the attacker used his van to strike pedestrians in a tourist zone on Thursday, and within hours Spanish authorities had a suspect in custody whom they identified as a Moroccan-born man. ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack online—but not until after the U.S. president had declared his certainty about the motivations of the culprit.

Trump is right about the virtues of waiting for information before declaring a seemingly violent event a terrorist attack—not least because some such events prove to be accidents or “ordinary” crimes, and invoking terrorists in …read more

Via:: The Atlantic


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The Atlantic Politics & Policy Daily: A Monumental Debate

By Elaine Godfrey Today in 5 Lines President Trump railed against the removal of Confederate monuments, tweeting that he is “sad to see the history and culture of our great country being ripped apart.” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi called on Speaker Paul Ryan to take down the Confederate statues in the U.S. Capitol Building, […]

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When Corporations Are Good Citizens

By Garrett Epps Of the many rebukes Donald Trump received for his performance after the Charlottesville massacre, the collapse of his business advisory councils of corporate leaders may sting the worst. It undermines his core claim of business expertise and skill at managing the economy, and his central boast that he is adept at creating […]

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Donald Trump Is a Lame-Duck President

By David A. Graham In many ways, the Trump presidency never got off the ground: The president’s legislative agenda is going nowhere, his relations with foreign leaders are frayed, and his approval rating with the American people never enjoyed the honeymoon period most newly elected presidents do. Pundits who are sympathetic, or even neutral, on […]

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How the President, the Police, and the Media Embolden the Far-Right

By Clare Foran When former FBI agent Michael German heard President Trump characterize the deadly violence that unfolded in Charlottesville, Virginia after white nationalists rallied in support of a Confederate statute as the fault of “both sides,” he saw it as part of a broader pattern. “I do think there’s blame on both sides,” the […]

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The Tax Break Dividing the Republican Party

By Russell Berman There are few more prized constituencies in American politics than small businesses, those emblems and underdogs of Main Street USA that are, as any seasoned officeholder will describe, “the backbone” of the nation’s economy. And for Republicans trying to sell the public on the job-creating potential of a once-in-a-generation tax overhaul, there […]

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The Legacy of Confederate Symbols

By Lena Felton The white-supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, last weekend was a defining moment in Donald Trump’s presidency. But the event, held in protest of the removal of a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee, was only a piece of the larger national debate over the legacy of the Civil War and the […]

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Steve Bannon Goes After Asia Officials

By Krishnadev Calamur At a time when Asia threatens to present the Trump administration with its first real foreign-policy crisis, the White House chief strategist Steve Bannon has said he plans to marginalize the Asia-related bureaus at the U.S. State and Defense Departments, which he views as insufficiently committed to a hard line on China. […]

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How to Win Friends and Stigmatize Nazis

By Conor Friedersdorf Over the weekend, members of the Ku Klux Klan, one of the deadliest terrorist organizations in United States history, gathered for a rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. They marched alongside Nazis, the self-proclaimed heirs of murderous racists who killed many millions, to express shared regard for Robert E. Lee, who led a traitorous […]