How and why the Mississippi flag got removed

Every state in the US has its own flag. The flag of Mississippi, adopted in 1894, was the only one that incorporated the confederate battle flag within it, in the top left. This has been a source of contention with many attempts to remove it, all meeting with failure. Mississippi is a deeply conservative Republican state. That party currently has supermajorities in both its house of representatives and the senate plus the governor is a Republican, all of whom strongly opposed any attempt to remove the confederate symbol. The people of Mississippi voted in a referendum 2001 to keep the flag as it was and the current governor Tate Reeves said that the only way to change it would be through another referendum. So proud were they of their confederate association that in just April of this year, the governor Tate Reeves proclaimed it as Confederate Heritage Month.
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Samantha Bee talks to Masha Gessen

Gessen, who came to the US from Russia and thus knows something about what an autocracy looks like, has long been very pessimistic about what is happening in the US. But they sees recent events such as the widespread protests as offering some signs of hope because many needed changes that would take ages in a time of stability have now become fast-tracked. Like me in my recent post, Gessen thinks that it is not enough that Trump loses in November but that he must lose bigly.

AOC does not let Yoho off the hook

Ted Yoho is a Republican member in the US House of Representatives and was known as a nasty piece of work even before the most recent incident where he used a slur against Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

According to a reporter from The Hill, who overheard the initial remarks, Yoho came up to Ocasio-Cortez outside the House steps on Monday and sparked a conversation about her position on unemployment and crime in New York City. Yoho said she was “disgusting” and told her she is out of her mind, according to The Hill. Ocasio-Cortez said he was being rude, and Yoho said “f**king bitch” as he walked away.

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More on the government kidnapping squads

In his blatant attempt to ramp up the ‘law and order’ issue for the election, Trump has sent in federal security forces to trigger confrontations with protestors. These forces, who wear camouflage outfits that make it almost impossible to identify which government agency the belong to or who they are, have been driving around in unmarked vehicles, picking up people on the street and taking them to undisclosed locations and refusing, when asked, to say which agency they are from. This has started in Portland, OR and Trump said that he wants to send in forces to other cities like Chicago and Albuquerque, claiming that the Democratic mayors of those cities are not doing enough to stop violence and crime.
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The mysterious life of eels

I almost never thought about eels, dismissing them as somewhat boring snake look-alikes that live in the water. So I was intrigued by this article that says that these creatures are very mysterious and it took researchers a long time to figure out the basic facts about them that had stumped scientists from the time of Aristotle through to Sigmund Freud, the main mystery being that however many eels European researchers dissected, until very recently, they simply could not find their reproductive organs. And the reason was bizarre.
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Exposing what is behind the ‘cancel culture’ meme

When I first read that a group of 153 well-known writers, politicians, artists, and intellectuals had signed a letter protesting ‘cancel culture’, my skepticism quickly got activated. It is fine when famous people write letters protesting injustices perpetrated against the powerless but when they protest actions taken against members of their own group, it warrants careful examination. My apprehension was increased when I found that Thomas Chatterton Williams was one of the organizers of this letter and that people like Malcolm Gladwell, David Frum, and J. K. Rowling were among the signatories. Williams is a columnist for Harper’ Magazine which published the letter, and I have found his opinions to be somewhat right-wing and establishment-friendly.
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Progressive wins in Republican areas

It is not enough for Trump to lose in November. He has to lose by a large margin and drag the Republican party down with him, resulting in them losing their Senate majority and becoming an even smaller minority in the House of Representatives, in addition to losing a lot of down ballot races for governors, state houses, and local elections. I would dearly love to see Mitch McConnell, a truly odious and unprincipled politician, lose his Kentucky senate race but he is a very dirty and skillful political fighter and that is unlikely to happen even though his challenger Amy McGrath is putting up a good fight and may be able to pull off an upset.
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Increasing signs that Trump is desperate

That Trump is clearly bothered by his low poll numbers can be seen in the way that he is now desperately trying to do whatever he thinks will bring the numbers back up. His attacks on Joe Biden don’t seem to have any effect and Biden’s lead seems to be steadily increasing. His rallies have flopped and none are being scheduled. Anthony Fauci is more popular than him. The problem with Trump is that all he cares about are the ratings for his events (either in terms of the size of his live audiences or the TV ratings) and his standing in the polls. That may be a mistake since those are capricious and it is hard to know what will change them. So he flails away, trying to find the formula that keeps eluding him, and this makes him look increasingly desperate.
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