POLITICS

HUFFPOST HILL - National Dialogue About Race Remains Dignified For Record 20 Minutes

06/18/2015 04:36 pm ET | Updated Jun 18, 2015

The shocking hate crime against a Charleston church stunned the nation, which was convinced that we were living in an age of post-racial mass slaughter. Alexander Hamilton will be retired from the $10 bill and replaced by an unnamed woman; whether the market will devalue the new female $10 to $7.80 remains to be seen. And the Pope put a passive aggressive Post-it note on the world's refrigerator, tweeting, "The earth, our home, is beginning to look more and more like an immense pile of filth." The Holy Father then said he was sick and tired of always doing the dishes and promptly retreated to his room to binge watch "Orange is the New Black." This is HUFFPOST HILL for Thursday, June 18th, 2015:

OBAMA: "Once again, innocent people were killed in part because someone who wanted to inflict harm had no trouble getting their hands on a gun… At some point, we as a country will have to reckon with the fact that this type of mass violence doesn’t happen in other countries."

NO, THE CHARLESTON SHOOTING WAS NOT AN ANTI-CHRISTIAN ATTACK - Sorry, sheeple, you'll have to go wake up somewhere else. Matt Willstein: "Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) just happened to be scheduled to appear on The View Thursday morning. But because of the deadly mass shooting at a black church in his home state last night, he did not get the chance to talk much about his presidential campaign...But despite the fact that the Justice Department has labeled the attack a 'hate crime,' Graham was not willing to go that far. 'There are real people who are organized out there to kill people in religion and based on race, this guy’s just whacked out,' he said. 'But it’s 2015. There are people out there looking for Christians to kill them.'" [Mediaite]

Dooce-bag: "Analysts on Fox News floated the theory on Thursday that the shooting massacre at a historically black church in Charleston, South Carolina, on Wednesday night was motivated by religious animosity toward Christians, rather than by racism. Host Steve Doocy suggested on 'Fox & Friends' that religion was the likely motivation. 'Extraordinarily, they called it a hate crime,' Doocy said in an interview with a pastor Thursday morning. 'And some look at it as, well, it's because it was a white guy, apparently, and a black church. But you made a great point just a moment ago about the hostility toward Christians, and it was in a church, so maybe that's what it was about.'" [HuffPost]

We spent the morning on Stormfront so you don't have to. White supremacists were surprisingly ambivalent about the shooting.

RICK SANTORUM IS KIND OF AN ASSHOLE - Brendan James: "Presidential candidate and former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) on Thursday called the attack by a white gunman on a historic black church in Charleston, S.C. part of a broader assault on 'religious liberty' in America. 'It’s obviously a crime of hate. Again, we don’t know the rationale, but what other rationale could there be?' Santorum said on the New York radio station AM 970." [TPM]

RAND PAUL'S QUESTIONABLE DIAGNOSIS - Dave Weigel: "Kentucky Senator Rand Paul told a crowd of social conservatives that a 'sickness' in the country was responsible for the mass shootings in South Carolina, adding that the problem 'isn't going to be fixed by your government.'" Not mentioned by Dr. Paul: racism. [Bloomberg]

TOUGH DAY FOR THE CONFEDERATE FLAG - Ryan Reilly: "Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, one of the more conservative members of the country's high court, sided with four liberal justices Thursday in ruling that Texas could reject a specialty license plate featuring an image of the Confederate flag. The Supreme Court ruled in a 5-4 decision on Thursday that specialty plates convey the state's endorsement of a particular message. 'Indeed, a person who displays a message on a Texas license plate likely intends to convey to the public that the State has endorsed that message. If not, the individual could simply display the message in question in larger letters on a bumper sticker right next to the plate,' wrote Justice Stephen Breyer in the majority opinion, which was shared by Justices Thomas, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan." [HuffPost]

Of course, the flag still flies high at South Carolina's state capitol building.

DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - Atlantic City is a sad place. Michelle Brunetti Post: "As the casino industry shrank in 2014, the number of families needing help to buy food and pay rent ballooned in Atlantic County. The number of county households on the NJ SNAP, or food stamp, program was up almost 12 percent this January over last, according to the New Jersey Divison of Family Development. 'We’ve had a lot of customers who are part-time workers and still eligible for food stamps,' said Forrest Gilmore, director of the county Department of Family and Economic Assistance." [PressofAtlanticCity.com]

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OUR SUGGESTIONS FOR THE $10 BILL

Lois Lerner

Hillary Clinton (via Jen Bendery)

Mo from "GUTS"

Honorary dude mention: Aaron Burr

JOHN ELLIS BUSH WOULD PREFER TO BE CALLED JUST JEB - Samantha-Jo Roth: "Facing challenging political terrain in Iowa, GOP presidential contender Jeb Bush shed light on one of his campaign's biggest hurdles during a town hall on Wednesday. Responding to a question asking if the former Florida governor was campaigning with only his first name in an effort to separate himself from his family, Bush compared his new logo with others from the past. 'In 1998, guess what my campaign logo looked like -- Jeb exclamation point,' Bush said. 'It worked that time. Guess what happened when I ran in 2002? Yep, Jeb exclamation point.'" [HuffPost]

HOUSE ADVANCES FAST-TRACK BILL... AGAIN - Thanks to modern technology, you can use a tracking number to learn that an Amazon distribution center worker is ferrying the box with your job in it from a truck. Mike McAuliff and Laura Barron-Lopez: "The GOP-led House of Representatives started over on trade Thursday, passing a fresh bill to give President Barack Obama sweeping powers to negotiate massive international agreements. The measure would grant Obama and the next president what's known as Trade Promotion Authority, allowing the White House to fast-track through Congress a string of enormous trade pacts, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership and the Trade in Services Agreement -- covering well over half the global economy. The House voted 218 to 208 for the bill, with 28 Democrats in favor and 50 Republicans opposed...The new strategy came after days of phone calls, meetings and intense planning with the White House, the Senate GOP and House Republicans. They decided to put a clean fast-track bill on the floor -- free of any ties to the worker aid program." [HuffPost]

Au revoir, jerbs: "House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) provided a grim outlook on Thursday about the future of legislation funding a worker aid program that will be key for pushing President Barack Obama’s trade agenda over the finish line. The program, known as Trade Adjustment Assistance, helps workers who have lost their jobs to trade deals. Last week, House Democrats killed TAA, a program they generally support, in order to stall Obama's broader trade plans, which they oppose. 'I don’t see a path right now for TAA,' Pelosi told reporters when asked whether she thought it would make it through Congress and to the president’s desk." [HuffPost's Barron-Lopez]

BRIAN WILLIAMS SENT DOWN TO MSNBC, LESTER HOLT GETS ANCHOR CHAIR - Williams' predicament is like that early scene in "Animal House" at the Omega Theta Pi house when Larry is seated on the loser couch beside the blind guy, the foreign guy and Chris Matthews. Michael Calderone: " Brian Williams will not return as anchor of the 'NBC Nightly News,' but will take on a new role at MSNBC as anchor of breaking news and special reports, the network announced Thursday. Lester Holt, the network veteran who stepped behind the anchor desk on an interim basis, will officially take over. A highly regarded figure inside 30 Rock, Holt has kept the ratings race competitive against ABC's 'World News Tonight.' Holt said the promotion is 'an enormous honor' and praised the 'NBC Nightly News' team for producing 'world-class journalism' the past several months under the media spotlight. 'I’m very proud and grateful to be part of such an unflappable and dedicated team of professionals as we move forward together.'" [HuffPost]

CAN MUSICIANS STOP POLITICIANS FROM USING THEIR SONG? - Of course, the granddaddy of musician-politician discord was the famous row between Rick Santorum and Khia over his use of "My Neck, My Back." Hunter Schwarz: "Neil Young's song 'Rockin' In The Free World' was played Tuesday at Donald Trump's campaign announcement, and as has become standard operating procedure, Young's manager released a statement saying Trump wasn't authorized to use the song and that Young doesn't support Trump's candidacy...According to the ASCAP guidelines on using music in political campaigns, if campaigns obtain a public performance license from them or other performing rights organizations like BMI, they're in compliance with copyright law…Per the ASCAP, musicians could seek recourse through their right to publicity (which public figures have for their image in some states), false endorsement (an argument that their work is being used to incorrectly imply support for something) or the Lanham Act (dealing with unauthorized use of a trademark leading to confusion). So there are legal grounds for them to fight the song's use." [WaPo]

BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Here's a baby rhino.

TAKAUCUS TAKES TA-FLIGHT - Nicole Puglise: "Takano and Takai, who know Takei, are teaming up on the Takaucus, a project titled by Tonko. 'I hope you’re not getting confused,' Rep. Mark Takai, D-Hawaii, said with a laugh. Takai and Rep. Mark Takano, D-Calif., share both Japanese-American heritage and similar names. The two Democrats are often mistaken for each other and have fun with the confusion. So, in an effort to raise money and hold an event with their friend, actor George Takei of 'Star Trek' fame, they recently formed a joint fundraising committee and dubbed it the 'Takaucus.' When the actor offered to help the congressmen raise money for their respective campaigns, they decided the new committee, which allows them to raise funds collectively and to split the proceeds, was the 'cleanest, most transparent way to pull it off,' Takano said." [Roll Call]

COMFORT FOOD

- Excellent spoof of YouTube unboxing videos.

TWITTERAMA

@Kagrox: I was just cleaning my mental illness & it suddenly went off.

ProfJeffJarvis: [VC writes a @Medium post that relates tech to the #Charleston tragedy]

@jesseberney: "We can't know why this shooting happened."

"I don't know if global warming is real, I'm not a scientist!"

"Hey let's try a flat tax!"

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