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5:45 PM ET, June 23, 2015

memeorandum

 Top Items: 
Andrew Kaczynski / BuzzFeed:
Rand Paul: Confederate Flag “Inescapably A Symbol Of Human Bondage And Slavery”  —  “... I think to every African-American in the country it's a symbolism of slavery to them and now it's a symbol of murder for this young man and so I think it's times to put it in a museum.”  —  Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images
RELATED:
Fred Lucas / TheBlaze.com:
Hillary Clinton Not Talking About '92 Clinton-Gore Confederate Campaign Button  —  It's unclear if the Clinton-Gore Confederate flag campaign button that has been prominent on social media was an official part of their 1992 presidential campaign.  —  And Hillary Clinton isn't clarifying …
Politico:
Inside the Republican reversal on the Confederate flag  —  South Carolina Gov. Haley began informing people Friday of her decision, while Sen. Graham worked the phones with business leaders.  —  John McCain has expressed regret in hindsight over his own statements during his 2000 campaign that the Confederate flag was a state issue.
Dave Boucher / Tennessean.com:
TN leaders: Remove Nathan Bedford Forrest bust from Capitol  —  The bust of a Confederate general and leading figure in the early days of the Ku Klux Klan should be removed from the Tennessee statehouse, top Tennessee Democrats and the state Republican Party chairman said Monday.
Business Insider:
Confederate flag sales are skyrocketing  —  UPDATE 2:38 ET: Amazon has taken down Confederate merchandise from its site.  —  Amazon's sales of Confederate flags have skyrocketed by more than 3,000% in the past 24 hours.  —  People are snatching up the flags online after several major retailers …
Glenn Smith / Post and Courier:
Survey finds divide, silence on Confederate flag issue in Legislature  —  The Post and Courier conducted a survey of House and Senate members to determine how much support exists for removing the Confederate flag from the Statehouse grounds.  Many have not yet responded.
Washington Post:
Virginia's McAuliffe plans to phase out Confederate flag license plate
Sen. Ted Cruz / BREITBART.COM:
Exclusive — Ted Cruz: Obamatrade Enmeshed in Corrupt, Backroom Dealings  —  The American people do not trust President Obama.  And they do not trust Republican leadership in Congress.  And the reason is simple: for far too long, politicians in Washington have not told the truth.
RELATED:
Alexander Bolton / The Hill:
Senate advances fast-track trade bill for Obama  —  The Senate on Tuesday voted to advance President Obama's trade agenda, approving a measure to end debate on fast-track authority.  —  The 60-37 motion sets up a vote on final passage on Wednesday.  If the Senate approves fast-track …
Manu Raju / Politico:
Cruz reverses support for TPA trade bill, blasts GOP leaders
Suffolk University:
NH GOP Poll Shows Bush the Early Leader, While Trump Advances  —  Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (14 percent) leads businessman Donald Trump (11 percent) in the New Hampshire Republican presidential primary contest, according to a poll from the Suffolk University Political Research Center.
RELATED:
Reid J. Epstein / Wall Street Journal:
Trump Surges in Popularity in N.H., Taking Second Place in Suffolk Poll
Discussion: The Hill and Outside the Beltway
Jordain Carney / The Hill:
Reid seeks expanded gun background checks  —  Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) called Tuesday for Congress to expand background checks for gun purchases in the wake of a shooting in Charleston, S.C., last week that left nine dead.  —  “The United States is the only advanced country …
Discussion: Politico and Daily Kos
RELATED:
Politico:
Harry Reid calls for expanded background checks  —  Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) is pushing for a vote on gun-control measures, including expanded background checks, in light of the mass shooting last week at an African-American church in Charleston, South Carolina, in which nine people were killed.
Discussion: NBC News and Political Wire
New York Times:
The Roberts Court's Surprising Move Leftward  —  This term so far shows potential for a greater percentage of liberal decisions than any since 1969.  —  Decisions … The Supreme Court under Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. has been a conservative court.
Discussion: Balkinization and Liberaland
RELATED:
Caroline Bologna / The Huffington Post:
Charleston Dad's Viral Photo Captures Love In The Aftermath Of Tragedy  —  On Sunday June 21, local parishioners from churches across the Charleston area took part in “Charleston United,” an emotional prayer and worship gathering to honor the victims of the Emanuel A.M.E. Church shooting.
Patrick O'Connor / Wall Street Journal:
WSJ/NBC Poll Finds Hillary Clinton in a Strong Position  —  She has firm grip on Democratic nomination and leads three GOP rivals, new survey shows  —  Hillary Clinton has emerged from the rocky launch of her second presidential bid with a firm grip on Democratic voters and leads …
RELATED:
Julie Hirschfeld Davis / New York Times:
Obama Ordering Changes in U.S. Hostage Policies  —  WASHINGTON — President Obama on Wednesday will announce that the government will no longer threaten criminal prosecution of the families of American hostages who are held abroad by groups like the Islamic State if they attempt to pay ransom for the release of their loved ones.
RELATED:
Foreign Policy:
Hostage Review Will Make It Easier for Families to Pay Ransoms
Discussion: Hot Air, Politico and Mashable
Patrick Kulp / Mashable:
Pampers shows how smiling babies bring out the best in people  —  Pampers wants to highlight the way babies can brighten the days of everyone around them.  —  The diaper company's new ad, entitled “Better for Baby” is a two-and-a-half-minute montage of warm smiles, thoughtful gestures …
Discussion: FOX31 Denver and WTVR-TV
Gillian Telling / EW.com:
EIGHT IS ENOUGH ACTOR DICK VAN PATTEN HAS DIED  —  Dick Van Patten, the star of TV's Eight is Enough, has died.  He was 86.  —  “I am sorry to report this sad news,” his rep said in a statement released to media Tuesday.  “His family will not be doing any press at this time.”
Lucy Perkins / NPR:
Man Who Created The Pink Plastic Lawn Flamingo Dies  —  If you've got a plastic pink flamingo on your lawn, give it a pat on the back.  The man who designed the lawn art, Donald Featherstone, has died.  He was 79.  —  His wife, Nancy, tells The Associated Press that Featherstone died Monday …
Danielle Burger / Bloomberg Business:
Uninsured Rate Falls to Lowest Since Obamacare Implementation  —  The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act has helped many Americans get health insurance, including about 10 million through new markets with government subsidies, and millions more through an expansion of Medicaid, the state-federal program for the poor.
 
 
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 More Items: 
Sahil Kapur / Bloomberg Business:
Mitch McConnell Wants to Remove Jefferson Davis Statue from Kentucky Capitol
Discussion: Talking Points Memo
Lindsey Tanner / Associated Press:
STUDY: SCANT EVIDENCE THAT MEDICAL POT HELPS MANY ILLNESSES
Discussion: NPR and The Daily Caller
Mike Shields / Wall Street Journal:
WPP, Daily Mail, Snapchat Partner to Launch Content Marketing Company Truffle Pig
Scott Beveridge / Observer-Reporter:
Donora groom charged with assaulting his new bride
Discussion: Daily Mail and ABC News
Charles Fleming / Los Angeles Times:
California's black license plates are back in production
Peter Suderman / Politico:
Why the GOP Can't Win on Health Care
Discussion: Washington Post, EconLog and Hit & Run
Public Religion Research Institute:
Survey |  Most Americans Believe Protests Make the Country Better; Support Decreases Dramatically …
 Earlier Items: 
Stephanie Smith / Page Six:
MSNBC staff chanted ‘F- -k Brian Williams’ at party
Scott Wong / The Hill:
Punished GOP lawmaker stirs new talk of Boehner rebellion
Casey Michel / Politico:
Putin's plot to get Texas to secede