the political scientist Larry Bartels, analyzed the move of the white working class away from Democrats, a move made famous in Thomas Frank’s “What’s the Matter With Kansas?” Mr. Frank argued that working-class whites were being induced to vote against their own interests by the right’s exploitation of cultural issues. But Mr. Bartels showed that the working-class turn against Democrats wasn’t a national phenomenon — it was entirely restricted to the South, where whites turned overwhelmingly Republican after the passage of the Civil Rights Act and Richard Nixon’s adoption of the so-called Southern strategy.

Only one former member of the Confederacy has expanded Medicaid, and while a few Northern states are also part of the movement, more than 80 percent of the population in Medicaid-refusing America lives in states that practiced slavery before the Civil War. And it’s not just health reform: a history of slavery is a strong predictor of everything from gun control (or rather its absence), to low minimum wages and hostility to unions, to tax policy.

(via Slavery’s Long Shadow - The New York Times)

Krugman on veiwing the modern, post-Nixon GOP as the neo-Confederacy.

the breakdown of extremist ideologies behind those attacks may come as a surprise. Since Sept. 11, 2001, nearly twice as many people have been killed by white supremacists, antigovernment fanatics and other non-Muslim extremists than by radical Muslims

(via Homegrown Extremists Tied to Deadlier Toll in U.S. Since 9/11 - The New York Times)

The lack of reporting of the problem of right wing extremism should be called out for what it is. Political correctness.

it is important to note that the incorporation of the Confederate battle flag into Southern state flags and flying it at capitol buildings isn’t some relic of the post-Civil War days. It’s quite new. In most cases it goes back a little over 50 years to the 1950s and early 1960s. In other words, the prominent public display of the flag (if not the popularity of the flag itself, though partly that too) doesn’t commemorate the Civil War or the Confederacy, it was the emblem of the ‘massive resistance’ movement of the 1950s and 1960s in which white Southern state government sought to defy the federal government’s effort to force desegration, black enfranchisement and formal legal and political equality for African-Americans on the South.

(via The Strange Demise of the Confederate Flag)

Worth a read. Confederate flag defenders are unintentionally hilarious.

If you’re one of those people who called this a “witch hunt”, an “Inquisition”, a “lynching” — what would you have people do differently when an esteemed senior scientist gets up to a lectern and says something sexist, or racist, or simply idiotic?

(via A question for Richard Dawkins)

I want to see the answer to this as well. It’s easy to dismiss the attacks on Tim Hunt as political correctness, but the question remains. What are you supposed to do when someone you respect and admire says something idiotic.

Rich Californians balk at limits: ‘We’re not all equal when it comes to water’:

Yuhas lives in the ultra-wealthy enclave of Rancho Santa Fe, a bucolic Southern California hamlet of ranches, gated communities and country clubs that guzzles five times more water per capita than the statewide average. In April, after Gov. Jerry Brown (D) called for a 25 percent reduction in water use, consumption in Rancho Santa Fe went up by 9 percent.