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Tennessee Republican says he hasn’t ‘really studied’ whether the Civil War was about slavery

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On Thursday, The Tennessee Holler reported that Tennessee state Rep. Mike Sparks, who makes a habit of complaining that “young people” and “journalists” don’t bother to study history, could not answer a basic question about what the Civil War was fought over.

“Was the Civil War about slavery?” asked a reporter.

“I haven’t really studied it,” said Sparks.

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“You said you know history!” said another reporter.

“I just think we need to all study history,” said Sparks, still not answering the question. “There’s different contexts.”

This comes during a debate over whether to remove a bust of Confederate general and suspected Klan leader Nathan Bedford Forrest. Another lawmaker, state Sen. Joey Hensley, defended Forrest, arguing that “3,000 Blacks attended his funeral” — a common but unproven claim of Confederate sympathizers.

“We have an elected official who won’t admit that the Civil War was fought over slavery, lectures Black Americans about what they should and shouldn’t be protesting, and believes we should keep the bust of the KKK’s first Grand Wizard in our state capitol as a symbol of forgiveness,” said Brandon Thomas, his Democratic opponent. “It’s clear that Mike Sparks and the Nathan Bedford Forrest bust are both relics of history that need to be removed from the Tennessee State Capitol.”

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2020 Election

Brace yourself for months of lawlessness — ‘Election Night’ likely will not end until 2021

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There’s nothing wrong with treating American politics like a sport as long as everyone involved in the competition is playing the same sport by the same rules. There’s nothing wrong as long as both sides agree the rules are legitimate, both commit to obeying them and both accept the consequences when they break them.

This article was originally published at The Editorial Board

But there is a problem with treating American politics like a sport when one side is playing soccer and the other is playing football while neither can agree to the rules, because one side won’t commit to obeying them. There is something wrong when one side not only refuses to accept the consequences of rule-breaking but sets out to undermine the idea of rules altogether. In that case, treating politics like a sport, as the Washington press corps habitually does, isn’t helpful. It’s harmful. Even dangerous.

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2020 Election

‘Deranged’ Trump pummeled for lying that ‘practicing Catholic’ Joe Biden will ‘hurt God’

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President Donald Trump used a supposedly non-political event Thursday afternoon to attack his Democratic opponent with a lie, saying former Vice President Joe Biden will "hurt God" if elected.

In the strange pronouncement on the tarmac in Cleveland, Ohio, Trump falsely claimed that Biden will "take away your guns. Destroy your Second Amendment. No religion. No anything. Hurt the Bible. Hurt God. He’s against God. He’s against guns. He’s against energy."

A completely deranged Trump claims Joe Biden will "hurt God" if elected president pic.twitter.com/cJ8fbghmAm

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2020 Election

Investigative reporter David Cay Johnston explains when you’ll see Trump get indicted

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Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter David Cay Johnston appeared Thursday on CNN, where he explained when he believed President Donald Trump would be indicted.

After receiving a subpoena from New York prosecutors last year, Deutsche Bank reportedly handed over detailed records about their dealings with Trump, according to the New York Times. The subpoena indicates that the investigation of Trump's family business is more expansive than previously thought.

"Prosecutors already have the basic tax information on Donald Trump. Your state tax return is virtually identical to your federal return, and the IRS shares tax information with the state," Johnston explained to CNN host Brianna Keilar.

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