Your Monday must-reads

"He may be an unrepentant racist donor, but by gum he's a self-aware unrepentant racist donor," concludes Monkey Cage contributor Laura Seay of the self-identified "Texas slumlord" Earl Holt, whose white supremacist group helped radicalize the Charleston shooter (at 11,000+ shares thus far). Holt apparently also donated to several Republican candidates, too. "Our first 'toxic contributor' story of 2016, thanks to Dylan Roof," remarks The Fix's Philip Bump. "The leader of a group Dylann Roof's manifesto credits for his radicalization gave tens of thousands to Republicans," details The New Republic's Jamil Smith. "Cruz, Rand, Santorum donor: black people 'laziest, stupidest & most criminally-inclined race in history of world'," reports Jon Swaine at the Guardian US. "Ted Cruz is giving back a racist Longview man's money; so should everyone else. (And he was a @GlennBeck fan?)," notes Bud Kennedy with the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Meanwhile, with the notable exception of Mitt Romney, Republicans are tap-dancing carefully around their criticism of the confederate flag. "Politics increasingly the art of speaking while saying nothing at all," muses Paul Werdel at the New York Times.

The Pope continues to make waves with surprisingly progressive statements, this time declaring that those in weapons industry can't call themselves Christian. "Whoa," was all Politico's Blake Hounshell could tweet. In other breaking news, explosions rocked Kabul as the Taliban staged an attack on the parliament there. Also, D-Day for Greece has arrived in the EuroZone with no answers in sight. "Greece meeting started. Finance ministers pessimistic & say Greek proposals are confusing," summarizes Ian Wishart with Bloomberg News. A new UN report finds evidence of war crimes on the part of both Palestinian and Israeli groups. "UN commission of inquiry says 1,462 Palestinians killed in last Gaza war, 1/3rd of them children," points out freelance journalist Evan Hill.

This news week already feels unbearable, so please seek some comfort in the lucky, daredevil cat who needs to be everyone's mascot right now.

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