SHOW AUDIO: Link is usually posted within about 72 hours of show broadcast. We take callers during this show.
TOPIC: SUPPORT KPFT! Are Anti-Communist Conservatives Feeling More Kinship For Ideological Partnership With A Fascist Russia?, Blackwater-Trump-Putin Axis?, Gibraltar – A New Crisis Point In Europe?, Gorsuch Reject vs ‘Nuclear Option’, Robots vs Humans in Job Market, more
GUEST: OPEN FORUM
NOTE: THRU APRIL 12, 713-526-5738 IS KPFT’s PLEDGE LINE. Live call-in is on 713-526-5752
For the purposes of this show, I operate on two mottoes:
- You’re entitled to your own opinion, but not your own facts;
- An educated electorate is a prerequisite for a democracy.
“Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” — St. Augustine
- Once the Yahoo deal closes, AOL and Yahoo will be known as Oath — or more formally, “Oath: A Verizon Company,” https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-switch/wp/2017/04/03/verizon-has-a-name-for-its-aol-yahoo-combination-and-the-internet-is-having-a-bit-of-fun-with-it/
- AOL declined to elaborate on the meaning behind “Oath,” but said in a statement that it will be “one of the most disruptive brand companies in digital.”
- Yahoo declined to comment. Verizon didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
- Blackwater founder held secret Seychelles meeting to establish Trump-Putin back channel, Blackwater founder held secret Seychelles meeting to establish Trump-Putin back channel, By Adam Entous, Greg Miller, Kevin Sieff and Karen DeYoung [Washington Post] April 3, 2017 at 4:29 PM
- The United Arab Emirates arranged a secret meeting in January between Blackwater founder Erik Prince and a Russian close to President Vladimir Putin as part of an apparent effort to establish a back-channel line of communication between Moscow and President-elect Donald Trump, according to U.S., European and Arab officials.
- The meeting took place around Jan. 11 — nine days before Trump’s inauguration — in the Seychelles islands in the Indian Ocean, officials said. Though the full agenda remains unclear, the UAE agreed to broker the meeting in part to explore whether Russia could be persuaded to curtail its relationship with Iran, including in Syria, a Trump administration objective that would likely require major concessions to Moscow on U.S. sanctions.
- Though Prince had no formal role with the Trump campaign or transition team, he presented himself as an unofficial envoy for Trump to high-ranking Emiratis involved in setting up his meeting with the Putin confidant, according to the officials, who did not identify the Russian.
- Prince was an avid supporter of Trump. After the Republican convention, he contributed $250,000 to Trump’s campaign, the national party and a pro-Trump super PAC led by GOP mega-donor Rebekah Mercer, records show. He has ties to people in Trump’s circle, including Stephen K. Bannon, now serving as the president’s chief strategist and senior counselor. Prince’s sister Betsy DeVos serves as education secretary in the Trump administration. And Prince was seen in the Trump transition offices in New York in December.
3. Democrats step up calls that Russian hack was act of war, By Morgan Chalfant [The HILL] 03/26/17 06:00 AM EDT
- “[Some Democratic lawmakers are publicly calling out Russia for engaging in war by meddling in the U.S. presidential election.
- “Michael Schmitt, an international law professor at the University of Exeter in Britain, told The Hill … that the hacking campaign was not an act of war but rather a violation of two prohibitions: one on violating another state’s sovereignty and another on intervention into another state’s affairs.
- “Without a scintilla of a doubt, it is not an act of war,” Schmitt said.”
4. Forbidden phrases at U.S. Dept. of Energy: Don’t use ‘climate change’, By Joel Connelly, [SeattlePI], Updated 1:51 pm, Thursday, March 30, 2017
Ocean levels are rising, the Arctic ice pack is shrinking, carbon dioxide is building up in the atmosphere — but the Trump administration is seeking to excise climate from the language of the American government.
Staff in the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of International Climate and Clean Energy were instructed by a supervisor this week not to use the phrases “climate change,” “emissions reductions” or “Paris Agreement” in briefings, written memos, or any other written communication.
According to Politico, which broke the story, the instruction was given on the day President Trump ordered the Environmental Protection Agency to reverse most of President Obama’s Clean Power Plan initiatives.
The Department of Energy tried to cover its fanny, with a spokeswoman denying any directive and telling Politico: “No words or phrases have been banned for this office or anyone in the department.”
But the pattern has been clear since noon on January 20.
- Democrats secure enough votes to block Gorsuch, setting stage for ‘nuclear option, By Ed O’Keefe and Elise Viebeck [WASHINGTON POST] April 3, 2017 at 7:18 P
- Joe Manchin III (D-W. Va): Manchin is one of three moderate Democrats who plan to vote for Gorsuch,
- two moderates, Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.), have been the focus of a $10 million ad campaign by the conservative Judicial Crisis Network, which is pressuring Democrats facing reelection next year in states that Trump won in November to vote for Gorsuch.
- Michael F. Bennet (D-Colo.) on Monday became the fourth Democrat to say he would join Republicans in trying to end the filibuster. But in a sign of the incredible political pressure he faces as he votes on a nominee from his home state, Bennet did not state whether he plans to support or oppose Gorsuch. He has also faced pressure from JCN to back Gorsuch. So far he is the only Democratic senator not up for reelection in 2018 opposing the filibuster.
- MIKE: Maybe one of the Constitutional Amendments we need to put on our future list is a 60-vote threshold for SCOTUS Justice.
- How Many Robots Does It Take to Replace a Human Job?, By Gillian B. White [The Atlantic Daily] Mar 30, 2017
- Recent studies from McKinsey and the economists Carl Benedikt Frey and Michael A. Osborne estimate that around 45 percent of workers currently perform tasks that could be automated in the near future. And the World Bank estimates that around 57 percent of jobs could be automated within the next 20 years.
- The study’s authors find that the addition of one robot per 1,000 workers reduces the employment-to-population ratio (the number of people actually employed in an area divided by the number of people of working age) by 0.18 to 0.34 percentage points, and reduces wages by between 0.25 and 0.5 percent. On the low end, this amounts to one new robot replacing around three workers. The impact is unsurprisingly most pronounced in manufacturing (particularly in the production side of the auto industry), electronics, chemicals, and pharmaceuticals, among others. Perhaps most importantly, there were negative effects for virtually all workers except managers.
- As many scholars note, more advanced robots in the workforce could mean a shift in human labor, rather than the eradication of it.
- Dispute over Gibraltar reveals hotheadedness of post-Brexit Britain, By Max Bearak and Rick Noack [WASHINGTON POST] April 3, 2017 at 10:19 AM
- On Friday, the European Union indicated that it would tacitly back Spain’s claims on the territory in its draft negotiation guidelines for Brexit. The document stipulates that “no agreement between the EU and the United Kingdom may apply to the territory of Gibraltar without agreement between the Kingdom of Spain and the United Kingdom.” In other words, London will have to negotiate directly with Madrid on any Brexit-related arrangements affecting Gibraltar.
- The wording was immediately lauded in Spain and seen as an affront in the U.K.
- British Prime Minister Theresa May called [Gibraltar’s chief minister, Fabian Picardo] on Sunday morning to say that the U.K. remained “steadfastly committed to our support for Gibraltar, its people and its economy,” and that [PM Theresa May] would defend the “freely and democratically expressed wishes” of its residents that had made their desire to remain part of Britain clear. A former leader of May’s Conservative Party, Michael Howard, took the rhetoric up a few notches, saying that Britain would go to war against Spain for Gibraltar if necessary, just as Margaret Thatcher did against Argentina in 1982 over the Falkland Islands.“
- DHS Immigration Memo Underscores Urgent Need for National Guard Reform: It’s time to rethink the mission and role of the already-stretched National Guard. By Ben Manski |[BillMoyers.com] February 22, 2017
- A general alarm has risen in response to the recently leaked draft memo from Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly outlining steps for the deployment of National Guard units, as well as other measures, across vast regions of the country to hunt down and detain those suspected of being undocumented immigrants to the United States.
- The Constitution of the United States disallows the use of the National Guard to invade and occupy other countries. Instead, Article 1, Section 8 provides for the use of the Guard “to execute the laws of the Union, suppress insurrections and repel invasions.” Federal statutes enacted under the authority of the Constitution describe the conditions under which the Guard may and may not be used for domestic law enforcement. Most readings of those statutes are that they do not authorize the unilateral federalization of state guard units to hunt down and detain those suspected of being undocumented immigrants. Yet as a matter of constitutional law involving at least several of the militia clauses and the Bill of Rights, the question is unclear.
- What is clear is that National Guard law is currently broken. The United States have not been invaded since 1941, yet over the past year, National Guard units were deployed in 70 countries, reflecting former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld’s statement that, “There’s no way we could conduct a global war on terror without the Guard and Reserve.”
- SOURCES WHICH MAY BE RELEVANT TO OTHER DISCUSSION:
- The worst passwords of 2016 are as lazy as ever: Please, stop using “123456.”, By Charlie Osborne for Zero Day (ZDNet) | January 13, 2017 — 14:00 GMT (06:00 PST)
- How Wisdom Teeth Are Fueling the Opioid Epidemic, By Melissa Pandika 1/22/2017, [Ozy.com] via MSN
- … In 2015, opioids killed a record 33,000 people, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. About half of those deaths involved a prescription opioid. Now, a new study drills down to one source of these drugs: wisdom-tooth extractions.
- More than half of the opioid painkillers prescribed to patients after wisdom tooth removal surgery in a recent Drug and Alcohol Dependence study went unused.
- 100 million opioid pills, prescribed for wisdom-tooth extractions, go unused.
- Which means they’re available for misuse and abuse by patients, their loved ones or others. But the study also found that offering information about a pharmacy-based drug-disposal program, plus a financial incentive, made patients more likely to properly dispose of their unused medication, or at least plan to do so.Trial Balloon for a Coup? Analyzing the news of the past 24 hours, by Yonatan Zunger
- Group will sue Trump over business’ foreign profits, By Cyra Master 2 hrs ago (The Hill) 1/22/2017 via MSN
- The Title of Nobility Clause [Also known as the Emoluments Clause] is a provision in Article I, Section 9, Clause 8 of the United States Constitution, that prohibits the federal government from granting titles of nobility, and restricts members of the government from receiving gifts, emoluments, offices or titles from foreign states without the consent of the United States Congress. Also known as the Emoluments Clause, it was designed to shield the republican character of the United States against so–called “corrupting foreign influences”. This shield is reinforced by the corresponding prohibition on state titles of nobility in Article I, Section 10, and more generally by the Republican Guarantee Clause in Article IV, Section ~ Title of Nobility Clause – Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Title_of_Nobility_Clause
- Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) announced Sunday night it is bringing a suit “to stop President Trump from violating the Constitution (the Constitution’s foreign emoluments clause ) by illegally receiving payments from foreign governments.”
- At issue is Trump’s refusal to divest from his business or place his assets into a blind trust, which would separate him entirely from his business empire. He has said his adult sons will run his business while he is in office, that they will not conduct any foreign deals and will subject any domestic deals to an ethics review.
- Section 1. In case of the removal of the President from office or of his death or resignation, the Vice President shall become President.
- Section 2. Whenever there is a vacancy in the office of the Vice President, the President shall nominate a Vice President who shall take office upon confirmation by a majority vote of both Houses of Congress.
- Section 3. Whenever the President transmits to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives his written declaration that he is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, and until he transmits to them a written declaration to the contrary, such powers and duties shall be discharged by the Vice President as Acting President.
- Section 4. Whenever the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President.
- Thereafter, when the President transmits to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives his written declaration that no inability exists, he shall resume the powers and duties of his office unless the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive department or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit within four days to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office. Thereupon Congress shall decide the issue, assembling within forty-eight hours for that purpose if not in session. If the Congress, within twenty-one days after receipt of the latter written declaration, or, if Congress is not in session, within twenty-one days after Congress is required to assemble, determines by two-thirds vote of both Houses that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall continue to discharge the same as Acting President; otherwise, the President shall resume the powers and duties of his office.
- The Twenty-fifth Amendment (Amendment XXV) to the United States Constitution deals with succession to the Presidency and establishes procedures both for filling a vacancy in the office of the Vice President, as well as responding to Presidential disabilities. It supersedes the ambiguous wording of Article II, Section 1, Clause 6 of the Constitution, which does not expressly state whether the Vice President becomes the President or Acting President if the President dies, resigns, is removed from office or is otherwise unable to discharge the powers of the presidency. The Twenty-fifth Amendment was adopted on February 10, 1967.
- John Ibanez, Yesterday at 2:31pm 1/29/2017
- The election must be overturned.
- John Ibanez’s post (which I have pasted below) persuaded me. His last two paragraphs locked it up. Essentially, this whole administration is tainted. They have all “bitten of the poisoned apple”, as they sometimes say in law. Therefore this administration must be pulled up by the roots of the Republic is to survive as we have known it.The solution may lie in a minor precedent called “Marks v. Stinson” ([MARKS v. STINSON | 19 F.3d 873 (1994) | Leagle.com]). The ruling states, in part: “Substantial evidence was presented establishing massive absentee ballot fraud, deception, intimidation, harassment and forgery.”
According to the New York Times: “Judge Newcomer ordered that Mr. Stinson, a 49-year-old former assistant deputy mayor of Philadelphia, be removed from his State Senate office and that Mr. Marks, a 36-year-old lawyer and former aide to United States Senator Arlen Specter, be certified the winner within 72 hours.”I am now convinced that as farfetched as this may sound, it is in fact the only real solution to our nation’s current dilemma.
- Up until now, I’ve been arguing that the only to remotely realistic choices we have is Pres. Trump or Pres. Pence. I know longer believe that is even Constitutionally acceptable.
- I don’t like to engage in hyperbole, but I believe we are approaching a real existential, Constitutional crisis.
- Differences between Liberals, Conservatives, Libertarians and neo-Conservatives
- Left–right politics, From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
- History of the terms: The terms “left” and “right” appeared during the French Revolution of 1789 when members of the National Assembly divided into supporters of the king to the president’s right and supporters of the revolution to his left. One deputy, the Baron de Gauville, explained, “We began to recognize each other: those who were loyal to religion and the king took up positions to the right of the chair so as to avoid the shouts, oaths, and indecencies that enjoyed free rein in the opposing camp.” However the Right opposed the seating arrangement because they believed that deputies should support private or general interests but should not form factions or political parties. The contemporary press occasionally used the terms “left” and “right” to refer to the opposing sides.
- Greens and Libertarians: The yin and yang of our political future, by Dan Sullivan (originally appearing in Green Revolution, Volume 49, No. 2, summer, 1992)
- … Libertarians tend to be logical and analytical. They are confident that their principles will create an ideal society, even though they have no consensus of what that society would be like. Greens, on the other hand, tend to be more intuitive and imaginative. They have clear images of what kind of society they want, but are fuzzy about the principles on which that society would be based.
- Ironically, Libertarians tend to be more utopian and uncompromising about their political positions, and are often unable to focus on politically winnable proposals to make the system more consistent with their overall goals. Greens on the other hand, embrace immediate proposals with ease, but are often unable to show how those proposals fit in to their ultimate goals.
- The most difficult differences to reconcile, however, stem from baggage that members of each party have brought with them from their former political affiliations. Most Libertarians are overly hostile to government and cling to the fiction that virtually all private fortunes are legitimately earned. Most Greens are overly hostile to free enterprise and cling to the fiction that harmony and balance can be achieved through increased government intervention.
- Amongst published researchers, there is agreement that the Left includes anarchists, communists, socialists, progressives, anti-capitalists, anti-imperialists, anti-racists, democratic socialists, greens, left-libertarians, social democrats, and social liberals.
- Researchers have also said that the Right includes capitalists, conservatives, monarchists, nationalists, neoconservatives, neoliberals, reactionaries, imperialists, right-libertarians, social authoritarians, religious fundamentalists, and traditionalists.
- Left–right politics, From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia