Mon, 1/15/2018, 9PM (CT) on 90.1FM. TOPICS: SUPPORT KPFT!, Voter Registration Ends Feb.5 for Primaries, Obamacare Signups, Cliven Bundy case dismissed, Oprah could run & Oprah could win – Is America going insane or coming to its senses, Trump-appointed regulators reject plan to rescue coal and nuclear plants, more. GUESTS: Open Forum [AUDIO/VIDEO]@KPFTHouston

SHOW AUDIO: Link is usually posted within about 72 hours of show broadcast. We take callers during this show at 713-526-5738.

Thinkwing Radio with Mike Honig (@ThinkwingRadio), a listener call-in show  airing live every Monday night from 9-10 PM (CT) on KPFT-FM 90.1 (Houston). My engineer is Bob Gartner.

Listen live on the radio or on the internet from anywhere in the world! When the show is live, we take calls at 713-526-5738. (Long distance charges may apply.)

Please take a moment to visit and choose THINKWING RADIO from the drop-down list when you donate. Thinkwing Radio with Mike Honig (@ThinkwingRadio on Twitter), is a listener call-in show  airing live every Monday night from 9-10 PM (CT) on KPFT-FM 90.1 (Houston). My engineer is Bob Gartner.

For the purposes of this show, I operate on two mottoes:

  • You’re entitled to your own opinion, but not your own facts;
    Houston Mayor Annise Parker [L] with Mike, just before the show. (Dec. 14, 2015)

    Houston Mayor Annise Parker [L] with Mike, just before the show. (Dec. 7, 2015)

  • An educated electorate is a prerequisite for a democracy.


“Trump simply cannot avoid committing impeachable offenses. He’s like the scorpion stinging the turtle ferrying it across the river, even though they will both drown. It’s in his nature.” ~ Michael R. Honig, Jan. 13, 2017




  1. Make sure you are registered to vote?
    1. Registration for the primaries ends Feb. 5, 2018
    2. Primaries will take place on March 6, 2018
    3. Make sure you are registered:
  2. Airlines are getting rid of reclining seats — and that might be a good thing, []
    1. Recently, more and more airlines have been departing from reclining seats.
    2. British Airways wants its passengers to enjoy a “comfortable journey” so they’re rolling out seats that don’t slide back.
    3. The etiquette behind reclining seats is usually that you only recline as little as you need.
    4. … more and more airlines are cracking down on pesky in-flight behavior, including reclining seats.
    5. Briish Airways is the latest airline to announce that they’ll be eliminating reclining seats on many flights. …
    6. Most airlines allow about five degrees of recline in their economy class seats, with 30 to 31 inches of “pitch” (a rough way to measure legroom), according to USA Today. Based on research, this is about two inches less space than a decade ago….
  3. GOP Sen. Jeff Flake plans speech comparing Trump’s treatment of the media to Stalin, by Chloe Aiello | @chlobo_ilo [Published 1-15-2018]
    1. Longtime Trump critic Jeff Flake plans to deliver a speech on Wednesday comparing the president’s language on the media to that of Joseph Stalin.
    2. Excerpts of Flake’s speech reveal an emphasis on Trump’s use of the phrase “enemy of the American people,” referring to the media.
  4. Mnuchin List of Putin ‘Oligarchs’ Jolts Russia’s Elite Class, By Saleha Mohsin, 1-15-2018, 3 hrs ago [Bloomberg]
    1. The U.S. Treasury Department is finishing its first official list of “oligarchs” close to President Vladimir Putin’s government, setting off a flurry of moves by wealthy Russians to shield their fortunes and reputations.
    2. The report is expected to amount to a blacklist of Russia’s elite. It was mandated by a law President Donald Trump reluctantly signed in August intended to penalize the Kremlin for its alleged meddling in the 2016 election. A rare piece of legislation passed with a bipartisan veto-proof margin, the law gave Treasury, the State Department and intelligence agencies 180 days to identify people by “their closeness to the Russian regime and their net worth.”
    3. The list has also become a headache within Treasury, where some officials are concerned it will be conflated with sanctions, a person familiar with the matter said. Treasury officials are considering keeping some portions of the report classified — which the law allows — and issuing it in the form of a letter from a senior official, Sigal Mandelker, instead of releasing it through the Office of Foreign Assets Control, which issues sanctions. That would help distinguish it from separate lists of Russians subject to U.S. economic penalties, said the person, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
    4. “You’re going to have people getting shamed. It’s a step below a sanction because it doesn’t actually block any assets, but has the same optics as sanctions — you’re on a list of people who are engaged in doing bad things,” said Erich Ferrari, who founded Ferrari & Associates in Washington and has helped people get removed from the sanctions designation list.
  5. Donald Trump and his Sh0thole Presidency
    1. Durbin calls on White House to release tapes of Trump’s remarks about African countries, Michael Collins,[USA TODAY] Published 1:32 p.m. ET Jan. 15, 2018 | Updated 4:12 p.m. ET Jan. 15, 2018
      1. [Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin (D)] said he doesn’t know if the White House has recordings of the meeting either. “If there was,” he said, “I want to just call on the White House right now, release whatever you have. If they don’t have it, so be it.”
      2. …Trump acknowledged using “tough” language in the meeting, but denied uttering the vulgar term. He also suggested the White House did not record the conversation. “Probably should record future meetings – unfortunately, no trust,” he wrote on Twitter last Friday.
  6. Israel slams Palestinian leader over anti-Trump speech, By Aron Heller | AP/Washington Post | January 15 at 4:51 PM
    1. Israeli leaders slammed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas Monday for a fiery, invective-filled speech against President Donald Trump, in which he proclaimed the U.S. role as arbiter of the Mideast conflict over, attacked the administration’s envoys and described Israel as a colonial conspiracy.
    2. Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said Abbas had “lost his senses” and had given up on the prospect of peace negotiations in favor of open confrontation with both Israel and the United States. In a rambling, two and half hour long speech Sunday night, the Palestinian leader sharply escalated his rhetoric, lashing out at the U.S., Israel, Britain and even other Arab leaders, whom he told to “go to hell” for criticizing him. He pronounced the peace process dead, and accused Israel of killing it.
    3. The speech came at a time of great frustration for the 82-year-old Abbas, who after 13 years in power has made little progress in his goal of establishing an independent Palestinian state on lands captured by Israel in 1967. The rival Hamas militant group now controls the Gaza Strip, his erstwhile Arab allies have quietly moved closer to Israel or turned their attention to other pressing matters such as Iran, and he has lost faith in the United States as a Mideast broker following Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital last month. Abbas also is deeply unpopular with his own public.
    4. …[Abbas] said he remains committed to seeking a peace deal with Israel and promoting a culture of peace in Palestinian society. He denounced terrorism and noted that he has signed an anti-terrorism agreement with over 80 countries, including the U.S., while saying he maintains a team dedicated to outreach with the Israeli public. He said he supports only nonviolent resistance to Israeli occupation.
    5. He also reiterated his demand that Britain apologize for its 1917 Balfour Declaration, which endorsed the idea of a Jewish state. He accused Israel of sending drugs to Palestinian children. Most angering to Israelis, however, was his assertion that the country was a result of Western efforts to offload their Jews.
    6. “They wanted to bring Jews here from Europe to maintain European interests in the region. They asked Holland, which had the largest navy in the world, to transfer the Jews,” he said. “Israel is a colonialist project that has nothing to do with Jews.”
    7. Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, who holds a mostly ceremonial position, said the comments brought to mind Abbas’ own doctoral dissertation, in which he challenged the number of Jewish victims of the Holocaust and claimed Zionists had collaborated with Nazis.
    8. “He returned back to the ideas he expressed decades ago, when they were no less terrible,” Rivlin said Monday. “To say Israel is the result of a Western conspiracy to settle Jews in land belonging to Arab populations? To say that the Jewish people has no connection with the land of Israel? He forgot many things, and said exactly the things that led him to be accused years ago of anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial.”
  7. Why Michael Wolff’s book made me think about Hitler’s ascent, By Richard Cohen Opinion writer January 8 at 5:10 PM
    1. About halfway through Michael Wolff’s new book on President Trump, I had the sense that all this was familiar. As the pages flew by — and the reading is both alarming and delicious — the sense of deja vu became even more pronounced. At the three-quarters mark, I realized where I had read all this before: William L. Shirer’s “The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich.”
    2. But in any reading of the rise of Nazi Germany, you come to a dead stop: How did this happen? How did a nut such as Hitler manage to take over one of the world’s most advanced and civilized nations? The question becomes particularly acute when you consider the jumble of criminals, incompetents and ideological zealots he had around him. One answer to the question is that others in Germany thought Hitler could prove useful.
    3. The Trump presidency that Wolff describes in virtually pornographic detail was the creation not just of Trump but of all the people who failed to oppose him. These are the people who ducked the greatest political test this nation has faced since the Civil War — who enabled the election of a man whose sanity is now questioned but whose incompetence never was. It is not true that Trump is nobody’s fool. He is the GOP’s.
    4. The reference to Germany is jarring, I know, but once again the conventional were thrilled by the unconventional, the rich were assured they would remain so, and a collection of political naïfs [nīˈēf/] bought into the Mar-a-Lago political bordello, thinking it was Monticello. Wolff tells a frightening tale. It is all the more frightening because it has been told before.
  8. China’s watchful eye: CCTV footage taken in Beijing uses the facial-recognition system Face++. China, unburdened by concerns about privacy or civil rights, is integrating private cameras and security cameras into a nationwide surveillance system., Story by Simon Denyer, Photos by Gilles Sabrié, Video by Joyce Lee, January 7, 2018 (Washington Post)
    1. Beijing bets on facial recognition in a big drive for total surveillance
    2. …who’s a criminal? In China, documents for the Police Cloud project unearthed by Human Rights Watch list “petitioners” — people who complain to the government about perceived injustices — as potential targets of surveillance, along with anyone who “undermines stability” or has “extreme thoughts.” Other documents cite members of ethnic minorities, specifically Muslim Uighurs from Xinjiang, as subjects of scrutiny.
    3. Maya Wang, a researcher at Human Rights Watch, said what sets China apart is “a complete lack of effective privacy protections,” combined with a system that is explicitly designed to target individuals seen as “politically threatening.”
    4. “In other countries, we are often concerned about the use of big data for deepening existing policing bias — for example, for targeting historically disadvantaged groups like African Americans in the U.S. context — but for the Chinese systems, the targeting of people of certain ethnicity is a fundamental function of the system,” she added.
  9. Oprah could run. Oprah could win. Is America going insane or coming to its senses?, By Dan Zak and Monica Hesse January 8 at 3:24 PM
    1. Maybe billionaires should be excluded from high political office.
    2. Maybe no one should be allowed to run for Federal office until they’ve been elected to Local or Statewide office?
      1. Publicly ‘vetted’
      2. Service experience and history
  10. Protests in Iran:
    1. Iran bans teaching English in primary schools, By Valerie Strauss January 8 at 3:08 PM (Washington Post)
      1. Iran just banned the teaching of English in primary schools — even after school hours — because, it said, those early years should be devoted to strengthening students’ skills in the Persian language and Iranian Islamic culture.
      2. Mehdi Navid-Adham, head of the state-run High Education Council, told state television, “Teaching English in government and non-government primary schools in the official curriculum is against laws and regulations,” the BBC reported. Iran’s education system is divided into the primary and secondary grades, with children moving from the former to the latter at age 12. There are both public and private schools.
        1. Navid-Adham did not mention the deadly anti-government protests that have erupted in Iran, which authorities have linked to foreign powers, including the United States and Iraq. Iranian authorities blocked social media apps Instagram and Telegram — “temporarily” — after demonstrators used them to share videos of protests.
  11. [Iran FM warns neighbors against fomenting unrest]
    1. According to the BBC, English is widely studied in Iran and is so popular in higher grades that classes started to be offered in primary schools. This has happened despite concerns expressed by Iran’s rulers, who have said that the teaching of English and other foreign languages amounts to a “cultural invasion.” In a speech to teachers in 2016, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s supreme leader, bemoaned the prevalence of English classes in Iranian schools, saying:
    2. This insistence on promoting the English language in our country is an unhealthy course of action. Of course, we should learn foreign languages, but foreign languages are not confined to the English language. The language of science is not only English. Why do they not specify other languages in school as language lessons? Why is there such an insistence? . . .
    3. I am not saying that we should cancel English classes shortly. This is not what I am saying. What I am saying is that we should know what we are doing. We should know what kind of generation the other side wants to be built in the country and with what characteristics. . . .
  12. Analysis: Iran protests show danger of economic woes, Associated Press via Washington Post
    1. The economic resentment seen in recent days could prompt the rise of another Ahmadinejad-style hard-line populist — if Iran’s clerical leadership allows such a candidacy.
    2. …Weeks before the protests, Rouhani publicly complained that large parts of the government budget went to religious institutions, largely seen as power bases of the hard-liners, seeking to deflect blame over the economy. From the other side, it is widely believed that the hard-liners were the ones who initially stoked the protests to embarrass Rouhani, only to see the demonstrations turn against the entire ruling establishment.
    3. PROTESTS WANE, ANGER REMAINS: Authorities managed to stifle the protests in part by blocking access to the messaging app Telegram, through which demonstrators organized the rallies and shared images from the streets. The Revolutionary Guard’s volunteer Basiji force also was deployed and police have arrested hundreds; more than 20 protesters were killed, although security forces did not engage in the level of bloodshed that followed the 2009 protests.
    4. Both U.S. President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said they supported the protesters, without apparently providing any aid. The protests quickly raised the hopes of those abroad who want to see an end to the Islamic Republic.
    5. There may be a ‘crisis of rising expectations’ after many economic sanctions were lifted, yet many Iranians feel they have not benefitted as they might have anticipated
    6. Official unemployment is pegged at 11.7%.
  13. NET Neutrality: Why it matters.
    1. MIKE: Did your internet seem to slow down almost immediately the FCC’s net neutrality decision? If it did, you aren’t alone. I’ve seen many complaints online of people having the same impression
  14. America’s Cultural Revolution, by Catherine Rampell
    1. Last month in Shanghai, Chinese venture capitalist Eric X. Li made a provocative suggestion. The United States, he said, was going through its own “Cultural Revolution.” …
    2. Li said he saw several parallels between the violence and chaos in China decades ago and the animosity coursing through the United States today. In both cases, the countries turned inward, focusing more on defining the soul of their nations than on issues beyond their borders.
    3. He said that both countries were also “torn apart by ideological struggles,” with kinships, friendships and business relationships being severed by political differences.
    4. “Virtually all types of institutions, be it political, educational, or business, are exhausting their internal energy in dealing with contentious, and seemingly irreconcilable, differences in basic identities and values — what it means to be American,” he said in a subsequent email exchange. “In such an environment, identity trumps reason, ideology overwhelms politics, and moral convictions replace intellectual discourse.”
  15. 7 Reforms After Trump, by Keith Boykin (@keithboykin) 12/3/17, 19:31
    1. Repeal Shelby v Holder (LEGISLATE: Renew Voting Rights Act)
    2. Repeal Citizens United (LEGISLATE/AMENDMENT: Limit Money in Politics, abolish anonymous money in politics)
    3. Abolish electoral college (or can it be saved?)
    4. Apply anti-nepotism law to White House (It was WRITTEN for White House [Robert Kennedy serving with JFK])
    5. POTUS candidates must release tax returns (LEGISLATE/AMENDMENT: for how many years)
    6. Presidents may not self-pardon (AMENDMENT OR LEGISLATION: or pardon executive appointees?)
    7. Special counsel has power to indict president
      1.  ADD:
        1. 2/3 Senate vote to confirm SCOTUS appointment
  16. Sex and Politics: Where’s the boundary between innocent and inappropriate?

KPFT is the Pacifica station in Houston, Texas


  1. What do belts around Proxima Centauri mean for exoplanet research?, By John Wenz  |  Published: Friday, November 03, 2017 []
  2. TV Talk:
    1. “The Good Place”
    2. “The Orville”
    3. “Adam Ruins Everything”





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