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Thinkwing Radio with Mike Honig (@ThinkwingRadio), a listener call-in show airing live every Monday night from 2-3 PM (CT) on KPFT-FM 90.1 (Houston). My engineer is Don Dwayne
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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.
“The best way to stop a bad guy with a gun is 75.4 million Millennials with a vote.” – @Jenna_Blum (cited at least as far back as James F. Haning II@jameshaning, Mar 26, 2018
- Are you ready for the runoffs? Make sure you are registered to vote?
- Make sure you are registered:
- MAY 22 runoff ELECTIONS TOMORROW!
- South Korea blames John Bolton for hiccup in Trump-Kim summit plans
- President Trump is blaming North Korean leader Kim Jong Un for changing the scope of their summit planned for next month. But in South Korea, many are pointing fingers at Trump’s national security adviser, John Bolton, after he touted the “Libya model” as a guide for negotiations with Pyongyang over nuclear weapons.
- Democrats just rolled out a broad reform agenda. Would it make a difference? by Paul Waldman May 21, 2018 [WAPO] at 1:41 PM Email the author
- Here are some of the substantive measures they propose:
- Voting: Automatic voter registration, paper-verified votes, an end to felon disenfranchisement, steps to make it easier for voters with disabilities to cast ballots, same-day registration, expanded early voting, an end to partisan gerrymandering.
- Ethics: New enforcement power for the Office of Government Ethics, tighter disclosure requirements for lobbyists.
- Campaign finance: Tax-deductible donations for House candidates, 6-to-1 matching of contributions up to $150 to enhance value of small-dollar contributions, a constitutional amendment to repeal the Citizens United
- Pompeo vows U.S., Mideast allies will ‘crush’ Iranian operatives around the world – In his first major foreign policy address as secretary of state, Mike Pompeo laid out a list of demands Iran must agree to before sanctions are lifted. by Carol Morello May 21, 2018 [WAPO] at 2:01 PM Email the author
- In his first major foreign policy address as secretary of state, Pompeo listed a dozen demands, an agenda encompassing Iran’s foreign ventures as well as its nuclear and missile programs. If Iran agrees to those demands, he said, the United States would lift all sanctions, reestablish diplomatic relations with Tehran and provide it access to advanced technology.
- Pompeo said he will work with the Defense Department and regional allies — a group that includes Israel, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states — to “deter Iranian aggression” in the region, including at sea and in cyberspace.
- Iranian President Hassan Rouhani promptly rejected Pompeo’s assertion.
- Trump demands Justice Department examine whether it or FBI spied on campaign, By Maegan Vazquez, Laura Jarrett and Dana Bash, [CNN] Updated 6:54 PM ET, Sun May 20, 2018
- President Donald Trump demanded Sunday that his Justice Department look into whether it or the FBI spied on his presidential campaign for political reasons.
- “I hereby demand, and will do so officially tomorrow, that the Department of Justice look into whether or not the FBI/DOJ infiltrated or surveilled the Trump Campaign for Political Purposes – and if any such demands or requests were made by people within the Obama Administration!” Trump wrote on Twitter. …
- … Later Sunday, the Justice Department asked its inspector general to expand its review of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act application process to include whether there was any impropriety or political motivation in how the FBI conducted its counterintelligence investigation of persons suspected of involvement with the Russian agents who interfered in the 2016 presidential election, Justice Department spokesperson Sarah Isgur Flores said in a statement.
- Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said in the statement, “If anyone did infiltrate or surveil participants in a presidential campaign for inappropriate purposes, we need to know about it and take appropriate action.”
- The New York Times, … reported Friday that the confidential intelligence source interacted with Trump campaign advisers George Papadopoulos and Carter Page. The Washington Post also reported that in addition to Page and Papadopoulos, the source met with Sam Clovis, the Trump campaign’s co-chairman, to talk about relations with China. Clovis’ attorney told the Post Russia never came up in their conversation.
- Although Trump has suggested the source was embedded in his campaign, US officials have told CNN that was not the case. …
- … The Justice Department’s inspector general and US Attorney John Huber are already investigating whether department protocols were properly followed when the department and FBI applied for surveillance orders on Carter Page pursuant to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. Those investigations almost certainly include whether anyone was surveilled for “political purposes.”
- House Democrats stood by the Justice Department following the President’s demand for an inquiry into the department’s actions regarding the Trump campaign.
- “This is appalling that President Trump would be so uninformed and that his chief of staff, his counselors, the White House counsel, would allow him to spew into the thinking of Americans that he has any right or authority to dictate to what the Department of Justice does,” Texas Democratic Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, who sits on the House Judiciary Committee, told CNN Sunday afternoon.
- “That would skew the independence of the Department of Justice to fairly go after individuals who have broken the law,” Lee added. “It is a decision that is made by thoughtful staff lawyers in the Department of Justice in many different areas, from civil rights to antitrust to the criminal justice division. They are all separate divisions and they review information.”
- … [California Democratic Rep. Ted] Lieu also said in a tweet that he looks forward to the inquiry.
- “It will show the professional agents of the @FBI engaged in a counterintelligence operation. Which means @realDonaldTrump associates & perhaps @POTUS himself should be very, very scared of what the @TheJusticeDept knows about what happened in 2016,” he added.
- Trump demands DOJ look into whether FBI “infiltrated” campaign, By Emily Tillett [CBS News] May 20, 2018, 2:19 PM
- Texas Shooting Victim’s Mom Says Teen Was Targeted For Refusing Advances – “She repeatedly told him no,” Shana Fisher’s mom said of the 17-year-old student held in Friday’s school attack. By Nina Golgowski
- The mother of a 16-year-old girl who was killed in Friday’s mass shooting at a Texas high school believes the shooter targeted her daughter for refusing his advances.
- … “He kept making advances on her and she repeatedly told him no,” Rodriguez told The Associated Press. “He continued to get more aggressive.”
- … Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said the [shooter] acquired the weapons from his father, who likely had them legally.
- The deadly shooting, which left 13 others wounded, including a police officer, was the 16th school shooting this year, according to a count by The Washington Post. It was also the 10th since 17 people were killed in February at Marjory Stoneman DouglasHigh School in Parkland, Florida. That shooting sparked a nationwide conversation and demonstrations about gun control in America.
- After Santa Fe shooting, Gov. Greg Abbott cancels his ‘Texas-made’ shotgun contest , Written by Lauren McGaughy, Texas Government Reporter (Connect with Lauren McGaughy On Twitter Email )
- Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has decided not to give away a shotgun in the wake of the shooting at Santa Fe High School.
- On Monday, Abbott campaign spokesman John Wittman confirmed the governor, who is currently running for re-election, will no longer be raffling off a “Texas-made shotgun.” The contest winner will instead receive a gift certificate.
- “It has been changed,” Wittman told The Dallas Morning News. “Now it’s just a contest for a $250 gift certificate.”
- Texas governor’s website continues to tout shotgun giveaway in aftermath of school shooting, By Dakin Andone, [CNN] Updated 4:24 PM ET, Sun May 20, 2018
- A gunman armed with a .38 revolver and a shotgun walked into Santa Fe High School in Texas on Friday and killed 10 people, according to authorities.
- Two days later, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is still touting a shotgun giveaway on his website.
- The entry period for the drawing began on May 1 — before the shooting in Santa Fe — and ends on May 31.
- Texas Lt. Gov.: Need armed teachers, fewer school entrances, By Eli Watkins, [CNN] Updated 11:14 AM ET, Sun May 20, 2018
- Texas GOP Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick said after the nation’s latest school shooting in Santa Fe, Texas, that teachers need guns, parents should secure firearms safely at home, and schools should eliminate some of their entrances.
- “We need our teachers to be armed,” Patrick said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
- Patrick also called for “gun control at home,” with firearms out of childrens’ [sic] reach, but declined to say whether he would support requiring that by law, saying Texas holds gun owners “very responsible.”
- “Be sure that your kids and grandkids or anyone who might have access to your home cannot get your guns,” Patrick said.… Oliver North, the National Rifle Association’s incoming president, denied on “Fox News Sunday” that the Second Amendment was at the root of the frequent school shootings and pointed in part to television and the drug Ritalin.
- “The disease is youngsters who are steeped in a culture of violence,” North said.
- Blankenship wages war on GOP after losing Senate primary – The ex-convict and another May primary loser are not getting in line behind the nominees, By JAMES ARKIN [POLITICO.COM] 05/20/2018 06:58 AM EDT
- Don Blankenship lost his Senate primary in West Virginia, but the former coal baron is still causing problems for the Republican Party.
- Blankenship has said the GOP’s newly minted Senate nominee, state Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, would likely lose in the fall — and promised to work to defeat him. He’s not the only sore loser: In Ohio, businessman Mike Gibbons is harboring lingering frustration over Rep. Jim Renacci’s primary tactics during their Senate race, according to a Republican close to Gibbons, and is not yet prepared to endorse the congressman’s campaign.
- Republicans are banking on a unified base to defeat red-state Democratic senators who have specialized in getting cross-party votes in the past. But a few primary also-rans’ unwillingness to get behind the party is already making people nervous in a couple of key GOP Senate targets. In West Virginia, Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin looks more vulnerable than ever — just as Blankenship and his campaign manager have opened a rift in the state Republican Party.
- “Obviously, I’m worried,” said Mitch Carmichael, the Republican president of the West Virginia state Senate. “But I think it will be seen as just sour grapes.” …
- … But in Ohio, Gibbons remains frustrated by Renacci’s tactics after Renacci’s roughly 47 percent to 32 percent primary victory. Gibbons and Renacci spoke by phone on election night, and a Republican close to Gibbons, who requested anonymity to detail private conversations, called it a “decent enough” conversation. But feelings are still raw. Gibbons sued Renacci for defamation four days before the election and accused him of lying during the campaign, calling him a “bully.” Renacci shrugged off the accusation, which angered Gibbons more.
- Nikki Haley’s Twitter account raises protocol concerns – Critics question the U.N. ambassador’s mixture of the personal and the official online, By NAHAL TOOSI [POLITICO] 05/20/2018 06:54 AM EDT, Updated 05/20/2018 08:23 AM EDT
- On the @nikkihaley handle, the rising Republican star posts pictures of her dearest friends and showers love on her dog, Bentley. But she also denounces Russian actions in Syria and chides U.N. nations for voting against the United States. …
- … social media is an important tool in public diplomacy, in which sites like Twitter and Facebook are part of a growing diplomatic virtual infrastructure that communicates U.S. views abroad.
- Haley has long been considered a potential presidential candidate. Since her confirmation as ambassador in January 2017, Haley has seen her Twitter following increase more than eightfold, to 1.6 million. That’s more than four times as many as the U.S. Mission to the United Nations’ office Twitter handle, @USUN.
- “Taxpayer dollars shouldn’t be used to fund someone’s social media stardom for political or business purposes,” said Brett Bruen, a former diplomat who helped craft the State Department guidelines. “It doesn’t take a savvy political mind to identify that Haley is trying to attract American voters for 2024.”
- How Trump changed everything for The Onion – The comedy website has had to develop new strategies and new characters for a president who often defies satire, By ANDREW RESTUCCIA [POLITICO.COM] 05/20/2018 06:49 AM EDT
- ‘Tricked by the devil.’ They backed Trump. Now, his foreign labor cuts may ruin them. | Lexington Herald Leader, By Tom Eblen [COM] firstname.lastname@example.org, May 10, 2018 11:34 AM (Updated May 13, 2018 06:20 AM)
- Eddie Devine voted for President Donald Trump because he thought he would be good for American business. Now, he says, the Trump administration’s restrictions on seasonal foreign labor may put him out of business. “I feel like I’ve been tricked by the devil,” said Devine, owner of Harrodsburg-based Devine Creations Landscaping. “I feel so stupid.”
- Devine says he lost a $100,000 account because he didn’t have enough men to do the job. He’s worried he may be out of business next year if things don’t improve.
- He isn’t alone. Cuts in H-2B visas are hurting small businesses across the country that can’t find Americans willing to do hard, manual labor: Maryland crab processors, Texas shrimp fishermen, and Kentucky landscapers and construction companies.
- … “We live and die by these visas,” said Ken Monin, owner of Monin Construction, which specializes in home additions, roofs, decks and garages. “Last year we about went bankrupt. The workers we were supposed to get in March didn’t show up until August because they couldn’t get visas.”
- Monin applied for eight H-2B workers this year, but he isn’t optimistic he will get any. Employers seeking H-2B workers must prove they have advertised and tried unsuccessfully to hire local workers.
- “Americans don’t want most of these jobs,” said Monin, who pays his workers about $17 an hour. “I’ve been in this business 20 years. It’s hard, hot work.”
- … what makes him most angry is that Trump’s properties in Florida and New York have used 144 H-2B workers since 2016. “I want to know why it’s OK for him to get his workers, but supporters like me don’t get theirs,” Devine said.
- China’s first home-built aircraft carrier begins sea trials as Beijing ramps up its maritime might, By Neil Connor, Beijing [telegraph.co.uk] 13 May 2018 • 1:16pm
- California’s future: More big droughts and massive floods, new study finds, By Paul Rogers | email@example.com | Bay Area News Group [mercurynews.com] PUBLISHED: April 23, 2018 at 8:00 am | UPDATED: April 23, 2018 at 9:18 am
- The extreme weather swings that Californians have experienced over the past six years — a historic drought followed by drenching winter storms that caused $100 million in damage to San Jose and wrecked the spillway at Oroville Dam — will become the norm over the coming generations, a new study has found.
- Those types of extremes are not new, but because of climate change, they can be expected to occur more frequently, as hotter global temperatures and warming oceans are putting more water vapor into the air, concluded the study, which was published Monday in the scientific journal Nature Climate Change.
- And perhaps most ominous, the odds are rising that a mega-storm — like the one that famously flooded California in 1862, forcing Leland Stanford to take a rowboat through the streets of Sacramento to his inauguration as governor — will strike again. Such a storm “is more likely than not” to hit the state at least once in the next 40 years and twice in the next 80, the study found. The 1862 event, the largest recorded flood in California history, saw 43 days of continuous rainfall that washed whole towns away and forced the state capital to be temporarily moved to San Francisco.
- Uber’s Self-Driving Car Just Killed Somebody. Now What?, By Aarian Marshall [www.wired.com] 03.19.18
- At about 10 pm on Sunday evening, a self-driving Uber struck and killed a woman crossing the street in Tempe, Arizona. The crash appears to be the first time a self-driving vehicle has killed someone—and could alter the course of a scantily regulated, poorly understood technology that has the power to save lives and create fortunes.
- The Tempe Police Department reports the Volvo XC90 SUV was in autonomous mode when the crash occurred, though the car had a human safety driver behind the wheel to monitor the technology and retake control in the case of an emergency or imminent crash. The woman, Elaine Herzberg, was transported to a local hospital, where she died from her injuries. The police department will complete its full report later today.
- Uber, Waymo, and other autonomous vehicle developers like Arizona not just for the sunny weather and calm conditions but for the near total lack of restrictions on how they test: Self-driving vehicles don’t need any sort of special permit, just a standard vehicle registration. And their operators don’t have to share any information about what they’re doing with the authorities.
- Thus far, only California demands developers make public specific data on their operations, including descriptions of any crashes, how many miles they drive each year, and how often their human safety operators take control from the robot. Even those numbers are less than helpful in understanding the pace of their work or just how well these things really drive. The state will begin allowing the testing of totally driverless vehicles—without safety drivers for backup—on public roads next month.
- …companies … await legislation that would put the federal government firmly in charge of all autonomous vehicle design, construction, and performance, and allow even more testing—as many as 100,000 vehicles per manufacturer—all over the country. The bill, called the Self Drive Act, passed in the House this fall. But the companion Senate bill, the AV Start Act, has been held up by a few senators who wonder whether the young technology needs more aggressive oversight.
- … Tempe police report the woman was outside the crosswalk when she was hit and killed.
- … human drivers kill just 1.16 people for every 100 million miles driven. Waymo and Uber and all the rest combined are nowhere near covering that kind of distance, and they’ve already killed one.
- What is a “Populist”?
- From Wikipedia: … a political philosophy supporting the rights and power of the people in their struggle against a privileged elite. Critics of populism have described it as a political approach that seeks to disrupt the existing social order by solidifying and mobilizing the animosity of the “commoner” or “the people” against “privileged elites” and the “establishment”. Populists can fall anywhere on the traditional left–right political spectrum of politics and often portray both bourgeois capitalists and socialist organizers as unfairly dominating the political sphere.
- Political parties and politicians often use the terms “populist” and “populism” as pejoratives against their opponents. Such a view sees populism as demagogy, merely appearing to empathize with the public through rhetoric or unrealistic proposals in order to increase appeal across the political spectrum.
- From Merriam-Webster:
- 1: a member of a political party claiming to represent the common people; especially, often capitalized : a member of a U.S. political party formed in 1891 primarily to represent agrarian interests and to advocate the free coinage of silver and government control of monopolies
- 2 : a believer in the rights, wisdom, or virtues of the common people
- A person, especially a politician, who strives to appeal to ordinary people who feel that their concerns are disregarded by established elite groups.
- America’s Cultural Revolution, by Catherine Rampell
- 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.” …
- 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.
- He said that both countries were also “torn apart by ideological struggles,” with kinships, friendships and business relationships being severed by political differences.
- “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.”
- 7 Reforms After Trump, by Keith Boykin (@keithboykin) 12/3/17, 19:31
- Repeal Shelby v Holder (LEGISLATE: Renew Voting Rights Act)
- Repeal Citizens United (LEGISLATE/AMENDMENT: Limit Money in Politics, abolish anonymous money in politics)
- Abolish/Revise electoral college (or can it be saved?)
- Apply anti-nepotism law to White House (It was WRITTEN for White House [Robert Kennedy serving with JFK])
- All declared POTUS candidates must release at least 5 years tax returns and medical physical data. (LEGISLATE/AMENDMENT: for how many years)
- Presidents may not self-pardon (AMENDMENT OR LEGISLATION: or pardon executive appointees?)
- No “self-funding” of campaigns beyond legal donor limit.
- Special counsel has power to indict president
- 2/3 Senate vote to confirm SCOTUS appointment
TOPICS FROM PREVIOUS WEEKS:
- TV Talk:
- “The Good Place”
- “The Orville”
- “Adam Ruins Everything”
SOURCES WHICH MAY BE RELEVANT TO OTHER DISCUSSION: