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Thinkwing Radio with Mike Honig (@ThinkwingRadio), a listener call-in show airing live every Monday night from 3-4 PM (CT) on KPFT-FM 90.1 (Houston). My engineer is Leti. Today’s show is a fundraising show, so, with apologies, we can’t take on-air phone calls,
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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.
“This too shall pass” ~ (Persian: این نیز بگذرد, translit. īn nīz bogzarad, Hebrew: גַּם זֶה יַעֲבֹר, translit. gam zeh yaʻavor, Turkish: bu da geçer ya hu) is an adage reflecting on the temporary nature, or ephemerality, of the human condition. The general sentiment is often expressed in wisdom literature throughout history and across cultures, although the specific phrase seems to have originated in the writings of the medieval Persian Sufi poets. It is known in the Western world primarily due to a 19th century retelling of Persian fable by the English poet Edward FitzGerald. It was also notably employed in a speech by Abraham Lincoln before he became the sixteenth President of the United States. (From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)
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Make sure you are registered to vote!
- HarrisVotes.com (Election Information Line (713) 755-6965) Dr. Diane Trautman, Harris County Clerk
- In Texas, but outside Harris County? VoteTexas.gov
- You may vote early by-mail if
- you are registered to vote and meet one of the following criteria:
- Away from the county of residence on Election Day and during the early voting period;
- Sick or disabled;
- 65 years of age or older on Election Day; or
- Confined in jail, but eligible to vote.
- Make sure you are registered:
- Sample Ballots are now available!
- HARRIS CTY – IDENTIFICATION REQUIRED FOR VOTING: Do not possess and cannot reasonably obtain one of these IDs?
- Fill out a declaration at the polls describing a reasonable impediment to obtaining it, and show a copy or original of one of the following supporting forms of ID:
- A government document that shows your name and an address, including your voter registration certificate
- Current utility bill
- Bank statement
- Government check
- (a) A certified domestic (from a U.S. state or territory) birth certificate or (b) a document confirming birth admissible in a court of law which establishes your identity (which may include a foreign birth document)
- Outside Texas? Try Vote.org.
- Make it a point to listen to my April 22, 2019 Interview with Harris County Clerk Dr. Dianne Trautman
- In Texas, but outside Harris County? VoteTexas.gov
- With no Fox News in the U.K., Trump calls for boycott of CNN parent AT&T – “When the World watches @CNN, it gets a false picture of USA. Sad!” the president tweeted after he arrived in London. By Claire Atkinson | COM | June 3, 2019 11:12 AM CDT
- President Donald Trump appeared to call for a boycott of AT&T Monday as part of his long-running disagreement with the company’s news operation, CNN.
- Trump, who is in London on an official state visit, suggested on Monday morning that CNN is the primary source of information about the U.S. for Britons, and wanted to know why AT&T didn’t “do something” given the network’s “unfair coverage.”
- Fox News, one of Trump’s favorite outlets, is no longer carried in the U.K. It was dropped in 2017 by Sky, the major pay-TV service in Europe, after Fox News said it would no longer provide its feed. …
- Russia’s Plan for 2020 U.S. Presidential Election – Inflaming Racial Discord?, POLYGRAPH.INFO | June 01, 2019
- Likely True: Yevgeny Prigozhin allegedly controls the Internet Research Agency with resources for global operations
- About: info is a fact-checking website produced by Voice of America (VOA) and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. The website serves as a resource for verifying the increasing volume of disinformation and misinformation being distributed and shared globally. A similar website in the Russian language can be found at factograph.info.
Mikhail Khodorkovsky, Russian opposition figure: “Worse of all, the idea of organizing racial rallies to cause the U.S.A. to collapse is not an isolated case of an acute psychotic break-down of some mentally ill staffer. In the same letter, Prigozhin’s staffers are bragging about their participation in the wars in eastern Ukraine, in Syria. They are also building plans to ‘assist in training national security forces’ in such countries as Qatar, Sudan, CAR, Chad, Madagascar, as well as ‘implementation of joint projects with Congo, South Sudan, Ethiopia.’ And that, as we know, are not just plans but reality.” Source: Facebook, May 21, 2019
- Yevgeny Prigozhin allegedly controls the Internet Research Agency with resources for global operations. In a Facebook post on May 21, exiled politician Mikhail Khodorkovsky said Russia had a plan for the next presidential election in the U.S. and the plan was to aggravate racial discord in the country.
- A day earlier, NBC News published documents, which the agency said it had obtained from a London, U.K.-based team of Russian investigative journalists, working for the “Dossier Center” – established and financed by Khodorkovsky.
- “The documents — communications between associates of Yevgeny Prigozhin, a Kremlin-linked oligarch indicted by special counsel Robert Mueller for previous influence operations against the U.S. — laid out a new plot to manipulate and radicalize African Americans. The plans show that Prigozhin’s circle has sought to exploit racial tensions well beyond Russia’s social media and misinformation efforts tied to the 2016 election,” NBC reported.
- The plans, according to NBC, included a blueprint, entitled “Development Strategy of a Pan-African State on U.S. Territory,” which floated the idea of enlisting poor, formerly incarcerated African Americans “who have experience in organized crime groups” as well as members of “radical black movements for participation in civil disobedience actions.”
- “The infrastructure for this project is already prepared. The American society is not immune to this project. The objective is to stage a certain number of interracial clashes with a good TV footage, which later will be sold to the Russian public, as well as to the American, European, etc.,” Khodorkovsky said later in an interview to the Voice of America Russian Service.
- Khodorkovsky said, “designing” such conflicts “artificially with the kind of technology and money available to the team working under the brand of Mr. Prigozhin is quite realistic.”
- In his Facebook posting, the subject of this fact check, Khodorkovsky said Prigozhin’s efforts in the U.S., Ukraine, Syria, Africa and elsewhere “are not just plans but reality.” …
- … In February 2018, the U.S. Justice Department indictment against Yevgeny Prigozhin, companies controlled by him and persons employed by his companies alleged that Prigozhin engaged in a conspiracy to defraud the U.S. by “impairing, obstructing, and defeating the lawful function of the government through fraud and deceit for the purpose of interfering with the U.S. political and electoral processes.”
- Likely True: Yevgeny Prigozhin allegedly controls the Internet Research Agency with resources for global operations
- Kellyanne Conway dismisses Hatch Act violation: ‘Let me know when the jail sentence starts’, By Brett Samuels | com | – 05/29/19 10:08 AM EDT 1,251
- White House counselor Kellyanne Conway on Wednesday scoffed at a government office’s findings that she violated a decades-old law barring officials from weighing in on elections in their government capacity as she railed against Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden‘s record.
- Conway tore into the former vice president and senator over his vote on the 1994 crime bill, his role in overseeing the 1991 Anita Hill hearing and his record on immigration as she fielded questions from reporters outside the White House. But she insisted she was not commenting on the 2020 election and that she has a right to size up the record of her boss’s potential opponent.
- “I’m going to talk about people’s records because I have the right to,” Conway said. …
- … When reporters noted the Office of Special Counsel (OSC) found she violated the Hatch Act with two interviews she gave in late 2017, Conway was dismissive.
- “Blah, blah, blah,” she said as one reporter recounted the OSC’s findings. “If you’re trying to silence me through the Hatch Act, it’s not going to work,” Conway said.
- “Let me know when the jail sentence starts,” she added.
- The OSC — an entity separate from special counsel Robert Mueller‘s Russia investigation — determined in March 2018 that Conway had violated the Hatch Act with two separate interviews related to the Alabama Senate special election in 2017.
- Under the Hatch Act, enacted in 1939, federal employees are barred from making partisan comments that could sway an election or advocating for political candidates while using their official designations. Civil penalties for violations can include fines or dismissal.
- Politico reported that formal complaints to the OSC about potential Hatch Act violations increased nearly 30 percent during Trump’s first year in office.
- FROM LAST WEEK: Kellyanne Conway Keeps Violating the Hatch Act, FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, May 8, 2019 | Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) | CONTACT: Jordan Libowitz 202-408-5565 | firstname.lastname@example.org
- Washington — Counselor to [Trump] Kellyanne Conway has continued to violate the Hatch Act by providing unprompted attacks on 2020 presidential candidates while acting in her official government role in televised interviews, according to a complaint filed by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) with the Office of Special Counsel (OSC).
- The Hatch Act prohibits any executive branch employee from, “us[ing] his official authority or influence for the purpose of interfering with or affecting the result of an election.” Last March, the [Office of Special Counsel] determined that Conway had violated the Hatch Act in two television interviews regarding Alabama’s special election, even after she received extensive training on how to follow the law following a CREW complaint about her promotion of Ivanka Trump products.
- “Kellyanne Conway’s repeated violation of federal law, especially in light of the OSC’s prior decision and training is appalling,” said CREW Executive Director Noah Bookbinder. “She shows a dangerous disregard for ethics laws and no understanding that government officials should not use their official positions to advance partisan politics.”
- India’s blowout election is a lesson for US Democrats, By Annalisa Merelli | COM/ | May 24, 2019
- Narendra Modi, India’s Hindu nationalist prime minister, defied expectations when he won his second election in an even bigger landslide than the first one. He did so at the expense of India’s Congress party, which campaigned on a secular and pluralist platform.
- Turns out the nationalist message of Modi and his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is hugely popular with voters. It was a massive defeat—the second in a row—for India’s more liberal Congress party. It’s a bitter loss that came with many lessons, ones that Democrats in the United States would be wise to heed. …
- … Politics in India have traditionally been about the economy. This time, however, Modi and the BJP’s support of Hindu nationalism took a more prominent position than it had in past campaigns, exploiting tension with Pakistan to redirect the debate toward national security and anti-Muslim sectarianism. As Modi’s message grew stronger, [the once-dominant Congress Party] failed to really fight for India’s long-established secular ideals. …
- … The Congress isn’t known for its ability to learn lessons, but there are some more to note. And given that a left-leaning party promoting pluralism just lost to a right-leaning party promoting nationalism, the Democratic Party in the United States should probably read a long as it prepares for its own election season.
- Don’t make it about the candidate: Modi’s leadership of the BJP is strong, and there is no separating his party or government’s success and work from his own. His party capitalized on this, turning the election into a referendum on him—rather than his government’s record. Polarizing figures like Modi tend to benefit from these kinds of politics. His party understood this. His adversaries did not.
- Turning the campaign into a vote for or against Modi prevented the opposition from asserting its own ideas. Even when the Congress proposed policies that could have appealed to a broad electorate — for instance, guaranteed minimum income … — they received little attention. As George Lakoff explained in his 2004 book, Don’t Think of an Elephant, obsessing over a candidate’s flaws only makes him or her more popular.
- Democrats in the United States made this mistake in the 2016 election, running a campaign against Donald Trump instead of for their own policies.
- Dare to be different: … For many voters, the Congress party is associated with old-school elitist politics, corruption, and a perceived inability to bring change to India. Gandhi’s candidacy didn’t do much to change anyone’s minds.
- Make friends: Congress also failed to make strong alliances with other, smaller political parties…. Progressives seem to make this mistake a lot. While conservatives often stick together (the Republican Party’s support of Trump during the campaign is a textbook example), liberals often fail to find common ground. In the last presidential campaign, the Democratic primaries went on long after Trump was the presumed nominee. Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton spent more time tearing each other apart than focusing on the bigger fight. The extremely crowded field of potential democratic candidates suggests the same thing could happen again.
- Focus the narrative: Modi’s narrative of a new, strong, corruption-free India—one with international power, credibility and gravitas—appealed to many voters. It delivered a clear vision of what he was promising, and one that Indians were fast to embrace. Congress never presented a clear vision of its own.
- [The Congress Party] decried the threat to secular values [Modi’s Party] posed, and held itself up as its defender. But rather than communicating how those values could help India succeed, the party focused more on what would happen if protections further deteriorated.
- This is not unlike what happened during the 2016 election in the United States. Just look at the campaign slogans: Trump’s “Make America Great Again” had a clear if suspect mission. Clinton’s “Stronger Together” described a status, not an intention. Democrats could face the same problem they did in 2016—and the same problem India’s Congress party faced this week—unless they forget about the opposition, stop playing defense, and promote their own, clear vision.
- Opinion – The Old Scourge of Anti-Semitism Rises Anew in Europe, Jews face threats from extremists on the left and the right. A third of European Jews have considered emigrating. By The Editorial Board (The editorial board represents the opinions of the board, its editor and the publisher. It is separate from the newsroom and the Op-Ed section. |com | May 26, 2019
- For years, Europe maintained the comforting notion that it was earnestly confronting anti-Semitism after the horrors of the Holocaust. It now faces the alarming reality that anti-Semitism is sharply on the rise, often from the sadly familiar direction of the far right, but also from Islamists and the far left.
- The worrisome trend was underscored by a report issued by the German government this month showing that anti-Semitic incidents in Germany had increased by almost 20 percent in 2018 from the previous year, to 1,799, with 69 classified as acts of violence. The most common offense was the use of the swastika and other illegal symbols; the rest ranged from online incitement and insults to arson, assault and murder.
- Of the total, the report attributed 89 percent of the incidents to the far right. Germany, like many other European nations, has seen a resurgence of a neo-fascist right, but much of the recent reporting in Germany on the rise of anti-Semitism has focused on hostility to Jews among Muslim migrants. A European Union survey conducted in 2018 likewise found that among German Jews who had experienced anti-Semitic harassment over the past five years, 41 percent perceived the perpetrators of the most serious incidents to be “someone with a Muslim extremist view.” …
- … That the rise in incidents was in Germany made the government report all the more concerning. But anti-Semitism is on the rise all across Europe, as well as in the United States. France reported an increase of 74 percent in anti-Semitic acts in a single year, with 541 incidents reported in 2018, including widely viewed videotaped insults shouted at the French Jewish intellectual Alain Finkielkraut during one of the Yellow Vest protests. In Britain, nine Labour members of Parliament quit their party in part over the cloud of anti-Semitism hanging over the party leader, Jeremy Corbyn. …
- … In the United States, attacks on synagogues by white-supremacist gunmen have led the growing list of assaults on Jews. [From ADL (the Anti-Defamation League – “The U.S. Jewish community experienced near-historic levels of anti-Semitism in 2018, including a doubling of anti-Semitic assaults and the single deadliest attack against the Jewish community in American history, according to new data from ADL (the Anti-Defamation League) issued today. ADL’s annual Audit of Anti-Semitic incidents recorded a total of 1,879 attacks against Jews and Jewish institutions across the country in 2018, the third-highest year on record since ADL started tracking such data in the 1970s.”]
- A tally of incidents does not tell the full story. To a degree, the numbers reflect the way hate speech, intolerance, anger and once-taboo themes have found their way into the open on social media or via populist movements, allowing hatred of Jews to come out of the shadows. But far-right and far-left politicians have often learned to project themselves as defenders of Jews while drawing on blatantly anti-Semitic tropes, as Mr. Orban has done in Hungary. Among the Muslims of Europe, and among some leftists, a resentment of Israel often crosses into hostility to all Jews. …
- … A CNN poll last November on the state of anti-Semitism in Europe found that a third of respondents said they knew little or nothing about the Holocaust. Nearly a quarter said Jews had too much influence in conflict and wars; more than a quarter said they believed that Jews had too much influence in business and finance. A 2015 survey by the Anti-Defamation League found that 51 percent of Germans believed it was “probably true” that “Jews still talk too much about what happened to them in the Holocaust.” These are the stereotypes that make anti-Semitism an especially pernicious form of bigotry, a grand conspiracy theory in which Jews spread evil in their countries through some illusory subterfuge, whether controlling capital, or the media, or whatever.
- All this is not news to European Jews, who for some time have been feeling less and less safe and welcome in their home countries. After polling more than 16,000 Jews in 12 European countries at the end of last year, the European Union’s Agency for Fundamental Rights concluded that anti-Semitic hate speech, harassment and fear of being recognized as Jews were becoming the new normal. Eighty-five percent of the respondents thought anti-Semitism was the biggest social and political problem in their countries; almost a third said they avoided Jewish events or sites because of safety concerns. More than a third said they had considered emigrating in the five years preceding the survey.
- As appalling as these statistics should be to every European, they should also ring a loud alarm for every American leader of conscience. Speak up, now, when you glimpse evidence of anti-Semitism, particularly within your own ranks, or risk enabling the spread of this deadly virus.
- Report: Texas to lose billions if new major storm hits coast, Updated 9:00 am CDT, Sunday, May 26, 2019 (COM)
- The Urgent Quest for Slower, Better News – The current system for delivering news online is broken. Readers and journalists will need to work together to find a new one. By Michael Luo | NEWYORKER.COM | April 10, 2019
- Commentary: The 45th president of the U.S. is poisoning his nation, By Michael Orton | Special to The [SALT LAKE CITY] Tribune | APR-14-2019