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October 19, 2018

Hal Brown October, 2018c

Back earlier in October: 

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Oct. 21, 2018
Today's Daily Kos story made their recommended list. I'd prefer stories that I work on for a long time which are really my opinion columns get recommended, however, I am not quibbling.

Just so you know:  In case the Supreme Court makes abortion illegal or almost impossible, there is a way for women to get safe and legal abortions.

I didn't know this about how Mitch McConnell avoided being sent to Vietnam:
from Blue Grass Politics, 2008

Questions about McConnell’s military service have popped up toward the end of each of his last three campaigns. McConnell has previously allowed reporters to view some of his military records, but he has never allowed anyone to copy
the documents.
Based on records the Herald-Leader has obtained from the National Archives and the University of Kentucky, a bare outline emerges.
McConnell was a 25-year-old University of Kentucky law student with political aspirations in spring 1967, during the Vietnam War.
As his graduation neared, making him eligible for the draft, McConnell secured a coveted post in the U.S. Army Reserve, which President Lyndon Johnson kept out of combat for most of his administration. McConnell enlisted March 21, 1967, and then returned to UK to finish law school.
Private McConnell spent little time in uniform. He won a discharge from the Reserve after five weeks of active duty. He trained at Fort Knox from July 9 to Aug. 15, 1967.
McConnell’s discharge came five days after U.S. Sen. John Sherman Cooper, R-Ky., for whom he had worked as an intern, sent a letter to the two-star general in command of Fort Knox.
Cooper informed Maj. Gen. A.D. Surles that McConnell expected to be released on a medical discharge because of optic neuritis, a painful eye condition that is treated by steroids. The young man’s papers seemed to be stalled somewhere on base, evidently with a “Specialist Hummer,” and needed to be forwarded, Cooper wrote.
“Mitchell anxious to clear post in order to enroll NYU,” the senator told the general on Aug. 10, 1967. “Please advise when final action can be expected.”
Lifestyle: Things your grandchildren know about but you don’t

Oct. 20, 2018

Quote of the day: “They must have thought they could somehow get away with it (killing Khashoggi) because the Trump administration wouldn’t hold them to account,” former head of British MI-6 Sawers said. From HuffPost

Oct. 19, 2018

House Intel Dem claims Jared Kushner may have given Saudis an assassination ‘enemies list’

Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX) on Friday shocked CNN’s Poppy Harlow when he said that Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner may have slipped U.S. intelligence to Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman that led to the alleged killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
“Let me get to the point that is most disturbing right now,” Castro said. “The reporting that Jared Kushner may have, with U.S. intelligence, delivered a hit list, an enemies list, to the crown prince, to MBS, in Saudi Arabia and that the prince may have acted on that, and one of the people he took action against is Mr. Khashoggi.”
Oct. 18, 2018

Oct. 17, 2018 (Yesterday's Daily Kos article about Elizabeth Warren and the Cherokee Nation was also published on Capitol Hill Blue.)

Let’s Get Donald and Stormy Back Together Again! (Politico - It's positively Shakespearean)

The sexual sparring between rom-com lovers Donald Trump and Stormy Daniels—previously bottled up in court—ripped open like an overflowing bodice this morning on Twitter as the president called his former lover “Horseface” and she shot back within minutes, calling him a hater of women, a devotee of bestiality and, most cruelly, “Tiny.” 

They’re hopelessly in love, aren’t they? 

The antecedent of this bickering, insulting relationship between a seemingly unsuited pair of lovers is the story of Beatrice and Benedick from Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing.

American public might never see final Mueller report on Russian election interference - ABC News) here's the bottom line“Rosenstein could, right now, tell Congress (or even a small group of members, with appropriate safeguards, including secrecy) what has happened — what Mueller has learned so far, whether Rosenstein has ever said “no” to Mueller and where the investigation is headed now,” he wrote in the Washington Post. “Such a move would be unusual, to say the least. But it is a way for Rosenstein to safeguard his legacy. And it could also safeguard the very principle that no one is above the law. Not even the president — and not even this president.”

Oct. 16, 2018 
83 comments on Daily Kos

Not a big surprise: at his core, Lindsay Graham is a bigot.

Oregon residents know what Gov. Kate Brown means when she talks about the plans for "the big one." Here they are.

Oct. 15, 2018
Click images to enlarge
This painting is in the background of the photo with Trump and Leslie Stahl. The latest addition to the White House is a painting called “The Republican Club,” by artist Andy Thomas which depicts President Donald Trump hanging out with Republican presidents of the past. The painting shows Trump seated between Presidents Eisenhower and Nixon, directly across from Abraham Lincoln. Teddy Roosevelt, Dwight Eisenhower, Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan. Both Bushes are also shown. The painting could be seen in the background of a photo tweeted by 60 Minutes, which aired an interview with Trump last night.

Oct. 14, 2018
This story was also published on Capitol Hill Blue: 

 From Slate: There’s really only so much anyone can do to make one of Kanye West’s political monologues weirder, but Chris Redd—who was not a fan of West’s SNL stunt—gives it his all. Still, the usual SNL cold open tactic of exaggerating and caricaturing one of the week’s events is more or less useless here, because West, like Trump, was already at eleven.

The title of this undated photo (see Feb. 2018 article) should be "Fashion Model Leading Doddering Grandfather Up a Flight of Stairs"

Excerpt from this long article:

But in the Freudian view, the success of the Trumpian con should point us to our archaic heritage – and indeed the past to which Trumpism aspires lies much deeper than the mid-20th century, or whatever period those red hats are referring to. Trump promises more than the restoration of white men to their rightful place at the top of the org chart. He promises to make the world comprehensible again without the intercession of pointy-headed elites and the nagging of social justice warriors. He urges us all to shake loose the surly bonds of civilised conduct: to make science irrelevant and rationality optional, to render truth obsolete, to set power free to roam the world, to lift all the core conditions written into the social contract – fealty to reason, scepticism about instincts, aspirations to justice. We then, at last, will be restored to the primordial American state of nature – free to consume, to pillage, to destroy, to wall out our neighbours and to hate people for living in shitholes.
Trump indeed does more than promise: with his profligate lies, his proud immorality, his sneering disdain for fairness, his disregard for consistency or any other kind of integrity, he embodies those promises. He is the anti-Aufklärer, and his deepest appeal lies in an unspoken promise that lies behind the others: to undo the Enlightenment, to free us from the burdens of living rationally in a world where nothing is settled and where everything – economic well-being, national borders, gender identities, domestic arrangements – is up for grabs, let the strongest prevail.
If the machine guns and mustard gas of the first world war revealed to Freud the fragility of what had seemed solid, the election of Trump reveals its decrepitude, if not its collapse. Without a single shot, with hardly any sort of sustained violent break at all, in a collective ejaculation of rage and resentment, a near-majority of the electorate went with its gut and rejected not a candidate or a party but an ethos shaped over five centuries, of which Freud was an acolyte and the odd profession he spawned an apotheosis. They rose up against the demand imposed by modernity – that we use reason to figure things out for ourselves – and replaced it not with the old rules, but with impulse itself, with the vengeance and cruelty and rage that Trump so brilliantly embodies. Freud’s answer, that we find our limits only when we recognise just how badly we need them, was insufficient, and its transvalued version even more so. As John Adams recognised in noting the way that democracy “wastes, exhausts and murders itself”, individuals may conquer themselves but “nations and large bodies of men, never”.

"His ardent support for this amoral man betrayed the values that we hold as Republicans and as Christians."


“When Donald Trump was elected president, I wondered what had happened to my party. He was filthy, the opposite of everything that I was taught to strive for. His name was on strip clubs in Atlantic City and Las Vegas. He openly bragged about taking sexual advantage of women,” he wrote. “As a boy, I looked up in reverence to the men who stood on stage at the Promise Keepers conventions, preaching about living with integrity. They talked about being unselfish, sacrificing yourself for others, keeping promises at all costs. To see a president so out of sync with these values was jarring. Weren’t we the Moral Majority?”
Shinn then recalled when he first moved into Nunes’ district.
“I was proud to be represented by him,” he explained. “He was a farmer, one of the salt-of-the-earth people I could trust to carry out my commonsense Republican values. His influence grew and his family stopped farming in California, but I was proud to see him listed on Time’s Most Influential 40-Under-40 list of politicians to watch. He said then that the Founding Fathers were his political heroes, and I applauded. I voted for him in every election.”
“But Devin Nunes’s behavior became bizarre and erratic after President Trump’s election. His ardent support for this amoral man betrayed the values that we hold as Republicans and as Christians,” he charged. “He seemed to be possessed, serving a new master who neither knew about nor cared about the value of integrity or the ideas that Nunes’ former heroes Madison and Jefferson enshrined in our founding documents. When he followed President Trump into attacks on the free press, I saw the once-valued fourth estate under attack. Those who aspire to integrity encourage the accountability of the press. Those with something to hide attack it.”
According to the Republican, he is done with Nunes forever and said he will vote for Democratic nominee Andrew Janz in November.

Fox News host rages at SNL skit of Kanye and Trump: ‘If you support the president, you are either crazy or racist’

Are more Americans getting dumber or have they be Trumpified? Read: CBS sees surge in US Flat Earthers who say there’s no rover on Mars: ‘Most people think we’re idiots

Along the same lines, how gullible does one have to be to think a supplement can increase IQ by 70-100%? Trump Battles the FDA Over Carson’s Breakthrough Discovery! Says “This WILL NOT Be Banned, The American People Have a Right To Have Access To This” There's nothing in the article about Trump or the FDA, though Bill O'Reilly's endorsement is featured. Of course, promotions for brain supplements like this are rife with lies and fake promotions, even from Stephen Hawking, as this article points out.

Chinese Ambassador Cui Tiankai: It’s ‘very confusing’ trying to figure out who Trump listens to on trade - WaPo 


“Are you clear who President Trump listens to on trade issues, whether it’s moderates like Kudlow and Mnuchin or hard-liners like Navarro?” (on Fox News) host Chris Wallace asked, referring to White House chief economic adviser Larry Kudlow, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and trade adviser Peter Navarro.

Cui replied: “You tell me.”

“Honestly, I’ve been talking to ambassadors of other countries in Washington, D.C., and this is also part of their problem,” Cui continued. “They don’t know who is the final decision-maker. Of course, presumably the president will take the final decision. But who is playing what role? Sometimes, it could be very confusing.”

Oct. 13, 2018: 

All about Kanye West: Would it matter to GOP women if they knew who he really was? My Daily Kos article.

Click image to enlarge

I am honored and pleased to announce that Capitol Hill Blue (the oldest political website) will be republishing some of my Daily Kos stories. A number of years ago I wrote a weekly political column for them and became long-distance friends with the founder of the venerable website Doug Thompson. He is no longer actively running the website but has arranged for the editors to keep up on my stories and republish those they think fit their focus. They just published my Beto O'Rourke story as their top of the page story.

Back earlier in October: