HomeUncategorized9/21 News Roundup & Open Thread
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Hmmm, a coincidence?

RE: O’Rourke-Cruz debate:

Soon, it will be time to bid a fond adieu to the “evening star,” the planet Venus. Since the end of March, it has been a very prominent object in the evening sky shortly after sunset, and it will reach its greatest brilliancy Sept. 21, low to the horizon.


Yep, good viewing of Mars, Jupiter and Saturn as well. Our local weather channel has a star gazing segment when celestial events are coming. Even when the space station is in range to see at night.


An interesting article on Venus, chronicling the whole year, with a picture and everything. Well written.

During the last week of September, as Venus rapidly sinks lower each night, it will appear as a relatively large and slender crescent. It will disappear from the evening sky within the first few days of October.

In November, Venus sprouts up into the predawn eastern sky, to reach an even greater maximum height in the morning skies of December. And Christmas 2018 will see Venus mimicking a modern-day Star of Bethlehem, appearing as a glorious “star in the east” before sunrise.

Don midwest
Don midwest

Michael Moore on how good Trump is. Good at capturing people.

It happened to Moore himself. He was booked on Rosanne Barr’s daytime show which was a big deal daytime show back in 1998. Moore didn’t know that Trump was going to be on the show nor did Trump know that Moore would be on the show. When Trump showed up, he refused to be on with Moore but Moore talked him into going on the show, and Moore realized afterwards that he had made a promise to him to be nice.

Because of this experience of being hoodwinked, Moore followed his campaign and there is a lot of stuff in his movie how Trump’s ride down the golden elevator and signs was all fake: paid extras, etc.

Moore predicted Trump would win early on. He saw how he was a master at what he did.

Hopefully this movie will be part of a wave to knock Trump and the Republicans off their pedestal and slow down the coup. Cannot recover for decades from all the judges Trump has already appointed – more than W Bush and Obama combined.

There are many segments of the democracy now interview. Here is the one with this incident

Trump Warned Michael Moore Not to Make a Film About Him in 1998 Interview on Roseanne Show

There is already a transcript published.

MICHAEL MOORE: Yes. And I’ve done TV Nation at that time. And I was in the process of starting The Awful Truth, which was the TV Nation when we moved it to another network. So, he decides to leave again. And they ask him to please wait. They come to me and they say, “Oh my god, he’s going to leave because of you. We don’t want you to leave.
Can you just talk to him? Can you just calm him down or whatever?” And I said, “Sure, sure.”

So I went over to him—and this part isn’t in the movie—but I go over to him, I shake his hand. It’s all clammy and—I don’t know why he’s all nervous about me. And I said, “They said you’re thinking of leaving.” “Well, I don’t want to like go up there on the show—I don’t want to go out and mix it up and, you know.” I said, “This is an afternoon talk show. It’s Roseanne. It’s comedy. Just relax. Don’t leave.” And essentially, I kind of promised him not to go after his—by that point, his various real estate dealings, how he was treating the workers, the Central Park Five, discriminating against—I think out of the thousands of apartments they had out in their so-called middle-class housing in the boroughs, seven were rented to black families.

To get him not to leave, I sort of promise him. And then—so he does the show. And you will see, when you see the movie, I joke around a little, but I don’t go after him.


To be kind Trumpcorp is the worst type of (unbelievable) bullshitter that you will ever meet. A lot of people just love to be Bullshitted. I was in sales for a while and got out I just couldn’t do the bullshitting anymore to sell and the owner expected us to do this type of selling.


That’s interesting. Loneliness? What makes us susceptible to or even happy to be persuaded by bullshit? :O)

Don midwest
Don midwest

Time for a confession

I watched mainstream news and it wasn’t that bad.

My wife was doing a fundraiser for a non profit and I got the job of stuffing, stamping and labeling 400 envelopes.

I have not watched that much mainstream TV news in I don’t know how long. We have Dish NW which has Free Speech TV, Link TV, RT but the real reason is that my wife is a tennis fan and they broadcast the Tennis Channel.

I guess when things are truly horrible like the Kavanaugh disaster, they can look good. I even watched Rachel Maddow who has been taken down by the kinds of people I follow.

My wife subscribes to the WA Post and they have figured out that I don’t have a subscription so I can’t get their articles.

By the way, the reason I stopped WAPOST was that my favorite part was Dan Froomkin and he was fired so I walked. His column was White House Watch which mostly had links. He has been various places in the following years and just in the last month he started up his old gig

Here is a link to one of his issues. On the right hand side he has links to other issues

Press coverage of Trump’s grotesque tweet fails miserably to explain what’s wrong with it

Don midwest
Don midwest

From Dan Froomkin

Money-laundering 101:

Trump spends $2M to build condo

Russian oligarch buys it for $3M

Trump deposits cash, tells bank: I sold a condo

Bank says: OK

Oligarch sells condo for $2M

Oligarch deposits cash, tells bank: I sold a condo

Link to Dan’s article which contains this

Private: Trump’s World of Luxury Real Estate Is Fueled By Money-Laundering

This is from Dan at American Constitution Society


And money laundering puts so much into the economy that now neodems love it, too. But sshhhhh.

Ozark is a good show but I wonder if Trump actually has any Feds going after it–maybe some little guys.


BTW, Rectify is about a guy trying to transition from 20 years on death row to civilian life–probably fiction, but well acted. I wasn’t going to watch it but once i did was hooked. a little slow, but that’s what FF is for, and it’s not that bad. it’s supposed to contribute to the sort of “which life is the dream?” attitude, maybe. Good actors. Originally on Sundance. Sleeper.


What channel is it on?


Nevermind, I see that it’s on Netflix (which I don’t have atm).


Unfortunately, it’s not just Trump.

How foreign investors launder their money in New York real estate

Something similar holds for London — as economist Gabriel Zucman, an expert on hidden wealth, writes, “Why do we allow a great chunk of Manhattan and London to be owned by faceless shells, potentially hiding criminals and money launderers?”

So what might be done? First, there needs to be an all-out assault on money laundering. Enforcement of these laws has been so lax of late that criminals have become extremely sloppy, so many properties might be easily seized. Second, municipalities like New York could ban foreign shell companies from purchasing residential property, and perhaps institute a residency requirement, saying an apartment must be occupied at least eight months a year or be repossessed.

Real estate is also being used by organized crime to launder money. This article talks about how that’s a problem in Vancouver (Canada):

Former realtor linked to B.C. gangs facing money laundering charges in U.S.

If people’s hate for Trump helps to shine the light on this issue, well I guess that’s the fake gold lining of the Trump era?


Yes, this Kavanaugh fiasco has been a nice respite from the constant RUSSIA!! crap.


But, seriously, if MSM is going to be in constant freak-out mode, I’d rather they use that energy to try to take down a crappy SC nominee like Kavanaugh than their usual schtick.


They have to, if they give even one little iota for the USA. imho. They could do it, create an atmosphere where Kavanaugh is poison.

Maybe we could get a campaign going on emailing the MSM. I did it with some people during the Obama campaign and it seemed to help some. Morning Joe would talk about getting a lot of email about this or that.

Back in the day. Imagine getting excited about watching Morning Joe and working really hard to counter bad news on the MSM. haha. Fun while it lasted, eh?

Don midwest
Don midwest

Emptywheel, Marcy Wheeler, continues excellent work.

This is a good piece about character witnesses.


Are the Republicans so confident that they can invalidate character?

She goes through each of them and shows how they are the opposite of what is needed.

Here is a comment

Peterr says:
September 21, 2018 at 12:23 pm
Marcy’s list, expanded:

Ken “Football Boys will be Football Boys” Starr

Bill “Roger Ailes and Bill O’Reilly were framed” Shine

Donald “Grab ’em by the pussy” Trump

Rob “My wife had it coming, and so did my other wife” Porter

Roy “I just like hanging out at the Mall” Moore

Two thoughts on Marcy’s list:

“Only the best people . . .” and
“With friends like these . . .”


Kavanaugh is Clarence Thomas in whiteface. He’s that radically stupid, and proud of it. I like Froomkin, too. Signed on to the Intercept cos of him. Thanks, Don m. 🙂

Don midwest
Don midwest

Glenn Greenwald just posted an article on Michael Moore’s film

This point was made several times in this blog post and hundreds of times over the years starting with Bernie News Roundup

FAHRENHEIT 11/9,” the title of Michael Moore’s new film that opens today in theaters, is an obvious play on the title of his wildly profitable Bush-era “Fahrenheit 9/11,” but also a reference to the date of Donald J. Trump’s 2016 election victory. Despite that, Trump himself is a secondary figure in Moore’s film, which is far more focused on the far more relevant and interesting questions of what – and, critically, who – created the climate in which someone like Trump could occupy the Oval Office.

For that reason alone, Moore’s film is highly worthwhile regardless of where one falls on the political spectrum. The single most significant defect in U.S. political discourse is the monomaniacal focus on Trump himself, as though he is the cause – rather than the by-product and symptom – of decades-old systemic American pathologies.

Personalizing and isolating Trump as the principal, even singular, source of political evil is obfuscating and thus decietiful. By effect, if not design, it distracts the population’s attention away from the actual architects of their plight.

Trump is a distraction from the coup going on right now.

Will we ever recover?

Michael Moore’s “Fahrenheit 11/9″ Aims Not at Trump But at Those Who Created the Conditions That Led to His Rise


Stopping Kavanaugh is a must. Not much we can do except let our “reps” know how we feel.


It’s certainly “a must” for me! He’s awful!!!!!!!!!!



I was looking at DNC numbers on expenditures for specific recipients in 2018 cycle. Why did Obama get a $1000? He wasn’t running for an office.


Why We Have To Break Up Amazon

The European Union’s Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager may be onto the location of the soft spot on Amazon’s armor, where a well-placed antitrust arrow could be used to bring the digital behemoth down to size.

The region’s antitrust enforcer announced on Wednesday that she is launching an inquiry into Amazon’s relationships with its third-party resellers, zeroing in on the data that Amazon collects from those resellers and whether that data is exploited with the ultimate goal of putting those resellers out of business—or at least out of business that Amazon wants exclusively for itself.

“Amazon is a prime symbol of the concentration of economic power across a range of sectors that has in the past two decades led to suppressed wage growth for a majority of workers in America and the narrowing of paths that used to exist to the middle class.”

It is the kind of inquiry that people like Stacy Mitchell, the director of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, has been pushing for. In an interview this week for The Next System Podcast, a project of the Democracy Collaborative, Mitchell explained that Amazon is to the 21st century what railroads were to the late 19th century. Amazon’s third-party reseller program underscores the parallel.


I totally agree that we have to break up Amazon. But it won’t be easy!!
David vs. Goliath.


Ottawa gives pipeline regulator 22 weeks to review Trans Mountain expansion project

The Liberal government is instructing the federal pipeline regulator to review the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion to consider the project’s impact on the marine environment.

Natural Resources Minister Amarjeet Sohi said Friday the National Energy Board will have 22 weeks to hear from Canadians and report back to government.

The minister said the government will outline plans for further consultation with Indigenous people in due course.

The court said Canada’s efforts to meaningfully consult with Indigenous people, as required by law, fell short, and criticized the lack of attention given to how increased tanker traffic off the coast of British Columbia would affect the environment.

NDP MP Nathan Cullen said the Liberals are prolonging a process which already has determined that increased tanker traffic will harm endangered killer whales.

“Doing the same thing and expecting different results is the definition of insanity,” he said.

Cullen also also questioned the government’s commitment to hearing from, and acting on, the concerns of Indigenous people.

“You can’t have meaningful consultations if you’ve already made up your minds,” he said.

“For them to go to Indigenous leaders in B.C. and say, ‘We’d now like your opinion’ is the opposite of meaningful. It’s tokenism, it’s paternalistic.”


Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s support for Hayes sparks GOP pushback

Warren, the outspoken Democratic senator from Massachusetts who is considered a presidential contender in 2020, tweeted her support for Hayes and encouraged donors in a letter to give generously to Hayes’ campaign.

“The only way we are going to protect what makes our country truly great already will be by electing leaders like Jahana Hayes,” reads a letter to supporters from Warren. “She’s committed to fighting for Medicare for all, for stronger guns laws, and for an education system that serves all our kids…”

While Hayes said she was grateful for Warren’s support, her GOP opponent said the endorsement was evidence that Hayes was too far left for voters of the 5th District, which stretches from greater Danbury to Massachusetts.

(Hayes) is running against Santos to replace U.S. Rep. Elizabeth Esty, a three-term Democrat who dropped re-election plans after admitting her role in covering up an office abuse scandal.

The state’s most competitive Congressional district, the 5th is where a Republican has the best chance of being elected to Congress.

This is my district and I sure do hope that Jahana Hayes wins!

Her R opponent (Manny Santos) is Trump supporter who is even more pro-guns than Trump. One would hope that won’t play out very well in the district that includes Sandy Hook.
(you may recall that the Sandy Hook murderer was 20 yrs old)

The only time Santos, 49, who immigrated with his family from Portugal as a child, has disagreed with Trump was after one comment the commander-in-chief made on gun laws, Santos said.

“When he suggested raising the age of owning long guns to age 21… it’s just, it’s a non-starter for me,” he said.


What an arsehole. Good luck to Jahana Hayes.


I like her too.

We Are Not the Resistance

Donald Trump is the one who is pushing back against the new nation that’s struggling to be born.

This is Michelle Alexander’s debut column (for NYT Opinion).

we’ve also seen a broader, bipartisan idea of “resistance” take hold, one that seems to include everyone from establishment Democrats like Nancy Pelosi to the civil rights legend John Lewis to democratic socialists like Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to James Comey, who has spent most of his adult life as a registered Republican.

Unlike the Tea Party, which was born after President Barack Obama’s inauguration and which spawned a proliferation of well-funded, loosely affiliated right-wing groups determined to hijack the Republican Party and push it farther to the right, the only common denominator for “the resistance” today is a commitment to resisting Donald Trump — the man, not necessarily his mission.

One might argue that the big tent of “the resistance” is its greatest strength: A massive united front becomes possible when the barrier to entry is so low. If you’re revolted by Trump’s tweets and feel terrified by his access to the nuclear codes, you too can join the resistance.

There is power in numbers, to be sure, but I’ve begun to wonder whether the downsides to “the resistance” frame outweigh the benefits.

Personally, I’ve been wondering that for a long time.

At first, I thought the question wasn’t worth entertaining because #Resist is a hashtag, nothing more. To the extent “the resistance” is an organized political force, it’s doing quite well. The rising number of progressive candidates and the promising midterm election map are testament to the power of the resistance, however it’s defined.

But the time may have come to take the downsides more seriously. Resistance is a reactive state of mind. While it can be necessary for survival and to prevent catastrophic harm, it can also tempt us to set our sights too low and to restrict our field of vision to the next election cycle, leading us to forget our ultimate purpose and place in history.

And then, BOOM:

The disorienting nature of Trump’s presidency has already managed to obscure what should be an obvious fact: Viewed from the broad sweep of history, Donald Trump is the resistance. We are not.

the mind-set of “the resistance” is slippery and dangerous. There’s a reason marchers in the black freedom struggle sang “We Shall Overcome” rather than chanting “We Shall Resist.” Their goal was to overcome a racial caste system — to end it — and to create a new nation, a Beloved Community. Similarly, those who opposed slavery didn’t view themselves as resisters; they were abolitionists.

Today, many of us in the movements to end mass deportation and mass incarceration do not want to simply resist those systems. We aim to end them and reimagine the meaning of justice in America.

Happy sigh. Michelle has really helped me out with her articulation.
It’ll be interesting to see some of the reactions.

By the same token, many of those who are battling climate change and building movements for economic justice understand that merely tinkering with our political and economic systems will not end poverty or avert climate disaster, nor will mere resistance to the status quo. As the saying goes, “What you resist persists.” Another world is possible, but we can’t achieve it through resistance alone.


And yes, electing the first black President was something to be proud of, regardless of what a putz he turned out to be. It was an almost essential step and, as she says, brought out hidden, vicious corners in this country (and others?). Good to see the mold. Or the rattlesnake. Although neither of those natural beings are vicious.


I am over the John Lewis worship. When Raygun was elected, John Lewis jumped on board to support every one of the drug testing crap those FRighties proposed. That includes hair testing. Lewis can go suck rotten eggs IMO.


I really like this thinking for resisting is just defensive and may be effective for slowing down a negative change, but to be honest is pretty useless for enacting positive change.

We need to make them be the ones resisting us, not us them.



hee hee :O)


Debate time!

Beto gets the first question, why is giving citizenship to DACA recipients important?

Beto said that it was one of the greatest concerns when he and his wife canvassed in various areas of Texas.

Defining border experience, freeing DACA from fear, deportation could mean a loss to the economy.

Ted says that Beto is fighting for illegal immigrants. Beto counters that the wall Cruz wants to build would take farm and ranchland away by eminent domain.


you can see it here: https://www.dallasnews.com/news/2018-elections/2018/09/21/watch-live-texas-senate-debate-ted-cruz-beto-orourke

guns now. beto says teachers don’t want guns. talks about people who have lost children. “Thoughts and prayers are just not going to cut it anymore.”

“I’m sorry you don’t like thoughts and prayers.” Wants more armed police officers. Right. Making schools prisons sounds great.

Both sides got cheers. Beto’s sounded louder to me.

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