Midday open thread: Trump's Venezuela policy could hurt his Iran policy; Harris townhall sets record

Today’s comic by Matt Bors is Howard Schultz must be stopped:

Kamala Harris’s televised town hall in Des Moines set CNN viewing record: 

The event, moderated by CNN’s Jake Tapper on Monday night in Des Moines, Iowa, averaged 1.957 million views — the most for a single-candidate town hall in the network’s history, and 75 percent above its four-week average in the 10 p.m slot, CNN said in a news release, citing Nielsen ratings. Monday’s average of 712,000 viewers aged 25-45 eclipsed its competitors in that key demographic: MSNBC had 404,000 during the same hour, while Fox News had 395,000.

Two-term Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti won’t be running for president.

Texas event space owners believe God is straight: Aaron Lucero and Jeff Cannon wanted a country wedding and still do despite being turned down at one venue by fundamentalist fanatics who seem pretty certain of God’s sexual orientation:

…the Venue at Waterstone, in Celina, Texas, refused to host Lucero and Cannon, according to an email sent to the couple the night before they were to tour the rustic event space about 40 miles north of Dallas. In the email, the venue’s owner Lyle Wise explains that he’s only turning the couple away based on their sexual orientation because of his “love and gratitude” to God. […]

“Our love and gratitude to Him might be mistaken as being unloving toward others,” the email read, in part. “Although we do not host LGBTQ weddings or receptions, we are more than happy to converse and further explain our beliefs and the love God has shown us as well as how. He is conforming our lives to Himself.”

MIDDAY TWEET

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The costliest war in American history man for man was the 1873 Modoc War. It took the Army nearly a year, a thousand soldiers, and half a million dollars to defeat 52 Modocs led by Kintpuash in California who fiercely resisted removalLiterally nothing more American than that… pic.twitter.com/DTTz1jzoEr

— Brett A. Chapman (@brettachapman) January 30, 2019

South Dakota legislators may replace the fiddle with the accordion as state’s official musical instrument. How come the glockenspiel isn’t being considered?

Ultra-right Brazilian government plans to develop “unproductive” Amazon: 

With Brazil’s Bolsonaro administration not even a month old, the new president’s Chief of Strategic Affairs last week announced plans to build a bridge over the Amazon River in Pará state in order to begin developing what he called an “unproductive, desertlike” region ­– a reference to the Amazon rainforest. […]

General Santa Rosa’s announcement represents the latest in a long line of mega-infrastructure projects, proposed over the last 50 years by both military and civilian governments to “develop” the Amazon by means of roads, dams, industrial waterways, railways, and in this case, a major bridge. General Santa Rosa’s description of the project seems reminiscent of the position of Brazil’s military dictatorship which ended more than three decades ago, and treated the Amazon as an empty wilderness, while disregarding the cultures and livelihoods of indigenous and traditional populations who have lived there for centuries.

In this return to an old mindset that was supposedly squelched by the nation’s 1988 constitution, there’s no mention of the impact on indigenous people or the quilombo communities of descendants of runaway slaves who live in the region. And no mention of how important the Amazon rainforest is for the whole planet. 

By taking Venezuelan oil off the market by putting of the screws to the Maduro government with economic sanctions, the Trump regime could make it harder for Trump to put the screws to Iran’s oil industry this spring. 

Yet another oh-so-precious lie about President Obama from the Donald: Trump, who practically lives on the golf course when he isn’t consuming great gobs of Foxaganda programming, claims President Obama sat around watching basketball all the time:

“He just sat in here and watched basketball all day,” Trump said, according to Team of Vipers, a new book by former White House aide Cliff Sims, the Washington Post reports. Trump also claimed that the room, much like America since his presidency, was in “rough shape” when he took office and even claimed that there was a hole in the wall, all of which was bullshit.

On today’s Kagro in the Morning show: A little examination of the Cult of Centrism, with Greg Dworkin and Joan McCarter. Though Centrists would insist we meet in the middle, and say it was Greg McCarter. Legislative efforts to automatically avoid shutdowns. Foxconn flakes out on WI jobs.

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