Episode 08: Show Notes and Sources

  1. History’s Greatest Monster
    1. Blocked Scheduled Ban on Pesticide Despite EPA’s Evidence it Damages Kids’ Brains
      1. http://www.iflscience.com/environment/scott-pruitt-blocks-scheduled-ban-on-pesticide-despite-epas-evidence-it-damages-kids-brains/all/
      2. Pesticide known as Chlorpyrifos is banned for household use but not as a large scale pesticide.  Studies by Columbia University, University of California at Berkeley, and Mount Sinai Medical Center show that there’s a link between exposure to Chlorpyrifos and cognitive impairment in children.
      3. A decade of effort by the Natural Resource Defense Council and Pesticide Action Network resulted in the EPA itself proposing the ban until it was vetoed by Pruitt.
      4. Pruitt said, ““By reversing the previous Administration’s steps to ban one of the most widely used pesticides in the world, we are returning to using sound science in decision-making – rather than predetermined results.”
    1. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/04/world/middleeast/syria-gas-attack.html?_r=0
    2. Warplanes dropped chemical nerve agents on the rebel-held Idlib province
    3. 69 people confirmed dead as of Tuesday, but HRO say it could be more than 100
      1. Including at least 10 children
    4. Assad denies that his government launched the attack – which he always does
    5. Possibly linked to Trump’s change in Syria policy to support Assad
      1. Even though he tweeted that Obama should not intervene after a 2013 attack that killed hundreds of civilians
      2. Here’s 13 tweets from 2013 of Trump asking Obama not to attack Asaad: http://www.middleeasteye.net/news/17-tweets-expose-donald-trump-hypocrisy-blaming-obama-syria-gas-attack-idlib-1084542694
      1. Acting more aggressively without fear of US reprisals
      2. Trump blamed Obama for the attacks by not being strong enough to stop Assad
    6. Half credit to Thomas Massie (R-KY4) for doubting that Assad performed the attack
      1. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/wp/2017/04/05/this-gop-congressman-still-doesnt-believe-that-assad-is-behind-the-syrian-attack/?utm_term=.52680e6e5698
      2. “Who benefits? Who benefits, if chemical weapons were used and America weighs in on the side of the rebels, or wades into a war against Assad?”
      3. Which would be a good question except that the State Dept signaled we would support Assad for the first time in the civil war
    1. Christina – Bob stole mine. I’ll go with Paul Ryan. Or Mitch McConnell…
    2. Travis – Scott Pruitt
    3. Bob – Bashar al-Assad, leader of Syria
    4. Curtis –
  2. The Big List
    1. But not really – Congress not informed until after the strikes
      1. Wonder if they informed their allies in Damascus…
      1. NSC staffers also not informed
      2. Apparently Putin got a call! – Russia officially “condemns” the attack
      3. Ate dinner with Chinese president Xi during the attack at Mar-a-lago
    2. 50 cruise missiles dropped on a Syrian airbase – al Shayrat Airbase
      1. Proportional response – chemical attacks were launched from planes – 6 killed
      2. Specifically designed as a deterrent to future attacks – not the start of a new invasion
      3. Each Tomahawk costs $1.59M – $93.8M (two-thirds the budget of NEA)
    3. Rapid turnaround
      1. And Trump tweeted that Obama should avoid intervention then
      1. Then maybe we should have let them in as refugees!
      1. Declared last weekend that Assad’s fate was in the hands of the Syrian people
      2. For years said we shouldn’t get involved in Syria – let them and ISIS fight
      3. Obama requested Congressional authorization in 2013 – Congress denied it
      4. Trump said the images of babies convinced him that a line had been crossed
    4. Cosmetic War – war to look tough
      1. Can actually be used as leverage now – US removes sanctions to improve relationships with Russia – whole goal of #Russiagate
      1. Syria retains ability to fly planes and launch attacks
      2. Russians probably okay with the loss of one airbase to shore up Trump’s domestic support
      3. Gets Trump an approval bump and makes the press say nice things about him
      4. Does little to actually affect the region or threaten Russian assets/interests
    1. http://www.cnbc.com/2017/04/05/steve-bannon-reportedly-removed-from-national-security-council-in-reorganization.html
    2. Bannon reportedly placed on the council to “keep an eye” on Flynn.  Now that Flynn is gone Bannon was removed.  – Isn’t Bannon the guy who recommended Flynn?
    3. This also reinstates National Intelligence Director Dan Coats and Joint Chiefs Chairman Joseph Dunford as regular members of the council.
    4. Bannon still described as Trump’s “Top Advisor”
    5. McMaster asserting his experience as a 3-star general – why is this Seinfeld guy in here?
    1. Republicans Nuke the Fillibuster for SCOTUS Nominations.
      1. https://www.washingtonpost.com/powerpost/senate-poised-for-historic-clash-over-supreme-court-nominee-neil-gorsuch/2017/04/06/40295376-1aba-11e7-855e-4824bbb5d748_story.html
    2. Dems Officially block Gorsuch’s confirmation hearing.  Republicans fail to reach 60 votes needed to end debate.
      1. https://www.washingtonpost.com/powerpost/senate-poised-for-historic-clash-over-supreme-court-nominee-neil-gorsuch/2017/04/06/40295376-1aba-11e7-855e-4824bbb5d748_story.html
      2. McConnell, “This will be the first and last partisan filibuster of a Supreme Court nomination.”  <- fucking asshole
      3. Senator Grassley (R-IA) blamed Democrats for putting the senate on a “slippery slope” when they remove the filibuster for lower court appointments in 2013.  Grassley neglected to mention that the Republicans were attempting to block all of Obama’s nominees.
    3. Senator Jeff Merkley has been talking for 13 hours on Gorsuch and counting. (Final time – 15 Hours)
      1. http://www.vox.com/2017/4/5/15188908/sen-jeff-merkley-gorsuch
    4. http://thehill.com/homenews/senate/327118-dems-force-senate-nuclear-showdown
    5. On Monday, Democrats reached the minimum of 41 votes they needed to successfully filibuster Gorsuch’s nomination.
    6. Republicans says this will lead to them using the nuclear option of removing the filibuster.
    7. Mitch McConnell, ““Look at the Senate through the long history of the body, the practical effect of all this will be to take us back to where we were,” ,  John McCain, “Idiot, whoever says that is a stupid idiot, who has not been here and seen what I’ve been through and how we were able to avoid that on several occasions,”  McCain plans to support using the nuclear option. <- Travis’s Facepalm of the Week.
    8. Mitch McConnell said, “It now seems apparent that this well-qualified and widely respected judge will be subject to the first successful partisan filibuster [of a Supreme Court nominee] in the history of the Senate”
      1. McConnell neglected to mention that the Republicans under his leadership refused to even hold a hearing on Judge Garland when President Obama nominated him.
    1. Chinese in town for one day only – meant to be an informal summit
    2. Trump said last week he’s going to increase pressure on Beijing to get NK in line
      1. And if Beijing fails to act, the US might act unilaterally
    3. Also economic trade deals are on the table
    4. Trump has no China policy – there are hundreds of State Dept jobs unfilled
      1. No idea what we’re doing and nobody to figure it out
    5. They will not play golf – Xi has shut down hundreds of golf courses in China to eliminate corruption
    1. Jared Kushner Did Not Disclose Contact with Russian’s on Security Clearance Form.
      1. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/06/us/politics/jared-kushner-russians-security-clearance.html?_r=1
      2. That’s a felony.  Up to five years in prison.
    2. Nunes Recuses himself from House Intelligence Committee.
      1. Conaway once equated Russia rigging the election with Mexican singers campaigning for Clinton.
      2. He worked on the Trump campaign, and his wife went on a bus tour right after the Access Hollywood tape in October
      3. http://www.dallasnews.com/news/politics/2017/01/12/texas-rep-mike-conawayrussian-hacking-like-mexican-singers-campaigning-clinton
      1. http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/04/06/nunes-steps-down-from-russia-trump-investigation.html
      2. Representative Conaway is set to lead the Russia-Trump probe.
    3. Former Trump Advisor Passed Documents to Russian Spy.
      1. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/donald-trump-adviser-carter-page-russian-spy-ring-victor-podobnyy-energy-documents-hand-over-a7665621.html
      2. Carter Page, who was a foreign policy advisor for Trump during his campaign, met with Victor Podobnyy,  a Russian intelligence operative, in 2013 and gave him documents about the energy industry.
      3. Relationship discovered in court filings in a case dealing with Podobnyy trying to recruit Page.  Page confirmed to Buzzfeed News that he was the person referred to as “Male-1” in the documents.
    4. Blackwater Founder Held Secret Seychelles Meeting to Establish Trump-Putin Back Channel.
      1. https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/blackwater-founder-held-secret-seychelles-meeting-to-establish-trump-putin-back-channel/2017/04/03/95908a08-1648-11e7-ada0-1489b735b3a3_story.html?tid=a_breakingnews?tid=a_breakingnews
      2. Meeting took place Jan 11, 9 days before inauguration.
      3. Meeting was between Erik Prince and a close confidant of Putin.
      4. Prince donated $250,000 to Trump’s campaign.
      5. The FBI is reportedly investigating this meeting as a part of the larger Trump-Russia investigation.
    5. Trump lashes out at Clinton on twitter as Russia probe pressure mounts.
      1. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/donald-trump-hillary-clinton-russia-links-fbi-investigation-james-comey-house-senate-intelligence-a7664191.html
      2. Trump tweeted, “Was the brother of John Podesta paid big money to get the sanctions on Russia lifted? Did Hillary know?”
      3. Also, ”Did Hillary Clinton ever apologise for receiving the answers to the debate? Just asking!”
    6. Trump accuses Susan Rice of committing a crime
      1. 3 million illegal votes cast
      2. Obama wiretapped his phones
      1. Major target of Republicans since she made a mistake on tv after Benghazi
      2. Also a high ranking African-American WOC, but that’s not important
      1. She ordered the names of Trump associates unmasked for incidental intelligence gathering
      2. To be given to the NSA in the first place, intel officials must have signed off on the report
      3. That means that Trump is also accusing intel officials of a crime
      1. His third major unfounded accusation without evidence
      2. Susan Rice – former UN ambassador and National Security Adviser
      3. What crime could she have committed?
    1. War Were Declared
    2. Steve Bannon Removed from White House Security Council.
    3. Senate Dems Force “Nuclear” Showdown Over Gorsuch.
    4. Chinese President Xi Jinping visiting the “Southern White House” this weekend
    5. Russia
  3. Lightning Round
    1. http://www.salon.com/2017/04/04/trumpcare-2-0-republicans-propose-eliminating-pre-existing-coverage-protections/
    2. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/04/upshot/freedom-caucus-health-care-pre-existing-conditions.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=first-column-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news
    3. One of the new bill’s terms is that it would allow states to determine whether insurers should be required to cover essential health benefits like emergency services, hospitalization, maternity and newborn care, and prescription drugs, among others.
    4. Would also remove rule that would prohibit insurers from charging people in the same region who are the same age different amounts.  Effectively allowing insurance companies to price insurance for people with pre-existing conditions so high as to make it impossible to afford.
    1. https://www.theweathernetwork.com/us/news/articles/climate-and-environment/trump-rids-ban-on-hunting-bears-and-wolves-in-alaska-refuges/81090/
    2. The ban protected hibernating bears, wolf cubs still in their dens, and prohibited targeting wolves from helicopters.
    3. Wolves in particular have been shown in scientific studies to be a critical part in what is known as a trophic cascade.  Effectively, increased numbers of wolves make elk and other large herbivores change their eating patterns frequently, which allows trees to more easily heal from the damaged caused by the herbivores, allowing for more tree growth.
      1. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0006320701001070
    1. http://www.salon.com/2017/03/24/saturday-night-live-predicted-this-eric-trump-spills-the-beans-on-his-unethical-relationship-with-his-father/
    2. Skit featured buffoonish Eric Trump revealing that he is still being told how to run the Trump family business by his father.
    3. Real life Eric Trump stated that he and his father discuss,  “the bottom line, profitability reports and stuff like that, but you know, that’s about it.”
    1. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2017/04/02/a-judge-rules-trump-may-have-incited-violence-and-trump-again-has-his-own-mouth-to-blame/
    1. AF General John Hyten argued that the nuclear triad needs updating
    2. Breitbart article linked to an official DoD article – why not just tweet that?
    3. Oh right, the Breitbart CEO works down the hall from the Oval
    1. “During my meeting with the president and on several occasions since then, I have said repeatedly that he could be a great president if … if … he takes steps to truly represent all Americans rather than continuing on the divisive and harmful path he is currently on.”
    1. Republicare 2.0 Looking Like it Will be Even Worse Than the First Go-Round.
    2. Trump revokes ban on hunting protected bears and wolves in Alaska wildlife refuges.
    3. Eric Trump Discusses Unethical Dealings with Father in a Manner that Mirrors SNL skit.
    4. Judge rules that Trump’s offer to pay for rally goer’s legal fees should they attack a protester is not protected by first amendment.
    5. US Strategic Command tweets a Breitbart article on nuclear policy
    6. Trump forgets to sign 2 Executive Orders at a signing ceremony
    7. Trump says in interview that Elijah Cummings (D-MD) called him “the greatest president ever”
  4. Sexual Assault Awareness Month Awareness Month
    1. In August, CNN ran a report with 6 sources at Fox saying Ailes was monitoring their phones
    1. New segment inspired by President Trump designating April SAAM
    2. NYTimes details Bill O’Reilly’s new contract with Fox News
    3. 5 women have allegedly been paid $13 million in exchange for not suing Fox or O’Reilly
    4. Women who worked at Fox or were guests on the O’Reilly Factor
    5. Complaints cited included verbal abuse, unwanted advances, and lewd comments
    6. 4 women complained of sexual harassment, 1 of being verbally abused
    7. O’Reilly maintains his innocence here – no one called the anonymous Fox hotline
    8. Trump – “Bill’s a good person.” “I don’t think Bill did anything wrong.”
    9. Bill, what do you think about this report? -Clip
  5. General Quarters
    1. Ask for an independent investigation into Trump’s links with Russia.  Also, ask them to hold town halls.
    1. Check out Jason Kander’s new group Let America Vote – protect voter rights pre-2018
    2. Tax Day Rally to demand Trump’s returns
    3. Call your representatives and senators
    4. And keep calling him “President Bannon” on Twitter, the NYTimes reported it bothers him
  6. Super Happy Fun Time
    1. Christina –
    2. Travis – Today is Mom and Dad’s anniversary.  This podcast won’t be published until this weekend, but happy anniversary!
    3. Bob –  Kentucky Coal Mining Museum in Harlan County switches to solar power
    4. Curtis –