Episode 10: Show Notes and Sources

  1. History’s Greatest Monster
    1. Travis – Jeff Sessions, for not filling any of the U.S. Attorney positions that were left vacant after all the Obama era appointees were asked to resign.  Also for implying that Hawaii doesn’t count as a state. And for subtly threatening “sanctuary cities” yet again, over their stances on topics pertaining to immigration and marijuana.
      1. Sessions said, “We really need to work hard on that,” when asked about the vacancies.  Implying he hasn’t been working hard on it already.
      2. Acting U.S. attorneys are forced to fill in the gaps, but they don’t have the same authority that an appointed attorney does.
      3. https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/a-month-after-dismissing-federal-prosecutors-justice-department-does-not-have-any-us-attorneys-in-place/2017/04/18/d94c4bd0-2442-11e7-b503-9d616bd5a305_story.html?utm_term=.ac718447983e
      4. In regards to Hawaii, Sessions said, “I really am amazed that a judge sitting on an island in the Pacific can issue an order that stops the President of the United States from what appears to be clearly his statutory Constitutional power.”  Talking about the Hawaiian judge that blocked Trump’s travel ban.
      5. When asked if he wanted to clarify his statement, Sessions said, “I don’t know that I’d want to phrase it any differently.”
    2. Curtis – Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Tronald Dump – Attempting to ruin ‘checks and balances’ (and democratic aspects) of Turkey’s government with recent referendum
      1. Move is extreme authoritarian power grab; potentially cementing power with next election (and post-2019)
        1. Specifically, a change to the constitution of the country, allowing next president to assume full control of government (nytimes)
      2. Erdogan called ‘no’ voters terrorists, journalists in jail, media coming under control by government, accusations of large-scale ballot fraud (“unstamped ballots”)
      3. Trump called Erdogan to congratulate him.
        1. The fact that Erdogan was congratulated is an acknowledgement of the referendum as an effort by Erdogan to entrench himself in power
    3. Dave – Donald Trump for still not releasing his tax returns (Happy tax day everyone!)
      1. Excuse is still that because the tax returns are under audit, can not release them to the pubilc.
      2. White House press secretary Sean Spicer said that President Trump’s 2016 tax returns are under audit and will not be released, pointing to a decades-old rule that automatically places the president’s returns under audit.
    4. Bob – Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch
      1. Cast his first vote on the court last night
      2. Alabama had scheduled 8 executions in 11 days, an execution smorgasbord
      3. Reason: several of the drugs they use were expiring
      4. Including midazolam – drug used in botched execution in Ohio
        1. Inmates took nearly a half hour to lose consciousness
        2. Not the execution drug – just puts you unconscious
        3. Or makes you writhe in horrible agony while you suffocate accidentally
      5. SCOTUS voted 5-4 to allow the Alabama executions to continue
        1. Gorsuch voted with the majority
        2. People are dying because of him
  2. The Big List
    1. Russia
      1. FBI used Steele Dossier to bolster allegations of Collusion.
        1. http://www.cnn.com/2017/04/18/politics/fbi-dossier-carter-page-donald-trump-russia-investigation/index.html
        2. Dossier was corroborated by FBI and then used to get the FISA warrant against Carter Page.
        3. Pertinent point: “Officials familiar with the process say even if the application to monitor Page included information from the dossier, it would only be after the FBI had corroborated the information through its own investigation. The officials would not say what or how much was corroborated.”
        4. Lends credence to the validity of the dossier
      2. ExxonMobil seeks special waiver to drill in Russia
        1. Sanctions in place under President Obama in 2014 for annexing Crimea
        2. Treasury denies waiver to drill in area of Russia currently under sactions
        3. Statement issued by Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin
      3. House permanent select intelligence committee sends letters
        1. Inviting of James Comey (FBI Director), Admiral Mike Rogers (National Security Advisor), John Brennan (former CIA director), James Clapper (Director of National Intelligence) and Sally Yates (former acting U.S. Attorney General)
        2. Scheduled for May 2nd
    2. British PM Theresa May Calls for Early “Snap Vote” Election on June 8th.
      1. http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/04/18/524480871/u-k-prime-minister-calls-for-early-election
      2. Likely a move to consolidate power in the conservative party as the Labour Party, the primary opposition to the conservatives, is in disarray after the Brexit vote.
      3. Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said May’s vote is an attempt to “Move the UK to the right, force through a hard Brexit, and impose deeper cuts.”
      4. Seems like a win-win-win sceanrio
        1. Continues conservative win, completes job she was elected to do
        2. Parliament flips, unable to complete brexit
        3. Parliament split, may only brexit a little
    3. Turkey’s President Erdogan Claims Victory in Vote to Give Him Sweeping New Powers.
      1. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/turkey-referendum-president-recep-tayyip-erdogan-supreme-power-latest-count-a7686511.html
      2. Opposition claims that “illegal acts’ occurred during the vote and are asking for a recount. The pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party also claimed that they had information that up to 4% of ballots were involved in voter fraud.
        1. Intimidation, lack of voting privacy, secret(unmonitored) ballot counting, etc.
      3. The measure replaces Turkey’s parliamentary democracy with an executive presidency.  It would also allow Erdogan to stay in power until 2029.  The executive presidency is currently modelled after those in the US and France.  Opponents fear that the concentration of power will lead to authoritarian rule.
    4. North Korea attempts to launch another missile
      1. Fails to launch
      2. The ballistic missile was fired from the Sinpo area on the east coast shortly before 6 a.m. local time, U.S. Pacific Command said. It blew up almost immediately, complicating efforts to identify the missile’s size and range.
      3. The missile was fired just minutes after Vice President Pence took off from Alaska on his way to Seoul, where he is expected to issue a strong warning to North Korea to stop its provocative behavior or face consequences.
      4. https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/n-korea-didnt-test-a-nuclear-weapon-but-its-display-of-military-hardware-wasnt-exactly-good-news/2017/04/15/49944da8-221c-11e7-bcd6-6d1286bc177d_story.html
    5. Gerrymandering heading to Supreme Court
      1. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/21/us/democrats-gerrymander-supreme-court.html
      2. A bipartisan group of voting rights advocates says the lower house of the Wisconsin Legislature, the State Assembly, was gerrymandered by its Republican majority before the 2012 election — so artfully, in fact, that Democrats won a third fewer Assembly seats than Republicans despite prevailing in the popular vote. In November, in a 2-to-1 ruling, a panel of federal judges agreed.
      3. Now the Wisconsin case is headed to a Supreme Court that has repeatedly said that extreme partisan gerrymanders are unconstitutional, but has never found a way to decide which ones cross the line.
  3. Lightning Round
    1. Government shutdown coming next week
      1. Travis could be stuck in germany
    2. Trump apparently thinks Korea (both South and North) used to be a part of China.  It wasn’t.
      1. Trump – “[Xi] then went into the history of China and Korea. Not North Korea, Korea. And you know, you’re talking about thousands of years …and many wars. And Korea actually used to be a part of China.”
      2. Kyung Moon Hwang, a history professor at the University of Southern California said, “No respectable historian would make such a claim.”
      3. https://qz.com/962409/donald-trump-and-korea-trump-makes-false-claim-that-korea-was-part-of-china/
      4. South Korea is pissed. http://www.news.com.au/world/asia/president-trumps-comments-spark-outrage-in-south-korea/news-story/1e49747cf683f6576e8ac8d97e99776c
      5. Is Trump mistaken, or repeating Xi’s claim?
    3. Calexit campaign leader leaves California for Russia.
      1. http://www.mercurynews.com/2017/04/17/calexit-leaders-drop-ballot-measure-to-break-from-the-u-s/
      2. Calexit was never seriously considered, but it’s main driver leaving for Russia strongly implies a connection between the campaign and Putin’s government.
    4. Trump signs kids MAGA hat at Easter Egg Roll..and throws it into crowd.
      1. https://twitter.com/politico/status/853999491279720457/video/1
      2. Travis’s facepalm of the week.
    5. Trump claims that tax day protesters were paid.
      1. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/donald-trump-tax-returns-paid-to-protest-march-demonstration-organised-conspiracy-tweet-a7686256.html
      2. Said his election as President has made his tax details irrelevant.
      3. Trump – ““Someone should look into who paid for the small organised rallies yesterday. The election is over!”
      4. Recent polling shows that 74% of Americans want Trump to release his tax returns.
    6. Trump signs bill allowing states to strip federal funds from abortion providers
      1. Targets family groups including Planned Parenthood who provides abortions
        1. Note that Planned Parenthood does not use federal funds while providing abortions
      2. The move marked the 12th time that Trump has signed a resolution under the 1996 Congressional Review Act (CRA) to abolish a rule issued under President Barack Obama. Less than two hours later on Thursday, Trump signed a 13th measure, this one abolishing a Labor Department regulation aimed at expanding retirement savings accounts.
      3. No ceremony, signed behind closed doors, basically in secret. Trump did not issue statement but White House acknowledged that Trump signed bill.
      4. Title X funding does not pay for abortions, because that is barred under federal law, but it does fund birth control, cancer screenings and both tests and treatment for sexually-transmitted diseases.
      5. Abortion-rights advocates, however, warned that the funding measure would deny as many as 4 million Americans access to family planning services. About 1.5 million Planned Parenthood patients benefit from Title X funds, according to the group, 78 percent of whom live with incomes of 150 percent of the federal poverty level and roughly one-third of whom are either Latino or African American.
      6. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/wp/2017/04/13/behind-closed-doors-trump-signs-bill-allowing-states-to-strip-federal-family-planning-dollars-from-abortion-providers/
    7. Trump Admin signing secret waivers of its own ethics rules
      1. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/15/us/politics/trump-appointees-potential-conflicts.html?_r=0
    8. Dow Chemicals donates $1 million to Trump in exchange for, nothing at all
      1. Except to scrap the findings of federal scientists who point to a family of widely used pesticides as harmful to about 1,800 critically threatened or endangered species.
      2. Lawyers representing Dow, whose chief executive also heads a White House manufacturing working group, and two other makers of chemicals (organophosphates) sent letters last week to the heads of three Cabinet agencies. The companies asked them “to set aside” the results of government studies the companies contend are fundamentally flawed.
      3. The big deal? Over the last four years, government scientists have compiled an official record running more than 10,000 pages showing the three pesticides under review — chlorpyrifos, diazinon and malathion — pose a risk to nearly every endangered species they studied.
      4. Reminder that EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt announced last month he was reversing an Obama-era effort to bar the use of Dow’s chlorpyrifos pesticide on food after recent peer-reviewed studies found that even tiny levels of exposure could hinder the development of children’s brains.
      5. https://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/dow-chemical-donald-trump-pesticides-damage-species-critically-endangered-white-house-a7692731.html
    9. After meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping, Ivanka Trump gets 3 trademarks
      1. Reported by the Associated Press, Three new Ivanka Trump-brand trademarks were approved in China on the same day she and husband Jared Kushner sat next to Chinese President Xi Jinping at Mar-A-Lago
      2. The AP found that three trademarks that confer monopoly rights to sell Ivanka brand jewelry, bags and spa services were approved in China on the same day as the dinner.
      3. http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/329225-china-approved-three-ivanka-trademarks-on-same-day-she-met-with
    10. Nunes caught making up Susan Rice story
      1. When House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes claimed that he had found documents proving that Susan Rice had spied on the Trump campaign, it was immediately pointed out that Nunes’ so-called evidence did not actually prove what he claimed they did. Now a new report indicates that President Donald Trump and Nunes may have deliberately worked together to manufacture a fake scandal, most likely in an attempt to distract America from the real one in which the president is embroiled.
      2. An intelligence source told reporter Ryan Lizza of The New Yorker that intelligence officials were told by the White House that there would be a manufactured witch hunt:
      3. “We are going to mobilize to find something to justify the president’s tweet that he was being surveilled. They put out an all-points bulletin and said, ‘We need to find something that justifies the president’s crazy tweet about surveillance at Trump Tower.’ And I’m telling you there is no way you get that from those transcripts, which are about as plain vanilla as can be.”
      4. The end result, according to the two intelligence sources that Lizza spoke with, was a fake scandal manufactured about former national security adviser Susan Rice asking to unmask the identities of Americans caught up in intelligence intercepts. One source told Lizza that “there’s absolutely nothing there,” and he was also told Rice could not have possibly known in all of the cases whether the individuals she was asking the National Security Council to unmask were Trump officials.
      5. https://www.salon.com/2017/04/19/devin-nunes-worked-with-trump-administration-to-create-a-fake-scandal-about-susan-rice-report/
    11. FL State Senator Frank Artiles resigns
      1. Monday night – discussion with Sens Audrey Gibson and Perry Thurston
      2. “Joe Negron is a pussy,” Artiles told Democratic senators Audrey Gibson of Jacksonville and Perry Thurston of Fort Lauderdale. “Things are running the way they are because of the six {N-words} who put him there.”
        1. All of those Republicans are white
        2. Gibson and Thurston are black
        3. Artiles is Cuban-American
      3. Questioned by Gibson if he used the N-word,  Artiles replied. “I said ‘niggas.’”
      4. Artiles then explained it was OK because, though he now represents the Kendall area, he’s originally from Hialeah, the large Hispanic-heavy working class city in Miami-Dade County. At one point, he told her she should stop acting like a “bitch.”
      5. Anyway, he resigned Friday afternoon
  4. Sexual Assault Awareness Month Awareness Month
    1. Christopher von Keyserling – local Republican representative of Greenwich CT
      1. Incident happened in December 2016 – argument with female municipal employee
      2. She said “this is a new world politically, and you need to educate your fellow politicians”
      3. He replied “I love this new world. I no longer have to be politically correct.”
      4. Called a colleague a “lazy, bloodsucking union employee”  and left
      5. Later he went to her office to speak with her co-worker, and when he left, von Keyserling pinched her genitals before walking away, according to her testimony
      6. Case still ongoing – police filled out an arrest warrant for fourth-degree sexual assault in Connecticut
      7. Von Keyserling has not resigned as of March 30
    2. Bill O’Reilly out at Fox News due to alleged sexual harassment
      1. 5 women came forward to claim against O’Reilly
        1. 1 more just came out?
      2. Fox’s parent company, 21st Century Fox, paid $13 million for silence
      3. It is rumored that 21st Century Fox took this seriously because they are attempting, again (second time) to buy Sky TV in England. Blocked in 2011 due in part because of phone hacking scandal
      4. But I think we can safely attribute O’Reilly’s shitcanning to BGB
      5. BTW O’Reilly is 67, and looks great
  5. Kentucky
    1. Developers are studying the potential to install tens of thousands of solar panels on a reclaimed surface mine in Pike County.
  6. General Quarters
    1. Call your representatives and senators
      1. Ask for an independent investigation into Trump’s links with Russia.  Also, ask them to hold town halls.
  7. Super Happy Fun Time
    1. Travis – South Indian Frog’s Mucus Found to Destroy Influenza Virus.
      1. https://arstechnica.com/science/2017/04/south-indian-frog-oozes-molecule-that-inexplicably-decimates-flu-viruses/
      2. Molecule specifically latches on to the Flu virus and destroys it.
      3. Also appears to be non-toxic.
      4. Could lead to very powerful new anti-viral drugs.
      5. https://arstechnica.com/science/2017/04/south-indian-frog-oozes-molecule-that-inexplicably-decimates-flu-viruses/
    2. Dave – Bill O’Reilly being fired from Fox News and Also Eric having a kid
    3. Bob – The Rise and Fall of Juicero
    4. Curtis –