Episode 16: Show Notes and Sources



  1. History’s Greatest Monster
    1. Travis – Rodrigo Duterte for saying his soldiers can rape during martial law.
    2. Dave – Representative Tim Walberg, R-Mich for telling a constituent last week that God can solve the problem of climate change if the global phenomenon truly exists. https://usat.ly/2st8sdO
    3. Curtis – Trump.
  2. The Big List
    1. Trump has Announced that he will pull the US out of the Paris climate accord.
      1. https://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/facebook-apple-urge-donald-trump-paris-agreement-not-pull-out-climate-change-global-warming-a7766521.html
      2. The only countries not signed on to the accord are Syria, Nicaragua, and now the US.
        1. Yes, that means even North Korea is on board.
        2. Nicaragua didn’t sign because they don’t feel the accord goes far enough.
        3. Syria is a little…explody right now.
      3. 25 US companies signed open letter imploring Trump to not exit Paris climate accord
        1. List includes Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, unilever, Morgan Stanley
        2. Preceded by a letter in April where Shell Oil and Walmart and 14 other companies urged staying in the Paris climate accord
      4. Elon Musk threatens to quit (council) if Trump has US leave Paris accord… announces departure via twitter
        1. Also leaving the council, Disney CEO Bob Iger and Uber CEO Travis Kalanick
        2. Elon sent a letter arguing that “continued US participation in the agreement benefits US businesses and the US economy in many ways”.
        3. And that the Paris Agreement creates jobs and growth by “expanding markets for innovative clean technologies”, while “strengthening competitiveness” and reducing the potentially harmful impact that future climate change may have on business.
      5. China Premier Li Keqiang says there is an ‘international responsibility’ to act over climate change. Aimed towards Trump, though not specifically named
      6. Trump played up this decision like who he was going to fire on the Apprentice, announcing throughout the week that a decision was “incoming” and “stay tuned”
      7. New York City vows to continue with the Paris accord
        1. Pittsburg, the city specifically mentioned in Trump’s address about leaving the Paris accord, has said it will meet the requirements regardless of the President’s stance.
        2. Governors Cuomo (New York) and Brown (California) vow to stay in
      8. Is Angela Merkel now the leader of the ‘free world’?
        1. Trump is going very isolationist and Merkel is trying to hold the industrialized countries together
    2. Senators asked Comey to investigate Jeff Sessions for possible perjury.
      1. Senators in question: Democrats Patrick Leahy and Al Franken.
      2. Also sent request to acting FBI director Andrew McCabe.
      3. During his confirmation hearing, Sessions said he had no contact with Russian officials.  The Washington Post reported that he had met with Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak.
      4. Sessions acknowledged the meetings had taken place and recused himself from the Russia investigation and Hillary Clinton’s email investigation.
      5. Sessions was one of the people involved in the decision to fire FBI director James Comey.
    3. Russia
      1. Trump White House Made Secret Moves to Lift Russia Sanctions.
        1. Multiple sources including Dan Fried, Coordinator for Sanctions Policy at the State Department, who retired in February.
        2. Sanctions in question include those imposed by Obama for Russia’s annexation of Crimea and those imposed for interfering in the 2016 election.
        3. Trump plans to return diplomatic compounds seized by President Obama in 2016 for their use for hacking operations during the election.
        4. Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Tom Malinowski said that the Trump administration was working on a “grand bargain” with Russia.
      2. Jared Kushner attempts to open back channel communications between the Russians
        1. Jared Kushner and Russia’s ambassador to Washington discussed the possibility of setting up a secret and secure communications channel between Trump’s transition team and the Kremlin, using Russian diplomatic facilities in an apparent move to shield their pre-inauguration discussions from monitoring, according to U.S. officials briefed on intelligence reports.
        2. Ambassador Sergey Kislyak reported to his superiors in Moscow that Kushner, son-in-law and confidant to then-President-elect Trump, made the proposal during a meeting on Dec. 1 or 2 at Trump Tower, according to intercepts of Russian communications that were reviewed by U.S. officials. Kislyak said Kushner suggested using Russian diplomatic facilities in the United States for the communications.
        3. The meeting also was attended by Michael Flynn, Trump’s first national security adviser.
        4. So Kushner wanted to setup a back channel communications with the Russians using KGB communications equipment at the Russian embassy, and the U.S. was monitoring those ‘secure’ communications and intercepted them
      3. Russian government officials discussed having potential “derogatory” information about Trump and his top aides during election.
        1. Information was obtained by US intelligence agencies during the 2016 election.
        2. Information described as financial in nature.  Source said the intercepted communications suggested that Russians believed “they had the ability to influence the administration through derogatory information”
      4. Trump creates “War Room” to defend against Russia allegations.
        1. Jared Kushner, Steve Bannon reported to be involved in the group.
        2. Corey Lewandowski also expected to take part, despite having been fired as Trump’s campaign manager during the election for lack of experience.
        3. Trump administration planning on fewer press briefings and more political rallies.
      5. Spicer says no more questions on Russia and Trump
        1. The White House said on Wednesday it will no longer answer questions about the ongoing investigations into Donald Trump’s alleged links to Russia.
        2. Came about when Spicer was Asked about Comey’s evidence and whether the president had engaged in obstruction of justice, press secretary Sean Spicer replied: “We are focused on the president’s agenda and going forward all questions on these matters will be referred to outside counsel Marc Kasowitz.
      6. Nigel Farage is a “person of interest” in the FBI’s investigation into Russian Election Collusion.
        1. You may remember Nigel Farage from such hits as Brexit and his close relationship with Julian Assange.
        2. FBI Source, “He’s right in the middle of these relationships.  He turns up over and over again.  There’s a lot of attention being paid to him.”
      7. Congress expands Russia investigation to include Trump’s personal attorney
        1. Trump’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen, has now become a focus of the expanding congressional investigation into Russian efforts to influence the 2016 campaign.
        2. Cohen confirmed to ABC News that House and Senate investigators have asked him “to provide information and testimony” about any contacts he had with people connected to the Russian government, but he said he has turned down the invitation.
        3. “I declined the invitation to participate, as the request was poorly phrased, overly broad and not capable of being answered,” Cohen told ABC News in an email Tuesday.
        4. After Cohen rejected the congressional requests for cooperation, the Senate Select Intelligence Committee voted unanimously on Thursday to grant its chairman, Sen. Richard Burr of North Carolina, and ranking Democrat, Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia, blanket authority to issue subpoenas as they deem necessary.
      8. Senators ask FBI to review if AG Sessions for perjury
        1. http://www.cnn.com/2017/06/01/politics/sessions-russian-ambassador-letter/index.html?adkey=bn
        2. https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2017/06/01/senators-ask-fbi-review-whether-ag-jeff-sessions-failed-disclose-russia-meeting/102377642/
        3. Found out on Thursday that A pair of Democratic senators asked then-FBI Director James Comey to investigate Attorney General Jeff Sessions, amid concerns that he may have had an additional meeting with the Russian ambassador the US, Sergey Kislyak,
        4. Sens. Patrick Leahy and Al Franken — Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee sent three written requests to FBI to review Session after he belatedly disclosed two other meetings with Kislyak following January confirmation hearing
        5. The Democrats have not received a response from the FBI to their three letters, a Senate source said.
      9. Trump’s first trip abroad
        1. Did not go well
        2. Group of G7 said it was 6 vs 1 on the climate change topic
        3. Trump appears to shove Montenegro Prime Minster to get in better position for Nato photo-op
        4. Yells at Nato members to pay up, directly scolding 23 of 28 members
        5. Unnamed official with the state department called president trump “a drunk tourist”
        6. Macron was so pissed at Trump that he gripped Trump’s hand so tightly that his knuckles turned white. Macron said it ‘wasn’t innocent’ and was intentional
        7. Took a golf car 700 yards instead of walking with leaders from the G7
    4. Lightning Round
      1. Mike Dubke, White House communications director quits.
        1. No reason for resignation given.
        2. Was asked to stay on until the end of Trumps international trip.
        3. Sean Spicer will reportedly keep his position but will brief the media less often.
      2. Trump makes angry tweet at Germany, damages relations with one of the US’s closest allies.
        1. “We have a MASSIVE trade deficit with Germany, plus they pay FAR LESS than they should on NATO & military.  Very bad for U.S. This will change.” – Tweet in question
        2. Doesn’t seem to understand we don’t trade directly with Germany, we trade with the EU.
        3. Also doesn’t seem to understand that NATO isn’t a group paying protection money to the US.
      3. Illinois is killing it this week
        1. Illinois House passed a bill Monday that would automatically register people to vote, per the AP. Passed 115-0. Moves to the Senate
        2. Illinois Senate passed $15 minimum wage. Passed 30-23 vote, would be in effect by 2022 if signed by governor. Already approved by the Illinois House
      4. Trump exempts 17 senior white house staffers from ethics rules
        1. https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/donald-trump-white-house-staff-ethics-rules-exempt-steve-bannon-breitbart-news-waivers-kellyanne-a7766301.html
        2. Wednesday evening the White House disclosed that it granted ethics waivers to 17 specific appointees who work for the Trump administration (pres and vpres)
          1. Includes 4 former lobbyists
          2. White House chief of staff Reince Priebus and senior adviser Kellyanne Conway, who were both permitted to engage with their former employer or clients.
          3. In addition, a blanket waiver was given to all executive office appointees to interact with news organisations
            1. a move that gives senior strategist Stephen Bannon permission to communicate with Breitbart News, the conservative website he used to run.
        3. Waives exempt the appointees from certain portions of the ethics rules
        4. Reason given? the White House counsel’s office wrote that the waivers were in the public interest because the administration had a need for the appointees’ expertise on certain issues.
        5. Allows Reince Priebus to receive RNC bonus money
      5. AHCA 3.1 or something
        1. Federal officials, following through on a pledge by President Trump, have drafted a rule to roll back a federal requirement that many religious employers provide birth control coverage in health insurance plans.
        2. The mandate for free contraceptive coverage was one of the most hotly contested Obama administration policies adopted under the Affordable Care Act, and it generated scores of lawsuits by employers that had religious objections to it.
        3. On its website, the White House Office of Management and Budget said it is reviewing an “interim final rule” to relax the requirement, a step that would all but ensure a court challenge by women’s rights groups.
      6. House Intelligence committee issues 7 subpoenas
        1. But not to investigate Russia collusion with Trump campaign
        2. Oh no, its to find out who leaked the names of Trump’s associates
      7. Carrier laying off workers starting July 20th
        1. Carrier, the company President Trump pledged to keep on American soil, informed the state of Indiana this week that it will soon begin cutting 632 workers from an Indianapolis factory. The manufacturing jobs will move to Monterrey, Mexico, where the minimum wage is $3.90 per day.
        2. That was never supposed to happen, according to Trump’s campaign promises. He told Indiana residents at a rally last year there was a “100 percent chance” he would save the jobs at the heating and air-conditioning manufacturer.
        3. About 1,400 positions were on the chopping block, per company estimates. Over the past year, Trump has claimed he could maintain at least 1,100 of those jobs in the United States. But on Monday, the company gave official notice to Indiana officials that it would start laying off workers at the factory on July 20 and keep slashing staff until approximately 800 factory employees remain.
      8. White House orders agencies to ignore oversight requests by Democrat’s
        1. The White House is telling federal agencies to blow off Democratic lawmakers’ oversight requests, as Republicans fear the information could be weaponized against President Donald Trump.
        2. At meetings with top officials for various government departments this spring, Uttam Dhillon, a White House lawyer, told agencies not to cooperate with such requests from Democrats, according to Republican sources inside and outside the administration.
    5. Covfefe?
      1. Trump tweets at 12:06AM EST May 31st “Despite the constant negative press covfefe”
      2. Deletes the tweet at 6AM, then follows it up with another tweet at 6:09AM
        1. “Who can figure out the true meaning of “covfefe” ??? Enjoy!”
      3. Not a bad PR save on the 6AM tweet
      4. Then ruined by Sean Spicer, when asked about it
      5. Spicer was asked if Trump’s late-night tweet with the apparent typo “covfefe”, which lingered online for hours, is a matter of concern.
      6. “No,” he answered gruffly, adding the extraordinary claim: “I think the president and a small group of people know exactly what he meant.”
      7. As the room erupted in shouts and sarcastic comments, Spicer smiled briefly but ploughed on to the next question.
      8. Spicer out of fucks to give?
  3. Kentucky
    1. Happy 225th birthday, Kentucky!
    2. Bevin plans “Prayer Walks” to combat violence in Louisville.
      1. Plan calls for groups of people to walk around trouble areas of the city, stopping at street corners and praying.
      2. The West Louisville Ministers Coalition called for Bevin to reform gun regulations and attain a more equitable distribution of state contracts for African-American businesses.
  4. General Quarters
    1. Call your representatives and senators
  5. Super Happy Fun Time
    1. Dave – Weg is back in town, hello Weg.
    2. Travis – NASA’s Bigelow inflatable habitat module being tested on the ISS has passed its test for micro-meteorite impacts.
      1. Next up, radiation testing.
      2. Radiation shielding is being made by 3D printers…in space!
      3. Eventual plan is for the Bigelow inflatable habitat to be used as a deep space gateway in orbit around the moon.
    3. Bob –
    4. Curtis –