Episode 17: Show Notes and Sources


    1. History’s Greatest Monster
      1. Travis – Katie Hopkins, former contestant on The Apprentice – for calling for Muslims to be put in internment camps.
        1. “We do need internment camps.  Before, I would’ve bought the idea that, no, this gets more people radicalized.  You know, that’s not the solution.  But we’ve gone beyond the tipping point.”
      2. Dave – Trump for tweeting, yet again, something dumb at an inappropriate time. After London Terror attack, he tweeted ”We need to be smart, vigilant and tough. We need the courts to give us back our rights. We need the Travel Ban as an extra level of safety!”
      3. Curtis –
        1. Jeb Hensarling for headlining of the “Financial Choice Act”: weakening Dodd-Frank and repealing Volcker Rule
          1. also scraps a requirement that retirement advisers put their clients’ interests ahead of their own.
          2. “The bill even specifically exempts payday and car title lenders — notorious for springing devastating debt traps for their already vulnerable customers — from any regulation,” added Yana Miles
        2. Also, Trump.
      4. Bob – Eric Trump for skimming money from his “charitable” organization to the Trump company
        1. Forbes reported on Tuesday that the Eric Trump Foundation paid $242k in 2014 to use Trump family properties for fundraisers, basically laundering money donated for children’s cancer research to the family company
    2. The Big List


  • Russia


    1. James Comey testifies in front of Senate Intelligence Committee
      1. The first sentence of Trump’s lawyer’s response to Comey misspells the word President.
        1. Also accuses Comey of lying under oath. 10 legal experts disputed this
        2. Kasowitz contended that Comey broke the law by leaking memos about his private conversations with the president — what the statement called an “unauthorized disclosure of private information.”
        3. The not-so-subtle implication here is that any and every conversation with the president is privileged, and therefore protected under the law. That’s a rather broad interpretation of executive privilege, and one that 10 legal experts disputed in interviews with Vox.
        4. https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/6/9/15764954/comey-testimony-donald-trump-fbi-executive-privilege
      2. Anybody who’s curious to know “I hope” ever resulted in a conviction for obstruction of justice…it did.
      3. Comey states he has no doubt that Russia tried to influence the 2016 election, including DNC hack and voting machine company intrusions.
        1. “There should be no fuzz on this.”
        2. “So, that was a hostile act by the Russia government against this country?” Comey, “Yes, sir.”
        1. Comey confirmed Michael Flynn was in criminal jeopardy and was the subject of a criminal investigation.
        2. After meeting with Trump in Trump tower, Comey felt it critical that he create a written record in case they needed to be reference at a later date to defend himself and the FBI.
        3. Comey said in his entire career, Trump was the first president for which he felt it was necessary to document their meetings.
        4. Comey said it was fair to say at the time, it was fair to say literally true that there was not a counterintelligence investigation of Trump.  Notably said that could be misleading as counterintelligence investigations are a very specific type of investigation.  Effectively, that Trump himself wasn’t under the counterintelligence investigation but his campaign was.
          1. The comments he made to Trump about him not being directly under investigation were true *at the time*
        5. Uneasy with Trump’s attempts to create a “patronage relationship”.
        6. Comey specifically wrote his notes to avoid them being labeled classified so they could be freely shared.
          1. Speaking of the memos, Comey said during the hearing “I asked a friend of mine to share the content of a memo with the reporter, I didn’t do it myself for a variety of reasons, but I asked him to because I thought that might prompt the appointment of a special counsel”
          2. http://www.nbcnews.com/card/comey-i-leaked-my-memos-hopes-special-prosecutor-n769821?cid=sm_npd_nn_tw_ma
        7. Comey warned Sessions that AG needed to be in room if he(Comey) were meeting with Trump.
          1. Sessions declined to be in room with them (Comey & Trump)
          2. Comey to Sessions, “Don’t leave me alone with him(Trump) again.”
        8. Comey had not previously met privately, or had 1 on 1 dinner with (any) president.
        9. Comey: “Look at the whole body of my testimony; don’t cherry pick it.”
        10. Session’s recusal in March is causing friction between Trump and Session
          1. Session reportedly suggested he could resign because the tensions are so high
        11. Comey implies that Sessions had other meetings with Russians during testimony
          1. And during the subsequent closed session with the Senate Intelligence Committee, Comey reportedly told members about a third, previously undisclosed meeting between Sessions and Russian officials, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) told NBC.
        1. Trump holds first press conference since Comey testimony, http://wapo.st/2r2FyAO
          1. Trump accused Comey of lying under oath to Congress and called him a “leaker”
          2. Then suggested that he would be willing to give his side of the story to special counsel Robert Mueller. “100 percent” trump confirmed when asked by reporter
          3. Trump said “Frankly, James Comey confirmed a lot of what I said, and some of the stuff he said just wasn’t true”
            1. Specifically, per Trump, that Trump did not collude with Russia and did not obstruct justice
      2. Michael Flynn turns over 600 pages of documents to Senate Intel Committee
        1. CNN is reporting that sources are saying the documents are mostly business records and some personal documents ‘based on the narrowed requests from the committee’
        2. Turned over the documents because of two subpoenas that the committee sent to Flynn after Flynn invoked the fifth amendment. Subpoena had a hard date of Tuesday
      3. Independent reporting that Trump tried to end Russian sanctions as soon as he took office
      4. NSA report indicates Russian cyberattacks U.S. voting software vendor
        1. Attack occurred last August (2016) against one U.S. voting software company
        2. Was a spear-phishing attack targeting local U.S. organizations days before elections
        3. 5 Page document published by the Intercept dated May 5th 2017
          1. Special FUCK YOU to the Intercept, for burning their source either through incompetence or through malice towards the source or due to NSA pressure
            1. Talk about printers and their special printing dots
            2. Also their source’s name is Reality Winner
        4. Russian attackers attempted to trick local U.S. government employees into opening documents from the e-voting vendor, to open malware laced documents
        5. Also sent emails to e-voting vendor that looked like they were from google


  • End of Russia


    1. Christopher Wray chosen by Trump to be the new FBI director.
      1. Wray defended Chris Christie during “bridgegate”
      2. Wary is also a partner in the firm that represents Rosneft, the Russian state-owned oil company.  The firm also represents the Trump family.
      3. Many senior Trump officials learned of the nomination the same way as everyone else, twitter
        1. Includes communications staff, senior WH team, members of congress
      4. Per NPR, Robert Mueller was on the short list to lead FBI after Comey was fired
        1. Had met with Justice Department leaders and WH officials days after firing
        2. http://n.pr/2t3AUTR
    2. London Terror Attack
      1. 7 Killed after attack at London Bridge
        1. No names released, involves a Canadian and French citizen
      2. At least 48 people injured (as of this writing Sunday 4PM EST)
        1. 4 officers injured
        2. 21 critically injured
      3. A low-tech but high-profile attack in which a van mowed down pedestrians on London Bridge before the vehicle’s occupants got out and started stabbing patrons of nearby bars and restaurants. The death toll does not include the three attackers, who were fatally shot by officers within eight minutes of the first emergency call, Dick said.
    3. Trump’s shady campaign contributions
      1. Center for Media and Democracy reports that “The Daily Caller” a news website Tucker Carlson of Fox News co-founded in 2010 received an undisclosed $150k donation from Trump’s campaign
        1. It is alleged that The Daily Caller sold Trump campaign access to its email list before the election, with the Trump campaign sending at least 25 emails to said caller list.
        2. The Daily Caller’s website receives more views than USA Today or LA Times
        3. Trump tweets 8 Daily Caller articles to his followers and gave Carlson an exclusive 40 minute interview
        4. “Tucker Carlson failed to disclose his financial benefit from Trump’s campaign to FOX News viewers even as he commented on the presidential election, interviewed Trump and accused other news outlets of bias,” CMD executive director Lisa Graves said in a statement.
      2. Forbes is reporting that President Trump’s charity foundation funneled $100k
        1. President Trump’s charity foundation funneled $100,000 in donations meant for St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital into revenue for the Trump Organization by using his son’s charity
        2. Eric Trump hosted an annual golf tournament for the past 10 years that raised millions of dollars in donations for St Judes. According to the Forbes report, $100,000 of the donations was funneled through the Eric Trump Foundation back into Trump’s golf courses for expenses incurred during the tournaments, despite donors being told that all their money would be used for charity.
        3. In addition, more than $500,000 of donors’ money over 10 years was re-donated to other charities, including some that were connected to Trump family members. At least four of those organizations also used Trump golf courses for charity tournaments.
        4. If the report is true, the practices would violate both New York state law and federal law on self-dealing and misleading donors.
        5. Per CBS News
          1. “We get to use our assets 100 percent free of charge,” he told Forbes’ Dan Alexander.
          2. But IRS tax forms Forbes obtained show use of the course wasn’t free after all. The for-profit Trump Organization received payments from the not-for-profit Eric Trump Foundation for use of the golf course, part of the $1.2 million that has no documented receipts beyond the Trump Organization, according to Forbes.
  1. Lightning Round
    1. Senate Republicans Reject DeVos’ Proposed Education Cuts
      1. Both Republicans and Democrats have vowed to defend several of the programs the budget would have cut.
        1. Particularly before and after school programs, career and technical education, and programs to help disadvantaged students attend college.
    2. The EU will Ignore White House and Work Directly with US States on Paris Agreement.
    3. While no-one was looking, House Republicans vote to reverse Dodd-Frank
      1. 1PM vote Thursday, along party lines, voted to repeal Dodd-Frank. Named the Financial CHOICE Act
      2. Dodd-Frank is the massive set of Wall Street regulations that President Obama signed after the 2008 financial crisis
      3. Would repeal the Volcker Rule, which prevents government-insured banks from making risky bets with investments. Also scrap a requirement that retirement advisers put their clients’ interests ahead of their own, also known as Fiduciary (goes into effect Friday)
      4. Scales back the authority of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
    4. Trump backs Air Traffic Control Privatization
      1. Plan would create private non-profit organization to control air traffic control jobs and would separate air traffic controllers from the FAA within 3 years.
        1. Would be run by airlines and those with aviation interests
        2. 300 airport towers and tracking centers
        3. New board would contain 13 members, 8 appointed by Transportation Secretary
      2. Trump claims problems with air travel are due in part to the air traffic control system
        1. Not true, Bloomberg notes that it’s due to the airlines; lack of staff, maintenance, computer glitches
      3. Supported by air traffic control union, airlines support since 1980s
      4. Funding would come by fees added on takeoffs and landings, replacing passenger ticket taxes
      5. Clinton suggested idea in the 1990s, Congress at the time killed idea
      6. Trump’s plan could cause issues
        1. Conflicts of interest may only serve high priority customers (airlines) and not private pilots or small rural airports
        2. Plan also allows for unlimited ‘leeway regarding user fee structure’
        3. Could pose problems for sensitive or DOD owned towers, airports, airspace
      7. https://jalopnik.com/trumps-plan-to-privatize-air-traffic-control-explained-1795826288
    5. Kansas reverses ‘real-live experiment’ and raises taxes
      1. Kansas Republicans voted late Tuesday to reverse deep tax cuts enacted by Governor Brownback (R) in 2012, promising massive growth. Brownback vetoed bill
        1. Kansas state legislatures voted to override Brownback’s veto
        2. Since 2012 Kansas has consistently lagged behind rest of the country.
        3. Kansas GDP grew at 0.2%, compared with 1.6% nationally
        4. $1 billion deficit per fiscal year for the next two years
      2. 25 Construction projects were delayed in an attempt to keep more cash on hand
      3. In March Kansas’s supreme court ruled that lack of funding for public schools violated the state’s constitution. KSCOTUS ruled that the governor and state legislature had (yet again) failed to adequately fund public schools by hundreds of millions of dollars per year.
        1. So bad that in some districts (Caney Valley) had to cut to four-day a week because they could not fund 5 day a week schooling
      4. Kansas’s legislature is overwhelmingly Republican, but moderate GOP lawmakers joined with Democrats after it became clear that support for Brownback’s policies had become a major political liability. In last year’s election, a number of Brownback’s allies lost key races to Democrats or moderate Republicans opposed to the tax cuts. On Tuesday, 18 of the state’s 31 GOP senators and 49 of the 85 Republican members of the House voted against the governor.
      5. Bill passed undoes several of Brownback’s tax reforms:
        1. The governor had reduced the number of brackets for the state’s marginal rates on income from three to two. The legislature will restore the third bracket, increasing taxes on the state’s wealthiest residents from 4.6 percent to 5.2 percent this year and 5.7 percent next year.
        2. Marginal rates on less affluent Kansan households will increase as well, from 4.6 percent to 5.25 percent by next year for married taxpayers making between $30,000 and $60,000 a year and from 2.7 percent to 3.1 percent for those earning less than that.
      6. Finally, the legislature eliminated a cut Brownback had put in place to help small businesses. Analysts said that the provision had become a loophole, as many Kansans were able to avoid paying taxes entirely by pretending to be small businesses.
        1. Initially, the state forecast that about 200,000 small businesses would take advantage of the break. As it turned out, about 330,000 entities would use Kansas’s new rule. That discrepancy suggests that tens of thousands of workers claimed that their incomes were from businesses they owned rather than from salaries.
      7. Recommend you listen to Episode 577 of the Planet Money podcast
    6. NOAA and FEMA lack directors
      1. Going into hurricane season, no director for NOAA or FEMA
    7. Trump private public partnership
      1. Not in the best interest for citizens
      2. Money offered as tax grants is $137billion, not even remotely enough to do anything
      3. Instances where it went tits up for cities/states
        1. In 2008, the city of Chicago sold the rights to its parking meters to Morgan Stanley for more than $1 billion. Over the next four years, the city’s parking rates skyrocketed by 800 percent.
        2. In 2011, Virginia entered a 58-year contract with a private company to manage the tolls of the city of Norfolk’s midtown tunnel. The private operator jacked up tolls with a pricing scheme that gave low-income drivers bills as high as $18,000.
    8. England’s Snap Election
      1. Labour pulls off a stunning upset.
      2. Conservatives lose their majority despite being the ones to call the vote.
      3. Theresa May has said she will not resign as Prime Minister despite calls for her to do so.
      4. Big problems for May, she has to align the Tories (her party) with the DUPs who are anti-abortion, anti-gay, pro-creationist
      5. 650 seats in parliament, need 325 to control. May’s party lost seats and no longer has single majority, only won 318. Had 331 going into vote, was up 20 points at time snap vote was called, May thought they would get a bigger majority
  2. Kentucky
    1. Came out this week that Governor Matt Bevin met with an extremist anti-choice group called Operation Save America and praised a book by an activist who has defended the murder of abortion providers earlier this year
      1. Fun Fact, 10 OSA protesters were arrested last month for blocking clinic doors at the only operating abortion clinic in Kentucky
      2. http://www.rightwingwatch.org/post/kentucky-gov-met-with-extremist-anti-choice-group-operation-save-america/
    2. University of Cincinnati researchers found high levels of PFOA in mid-ohio residents
      1. Thats US!
      2. Oh wait
      3. New research from the University of Cincinnati (UC) reveals that residents of the Mid-Ohio River Valley (from Evansville, Indiana, north to Huntington, West Virginia) had higher than normal levels of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) based on blood samples collected over a 22-year span. The exposure source was likely from drinking water contaminated by industrial discharges upriver.
      4. But wait, we don’t need the EPA or anything, right guys?
      5. Exposure over certain levels may result in adverse health effects, including developmental effects, liver and tissue damage and immune and thyroid impacts.
  3. General Quarters
    1. Call your representatives and senators
  4. Super Happy Fun Time
    1. Dave – Didn’t happen this week, but came out this week. Dozens of eighth-grade students refused to pose in a picture with Speaker of the House Paul Ryan
    2. Bob –
    3. Curtis – France develops website/process/tool to provide an outlet for people stuck in locations that are not assisting with the fight against climate change… like perhaps America (federally) https://www.makeourplanetgreatagain.fr
      1. Process by which to obtain grant/funding/work visas to move to France and work/research for scientists, educators, and students (grant for 4 years).
      2. Assistance for families is also an aspect
    4. Travis – All 48 London Bridge attack victims who made it to the hospital survived.
      1. 21 of the 48 were classified as critical.
      2. Testament to the success of London’s major trauma centre network which ensures that people who are the most seriously ill or injured get immediate care.
      3. Also highlights the excellent response of the London ambulance service and excellent first-aid provided by the police and members of the public.