Episode 22: Show Notes and Sources

  1. History’s Greatest Monster
    1. Travis – Jeff Sessions for issuing a directive that police increase their seizures of cash and property.  
    2. Dave- McConnell for trying 3 ways to gut healthcare insurance for the poor, sick and elderly in this country in order to pass a tax cut for the rich.
    3. Bob – in absentia – Turkish president Erdogan
      1. Turkish state media released the secret sites of US military forces in Syria
      2. Turkey is mad that the US is working with Kurdish forces to fight ISIS
      3. Kurds are a minority in southern Turkey/northern Iraq
      4. Kurdistan Worker’s Party is a separatist party branded a terrorist organization by the US
        1. They want to break away from Turkey and set up a Kurdish country
      5. US is using the Syrian Democratic Forces to fight ISIS – soldiers are mostly Arab
        1. But their officers are mostly members of the Kurdistan Worker’s Party
      6. So Erdogan ordered Turkish state media to release details on the location and number of American soldiers in 2 US bases and 8 US outposts in northern Syria
        1. Where at least one of my former students is currently stationed
        2. Also Turkey is a NATO ally, so super not cool
    4. Curtis – Ajit Pai for “Not having any documentation” related to the May DDoS
  2. The Big List
    1. Spicy No More!
      1. Sean Spicer resigns.  Wealthy financier Anthony Scaramucci to take over as Communications Director.
      2. Spicer reportedly resigned to protest Scaramucci’s appointment.
      3. Earlier this year, Scaramucci said Russian Sanctions are wrong.
      4. Also, according to Business Insider, Scaramucci (then the owner of Skybridge Capital) was having talks with Kirill Dmitriev who runs a Russian state-owned investment fund about their companies making joint investments, after such actions were prohibited by the sanctions.
      5. You may also remember Scaramucci from such hits as equating the rule that requires Fiduciaries to act in the best interest of their clients to the Dredd Scott slavery ruling.
      6. Scaramucci was reportedly Trump’s pick for some time, but his swearing in was delayed by the Office of Government Ethics.  This morning, Trump appointed a new interim head of the OGE, bypassing the normal succession.  When the former OGE head, Walter Shaub, resigned, he said “we already know exactly who takes over for me, watch for Trump to replace her because it will be a huge red flag.” on the Rachel Madow show.  Trump replaced her this morning, and the hold on Scaramucci’s nomination was immediately ended and he was appointed.
    2. The roller coaster of emotions that is healthcare legislation
      1. Trump ends ACA assistance contracts with 18 cities.
        1. Contracts made it easier for people to sign up to the exchanges in places like libraries, town centers, and businesses making it more difficult to sign up for the exchanges and more difficult to change plans or renew healthcare.
        2. I guess by letting the ACA fail, Trump meant he would strangle it.
      2. BHCA goes down in flames as several republicans say they won’t support the bill.
      3. McConnell says he’d push a bill that will repeal Obamacare with no replacement for at least 2 years.
        1. That bill failed too.
        2. 32 Million people, by 2026 would lose their coverage of repeal passes
        3. End of subsidies to help low and middle-income people afford coverage
        4. End expansion of Medicaid by 2020
        5. CBO projects that insurance premiums would rise 25% next year and 50% by 2020, and 100% (double) by 2026
      4. Here’s the timeline (remember, GOP controls House, Senate, White House)
        1. July 13th, BCRA version 2.0 is released. Has “Cruz Amendment”, still cuts Medicaid, has low coverage pool and then regular pool
        2. July 15th, Senate was ready to hold procedural vote (must be held to vote on bill) and with two senators in the No camp, could not lose another vote. McCain then goes into surgery, delaying vote until he was back.
        3. July 17th, two more senators say No, Mike Lee of Utah and Jerry moran of Kansas. This kills the senate healthcare bill.
        4. And then later that day, McConnell announces that they would just vote to repeal Obamacare and replace it later. Gave themselves 2 years to make replacement
          1. Actually smart on McConnell’s part. Win Win for republicans if passes. Also gets the tea party votes (Cruz, Paul)
        5. The repeal only bill looks dead because Maine Republican Senator Susan Collins, Shelley Capito in West Virginia and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska have all day No.
          1. Which is great when you consider that 13 MEN were the only ones invited to re-write healthcare and that 3 women tanked it
        6. And REGARDLESS of all the above, McConnell is still going to hold a vote next week. Not sure if it will be repeal and replace or just straight repeal. But with 3+ republican senators saying no to just the procedural vote, I have no idea how this will even get talked about in chambers.
      5. Recent polling shows that more and more Americans want the government in healthcare
        1. Republicans are now pushing up against a growing consensus that the government should guarantee health insurance. A Pew survey in January found that 60 percent of Americans believe the federal government should be responsible for ensuring that all Americans have health coverage. That was up from 51 percent last year, and the highest in nearly a decade.
        2. The belief held even among many Republicans: 52 percent of those making below $30,000 a year said the federal government has a responsibility to ensure health coverage, a huge jump from 31 percent last year. And 34 percent of Republicans who make between $30,000 and about $75,000 endorsed that view, up from 14 percent last year.
      6. Al Gore supports single-payer healthcare
        1. The Democratic party leadership not on board… yet
      7. Trump talks, again
        1. Trump said Tuesday he was “very disappointed” that the Senate was unable pass their initial plan, but pledged he, his White House and Senate Republicans will not take the blame for Obamacare’s failures.
        2. “I think we’re probably in that position where we’ll just let Obamacare fail. We’re not going to own it,” Trump said. “I’m not going to own it, I can tell you. The Republicans are not going to own it. We’ll let Obamacare fail and then the Democrats are going to come to us.”
          1. Not sure he realizes that Republicans never sought help or input from Democrats and that his party controls the entire government.
    3. Russia
      1. Mueller Expands Probe to Include Trump’s Finances.
        1. Trump said any digging into financial matters would be a “red line.”
        2. Investigators are looking at Russian purchases of apartments in Trump owned buildings, as well as Trump’s associations with Russians during development of a controversial SoHo development and the Miss Universe 2013 pageant.
        3. They are also looking into the Bank of Cyprus, where Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross served as the bank’s vice chairman before taking his current role. Trump’s son-in-law and aide, Jared Kushner, secured financing for some of his family’s real estate properties through the bank, someone familiar with the inquiry told Bloomberg.
        4. Investigation is building on the money-laundering investigation launched by Preet Bharara last year before his firing by Trump.
          1. Trump said an investigation into Trump family finances beyond Russia would be “a violation.”
          2. “Look, this is about Russia,” Trump told the newspaper.
        5. Also being investigated are transactions involving a Palm Beach property Trump purchased in 2004 for $41 million.  Trump then sold the property to Russian magnate Dmitry Rybolovlev for $95 million.
        6. Attempt to evade taxes?
          1. Mueller is looking into the Trump SoHo hotel development which was a licensing deal with Bayrock Capital LLC.
          2. In 2010 the former finance director filed a lawsuit claiming the firm structured transactions in a fraudulent way to evade taxes.
          3. Bayrock was the key source of capital for Trump projects.
          4. Also
          5. The Palm Beach Florida estate that Trump purchased in 2004 for $41, was sold to a Russian fertilizer magnate (Dmitry Rybolovlev) for $95 million
          6. It was odd that the estate sold for so much considering real-estate prices at the time. See also Great Recession
      2. Eighth person in Trump Tower meeting identified.
        1. Ike Kaveladze, a VP for a Russian real estate company.
        2. Kaveladze’s presence was confirmed by his lawyer, Scott Balber, who also represents Emin and Aras Agalarov, two others who were in the meeting.
        3. Balber stated that he was contacted by Special Prosecutor Mueller’s office to  confirm that Kaveladze was in the meeting.  Also confirming that the meeting is part of Mueller’s investigation.
      3. Who is the next contestant to testify in Stupid Watergate?
        1. Trump JR to testify in front of Senate Judiciary committee July 26th
          1. Could get interesting: Rep Jackie Speier (D-CA) suggested Wednesday that Donald Trump Jr has had more undisclosed interactions with Russian agents. Claiming recent revelations the “tip of the iceberg”
        2. Manafort to testify in front of the Senate Judiciary committee July 26th
          1. Funny story about Manafort, he owed $17 million of dollars to pro-russia interests before becoming campaign chair
          2. Aluminum magnate Oleg Deripaska is a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin; according to the report, he alleged in 2015 that Manafort and his partners owed him $19 million in connection with a failed investment.
        3. Jared Kushner is going to testify before the Senate Intelligence committee 7/24
        4. JUST in 730PM est 7/21/17, Trump Jr and Manafort will NOT testify publicly, will testify in private and provided details before any public testimony
      4. Trump and Sessions having issues
        1. President Trump said on Wednesday that he never would have appointed Attorney General Jeff Sessions had he known Mr. Sessions would recuse himself from overseeing the Russia investigation that has dogged his presidency, calling the decision “very unfair to the president.”
        2. I’m not sure if Trump knows that Sessions’ is not his lawyer
        3. The reason Trump is mad at Sessions? He says that because Sessions’ recused himself he has a special counsel appointed to investigate him
        4. “Sessions should have never recused himself, and if he was going to recuse himself, he should have told me before he took the job and I would have picked somebody else,” Mr. Trump said.
        5. BREAKING 7/21/17 645PM – Sessions discussed campaign related matters with former russian ambassador per us intelligence sources
      5. More than 20 house democrats write letter
        1. To acting FBI director Andrew McCabe to look at Ivanka Trump’s top-level security clearance due to recent revelations surrounding her husband Kushner
      6. Mueller asks White House staff to preserve all documents relating to recently revealed meeting with Russians
        1. Special counsel Robert Mueller has asked the White House to preserve all documents relating to the June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower that Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort had with a Russian lawyer and others, according to a source who has seen the letter.
        2. The letter from Mueller began: “As you are aware the Special Counsel’s office is investigating the Russian government’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election, including any links or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of Donald Trump. Information concerning the June 2016 meeting between Donald J Trump Jr and Natalia Veselnitskaya is relevant to the investigation.”
    4. Trump ends CIA program arming anti-Assad rebels in Syria
      1. Makes Moscow happy as Moscow backs Assad’s regime in Syria
      2. Program is run by the CIA to arm and train moderate Syrian rebels
      3. Program began under President Obama in 2013 to pressure Assad to resign
    5. Trump’s voter fraud commission is heating up
      1. So in 2015, Kobach as the secretary of state in Kansas, attempted to implement a law imposing proof of citizenship on new voters. The ACLU sued him citing the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 which specifically blocks that type of activity.
      2. Then in November 2016, Chris Kobach was photographed with a memo that spelled out his intent to gut voter rights
      3. ACLU demanded access to the memo, and a federal judge told Kobach to hand it over and fined him $1,000 for making ‘patently misleading representations’ about the memo and engaging in “deceptive conduct.” And just to be a dick, Kobach marked the memo “confidential” blocking the ACLU from releasing it to the public.
      4. But he did release an email, as part of discovery in said lawsuit, that he sent to the Trump transition team a day after election day, putting the NVRA on notice.
      5. The email said that Kobach would be wanting to submit amendments to the NVRA to make clear proof of citizenship requirements to congress early in administration
      6. Then several months later, Kobach is named head of the voter fraud commission. Then requests voter data from all 50 states.
        1. Presumably to run it through some analysis and then say ‘look this is why we need to amend the NVRA’
      7. What is super gross about the voter fraud commission is that they are using a database that is maintained by Hans von Spakovsky from the Heritage Foundation, showing nearly 1,100 cases of voter fraud and almost a thousand convictions. Out of HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS of votes
        1. In fact, you may remember that a trump voter was found to commit voter fraud in the 2016 elections.


  1. Lightning Round
    1. President Trump plans to take 18 days off in August for golf.  Demands that Congress work through their recess.
      1. So far Trump has golfed 40 times during his first 6 months in office.
    2. Welcome to “Made in America Week”
      1. Where it is inappropriate to ask whether the Trump brands will commit to making their items in the US
      2. We only have to ask this question because they refused to divest themselves from their businesses.
      3. Spicer added that, in certain cases, “the supply chains and scalability” are not always available in the US
        1. (Which is code for we use cheap labor overseas)
        2. OR you could, maybe, invest in America and build the supply chains and create jobs in America
    3. Redditor discovers evidence that FCC lied about it’s “crippling” DDOS in May (during the first round of net neutrality comments) and the someone inside the FCC created the bots that submitted many of the anti-net neutrality comments.
      1. More than 9 Million! Public comments made to the agency
      2. Trump White House endorsed FCC’s plan to rollback net neutrality
      3. Support the EFF, ACLU
      4. Pai’s plan is opposed by Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, Twitter, Google, Facebook, Netflix, Pornhub, Reddit, Dropbox, Yelp, Spotify and many more
    4. Carrier Plant lays off 338 people Thursday
      1. The same plant Trump “saved” with $7 million of Indiana’s money
      2. The previously announced layoffs coincide, to the day, with the six-month anniversary of Donald Trump’s presidency. They are part of a deal Trump struck with the company in December to prevent deeper job cuts at the plant.
      3. First wave of over 630 layoffs scheduled by year’s end. Another 700 planned at another plant in Huntington.
    5. Trump signs Iran Deal, that he promised to scrap
      1. Trump has certified that Iran is complying with an Obama era nuclear deal
      2. Per NYT, Trump actively resisted the advice of his foreign policy advisers urging him to certify Iranian compliance
      3. Who knew foreign policy could be so complicated?
    6. Trump’s re-election campaign is paying for lawyers
      1. Campaign funds can be used to pay for lawyers for campaign related activities/issues
      2. Federal Election Commission records show $50,000 payment to attorney representing Trump Jr. Payment came about two weeks after revealing the secret meeting with the Russian Lawyer
      3. In the second quarter of 2017, Trump’s re-election campaign spent $4.4 million of the $8 million it raised.
    7. Rhode Island becomes the 9th state to enact automatic voter registration
    8. Fox News commentator on Trump payroll
      1. A conservative political consultant was on the payroll of the Trump 2020 re-election campaign this spring, while also defending the president in political commentary on the Fox Business Network.
      2. The campaign’s most recent disclosure report, filed Saturday, lists two payments to ProActive Communications LLC: $20,000 on April 17 of this year and $10,000 on May 30 — a period when Mark Serrano, the company’s president and founder, was making frequent appearances on the Fox Business Network.
      3. Fox Business said they weren’t notified until June. In a written statement, the network cited its policy to disclose “all ties our guests have to any subject matter, and in the case of Mark Serrano, as soon as we were made aware of his new title last month, we made sure to disclose his role during his on-air appearances.” Fox Business has signaled that Serrano won’t be on again for the foreseeable future.
    9. Exxon Mobile fined $2 million for “reckless disregard” of U.S. Sanctions on Russia
      1. The U.S. Treasury Department on Thursday morning slapped the world’s largest publicly traded oil producer with the fine for “reckless disregard” of U.S. sanctions in dealings with Russia in 2014 when Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was Exxon’s chief executive.
      2. Exxon Mobil Corp sued the U.S. government on Thursday, blasting as “unlawful” and “capricious” a $2 million fine levied against it for a three-year-old oil joint venture with Russia’s Rosneft.
  2. Kentucky
    1. Kentucky notifies the Ark Encounter that it is in violation of its tax incentive agreement.
  3. General Quarters
    1. Call your representatives and senators – keep voting no on BRCA
  4. Super Happy Fun Time
    1. Dave – Colorado appeals court rules that the scent of marijuana is not enough to search a vehicle. Appeals court ruled that the possible presence of marijuana in a vehicle, as detected by drug-sniffing dogs, does not give policy the authority to search the vehicle. A three-judge panel ruled that police need more cause to search a vehicle without permission. Comes about because marijuana is now legal in Colorado and that drug dogs can detect the drug but not the quantity. Really I just liked this because the use of drug sniffing dogs is bull shit, so much so that SCOTUS has ruled police can not extend traffic stops to wait for drug sniffing dogs.
    2. Travis – Arizona Senator Defends his Muslim Opponent from Online Attacks.
      1. Democratic challenger, Deedra Abboud posted on Facebook praising the US founding fathers for their vision.  The post was flooded with racist and hateful remarks.
      2. Abboud’s Republican opponent, Senator Jeff Flake responded with, ““Hang in there Deedra. Sorry you have to put up with this. Lots of wonderful people across AZ. You’ll find them,”
      3. Abboud responded to Flake with, “Thank you @JeffFlake for leadership in rejecting behavior that doesn’t reflect our American values. AZ’s amazing people deserve more of this.”
    3. Curtis –