Weekly Newsletter

Vol. 4 – Day 32 P.E.

Investigate Russian election interference, meet the Cabinet of Doom, and find out which movie Trump supporters are boycotting after moving on from boycotting Tony the Tiger

Update:  The Tweet of the Week from Chuck Jones has been confirmed as not from his account (he doesn’t have one). We apologize for the error. Things are moving fast.

Greetings and Salutations
In this week’s edition, we’ll dive into Russian entanglements, share a Cabinet of Doom cheat sheet, and try to figure out why some Trump supporters think Star Wars is picking on them. If you like what we do, use the buttons below to share the newsletter and tell your friends to sign up!

The TrumpShaker Top Two
December 11, 2016 – National Noodle Ring Day – Day 32 P.E. (Post Election)
I Must Hack You
Minor breaking news: It’s officially the opinion (subject to change on January 20) of the US government that Russia interfered in the election to help Donald Trump. Undermining democracy was not Russia’s primary goal, but was icing on Putin’s piroshky.

For those of you just tuning in, here’s what happened previously on From Russia with Loathe:

At a press conference on July 27, Donald Trump asked Russia, if it wouldn’t be too much trouble and if it had some time on its hands, to help find emails that were once on Hillary’s server.

Stolen emails from the Democrat National Committee and Clinton’s Campaign Chairman John Podesta, are then released by WikiLeaks at big moments like the Democratic Convention. These releases have mysteriously stopped since the election.

In September, President Obama shared intelligence with congressional leaders in an attempt to get a bipartisan statement against Russian interference with the election. Republican Senate Majority Leader McConnell said, “Nah we don’t need to make a statement, it’s probably just a red herring.” Quick footnote – McConnell’s wife was recently nominated for a cabinet post by Trump.

President Obama still made a statement on his own but it’s lost in the noise of important developments like Billy Bush being fired from NBC’s Today show.

On October 28, FBI Director James Comey released his infamous letter saying more or less “If I have some time this weekend, I may look through some old emails that may or may not be from Hillary, just fyi.”

On October 30, Democrat Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid said the FBI had “explosive” evidence tying Trump to Russia.

On October 31, the FBI said Happy Halloween and that there was no clear link between Trump and Russia.

On November 4, Rudy Giuliani said the FBI leaked to him prior to Comey’s letter that they were going to look into more Hillary emails.

So the FBI is . . . best case – incompetent; worst case – complicit in assisting Russia in tilting things to Trump.

November 8, Trump got more electoral votes and you spent the night in the fetal position.

November 10, Russia’s deputy foreign minister said there were communications between Russia and the Trump campaign, “There were contacts. We continue to do this and have been doing this work during the election campaign.”

December 9, The Washington Post reported that the CIA says Russia was helping Trump win. One piece of evidence that supports their claim is that Russia hacked the Republican National Committee as well, but those documents were not released. President Obama finally ordered a comprehensive report on Russian interference.

Also on December 9, the President-elect had a real Sophie’s choice between believing Putin or the CIA and he chose . . . oh, I don’t want to spoil it, read it: “These are the same people that said Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. The election ended a long time ago in one of the biggest Electoral College victories in history. It’s now time to move on and ‘Make America Great Again’.”

A few GOP senators like John McCain and Lindsey Graham have called for investigations, most have said “¯\_(ツ)_/¯ , wake me up when something worth investigating comes up, like Hillary asking Huma Abedin to print her emails out.”

So to summarize, Trump asked for Russia’s help. Russia gave it. The CIA said that Russia did it to help Trump. Many Republicans shrugged and said, “C’mon Russians haven’t been bad guys in movies since Rocky beat Drago. We’ve got nothing to worry about.” The President-elect then dismissed the CIA as a credible source of intelligence information and for good measure got in two more lies – that the election ended a long time ago (reality: a month) and he had one of the biggest Electoral College victories in history (reality: there are 45 other presidential elections with larger margins).

More Information
The Washington PostSecret CIA Assessment says Russia was trying to help Trump win White House

Cabinet of Doom
President-elect Lex Luthor Donald Trump continues to reach into different concentric circles of hell to find cabinet members. Qualifications appear primarily to be a desire to destroy the department they are to lead and being a member of the Stonecutters.

As The TrumpShaker is dedicated to serving our readers, I prepared this Trump Cabinet Cheat SheetTM for you to take into your upcoming reeducation class at Trump University. Ready? No, you’re not. Honestly, no one can be prepared for this list.

  • Environmental Protection Agency – Scott Pruitt – is Oklahoma’s Attorney General as well as a climate change denier whose only relevant experience is suing the EPA and who is sponsored by the fossil fuel industry. But maybe he’ll do what he did for Oklahoma and really shake things up!
  • Interior – Cathy McMorris – is a Congresswoman from eastern Washington who gets excited about drilling in the Arctic and Indian Reservations, sponsors bills to sell off national park land, got an F from the National Parks Conservation Association, and has a 4% lifetime score for the League of Conservation Voters.
  • State (rumored) – Rex Tillerson – is Exxon’s CEO. He’ll have a lot of friends in the White House since he is against environmental regulations and he won the Order of Friendship award from Putin in 2013.
  • Labor – Andrew Puzder – is the CEO of Carl’s Jr. He is anti-union, puts “hot models in commercials, because ugly ones don’t sell burgers”, believes that “there is no way in the world that scooping ice cream is worth $15 an hour”, and runs a company that had labor violations in 60% of its restaurants. His appointment is also literally a plot point in the movie Idiocracy.
  • Housing and Urban Development – Ben Carson – is a retired neurosurgeon with no government experience, has likened fair housing to communism, has a hard time telling the truth, and believes the pyramids in Egypt were grain silos.
  • Education – Betsy DeVos – is a billionaire by the way of marriage to the son of Amway’s founder who supports private school vouchers in lieu of public education.
  • Attorney General – Jeff Sessions – is a Senator from Alabama who opposes voting rights and was denied a federal judgeship by his own party because he was deemed too racist.
  • Health and Human Services – Tom Price – is a former surgeon and current Congressman from Georgia who wants to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, privatize Medicare, and scored a 0 on the Human Rights Campaign’s Congressional Scorecard.
  • Small Business Administration – Linda McMahon – co-founded World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) which has “been illegally depriving its wrestlers of millions in benefits.”
  • Chief Strategist – Steve Bannon – was the executive chair of Breitbart News and is a white nationalist who admires Lenin (the Russian tyrant Lenin; not the give peace a chance Lennon)
  • National Security Advisor – Michael Flynn – is a retired US Army Lieutenant General who believes in no dissent from his subordinates, claims to have seen signs in Arabic in Mexico pointing the way to border crossings and tweets things like this:

This Week in Numbers
Hillary More Popular than Watching a Hit in the Head – Hilary is currently ahead by 2.84 million votes (2% of the electorate). That’s more people than attended NFL games in Pittsburgh, Chicago, Oakland, Minnesota, Tampa Bay, and Tennessee combined last year.

Not a Value Meal Kind of Guy – Robert Reich notes that Carl’s Jr. CEO and nominated Labor Secretary Andy Puzder made more in one day last year ($17,192) than a typical Carl’s Jr. full-time minimum wage worker made all year ($15,130).

No Grade Curve on the Turnpike – In a Quinnipiac University poll, only 3% of voters gave Governor and former Trump BFF Chris Christie an A.

The 25 Mandate – A Pew Poll shows Trump with a 41% approval rating, lower than our last four new Presidents when they began their first/only term: Obama (72%), W. (50%), Clinton (62%), and H.W. Bush (65%).

Quick TrumpShakes
Wait, Darth Vader was a Bad Guy? – After boycotting Frosted Flakes, white nationalist supporters of Trump are now boycotting the new Star Wars movie, Rogue One. They are apparently just finding out that Star Wars may have a slightly anti-fascist slant. Obi-wan was the original TrumpShaker.

Ohio: Pregnant With Terrible Ideas – In anticipation of a majority on the Supreme Court courtesy of GOP obstruction and Trump, Ohio is getting first in line to get its name on the case that overturns abortion. The Ohio legislature passed two unconstitutional laws this week. The first prohibits abortion for any reason after the fetus has a heartbeat, i.e., about 6 weeks, i.e, before most women know they’re pregnant. So yes, this is meant to outlaw abortion. The second prohibits abortion after 20 weeks, earlier than the currently permitted 24 weeks. The bills await “reasonable” Republican Gov. Kasich’s signature.

So Much Corruption, So Little Time – In this busy holiday season, who has time to keep tabs on Trump’s corruption? To the rescue is a new website, Corrupt.af, from Clinton’s former Director of Digital Communications, Matt Ortega.

It’s Getting Hot in Herre Part I – Trump and the first lady daughter met with Al Gore and Leonardo DiCaprio this week, raising hopes of environmentalists. I mean if Leo looked at me with those baby blues and asked me to do something, I’d say yes faster than you could say, “But didn’t you ruin Growing Pains?” Those hopes were dashed the next day by Trump’s appointment of the Heat Miser to lead the EPA.

It’s Getting Hot in Herre Part II – The Trump Transition team has asked the Department of Energy for the names of staff working on climate change. The belief is that a purge of those named could be coming. Watch closely, this may be the start of “environmental McCarthyism.”

Tweets of the Week

Trump took time away from his one intelligence briefing per week to attack Saturday Night Live,Boeing, and Chuck Jones, head of United Steel Workers Local 1999 in Indianapolis. All these people had dared to disagree with him. Needless to say it’s truly scary that the President-elect tries to muffle dissent by attacking a private citizen in Chuck Jones. Congrats to Chuck for fighting back, as we all must. To understand what it’s like to be in Trump’s cross-hairs, read this The Washington Post article on one young woman’s life after standing up to Trump.
Featured Article of the Week
Last week, I mentioned Trump warmly greeted Philippines President Duterte, who has made vigilante justice the law of the land. This article from The New York Times photojournalist Daniel Berehulak documents 57 homicides in 35 days.

Featured Article Runner-Ups
NPR reporter Asma Khalid discusses what is was like to cover the 2016 campaign as a Muslim reporter.

Glenn Beck was visited by the Ghost of Christmas Future and now wants to buy us all a big goose to ask forgiveness for what he’s done.

What’s Old is New Again!
Quote of the Issue

We are all drowning in filth. When I talk to anyone or read the writings of anyone who has any axe to grind, I feel that intellectual honesty and balanced judgement have simply disappeared from the face of the earth. Everyone’s thought is forensic, everyone is simply putting a “case” with deliberate suppression of his opponent’s point of view, and, what is more, with complete insensitiveness to any sufferings except those of himself and his friends.
– George Orwell written in 1942

This quote is found in the excellent article, The Age of Outrage, by Ian Hislop.

Action Center
Change Organization Worthy of Your Change
Planned Parenthood
Founded in 1916, Planned Parenthood “delivers vital reproductive health care, sex education, and information to millions of women, men and young people worldwide. One in five American women has used Planned Parenthood once in their life.” After once enjoying bipartisan support, (the Bush family, prior to W., had a long history of strong support) it has come under attack.

One of PP’s biggest foes is VP-elect Mike Pence, whose action to defund PP in Indiana led to an HIV outbreak in his state.

Since the election 82,000 people have donated to Planned Parenthood in Mike Pence’s name. Join them!

Dismantle NSEERS
The ACLU is rallying support for Obama to dismantle the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System (NSEERS). NSEERS is a special registration system for non-citizens that was launched following 9/11 and has been criticized for racial and religious profiling while providing no terrorist convictions. Obama discontinued the program in 2011. The ACLU want him to dismantle it so that Trump can’t just turn it back on with a flip of the switch. Express your concern.
The TrumpShaker Holiday Gift Guide
Not to be outdone by the great t-shirt from their colleagues at Jezebel, Deadspin is selling this hipster anti-Trump shirt that proves they were against Trump before it was cool.
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