July 24, 2018

The Republican Push to Gut the Endangered Species Act

Trump Claims the Russians Will Help the Democrats in the Midterms

Streamlining the White House-Fox News Echo Chamber Loop

Program Notes

We begin with the Trump Administration’s proposed revisions of the Endangered Species Act which was passed by Congress in 1973 and signed into law by President Nixon. A world leader in the study of present day extinctions and what can be done to prevent them, Stuart Pimm, a Professor of Conservation Ecology at Duke University who has testified to both the House and Senate on the re-authorization of the Endangered Species Act, joins us. We will discuss the orchestrated campaign underway to kill the Endangered Species Act led by global warming denier Senator James Inhofe and Wyoming’s John Barrasso who chairs the Senate Environment Committee, in league with oil industry lobbyists and the Interior Department. We assess this rushed effort by Republicans to push a bill through and get it signed by Trump before the November elections in case the Democrats gain control of either the House or Senate or both and they lose this window of opportunity. We explore industry’s arguments rejecting science while citing an economic burden, and what can be done to save the ESA which has saved from extinction among others, the American alligator, the gray whale and the iconic emblem of the United States, the bald eagle.

Then we speak with Ryan Cooper, a national correspondent at The Week where he has an article “Why the left needs to wise up to the growing Trump-Russia scandal”. He joins us to discuss the latest bone tossed to the press as the daily distraction, Trump’s claim he is “very concerned” that Russia will meddle in the 2018 midterm elections, but this time he asserts (without offering any evidence) that Moscow “will be pushing very hard for the Democrats”.  With a constant stream of lies flowing from Trump to Fox News and vice versa, as conspiracy and confusion is sown by the odious Alex Jones on the right and the fruitcake Louise Mensch on the left, little wonder the public has tuned out the “Russiagate” scandal.

Then finally we look into the role of the new White House Communications Director Bill Shine who came from Fox News where he was fired for covering up endemic sexual abuse at Trump’s favorite network. Scott Horton, a contributing editor at Harper’s in legal affairs and national security, joins us to discuss how Shine has streamlined the echo chamber loop back and forth between the White House and Fox News. First Tucker Carlson floats a call to strip the clearances of former top intelligence officials critical of Trump, then Senator Rand Paul shows up at the White House to lobby for it, then a Fox News plant at the White House press briefing asks Sarah Sanders a softball question, and then she parrots her prepared statement naming 6 former top intel officials, thus closing the loop.

Stuart Pimm | Ryan Cooper | Scott Horton