Embedded
Embedded
May 23, 2019
Coming Soon: Mitch
1 min
Coming soon from NPR's Embedded: How did Mitch McConnell become one of the most powerful people in the world? And how did he change America in the process? Episodes available beginning May 30, 2019.
Trump, Inc.
Trump, Inc.
WNYC Studios
Midnight Regulations
This story was co-published with ProPublica. Sign up for email updates from Trump, Inc. to get the latest on our investigations. Six days after President Donald Trump lost his bid for reelection, the U.S. Department of Agriculture notified food safety groups that it was proposing a regulatory change to speed up chicken factory processing lines, a change that would allow companies to sell more birds. An earlier USDA effort had broken down on concerns that it could lead to more worker injuries and make it harder to stop germs like salmonella. Ordinarily, a change like this would take about two years to go through the cumbersome legal process of making new federal regulations. But the timing has alarmed food and worker safety advocates, who suspect the Trump administration wants to rush through this rule in its waning days. Even as Trump and his allies officially refuse to concede the Nov. 3 election, the White House and federal agencies are hurrying to finish dozens of regulatory changes before Joe Biden is inaugurated on Jan. 20. The rules range from long-simmering administration priorities to last-minute scrambles and affect everything from creature comforts like showerheads and clothes washers to life-or-death issues like federal executions and international refugees. They impact everyone from the most powerful, such as oil drillers, drugmakers and tech startups, to the most vulnerable, such as families on food stamps, transgender people in homeless shelters, migrant workers and endangered species. ProPublica is tracking those regulations as they move through the rule-making process. Every administration does some version of last-minute rule-making, known as midnight regulations, especially with a change in parties. It’s too soon to say how the Trump administration’s tally will stack up against predecessors. But these final weeks are solidifying conservative policy objectives that will make it harder for the Biden administration to advance its own agenda, according to people who track rules developed by federal agencies. “The bottom line is the Trump administration is trying to get things published in the Federal Register, leaving the next administration to sort out the mess,” said Matthew Kent, who tracks regulatory policy for left-leaning advocacy group Public Citizen. “There are some real roadblocks to Biden being able to wave a magic wand on these.” In some instances the Trump administration is using shortcuts to get more rules across the finish line, such as taking less time to accept and review public feedback. It’s a risky move. On the one hand, officials want to finalize rules so that the next administration won’t be able to change them without going through the process all over again. On the other, slapdash rules may contain errors, making them more vulnerable to getting struck down in court. The Trump administration is on pace to finalize 36 major rules in its final three months, similar to the 35 to 40 notched by the previous four presidents, according to Daniel Perez, a policy analyst at the George Washington University Regulatory Studies Center. In 2017, Republican lawmakers struck down more than a dozen Obama-era rules using a fast-track mechanism called the Congressional Review Act. That weapon may be less available for Democrats to overturn Trump’s midnight regulations if Republicans keep control of the Senate, which will be determined by two Georgia runoffs. Still, a few GOP defections could be enough to kill a rule with a simple majority. “This White House is not likely to be stopping things and saying on principle elections have consequences, let’s respect the voters’ decision and not rush things through to tie the next guys’ hands,” said Susan Dudley, who led the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs in the Office of Management and Budget at the end of the George W. Bush administration. “One concern is the rules are rushed so they didn’t have adequate analysis or public comment, and that’s what we’re seeing.” The Trump White House didn’t respond to requests for comment on which regulations it’s aiming to finish before Biden’s inauguration. The Biden transition team also didn’t respond to questions about which of Trump’s parting salvos the new president would prioritize undoing. Many of the last-minute changes would add to the heap of changes throughout the Trump administration to pare back Obama-era rules and loosen environmental and consumer protections, all in the name of shrinking the government’s role in the economy. “Our proposal today greatly furthers the Trump administration’s regulatory reform efforts, which together have already amounted to the most aggressive effort to reform federal regulations of any administration,” Brian Harrison, the chief of staff for the Department of Health and Human Services, said on a conference call with reporters the day after the election. Harrison was unveiling a new proposal to automatically purge regulations that are more than 10 years old unless the agency decides to keep them. For that proposal to become finalized before Jan. 20 would be an exceptionally fast turnaround. But Harrison left no doubt about that goal. “The reason we're doing this now is because,” he said, “we at the department are trying to go as fast as we can in hopes of finalizing the rule before the end of the first term.” Read Isaac Arnsdorf's full print story at ProPublica. Track more of the Trump administration's midnight regulations here.
18 min
The New Abnormal with Molly Jong-Fast & Rick Wilson
The New Abnormal with Molly Jong-Fast & Rick Wilson
The Daily Beast
Julia-Louis Dreyfus: We’ve ‘Talked About’ Making More ‘Veep’
The gods of comedy have heard your prayers—and just might make them come true. “Veep,” the greatest political comedy of all time, could return, somehow, some way, in some form, if only for a short while.  “We've certainly discussed it,” star Julia-Louis Dreyfus tells Molly Jong-Fast on the latest episode of The New Abnormal. “Everybody's sort of gone off now and everybody's doing other projects and so on. But I don't rule it out entirely, doing some sort of ‘Veep’-related thing. I mean, there's an area that we could jump back into. I think [showrunner] Dave [Mandel] and I have talked about it.”  Mandel adds, “We left just enough sort of like there's some time jumps in there that you could definitely—” “Go back into,” Dreyfus offers. “Yeah. You could kind of color in and answer a couple of questions. So I think anything is possible,” Mandel says. Not so long ago, Mandel and Dreyfus were wondering aloud how possible it was to do political satire with Trump in the White House. How do you parody a parody? Now, Dreyfus says, “There's always an opportunity for satire and we're hopeful that with the Biden administration, you know, things will sort of settle down and then we can be the outrageous ones.” “Yeah. It requires a baseline of normalcy. And if we can get back to that, if we can get back to a time where you're not thinking about the president every six minutes, I think maybe we can get back to some good old fashioned political satire,” Mandel adds. “But [the Trumpists] made it difficult. They raise the bar on stupidity on a daily basis. So it was very hard to out-stupid. You know what I mean?   In the meantime—this weekend, in fact—the ‘Veep’ cast is getting back together to recreate one of the craziest, most prescient episodes of the show. In it, The Beast’s Kevin Fallon noted, protesters are planted [who] “alternately chant to ‘count every vote’ and ‘stop counting the votes’ as new information trickles in, changing their message based on which strategy would be more advantageous to them.”  Sound familiar? But here’s the truly crazy part. That’s "an episode from the fifth season of ‘Veep,’ so many years back," Dreyfus says. 2016, to be exact. "Yes, ‘Veep’ is real. It's a documentary. And it's about real life," she jokes. The re-read of the episode——featuring guest stars Patton Oswalt, Kumail Nanjiani, Mark Hamill, and Stephen Colbert—is a fundraiser for a group looking to boost turnout in the upcoming Georgia special elections. Dreyfus thought it’d be cool to "read the very script that seemed to become reality the last couple of weeks. Let's read that, a sort of an uncut version of it." The cast did a similar thing in advance of the general election. Maybe they’ll get used to being back together. Maybe it’ll become a habit. Maybe, maybe, just maybe…  The gang also talk to Matt Tyrnauer, who directed Showtime's limited-series "The Reagans," about the myth of "Saint Reagan" and how he held the press in a "fog of war" to earn him his esteemed reputation which the crew find undeserved. Want more? Become a Beast Inside member to enjoy a limited-run series of bonus interviews from The New Abnormal. Guests include Cory Booker, Jim Acosta, and more. Head to newabnormal.thedailybeast.com to join now.   See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
59 min
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