Town Hall Sh*tshow Was a Truth Window into Trump
54 min

On the night of the duelling townhalls, Molly Jong-Fast and Rick Wilson recorded a special episode of The New Abnormal as a desperate Trump delivered a wild performance that virtually served as an ad for Joe Biden. Two guests join the show to sum up the state of American politics right now with Jay Michaelson, legal affairs columnist at The Daily Beast, Rabbi and editor at 10% Happier, on hand to run down the latest from the Amy Coney Barrett hearings. And audience favorite Hank Gilbert, who is running for the Texas first congressional district against Republican Louie Gohmert, is back to share the unprecedented election buzz he says he is seeing in Texas. Gilbert says he can’t believe it took so long but Texans have finally realized that “this narcissistic bastard” is bad for America and they’re ready to vote him out. “People are excited. I’ve never seen this type of atmosphere before,” he said.

 

Trump seemed to be doing his best to show viewers himself that he was not fit to be president during the NBC townhall, says Rick. “You had Trump with one leg on the ground, leaning over, hunched over, glaring at Savannah Guthrie like he was a mad man, like he was about to flee the scene of a crime. And you had Joe Biden sitting in the chair, legs crossed, hands gesturing, talking smoothly and calmly.” “When he wouldn’t answer the QAnon question, all I could think was, ‘Does Joe Biden need to report this like an in-kind contribution?’ This was fucking crazy,” Rick said. “This shitshow was a truth window into Trump.” He had, at least, managed to directly criticize white supremacy after failing to do so at the presidential debate, which just confused Molly: “Wouldn't it be more of a no brainer to disavow QAnon—the Democrats eat children—than white supremacy? His supporters are already racist.”

 

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Stay Tuned with Preet
Stay Tuned with Preet
CAFE
CAFE Insider 12/1: Pardons, Proof, and the Pandemic
In this sample from the CAFE Insider podcast, Preet and Anne break down the Trump campaign’s latest failed efforts to block vote certification in battleground states, and Trump’s claim that Biden must prove that his votes were not “illegally obtained.”  In the full episode, Preet and Anne discuss Trump’s pardon of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, the extent of the president’s pardon powers, the Supreme Court ruling that struck down New York’s COVID-19 restrictions on houses of worship, and more. To listen to the full episode and get access to all exclusive CAFE Insider content, including audio notes from Preet and Elie Honig and the United Security and Cyber Space podcasts, try out the membership free for two weeks: www.cafe.com/insider Sign up to receive the weekly CAFE Brief newsletter, featuring analysis by Elie Honig: www.cafe.com/brief This podcast is produced by CAFE Studios.  Tamara Sepper – Executive Producer; Adam Waller – Senior Editorial Producer; Matthew Billy – Audio Producer; Jake Kaplan – Editorial Producer REFERENCES & SUPPLEMENTAL MATERIALS:  Donald J. Trump for President, Inc. v. Secretary Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Third Circuit Court of Appeals, opinion, 11/27/20 Donald Trump for President, Inc. v. Kathy Boockvar, U.S. District Court, Middle District Pennsylvania, opinion, 11/21/20 The Honorable Mike Kelly v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, opinion, 11/28/20 President Trump tweet, 11/27/20 See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
14 min
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
Political Gabfest
Political Gabfest
Slate Podcasts
Sabotage for Christmas
It's conundrum season! Pass along your most pressing conundrums here: www.slate.com/conundrum. Our annual Conundrum holiday show is coming soon. This week, Emily, David and John discuss the Trump Administration's efforts to hobble the Biden transition; ethical problems in vaccine distribution; and how to deal with the damage of the election fraud lie. Here are some notes and references from this week’s show: Alex Kalman for the Atlantic: “The Letters That Outgoing Presidents Wrote to Their Successors” John Dickerson for The Atlantic: “Why You Don’t Mess Around With Presidential Transitions” The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine: “A Framework for Equitable Allocation of Vaccine for the Novel Coronavirus” Kathryn Olivarius for The New York Times: “The Dangerous History of Immunoprivilege” Jeanna Smialek and Alan Rappeport for The New York Times: “Mnuchin Cites Principles in Clawing Back Fed Money. Democrats See Politics.” Kevin Roose, Mike Isaac, and Sheera Frenkel for The New York Times: “Roiled by Election, Facebook Struggles to Balance Civility and Growth” Colin Dickey for Medium: “How to Talk to a Conspiracy Theorist” To celebrate our 15th anniversary we'd love to know about your clever, politically themed, original cocktail! Please send us the details here: www.slate.com/cocktail Here are this week’s cocktail chatters:  John: W.E.B. Du Bois: Writings; The Vintage Book of Contemporary American Poetry  David: Death, Sex & Money: “51 Years Loving A Man Named Sissy”; David’s twitter thread pitch for remaking Love Actually every year. Emily and listener Barbara Torrey Workman @thethirdbarbara: Twitter thread by United Farm Workers @UFWupdates featuring farm workers at work harvesting the ingredients in favorite Thanksgiving recipes.  Slate Plus members get a bonus segment on the Gabfest each week, and access to special bonus episodes throughout the year. Sign up now to listen and support our show. For this week’s Slate Plus bonus segment David, Emily, and John discuss the elements of pre-pandemic Thanksgiving that they won’t miss this year and don't plan to reinstate next year. You can tweet suggestions, links, and questions to @SlateGabfest. Tweet us your cocktail chatter using #cocktailchatter. (Messages may be quoted by name unless the writer stipulates otherwise.)   The email address for the Political Gabfest is gabfest@slate.com. (Email may be quoted by name unless the writer stipulates otherwise.) Podcast production by Jocelyn Frank. Research and show notes by Bridgette Dunlap. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
1 hr 16 min
Left, Right & Center
Left, Right & Center
KCRW
Politics of culture
2020 has been a difficult year. Keli Goff hosts this special episode of Left, Right & Center about how art gets us through tough times, and how it can move us politically too. You’ll hear from four creators and thinkers on the persuasive power of the arts and what pieces they’ve turned to for inspiration and comfort. You might walk away with a new favorite song or play. Stan Zimmerman wrote one of 2020’s favorite TV series: “The Golden Girls.” In April, Hulu viewers watched nearly 11 million hours of the show. Zimmerman talks about why the show was ahead of its time, and why so many shows are seeing a resurgence during a stressful year. Musician Nile Rodgers might be the reason some of your favorite songs exist. Rodgers is one of the most successful songwriters and musicians ever. He co-founded Chic, and he has producing and songwriting credits with David Bowie, Diana Ross, Duran Duran, Madonna, Diana Ross, Sister Sledge, Lady Gaga, Daft Punk, and more. He and Goff jam out to “We Are Family” (which he co-wrote) and talk about how certain songs have moved the world. Award-winning playwright Dominique Morisseau talks with Goff about the power of live performance (something we’re missing right now), why theater is still closed off to many people of color, the role of critics and the canon, “Hamilton,” and more. And to wrap it up, Goff talks with Rashad Robinson, president of the civil rights organization Color of Change. Rashad talks about the impacts of celebrity on social movements, the power of icons, and why Hollywood and the arts matter to those who dream of and work toward a more equitable future.
50 min
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