Biden-Palin 2020?
48 min

Joe Biden is so far ahead of Trump, James Carville jokes on the latest episode of The New Abnormal, that the former Vice President could win, even with Gov. Youbetcha by his side. The strategy is simple, Carville tells Molly Jong-Fast and Rick Wilson: “Attack, attack, attack. Attack from the right, attack from the left, attack from the center, attack everywhere. People say, ‘Well, you know, you got 89% of Republicans will be for [Trump] no matter what.’ Yeah. Maybe so. But watch the number of people that identify as Republicans go down. 89% of 34 is a lot different than 89% of 30.” Then! The Beast’s Erin Banco describes the Trump administration’s “parallel conversations” on the escalating COVID-19 threat. There’s the one the professionals are leading, Banco explains, and “those tend to be pretty serious and Dr. Birx is not shy about issuing warnings to the nation's governors.” Meanwhile, “you have president Trump seemingly either unaware of the conversations that are happening within the taskforce or deliberately twisting the truth.” Plus! Rick begs to go to Gitmo! Molly ponders how the hell you can close Starbucks and open schools. And our wonder twins ask themselves: Are Trump Steaks actually made of … Trump himself?!


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LRC Presents: All the President's Lawyers
LRC Presents: All the President's Lawyers
KCRW
Pardon season
It’s pardon season. Last week, President Trump pardoned Michael Flynn, his former national security adviser, for the false statements charge to which he pleaded guilty, and he’s been pardoned for certain activity he was never charged with. If this pardon was corruptly issued, is it valid? Yes. Even if the president gets in political or legal trouble for it, is it still valid? Still yes. The power to pardon is pretty close to a power a king would have, and there is no precedent for curbing the president’s power to pardon. There may be more pardons ahead: ABC News and the New York Times report the president is considering pre-emptive pardons for some of his family members: his three oldest children (Ivanka, Eric and Don Jr.), his son-in-law Jared Kushner and his demented uncle Rudy Giuliani. There’s also news that prosecutors are looking into whether there was a corrupt scheme to offer political donations in exchange for a pardon. Ken and Josh talk about what is known based on an unsealed but heavily redacted order from a federal judge. Plus: Bill Barr makes John Durham a special prosecutor. How does that change John Durham’s work with the investigation into the other special counsel investigation? And what if the Biden administration were to expand the Durham investigation into other areas of the Trump administration Department of Justice? And about that full page ad Lin Wood took out that calls for President Trump to impose “limited martial law” so he could throw out the results of the election: is that sedition? And why couldn’t President Trump file just “one, big, beautiful lawsuit” alleging voter fraud?
37 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
Neutral Laws of General Applicability
It's conundrum season! Pass along your most pressing conundrums here: www.slate.com/conundrum. Our annual Conundrum holiday show is coming soon. Emily, John and Jamelle discuss presidential pardons; coronavirus exemptions for houses of worship; and David joins in for a conversation with Australia's former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull about disinformation. Here are some notes and references from this week’s show: Jamelle Bouie for The New York Times: “It Started With ‘Birtherism’” Greg Nunziata for The Atlantic: “Republicans With Any Love of Country Must Acknowledge That Trump Has Lost” Spencer S. Hsu for The Washington Post: “Court-Appointed Adviser in Michael Flynn Case Says Justice Dept. Yielded to Corrupt ‘Pressure Campaign’ Led by Trump” Amy Howe for SCOTUSblog: “Christian School in Kentucky Asks Justices to Intervene in Dispute Over In-Person Classes at Religious Schools” Emily Bazelon for the New York Times Magazine: “The Problem of Free Speech in an Age of Disinformation” A Bigger Picture, by Malcolm Turnbull  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:  Jamelle: Jamelle chatted about the superior experience of watching films on a Blu-Ray player, as opposed to streaming. John: Caroline Lange for Food52: “A History of The American Milkman”; Matt Novak for Smithsonian Magazine: “The Milkman’s Robot Helper”; Atticpaper.com’s prints from the Mid-century advertising campaign “Beer Belongs”  Emily: The Office of Historical Corrections by Danielle Evans  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 learn about navigating water sports in shark-infested waters from Former Prime Minister of Australia Malcolm Turnbull. 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 14 min
Left, Right & Center
Left, Right & Center
KCRW
Caught with their masks down
In a dark week for new COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths, a few high-profile politicians — mostly Democrats — have gotten a lot of attention for disobeying their own pandemic orders and restrictions. Of course, Republican leaders have been far from compliant (up to and including the White House), but is it especially egregious for Democratic leaders caught with their masks down? Are some Republicans unfairly getting a free pass because they have largely ignored the virus in the first place? There was some better news this week: states are planning for imminent vaccine distribution. It’s a major task, and there are deep trust issues at play. In Washington, it looks like there’s bipartisan agreement on another coronavirus aid bill. The panel is hopeful that this is the beginning of more bipartisan action and a government that is more responsive to national crises. Finally: more women than ever will take their seats in a new Congress and hold posts in the Biden-Harris administration. Is there reason for the Left to celebrate gains for Republican women representatives? The Biden transition team announced an all-woman communications team. How much does that choice matter? And how should that team restore the relationship between the White House and the press? Keli Goff hosts this episode of Left, Right & Center with Margaret Hoover, host of Firing Line With Margaret Hoover, and Christine Emba, columnist at the Washington Post.
51 min
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