TEASER: Is Trump or Biden More Likely to Keel Over on Debate Night?
3 min

“People are dying, tens of thousands of people are out of work, he’s embarrassing,” is not only the quote of the year from Philippe Reines but also sums up how he, Rick Wilson, Molly Jong-Fast, and Mike Madrid feel about Donald Trump’s dwindling support among his own base. To make matters worse for the president, he is set to debate Joe Biden for the first time Tuesday night, and he doesn’t have that same 2016 anger and energy he drummed up to defeat Hillary Clinton. In this new members-only bonus episode of The New Abnormal, Rick, Molly, Philippe and Mike discuss what Joe Biden should say, word for word, when he gets on that stage with Trump and the one thing that could sink the president without Joe’s help. Two words: no crowds. “That is where Trump is at his worst,” says Mike. “Without that he’s going to be like a goat in the wilderness.” There’s also the whole painting-Biden-as-senile by the Trump campaign thing, and it just won’t work, Mike says: “They’re tried to convince people that he’s senile and will drool on people while at the same time trying to convince people he’s some mastermind of the left that’s going to being about socialism.” It is quite ironic. “If one of those guys is more likely to keel over Tuesday night on stage, it’s not Joe Biden,” adds Philippe. Then, the group switches gears to talk about Trump losing support among a few of his core voter demographics: senior citizens and non-college educated men. (“COVID has broken the Trump fever) Plus! Rick gives a dramatic reading of one of Trump’s rally quotes and it’s just as bogus as you’d expect. And the group discusses that awkward moment when the crowd booed Trump at Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s funeral: “This is the only time he’s worn his mask when we desperately needed to see his face.”


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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
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
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
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
The Ezra Klein Show
The Ezra Klein Show
Vox
Best of: Frances Lee on why bipartisanship is irrational
There are few conversations I’ve had on this show that are quite as relevant to our current political moment as this one with Princeton political scientist Frances Lee. Joe Biden will occupy the White House come January, but pending the results of two runoff Senate elections in Georgia, Democrats either won’t control the Senate at all or will face a 50-50 split. In either case, an important question looms large over the incoming administration: Will Republican senators negotiate with Biden in good faith? Lee’s work is an indispensable framework for thinking about that inquiry. In her most recent book, Insecure Majorities: Congress and the Perpetual Campaign, Lee makes a point that sounds strange when you hear it but changes everything once you understand it. For most of American history, American politics has been under one-party rule. For decades, that party was the Republican Party. Then, for decades more, it was the Democratic Party. It’s only in the past few decades that control of Congress began flipping back and forth every few years, that presidential elections became routinely decided by a few percentage points, that both parties are always this close to gaining or losing the majority. That kind of close competition, Lee writes, makes the daily compromises of bipartisan governance literally irrational. "Confrontation fits our strategy,” Dick Cheney once said. "Polarization often has very beneficial results. If everything is handled through compromise and conciliation, if there are no real issues dividing us from the Democrats, why should the country change and make us the majority?” Why indeed? This is a conversation about that question, about how the system we have incentivizes a politics of confrontation we don’t seem to want and makes steady, stable governance a thing of the past. . Book Recommendations: The Imprint of Congress by David R. Mayhew Fear Itself: The New Deal and the Origins of Our Time by Ira Katznelson Congress's Constitution: Legislative Authority and the Separation of Powers by Josh Chafetz Credits: Producer/Audio engineer - Jeff Geld Researcher - Roge Karma Please consider making a contribution to Vox to support this show: bit.ly/givepodcasts Your support will help us keep having ambitious conversations about big ideas. New to the show? Want to check out Ezra’s favorite episodes? Check out the Ezra Klein Show beginner’s guide (http://bit.ly/EKSbeginhere) Want to contact the show? Reach out at ezrakleinshow@vox.com Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
59 min
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