Moscow Mitch


Support for this podcast and the following message come from google veteran mitch hoyt founded skinny sticks maple syrup he showing that small businesses can do big things mitch started making syrup from a few trees and his wisconsin backyard and now is one of millions of small businesses using google to grow learn. How google is helping businesses businesses in your state at google dot com slash economic impact <music>. Hello look into the slate political gabfest for august nineteen the moscow mitch vision. I thought about europe. I am in in late. Lavish lavish baffled new york studio. I'm here with guest host. Mike mike pasco the gist. Hello mike but i'm always in the studio is the thing you are all of your time in the studio. Wake up like a harry potter character who is actually connected to the room. I think i was thinking on <hes> as i was on my subway over here that has anyone recorded more podcast episodes than you mike pesca i think you must be in the top ten of of podcast episodes recorded by of anybody in the world not just slate not just late no i'll so me and my friends at the baseball podcast cast effectively wild neck and neck race for most episodes ever but my friend luke burbank is on episode like twenty thousand or so you on his show too beautiful to lift twelve fifteen thousand. It's teen fifteen hundred thinks oh fifteen hundred all right okay or magnitude off that if you want orders of magnitude shit off listen to the jets the gist within a factor of ten right that voice you didn't hear you've always say you barely heard that silent voice uninterested in the number of episodes is emily baz alon of the new york times magazine and yale university. She has is at a studio in new haven in connecticut her home city. Hello emily hello. Hello <hes> my <hes>. Mike is here because john is on vacation is in in <hes>. He's in european the e._u. He's preventing brexit ball. He's over there but he'll be back in a couple of weeks. He's the hard backstop on. Today's gap got best. There were mass killings this past week in el paso texas in dayton ohio just hours apart a week. After there was a mass mass shooting in gilroy california at the garlic festival in at least two of these cases the murders were carried out by white nationalist white supremacists with a racist racist agenda concerned concerned. That's ridiculous word paranoid about immigration and supposed- invasion of immigrants the paso so killer's manifesto echoed the manifesto of the christchurch new zealand killer earlier this year. We've been talking a lot in the past decade about lone own wolves people who act alone in their horrible crimes but this is this is not a lone wolf. This is clearly kind of infection some kind of collective infection infection so what is the collective infection like well. I think the collective affection is guns because of the non <hes> of the non whites premise killers of which the dayton killer was one and then lists of hundred of most aren't and some of them are muslim extremists and some of them are just angry people in the workplace and it's very hard to root out a mental illness or an ideology. It's very hard. It's impossible you can't do that. We should do that but with our current president. We can't do that and i also think that the f._b._i. Is looking at that the we can debate. You know. Maybe there are some f._b._i. Agents who tell reporters off the record that given the current administration they don't feel fully empowered to go after them and it's extremely concerning the message that comes from the top but if what we really want to do is lower the death toll. I don't know what we can do about the message from the top. I don't know i in fact. I'm almost one hundred percent sure. If you shut down eight chan they'll go to sixteen chan remember. The tree of life synagogue wasn't about it was about gab so they're all these festering cesspool of hate bought since the the proximate cause of these people dying is all the rounds came from the muzzle of a gun. Let us talk about the guns and i think unlike the ideology is a little movement on that so i'm a little bit not optimistic but less pessimistic pessimistic than sometimes i am after these harz emily do agree with mike that this is a this is a gun issue on ideology or the that's a separable thing i i don't think mike saying it's one or the other i think he's being practical about where he sees. The most hope for addressing this i mean it is true that this is kind of violence comes about from various motivations at the same time there are moments in political history where people people who are prone to this kind of violence choose particular targets based on like what's happening in the <hes> public conversation conversation and i think it's seems so clear when you look at this manifesto that donald trump's rhetoric has permitted a kind of anger and violent recrimination against immigrants seen a phobia racism the president's contributing to all of this and i i don't want to give up on the idea that he could stop doing that because you don't have to be putting out two thousand facebook ads talking about immigration as an invasion asian you don't have to be talking in these racist terms about brown and black people so i feel like that is an important thing to also demand and push for but but of course when you look internationally at our level of mass shootings in this country versus other countries it does seem like guns with the distinguishing factor and so i see you mike the movement on the idea of like making it the red flag bills making it easier for the police to take guns away from people who have been flagged as potentially dangerous but of course that means. They have to be on someone's radar. I wonder what other kinds of gun regulations you see as being the most effective active like if we really had some political possibility here what would given how many guns are already are in this country. What would you do but sorry i argue with. Both of you guys which is look. I i would love to live in a in a country where a comprehensive and reasonable set of gun regulations relations from background checks assault weapon band <hes> red flag legislation bans on certain kinds of ammunition benz kinds of magazines. Were very easy z. to pass key gun buy back programs where you take a ton of guns off the street to me talking about those that is the the real thing we can deal with seems to me completely to missing the point. There's a new factor which is actually a factor you can address which is the rhetoric and and spread of messages around owned white supremacy white nationalism the violence of the president's rhetoric which is a which is new and which almost nobody in plight society approves of has opposed to guns which lots of people do approve and lots of people want to protect their their particular gun rights and why not i think you guys to focus on the idea we have guns as the thing to go after now seems to me to completely missed the point that like there's a incredibly poisonous new new way of talking gain in american life and online that has that has demented millions of young white men primarily and that's what we have to attack while forty two percent of polite society or at least american society do approve because that's of trump's approval rating. Maybe they don't approve of they. Do not approve. They do not approve of this particular. Take your form of of if you approve. If you approve it trump you countenance the source rhetoric. You're giving it a pastor. You're not you're not. I don't think i don't think the the most of those forty percent actually think oh. It's okay to then go murder. People literally doesn't either but he won't stop talking like that so my point is if you wanna give them the moral out or the moral pass for supporting the guy who says that that's fine. I'm sure every member of the trump administration we give themselves that pass to but my point is there is something we can do about this horrible vector of hate coming from the top and that is called an election but it seems it's almost an odd thing that we've had this intractable problem in america for years and years and years <hes> which is the gun problem and yet the impossible thing right now i assess it as more impossible impossible to get the president to stop talking like this to stop saying these things then it is to pass these bands that have never been able to work and just a couple of factors. There's two sight about why i think more about guns than the impossibility of getting donald trump to change his tune is that one <hes> marie lapenne riles up a passions gert builders while riles up passions their radicals all across the world and people all across the world who are extremely impassioned but if they don't have access says the guns people don't die people get upset <hes> policies change but people don't die in the flash of muscle and the second thing is it's not just the white hatred that is killing people. It's other online communities like this stupid intel community. That's killing people and you know what to me. This is a symptom of how we communicate now and people who are lost never had connection find connections and find passion and that goes beyond anything. Donald trump is saying so like they're both they both have an extremely small percent chance of ever changing but right now. The progress is on the gun front because i do see a little a bit more willingness in a change in the politics and they see no change in anything. Donald trump says her thanks. I just want to go back to my question about which gun regulations are are both politically possible and would have the biggest effect because i actually don't feel like that's super obvious and mike. It sounds like you have a good sense of that of what you think at that well. I think you're right. The red flag laws are something but as you know in connecticut they had them on the books and they wouldn't have stopped. The sandy hook shooter because someone has to be adjudicated. Mentally ill l. or red. Flag has to be raised in the first place allies hasslow you know him from the washington post the guy's a great writer two years ago he wrote a profile of an elderly possibly suicidal suicidal guy with tons and tons of guns and they raise the red flag and i don't wanna ruin it but it's a great story and it shows you how hard it is okay so i think cory booker's gun licensing icing regime almost certainly will not pass but would very much help but the biggest thing is well. Yes the best thing to do for for america is essentially to transpose new york city's gun laws onto the country as a whole impossible but new york city. Let's just be clear has a homicide rate of about three three and the country as a whole has a homicide rate closer to four so what i'm saying is if you're randomly walking around new york city. You have less of a chance of being gunned down then just a randomly selected did place in america and the reason is you have to register your guns not just license. You have to register your guns. Most places won't go for that. There are three states where you have to license in some or all guns illinois massachusetts and new york that helps when connecticut passed gun licensing laws for lots of their guns and when missouri passed a law going the opposite direction you so starkly see jonathan metal writes about this dying of whiteness you so starkly see the state's going in opposite directions that's. I don't know if that's about mass killings in fact. It's mostly about suicide but it's still about gun deaths. The last thing i'll say is i don't know if this is possible. It failed forty to sixty the last as time was brought up after sandy hook and by the way michael bennett running for president was in the sixty who voted against him assault weapons ban the assault weapons ban is said to have not worked if you judge it against bringing crime down in general but if you look at mass slaughters which is why we're talking about the segment right. We're not talking about it because one guy was shot in brownsville brooklyn. Thirteen people were wounded. We're talking about these society. Gripping mass slaughters during the assault weapons ban there was one mass slaughter of over ten people in that was was columbine and since then there's been thirteen and that's not the only stat you need to know but absolutely addressing assault weapons addressing a._r. Fifteen style weapons which allow you to shoot so much faster. The dayton killer was was brought down within thirty seconds if he wasn't able to get off forty one shots in thirty seconds. If you're the nine people dead i mean look it would be. I think going after suicide is a great thing to do. I think then the red flag laws. <hes> may have some effect on that. That's that's that's a space where where there may actually be a a real benefit i and if you're saying let's do this at a state state by state level. I hear you if we can get this done. In in in illinois in maryland in virginia neighboring states is really important. <hes> then that's that's wonderful. I think the idea that this is this is something which at a federal level which at a national level is realistic is just crazy and is is going to disappoint everyone and that there are contra that there are things to do around rhetoric around the isolation of people. I think what you're getting at earlier. Which with the when you talk about in cells when you talk about the kind of misogyny that seems to run through so many of these mass killers when you talk about the racism that seems to it'd be this kind of blossoming infection that is actually an area where you can not only you know possibly reduce violence. You can just make people less isolated less bitter less alone less less poisonous and that's a has a huge benefit for society as a whole and we we are. I think we are fools. Rules don't apply some thinking and some energy to that set of problems to the loneliness and the misogyny the hatred and it worked to a certain extent with isis. It's worked there are ways to kind of like change how people experience rhetoric and to <hes> lower their temperature and that's something that we ought to do you and it's also something which i think would have more universal support not that what you're saying is not that the legislation that you seek not that the the policy change you seek aren't smart. I just feel like as if you can only concentrate on one thing concentrate on on the poison well. I think you want to change our minds and our moods and i want to change our laws and i i find it fascinating that you find that the first part your solution is an easier thing to do to change our minds than to have our elected officials pass a law that most people support emily be decided decide here. No i mean i don't wanna have to decide. They both seemed like worthy goals. I'm going to add another factor actor. This conversation which is the supreme court the supreme court. You know <hes> now we're talking about a decade ago said that there is an individual right to bear arms in the second amendment at that point though there was this modifying language and justice scalia as opinion probably because of anthony kennedy saying but don't worry you can still have state regulations that keep guns out of the hands of people who of mental illness etc. I wonder if the new conservative majority already on the supreme court does not think that anymore there is a case on the docket that actually is about a new york regulation which new york then changed it was a super strict regulation relation about even licensed gun owners couldn't take their guns outside of the city to what are they were. What's it called where you go to a place to go. Shooting shooting park on john rain shankill to a gun range and the city actually changed. Its regulation has been trying to argue to the court. This case is mood but there are gonna a. B. other regulations like this that the court is gonna hear and there is certainly an appetite from some of the conservatives on the court to start striking down more regulation so i wonder if these state by state restrictions that we've looked to in mike you're totally right about the difference between connecticut and missouri and how you can see arise and gun deaths after missouri loosened gun regulation and a decrease in connecticut when we tightened it. I wonder if those those things are going to start to be legally constitutionally out of reach. That is a scary thought. Wouldn't it be great if the supreme court took a city with a lower lower than average gun death and imposed the laws of the rest of the country with much ire which v with the average gun death. That'd be very helpful. Do you either view but emily maybe to you. I do you sense that guns have become a real cause for the left as opposed to just something which is <hes> lightly lightly warned that emerges after after the horrors such as el paso dayton well. There's much more money behind countering the national rifle association which itself is having all these internal scandals and problems and i think that a lot of people are genuinely more scared like scared for for their kids seeing this as something that there's no way to protect themselves against at the same time gun owners feel really strongly that this is a matter of their freedom and that this kind of personal liberties being encroached on and that it's a frightening to have the government have so much power to you you know try to limit you and buying guns or even come and take away or gun so the salience of that political issue. If you actually like are someone who has a gun and feels attached attached to the identity the comes at that that does seem to me like it is probably still stronger as of voting impulse than than court yeah. I think it's in social psychology. The this phenomenon of loss aversion people are so scared of losing something that they hold dear and i think when when you think of the gun issue the loss aversion is on the right and the that there's a sense that we have these guns. We have these rights. We have these freedoms and someone is coming to take them in that that creates. It's a fear response. It creates a much stronger feeling than i think even on the left where there is of course this this problem actually that makes me think that when it comes to reproductive writes run a cusp of a actually a turn where the loss aversion that that women especially feel about what the threat that is coming for their freedom their bodily integrity equity is so powerful that i think that that is an issue which has until recent years has historically been very much stronger on the right and i think is is about to become so strong strong on the left because there is such a sense of of bodily integrity under threat about abortion different topic but you're right about the polls and how democrats for the first time say they care about it more than the republican voters that word you used emily salience. That's the most important word i think because people blame the n._r._a. And the n._r._a. Deserves tons of blame as the boogeyman but they're really the symbol for how deeply felt the guns are to those does within the gun culture that allowed the n._r._a. To become extremely powerful and we're seeing differences in salience we're seeing people on the left prioritising this issue as much as some of the people on the right and if a change comes i think it will come from a reframing of what the loss is and people with guns. Most people donut own fifteen's so people with guns will start to see if there is progress. Some of them will start to see giving up an a._r. Fifteen fifteen or not having access to you know every bump stock or every accoutrements that goes with t to make a gun more deadly. We'll see that as not a part of the loss aversion version which is in a hasn't really happened with right with abortion even a procedure that only two percent of the people do <hes> two percent of the people have abortion have his deeply-felt really felt among other people who are in favor of abortion rights but i do think if you are going to change the conversation about guns. It's going to happen that way but the other thing is you don't really need to change it just looking looking at the actual percentages of people who favor gun reform and that's why i think democratic president democratic senate even despite the supreme court you could tasks really strong legislation right now tomorrow. We're in session. You take a shot at passing legislation if the timing ming is right which is to say the timing is wrong because there's another mass slaughter with the right <hes> composure of the legislature there is legislature. There is a chance something could pass. I want to end actually just going back to my bugaboo and i want emily. I'm throwing this to you because this is. This is my question which is that i one of the real pervading themes. I'm i actually don't know where this is true of the el el paso <hes> suspect is that mass these mass killers are almost always young men. They're very often misogynous. There's a there's a strain of of hatred of messier run. Domestic pile have really poor ideas about women and i think they're just mike touching on this earlier. This kind of sense of disconnection and lack of lack of ties into real human warmth than networks and i wonder is there is there is there a way where we can just make it teach young men not to be assholes to give to give them a sense of connection particularly to young women a sense of respectful loving and valuable connection that they're not getting. Is there a way to teach young men that and to to create a society where there is more of that and that they become because young men young men detached men or the most dangerous force the world knows so. How do we minimize that or is it just just hopeless because the internet alienates well. I mean there are there are factors of modern life the internet perhaps being for most among them that are alienating but i think what jake about your argument is. It's like a public safety urgency behind what we should be trying for any way right. Because of course we want young men just like young women to be growing up feeling connected feeling like they're part of the social fabric and the fact that when they don't feel that way becomes so lethal all is just one more reason to care about them and try to pull them in but that of course is like a very amorphous goal that depends on you know more functional families depends on society doesn't just basically like cut out an abandoned people who are unlucky in disadvantaged for all kinds of reasons and that is not it's the america we live in especially if feels like right now slate plus members you get bone segments on the gabfest podcast. I think your annual membership when you sign up now just thirty five dollars is that right mike pesca today on slate plus bonus segment. We're gonna talk about policy issues that we just don't understand no matter how hard we try to win. Her off explained to us that we are so stupid that we just don't get it so it's going to be a section about ignorance. I do not know what's going to happen with pesky pesky. I've never heard pesca ghani. He's gonna come up with like you know. Oh some fancy method of crocheting or something it'll be no using bitcoin. I'll tell you what the most how about that four in the west. We'll tell you there's no no no. It's gotta be it's gotta be ignorant. Ignorance and confusion dot com plus to become a member today and see if if mike pesca can indeed be confused. Emily is he moscow mitch or is he massacre mitch. I think in pet moscow mitch is the nickname that got him originally came. I think from joe scarborough on m._s._n._b._c. and you know mcconnell who's positioned himself as a talk on russia for years seemed to really take umbrage at being labeled someone who is an enabler because he won't put any election security legislation on on the floor. This seemed to actually like rile him in some way and because election security legislation seems like it should be bipartisan and of paramount importance. I'm all for that pressure on him. I'm also fascinated that someone finally came up with an effective nickname for major public configure. I feel like this has been an advantage for donald trump since the campaign that he's good at coming up with these. It's like kinda dopey but effective sticky little nicknames and no one has ever really done one that works for him so the idea that this got under mcconnell. L. skin is like a step in the direction of evening. The nickname playing field oh joy as a society. We've got a nickname. This is where where we're opponents. Yes in order to be a moscow mitch technically as to be served in a copper mug and that's the nicest thing that's anyone's ever said about him. I think the moscow mitch thing is good and effective because there are some perhaps technically slightly unfair truth to it but then when you quickly quickly go with the massacre mitch you're stepping on the effect of this donald does not go with sleepy sleepy joe sleepy joe sleepy joe and then change it to you. Droopy joe consistent steps how the school yard bully works yeah exactly and i think it was dana millbank who i thrust the moscow charge although maybe joe scarborough hashtag. Here's why it's a little unfair. I don't and also vulnerables nickname. Don't think that the real problem problem with mitch mcconnell is that he's easy on russia per se in terms of foreign policy. Maybe there's why it drives me mad. He thinks he's being unfairly criticized for being a russia dove when you know just like any normal politician america is very suspicious about russia. What really is as a critique of how much he doesn't care about elections security and his priority is he doesn't want to have any election reforms because he knows that that would <hes> favor the democrats or at least east not give the republicans the advantages they have and so that comes in the form of this catch all nickname of moscow mitch when really the the pointed critique is that you are not fairly protecting election systems and therefore your bilton advantages that republicans enjoy are being threatened threatened. I think democrats get into this game with mcconnell at their peril. Mcconnell is the most effective politician of the modern era he has used and will use every legislative weapon available to him in any other weapon available to him to ruthlessly crush opposition gain advantage. He'll do it without shame. He has totally safe seat beat. He's i mean he has a democratic challenger mcgrath but he's not going to lose that election and barring some unbelievable yeah republicans continue on the republican party is unbelievably popular. Kentucky is the least popular <hes> senator homestate. He will will make a bet anybody any odds right now that he went and i don't know that it does democrats any good to demonize him. He doesn't care and here's why. I don't think are though well no. He cared a little bit heat. Sorry i take that back. He cares about the moscow. Mitch is that he is. He actually demoralized democrats because he is so so good at his job. He's so he is you're attacking him for being so good at his job and democrats look at him and they they long to have a moscow mitch. They want to have a moscow. Mitch and massacre mitch a cocaine mitch. It would be so great to have it and the more you draw attention. The more you pointed pointed him the more it becomes clear to democrats. They don't have anywhere near the effectiveness the ruthlessness competence that mcconnell has so i think the u the nice thing about trump is a target is trump is not only wicked but he's also really bad at what he does. He's very incompetent person you the more you pointed that the more people can say yes. Things should be better than this but with mcconnell you can you can you can tar him as as being a you know a ruthless asshole who who's who's stuffing election security but the over you know like the conclusion you make a man. That guy did a really good job and he really stymied us and i. I don't think that that that that that that highlighting the effectiveness of of a politician is a good thing for democrats to do of highly effectiveness of opposition politician but the unfair thing the democrats is a competence born of nihilism and since democrats want government to do something they can never have that level of quote unquote competence. Yes that's true. That's a good way to put it pelosi's a very very effective yeah but her college board of actually getting things done not stopping things from getting done. You know this is interesting. <hes> in in mcconnell first election won by for sanity won by five thousand votes and political science went back scientists went back and pretty much proved that if there wasn't massive passive felon disenfranchisement in kentucky he would have lost so we pretty much owes his entire political career to the fact that he's controlling the levers of elections and and i if i was a republican some republicans don't need that because they're states are so red but that is one of the things it's like why people criticized size roger goodell but they criticize him for doing things that upset. Everyone except the thirty two owners of the n._f._l. Is only constituency so people are criticizing mitch mcconnell for doing these horrible things that keep republican senators in office and getting elected in other words the very things that elevate him within his caucus on the thing about mcconnell. I remember this from charlie holmes profile of him in the times magazine. He is famously impervious to bad press right so when other people shrink when they're criticized he just like keeps plodding along he doesn't care he knows he has a safe seat. He it doesn't mind taking the heat for other members of his caucus. That's what i was interested that this particular criticism seemed to get to him and i don't know david. I feel like your analysis is kind of doing backflips. It's like it's a nickname that yeah it's not entirely fair doesn't totally lineup. That's nicknames often kind of crude in that way like they have a kernel title of something in them but they're not like true to the whole identity of the person and and this election security bill is something that most that it is popular right. I mean i don't know if they're actually pulling it but it just has a kind of common sense feeling about it that highlights just help -struction est mcconnell's a senate is and how it is basically just turned into a machine for confirming trump judges and trump appointees which you know is fine for a the senate controlled by members of the president's own party but the notion that there is almost no bipartisan legislation that mcconnell is willing to let through. I think that that is politically advantageous for democrats highlight all right the pro- the problem though with the moscow mitch label is that if he wants to to reverse it there are plenty of anti mott's moscow anti russian things you can do like sign off on this pipeline bill that has a huge support but it's not about the reason reason why the nickname is given which is election security so he could go hard against russia not do anything about elections security skip past the nickname and still happily really call himself darth vader. I wanna close this this mcconnell segment on these other little meg mini controversies around around him that popped up this week so there was <hes> he so he calls himself the grim reaper happily rebels and being called the grim reaper and there was a they at at some event and mike. I'm sure you have at your fingertips. There was a graveyard which had the green new deal in it. It had garland in it. I think it obamacare grammy's tony breath in it right defensive farms. Maybe is a fancy farms which some big kentucky political hoo-ha and it had this graveyard and and tamie mcgrath was was an per supporters were outraged that that <hes> mcconnell seemed to be wishing for her death or making sport of her death and then there was also a cutout of a._o. See that's mcconnell. You very young. Teenage mcconnell supporters were were <hes> man-handling manhandling and various slightly grotesque ways boy handling boy handling yes <hes> so emily. Do you think okay it was growth but does is. It deserves the three minutes even that we're about to give to it. Does this is a real controversy. Is that why why will the tombstone things. I think that it was several hours. After the el paso dayton shootings like suggesting that you know you want your political opponent dead i mean that's i think that verges verges into like really not a good idea. You know look this the mcconnell supporters who were being gross about the a._f._c. z. cutouts supposedly were high school students so like you know is mcconnell entirely responsible for them no of course not on the other hand shaming him over over them a little bit like that seems fair game. I think the stuff is exactly that some people wearing t shirts touching cut out in <hes> not a nice way but actually when john road did it with the hillary clinton cutout hates. It was a different time in two thousand eight. The only reason that it popped national attention is that everything that highlights does and maybe you could criticize her for taking attention off the moscow mitch thing she also dated in the middle of a spate of concern about school shooting. I would say among our national issues. It's not in the top thousand. Do you think the grim reaper graveyard it is tasteless and and <hes> he should be chastised for how offensive that is. I mean he did kill the green or i don't know if he's going to kill the green new deal. That's more of a strangled the crap no. I don't think it's tasteless. I think that it's not it's. I don't think it actually endangers anyone. I think it's symbolic speech. That's goes back to the days of every thomas nast political cartoon hope. Nothing happens to amy mcgrath. I mean i think that sure i don't know i guess i'm just increasingly uncomfortable with like death and violent images being tied directly to actual people and i am thinking of gabby giffords as i say that i you know you know like look. It'll probably be fine. We are awash in violent disgusting imagery etc but i don't know it just seems like really his his co. But his critics okay i'll stand up for mitch mcconnell his critics label him as an insult. The grim reaper he ju jitsu turns turns around owns it and then some of his supporters put on this display. You know whose fault was injecting the death imagery in the first place. I have a good answer for that. It's no one's fault. It's it's it's not optimal of legislation but it's fine in american politics twenty nine thousand nine hundred support for for the gabfest comes from mac weldon. Have you ever noticed how hard it is to find nice men's basic like underwear and socks mac weld and understand that problem. It's a premium brand that was founded out of just that frustration macworld and products feature smart designs quality fabrics and they create simple shopping experience that makes it easy to find exactly what you're looking for as a mac walden customer i can tell you that is absolutely true. It's incredibly easy. Interface and stuff is beautiful and elegant and super easy to find and shop for their silver. Line of underwear and shirts are naturally microbial eliminate odor all by themselves selves so give their underwear try. If you don't like your first pair. They'll send you a refund. No questions asked for twenty percent off your first order visit mac walden dot com. Tom enter promo code gabfest. That's mac walden dot com m. a. c. k. w. e. l. d. o. n. Dot com promo code owed gabfest support for the fest comes from luminary. If you're against us fan you're probably also a fan of david axelrod and his podcast the x. files al's he is of course the former senior adviser to president barack obama and in his podcast he does revealing interviews with key players from politics. He's a great interviewer credibly charming interesting person and luminary the only place where you can find new episodes of his show along with the x. files luminary gives you access to a bunch of other original shows from innovative dynamic creators. The cannot find anywhere else. The luminary app is free to download owed and you can use it to listen to thousands of podcasts including ones. You already love like this one. Whether you're into news or politics comedy business tech luminary luminary has the right show for you. If you love podcasts then you need to check out luminary. Get your first two months of access to luminaries premium content for free. When you sign luminary dot link slash gab fest after that it's only seven ninety nine per month. That's luminary dot link slash gabfest for two months of free access us luminary dot link slash gabfest cancel anytime terms apply joaquin castro texas politician this week tweeted publicly a list of forty four san antonio residents who maxed out donations the trump campaign their names and their professions. This is of course public look information when you make a contribution of over two hundred dollars to a federal election to a federal candidate you your name and employment information probably other information. I is your address also public. Although castro didn't tweet that you could listen to work address but <hes> it it's public and it's available this however has been portrayed to the kind of dirty pool by some of those who were named and presumably potentially shamed by this as a taking a new step a form of harassment and endangerment and that puts them at risk because they are now being put forward as as <hes> somehow complicit in in any eh wrongdoing that the president may have done and therefore they deserving of some sort of punishment. I mean who knows we'll get it. Whatever it is <hes> castro's the brother of the presidential candidate julio which was also source of confusion. A lot of people thought that it was the candidate himself the presidential who'd done it emily. This information is public. It is searchable. Trouble is easily findable is it therefore okay and right and a perfectly decent political tactic for joaquin castro to share it who i feel incredibly strongly about how important it is that this information is public and disclosed. I mean we have a lot of dark money sloshing into into politics through these so-called he even use this word but these quote social welfare organizations effectively nonprofits that can't directly tell you who who to vote for but can do a lot of work to soften the the ground for whoever they're supporting and then of course they're super pacs which have some disclosure rules but also also that can get a little muddy in terms of actually understanding who's behind them so these disclosure laws which we have held onto when you give a gift directly to a candid did are really important. I also think it it's this interesting tension between the importance of disclosure and yet the problem of using like the internet you know in this case joaquin castro's quit twitter account to broadcast the the people's identities who think of themselves effectively as private citizens and i'm kind of torn about it because i think when you take information that previously people people had to go look for and you surface it like this it is possible that that's gonna come with some kind of like harassment on the other hand. If you're giving i'm twenty eight hundred dollars or maxing out for donald trump right now why not stand behind that like why are people feeling ashamed of that and like it's something that they they don't want to be associated with. If you are giving money to a political candidate then you should be able to articulate why you support that person why you think that's like a perfectly legitimate net choice to be making well i from the interviews that were done with the people who were named granted. It's a self selecting electing pool of those who will say yeah. I'll talk to you on the record but they were standing by it. They were saying if anything i'm going to this redoubles my support. I heard one guy. I'm gonna they give some dark money now. Yeah i'm exactly where you are that there definitely should be public and yet at the same time there is an ear responsibility ability to it i do. It's easier for me to jump to the people who immediately talk about weaponized it the people on the right who immediately weaponized that is oh my god. He's trying to get these people people killed. I'm not sure that that was exactly his motivation. Fact i'm sure it wasn't exactly his motivation but i think it bears questioning so what was his motivation name them shame but what what form it should the shame take that the people say antonio know that their neighbors and by neighbors i mean people who live in gated communities voted for and supported trump should the shame take the form of a boycott. If so you know a lot of those business owners are doing what business owners do <hes> supporting the republican and probably only if there was a boycott it would hurt tons of their democratic supporting and maybe vulnerable employees and i'm not sure if you really sat down with hooley in the day he he tweeted this or re tweeted it out and you were as chief of staff and you said let's go through it pros and cons if he is a responsible politician wouldn't have said yeah. I'm going to hold off on this yeah. I was thinking about tactics to actually feel like boycotts are legit in this instance and there are a forum of of social shaming that it actually like hit someone in their pocket book and could make a difference and yes. There is always collateral damage from boycotts but that doesn't mean that they are an illegitimate political tool. I mean i don't think like personally harassing. People are obviously doing anything scary to them is a supportable legitimate. Goal and castro immediately distanced himself from anything like that but this notion that like you know you live in a community with a large immigrant latino population in your supporting dating. Someone who is racist is saying these inflammatory violent producing things i mean especially with the heat turned up right now. That seems like a legitimate the thing to hold people to account for. I i wanna make a couple of points here. One is i agree with you emily about boycotts though i think where boycotts are far more more warranted is in the case of for example steve ross this <hes> this huge <hes> make a gazillion who owns or is the majority owner of soul cycle. We're not relying and <hes> and the miami dolphins and he and he's not merely donor. He's holding a gigantic fundraiser fundraiser for president trump at his hamptons home two hundred fifty thousand dollars a plate or not you can give up to two hundred fifty thousand dollars for as part of this guy. That's a case where this guy isn't just merely a donor. He's like really flamboyantly going out of his way to support the president and and make a big deal out of it and and by all means like don't go to equinox gyms. Don't go to soul cycle and don't go to an pizza and and feel slightly better about yourself that seems that really seems worth it. I think in the case of you know local business local business owner who has made a contribution to the president yeah. Maybe maybe that person and maybe a person who owns a chain of barbecue restaurants that should be known in that and people should decide. I think the random random neurologist who has made a donation donation isn't particularly a public figure that they they're not serving castro did not serve people well by suggesting that that that person be subject to boycott or that person be really publicly shamed. It's the tactic. They're is overkill so that's one one point. I think that the boycott thing is warranted but you have to choose your target red and choose it for somebody who really deserves it. That's one the second thing is. I just wanna go. There's been this phenomenon recent years of of mugshots being published bush so if you google almost anybody used i think this is less true now but it used to be two or three years ago google almost anybody you turn up. Maybe ah halfway down a google image search there will be a ton of mugshots of that person or that person with that name and it was a it's a thing because these are publicly available records and it suddenly became extremely easy for people's criminal histories to be known with just one search. I always found that so unsettling disturbing not because these records shouldn't be public of course they should be public but in general people who have committed crimes are over punished in this country and to have such prejudicial information out there take to make it impossible for people to to exist without the first thing that known about them being that they were once arrested or that they once you know committed a crime seems like very very damaging and i feel a little bit the same way with with this castro situation which is that obviously this is an act of free speech and public contribution. These people have made it's the pub statement about their political beliefs and that should be publicly known. It should be searchable. People should be able to do things with it. You should be able to if you reported a call to call up one of these donors and say hey why'd you do it but but the kind of random sort of sprain out of that information to a huge audience without a kind of sense of of strategy behind it seems sounds like a bad bad use and it just it also opens up a whole new thing that people will now feel that safe to do that. It's another norm that's been bent or broken. Yeah yeah joaquin castro's best defenses. Were things like it's legitimate and it's defensible but <hes> i haven't heard him articulate. It's optimal. This is what we should be doing and some of the proof of that is that his like minded members of congress didn't do the same thing in their district and also this is the steve ross point. Point is a correct one. Someone who is actively raising money for the guy versus a normal course of doing business. Some of these trump donors gave everything. Could you democrats to sometimes if you're a major developer businessperson in this gets more at the rot of our system you donate to everyone to grease the wheels balls and you know do what you want. You know everyone has their own. Conscience and soul cycle is some good competitor's in orange theory or whatever and maybe they're all for the progressives but i think we're a little too hair-trigger when it comes or some people are a little too hair-trigger when it comes to you donate it to the republican candidate therefore you deserve a boycott cotton. Everyone who works for you deserve to suffer a little bit. Have we even really seen these boycotts. Be effective. I feel like in general we just go around in our like capitalist capitalist apathy and like you know handling for a moment and there aren't really any consequences also. Can we go back to the mugshots from it because i think that's a i mean i am also also unsettled and disturbed by that but it's a different situation right. We're talking about the state power to make an arrest which is different from being convicted right. You don't know whether those people actually did what they've been accused of doing. Versus like the choice that people make is individuals to give money to someone and you have law-governing <hes> governing public new use case is one that we should just be alert. We should be alert that it's a new use case. It isn't how the people who authored these laws thought it was going to be used and these laws were passed with the premise not that that these mugshots or even though these political donations would be would be alerted to millions and millions of people they were passed with the idea that this should be publicly available just so we keep records just so that you know the free press can investigate it just so that we can if there's cases of corruption we can we can you okay have a better track of it not so that it will be immediately broadcast to lots of people and we should be therefore cautious about it. I mean going back to guns. They there was that connecticut where newspaper newspaper published the addresses or it was a searchable database online of everyone who owns a gun in the state and that's legal probably razi. I bet sure and i think it was legitimacy. Talk to it now. They know of this valuable thing and perhaps i can be either targeted by anti gun owners people who want to steal my gun there is there is a responsibility and there is the law. It is important to say that what walking castro did wasn't dachshund one. That's an important distinction because dachshund is when you get private citizens a non published information but still i mean it's different from a mugshot because of among other things the agency of the person who is being publicized but i also think i think if you're going to make the argument that political donation his speech it can also be anonymity at the same time. No that's true. It can't be anonymity but it's does that mean. This is a great tactic or this is useful to the supreme court weighed in on this years ago. There was a challenge brought by supporters of california's ban on gay marriage with signed the petition to get that ban onto the ballot they wanted their names to be private and the supreme court it was eight to one decision said no and there's this great rhetoric from <hes> justice scalia about how trying to keep this information anonymous is not exactly like living in the home of the brave. The dissenter in that case is clarence. Thomas and i think there is some who thinks there's no right to disclosure really like at all in election law and i think there are these interesting questions about out now that the courts conservative coalition has shifted whether that is there could be more support for that thomas position at this point sort of similar to the cautionary note. I was striking working on <hes> the second amendment. Do not wanna let the segment pass without noting that there has been so much harassment from the right of anti-trump republicans of reporters of of anti-trump protesters left wing politician so there is a certain amount of rich hypocrisy policy for some on the right to be saying this is a form of harassment that is intolerable when there's been so much extremely aggressive often violent rhetorically violent harassment the the smelling salts quality of this criticism on the right is very frustrating given how much nastiness and viciousness there has been unleashed on on a uh trump critics fainting catch smelling salts yeah. Hey give us fans david plots here. I wanna tell you about a great new podcast from recode. It's called landed the giants and it's about the most powerful tech companies of our time. The first season is about the rise of amazon and it's hosted by recode senior correspondent on jason delray every tuesday jason talks about how amazon is changing our world from amazon prime to alexa to other robots. It's a riveting insightful. Look a company. That's become so important but with impact we may not yet fully understand so listen and subscribe to land of the giants the rise of amazon for free on apple podcasts or your favorite podcast app. Let's go to cocktail chatter when you're trying to hide out in a bar not be docs. Docs not have your information made publicly available by any congressperson from texas or anyone else and you're sipping anonymously. We had a drink. What will you be chattering about. Mike pesca so when i am a non anonymously sipping my moscow mule in a non-approved non on copper cop. Perhaps a brass mug or a. I don't know somewhat tarnished iron chalice. I shall think of what the daily ellie coast is doing so the delicate has this little experiment this little <hes> crowdsourced exercise in slightly improving improving our democracy and they looked at the united kingdom and they noted that the parliamentary constituencies they're of great names. You've you've seen this. If you watched brexit results come in right the vale of glamorgan the forest of dean the fountains of wayne okay that would be a new jersey one and they said why can't we have this in the united states. Let us like what the hell california's twenty-seventh is. That doesn't make sense so they said let's name all of our congressional district right idea some a pretty obvious like alaska's alaska delaware. That's an easy one but then other ones but alaska. Why isn't the last frontier. I represent the last frontier that would be good ed. Maybe they think you were senator from star trek but let's not get extra confusing like final frontier right but wait. What is what is louisiana that that is the book. There's a frontier thing there too. Isn't there a vacation paradise. A louisiana has a frontier nickname. Makir of mardi gras frontier drunk they have to nicknames is the pelican state in the end the sportsman's paradise okay so it's not a frontier anyway anyway so i went through a few congressional districts and some are going to be hard to name so before i start labeling and i welcome gab up fast listeners to give a suggestion maybe for there's a couple ideas of the namings summer pretty easy you know all of almost all of minneapolis list is ilan omar fine but what about ohio's fifth congressional district this includes parts of defiance fulton and handcock doc in hardin who the hell knows what that is and then. I realized oh this is where the movie heathers took place. That's very informative of the kind of people who might live in and vote for ohio's fifth says that should be the heather's district where i come from. Peter king is the representative and it's a part of long island. That's a little blue-collar what describes that and i thought of a famous historic figure that if you associated with the new york congressional district that peter king serves that would be the but fuko district up to the north of where i live tom swazi from glen cove he would represent west egg. Which is where gatsby the little thompson yes gasps. Maybe the better name benny thompson could be mississippi delta cradle of the blues cedric richmond of louisiana. They might not like this name but he's he would be the representative from cancer alley and there's some of cancer alley that's outside of his district and and then sometimes you could just name it after a really useful one. Is this guy kenny martin from texas and you know he's a representative of texas but we're from texas he would be the representative from exxon because that's where <hes> exxon's headquarters in irving texas and then sometimes you could just name a district after a famous person who served there so when pelosi leaves whoever takes over that district in san francisco should serve the pelosi district but this i think really informative ohio thirteenth. What does that mean. It's the traffic can't district and if i told you oh did you know tim. Ryan serves the traficant district. That would be meaningful. I think you're ended. Who traficant is. I think i think you're such a political insider. I shouldn't be much more about the city or the geographical feature. That's the thing that would be for philly cheese steak district or or my home district that district. There's probably actually we re district did so. Maybe there's a part of south philly. Aren't you in like. Aren't you like the main line main line fine. No i did not grow up in the main line. I grew up in germantown in east falls inside philadelphia. It's crucial to my identity that you understand that are are both gino's and pats in your district because if not it's not the philly cheese steak district. I think there are no cheese. Steak gone aw that's not true. There is a pats but but like i said we redistricting so i can't remember where the boundary pack pats. That's hey emily. What is your chatter sure. <hes> i was thinking a lot about tony morrison this week. The amazing novelist who died at the age of eighty eight and i was as i was reading various various appreciations of her <hes> for example by a wesley morris at the times enduring saint felix at the new yorker. I was struck by how many people read her as a kid. I mean doreen and wesley both describe reading here at eleven which i thought was kind of amazing. I read morrison for the first time middle school. I remember being assigned the bluest eye and soula and then finding song of solomon and beloved a little later on my own and i was just thinking thinking about what an important argument this is for an expanded cannon that goes beyond you know the nineteenth century into the twentieth and twenty first centuries that that embraces writers all different walks of life colors ethnicities etc there is almost no writer who's been more influential in my just like growing up and thinking than tony morrison and it sounds like that's true for a number of people and i'm so glad i had teachers who assigned to me in middle school. Wouldn't you say that in fact tony morrison has joined the canon. My sense is very much absolutely yes. That is a success for the cannon and many mother other people people to it just struck me. I think for a variety of reasons i've been thinking about the cannon to speak to quick chatters for me. First of all. I'm just almost done with a wonderful novel called over story by richard powers. I don't know if you've just started reading that. That is so weird because it's not a new it really benefits. It's maybe a couple of years old. I think it when the national book award or the pulse or something it's a story about trees to novel about trees. It's a novel about a bunch of different people who are seemingly disconnected but then all have a relationship to trees and forests and it's a story about forests and entreaties and it is absolutely magical and they'll just stick with it if it starts in a way that's kind of confusing. I didn't realize that it was gonna come together. All comes together her in a way that's incredible so <hes> the route it come yeah. I mean that's what it's about. That's what it's about. It's like literally about how we're we're routed together and you don't even realize have routed together. You are <hes> it's a wonderful and then i also just some someone pointed me. One of my colleagues referenced something which i remember seeing four or five years ago and it's so funny and it's very hard to explain so i'm not gonna really explain. I'm just gonna urge you to get see it. Virginia heffernan host of <hes> trump cast actually virginia's yes the trump does she is and paul ford four years ago. They didn't know each other but they ended up an email. Exchange in the email exchanges they'd just trying to create dread in each other assets a series of email messages which are just designed to make the other person feel anxious and they're so incredibly funny. It is one of the funniest things you will ever read especially if you have any connection to journalism or or any know any writers <hes> it's really really funny so it's not a post somewhere dr what no it's just a set of the form of email in in a way that should be used more often as like a chance to perform. It's it's it's about you know. Maybe it's an email chain. That's maybe fifty miles long and it's it's republished on on medium as an article and it's called just checking in which is also one of those. It's awesome. Sleaze series called the the under minor. That's like ten or twelve years. Old was in virginia involved in virginia virginia. Feel like there's me here that is also super hilarious yes well. This is very much in the spirit of the undermine anyway. It's <hes> virginia heffernan paul ford on medium. It's called just checking in. I can't not gonna read the excerpts purpose because just it just lends itself to being read <hes> and of course listeners you are sending us wonderful chatters and you continue to send us wonderful tatters but half dozen that we could have chattered about today <hes> that you tweeted to us at slate gabfest. Please keep them coming and today. I'm going to call out one from paul chaffey the at paul chaffee or chafee. Perhaps <hes> which is a washington post article about a gerrymandering font and did you see this mike yes someone seems hard to use in practice but it is someone took a bunch of congressional district which vaguely resemble letters and made a font out of it so you know the be district which sort of you know meanders around that so it looks like a capital b. and they're you know the z. There's the district's that you know go this way then come back and then go back the other way. It's very very funny. Visual representation of how crazy gerrymandering is and so very clever person who made it so check out this gerrymandering font with made to prove a point about partisan districts in the washington post. That is our show for today. The political got fastest produced by jocelyn frank. Our researcher brigitte dunlap gabriel roth aditorial directors podcast june thomas managing producers late podcast ask you should follow us on twitter at tweet chat at us and you should come to our show in saint paul minnesota on september eighteenth. Go to sleep dot com slash live. We'll be his gerald theater. Join us at that show for emily babylon and the delightful mike pesca host of just listen to just you can get pets every single angle day. Can you imagine that would be dip in occasionally i. I'm david plots. Thanks for listening. We will talk to you <unk>. Actually hello slate plus our you how are things what's been going on good week. You like john dickerson on vacation or you like mike pesca not on vacation but doubling up your podcasts. Are you like emily basilan back from indication or are you still on vacation. You're back from vegas to go back to me in this weekend hallelujah or you like david plots about to go on vacation today so there's all all states of vacation or non vacation anyway so it goes <hes> the topic for today is a topic of ignorance and stupidity and confusion which which is what is the public policy issue that we <hes> nick competent omni omnivorous capable. What's it when you know everything emissions gap assume you consider your you put yourself in the on the cul the sack and you couldn't i couldn't i couldn't remember the keyword <hes> what is it that the what are the public policy issue or issues that we just simply cannot understand and no matter how hard we try even or maybe we just can't bring herself to try so hard because it's really boring and i would i. I'm just to set this up. I i'll i'll happily happily. Give example a minute. I find this is not a public policy issue. It's bitcoin like no matter how often anyone explains anyone explains the blockchain to me bitcoin and at the uranium no matter how often that happens. I immediately forget it. Explain it you know in the twelve seconds after it's been explained to me i could explain it but after that i just think the bitcoin is you really have to understand blockchain to just know that like there's this currency and that's all i have to know about about what well luckily. They've invented a bunch of synonym so if you don't understand bitcoin blockchain if you don't understand unblock jamie's adds that theory and then you're adding. What's the thing that you don't understand that actually matters here is it's the block i don't understand with the blockchain is and you know what if anybody tweets set me or email me an explanation they will i will i won't name and shame new name and shame next week. I don't want to know what the explanation don't you like knowing that estonia <hes> their medical system is much more efficient because of the blockchain bitcoin coin go john turkey and estonia blockchain. You've got that love the blockchain innocent. I'm sure it's important and interesting is doc. I like this idea. Oh yeah you go into a doctor. They know everything about your medical history and it's extremely safe and it's all because of i think bitcoin now dub watching all right so that that is that is the step that that isn't public policy issue that is bitcoin anyway. I'm already amari exhausted. What is the public policy issue who who wants to go first. I've got one emily. You have one well. I they're parts of like basic economics that i have to constantly remind myself of like when the federal reserve irv lowered the interest rate last week i have to like screw up my whole face for a moment and remind myself what the relationship between interest rates and investment and employment employment is. I can get there but it really makes me wish. I had just taken economics in college in some way shape or fashion so that it would just like doc be in my brain in some nice easy way and i find that trade deficits or like another layer of this where every time i have to laboriously sleigh talk to myself about what a trade deficit is and how it works in relationship with graphs are can i go to add on that read trade deficit trade deficit plus currency a hong current what the relationship with with currency and strong dollar weak dollar. Oh my god that when kills really if they have a weak dollar. Don't start with me if you if your dollar is oh for not gonna explain it if when you go through england and things okay if when you go to england and things are super expensive because then the pound the euro is strong against the dollar that means that if you're trying to export something to get an english person to buy your you have an advantage. It's cheap for them so a weak currency your your own place is good for exports. Just think about yourself traveling and if you're trying to sell those p._s._i. But then when you talk about china's a currency manipulator like what is exactly does that mean. How do they do it. I don't know that any questions or whatever it's called versus problems the two names for the two currencies also the juan what's up with that. I'm with her and yet. It's oh my god. We're we've already started already. Completely anxious and sweating in confused keep going is that you're one of my main off offer my deep insecurities. Go back to economics effectively mike. It's your turn. You have anything out there. I could help. I can help you with the trade deficit to to not just give you this one. He's no give show give insert and then he'll tell us the thing. He doesn't know what the trade deficit is. Don't worry about it really doesn't matter that's banned slaney. Is it superman. Don't worry don't worry little lady. I i got this shouldn't worry my pretty little headed right. Nobody should worry right well. Of course there comes times is when it's really bad but it's one of those things that maybe seems bad. If you're an american if someone trades more with the fans that was just a._t.'s caesar to hear the rest of our slate plus conversation go to sleep dot com slash gabfest plus to become a slate plus member today high gaffes fans. It's emily bass on here. If you have read my new book or listen to my podcast chart i am super grateful to you. You might also want to check out the extra interviews. I did the go deeper per into the issues of the criminal justice system in the united states. I talked to scott heck. Injure into rahman adam fos and other progressive thinkers in criminal justice about issues issues like public defenders parole probation and how bail bond companies work you can also conversation i had with stacey abrams at the new york public library debray super grateful to stacey for doing that with me. I learned so much from doing these interviews and they really provide a fuller picture of the criminal justice system in this country you can check them out at slate plus and to start listing now become a slate plus member at slate dot com slash charged. It's thirty five dollars for the first year. You'll get additional podcast bonuses. This is an ad free feed. This late dot com slash charged to learn more aprons. I'm lauren ober and i'm the host of spectacular failures a new podcast where we dig into the true stories behind some of the biggest blunders in business history like when kodak fumbled its own amazing and mention the digital the camera or when jim tammy faye bakker is christian. Theme park tanked because of scandal and fraud. Some of the stories are funny. Some are sad. Some are like wait what no way each one will give you a totally new perspective on big business and big failure. Check us out at spectacular killer failures dot org or wherever you get your podcasts.

Coming up next