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Welcome to the twenty third episode of Love It or Leave It Back in the Closet. I mean. It always did in nineteen forty. Judy. She is with Giuliani is back in. And that song was sent in by Levi Phillips and Levi. You've outdone yourself. I played the song and then I said, Ronan, you have to hear this. And he said, I heard it in a way that said it's good, but don't play the song about yourself again, please.
We want to use a new song each week, so if you want to make one, you can send it to us. We have a new address just for love it or leave it, because you were getting a lot of incoming at that other address. So send us an email with your song and leave it at Kuga. Dotcom Ali, a VIP at Kroger Dotcom. Leave it at Kroger Dotcom. That's our new address just for the show. You can send a song, you can send an idea.
Any thoughts? You have really generally complaints about other things that aren't the show, whatever you want. Also, the DNC, the Democratic National Convention starts this Monday and you can watch every night live with us at cricket dotcom convention. You can watch the convention live. We will do it with commentary from me, John, Dan, Tommy and some of our pals in the group thread in the past. I know that sometimes group that we haven't been able to show you say a debate because of copyright and stuff.
But we have the feed now so you can watch live with us, the speeches, the floor, there's no floor. But, you know, you can watch the convention with us, which will be great. And before the final night on Thursday, before Joe Biden accepts the nomination, we'll be doing a live pod Save America convention preshow starting at 5:00 p.m. Pacific, 8:00 p.m. Eastern, a crooked dotcoms convention. That's where all that will be. All right.
Later in the show, we'll be joined by Alissa M. Monaco to talk about the VP selection. And Ben Rhodes joins to break down a big week in foreign policy and to talk about his new podcast. But first, she is a co-host of the podcast Best Friends. And you can watch her standup special, Pizza Mind on Amazon Prime Starz on Demand. And listen on iTunes and Spotify, a lot of platforms. Welcome back.
All those platforms. Sasheer Zamata.
Hello. So many platforms you have platform. You can consume my content. I just want you to know that I have been really enjoying I've been going back to old episodes of Best Friends because it's nice to listening to people just live their lives, having no idea what's coming. Like there's just so previous, just like, you know, let's go to a restaurant.
Oh, we were in Europe.
There's just no I know we did an episode with the Talin in Canada for it was like a live just for last performance. And we were like making fun of Naomi Campbell for how much she prepares for a flight, like she's wearing gloves and goggles, like a hazmat suit, and she's spraying everything down. How crazy. And and fast forward really just a few months and then everyone else is doing the same thing.
Look, you don't get diamonds from Charles Taylor by not taking care of shit, making sure you know what I mean. You got to get those diamonds.
Yes. You got to make sure you're safe. All right.
Well, Sasheer has graciously agreed to join for the monologue where I will tell some jokes and she can like them, hate them, comment on them, ignore them. Many options.
Well, so let's get into it. What a week. Let's start off with the big one. No, not the massive earthquake that I lay awake expecting to happen every night now that the San Andreas Fault is like, hey, remember me? I don't care how bad it is.
I can do whatever I want whenever I want. No jump.
That's like a pre joke sentence now, Joe.
But it's like not even there's nowhere to even comment. It's just a just a thought exercise, semicolon and then separate.
Here's a separate thing.
No, Joe Biden made the biggest decision of the presidential campaign when he selected Senator Kamala Harris to be his running mate. Kamala Harris becomes the first black woman and the first Indian American to be in a major party ticket. It's historic, said Gretchen Whitmer before she faded like Michael J. Fox in that back to the future photo.
Hmm. Oh, man.
It does need to be said. But is it so funny to be like can you believe the first? It is like, oh, duh. Like I don't. Of course, yes. I don't like that she was the first one or like I guess we've had women. I can't believe there's only been three, four.
It's well they've been right. Three VPs, four if you include Hillary Clinton at the top of the ticket. Yeah. So there's been four women on a major ticket.
It's so crazy. There's been so many presidents, so many and some of them have been so bad.
So bad. Yeah. We've had really, really bad men and yeah. Terrible. Just some women. Yeah.
We've been giving everybody a multiple choice test between two men every four years and they've gotten it wrong about half the time at least.
Obviously, this is a monumental moment in American history and an important moment for the Biden campaign. Comilla not only brings energy and enthusiasm to the ticket, but she also will be available to apologize on behalf of Joe Biden at a moment's notice.
And, you know, women are great at that. Apologizing notoriously.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.
Commo is a strong pick for a few reasons. She thought the big bang during the mortgage crisis, she joined Bernie Sanders and Ed Markey to introduce the monthly Economic Crisis Support Act, which will provide 2000 dollars a month to every American for the entirety of the pandemic she has fought for.
Maths and tests for every American, and she has a husband named Doug. Thank God that's what we need. Doug, I look, Doug is going to go through a sex symbol phase, all right, if you think so. Absolutely, absolutely. Absolutely. I think the first week of September, right before Labor Day, there's a little bit of a lull. How's Twitter going to fill it?
It's going to have the hots for Kamala Harris husband, Doug. Doug. Have you met a Doug in real life? Have I met Doug? I've met this Doug. Oh, OK. That's one.
And I could barely keep my hands off of him and dirty Doug. I was like, get me out of here. I can't be in the same room with this, Doug.
I'm freaking I guess I haven't really thought about that much. I kind of look at some pictures. I just saw that video of him dancing at a parade or something like that.
And I was like, OK, you pick someone with some rhythm. That's good.
The Trump campaign seems at a loss for how to attack Comilla, announcing that she is not only a radical leftist but also too centrist. A corporate cop who moonlights for antifa. They had months to work on this.
It's as if they had a weekly show and they waited up until seconds before it began to work on the jokes, which I think is great about your you.
How can you tell that these some of these may have been finessed moments ago?
I guess so, yeah. I guess I still can't believe you started with the earthquake and then pivoted to a hard pivot divided.
Not even an easy shift, just like, oh, just separate subject now, just definitely, yeah, just put up a sign this is a dangerous curve.
Trucks do not often make it its very day. I was a really hard turn.
Meanwhile, Marjorie Taylor Green, a Kuhnen supporter, won her GOP primary runoff in Georgia and will most likely be elected to the House of Representatives. It seems like she probably couldn't have won such a high profile race, however, without at least some support from the globalist child sex ring led by living JFK Jr..
Oh, this is a kuhnen. Mm hmm. OK, I feel like the twist there is.
Oh, she was actually supported by by a living JFK Jr.. Hmm. I put all I had I had a really fight for living JFK Jr..
This is a lot packed into that one punch line, I guess, is that if you could call it if you call the.
If it's any consolation, this was a Republican primary in Georgia, so it's not like the alternative was great, she wasn't running against Mitt Romney. Her opponent was like, stop talking about pizza gate. We've got to focus on making sure no one tears down this statue of an enslaved person giving Robert E. Lee a thumbs up.
See, now that it is a joke, but it just makes me sad because it's like very real, pretty dark.
Here's the thing. I've become so desensitized. Like, the world exists in a tiny box and I can just put different windows. Sometimes I can put a Golden Girls window up. Yeah, sometimes a virus, sometimes racist.
Protesters sometimes will throw on a Season two episode of Seinfeld just to see what's going on there. Yeah, and I will just tell you that yesterday Ronan referred to early seasons, Jerry Seinfeld as Twink Seinfeld.
And I can't get it out of my mind. I mean, yeah, that was a very svelte, spry Seinfeld.
And as a kid, he was an older person. But now I realize he was younger than me in those episodes. So that's a journey I'm on. How old was he? Like, early, mid 30s. Oh, wow. So that's something I'm experiencing, you know, sunrise. Sunset.
Oh, good for him. Kind of it. Yeah, I'll keep going.
This week, Donald Trump doubled down on his assault on the post office, admitting he's doing it to stop votes from being counted. This happened the same day it was announced that the Postal Service would be shutting off mail sorting machines ahead of the election.
And then right before we recorded news broke that Brad per scale, Trump's former campaign manager, had snuck into Cliff Claiborne's home and slit his throat.
I mean, I'm not surprised he said here. And I say this here, Mr. Trump, I bring you the head of Cliff Clavin.
I can't believe Trump admitted that. Yeah, he just said it. I mean, I guess I can believe he just he doesn't care. He's like, I'm not untouchable. I've done this myself. I what do you gonna do to me?
His move has often been to just say the tell the truth, you know, in his convoluted, hard to follow way. But just tell the truth on television, because there are things that he's tweeted that if a journalist had been able to, like, uncover it in a secret memo would be like a huge scandal. But because, like, so much of our, like, kind of culture around the news is built around, like, you have to discover something incriminating.
People don't just say something incriminating. He like skips the, like, dramatic crescendo of like catching him. Yeah. You know, it's like it's like if Nixon like early on in Watergate, like he'd gone to the cameras, he'd be like they broke into the Watergate to help me win. It would have been so boring by the time Bob Woodward and Carl got around to it.
Yes. Like that scandal. It's like, well, I guess he just owned up to it. So it's not new anymore. Good for him. At least he's honest.
I just can't stand these phonies. Yeah, not talking about their scandals.
President Trump also signed a coronavirus relief executive action to halt evictions, claiming it would take care of pretty much this entire situation.
But the text only asks federal agencies to consider if a temporary halt to evictions might be a good idea.
This is a momentous, historic document right up there with the recommendation of independence and the emancipation insinuation. I like that. That's many thanks to share.
Also, like, it kind of was an emancipation insinuation. Yeah, not everybody got freed as soon as I got signed. Right. It took a while still. Yeah, it took years.
Years. Years. Yeah. Yeah. So because because. Right because Juneteenth marks the fact that it took years for it to take to reach Texas. Yeah. Like two years. And then they were like someone said, oh by the way, hey you guys are free. Did you know.
So this is like one of those things where like you know, I like if you meet somebody and they tell you their name and then you don't remember it and then you know them for a really long time and it's too late to find out the name. And you're not really you're afraid to ask them their name. This is a little bit like that in that like we should have told you this so many years ago and now we just feel so weird about it.
Yeah, the Masters were like, oh, God, it's like two. It's like so awkward. I should have said it like weeks ago. This is better to keep them on my plantation. I'm so sorry, just influence in Florida, Marion County Sheriff Bill Woods banned his deputies from wearing masks while working and banned visitors from wearing masks at the sheriff's office, he wrote in an email.
The fact is, the amount of professionals that give the reason why we should I can find the exact same amount of professionals that say why we shouldn't.
It makes you think like how if a doctor says you need surgery, remove a tumor. But a dietitian who once worked with Gweneth and he took an online course and probiotics after a career in mixed media sculpture, didn't work out, says you only need a low fat map diet. You can just pick the one you like the most.
Yeah, this is literally the kind of thinking that killed Steve Jobs. And now none of the court's bit makes sense.
What do you mean? Well, Steve Jobs, like, had cancer and he didn't like the recommendation from the doctors.
He was he's meeting in the U.S. So we went to a kind of like guru who was like, here we have this lemon water and just sort of meditate.
And now my computer can barely plug into my phone and it affects us all. Damn it, Steve. Come on, Steve. Come on. Trust, trust, trust the trust medical journals. Maybe. Then what's a lightning cord, you ask? Come on, man. We need a jet.
Yeah. Also this week, Andrew Lloyd Webber volunteered to get an experimental covid vaccine, saying he would do anything to prove that theaters could open safely. Here's hoping that the covid antibodies don't make Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber their jellyroll choice.
No. No. Oh, no.
I'm about to tell you the worst thing I've ever written down. Ready? Ready. What if this experimental vaccine leaves a Jesus Christ superstar?
OK, that is really bad. I can see why he thought that was maybe good, but it's really bad.
It's really bad idea. Is actually exciting.
On Wednesday, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti revealed the city's plan to accelerate development of a ten at home covid test. So you're saying I could get three covid tests or watch the live action Meulen on Disney plus?
I think I know what I'm going to do. Yeah, yeah. I will stay home for weeks and enjoy this Mulan movie.
That is great. Thirty dollars is a lot of money, though.
Yeah. Social services like 20 bucks, yeah, it's a lot of money, I guess it's I guess they're just really, really relying on those kids to hold their parents hostage. And they will.
And they'll get that. They'll get their Meulen. They'll get the loan. Yeah. And I hope they do. I hope they do.
And I hope they do. The Big Ten Sports Conference voted this week to postpone their college football season to spring of twenty twenty one, saying they are prioritizing the health and wellness of their student athletes and do not want to risk anyone getting the coronavirus and an incurable head injury.
Is that what they actually said? This is a joke? No, that's a joke. I say they don't care about the injury part. No, that's they want to make sure that there's no virus in the way of the terrible toll of this this game that, you know, I tell you what, they really cared about the student athletes.
They pay, then they'd fucking pay them. It's crazy.
It's crazy. Crazy that the coaches make like, I just don't understand what it's like to have, like like, you know, they have what do you call it, their halftime.
I think it's one of those one of those have to.
Yes. You know, and they all go in the locker room and the coach gives them a pep talk, like at some maybe like, I'm sorry, you want me to work harder. That's this is a this is a moment where you who made a hundred thousand dollars today think I am not giving it my all. Yeah. And like, look, some of these guys are better than me, like they go on to other things. I'm just a person with a fake degree in communications when this is done.
Oh my god. Yeah. All those people who are just like trying for this dream and then get injured and then what do you get from that. No endorsement deals. Yeah, nothing.
Nobody's putting you in a split screen Nike commercial where half of you is Megan Rapinoe. No, that doesn't happen for you now. Yeah. Thank God they're not forcing them to get Korona.
Yeah, they just not paying them.
Also this week, Herman Cain tweeted two weeks after dying from the coronaviruses.
Hmm. Hydroxy chloroquine. It's pretty amazing. It's pretty good stuff.
Brings you back from the dead and brought him back on them back. Vladimir Putin announced that Russia would be approving a coronavirus vaccine without finishing the proper clinical trials. There is no scientific proof that this vaccine is safe or even works. And it was immediately administered to Andrew Lloyd Webber.
I'll take it. I'll take anything. Please open the theatre. It's not worth it. Yeah. Yeah, he'll be. That's OK. Keep pumping stuff into this guy.
He'll be the phantom of the of the opera. Oh.
Oh, that was just the actual title. That's it. You didn't even try to change it.
Hey, you know, he after he got the coronavirus vaccine, he fell down and hit his head a game. A real phantom of the opera.
Jesus. OK, I'm so sorry. You put me on the spot it have anything.
I had nothing. I had nothing. OK, I'm glad you tried.
I'll tell you though, speaking of Andrew Lloyd Webber, given everything that's been going on, we really all got to make sure we got her.
I could have moved on. I'm doing.
Yeah, I didn't even like it was just worse than the Bárbara. Hey, this mail is coming so slowly. It's more like Starlight Local.
Is this one of those things where it gets worse and then you think it's going to go back up like you think it's going to get?
Like, I actually here's the thing. I don't I don't think this gets better. I just get all right, I'm going to end it all and the two more jokes and then let let you go back to a life that doesn't involve this.
Kanye West at a private meeting with Jared Kushner last week. People are worried this is about Kanye, his presidential bid. But I'm worried it's about an album.
Oh, my God. I'm past the Kushner. That's good. That's good. That's good. It's not nothing. It's not that. It's not nothing. Or maybe he's trying to give me this is the new easy model.
Do they come in nine and a half superhero suit? Slithery. Just very, very narrow.
And finally this week, Khateeb and make these Dalyan dropped an explosive new single titled WSP, a body positive summer empowerment jam that stands for Withered Ayling Penis. I want you to know something, OK? I want you to know something. I can prove that there was an argument about this joke in which I said, I don't want to say this out loud.
I'm glad you're on the right side of history. Travis, turn your damn Cameron and you apologize. This is serious this year for making me say this fucking shit.
We can go. I think Google Docs retains a lot of data.
It's just how dare you how dare you bring a penis into this beautiful, empowering anthem for women. So upset.
Sasheer Zamata, thank you so much. Joining us in such a huge fan and for everybody losing, check out our special check out if you want just a a soothing balm of wonderful friendship in a dark time, I recommend best friends Sasheer and Nicole Byer. It is a delight to listen to you. And I highly recommend so, Shishir, that we just have a movie coming out.
Oh, it's called Sprey is a thriller and it's out tomorrow.
So whenever this comes out, wow. It'll be out already on video, on demand.
So check it out. Check out Sprey. Sasheer Zamata, thank you so much. Thank you. Good to see you.
Good to see you, too. Thanks this year for joining us. When we come back, Iliza M. Monaco, returning champion, of course, join us to talk about the selection of Senator Kamala Harris to join Joe Biden on the ticket. Take don't go anywhere.
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And we're back. She is the co-host of Hysteria and that's The Ticket, a three part series about choosing a vice president, which you can hear on the pod, Save America feed anytime you want. It's there right now. They did a great wrap up episode today on Pod Save America, the main pod, Save America, the mothership.
Please welcome back. Alissa Master Monaco, Jon Lovett.
You're gorgeous now. You're gorgeous. Thank you. We're both gorgeous. So let's talk about it.
We're here. You know, you were you were walking us through the process all along. Now it's happened. Joe Biden selected Senator Kamala Harris to be his VP pick, obviously, where we're all very excited. I want to hear what you think about the announcement itself. How do you think they did at a time when there were so many challenges to rolling this out? You know, in previous eras, VP picks have been smuggled in vehicles.
How did you think it went? So let's just give them credit off the bat. It did not leak. People found out. Americans found out who he picked from the Biden campaign. So that is a huge win for them. Good for them, especially since they had eleven women that were under consideration and he started calling the women earlier that day. So it's like, you know, I give them tons of credit for that.
I didn't get my text message that I signed up for dutifully.
But like technology, Joe is writing them as fast as he could.
He was writing them as fast as he wanted it. It's a lot of people. Of course, I'm the one who didn't even remember that we used text messages on the Obama campaign. So I'm not really sure your finger in the wind there. Then they did their event. And a couple of things. One, the ad that they released with Comilla, where Joe Biden is asking Kamala if she wants to be the vice president, I thought was super charming and durable.
And things can really be poorly done when you're trying to be cute and charming and so, like, good for them. Sure. Sure.
The event yesterday was good because I'm such a I can be a real dick when it comes to events like I'm very busy.
Listen, I get it. I why I wanted to ask Dick and so know you're out. You have high standards.
I do. I do. And so, you know, when we did, that's the ticket. I had really lofty ideas for what I would want to do if I were them. And they didn't ask me, even though I basically sent out the bat signal. But that's fine. Good for them. I thought that they might have gone with, like, a big picture, you know what I mean? Like Biden and Comilla in Battery Park, Statue of Liberty behind make this whole like 360.
The first thing Trump did was kick immigrants out of this country. And we're here to restore the soul of America. They didn't. I get it. He can't make the perfect the enemy of the good. The most important thing out of yesterday was that they appear together. Right. We wanted to see them together for the first time, and they did. And so I thought that was good homilist speech, the thing that I was most. Pressed about by Comilla was that she thrived without an audience like I was really blown away by the fact that I couldn't tell if there were people in front of her or not.
She genuinely was emotive and great. I would say maybe without audiences, Joe Biden's speeches should be just like a little shorter.
Yeah, just a little shorter. Yeah. And that's not a judgment. This is not, you know, thriving and flourishing and giving an important speech in front of essentially an empty room in a black box is not easy. But that would just that would be my little little bit of feedback.
I thought they both did. Well, given the circumstances of not having a big crowd, I agree that Biden's speech was like, oh, this let's get to there's a main event here.
It was a bit I get it, though, because it was an opportunity to deliver a message for a captive audience of national political reporters who would be watching, who would be covering, would be on television.
So I get that seeing Comilla speak, it was a good first of all, was a great speech. But also it reminded me why Comilla is a good pick like you really see her in that moment. And what I always have been struck by with Kamala Harris is I learned a term from sports and I'm going to say it and it's going to sound wrong coming from me. I'm just going to say it, OK? Yeah, it's apparently something called the clutch.
Jean didn't know. Learn something. I heard it. I've heard it. But but I've heard it from other people. I've heard it from straight people. But every time Kamala Harris is in a big hearing moment, every time she was in a debate where she had to like really deliver in that speech this week, she just close.
She just comes and she brings it.
And she had such passion and intensity and delivered those lines so well. So it made me see, like, oh, I, I see why she is going to be a formidable part of this ticket.
I mean, look, there are four people now on the ballot, Trump, Biden, Pence, Kamala Harris, Kamala Harris is a great speaker and a great person at delivering a message. And it is nice that there is a person who can.
I agree. No, I got to say that I'm sorry. I got to say that. And I think that's a great compliment to Kamala. It's a compliment to Kamala.
I'm not saying anything about any of the others, but it's great that we have that person who can deliver that message.
And, you know, the one thing that I did want to say, because, like I said, I can be a dick, is that when we were in the White House, when we first got to the White House, there would be like old school Clinton folks who, you know, had been there in the 90s and they would go on television and say how like our events were not imaginative and that we didn't do things like take the president to the Grand Canyon to sign legislation.
And the truth is, they had not been president post 9/11. Right. Nobody like the Bush administration understood. We understood there are different constraints.
So that's why even though in my DNA it is to be a bit of a dick about events, I do not know how hard it is to do what they are doing.
So I caveat my Dick Cheney's.
I also thought today they did a coronavirus. Yeah. Briefing that looked great. You know, it's I just think that they're truly grappling with these completely new problems and trying to figure out how to make nice looking events when they're all these constraints and seeing them at those sort of deaths across from each other. Yeah, look, if you stop and think about it, if you're thinking like, where are we? What is happening?
But it looks great and it looks it really has infused, I think just in these last 48 hours, Kamala Harris being part of this ticket, has just infused their campaign with some energy, with a great message delivery apparatus. Not just that Kamala Harris is a great messenger, but that together there is a message, the two of them side by side. Right, that just works on television, works in this moment. So that that has got me really exciting.
And you believe they're enjoying themselves, right?
Like they're enjoying their their partnership out of the gate, basically. Yeah.
How long do you think until Doug is a sex symbol? Haven't you seen the Jewish tabloids? I think I read forward dotcom that said he's sexy, Jewish dad. He's hot Jewish dad. It's already starting. It's already starting. I who can blame people.
He's very charismatic. So as so you know, Trump kind of had a meandering attack.
They really don't seem to know how to attack Comilla just yet, though. I'm sure they'll get their shit together at some point. But they they seem to want to say that she's sort of a corporate cop, but also a leftist member of Antifa.
How do you see any weaknesses emerging of Senator Harris on the ticket?
You know, I think it's interesting because, like I mean, you know better than anyone. They had so much time, Trump and his flunkies, that is, they had so much time to come up with something that you're like, is this honestly the best they can do? Like, I was hoping for something a little better, like just something to give us fodder to talk about. But Nasse. Mean what, like slow Joe and phony Comilla, I feel like, you know, the one thing that was good about Biden picking Comilla is that she went through like 540 primary debates.
She, you know, had been on all the nightly shows. She's been on the comedy show.
She's been on the talk shows like she's done it all, like she's pretty well known. And the Trump folks had all this time to come up with something better. So I'm not really sure like painting her as both Jamie Dimon and Bernie Sanders.
It's a tough needle to thread, that is, and it's a good omen at a time when there aren't many that both that what Biden and Harris have in common is it has been hard for them to figure out how to land an attack on them directly. Yeah. When you're comparing Kamala Harris to Bernie Sanders, you're trying to bang shot a criticism of Bernie Sanders when you say that, oh, Joe Biden's lost a step, he's really going to be pulling the levers.
You're really criticizing AOC because you don't have a criticism of Biden. So maybe that's a hopeful note. Melissa, any final thoughts? Thank you for your time. I know that there are too many people looking to get your thoughts, so many vice presidential process and you've given us so many insights. But if you have one more to share before we go, maybe Comilla should get a dog.
Let's get a dog, get a cat, I guess. Oh, yes, that's not I want to cat the West Wing. I can do it.
Do you want to do. They're barely domesticated. All right. They're just they're just little predators.
Well, you know what? My cats can clearly tell that because this is the first podcast, they have not come to try to be a part of this.
Master Monica, thank you as always. I. When we come back, I'm going to quiz a listener about the Democratic plan, the Republican plan and Trump's plan for how to respond to the economic crisis.
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Hammerback America is facing three crises at once. There is the battle to reimagine public safety in our cities. There's the worsening public health crisis thanks to the failed Trump response to the pandemic. And there is the economic crisis where America faces the highest rates of unemployment in a century. Once again, thanks to the failed response to covid-19 in the last month, Republicans stonewall Democrats over a new round of relief, and the Senate adjourned without reaching a deal. Then earlier this week, Trump issued a series of basically useless and in some cases unconstitutional executive orders that do almost nothing to fix the problem.
So let's compare these plans in a game we're calling Democrats, Republicans or a dotty old fascist.
And here to play the game, we have Laura Petto.
Hi, Laura. Where are you from? I am from New Hampshire. You're from New Hampshire and you're holding some kind of an animal there. Is that a cat?
Yeah. This is my kitten, Sophie, who is wearing an Elizabeth Warren possessed collar.
Uh huh, yeah, uh huh, big structural change, that's the thing you got to watch out for. Yeah, I will. All right.
Well, Laura, how are you doing, by the way? How's it going up there in New Hampshire? You're OK? Yeah.
I mean, we're doing pretty well up here. We've had zero cases in my town since May, so that's good. That's good.
That's good. Maybe your mayor isn't a kuhnen. Believers, you know, supports mass and so forth.
No. OK, so here's how it works. Laura, I'm going to read a real fact about one of the plans. And you have to tell us if it's from the Democratic plan, the Republic plan, or if it's from the executive order signed by ideal's fascist. OK, OK, here we go.
This plan would provide sixteen billions for covid testing.
Democrat, no Republican. His plan would provide 75 billion for covid testing and contact tracing. Democrat, correct.
This plan would address unemployment by giving Americans two hundred dollars per week through September. Republican correct.
This plan would address unemployment by guaranteeing American three hundred hours a week by taking money from FEMA disaster relief, which could only last for like a month.
Fascist got it.
This plan but address unemployment by continuing the six hundred dollars per week benefit until January Democrat correct. This plan would free student loan payments and interest until the end of December.
Democrat now Darryll Fascist. He got one by other. Not the worst part of that one.
That one I'm OK with. Let's just let's face it, you know, this plan would freeze all student loan payments and interest for a full year and provide twenty two billion for student loan forgiveness. Democrat Yeah.
This plan would provide one time stimulus checks of twelve hundred dollars for individuals and twenty four hundred to married couples, plus five hundred dollars per dependent Democrat.
Now that's the Republican plan. This plan would provide a one time stimulus check of twelve dollars individuals, twenty four hundred to married couples and twelve hundred per dependent Democrat.
Yeah, the better one is the Democrats. That's the game. Well look sometimes what we do is hard. You know, sometimes what we do is the Democrats are better. You know, this plan doesn't provide stimulus checks, but it will make an attempt to defer payroll tax payments from September to December for people earning less than two hundred thousand dollars per year. It's unclear if companies will comply with this, though, since they have to withhold huge amounts from their employees paychecks all at once when taxes are due.
It's also unclear how Medicare and Social Security will be funded without the payroll taxes, especially if this policy continues.
Republican fascism is from the year it was covered as a payroll tax holiday, but it's not really a holiday like I don't think you consider it a holiday if your bosses like you can take today off, but you do after work Christmas.
Yeah, this plan would provide one hundred and five billion in aid to schools, but two thirds is set aside for elementary and secondary schools. That would only get the money if they held in-person classes, meaning only schools that worsen the pandemic can get the pandemic relief.
Fascist Republicans, Republicans couldn't even Kitty couldn't do anything for the schools.
And now you're doing fine. Hey, Laura. Hey. I don't think that's the persistence that you've been inspired to live up to based on a color based on a candidate, you know, I mean, yeah, this plan would provide 25 billion to defense contractors.
Republican got it.
This plan would provide 25 billion to save the Postal Service Democrat. Correct.
This plan includes three point six billion dollars for states to insure election safety and security and to facilitate voting by mail.
Democrat correct. And finally, this plan includes one point seventy five billion dollars to construct a new FBI headquarters across from one of President Trump's hotels.
Fascist? No, it's he supports it. In fairness to you, Laura, he supports it. But it's actually in the Republican proposal that they spend almost two billion dollars and it is two billion dollars. If you also include the fact that they want to renovate the West Wing so they won't provide money for the post office or elections that are coming during this crisis, but they will invest in a renovated FBI building. Now, the FBI building, Laura, is very ugly.
Have you seen the FBI building?
No, I have not. Well, you should know that it sucks. It's a behemoth and it's really not great. But if you had to choose between a safe election and a architecturally more satisfying FBI headquarters, to me, it's not a hard call. I don't know how you feel.
Not a hard call at all. Laura and Sophie, you've won the game so excited.
Made my week.
What are you doing up there in New Hampshire these days? What's your day like? Walk me through a typical day.
So I am getting my PhD in math. I know. And you are a math major. Really? What.
Give me the give me the topic. What are we studying. What are we what are we proving. What are we working on?
I work on inverse problems, specifically medical imaging. So getting from the data back to what I'm trying to reconstruct.
So basically you're trying to figure out. Ways to take an image. It gets broken down into data and then make it back into some kind of diagnostic tool, something you can read from the data.
What are you trying to do when there's an inverse problem, whether it's in medical imaging, if you get an ultrasound, the data they collect is not an image. It's like sound waves or something like that, depending on what application to the MRI and ultrasound. And so basically, you have to go from the data to figure out what underline image reproduced in. The idea of my thesis is how to use methods and optimization and Bayesian statistics to improve the accuracy of the imagery construct.
The data isn't the image. The image is the image. The data is a representation of the image. And you are trying to say, how faithfully can we make sure that the image the data creates has fidelity to the original image that is not recorded anywhere. It's you're kind of imagining what a perfect version of the data might be.
All right. That is exactly what I do. Error modeling, trying to model what the most likely error is. I know you were a math major. I don't know if you took, like, anything with worry, analysis or anything like that.
I'll tell you this much. If I did, it's gone anyway.
So basically trying to model the entire process, using the knowledge that you're not actually collecting what you want to collect, if that makes any sense.
How are algorithms doing? I'm still a PhD student, so my algorithms aren't as good as people who have been working and like this for twenty or twenty five years. But I feel like they're pretty good and they're really amazing at being able to predict the amount of error that you're going to have to say, yeah, it's really cool.
I don't totally understand what you're working on, but it was fun to try to figure out if I could get it because I haven't done hard math in a long time. And if Frank Morgan, my thesis advisor, is listening, I did my best. I'm trying. Laura Petto, what a delight. Thank you. Bye. When we come back, I'll be joined by Ben Rhodes.
Don't go anywhere. There's more of love it or leave it coming up.
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Auerbach He's the former deputy national security adviser under President Barack Obama, co-host of God Save the World and host of KROOK, his brand new podcast, Missing America, which is out right now. Please welcome back to the show for a segment we call Old Town Roads, because it was our first idea and we just gave up Ben Rhodes.
It's good to be on a social distance. Love it or leave it. Yeah, no, it's nice to see you again. Yeah. I mean, the last time we did this show, it was that I believe the. How many store there are humans there? I remember that for sure, and we said to ourselves, let's just hope that a big crisis doesn't happen between now and the election. So I want to talk about the new podcast, because I've listened and it's really fantastic.
And everybody should subscribe to missing America. But first, a bunch of big foreign policy stories from this week.
And I just want to kind of give people a rundown on each of them. So first, Trump is plotting an announcement about diplomatic relations between Israel and the UAE. What happened and what do you think?
What was announced is that the U.S. and Israel plan to normalize relations, establish formal diplomatic relations, which they don't have, which could open up space for things like flights and additional commerce between Israel and the UAE.
In response, Israel said it's suspending plans to annex a chunk of the West Bank, which would have been a very bad thing to do in any circumstance. And Trump decided and declared that he should get the Nobel Peace Prize.
Look, let's step back for just a quick summary of what I think has happened here. And I apologize for my cynicism.
It's an unalloyed good thing if Israel normalizes relations with more Arab countries in addition to Jordan and Egypt and Morocco.
That said, the UAE and Israel have had pretty close relations anyway for a long time, dating back certainly to when we're in the Obama administration. In fact, some of their closeness was coordinating their opposition to the Iran nuclear deal, but they've drawn closer over the years. So this kind of advance is, I think, what was the de facto in the region.
And it does nothing to actually achieve the real peace that needs to happen, which is the Palestinian state. And in fact, the Palestinians were entirely cut out of this.
So the leader of the UAE, Mohammed bin Zayed, gets to do something that helps his buddy Donald Trump in the White House. Bibi Netanyahu does something that frankly also helps Donald Trump, you know, gives them a win before the election. Also, frankly, they do something that helps consolidate their own position and doesn't really help advance the cause of peace for the Palestinians. In my view, if somehow this magically opens up a pathway to a broader peace, that's great.
Otherwise, I think it's something that essentially ratifies what has been somewhat of the status quo in the Middle East for some time now.
Yeah, I mean, when I saw the statement, is that, OK, it seems like Bibi is doing a favor for Trump. So the Trump has a reach like practically there's no actual other changes that are going to happen because of this.
Yeah, I mean, there could be like, you know, flights from Tel Aviv to Abu Dhabi and Dubai and again, some increased tourism and commerce.
But that's really the direction things have been going anyway with the Emirates.
And Israel is not the core of the problem in the Middle East. It's a lot of other things, including Israel, in the Palestinians. And and so the the fanfare around this that Trump will build up, you know, is all about Trump.
And I think for NBC, he's been under a lot of pressure from Democrats because of their war in Yemen that has killed so many people. Their support for Mohammed Salman, frankly, their opposition to the Democratic Party, the embrace of Trump.
This is also a bit of a hedge for NBC, you know, because Democrats will want to welcome this deal because it's good for Israel.
And the same way that Netanyahu, who's under huge protests in Israel because of his handling of coronavirus, he was not going to be able to proceed with annexation given the current environment, Israel.
So he didn't really give up anything and he got something, at least something symbolic.
And, you know, that's about what this is.
It's not much more than that. So next topic. So you like your podcast. There's just so much happening in your podcast about right wing nationalism and authoritarianism in the U.S., but around the world and some of the lessons that we can draw from some of the efforts to push back. You know, we're seeing in Belarus right now an authoritarian trying to hold on to power in the wake of mass protests after a clearly fraudulent election result. What are you taking away from what's happening right now in Belarus and what are the lessons for us as we head into an election with a kind of whatever impressive authoritarian who's watching closely as well?
Well, I mean, the lesson I take away is that people around the world are completely fed up with a very particular brand of authoritarianism, John.
It's rooted in corruption, basically all these leaders who enrich themselves to stay in power so they can further enrich themselves and repress their own people. And this kind of nationalist brand of authoritarianism that we see across the West and frankly, around the world.
And what you see is people are fed up like all of Belarus basically came out. They've never had protests like this. Of course, the leader cracks down.
He ignores it, but they're still not giving up their general strikes happening in Belarus like.
So you've got a guy who declared victory with a totally fabricated 80 percent election result.
You've got a population that's rejecting it. And I think it's kind of emblematic of what's happening and a lot of places around the world, which is there's growing mobilization and disgust with this brand of leadership and then these leaders desperately trying to cling on. And I frankly think that even if he may weather this storm, it's an indication that time is beginning to run out on this playbook.
So then also this week, the office of the director of National Intelligence released a statement. Basically, turns out Robert Draper, a great reporter for The New York Times, was sort of beating on the door of the administration, saying, we're hearing reports of Russian interference. We're hearing reports of Russian interference right before his story comes out. They put out this statement from the Trump administration that basically says, yes, Russia is looking to interfere in our election, but so is China.
So is Iran. You know, it's a big problem on both sides, though. It's very clear based on what senators like Dick Blumenthal have said is part of the Intelligence Committee who's seen some of this information. It's pretty clear, based on what we're hearing, that this is a way to give Trump cover. And the real issue remains sophisticated efforts by Russia to interfere in our election that are not on par with anything any other country are doing. What do you think that members of Congress should be doing?
And what do you think the Biden campaign should be doing right now in the wake of these sort of semi revelations?
Well, I mean, first of all, reject that.
The statement from the director of National Intelligence is total bullshit because the creating of both sides between Russia is systematic, multifaceted assault on our democracy on behalf of Donald Trump and routine Chinese propaganda against US policy.
Not about electing, you know, Joe Biden or anybody else. That's just not the same thing. But they're setting up this playbook where they can say that everybody's doing it. It's helping both parties. Frankly, if Biden wins, I guarantee the Republicans will try to turn Chinese intervention or Iranian intervention, our election into the new Russia investigation so they can, you know, engage in their own conspiracy theorizing for years.
I think Democrats have to call it out. Democrats have to tell people what to expect is going to happen, tell people hear the arguments you're going to hear. And this is why it's bullshit, frankly. Publicize information.
I'm tired of hearing Democrats about how troubled they are about the briefings they're getting. Just tell us already we.
Yeah, at least at the very least, fucking threatening to say I'm going to go to the Senate floor and tell the people what they know. I'm allowed. I am constitutionally protected. I can go to the Senate floor and I can tell people the truth, at least threaten it like really threaten it.
That's right. And because what do they you know, the only reason to not reveal something is gives up sources and methods of intelligence gathering. I think the Russians are where, you know, they're we're watching this stuff. But, John, I'm going to connect the three segments right now.
So it's OK because what what is happening in the world, you have a collection of autocratic, corrupt leaders who will do anything to keep themselves in power.
And they have overlapping interests. Right.
So Mohammed bin Zayed and the Emirates and Bibi Netanyahu and Israel, they're helping each other out and helping out their buddy, Donald Trump. Vladimir Putin is helping out Donald Trump.
Donald Trump is silent about Lukashenko in Belarus, who's also a very close ally of Vladimir Putin. This is not a grand conspiracy theory, by the way. I am not suggesting that there some puppet master that's Putin behind everything.
It's just a plain fact that there's a bunch of nationalist, corrupt authoritarians who are running all these places and don't want things to change because the current system allows them to get rich and be in power. And if one of the dominoes start to fall, they know that publics around the world might get hip to the fact that maybe we can get rid of these guys. That's the common thread.
And it's also what informs, I think, the podcast obviously, that we're going to talk about.
So let's talk about the podcast, because, you know, I've heard the first couple of episodes and I do I appreciate you linking these things together because it is you trying to kind of tell a story to help us understand what led to this moment and then some of the the tools and ideas and people who are kind of showing how we can combat right wing nationalism, populism here at home, around the world. So what should people know about the podcast?
Well, that's the thing is, you know, I traveled a lot over the last several years and I frankly just kind of started recording interviews a couple of years ago with people around the world because I found that they were dealing with the same crap that we were, you know, nationalism, authoritarianism, disinformation, this kind of corruption infecting politics everywhere. And kind of what I found is we could learn a bit about what was happening to ourselves by looking about what was happening in other places.
And we could also learn a bit about what to do about it. So the next episode, which is I think pretty central to the series, the drops next week, is about nationalism in Europe.
And the story that is told is essentially after the financial crisis in 2008, essentially the collapse of confidence in globalization and democracy and liberal democracy, there was a bit of a crisis of meaning inside of Western countries.
People had given up faith in their institutions and the people who filled that space were nationalist right wing nationalists who came along and offered people a sense of belonging to a team, the winning team, the US versus them team.
The US is whoever the the white people are in that country or the right kind of Christian people in Hungary or in Russia.
And the them are immigrants or Muslims or George Soros or John Lovett, you know, and, you know, essentially that that kind of powerful, potent story is behind Brexit. It's behind Viktor Orban in Hungary. It's behind Donald Trump.
But you see people mobilizing in response to that. And you see in Europe some. Interesting tactics, people really going local and building grassroots movements, people using technology, new ways of organizing and people trying to find different politics that offer people meaning in standing up to this brand of nationalism and kind of reclaiming their national identities from the autocrats.
And that's, I think, what we're going to have to do in our election. And that's what America is going to have to try to stand for in the world if we have a change in president.
I do think that that Democratic primary politics has at least obliquely been trying to grapple with some of these questions. Right. Like how do we answer nationalism? How do we answer mistrust? How do we answer a lack of faith in institutions? Do you think the Democrats are doing enough to internalize some of these lessons from around the world? What do you think?
I think we need to do more. And the podcast, you'll hear kind of the people who will probably be in charge of foreign policy for Biden.
But you give them a lot of progressive activists and political leaders around the world who in some ways it's easier for them to acknowledge just how broken everything had gotten.
Yeah, because they're not American, you know, and in many ways, the collapse of an unraveling of a world order rebuilt is harder for us to accept.
But I think if you look at the Democratic Party, what I find is really interesting, John, when you think about this is there are elements of the key voices in the primary that are each right.
Bernie's critique of what's gone wrong is, I think, the most accurate, you know, that essentially failures of late stage capitalism and the emptiness and corruption of our politics has made people really angry.
And Bernie gives voice to that.
At the same time, I think the whole soul of the nation thing shouldn't be overlooked either, that you have to have politicians who who offer some form of national identity to people. And yet there was this gap and I find and we talk about this on the podcast, the thing that is filling the gap to me is the Black Lives Matter movement, because that's about fighting for a different form of national identity that has a policy agenda attached to it, but also as something more fundamental about what do we think it means to be American?
What's our story in the world?
And one point we show in the podcast is that movement spawned movements in other countries.
And the irony of where we find ourselves, John, is that all these right wing authoritarian nationalists we talked about, they've been caught in for years. They have common sources of finance and common strategies of politics.
And progressives need to do that to not just the US government, but progressives, I think in a movement level have to be connected and learn from one another.
Around the world.
There's a connection that's, I think, been drawn fairly just because in practice, this has been true that the politicians most often talking about the kind of core emotional needs that the lack of dignity people feel in our system, the lack of agency are those people like Bernie who have talked about that. But, you know, you put aside the center left policies. You also feel in the kind of rhetoric of the center left for a long time, there really was a failure to account for the pain people felt, the lack of dignity people felt even when the economy was growing, even when people felt as though things economically were working, that there was something missing.
When we talk about a society with such giant corporations having such influence over people's lives, the kind of decline of small businesses, the decline of manufacturing, there's a failure to reckon with the change that was happening. And it seems like maybe now finally, Democratic politicians are kind of acknowledging that change in some way.
And if you look at the episodes we do in the podcast and take on these forces that are so big disinformation, climate change, the kind of fallout, like you said, the wreckage of how globalization has created so many losers relative to winners, I think it's sometimes it's hard for progressives to understand why that would lead people to the right, not to the left, because it seems like the economic structure is screwing everybody.
So you should become a populist on the left. But I think what it means is when people have nowhere to turn, they're just more vulnerable to these appeals to nationalism or they're more vulnerable to, say, the Chinese are offering more prosperity in exchange for giving up all your freedoms. Well, maybe that's a more attractive model.
And I think it's a matter of progressives having to realize that it's not have to be right about policy, just as it's not enough to be right about your basic story. Like you need that whole package in a way that can appeal to people and can win these political fights in the streets and in the ballot box.
Well, everybody, please subscribe to missing America. You won't regret it. It does an incredible job of connecting all of these sort of disparate elements domestically and around the world. Ben, thank you so much for joining us. This awesome job. Good talking to you.
When we come back, we'll end on a high note. Don't go anywhere. Love it or leave it. And there's more on the way.
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David Tennant does a podcast with his back for another season. It's a very, you know, in sentence. It's a farce. It's a great title in a sentence, you know what I mean? David Tennant sits down virtually with the biggest names in entertainment, including Dame Judi Dench, Jim Parsons, Elizabeth Moss and more.
This follows an amazing first season where he spoke with the likes of Jon Hamm, Whoopi Goldberg and James Corden. You'll get an inside look at these stars lies with revealing conversations, surprising stories, and, of course, lots of laughs. New episodes every Tuesday on Apple podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher or wherever you get your podcasts.
So David Tennant does a podcast with check it out and we're back because we all need it this week.
Here it is, this week's high note submitted by you, the listener.
Hi, love it. This is Monica from Delaware, about ten minutes from the time cave. And my high note was that my son took his first step. We've run into so many marches in his stroller, and it's really amazing to think that now he'll be marching with me, helping to make the future better for. So I'm really excited for that.
I love it. It's Austin and Arizona. My friends just won his primary race last week to be the mayor of the town that I live in fear so excited that he's doing that. And he beat the establishment candidate and running as a progressive.
And it's just really awesome to see him love it. This is Morgan from Brandon, Florida. I just finished contact with him. It is ninety three degrees out in Brandon and we delivered a letter to 500 supporters in this district for a local candidate in the district. Became very excited to get out here again and again. What was it?
I love it. This is her back in Ohio. And my high note this week is that the team led youth movement I worked for. I just launched our campaign to get teens involved in the election, registering voters, getting people to sign up as co-workers and a lot of other great things. The response already has been overwhelming, and I'm really excited to see how change can change the face of the election. Thanks. Thanks, everybody.
Who submitted a high note. If you want to leave us a message about something that gave you hope, you can call us at four to four three four one four one nine three. And I'm so grateful to everybody who has sent them in over the past months.
They've been really nice. We have 80 days until the election. Sign up for vote Save America right now to elect Joe Biden and Kamala Harris to keep the House to win back the Senate. Thank you to Sasheer Zamata, Alyssa M. Monikered and Ben Rhodes for joining us. Thank you to our grocery workers, truck drivers, delivery people, restaurant workers and flight attendants, teachers, administrators, everybody who is working right now. Thank you to our doctors and nurses and EMTs and first responders and thank you to our whole staff working to keep this show going out and crooked, going strong.
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