Love it or leave it is brought to you by a presenting sponsor, Djura, an award winning single malt Scotch whisky made by the same tiny island community since 1810 Jurez tiny island community of just 212 islanders filled with wonderful and warm people like Fiona, who came to the island in 1979 and built a small textile shop where she makes beautiful clothing and accessories. Her outerwear keeps the community warm during jurors cold winter months. Fiona, St John, John and Tommy, each of scav with euros tartan designs she did not have.
Tommy, what do you think of your scarves, their beautiful scarves? It's keeping me warm right now. Bidjara people are just the nicest human beings, most generous human beings on the planet.
And so they also sent along a very, very delicious bottle of Djura that I have already dipped into and will do so again.
Maybe today you can stay warm with a seven wood, which scored 94 points out of a possible 100 and the ultimate spirits challenge. Get yourself a bottle today and support Jurez tiny island community. Go to Djura Whisky Dotcom's love it and use the code love at ten to save ten dollars off any Djura and have it shipped right to your door. As I say in Scotland, gingiva which is Gaelic for you can impeach someone after the crime.
Welcome, you love it or leave it vacc to the future. Inauguration Day, Lady Gaga is wearing the Mockingjay. He is just some kind of a go dove, whatever it is. That's the power of love. That song was by Ali and Craig Johnston, thank you so much for that absurd, absurd, absurd song. And I don't know what to do now, now that we've heard it. If you want to send a vacc to the future theme song, you can send it to leave it at Crooked Dotcom and maybe we'll use yours before we get to the show this week.
On with friends like these, Ana was joined by a friend of the pod, Rebecca Traister. It's a great conversation, so check that out. New episodes are out every Friday and you can subscribe to with friends like these wherever you get your podcast, please check it out. Later in the show, we'll be joined by Brian Beutler to talk about Joe Biden's first 100 days in office. And we'll play a game with a listener about putting Harriet Tubman on the 20 dollar bill.
But first, she's a comedian and actress and she has a new show called Resident Alien, which premiered this week on sci fi. Please welcome back returning champion Alice Westerlund. Good to see you.
Hi, John. Thanks so much for having me. I'm happy to be here. How are you?
You know, normally you do something to not just be normal at the top. And that was just sort of sort of like, what are you talking about?
All right. Well, I had to do something. I had to be audio because you never know.
Sorry to disappoint you, John, just. But even when you did, just me and you laughed so silently.
And I just feel like as a comedian coming on your show, it's always frustrated me because I'm like the listeners don't know he's he's losing it, but he is so polite and he, like, moves away from the mic when he laughed because first of all, the mic picks it up.
These are great microphones. All right. And in the end in the podcast, people know that I'm laughing. Then I'm moving off the mic because I can't contain myself. By the way, tell us in the comments they're laughing to. All right. We're all laughing. OK, so don't worry. So excited to see you here. John, how are you?
Let's get into it. What a week. On Tuesday, President Biden announced the purchase of 200 million additional coronavirus vaccine doses if he thought it was bad that the U.S. had only administered 21 million of the 400 million doses it's ordered. This is great news now. It's 21 million out of 600 million. That's exciting.
You know, I think a mark of a good joke I'd like to have to do adding and subtracting in there. If your audience is like has to take out a white board like Katie Porter, you know, you've got them.
Let me tell you let me tell you why this joke is funny. It's it's about percentages. All right.
Bernie should be telling it. You see, the denominator is getting bigger, but the numerator. Oh, good. Remains unchanged. Now, the percentage has gone up by two percent.
There is a clip of Bernie on the Today show in like 1980, something like early 80s. That's Phil Donahue. It's like Jane Pauley throws to Phil Donahue. And it's great because it's practically like an alien has landed because they're because Donny was like, get this, he's a socialist.
And I went up to this beautiful country of Vermont, beautiful country up there, beautiful land. But then when they went to Bernie, the reason I bring this up forgot halfway through why I brought it up.
Now I'm remembering. Yeah. You know, remembering.
I do think that he has come with age to more and more embody the Brooklyn Jewishness of his voice. It's almost like as your body ages, those like what it made me realize is like maybe my great grandmother didn't have a stick of an accent when she was younger, that it's like something about growing older. As a Jewish person, you slowly get more like this. Yeah. And this happens to your body.
It's like calcifies in your bones because it's not a it's not a Hilaria Baldwin situation.
The accent was there, but but it's just deeper. It's thicker now.
It's how you say how you say who you say.
How do you say Khumba. How do you say cucumber. Cucumber.
Well what's this. It's a cucumber.
It'll be like, all right, great. This this week, nuch runover.
What a topic to be laughing into new kind of a pandemic. It's a pandemic fact. Look at the pandemic. Cases have fallen 35 percent over the past three weeks, the most sharp and sustained decline throughout the entire outbreak. It feels good that we can finally stop faking the numbers. To beat Trump truly was exhausting when we all know this thing is just the common flu. We almost got caught when we went to Puerto Vallarta, Puerto Vallarta, the jig was up.
You can have malaria all on your pronunciation of Puerto Vallarta.
Puerto Vallarta. Where's Puerto Vallarta?
It's delicious. Puerto Vallarta. What about the lifestyles of the rich and infected?
You know what Trump said people should inject Robyn Bletch.
That's an ad lib, and I love it. That's a. Hey, take a ride to the end of that joke.
You'll have the time of your life.
This week's stock for the company, GameStop soared over 200 percent after Reddit users decided to pump money into the company to punish hedge funds that bet money that the company would fail. Lots of folks made a lot of money, but when they tried to sell the stock back to GameStop, they were only offered 15 dollars of store credit.
Oh, what a shame. That's a Reddit insider joke. Then on Thursday morning, the stock trading app Robinhood announced that they would limit trading on GameStop and AMC shares. And everyone from Ted Cruz to Hosie hated it. As far as bets on where unity was going to come from, I don't think anybody thought it would be edged Lord finance sub Reddit that that's what would bring them together. Now, AOC tweeted that what was happening with Robin Hood was unacceptable.
Then Ted Cruz tweeted fully agree and then AOK tweeted back, and this is real. I am happy to work with Republicans on this issue where there is common ground. But you almost had me murdered three weeks ago, so you can sit this one out. Happy to work with almost anyone, GOP that aren't trying to get me killed. In the meantime, if you want to help, you can resign. So that's a no.
Ted from AOC just. Yes, exactly.
So, Alice, it feels to me as though Ted Cruz has not seen any prestige TV because you can't foment an insurrection that threatens the lives of other cast members and then immediately tried to create an unlikely pairing.
You have to let that simmer for at least a season or to show some things that show some show some growth as a character and then create a situation in which, as he has no choice but to work with Ted Cruz.
And then for a few minutes, halfway through the episode, AOC wonders if Ted Cruz has changed and then at some point it becomes clear that he has not changed. He is still the same repellent schmuck he always was. And that's the end of the bottle episode. And I think that's that's it.
And that's what we have seen.
We've seen in the thousands, but not right at ourselves. You did also, if you want to if you want to form an unlikely pairing, people in politics just follow the example set forth by Klobuchar and B Bridges. They're doing it before it's perfect. They're doing it.
It's already about Joe Manchin chance to a judge. Oh, my God.
What are those two through? What are they going to talk about, huh? That's a great that's I'd like to see that Pine Barrens, you know, the two of them stuck in the New Jersey woods.
Doug, Jill Chaston cabin in the woods. Go, you know, Jim Jordan and Jim Jordan. Jim Jordan. So stay up all night. What do they have to be awake for?
You know what I mean? Egmont, who cares, huh?
I'm in California. Gavin Newsom, cancel the stay at home order for the state, despite the fact that many issues are still at capacity. Facing criticism about mixed messages and capricious decision making, Kim said to John Jr., who listened for a while and then was like, can we just stop talking about him for five minutes? Because it doesn't sound like you're over him. You know, you say you don't like him, but you're constantly bringing him up.
And I should note also that while I quoted John Junior and Kim at normal volume, you should know that in reality they were shouting at each other at the top of their lungs, while I want to know what love is, and Newsmax both played at the exact same time at Fox dreaming, just screaming.
That's a joke. Think I know you're not Outram.
It's like across a kitchen with a two big island.
Well, while Don Junior is sitting for a portrait and looking at different graphic designs for his various political opportunities, just licking his gums, you know.
Oh, yeah, that's a painting.
Meanwhile, Biden's one point nine trillion dollar covid relief plan is in the works, hoping to bring relief to many. A. a. Alice, I know. Give me the filibuster, OK? It's fine. That's never going to happen. Love it. Oh, no, Alice I'm so sorry.
But the filibuster than I imagined anything could be.
This is the filibuster, and I'm so sorry, but it seems that based on recent news, the filibuster. OK, that's enough.
And as I said, the filibuster. OK, Christine, say I said that I could stop you right here. You see, she summoned me by tapping her knee high boots three times.
I say, hey, filibuster.
Look, I get that due to the fact that several Democrats continue to see some reason for you to exist. You get to exist.
But I don't understand why you're really interrupting unless, you know, you need to understand here. I have been around since the eighteen hundreds and I wasn't created by the Founding Fathers to protect the rights of the minority party.
OK, now everybody knows that was a joke. I was created by mistake, like penicillin. What's that like this studio. Oh my God. Oh really.
Now we're learning something about filibuster filibuster company, Cockeysville Mill.
Mr. Buster, if I may, why do you what do you what do you get off on interrupting? Why do you want to stop things from moving forward all the time?
Do you understand? I'm a way of life. I'm a way of life. The filibustering is not just in the Senate. It's everywhere. It's everywhere.
When your dad wants to talk about the neighbor's lawn instead of his emotions, that filibustering.
That's filibustering. That's what that's right.
I exist because the world is a terrible place. I mean, racist used me to stop civil rights.
That's immoral. Yeah. Hey, did you know that the Senate leaders have been trying to get rid of me since the eighteen forties? I did. But their attempts keep their attempts keep getting filibustered. Imagine filibustering a filibuster.
You know what's funny? I didn't know what it was going to be like to meet you, Mr. Filibuster. I'm amazed by the conflicting pathos, the self-hate that you've brought to this, that that's the unexpected twist of this character to me, of understanding what you're really like.
Oh, there's good inside everyone. I just I just received love you. The filibuster just needs love.
The filibuster just needs love.
Mr. President, what do you say to the allegations that you're like this because you didn't get the audition to be the the next guy?
I don't we're not here to talk about. I'm not here to talk about. OK, OK. Now I am I know you're filibustering me. I think I think reclaiming my time, reclaiming my time.
The case that filibustering makes me feel good. And that's the bottom line. That's why I like to do it. I love to do it.
No one can kill me. Maybe not Schumer, not Pelosi, not salt and baking soda and some elbow grease for your cake.
Yeah, yeah, yeah. You can't kill me.
Oh, well, how hard was that someone trying to improve our broken health care system. I have to go filibuster. Filibuster. Oh, well, and there goes the filibuster. Alice, I'm so sorry. I'm so sorry. You're the zoom is hard.
I don't know how we got in here. I got in here. That's a problem. I'm really sorry. Let's just try to we'll just try to keep moving forward, OK? I think moving forward. In other news, I wrote a joke about the filibuster.
Let's hear it that way.
So, like the the filibuster, maybe it was made by accident, but it's been used as a racist tool to stop civil rights progression. It is a racist thing that exists and everybody knows it and they use it as that. But but every time they defend it, it's always like, oh, it's to keep balance in the Senate. It's it's a it's a tool for to increase debate. And it's like everybody knows that's not true. It's like the same as the Confederate flag.
Like it's about our heritage.
It's not it's like that's like if you go and catch a predator and the guy comes out and he's like, I was just downloading kiddie porn to check my Wi-Fi speed, like the cat's out of the bag, like, wow, OK, that's what it's like, hire me.
That's the way we're going. Then we got there and that's where we went. Yes. Dominion Voting Systems is suing Rudy Giuliani for one point three billion dollars for his role in spreading baseless conspiracy theories that the company helped Joe Biden steal the election. According to Dominion's lawsuit, Rudy Giuliani not only knowingly peddled falsehoods about the election, he also cashed in on those lies by hawking gold coins, supplements and cigars on his podcast.
Here's what I don't understand. OK, how did Rudy Giuliani not do a better job of cashing in on being America's mayor so he wouldn't have to do this shit like speaking gigs, board seats?
What happened? I thought we lived in an oligarchy. I thought that everybody cashed in on their service. The guy was on the cover of Time magazine. He was he got to be America's mayor. He was like he was on SNL. They made a movie about his life. How did he not keep any of these movie? It doesn't go to fancy salons. We know that because his had leaks, it didn't go to high end prostitutes because he tried to take off his pants for Borat.
So, you know, he's had a couple divorces, but Donna Hanover, he divorced Donna Hanover while he was the mayor. I remember that because he announced it at a press conference but didn't tell her beforehand. So she had to call a press conference and say, I just heard. I'm very sad. So that's just a bit of New York history for anybody who is about my age and remembers that as a kid because it was wild and Donna Hanover looked genuinely shocked and sad in a deeply authentic way, in a way that I couldn't handle when I saw it.
The point is, how much money did Judith Nathan get right? What happened to the money? Rudy, why are you running like Rudy Giuliani? He is debasing himself in a way that like it's not just like somebody who wants more. It's somebody who's afraid of having nothing. It's like he's not running like he's trying to go somewhere. He's he's hustling like he's being chased, you know what I mean?
Yeah. He could have gone down so differently. And you're right. It's well, power corrupts right now. That's probably famously so like look at Tharman classic example in power.
I mean, everybody brings that up. Yeah.
Perfect example. It's crazy. It's like he really overshot by so much. It's like everybody expects old rich people to get more conservative as they get older, but not crazy.
It just doesn't make not hawking gold coins level like you just don't have all the variability.
He should just be richer.
Maybe it's like power corrupts exponentially when combined with incest.
Less pithy, true, less pithy. But sometimes truth is complicated.
Yeah, it's true. It's true. This complicated. Yeah.
On Sunday, Portland Mayor Tom Wheeler pepper sprayed a massless man who accosted him on the street with a video camera everywhere and split away from six feet away.
Oh, my God. Yeah. Oh, I see. This stuff is pretty good movie. Actually, I was in real life, of course, when he asked me to back away, you said, wow, that's very chill.
There's something I would say about that. It's shockingly chill. Anyway, after this year, pepper spraying someone will be called a Portland handshake point for.
Oh, God, imagine the bespoke cocktails. Somebody in Portland is going to find a way to put pepper spray in a drink if they already haven't. It must have already happened. Portland listeners write in I love thing. Think about it.
Think about how to make it work. Give it a Republican representative Marjorie Taylor Greene reportedly liked Facebook posts that advocated the killing of prominent Democrats in 2018 and 2019. And she supported the view that school shootings are false flags, meaning that they are faked to allow the government to take away guns. And videos have been circulating of her harassing Parkland victims while they lobbied Congress. How did Republicans respond? By putting her on the education committee.
Wild Nancy Pelosi, not mincing words, said This is what I'm concerned about is the Republican leadership in the House of Representatives. What could they be thinking or thinking? Too generous a word for what they might be doing?
I don't really have a joke. I just like it when Nancy Pelosi calls Kevin McCarthy stupid. Oh, just she just got locked and loaded. Nancy Pelosi just said disdainful grandma.
Imagine Nancy Pelosi being your mother in law.
Oof! Tough. You don't want to deal with it. I don't want to see that. But they put Marjorie Taylor Green on the education committee. And this is the Republicans like they're like, well, look, she likes kids.
She's off and taking an interest in kids following these kids around.
She's rehabilitating these kids about their experience having been shot, which they weren't because it was the deep.
It's so sick makes total sense. Man that woman sucks so much.
Obviously, she sucks because of her politics, which I strongly disagree with personally. I just have a really I just different views on politics, different views, different political views. There's this sort of like cocky smirk that she has, this kind of arrogance of like you're trying to tell me a laser beam from space didn't cause the campfire.
Oh, my God. You're going to try to convince me of that.
It's like one of the daily podcast has Trump supporters on and they're like, Joe Biden is not the president. That's not how I roll. And you're like, you can't use this 2004 slang because it isn't for you.
And when you use it, you make my blood boil and not like you own the Libs too hard. The censored mask, are you? It's like she is. Margaret Green fell as a gift from the gods to like, push it.
And I'm not an acceleration ist, but like this woman is such a clown. Oh my God.
I also think, too, it's like, you know, Josh Haley is supposed to be like sophisticated, but like Josh Haley writing op ed is about being censored is exactly the same thing as her wearing a mask that says censored while speaking into a microphone. It's on television.
What what's where you we see it, if you can read it, if you can read this mask.
It's not true if they're trying to change the meaning of the word censored. I mean, Margaret Taylor Green is like Sarah Palin was like, hold my beer.
Sarah Palin has emerged as a green light. Hold my beer and and green is like, I'll drink this. But you didn't make it right because I'm also anti-Semitic. That's actually a big part of my thing that is not getting enough coverage. It's part of. It's a big part of my thing. Hi, I'm RJ Taylor Green. I have also super anti-Semitic and it's not getting enough coverage as part of my thing.
Not talked about all the other wacky shit going on, but it's a huge part of my entire huge part of my personality. It's kind of my main thing. People invite me over for it.
How many you were in character just just for people that she was still in character, right?
Alice was. Alice was. I disagree with Margaret Taylor Green. Don't like her politics, especially aspect. That's Alice now the real me. In better news, for the second week in a row, the Bush administration issued a number of executive orders to reverse Trump era policies and tackle the various overlapping crises facing the country. There have been so many orders, it's hard to keep track. So we wanted to quiz you hours and see if you could tell us what's a real Biden accomplishment from the last two weeks in which is a fake one.
Are you ready? OK, I'm ready.
Adding a ticking sound emotionally, President Biden signed an executive order rejoining the Paris Agreement on climate change.
President Biden signed an executive order rejoining the Iran nuclear deal.
DPA has done that. President Biden issued a proclamation ending the ban on U.S. entry from majority Muslim countries.
Oh, that's real Biden stuff right there. You bet. President Biden signed an executive order requiring mask wearing on federal property. That's true.
President Biden released new regulatory guidelines that will raise the legal smoking age to 25. I call malarkey, correct malarkey. Joe Biden made an official proclamation that defines the necessary and sufficient characteristics of Delaware style pizza that is naked in and.
And he didn't think it in Connecticut and Delaware style pizza. What is it that still exists?
Let's put it that President Biden canceled the Keystone XL pipeline.
President Biden signed an executive order that will permit USPS to provide certain banking services such as personal checking accounts.
Oh, did he please say yes, he did make my day. Oh, make my day, John. Love it. I know.
I know. I really wanted that one. Sneak it in. Comilla sneak it in the pile.
There was a there was a Dr. Seuss book called Like The King on Stilts or the Stilts. The Stilts King. Mm hmm. And his job is just signing things all day. Oh, yeah. And then he got kind of sad because someone took his stilts. And so he did sign things now and then the birds chewed at the bark that caused a flood.
I like the idea of like major sneaking in an executive order, like executive order, order more wet food in no dry made major love, Major.
Executive order or love major, President Biden ordered that America stop funding the construction of the border wall.
Oh, yes, perhaps no larky their President Biden strengthen and reaffirm the doctor program. Yes, President Biden issued a proclamation rejoining the United Nations.
Did we leave them now?
OK, you're not totally sure. President President Biden pardoned his dog, Major, for shooting under the Resolute Desk.
Come on. Come on, Metropolitans. He's like, it's not time yet.
That was Eric's voice, by the way.
That was there not he didn't do that because they're still analyzing the shit to make sure it's actually Meijers and not Don Jr..
President Biden mandated mask wearing on all interstate public transit, including airlines. Yes, President Biden reversed the trans military ban. Yes.
President Biden ordered the attorney general to not renew any federal contracts we have with private prisons.
No, no, he did. He did. Oh, guess who's going to party tonight is playing style for some reason.
Allow charcuterie for some reason, like charcuterie. Oh, yeah, you got to do it.
I sometimes make a cheese plate, but it's just cut up pieces of like whatever like sliced pepper jack to be cube size. Then I'll grab any loose and mixed nuts, put it on the plate and then like honey and I'll be like, yeah, yeah.
And then whoever is in the house with you, you know, you come up to them, maybe they're just minding their own business and you come up and you go, tonight's Pepper Jack is coming with a and then you describe it that way and make sure the smell this cheddar comes from the Tillamook region of Spain.
It's a mountainous region of Spain. You Wisconsin, probably Florida. And he's not the are the supplied to us from a farm called Petherbridge. It's great.
And finally, President Biden signed an executive order banning novelty hats that look like the Make America great again, but actually says something like Make America science again.
Oh, yeah, he didn't. But that's a great idea. Good pitch. And we didn't even include most of them, which include funding to house the homeless population, antidiscrimination, reaffirming tribal sovereignty, a reevaluation of housing policy, an increase in unemployment insurance, veterans debt relief, and lots more about the covid response as well. Wild how much he's gotten done so quickly. And think of what we could get done with the help of a Democratic Congress that he really.
Oh, not again.
Bill Bastin makes me feel good. Oh, my husband makes me feel good for you.
Are you like the guy and hurt the lady in her where you're simultaneously stopping legislation right now? But you're also in our chat. I thought you had something.
Well, the best thing is the movie, her sitting through the movie, her. That's what I am. And yeah, I will never get back that filibuster. Do you.
I really I exactly. I really want to make filibustering makes me feel good. That's like a catchphrase that's got some.
Yeah. That's your awesome sauce. Everybody saying it filibustering makes me feel good.
Or should I say that's how I roll. He ought be like I'm about to filibuster not. Yeah. I even know that I'm going. I call it that. That's gross.
It's better than whatever the music next Booker says. Well I see.
So that guy's filibuster fill.
Yeah. One thing I don't understand is for a long time in our history, actually, you weren't around that often.
You're pretty rare. And then all of a sudden hundreds of times you're popping up all the time like what does it feel like to become all of a sudden something that's historically quite rare to someone that's around all the time?
Yeah, no, it's awesome. I love being around people. I love being around people. I love telling people. Yeah, I love telling them how I think about Breaking Bad and how and I love talking about, you know, I just love I love the scenes that aren't the sex scenes in Bridgeton.
You know, I just love wasting people's time.
And it's so nice to be relevant because you know what I was.
Yeah, when you go to watch, I get a recipe online. You're the fourteen paragraphs about that person's children before you get to the recipe.
Bingo. Now you're getting it. That's right.
What are some other what are some other facts about you, Mr. Filibuster. Oh well did you know that because the budget is excluded it only takes 51 votes to cut taxes for billionaires or cut Social Security, but you need 60 votes to raise the minimum wage or protect the right to vote.
How did you know that? I didn't. Why? I didn't have to get rid of me to pass their agenda.
Bring about a specific fact from you. Oh, I got plenty. I got plenty.
What else do I care, really? Everyone else is new. He's no one else. I'm taking on my Moleskine and I'm checking. What else? What else, what else? What are some what are some comedic facts about you? Sometimes I fuck up bills just to feel something.
Oh, I'm worried about you.
Are you lonely? I'm so lonely. It's always the loudest people who are the lonely and I found that true.
Is is that your experience?
Tears of a clown. The tears of a clown. Well, filibuster.
I just want you to know something. All right. Your time of riding high is almost at an end because we're going to get Jon Tester and we're going to get Christensen and we're going to get yeah, we're going to get Joe Manchin.
We're going to get them together and we're going to send you packing. Oh, yeah. Yeah, that's right. We will send for you to retire.
Mr Buster. You better pick out a plot on Mar a Lago.
No, no. Guarantee me you'll never get rid of me. Hey, guess what? I come back an interview with Brian Butler.
You can introduce segment. Oh, get out of here, filibusterer. Get out of here. You get out of here.
And so, God, I, I, I really like when you talk to him and ask him questions, he's like, does that Michael Bavaro thing, he's like, OK, OK, so scream.
Oh, what a nightmare. I can't believe you did this to me.
Oh it's waterland. So good to see you. What a delight. Thank you so much for having me. And please watch my show. So sorry that the filibuster kept interrupting. Well, I'm really, really sad that that that that person can just go and disrupt things, slow things down, stop progress willy nilly. But everybody check out Resident Alien, please check out resident alien on sci fi.
You can watch it online for free. They won't make you sign up for cable.
They won't filibuster your watching experience. It's a really great show that I worked on very hard, and I never do that, so I'm proud of it.
So please check it out when we come back.
Well, the filibuster already told you what happens when we come back. We're back with Brian Beutler.
Kate, don't go any. There's more of love it or leave it coming up. Love it or leave it is brought to you by zip recruiter hiring is challenging. Zip recruiter makes it easy. That's why their zip recruiter dotcoms love it when you post a job on zip recruiter get sent over 100 top job sites with one click, then zip recruiters matching technology scans, thousands of resumes and profiles to send you the most qualified people for your job.
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He is the editor in chief here, cricket and host of the show Rubicon. Please welcome Brian Beutler. Good to see you. Good to see you too. So episode two, Season two of Rubicon is out right now. I really urge everybody to check it out. It's a show about the conversations Democrats are having about the best way to use the power. We have one that we fought so hard to win. And so I wanted to start I want to talk about Biden.
I want to talk about Congress. Let's start with Biden. We are recording this after two weeks of a fast moving series of executive orders meant to undo some of the worst damage of the Trump administration. Biden came out with a one point nine dollars trillion dollar rescue package that included raising the minimum wage. Fourteen hundred dollars to get the checks up to two thousand dollars. Unemployment benefits, 350 billion dollars for state and local aid, something Democrats have said we needed for a long time.
How do you feel about how Joe Biden and the Biden administration has come out of the gate?
I think that where Biden can act alone, everything is going very well. I mean, and it's not really a surprise, I don't think, because his team is filled with people who have very recent experience running the government and and it's what they've devoted their lives to. So we're lucky in a sense, for many reasons, I guess, that Trump didn't get an extra four years. But Democrats, including many of the people in the administration, were only out of government for four years.
And you can I think you can kind of see that the muscle memory is still there. They didn't lose any time because they knew what they were doing. And then they also had the added benefit that Trump was a fairly lazy president and did a lot of things unilaterally, which made them fairly easy to undo.
On the relief front. There has been this debate going this week. Basically, what is the most likely and quickest way to get as much relief and help to as much people and places in need? There are basically, I think, you know, three paths. One is budget reconciliation, which would be a budget bill that only requires 51 votes, but is a process that has some complications. There is regular order where you would require 60 votes and you would have to get 10 Republicans to go along.
And then there's the combo approach, which has been floated a lot today as we're recording this, which basically says, OK, you want to get one point nine trillion dollars of relief out into the world. Senate Republicans, you can maybe get 10 who would go along with at most half of that, probably less.
But you could do that quickly with them, get that money out the door with them, show that you're open to bipartisan compromise, and then pass the rest through budget reconciliation. What do you think about. The three different approaches. So the way I sort of would think about it if I were Biden or Chuck Schumer and I think the way both of them do think about it and they've been saying this very publicly, is that they want the need in the country.
And I think also their political need to improve people's economic fortunes and get the public health crisis under control to determine the process. And so 10 days in the fact that they're still engaged in bipartisan negotiations that we think are very likely to fail is not necessarily an omen of things to come, that everything is going to get bogged down in bad faith negotiations with Republicans who just want to drag things out and shrink things. Congress passed a 900 billion dollar bill just around Christmas time.
And vaccines are just getting distributed out in the states that there's maybe a little bit of window to try your hand at something, at least make a good faith attempt to get Republican buy into these plans. But at some point that's going to run out and you need to make sure that not only do you have enough vaccine to get into people's arm, but you have the infrastructure in place to deliver it in a way that isn't completely chaotic or just unpleasant for people to do it so that it discourages them from getting vaccinated and makes them think that, you know, the government under Biden is failing.
You don't want to pass too little aid so that the economy doesn't recover quickly, assuming we get the virus under control. One of the provisions in Biden's bill, which I think is great, is it's called automatic stabilizers. It's meant to increase the amount of unemployment insurance that flows out to people automatically when the economy is in tough shape and then to scale that back down only when the economy is healthy so that Biden doesn't have to keep going back to Congress to get more bills passed, to get more aid out to people.
I think if you add that all up, it shows that they understand that what the country needs is really what's going to ultimately drive the strategy that they adopt. The White House came out Thursday and said that that they're not interested in splitting up his relief bill. I think that that's good, mostly as a sign that they are saying they are not going to let this get bogged down in a Senate process that will cause things to be delayed and to be shrunk in a way that isn't helpful in theory.
If you could do it that way, you know, pass a minimum wage increase or something like that through regular order and then pass some other things to reconciliation, it all ends up the same in the final analysis, as long as the provisions are good, but the provisions have to be good in the process, can't be used to dilute them.
The White House has to say they only want to do one package because if they say they're going to do two packages, you immediately lower the the amount that you could possibly get out of the Republicans. Right. Look, if you say we're going to split this in half, all of a sudden you're negotiating with Republicans. Over half of you say this is the bill. Is there any hope that you get that number up and then whatever you put through reconciliation, you don't call it the other half of this thing, but it is the other half of this thing.
Is there any I mean, I'm just I'm just thinking about how this is actually playing out in terms of negotiation. I think that's what they're worried about.
What I mean is that if you decide that you're going to agree to pass what Republicans will pass and then pass the rest of reconciliation and it adds up to a good package. OK, that's fine. But I think that they have made the correct analysis that that's not likely to be how it plays out if they go down that route.
And then what do you think?
So this is maybe too in the weeds, but I'm interested in it. So minimum wage to the way budget reconciliation works and this is what the filibuster can't stop. It is a process that allows budget related laws to pass with 51 votes in the Senate as opposed to 60. But there are all these other rules as amendments that everybody's allowed to put forward. There's limits on what you can do. It has to impact the budget. Do you think that you can get a minimum wage increase through budget reconciliation by calling it an offset for some other spending in the bill?
What do you think right now about that? I think you could make a good faith argument and back it up that a minimum wage increase meets the weird rules of reconciliation.
Right. It has to be principally about the budget. Well, if you increase the minimum wage, you both increase tax revenues because people's wages go up and you reduce spending because people's need for social programs goes down. So you do have like a very direct impact on the federal budget, particularly in parts of the federal budget that are permanent. And that's what reconciliation is meant to deal with. That being said, I think the conventional wisdom for a long time has been that since it's really a regulation and it's not itself a tax increase or a reduction or increase in spending, that it isn't really a budget change.
It's not something that you change in the budget line. It's a it's a rule that you impose on businesses. The parliamentarian of the Senate, who is the person who kind of makes the final call, might not agree with the argument that we can't drive that person.
We can to represent both. You can fire that person. You can fire that person. You could overrule that person. I think the dirty little secret of reconciliation is that if Democrats wanted to use it as a full end run around the filibuster, they could. But in practice. Both Democrats and Republicans have kind of treated reconciliation as like, OK, we get one shot to avoid the filibuster, but we're going to stick to the respect that we're going to respect.
Yeah, to the strict rules. Make sure it's budgetary. It's you know, it doesn't touch Social Security.
They haven't in practice really gone too far out of the confines of of the rules itself. And so far, I haven't seen any sign that Democrats want to, but I think they could.
And I think that they could make pretty good arguments for it and in a way that allows them to say they're preserving the filibuster. So actually, that brings us to this topic. So let's talk about what we do about the filibuster. And. Brian, I'm very sorry, it's me that filibuster.
The filibuster has been interrupting us all for this entire episode.
I know you. I know you're in the middle of a very important conversation. But, Brian, what are your thoughts on being dad? Oh, no. Oh, no. This is what the filibuster does. It comes in and it tries to slow our progress, make it unable for us to have a conversation.
Why did a teaching mom and dad was not a teaching moment. It was not a teaching moment. Filibuster.
Shame on you filibuster luck.
You'll never get rid of me. I'm the filibuster. I've been around since forever.
I'm like, you know, all those songs on albums that aren't the hit song.
That's me. You're just like, you know, like, you know, Batman Forever. Yeah. It's like now nobody wants to listen to that weird U2 song people want. We want steel. We want seal. We want seal. Goddamn it. Not me, baby. I want all those other songs.
What are some other things that you like. Filibusterer. Let me let me see.
Oh I'm every company Ryan Reynolds has invested in, you know, surprising me, you know.
I mean, it's like, it's just like why like what do you need. What do you need. What do you think about in summer holder's whiskey? I mean, it's perfect.
It's it's like why also Ian Somerhalder in general, you're he's a filibuster. He's a filibuster. He's a filibuster. Like, hey, do you know I hid under Chuck Schumer's bed for six days.
I do know that I just hid under his bed and I didn't do anything. I enjoyed him not knowing I was there. That's how twisted I am. I'm like every joker combined.
Well, well, listen, all right. This is the last time I'm going to deal with you today. Filibuster. Listen, we are going to find a way to get out of the promise Kirsten Sinema made. All right. Joe Manchin is open in embeddable. All right. We're going to minimize you at the very least. Hey, how about this filibuster? What have we require? The Republicans actually stand up and talk. None of these motions just will be the day that I'll be in a day.
Get out of here. Get out of here at. Remarkable. Anyway, Brian, here's where we were at back to the conversation, so I actually do something about the filibuster.
So, you know, we just had this strange week where basically Mitch McConnell used the filibuster to try to extract a promise that the Democrats wouldn't get rid of the filibuster. And at the beginning of the week, I think a lot of people were saying, oh, Mitch overplayed his hand, Mitch overplayed his hand.
And then by the end of the week, Joe Manchin basically promised not to get rid of the filibuster, eliminate. You can you can pass it. There's some space.
But Joe Manchin seems to have at least affirmed that he would like to keep the filibuster in place. Sinema went even further, saying she's not even open to eliminating the filibuster. What do you make of those concessions and how does that change the filibuster debate in Congress going forward?
To me, I think two things are important. One is that Mitch McConnell isn't really acting like he got much out of this. Right. If he had gotten what he was asking for, which was like essentially like a vote on saying we're not going to eliminate the filibuster this year, but who gives a shit?
That's just as well, because it's the same thing that says we won't get rid of the filibuster is just what we have, which is a rule that says we won't get rid of the filibuster unless 51 people say so.
I think if 51 people vote to say they won't get rid of the filibuster, the chance that they're going to renege on the basis of future events is lower than two people saying I'm not open to changing my mind about it now. Right. That's basically all you got. And then Mitch McConnell is out there saying, if you guys kill the filibuster, I'm going to make your lives hell, which is like, well, if you if you really thought that you had an iron clad promise that was going to happen, you wouldn't be out there acting worried that it might.
So I don't think he thinks that this story's over and I think that that's good. Well, and I think he's right to worry. The fact that in the face of a threat, which was basically unless you let me say, which pieces of Biden's agenda are good to go or not, I'm not going to let you take over the Senate after you won the election.
The fact that the the answer that wasn't immediately like we are going to nuke the filibuster immediately, it's tough to swallow because that's basically saying, like, I'm going to mount a coup through the legislature and the come on.
He said, well, look, he's using what he's got. He knows that Joe Manchin, cinema tester, they don't want to do it on an organizing resolution. They don't want to do it. They don't want to be the ones to kill it. That's Mitch McConnell basically daring them and knowing that Schumer doesn't have the votes. Schumer would love to kill it on the organizing resolution. A lot of Democrats would. They don't have the votes.
The reason I found the fact that they wouldn't do it on this sort of basic question of like Joe Manchin was going to surrender his chairmanship to Mitch McConnell. So if that wasn't enough to convince Joe Manchin that Republicans aren't going to use the filibuster power in a constructive way, then it's going to take a lot of pressure.
I think a lot of time, a lot of like repeated evidence that basic popular, simple things like the minimum wage increase are going to fail before you might get Joe Manchin and Krysten Sinema to change their minds.
And if and when they do, I think that what you were what you were hinting at earlier is correct, that you're not going to see them get rid of the filibuster altogether, but establish a new open and narrow.
Yeah, prowar, a precedent in the Senate to either lower the number of votes it takes to end debate or to make if somebody is going to say, you know, I don't I don't want to vote up or down on this, they have to hold the floor.
And as soon as they stop holding the floor, then you get to your final vote, something in that neighborhood. What I took away from the last week's shenanigans is that it's going to be a slow burn. And I think Chuck Schumer would be wise to set up a whole lot of votes for Republicans to filibuster so that Manchin and cinema feel like, OK, like he's right. They're not using the filibuster to constructive ends or just trying to stop us from doing anything.
We've got to do something about it. Right.
I mean, it seems like, look, you know, Manchin is not up for four more years. You know, cinema is not up for four years. She's in a state that's turning more and more blue. They don't want to do it, that they want to they have to actually think it's the right thing to do. It doesn't. It has to be a mix of pressure. But it does seem like, especially with with Manchin, that he's like a panda.
You got to coax out.
You know, I think Biden would have to get involved. And I think at some level it hasn't dawned on everybody in the Senate, even people who are more amenable to abolishing the filibuster because they just want to legislate that, refusing to abolish the filibuster while maintaining membership in the one party that is like the last bastion of hope for American democracy is a position that is incongruous. Right. And it's going to end poorly at some point. I don't know if it'll be in twenty twenty two or twenty twenty four or after that.
But if the people who, you know, do the work to turn out the vote, their votes count, they win the election, nothing changes. Meanwhile, the other party in state legislatures is out there making it harder to vote. You know, just responding to their defeats by trying to win, by cheating, eventually, that that's going to unravel itself. Joe Manchin and Krysten Sinema maybe an appeal to their own sense that they will have a harder time winning elections if they don't do what it takes to make voting fair.
And you can't do that without getting rid of the filibuster. I mean, if all they're thinking about in terms of making this calculation is what effect it's going to have on their reelect ability several years down the line, that seems like a pretty straightforward way to make the case to them. Like there's a principle of the majority gets to govern. And there's also the like. Do you want your voters to be able to cast ballots for you easily? Maybe somewhere in there they'll they'll get a sense of more is on the line than just like whether they'll be blowback in Arizona because of ads Mitch McConnell runs or whatever.
Yeah, it does seem to.
We have to make a policy argument about basically like a system where there is no cause and effect between vote and outcome is one that has rewarded cynicism. It's rewarded a sense that nothing matters. It is rewarded the kind of politics that led to somebody like Trump, like, yeah, if Republicans gain full control and there's no filibuster, there's more damage that they can do. But let's not bet on how a quarter of our program let's not bet on a third of our program.
Let's bet on our program, our ability to use our program to win.
So I think it's the substance. You know, if you abolish the filibuster, what are you going to pass? What are the details of those bills? That's important. They should be good laws and they should help people. And that will feed the cause of helping Democrats continue to win elections so that this authoritarian party doesn't get rewarded with more power. But the question of whether they govern at all is going to matter almost as much.
The people who put in all the work over the last four years, including the people who listen to this show and are supporters of crooked media, if they come to see that all that work cannot be transmitted into the ability for decent people to govern, then what is their incentive to get involved in the next election and the election after that?
And that's really ultimately what I worry about less is every program that they pass going to be super popular. Implemented will thus redound to their political benefit in two, four, six or eight years. And just do people get the sense that when they vote for the party that they support, that the party that they support will get to to govern?
Yeah. To get their fingers in it, you know.
Brian Beutler, it's good to talk to you. Thank you for being here. So sorry about the filibuster. Really inappropriate interruption. Everybody check out Rubicon season two. It's awesome. It's a great way into some of these conversations and the interleave debates that are defining how Democrats fight moving forward. He talked to fashion here, who was Bernie's campaign manager and worked on The Hill. The new episode has Chris Hayes. They're both worth listening to. Check it out.
Thanks, Joe. Thanks to Brian Beutler for joining us. When we come back, I play a game about Harriet Tubman on the 20 dollar bill.
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Hammerback This week, the Biden administration pushed the Treasury to find ways to speed up Harriet Tubman's debut on the twenty dollar bill. It was stymied by the Trump administration that did not want to replace Andrew Jackson because someone told Trump that Andrew Jackson was like him. So the Bush administration is trying to find a way to move this process along much more quickly and get around what the Trump people did, which means that the goal is to have Harriet Tubman sneak around some racists, which is historically fitting in some sense.
Obviously, this is long overdue. But we were talking about Harriet Tubman and how much of her history is reduced to the Underground Railroad. But she did so many incredible things. So we want to play a game where we quiz a listener about Harriet Tubman in a game we're calling Harriet the spy.
Joining us, we have Elizabeth. Hi, Elizabeth. Hi, how are you?
What part of the country are you in right now? I am in Boise, Idaho. Boise, Idaho.
How's it going in Boise? Oh, you know, it's going fine. What temperature was the high today? Oh, it's actually it is warm. I was just outside wearing just a blazer. OK, so that was it is nice. The weather is nice in Boise.
All right. All right. How long have you been in Boise? I've been in Boise for five years, but I've lived in Idaho my whole life. So I moved from the tiny town to the big city, Utah Democrat.
I am a Democrat. How's that going in? Me and my dad? Where the two Democrats in my hometown. Oh, really?
Yeah. How's it been going lately?
Well, right now in Idaho, the Republicans are fighting the Republicans. Well, did you expand Medicaid in Idaho?
Didn't you? But didn't that happen? Yes, it did. How about that? Then you vote on it. It wasn't there wasn't there a yes, there was a I know I voted yes on it. Yeah. Yeah, it did some stop in the implementation. Yes. Well it did pass.
OK, ok. OK. Well, Elizabeth, here's how this works. I'm going to read a fact about Harriet Tubman and you have to tell us if it is real or fake.
Are you ready? I'm ready.
Emotionally pretend there's a clicking time that's just sort of adds an energy. All right. Harriet Tubman was a spy for the Union Army. She gathered intelligence from a network of riverboat pilots and current and former enslaved people and provided union commanders with information about the Confederate Army's positions and defenses.
True. Yes, Harriet was such a good soldier for the cause.
John Brown, the militant abolitionist famous for his failed attempt to seize the armory in Harpers Ferry, used to address her as General Tubman.
That sounds false. Is it true? That was true. It was true. It was true. You can't say it sounds false. Is it true? That's dodging. All right. I know what you're doing. No, that was dodgy. That was incorrect. Harriet Tubman also found the time to establish a restaurant chain, Underground Railroad Sandwiches later renamed Subway Sandwiches.
That one is what I know. So sorry. So sorry. In 1863, Harriet Tubman led 300 black soldiers of the Columbia River by cover of night. They burned down four plantations in six mills, destroying and looting millions of dollars worth of property and liberating nearly 800 enslaved people, all without suffering a single casualty.
True, true. Harriet Tubman was a sniper. I think that's true. I know it was false.
During raids, during raids, Tubin went outmanoeuvre slave patrols by heading south deeper into slaveholding territory. Her pursuers always went north, expecting the fugitives to take the shortest route to freedom.
True, true. Harriet invented the first true smoke bomb in order to distract to confuse her pursuers, TOURU.
In 1860, Harriet Tubman performed her first public rescue of a fugitive enslaved person, Tubman, then 34, just.
As yourself as an old woman to get past the man guarding the courtroom, that's true and I wouldn't have said of Tubman's rescue of Charles Noll, she was repeatedly beaten over the head with police clubs, but she never for a moment released her hold and she struggled with the officers until they were literally worn out with their exertions and all was separated from them.
When now was recaptured, Tubman rallied a mob of nearly 400 abolitionists to storm the judge's office. They rescued NOWL once again and put him on the first wagon out of town.
True, Harriet Tubman could tell which homes were occupied by abolitionists by decoding messages embroidered on hanging quilts crew.
That sounds cool.
It does, but it's a it's a misconception. It's a misconception. Harriet Tubman was UK's first female bantamweight world champion.
Also called, but false. False.
Harriet Tubman once famously said it would be a little strange if one day there was a well intentioned movement to make me the face of U.S. currency, seeing as how America's wealth was built on a system of oppression that I devoted my life to resisting.
Still, I think I'd be a better choice than Andrew fucking Jackson fought in hotel.
Harriet Tubman planned and executed nineteen raids. An enormous bounty was placed on her head, but she was never captured.
True union soldiers who served in the Civil War were entitled to twenty five dollars a month pension. But despite Harriet Tubman service as a spy and a scout, she was only granted twenty dollars a month as in the same amount per month as the bank note that might soon bear her likeness.
Oh, I bet that's true. It's true. It's true. Elizabeth, you've won the game. Harriet OSPI. Thank you. Thank you for playing. Thank you for calling in from Boise, Idaho.
You're welcome. I learned so little about Harriet Tubman in elementary school, so I think I did good because I was an idea.
How was the how are those history books up there, huh?
I think they're OK. Good news is my Democrat dad is a history teacher, so I had. OK, wow. Better than it could have been. I do know that Harriet Tubman died on March 10th because that's my birthday. So I really I retained that.
Where to go, Elizabeth? Way to go. You organizing up there in Boise? Yeah, I'm actually I am a government employee, so fighting the good fight.
Well, thanks for playing, Elizabeth. When we come back, we'll end on a high note.
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And we're back because we all need it this week. Here it is, this week's Heino.
Hi, my name, Deborah. And my highlight of the week is I just completed my first shift at the county vaccination site. I am an out of work performer in Orange County, California, and because I am a friend of the pod, I was an election worker this year. Use the tools from the media. It was great. It was amazing experience. Everybody should try working on election night because I was an election worker. I got the call to come work at the county vaccination distribution site and I would not have that opportunity if I was not a friend of the court and wasn't listening to you guys.
And I want to thank you for putting in that position. And I'm super excited to be part of this really monumental vaccination distribution. So thank you and hope to see you with improvs soon.
I love it. This is Hannah from Maryland once again. And my home for the week is that I got into grad school. I am just so excited. I know that everything is really terrible right now, but I am so excited to know that I am actually going to be going forward and studying public policy and figuring out what I can do to, you know, most effectively implement progressive change in the long run. And to really be taking the step towards a lot of the organizing that I have done over the past year has been such a great experience.
But it has definitely stemmed from a sense of obligation that ending the Trump presidency and mitigating the harm really took priority over everything else. And it is so exciting and just so incredible to know that I am doing something that, yes, is still for the greater good. But I am going to grad school because I want to and not because I feel like I have to. This really it just goes beyond words and I'm overwhelmed. So thank you so much for letting me express that and thank you for all that you do I.
Hi John. My name is Julie and I'm an ICU nurse in Cleveland, Ohio. I just want to call to say that my high note this week was getting to spend a couple of hours this week getting combination vaccines. I know not everybody wants one, but it's exciting to see people who actually do and want to help get rid of this because it is exhausting. Thanks. I love it.
My name is Terri and I'm from Kansas City, Missouri. And something like gave me hope this week is that as a traveling teacher, a band of kids that don't wear marked 100 percent of the time because we play instruments, I was able to get my first dose of the Fizer vaccine and I have just been amazed that I have not been through this time of being even on a hybrid schedule, but around individuals who don't wear their masks 100 percent of the time.
So that give me hope. And Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs gave me hope.
So let's hope they go beat Tom Brady in the Super Bowl saying, hi, this is Julie from Molokai and 70 years old. And my daughter, who lives in Santa Monica, turned me on to listening to you guys. And it is great. Thank you for the information. Thank you for the last thing for keeping everything going and helping everybody to have a Democratic Senate. I really appreciate it. Thanks a lot. Aloha.
Thanks to everybody who submitted a high note this week. If you want to leave us a message about something that gave you hope, you can call us at three two three five two one nine four five five. Thank you to Alice Zetterlund. Thank you to you, Yoni. The filibuster loten, Brian Beutler and everybody who called in. There are 647 days until the 2022 midterm elections.
Have a great weekend.
Love it or leave it is a crooked media production, it is written and produced by me, Jon Lovett, Alyssa Gutierrez, Lee Eisenberg are head writer and the person whose gender reveal party started the fire, Travis Helwig, Jocelyn Kaufman, Pallavi Jenolan and Peter Miller are the writers are assistant producer is Sidney Rafil. Lance is our editor and Kyle Ségolène is our sound engineer. Our theme song is written and performed by Shirker, thanks to our designers Jessie McClain and Jamie Skil for creating and running all of our visuals, which you can't see because this is a podcast and to our digital producers, our Melkonian and Milo Kim, for filming and editing video each week so you can.