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Hi, folks, this is Rick Wilson and welcome to The Daily Beast's The New Abnormal. Hi, I'm Molly John Fast, a left wing pundit and an editor at large at The Daily Beast.
I'm also an editor at large at The Daily Beast, a former Republican political strategist, best selling author and full time troublemaker. We're here to have fun, sharp conversations with some of the smartest people in media, politics and science to help make what's happening in the country and the world clear. We take the issues seriously ourselves, not so much.
Our world has been turned upside down on the new abnormal. We'll talk about the people who got us into this mess and how we get ourselves out of it.
Well, folks, welcome to the very first day of the new abnormal in a more abnormal era. We are happy to report to you that yesterday there was no Last-Minute Q and Untrusting of the plan enjoying the show. It all went as smoothly as possible. And with the only with the only deviation from a fairly normal inaugural being the fact that we're in the middle of a pandemic and required a lot of social distancing and we couldn't have crowds of people there.
And of course, that the former president and I love seeing former president, the former president, ex-president, disgraced ex-president, disgraced former ex-president Donald John Trump, I like to call him president non grata that I love.
George Conaway's is joining us today. Folks are all time favorite guests. The only other thing that was a deviation from the from from the Soviet era inaugural ceremony was that stomping foot von shit stain had to run away and couldn't like a man take the fact that he lost a free and fair election. So since his coup failed and his insurgency failed and his his eight weeks of hokey horse shit fake war excuses failed.
He jumped off and went to Joint Base Andrews, got on Air Force One for the very last time, and his fucking wife flew to Palm Beach and left our immediate purview, left our site to tune of my way, of course, to the tune of his work.
I would have thought like Rat in a cage or loser from Beck would have been more appropriate. But OK, but I'm one of the things I truly loved was the minute they landed and and Bologna was coming down the stairs with Donald Trump from the plane and he's holding her hand, trying to do the like the last minute act. They hit the tarmac and she practically sprinted away from him. Yeah, that piece of video that's never going to get old.
I had this old friend of mine called me. She was imitating. I don't have to do this anymore. I was she was going she says, just fuck this. I'm going to Viterbo. I'm going to otterbourg I've been starving for five fucking years with this animal. I want to triple with extra meat and cheese.
I think he'd take her to Whataburger. I have a feeling if you don't behave yourself, I will impeach you again. Do you guys think he'll come back for the trial?
That's an interesting question, because it would be an abject humiliation for him to do that, if that's what you have on the one hand. On the other hand, he gets to be the center of attention. So that's that's that's right. The two competing draws. So it's a very, very that's that's a tough call.
I could see that going either way, because now that he doesn't have Twitter, it's kind of like he's no longer OK.
That's years ago I had a client, a political client who had a who had a dominatrix, as one does. As one does. Right.
Hey, Rick, as the political consultant, is that a good thing or a bad thing for her for running for political office?
Well, look, I mean, it's not that it's good or bad. I'm not judging. I'm not I'm not shaming. But I will say in his case, it was part of the thrill of it. Part of the terror of it was that she was always taking pictures of him with like the newspapers, like a hostage, like on this day know this is proof he was getting his ass beat on June 14th, by the way. I just thought just as a as a as an aside, some candidates are irredeemable and cannot be saved.
Right. And so now we have Biden has taken over the Oval Office. He is president and he has discovered that Trump has for the last four years played golf and tweeted, this is shock. Yeah. And that there is no vaccine rollout plan. Yeah.
There's no plan and no plan to make a plan. And there was never a plan and it was always, well, horseshit. All right.
And everybody checked out, I mean he checked out, I mean, while he never he never checked in frankly, because he was a hope and then he talked about liberating all these states. And, you know, he he downplayed it and he said it's going to go away. But he really checked out after he was humiliated by his talking about Clorox and lighting, sticking lights on people's whatever. And then he really said, I don't want to have these news conferences anymore.
And, you know, and they also didn't want to take responsibility for anything. Which is why they basically followed everything off to the states from the very beginning like you. And that's what happened with the with the vaccine plan. They signed the contracts with the big companies. They didn't apparently sign it off. Right. They didn't get enough vaccine from Pfizer. And then they basically just dump it on the states and see what the states do it. And, you know, I mean, this is not a this is not to let some of these states off the hook, but, you know, everybody's navel navel-gazing when the federal government doesn't take the lead on some of the problem of national significance, that requires national focus.
You're going to get a lot of people sitting around navel gazing. I mean, it takes leadership, but they're just basically was not. And it was all just a big, lousy TV show with bad ratings. The idea that operation warp speed.
And it seems like they spent more time on warp speed on this sort of giving companies money, part of warp speed than the actual distributing the vaccine part of warp speed, which is fine.
You have to give the people money and you incentivize them. And they had an incentive to get it out as quickly as possible. And, you know, the economics of that worked. I mean, it wasn't. But there's no genius to that. That's just throwing money at the problem. And Donald Trump doesn't deserve any special credit for it, which is to fix it.
Any idiot can say to the federal government, throw a billion dollars at a problem. It takes a plan and leadership. And those things, as we know that Donald Trump is, is famously skilled as a planner, as his razor sharp laser like focus on problems that never varies or deviates is is one of the strongest assets. And it's certainly one of the reasons his presidency will go up. I'm sorry. Excuse me.
I was crap you I feel like you got confused that to me. I know. What was my Waddell with you? So now we have the problem of Biden has about one hundred problems. He has ninety nine problems. And you know, the president isn't one, but all of the other ones are.
Oh he's he's still he's still a problem.
He's still a problem. This guy is this guy. This guy ain't going away. He's going to find a way to haunt us to our dying fucking days. And just when we think we're safer from him, Jared's going to walk out in like a silver lab coat and say, in my spare time, my pursuit of cryonics, quantum physics, quantum computing has allowed me to upload Donald to the cloud computing with this forever and ever and ever replicating growing.
It's also true we can't let him go. I mean, we need to let him go to some extent. And I'm trying to ignore him as much as possible and not say things about him and started tweeting more Cordy's instead. But we can't let him go because he's a he's basically a criminal and he's also a danger.
And but, I mean, there are issues there are a whole slew of potential criminal offenses that need to be investigated or potentially prosecuted. And that is a problem for the Justice Department. In fact, what is this going to air tomorrow? Tomorrow night? I may have something coming out.
I wrote on that a few thousand words on how to deal with Trump now left office.
When does the impeachment start? It could start by the end of this week. I don't. She said she first.
The first thing that has to happen is that the House managers have to walk the literally walk the impeachment articles over to the Senate, that there's a whole set choreographed thing for doing that under the Senate rules and the Senate has to convene for the purpose of receiving the managers like within a certain amount of time after receiving notice that the managers are coming over with a bill of impeachment and then they have to stand they have to basically set the rules for the trial.
And that took a while for the last trial. And one of the issues is one that's actually confusing.
I wish we had some somebody to do something about it on the podcast here, but they have to figure out how to conduct legislative, business and confirmation hearings at the same time they hold this trial. And I had thought during the first trial that they had conducted morning business and then they started, yeah, I thought in the afternoon and I thought that's how they did it.
They did legislative business in the morning. But I don't know, apparently it's some kind of an issue now about how they do that. I frankly, I thought they had already done it.
I'm looking forward to the to the kick off of it because the discomfort level that I'm picking up inside Republican circles over the thought that they can't just go out, they're going to try. They're going to try.
There's always sort of sense that that all they have to do is go out and yell, Joe Biden putting us back in the WTO is a road to full communism or the fact that we're not we're going back to the Paris accord.
That means any minute now they're going to seize the means of production before we go on.
They're afraid that that might that line of bullshit might not be as viable as they thought.
But the fundamental question is they're going to have to try to preserve their base. Wow. Trying to win back their corporate donor, yes, and the corporate donors right now are as nervous as long tailed cats in a room full of rocking chairs, they are not happy. They are in the tallest of tall grass. And while Steve Scalise and Kevin McCarthy and to a lesser degree, Rick Scott in the Senate and a couple of other people in the Senate have been making calls to attempt to get the donor class back onside.
It's not working yet. And you're seeing more and more companies say if you supported denying the results of the Electoral College, which is, by the way, definitional to saying that you supported disenfranchising tens of millions of African-American voters, they're saying if you supported that, you're done, we're gone, we can't help you. And they recognize that there is a huge corporate cost now to being seen as part of the Jim Crow pro seditionists side of the political equation.
I don't know how that happened. I mean, it's a crazy thought, right, that you wouldn't want to associate your brand with with with with crazy people want to burn down the government. How do you happen?
I don't know. But they also have a problem with a certain significant percentage of reasonably sane schellekens who may have voted for Trump holding their nose, but who now are completely appalled. And there's you know, it may be 15 or only 20 percent, but that's that's you know, we were only a Lincoln project was only shooting at picking off about five percent of the district.
And it's very true. Ten to twenty, 10 to 20 percent. Basically, if you if you shed that as the Republican Party, the Republican Party fades away into oblivion. They are really at between a rock and a hard place here. So they've got that consideration. They have the big donor consideration and also they have the problem of the distortive gravitational force field that Donald Trump casts over some element of the Republican Party. And they need to stamp it out.
And you know that in his heart of hearts, Mitch McConnell wants to do that. He just doesn't want to leave any fingerprints. I think all they all would love and I think they all wanted to do that for a long time without leaving fingerprints. A problem is in a way to not to leave fingerprints. And this is their last chance. This is really their last chance to do it. And, you know, it's a gamble. They're the people, you know, they have to gamble that people are going to forget about Donald Trump and leave disillusioned with him.
And, you know, there is some there may be some aspect of that that's happening already among the cuckoo, the cuckoo division of the Republican Party. I mean, the Cuban people are just are just apparently upset that all of the prophecies have not come true. And and you have the Cowboys, apparently, I saw some reports saying the Cowboys, you know, Donald Trump is a pig. You know what for for having given up on on on trying to destroy the country.
My favorite headline today was Keep It On In Disarray, which posits the situation that Cuban was ever in any kind of way.
You just didn't understand it because you didn't believe.
I know I didn't trust the plan. My favorite Kuhnen thing is that they've decided that Biden is actually right.
The face off theory. It's beautiful. Yes. That that he's actually or Trump is a shadow president.
So just for our audience members who are all very youthful and vigorous, back in the dawn of time in the 90s, I think it was the Tell Me More was the 90s.
Molly, when you were when you were a middle school? That's right. In the 90s, there was a John Woo movie starring M. Thespians, Nicolas Cage and John Travolta. The title of this film was A Face Off. Face Off is a delicious two plus hours of pure 90s movie cheese. But the nut of the face off premise is that advanced surgical technique would allow John Travolta's character to switch places with Nicholas Cage's character, Nicolas Cage, as the criminal mastermind, John Travolta as the dedicated FBI agent.
So the theory of Cucu right now in some sectors of CU is that the face off surgery is real and not from the 1990s cheese movie, and that somehow Joe Biden and Donald Trump have swapped bodies and that the person on the stage yesterday was Donald Trump.
It makes a lot of sense, doesn't it? What do you think about it? You've got a wall, you know, and I've got yarn going between the pins.
It's really the only answer that makes sense. What else could it be? I mean, it's just so simple and so obvious.
I saw it all along and it's so clear there needs to be like a new term that's like Kyuss Razor, which is justified, the most stupid explanation for everything and make makeup that explain the world. That's what it needs to be.
I believe I shall call that Gawker's razor. Oh, my gosh. Mr. Cannon, how dare you. My reputation as a gentleman, as a philosopher and a scholar, for I am Cauca subtractive of Budapest is if we're never going to be able to have an episode where he doesn't do a CLARKIE impersonation. That's just like we him rescuing Seb impression.
Why don't you get why don't you do ads for the supplement play thing that he did?
I said, Gorka, and while I rest in my coffin from my lab every night, I also consume fish oil in addition to the blood of Jesus Christ. I feel more vital than I have inflicted on Jesse.
There must be something else we can be sure of is Oh, now, George, don't join him.
Yes, George has joined us. That's Jesse. Please take control of this. No, no, Jesse, no. Let us play.
Oh, stop. I would love for a third talk about what you guys think some of the logic might be behind these pardons, aside from just the.
How many are there? One hundred and forty. Was that in the end? I think I think it was like one hundred and forty two overnight.
And then they threw in one for Piros ex husband.
Oh, that's right. Good morning, Mr. Weichselbaum.
Yes. Judge Fox of one's husband. So what's the thinking?
There are a couple of things there. First of all, he loves he loves pardons because pardons are and basically an unchecked power. The president doesn't have to consult with anyone. He doesn't want to. He it's not subject to review by the courts. It doesn't require legislative approval. It's just something that really is a is is an exercise of pure presidential power that's unchecked.
So he loves that. And then, you know, it's something he can do which will reward friends. And and and that's what he did with it, essentially.
I mean, some of them a lot of there were these people who may have had, you know, unduly long sentences, arguably, and that his son in law and daughter were pushing for. There were others that celebrities were pushing for. And he loves doing things. They put him into the same league as celebrities who people are on television. So that's why Kim Kardashian had influence over one part and I think a while back. And that's really what and it's also a way of thumbing his nose at everyone.
So and then and then there's the also the pardons that really benefit him, as well as reward loyalty to him, even if it arguably constitutes obstruction of justice, which arguably should have, in the case of Roger Stone and possibly Paul Manafort. So that's what he likes about. And I think it is exemplified actually by the Pierro pardon. I forget his cronyism. It's basically apparently judge box of wine got in his ear saying, you didn't pardon my ex-husband, you didn't pardon my ex-husband, which is sort of interesting because he did commit tax fraud.
They were joint return. So she's lucky she didn't get in trouble, too.
And it's a weird thing, too, because I think, you know, this was like twenty years ago. Right.
But I think it's fundamentally I always feel like the underlying issue with Trump and pardons is that he doesn't believe white collar crimes are criminal.
Well, look, I think I think that if you if you build a typology of these. Yes, for sure. He thinks white collar crimes are not crimes. They're just the sort of thing that you weren't you mistakenly got caught, right?
Exactly. That's the one way he shows empathy there. But for the grace of God, go I. Right.
OK, Jared, pushing all these pardons for the rap guys, that is clearly a way to bootstrap his career in hip hop. I get that. I understand that he's going to be dropping an album later this year. He's in studio already. The star fucker aspect of it is for sure a big part of it. And there are a few on there, just like when he pardoned Stone a few weeks ago. And pardoning some of that is just like I'm going to own the libs.
Right. But it's also like they didn't testify against me. So I want to protect for sure. Yeah, for sure. That's definitely a quid pro quo.
That's the stone case. He basically was saying to Stone essentially publicly, stay strong, stay strong. And the question was whether Stone was in a position, as is made clear by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence report that came out in August, that he got relatively little press. But Stone, I mean, the Senate committee, the Republican controlled Senate committee concluded that Trump name. They have committed perjury in denying recalling any conversations with anyone about WikiLeaks and there's evidence there was contrary evidence that the Senate committee found and the one person who could have testified about that against Trump was Roger Stone.
And lo and behold, he got he got a commutation and a party. So that's kind of optioning.
I mean, I but I but I do think fundamentally, Trump doesn't give a shit about these crimes, so it's easy to pardon one hundred and forty two people if you don't think crimes are crimes.
Right. And he's a psychopath.
And it also explains why Julian Assange and Joe Exotic didn't get them right to exotic kind of limousine waiting outside of his jail cell, like talk about over, you know, count your chickens before they hatch.
I just want to say to Joe Exotic, you believed a Trump for you. Are you? Are you kidding me? With the shit you thought there was something happening for you with a Trump check is in the mail Trump family. Get the fuck out of here.
Speaking of believing a Trump, you also lifted the lobbying ban for his people.
What do we make of that which Biden promptly reinserted? Right. Does that even make any difference?
It doesn't. You know what it is he that was I heard that that was from Mark Meadows that Mark Meadows wants to go out in the private sector right away. And he thought that would destroy him financially. And Trump was amenable to that.
That's something I picked up yesterday, but he didn't realize that Biden could reinstate it. Mark Meadows is not terribly bright. We have noticed. Well, that's what Michael Cohen said.
I mean, Mark Meadows poking a toaster with a fork would not be off brand at all. A live toaster with a fork would not be offering at all. Look, I think there's a degree to which the last flurry of executive orders and pardons, they're all just a shitty coda to a shitty presidency. They're just a final it's a final fuck you to normalcy and decency and law. And, you know, and ironically, for the party of law and order, this president will go down as the most corrupt and lawless president, including Nixon, in the last century.
I think going back to this, George, and maybe maybe have some thoughts on this, Nixon's crimes were all about political gain. They were about personal. Nixon wasn't trying to get rich off of Watergate. That wasn't about he was never about the money at that point. I think that's fair.
And what he did was basically he found out about the Watergate break in. These people were doing all sorts of stuff that he didn't fully understand or know about. And then they started trying to figure out how to cover it up. And he played along with it. And he wasn't the instigator in that sense, although he obviously bears responsibility for having overseen the culture under which all of this illegality, the plumbers and the and the break into Ellsburg office, all these things that they were doing illicitly.
It was his mentality and and his attitude toward things that allowed that to flourish, even if he didn't know about all of it. Right. And then when they covered it all up and they said they had to get money for some of the burglars, you know, he he said, well, I know that.
I know. Or that can be gotten I can get the money. And then he went along with the cover up and I have them to call our friend. Right.
And oh, well, we'll just have to have the CIA.
But, John, we've hit the road and person, but we shouldn't touch because it might dig up things from the Bay of Pigs, you know, going along with that.
And that was his participation in the obstruction of justice. You kind of he wasn't the driving force. Whereas if you read, for example, the Mueller report, volume two, which goes through the obstruction that Trump committed, he was the driving force. He was the one telling his trying to get his for example, his his White House counsel to issue a false to say something to the to Rosenstein to fire Mueller and obstruct the investigation and then tried to get after it came out that he had done that.
He tried to get began to write a false memo to the file saying the president never told me to do that. And McCanles resigned at that point. He was the I mean, he was like a one man show there and people were trying to get out of the way or avoid doing what he asked them to do. And that's a that's a big difference between Nixon and Trump. But the other big difference is just the breadth of the criminality.
I mean, you have Mueller, you have Ukraine where he's basically trying to use the power of the purse over foreign aid to destroy a presidential candidate who he thinks is going to be the most the strongest candidate against him in the general election, which he was correct about. And then, of course, there are the calls, the self-serving calls to the election officials, which were calls were illegal at federal law and then inciting the insurrection.
And then you have always known a long history of what the D.A. in Manhattan has investigated.
Potential potential bank insurance fraud, inflating the value of properties on business financials and then understating them, the tax authorities and, you know, it's just with Trump, it just doesn't end. I mean, there's always a scam going on with Trump.
There really is. There really always is. There's always a GRIF. There's always a scam. There's always a play.
And frankly, I think it's ironic. I mean, I think it's ironic. You know, he raised about two hundred million dollars saying that he needed money to stop the steal and you couldn't spend two hundred million dollars on lawyers. Even IBM didn't spend that when it litigated against the US government for 20 years. You couldn't spend that money in one lifetime and he raised two hundred million dollars. And the irony is that he pardons Bannon for raising money on false from for his charge for raising money on false pretenses.
I guess I just can't get over that irony.
If he didn't pardon, Ken Paxton is almost more interesting. Who he didn't pardon. Right. He didn't pardon all the people who were sucking up to him for pardons.
So so we'd be remiss to not discuss the big speech yesterday. What did you guys think?
I thought it was the best speech I'd ever heard, actually. And I'm not just saying that. I thought it was I as a speechwriter. I thought it was so perfectly crafted for the moment and was so honest to Joe Biden's personal character and who he is as a man, that that is a rare thing. Many performers can go out and read a great speech. And it's it's great. It's convincing. It's it's persuasive. But when the speech meets the moment and the man at the same time, you get something much bigger.
And, you know, I am not driven to a ton of emotional excesses. I was boohooing during parts of that speech because I said, thank God, somebody who can write and a guy who believes what he's saying and it's real. And this is, you know, this is necessary for our country to do.
I mean, it's so true. I mean, if you go through political speeches, generally in presidential speeches in particular, and then inaugural speeches, the subset of inaugural speeches, you get a lot of high falutin, soaring language about democracy and unity. And now it just seems like it's almost seems like boilerplate. But this moment was a very, very special moment where it was much more poignant just because of the moment. And he was exactly the right person at that moment to be delivering those words.
And as you say, it was written in a manner that really was Joe Biden. It really spoke the way he speaks. And it was it was just pitch perfect.
He's actually a pretty good speaker. And then the expectations are quite low, too.
Well, it's funny because the Trump people were so dumb in the way they dealt with him. Right. You want to raise expectations, not lower. And they were just saying they couldn't read that you couldn't it couldn't read anything. He would just screw it all up. I mean, there were basically only maybe maybe one or two small stumbles in his delivery yesterday, or almost imperceptible, if you listen carefully.
I mean, I think he's quite a good speaker. And for the last two years, we've been told that he is a terrible speaker. So when he gets up there and it's quite good, it's like he's really I mean, it just helps him so much. So I think they have Trump really set him up in that way.
Yeah. The constant repetition of Joe Biden has dementia. He can barely move, much less speak, much less understand the world around him. And then when he comes out and he's not you know, they should have had a preview of this during the debates, but they couldn't cognitively pull themselves out of the fact that Trump needs to be you know, he needs to be constantly fellated. And so people are just going to say, yeah, whatever the boss says is what we're going to say about it.
I know what's interesting. And I mean, he did the same thing with Hillary to remember Hillary's how it worked for him, but Hillary for whatever reason. But it doesn't. But it's so clearly when it doesn't work and so doesn't work.
Right. When it's broken, it's broken. But I did think he was good. And I thought when he got out of the out of the beast and started running to the White House, that was extremely cinematic and quite a crowd moment. And I thought it was good. And the truth is, people, the one thing that Trump did well, I think, was that he did these sort of moments that kind of looked good on television. And Democrats tend not to do that because they sort of think of themselves as like smarter than that.
And they shouldn't be. Yeah, I can't phrase it better. More like I do. Yeah, correct.
Yeah. But I think these the people in the White House now are very smart about all that stuff. I mean, I heard things the other day they're going to basically go back to the old Reagan technique of focusing on an issue a day. Just one thing a day and a hammer on that scene all day, and they're not going to have some guy tweeting bullshit to undercut at all. I mean, you could actually have an infrastructure week if you actually wanted to with these people, and I think they do a good job of it.
Yeah, there's definitely a case for, you know, world leaders not being on Twitter for planning and organization and doing the things that government is supposed to do. And there's a case for that. The New Year, a time when we come together to share our hopes and dreams.
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Jackie Kucinich is the Washington bureau chief of The Daily Beast, and today she's going to come and talk to us about what the hell is going on in Congress, as we sure don't understand.
What is what is it like? I mean, we've gone from, like, this weird Trump ism to all of a sudden we have Democrats controlling the House, the Senate, the presidency, a man. Is it very different? Does it feel very different? So it doesn't quite yet.
I mean, in terms of the fact that, you know, you have President Biden even talking about the coronavirus and the response at least twice in the last 24 hours. Yeah, but that's a really big deal. And that that that is that is different. However, in terms of on the Hill, not quite yet. And there's a reason for that. So right now, Mitch McConnell, who is now the minority leader, and Chuck Schumer, who is now the majority leader, impasse about the rules that are organizing the Senate that have the power sharing power.
Exactly. And as a part of that, one of the things Mitch McConnell is trying to get Chuck Schumer to do is to essentially put in this organizing resolution, which is the term for it. They're trying to get a provision in there to say they're not going to go out the filibuster. And that remains intact, which is, of course, like the 60 vote threshold that makes the Senate less like the House.
But when you boil it down and people who like the filibuster say it encourages bipartisanship and people don't like it, say that it makes it impossible for things to get done. So, again, there was a more nuanced they're calling it down and Schumer's not willing to do that. And I think it's for lots of reasons. I'm first of all, he's in charge now and he doesn't want to give McConnell. McConnell's been in charge for a number of years.
And Chuck Schumer wanted to make sure that, you know, this is this is his his show. Right. And they don't want to give them that. Now, he said that there really isn't any interest in getting rid of the filibuster despite pressure to do so. But McConnell wants that assurance in this package. Doesn't sound like that's going to happen, or at least Schumer said he's put down. I do wonder if there is some kind of verbal agreement or something like that and ends up singing the blues because right now they can't even organize committees.
Right now, there are still more Republicans and Democrats on committees that Democrats control. It's very strange because it's this very strange limbo.
Five nominees are in committees right now being interviewed right there.
Getting the right people to judge was today. And so his nominees are right now being vetted and sent to the Senate floor for a vote. So and they're trying to get cabinet filled out. So that also is complicated by the fact that this organizing resolution is not yet agreed upon. Now, they're they're expected to continue meeting on this. We don't know when it's actually going to come out, but eventually what it's going to look like they're trying to use the rules that were used in 2001 to the last time you had this 50/50 split.
And. Yeah, and so what that meant was they were split in half an even number of senators. And if there is a stalemate, if you have, you know, eight Democrats and Republicans voting 50/50 on that committee, whatever they were debating on will go to the floor anyway. So nothing will die in committee. All right. There is no majority and the majority is in favor of it. Does that make sense? Nothing's going to die.
You won't have Mitch McConnell's legislative graveyard anymore. I mean, it's still very, really hard to govern, right? This is razor thin as soon as it gets, which is one of the reasons that there is some hesitance to get rid of a filibuster among some Democrats because this could easily swing back to Republicans is not beyond the realm of possibility. Right. So there are some times with when parties go in the majority, there is sometimes an impulse to try to get all the stuff to change the rules that give as much support as possible.
But there are consequences to that.
I mean, will Chuck Schumer have to cave or can they work something out that they'll both like?
Again, one of the things that I know has been floated, and I don't know how seriously at this point, because everything is massively fluid right now is that, you know, perhaps this isn't coming from Schumer's people or anything, but perhaps, you know, Schumer might seek to just say it on the Senate floor. There would be some kind of verbal agreement to not not go after the filibuster. And I mean, these are both institutionalists. I don't think Chuck Schumer really wants to get rid of the filibuster.
And so that might suffice. But we'll have to see. But this is going to they're going to have to do something to shake this loose. But it seems Democrats are pretty darn. Again, again, not putting this in the rule, but didn't Biden say that he wasn't going to get rid of the filibuster, if I have called it right?
Right. So you think, though, they're going to sort of figure it out and they'll have the committees?
Yeah, I mean, they're going to be they're going to have to do this. And it just it just depends on how far McConnell is going to push it. It won't remain like this forever. And but based on the, I guess, field and how things look right now, Democrats are pretty dug in that they were not going to give McConnell this. You know, don't forget.
Do you think that McConnell is feeling the pressure of this this corporate money issue with the senators who vote, who, you know, the six Republican senators who supported this addition?
You know, he's been very close to vest with the whole. You're talking about impeachment. Yeah, well, I'm talking about you know, they're after those six senators voted to not accept the election results at the end, the you know, the Ted Cruz types that there was you know, there's been some blowback from corporate money. And I'm just curious to know, what if you're seeing any kind of evidence of McConnell feeling pressured in one way or the other?
I mean, he has to walk this line between the Magga base and the corporate dollars. So I'm curious to know if you see that.
I don't know the answer to that because. Yeah, because what I mean. So I'll tell you why there is concern among Republicans. I don't know of McConnell specifically. I can imagine he is not concerned. I mean, he has to defend these people. But there is concern among Republicans who want to see Republican senators get re-elected that this money isn't going to be there. Another big question is, is how how much these companies hold out because some of them are just like reassessing or they're not going to give money the first quarter of a nonelection year.
And it does. I mean, yes, there were lots of fundraisers scheduled, of course, and they start raising money like instantly. But the fact that it's the first quarter of not an election year that can be made up. Right. So it could mean nothing.
It could mean they could just be seeing at this point because they're the easiest thing for a company to do right now to avoid scrutiny from the public in the media is to say, oh, you know what, we're reassessing. We're going to come back to you and after the first quarter. So that takes the heat off of them until April. So I'd be curious, you know, come March, whether that pressure starts to manifest itself somehow. Right?
That makes sense. What do you think is going to be the first thing that they're going to pass when they get things going? Do you have a sense on that after the cabinet gets here?
I can tell you the priorities for Democrats. If covid will be right. What form that takes, I think, is, you know, the House, Nancy Pelosi said today that they're going to be working on that bill, the Heroes Act. Yes, I believe they'll all next week getting that stimulus bill ready, but that's still going to take it, take time to work its way through the process. But that that is I know the number one priority for members, which is another reason why this impeachment situation is such a conundrum for Democrats in the Senate, because everything ceases right now, including Biden's nominees.
I thought you could do impeachment in the afternoon or now. I don't think that's been hammered out yet. OK, that's something they discussed. But, you know, this could be problematic, right?
It slows everything down. Do you think that there are any of Biden's cabinet appointees that are really going to get stuck and not going to get through?
Well, now that they have the the House and the Senate and it's another thing. The Senate is a Democratic Senate, I don't think is going to have as many problems as you may have before. Well, we'll have to see. I haven't I haven't heard any noise about any particular nominees on the Democratic side since the Senate flipped. And you have to forgive me because of everything that's happened since Georgia riots happened the next day.
I honestly haven't asked around about every single nominee, but in that the whole concept of a Democratic Senate is relatively new.
But it's true now.
It seems like it's kind of amazing. It's just a big change.
I think even in the Senate, it's the big change and people are still wrapping their brains around it because it it just it was it was not expected. No one expected. People would say, oh, I knew, but no one expected to win both of those races. So so on. And and that also is sort of, you know, making things run a little slower and not firing on all cylinders as maybe it would have. You know, the Democrats took control right after the 2020 election.
That did not happen, even though a lot of people thought it would.
Do you think that when they have worked out this power sharing? Arrangement. They'll have sort of slightly less power than the Republicans had before. Right, right.
And what the powers this is going to be so interesting because all of a sudden you're Joe Manchin. Your Krysten Sinema is Senator Kelly. Senator, you're the senator from Georgia are going to and, you know, still Susan Collins with Murkowski. These are going to be the of these these swing votes. We don't we don't know a couple more about where they're going to fall in terms of like what their voting record is going to look like, but particularly your margins in your cinemas.
They're going to be the most important people and we're all going to be watching them and where their votes go. And all of these measures, I mean, Manchin on the onset with the which he doesn't know whether he kind of indicated he needed to see the details.
Right. So they're going to end, you know, that Murkowski had already been reached out to by the by the administration as they're looking through it. So those are still going to end up mean as much as things change, things stay the same to go in the Senate. And the moderates, again, are going to be the votes that really, really move things. Oh, that's so interesting.
I hate to base questions off of the texts I receive all through the night, but all my friends seem to be saying, what the hell is holding Nancy Pelosi up? And my guess was like that they want to just have the Biden administration have some wins. But do you have any explanation for why she can't walk this impeachment bill over to the Senate?
Remember the last impeachment she held on? Do the articles for a couple of weeks while Democrats got their strategies together for the impeachment round one. So with this one is she said today that they were that the house was ready and they were kind of waiting for the Senate to work things out. And until today, this is another wrinkle here. Until today, Donald Trump didn't have a lawyer. Oh, did he get a lawyer?
Wait, who is this lawyer? It's Noah. It's no one you've heard of before. His name is Butch Bowers. He's a South Carolina.
And apparently he's going to do his job. Yes, that that was one of the things holding it up, believe it or not, that he didn't have representation.
So now that the former president has representation, we could see this move forward. I think the idea that this is going to start the day of Biden's inauguration just wasn't realistic. But I thought that being press like right after they passed, that is just it didn't seem right. But once, as you guys know, once he walked across, let's say it as soon as tomorrow. So they walk it across tomorrow. Assuming the Senate is out this weekend, they would have to take it up on Monday.
So there is a lot of planning that goes into this and that. But it seems like there are just a lot of moving pieces still going on. And I think it's OK.
But it seems like there's a lot of I'm on several sides on things getting finalized and put into place. It's such a strange, wacky world.
Thank you so much for coming on. This was so interesting and helpful.
I hope this is informative because there's so much stuff like, you know, folks today, as always.
And as I tell you many, many times, as required by federal, state, local law and international treaty. We have one mandatory segment on the show. That segment is fuck that guy. George Conway, the brilliant attorney, suggested we skip that. I just don't want to face the wrath of not only our listeners, but law enforcement around the world. Interpol will be up my ass about thirty five seconds if we didn't do it. Fuck that guy.
I'm just feeling so magnanimous. I don't know. I can do it today. I hear it in your voice and I salute it. I do. I salute it. It's it's it makes it makes my heart almost human sized for a second to think about coming.
I count as a unity. Well, yes. You know what? In the spirit of unity, I believe I'm going to lead off my fuck. That guy for today is Fox News. You, Rupert and you, Lachlan, it's Fox News. Fuck that guy. Tell us why they spent last night, OK, during the inauguration yesterday and during the night last night, their coverage immediately went to full. Communism is coming. Joe Biden, socialist army is sweeping the country like rabid locusts can look at me rabbit now like locusts, preparing to tear apart your communities, force you into Sharia, gay marriage.
It's all over. Antifa has a cabinet office now. What will you do? America live in fear. Fuck that.
God, this is so performative and it's so cheesy and it's so shallow. You know, Tucker Carlson, I said, glaring at the screen with a squint, with a camera that says there's a lot we don't know about Joe Biden. What he's from Delaware, but he goes by the name. About the name Abu Joe, and he runs around the country blowing shit up, no, sorry, Tucker, but the idea that we're going to have any kind of immunity from Fox, remember, twenty four hours before that, all the Fox would say, we've got to have unity.
If we if we impeach Trump, there will be no unity. Oh, my God, there's no unity.
If we don't immediately. At eleven forty seven a.m. yesterday morning, it was Joe Biden for communism. He's worse than that. And Stalin, Copart, Hitler all put together. So anyway, fuck that guy fucks just to add to your fuck that guy for a minute.
The White Fox has done now, which is fire basically whatever was left of the quote unquote news side, which was very opinionated anyway, means that now Fox has gone sort of full on. Right. They've become the new big Newsmax. And so they're going to be worse. They're going to ultimately be you know, they're not even going to have the sort of supposition of news. There's not even going to be the pretense. And so I do think that they really deserve to have a large and elaborate fuck that guy this week, because Rupert Murdoch and Lachlan Murdoch have made the choice that the truth is just of no interest to them.
And they're going to double down on this, even though they know that this leads to autocracy and fascism, because we've seen it already. So fuck you both, Rupert and Lachlan Murdoch.
All right. So in the interest of unity, I'm going to agree with you. And I do think that Fox News is a stain on American democracy and on the media. It's just I mean, we have seen where disinformation leads us. We have seen it. It leads to basically a large segment of the population being believing what they want to believe and then consuming more of what they want to consume that and allowing them to engage in self delusion. And part of that vicious cycle is basically bad actors doing this for profit, you know, selling people what they want to buy, except that it's poison and it's poison for our society, it poison for our democracy.
And that's the really difficult thing we have to deal with going forward, because we do have. You know, freedom of speech, and that has to be preserved and you can't you know, we preserving freedom of speech requires, you know, laying off even speech that is, you believe to be untrue because who's the final arbiter of truth? And the only way you can fight it is by fighting it with the truth out there and persuading and shaming those people who spread lies, persuading them and shaming them into not spreading lies.
And that's the only way we can achieve a better place where we have a common set of facts, even if we have different opinions about those facts. And that's why I think calling out Fox News is this is the right thing to do. On that note, we'll wrap up this episode of The New Abnormal for The Daily Beast in future episodes. We'll be talking with smart folks in The Daily Beast and beyond for media, culture, politics and science to help us understand what's happening to our country and the world.
We hope you'll subscribe to us on your favourite podcast app and share the show on social media if you'd like to follow us on Twitter. I'm at Mahjongg Fast and he's at the recoil scene. Thanks so much for listening and we'll see you again on the next episode. I had a friend who worked at Liberty, and she was always raving about the place that's unusual company to get to work in, lots of really interesting problems making people's lives better. Here's what I'm really passionate about.
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