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Four former aides to President Obama—Jon Favreau, Jon Lovett, Dan Pfeiffer and Tommy Vietor—are joined by journalists, politicians, activists, and more for a no-b******t conversation about politics. They cut through the noise to break down the week’s news, and help people figure out what matters and how they can help. You can listen to new episodes twice a week on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

"MAGA King v. RINO Loser."

Thu, 16 Mar 2023 22:58

Donald Trump unloads on Ron DeSantis while Ron DeSantis hugs Donald Trump on Ukraine. Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass stops by to talk about housing and crime. And later, Jon and Dan answer your questions on everything from oil drilling in the arctic to the new season of Succession.

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On today's show, Donald Trump unloads on Ron DeSantis. Ron DeSantis hugs Donald Trump on Ukraine. Los Angeles Mayor Karen bath stops by the studio to talk housing and crime. And later, Dan and I answer your questions on everything from oil drilling in the Arctic to the news season of succession. That was after range. All right, let's get to the news. Donald Trump used his first trip to Iowa to unload on fellow Florida man, Ron DeSantis and Mike Pence of Hang Mike Pence fame, both of whom also visited the site of the first GOP caucus in recent days with a new CNN poll showing Trump ahead of DeSantis by just 40 to 36% in a crowded field. Though other polls give him a larger lead. The twice impeached 2020 loser spent 10 minutes going after the Florida governor on the flight to Iowa, telling reporters on the plane that before his endorsement, DeSantis was quote, dead as a dog, dead as a door nail, a dead politician, and that even George Washington couldn't save him. Would you say Donald Trump was bidding a dead horse? BOOM! Don't boo me, boo Donald Trump. Don't boo boo. Whatever. Later, at the actual event in Iowa, Trump said this during his first Iowa speech. Ron was a disciple of Paul Ryan, who is a rhino loser who currently is destroying Fox. And would constantly vote against entitlements. He would just vote against you. Remember that, the wheelchair over the cliffs, the Democrats used it. The wheelchair over the cliff commercial. Very effective. That was about him. But Ryan, Paul Ryan's a big reason that Mitt Romney, I'm not a big fan of Mitt Romney, lost his election. And to be honest with you, Ron, reminds me a lot of Mitt Romney. So I don't think you're going to be doing so well here. Dan, are you writing speeches for Donald Trump now? I don't know, but I'm kind of liking these speeches. Are you a persuadable voter? You're not going to persuade him he has persuaded me not to like Ron DeSantis. How's that? There is ever any question. I don't like Ron DeSantis. So Politico also reported this week that Trump's campaign is preparing a big op-o file on DeSantis. That includes an attack that, as a US attorney, he was quote, an extremely lenient prosecutor in cases that involved among other things. Child pornography. In that same CNN poll that I referenced earlier, DeSantis is the first or second choice of 65% of Republican voters. Trump's number is 59%. 74% of Republican voters said they'd be enthusiastic or at least satisfied if DeSantis is the nominee. 71% said that about Trump. How risky do you think it is for Trump to go after DeSantis this hard, this early? I think it would be risky not to go at DeSantis this hard, this early. Interesting. Ron DeSantis is a Worshark test for Republicans. Most of those Republicans who say they're open to or enthusiastic about them, many of them couldn't pick him out of a lineup. Some of them, most of them have never heard his voice. They just know, they just want... That's gonna be a problem. Yeah, wait till they do, because it's not awesome. It's awesome. It's awesome. It's awesome. You don't want to be run for president, it's sounding like the most annoying person in someone's high school class. That's a run-decented. We talk about the substantive things here. No theater criticism from us. No shallow analysis from this crowd. The optics. We're about the optics, Ron. Forget it, yeah, exactly. And so, Ron DeSantis is an empty vessel. What he really represents is a Maga Republican who can win or Trump without the baggage. That's all they know about him. Donald Trump is trying to fill in as much information as possible while Ron DeSantis is on his behind Robin Stanch and Tour of America speaking only to Fox News and other Maga media. And so, he's trying to define him. And Ron DeSantis is not defining himself. And because you look at this from Donald Trump's perspective, right now in this race is Ron DeSantis, Mike Pence, someone whose murder is a undecided question in the Republican Party. The, there is Nikki Haley who is a joke. And maybe Chris Christie may get in the race. Like that is who we're talking about here. And so if he run, he's looking to say, Mike Pompeo, or Ratio? Who? Mike Pompeo. Wait. I only know about him because of Pots of the World. Was he the CEO of Exxon, the one that Trump fired on the toilet? No. No. No. No, he's the other guy. Okay. That's sexy, Rexie, television. You're on one today. This is good. 30 minutes late, you come in with some fire of energy. Just seem to a little more caffeine at an extra half hour. Trump realizes if he destroys Ron DeSantis, he walks in nomination. So he's going to go destroy Ron DeSantis before Ron DeSantis can do anything to define himself. It's quite smart, in my mind. And he's doing it in the exact right way. Make him an establishment loser. And like that's what the Paul Ryan thing is possibly an attempt to specifically win me over. But it is also to remind voters that Ron DeSantis is in with all the Republicans you hate. And he's like Mitt Romney. And what he means by Mitt Romney is not a guy who votes for impeachment. He means a guy who can't beat Barack Obama, a guy who can't win elections. And so they he knows that voters want a Republican who can win. And so he's trying to define him. And he's doing a pretty good job, I think. I think I mostly agree with that. Here's the other side of what I'm wrestling with. I think Trump has never had a Republican opponent who is as well known and well liked by Republican voters, including much of the mega base as Ron DeSantis. He is not, I don't not think he's Jeb. I don't think he's Marco. He's not Romney. He's not McConnell. It is true that this DeSantis approval is untested for sure. But I do think he is, I think it's hard to compare DeSantis to any Republican opponent that Trump has previously faced. So I think we're in a little bit of new territory here. I also wonder if Trump fires all his bullets now and DeSantis doesn't plummet in the polls. What's left for Trump? And at that point, doesn't Trump look like the worst thing Trump could look like, which is weak, that he couldn't take DeSantis out? There is a world in which DeSantis is just going to win this race if he doesn't screw it up, where there are just enough voters who are sick of Trump. You have these looming shoes to drop around multiple indictments and multiple elections. Like in any moment, Donald Trump can stumble into having lunch with a white supremacist. Like all these things can happen. And that may be the case, but if Donald Trump wants to maximize his chance of winning, it is to destroy Ron DeSantis as soon as humanly possible. And right now, there's no pushback. Ron DeSantis isn't saying anything back. He's not fighting back. There are no ads pushing back. He just has free reign and he's taking it. And maybe it'll work, maybe it won't, but this is the right strategy in my mind for him to take if he wants to win. Cause it actually seems patently obvious to me that this is what you would do. But I think Donald Trump, there is a world where other Republicans could pay a price for attacking Donald Trump, cause he is well known and well liked, even among Republican voters who are not planning to support him. And that can make you look like a Democrat. Donald Trump has free reign to be an asshole to anyone he wants in the Republican Party. We know that from the John McCain stuff, everything out there. And so I don't think anyone's be like, man, that Donald Trump has changed. To your point, it'll also be completely out of character for Trump to go easy on DeSantis right now, to the point where it may lead a lot of mega voters to be like, is Trump weak? Did he lose a step? Like what's going on? Why is he only unloading on DeSantis? So, and like you said, clearly, if he defines him early as a rhino loser in the mold of Jeb and Ryan, then that's it. Donald Trump wins the nomination. He's, it's over. You talked about DeSantis not fighting back. Trump is also desperately trying to bait DeSantis here. He wants DeSantis to get down in the mud with him because if voters can say, eh, yeah, Trump's attacking DeSantis, but DeSantis is attacking him right back. They're both attacking each other. Trump always wins a fight like that. He always wins the fight where people are like, you know what? Yeah, Trump is bad, but the other ones attacking him too. They're both fighting and I'd rather take Trump because that's who Trump is. We all know that. And so I do think that's why DeSantis is not fighting back right now because if he gets down into the mud with Trump this early, then I don't know why people go with him over Trump. There are varying degrees of getting in the mud with Trump. There is responding, as the Sanctus has done a little bit subtly about how he won reelection, there are ways to defend himself without getting into a manhood measuring size contest like Margaribia, right? Like there are different ways to do it. You can, most people will end up stumbling into completely demeaning themselves against Trump because he has no shame. But DeSantis is in a, well, we'll talk about this later, but I think there are ways he could be doing this that would be smarter than what he's currently doing. Yeah. We talked on Tuesday's pod about how Mike Pence recently criticized Donald Trump for almost having him murdered on January 6th. Trump responded on his way to Iowa by telling reporters that, you know, Mike Pence wouldn't have been in any danger if he had just participated in the coup like a loyal vice president should. And then Trump said, I guess he decided that being nice isn't working because he's at 3% in the polls. So he figured he might as well not be nice any longer. I feel like that's a fairly accurate analysis of Pence's remarks. What about you? Yeah, I mean, Donald Trump's logic is truly unassailable there. If Mike Pence had just given us as well, I would have had to, wouldn't have had to beat him up. Like it's just so. If he had just engaged in the nonviolent insurrection I suggested, there wouldn't have been a need for the violent insurrection. Like it is, it's an impressive syllogism, I guess. Look, Mike Pence is at 3% in the polls. He's probably always gonna be at something around 3% in the polls. It's always gonna be explanation for what he's doing. You guys touched on this on Tuesday. Why he decided after taking the high road with Donald Trump for years now after his murder decided at a bizarre off camera white tie Washington dinner where Washington media figures perform musical theater. Did he decide to finally unload the core of his campaign? It is the most bizarre thing I've ever seen in my life. I mean, back to your, yeah, DeSantis' pitch is, I'm Trump without the baggage. Mike Pence's pitch is, I was fine with literally everything Donald Trump did until he tried to get me assassinated and history will not look kindly on that. But the son of your pitch, I was with Trump up, up, right up into the moment, he almost got me killed and that was not a good thing. And it took me, and it took me two years to come to terms with the fact that I was gonna walk away with him. Yeah, so that's, you know, don't have a lot of, I would not be jumping on the Pence, the Pence train, put a lot of money on that one. So because Ron DeSantis was also pseudo campaigning in Iowa last weekend, we got a piece from the Washington Post, contrasting his style with Trump's quote, the Florida governor's unofficial pre-campaign book tour has consisted of more scripted and stage-managed events while Trump's campaign is quote, leaning into his free-wheeling style and placing a strategic bet on more unscripted up-close and personal moments with his fans. You know, just the unscripted free-wheeling up-close and personal style of a guy whose second impeachment was for inciting a violent insurrection as the last-ditch effort to overturn the election that he lost. Do you feel like maybe there's a slightly more accurate way to cover Donald Trump after the last seven years of everything we've all been through? Look, John, some politicians, they're glued to the teleprompter, they're scripted, others that were just out there, they're saying stuff. And sometimes they get you some high highs, some real moments with the crowd, they're laughing other times. You end up just pushing a conspiracy theory that leads to a violent insurrection. That's what happens. That's the risk you take. Yeah, like sometimes you like swear in oath to like protect the country for enemies foreign and domestic. And other times you're like, yeah, get rid of the mags, let the people with the guns through on the rate of the Capitol, because hey, they're not coming after me. Like this is, this was the risk, the moment that Donald Trump said he was going to start running for president. Is that slowly but surely the press would be sucked back into the way in which they have, they feel this just like chemical desire to write about politics, is some sort of game or sport where you can't account for the true danger that one particular candidate poses because he tried to violently overthrow the government like 26 months ago, right? It's just, you, and look, I don't, like, first of all, I don't like these days to focus my limited well-of-outrage on media outlets that have like, you know, 90 plus percent of their readers are people who would never vote for Donald Trump anyways. It's like, what are we doing? That's all media outlets. All media outlets. That's part of the problem anyway. But I also think that like, of course, you're going to analyze the politics of the primary. We do it all the time. It's not like we just sit here every Tuesday and Thursday and scream about how dangerous Donald Trump is. That's just, you know, like 30 or 40 percent of the pot. But like, it would not be hard as you're analyzing Donald Trump's style and analyzing the primary to at least remind people of the multiple investigations, the multiple impeachment, the potential coup, the violent insurrection. Like, eh, it would be helpful. You can throw that in. You can throw that paragraph into your analysis. It's just, it's so hard for them because after January 6th, or at least in the run-up to January 6th, when Trump was pushing the big lie, the press changed the way they covered Trump. They stopped covering it live. They decided because I think, because he had lost it was theoretically off-national stage. They could take a stand for accuracy and truth and against this information, their entire reason of for being. But that was a deeply uncomfortable position for so many of them because it required going against how they were taught journalism in the pre-Trump era that if the both sides, the bat, the need for balance, and Donald Trump is running for president. He's running for president for a long fucking time. And that, and so you can just, you see it happening. It's like a tractor being pulling them back there. How much does it matter? Probably not that much other than just for our general blood pressure. I don't think it's great for the long-term future of putatively objective political journalism that they can't handle this very obvious challenge. But is it gonna change this election? Probably not because of who consumes media and how they consume it now. It's just very different than it was in 2016 when they dramatically contributed to Donald Trump's election. Particularly if it's a rerun of 2020 and it's Biden versus Trump. And just about everyone in the country has a strong opinion of both Joe Biden and Donald Trump at this point. So a couple of paragraphs on the Washington Post from the New York Times are not gonna change that. And this is also, but this is like a practice run here analyzing the primary. Like they started doing this shit about Donald Trump and Joe Biden's competing free-wheeling styles or not free-wing styles on the general. It's gonna be a little more annoying. Back to the style of DeSantis at least. Do you think his staged and scripted events are an intentional strategy meant to contrast his style with Trump's or is that just who is, which may or may not be an awkward dweeb who doesn't like human interaction? Both, I think is the right answer. I think more broadly, we know from DeSantis's book, and you guys talked about this on a Tuesday pod. A couple weeks ago, he's making a very clear point that he is Trump without the chaos. That if you have Trump's beliefs with a more effective, more efficient executor of the agenda, you're gonna get more done. And that because Donald Trump is a chaotic Yahoo, he, there are a whole bunch of priorities that did not happen. And so I do think that Trump without the chaos in crimes is the message, Trump without the baggage however you wanna describe it. But the specifics here are because he is an awkward dweeb who hates human interaction. He likes to be in a safe spaces. He likes to know what the questions are. He gets uncomfortable when the questions are about things he's not prepared for from interviewers who are going to ask him tough questions or follow up questions. He does not like to interact with humans because he does not like them. And I think he knows that if he were to interact with them, that hatred would become a two way street. And so this is the kind of campaign he is going to run. He's, I do think his team is going to try to make that a feature not a bug by contrasting it with Trump, whether that a worker not, open question. Yeah, no, I agree with the general strategy that like he just, he doesn't wanna make any mistakes, you know, if he's gonna beat Donald Trump, like it has to be a near perfect campaign. And you can't be, you know, having a gap here and there when some reporter yells to you a question, you can be going off the cuff with your remarks, like everything seems, you just get that sense from his campaign that they are, they're sort of running scared. Yeah, I can't see the flaw in running, the political equivalent of the strategy that the Atlanta Falcons used when they were up big on the Patriots and the Super Bowl. All right, so the biggest news DeSantis made this week, and this goes right to the conversation when we were just having, is when he finally took a stand on Russia's invasion of Ukraine after his boss, Tucker Carlson, demanded that every Republican candidate answer six key questions about the war. DeSantis, then his campaign released a statement to Tucker called the war a quote territorial dispute, which is not in America's vital national interest, said that providing Ukraine F-16s and long-range missiles should be off the table and implied that the US is pursuing a policy of regime change in Russia, all of which are arguments that Vladimir Putin and the Kremlin make all the time. So knowing that polls show broad support for US involvement in Ukraine, with even a slight majority of Republicans supportive, maybe less than half depending on the poll, but it's up there. What do you think DeSantis' calculation was here, considering that he himself has been tougher on Russia in the past. To me, this goes back to what we're just saying, if you're gonna be Trump without the baggage or Trump without the chaos and crimes, then you've got to have, you got to make sure there's zero policy daylight between you and Donald Trump because you don't want the primary to turn in to a contest on actual policy positions. Yes, and I think there's an even more practical reason here, which is he does not want Tucker Carlson going on TV every night and calling him Dick Cheney. Oh, yeah, that's right. Or a bush. Oh, yeah, either one, right? Just like the bushes that he loves. He's big interventionist. Yeah, that's, yeah. It is, so he, even if there is, I think, a tiny modicum of risk here for DeSantis because there was an echelon in Sites poll which showed, which looked at Trump voters and DeSantis voters. And DeSantis voters were 47, 47 on whether Ukraine was a vital interest in the United States. Trump voters were 22, 32. But beyond that, the point here is, what's more important than that is whether a very influential trusted messenger within the Republican base, Alaw, Tucker Carlson, starts screaming about you every night. And all of a sudden, you're gonna start looking like a Paul Ryan disciple or like Mitt Romney, if that's the case. And so if you can take that off the table, you take that off the table. Even if, even if there is, you're gonna have to deal with some consequences of that, not just in a general election, but if you were to become president. Yeah. Yeah, no, I would say. Yeah. Well, someone made the point that this, this basically for Putin gives Putin the incentive to keep the war going until 2025, at least when hopefully Trump or DeSantis become president. And also to interfere in the 2024 election to help Trump or DeSantis become president, because he knows if they do, then the NATO alliance will fall apart because the US won't be supporting Ukraine anymore. It's really just dangerous shit. The thing that I think is important here, because there was a lot of people, particularly in the never Trumpish, Neocon, Republican community, who were very alarmed and angry at Ron DeSantis about this in the same, this is gonna hurt him, because look at the polls on Ukraine. And I think we constantly make a mistake in polling is we spend all our time trying to figure out how people feel on an issue without trying to figure out how much they care about an issue. And I am skeptical, particularly if you get down to 2024, that Ukraine is gonna be an issue that changes people's votes. Even if there's a whole bunch of people, Republicans even participate in DeSantis, who disagree with them on this issue, but I'm not sure this is gonna be high up there in terms of what changes their mind about who they vote for, either in the primary or the general election. So I think this is a relatively, from a political perspective, it's low risk. I think this says a lot about DeSantis's character, because if he really thinks he's going to be president, you can tell the people who are serious by the ones who make decisions in the primary to ensure even if they take extra short-term political risk, they don't tie their hands as president. Obama faced this a whole bunch of 2008 around Iraq and some candidates. We were running against who tried to get far to the left on how you would end the Iraq war. And Obama, even though that was his bread and butter, which is up position of the war, did not go with him because he thought there was a good chance he was gonna be president, and he did not wanna have his hands tied by something he said to try to win over six additional Iowa voters in 2007. Yeah, clearly no one in the Republican primary feels that kind of anxiety. But look, I do think that, I think it was interesting that so many Republican senators came out and dinged DeSantis on this, when, I mean, you couldn't get that many Republican senators to ding Trump on anything since January 6th, and that was only for a couple days. Yeah. I was just, I was surprised that they, why do you think that they all did that? Because I think a lot of them hope that DeSantis is, is playing Maga, but is really an establishment Republican, right? They can get them back on the team. What would the same thing, Maga in the streets, Rhino and cheese, or something? Yeah, I love it for you. Yeah. And they also know they're gonna have this big fight on Ukraine funding coming up with the House, and it does not help that Rhino DeSantis is gonna make this worse. I will also say that when you really pick a part that to Santa's statement, it's like written, you know, in a nuanced enough way and a lawyerly sort of way that they're, he's like left himself enough loopholes to sort of come down from that maximalist position just a little bit if he somehow wins the general. Like you can see that there's a little thinking in there that he could, that he could back off from it a little bit, but this goes to the next conversation we're just gonna have, it was like, how, if he does somehow win the primary, like how successful can DeSantis be in pivoting to become a palatable general election candidate? Former Bush Speedwriter David Frum just wrote a piece that asked the question, is Ron DeSantis flaming out already where he argues that Tiny D has a plan to win the Fox News primary and lose everything else? I know that of course you and Frum have mind-meled since you expressed displeasure that he beat you to this take. What's your case that DeSantis is already flaming out? It's not that he is flaming out and it's certainly not for the reasons that David Frum suggests. People should read the piece. It's largely about his appealing to the mega base on foreign policy that upsets David axis of evil from. And you see this, there's a, you can, this is I think to your point about why people got so upset is DeSantis, there's a, there is this hope that DeSantis will be bad on a whole bunch of other things but he will return to the Republican core on some things Donald Trump walked away from. Trade, foreign policy, entitlement cuts, those sorts of things. But my argument for why I think DeSantis is screwing this up is Donald Trump has a strategy. His a very specific strategy, he is executing the strategy, not with the most disciplined anyone can have but he is absolutely doing it. His strategy I read about this in message about how far he's come weeks ago but is one hug DeSantis on cultural issues. He's that's why he's been putting out these policies. He's got, he's up the, his bigoted anti-trans rhetoric. He's doing a bunch of stuff on schools and he's trying to destroy Rondisantis by getting to the left of him on populist economic issues. And the race, I think, really boils down to a race between whether Donald Trump's going to destroy Rondisantis before Donald Trump destroys himself. And right now he's doing a better job of destroying Rondisantis. And DeSantis is, I think, if you look back two months ago, Donald Trump was much weaker than he is now. He was as weak as he's ever been. And in that moment, DeSantis could have jumped in, become a vessel for all the anti-Trump concern, locked out a whole bunch of people and got moving. But he did not do that. He's waiting and waiting and waiting. And every day he waits, Donald Trump's getting a little bit stronger, becoming a little bit more inevitable. And what is DeSantis' strategy thus far? Is he's not really defining himself? He's running this very establishment, high donor, rope and stanchion campaign. He's basically running, well, if I were to give him a nickname, it would be Maga Rubio, right? That is his strategy. He is basically running a Maga version of Marco Rubio's strategy. And he has a lot of strengths. Rubio does not. I agree with you that he is by far the strongest Republican Donald Trump has ever faced. But I think he is his chances of winning the nomination today are less than they were two months ago. And that's in part because he did not jump in at the moment that he had. There's a reason you and I know that we went from, that Barack Obama went from deciding to run for president, officially, to in the race in like two and a half weeks because he knew he had a moment. John Kerry had not decided if he was running yet, Hillary Clinton had not announced yet. And he had to get in there because the longer he waited, the more it was likely people would move the other candidates. And I think that Rhonda Santis is waiting too long. I think he's got plenty of time. I think he's got plenty of time. I mean, look, I know, I think that Rhonda Santis' path to the nomination is incredibly difficult. And I think that is because Donald Trump still looms large and still has a hold on most of the Republican base, which by the way happens to be people who do not consume a ton of news and are not political junkies and are probably not paying attention and have low social trust. And they don't, sometimes they don't register in polls. The press doesn't pay attention to them as much. The press is going to over index on covering the college-educated Republican voters that Santis will surely win and crush Trump with. But that's just not enough to win the nomination in this party. I think that's all true. But I do think that like, I think what, I think the campaign to Santis is running right now is, I'm Donald Trump without the baggage. Everyone's pissed that we've now lost a series of elections thanks to Donald Trump and everyone knows that so you really don't have to point it out that much. And by the way, Maga base, I am your warrior against all of the woke enemies that you hate. Woke Disney and their corporate bullshit and the woke media and the woke lips and the dems and look what I've done in Florida. And I have all the enemies. I've picked all the right enemies. Just like you always thought about Trump. And I'm focused on those enemies. Donald Trump might be focused on me and other Republicans. I'm focused on the woke left and the real enemies here. And I think that's a, you know, it might not be enough and he might get dinged as sort of an establishment cuck. But every time he picks another fight with someone on the left or some institution, it's going to remind people that now well, Rhonda Santis is hard is in the right place if you're a Maga voter. And maybe he can win and Donald Trump can. I guess this is maybe a better way to say what my biggest beef is. And this is why I think his strategy is Maga Rubio is he thinks he's the front runner. He is an underdog. He is a big underdog. I think he has a very real shot, but Donald Trump is a big favorite to win this for all the reasons you said. And particularly just because Donald Trump has a lock on a certain segment of the electorate and Republican primaries are winner take all. So why from February of 2007 until the JJ dinner a year later almost did Barack Obama sort of hold his fire on Hillary Clinton? I'm not saying he has to be attacking Trump right now. I'm not saying that. I do not agree with you. He should not get into a fight. I think he could be defending himself in ways. Could raise his voice in here. Could be an announced candidate. He could be building in real infrastructure to that's that's the main reason Obama announced when he did was there's a whole much people wanted to work for him and volunteer for him all across the country. And he had to go get him. And to Santis was more the bell of the ball more in more sort of in the forefront of the mind three months ago than he is now. And I just think I think he has to run his race as if he is an underdog. And that's to the whole point about not making a mistake not looking trying to hug Trump in every single way. He's an underdog. You have to run an underdog race if you want to be the front runner. And I think he is his kid thus far and it is early and he can still win for sure. Everything he's doing reeks of entitlement. It's the kind of entitlement you get when you paler when you're talking to all the the maga not even the maga the Republican billionaires who are looking for someone else. It when you are just talking to all the establishment folks and I think that that is giving him a false sense of comfort. I think if the campaign looks like this and he looks like this in summer early fall, then I would be more inclined to be with you on this one. I still think, gun to my head, I still think that Donald Trump is the, I definitely think he's the front runner and probably pulls it off. But I don't know. I feel like, I feel like it's, the Santis could do it. All right, when we come back, I will talk to the mayor of Los Angeles, Karen Bass. [♪ OUTRO MUSIC PLAYING [♪ This show is sponsored by BetterHelp. Getting to know yourself can be a lifelong process, especially because we're always growing and changing. Therapy is all about deepening your self awareness and understanding because sometimes we don't know what we want or why we react the way we do until we talk through things. BetterHelp connects you with a licensed therapist who can take you on that journey of self discovery from wherever you are. I had therapy today and I, because I had to go to her to care because I got all swollen. I came to the office to do therapy and I did it on the phone and then my breakfast burrito came and then I said, hey, I can't talk for the next two minutes while I'm going down to get my breakfast burrito. Can you just tell me a story? And she went back and read the first... It's like you got your money's worth. I was she went back and read her notes from our first session. Oh boy, that's great. And it's like therapy works, people. I will just tell you therapy works. 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Visit betterhelp.com slash PSA today to get 10% off your first month. That's better help HEP.com slash PSA. Joining us in studio today is the 43rd mayor of Los Angeles, who just hit the 100 day mark in her term. Karen Bass, welcome back to the pod. Thank you. Great to be back. All right, you just spent about 10 years in Congress and about 100 days as mayor. That's right. Which is the harder job. You know what? No question it's it's mayor. Yeah. But you know, when I went to Congress, it was when the Tea Party took over. So that was pretty traumatic. I remember that. But now I look back at the Tea Party and they look mild compared to the latest crop. You you've lived in LA most of your life and you started as an organizer in LA. Has anything surprised you about the job so far? Well, actually, you know what surprised me was, you know, on day one, I didn't go to city hall. I went straight to the emergency operation center and declared an emergency. Because to me, 47,000 people on the street with multiple people dying every day is an emergency. So what has surprised me has been how that has been so welcomed. And I have not found resistance to it. And one of my goals was to align every level of government, federal state, county, and city. And I thought that would take a while. It's already happened. And and the just the openness of the city family to saying, okay, let's do something different. It is an emergency. I really expected to have more resistance than I found. You during the campaign, you promised to get 17,000 people off the streets in your first year. Yes. How many people have you been able to get off the street in these first hundred days? Well, in the first hundred days, now not all that I'm responsible for. 4,000 have been housed and and off the street. In the program that I initiated, inside safe, which is moving people out of tents and into temporary housing, it's been over a thousand. And then there have been a few other ways that we have expedited building and also getting people housed. So one of my big goals was to cut the red tape. But you know what? I was just thinking about red tape in terms of the building process. What I didn't realize was how much self-imposed red tape there is to get people housed. So we give examples of something. Oh, absolutely. We have only moved 64 people into permanent housing. However, the city has lots of vacancies. It takes us a while to move them because of the red tape. So the federal government said you have to have a system to prioritize who gets housing first. And then LA came up with a system that's so crazy. It's very hard to get people through the process. So since it was self-imposed, since we did it, that means we can undo it. So we introduced a motion, actually Councilwoman Nithyaraman introduced a motion yesterday to untie the process. So that has been very, very important. And that will be able to expedite moving people out of motels into the permanent housing that actually exist. What are you doing differently than the last administration on this issue and like what's been working the best? You know, I actually can't speak to what the last administration did, but let me just tell you though that I am the beneficiary of Proposition HHH. And you remember voters were up in arms over the fact that we attacked ourselves twice and they didn't see the housing come online. Well, that's because the process was so darn long because of the red tape. So the red tape has played out and I've been going to ribbon cuttings every other day. Now they're not ribbon cuttings that of course I'm responsible for. But one thing that I can certainly do is make sure that when those ribbons are cut, they're actually people in the housing and that the red tape is not keeping them out. What new tools or powers did declaring a state of emergency give you? Well, you know, it's an interesting question because it does give me extra power over the city council in terms of land use. But I have not used it power because I've not needed to. So my first job to me, even before I was sworn in, was to build relationships with every member of the city council. Now of course most of the members I already knew and had pre-existing relationships with, including several that we served in the state house together. Then we have our new council members. So we have been working so collaboratively. There has been no need for me to actually use the powers. However, I also issued executive directives after that to expedite the process. So one of the things that developers complain about is that when they're trying to get something built, they never know when they're going to get appointments, they're held up because of, you know, approvals by the department of water and power and all of that. And so the executive directive orders those departments to act with time certain so that a developer knows. And a number of developers have told me, gee, I had an appointment in September and I got a letter telling me to come in in two weeks. So we have definitely fast forwarded that. Yeah, I mean, you mentioned obviously permanent affordable housing is the ultimate solution. Yes. Housing is a top issue across the country and cities across the country. And for people who just can't afford it. Obviously this is an issue that to solve it, it requires federal action, state action, here, county action, city action, coordination. What tools do you have to make a difference on sort of the creation of and the building of more affordable housing and doing it more quickly? One of the other executive directives that we did was to Marshall City Land. However, the county, and by the way, I meant to say this too, the county declared a state of emergency. Long Beach did, Santa Monica did. So several cities are doing that. Well, one of the executive directives that I did after the declaration called for identifying all city land. Well, having said that, the county has come forward. They're identifying land. Metro has come forward as well as L.A. USD. So to me, the first place to begin is on land that's already owned where we can build and the purchasing of the land is not an issue. So that's one of the concrete steps. But I do want to make a distinction between permanent affordable and permanent supportive. So permanent supportive housing, what that means is that's housing with wraparound services for the people who are coming out of tents and out of motels. So another major barrier has always been what's known as NIMBYism, not in my backyard. These are L.A. residents and landlords not wanting the unhoused population to be placed in their neighborhoods. What do you say to people who care about this issue have even voted to raise their own taxes to fund housing? To be built on somebody else's business. Yeah. Well, one of the things that I am finding is that much of the housing that has been built has been built in South L.A. Now, one of the ways that what exists now is so broken. So you have all of this housing in South L.A. You know who lives in South L.A. They have to place people from calabases from all over the place everywhere but South L.A. So the first thing we have to do is get rid of that process. But I'm finding that in some of the neighborhoods that you would think would be NIMBY neighborhoods, they will tell you, I don't want housing over here, but why don't you build it over there? So one of the things that I believe has to be created in our city is a spirit of everybody needs to have skin in the game. This is an issue, the problem of the unhoused impacts everybody. Whether you're housed or not, all of us are impacted by the problem, which means all of us have to be invested in this solution. What do you think are some of the biggest obstacles left in terms of delivering on that promise to get 17,000 people off the street? Oh, there's tons of obstacles. What are the ones that are keeping you up at night? Lots. You know what the main one that's keeping me up at night are the wraparound services. So we have community-based organizations that do this and they do great work, but they don't have the capacity. The other thing that keeps me up at night are motel rooms in every area. So that has been a problem. For example, when we encourage people to leave an encampment, we would like to house them near the encampment. One, because they have built a sense of community there, and they have relationships. But not every area has motels that are affordable. Case in point, Katie Arslawski's district, we wanted to move people out of an encampment. But we had to move them into Hugo Sodomartinus' district. Because the motels in her district were way too expensive. Now we're in the process of purchasing a building in Katie's district, but we don't have it right now. So we move them over to Hugo's, but then we also want to move them back. So that has been a real problem. And we don't want to have the notion of we're just moving people far away from where they were. But when we move the encampment in Venice, we were fortunate to find a couple of motels in Venice. But then there were more people. So there's a world problem. But you know what? I view these as good problems in the sense that one thing is so important is that we completely dispel the myth that people don't want to move. We have not had anybody turn us down. Now they might turn us down for a couple of days. Say maybe there's an encampment of 15 people and 10 say I'm ready to go and 5 say I'm never leaving. And then the bus comes and 10 people get on the bus and all of a sudden I think I'm leaving too. So now the problem has morphed into not only are 15 people going to get on the bus, but five of those people call people they know who are intense a few blocks away. And so instead of being 15 people, it's 20 people that show up and we have to be ready to have rooms for everyone because we don't want to leave people on the street. You mentioned that this is an issue where everyone has to be in it together, everyone has that skin in the game. If there's people who are listening who are like I'm frustrated by this, I want to help. What can people do? Absolutely. Let me give you an example. As I mentioned, the community-based organizations really don't have the capacity to reach scale. So when you move a person from a tent to a motel, they're not going into a motel where there's room service or made service every day. So what neighbors could do is neighbors could assemble welcome packets. They could assemble towels and soaps and shampoos and basic items that somebody in a tent doesn't have. So we've also run into problems where in some of the motels they haven't had adequate supplies. And then the community-based organizations don't necessarily have the resources to run off the target to buy towels for everybody. And I don't think they should have to. So there is a community organizing component to this that hasn't come online yet. But where we will go in the next month or so is that our organizers will go to the neighborhoods where the encampments are. And talk to the neighbors who are housed to say we're going to be moving the people in your area. We're going to give them a choice. Would you guys organize the welcome packets so that on move out day you can come and present the people who are in your neighborhood with this to be supportive of them. So we want to do that. The other thing is that after the encampment is cleared, we don't want a new encampment to emerge. And so getting the neighbors who are housed to reclaim that public space, to occupy that public space. And if one tent shows up to call the social service provider, because the way encampments happen is you'll have one tent a few days later, there'll be three, then there'll be five. So let's prevent it by when one tent shows up. Let's get that person housed right away. The other big issue that mayors across the country are dealing with is crime. A lot of folks have pointed to crime as the reason that Mayor Lori Lightfoot just lost her bid for re-election in Chicago. Most people, most voters across the country want to feel safe from violent criminals and from violent cops. You were at the center of this issue in Congress. You led the fight for the George Floyd Justice and Policing Act. What lessons from that experience about the politics of crime and police reform have you brought with you to your job as mayor? Well, first of all, I think that what has happened in our city and in our society, especially over the last 30 years, is we have divested from health, social, and economic supports, the safety net. And all of these social and economic and health problems flow into our cities. And then the big problem we're having, of course, is on the metro line. And so we don't solve the social problems and then we expect the police to clean up everything. And then we get upset about that. So I believe you have to have a comprehensive approach. I do believe you have to have law enforcement. But I have established an office and I have a deputy mayor for public safety. But I also have a deputy mayor for community safety to come up with non-law enforcement methods of addressing problems. For example, because we have pretty much shredded our mental health safety net, people with mental illness are on the street. We allow them to deteriorate to the point where they commit a crime, where they either hurt themselves or hurt someone else. We have no problem. Are we don't say anything about the fact that we incarcerate mental illness? Right. Sometimes people need to be hospitalized and they need to be helped. And I think that sometimes people don't know that they need to be helped. If you're in a full blown psychotic break and you're hearing voices, you're not in a state of mind to say, I better go check myself in. And if one of the lessons I learned from George Floyd, because I was examining officer involved deaths over a period of time, like a few months. And there were 30 to 40% of those deaths involved somebody who was in an acute mental health crisis. Why should we expect police to handle that? So we need to have mental health professionals who intervene first. And that's one of the commitments that I made to the chief that I'm going to focus on really building up our mental health capacity so that people don't deteriorate to the point where they hurt others or hurt themselves. And I imagine as you're talking about building up capacity that we probably don't have that capacity right now because we've relied on law enforcement to do this job for so long. That's right. That's right. And I think that that is it's expensive. It's inhumane. And it doesn't work. And I don't understand why we keep repeating things the same way and expecting another result. I think that's called insanity. You've called yourself a pragmatic progressive. You told the New York Times in a recent piece that you see similarities between Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and yourself as a young activist. But that's why I was. That's why I still am. It's just that after a while you want to begin to make a very concrete difference in people's lives as opposed to your positions in educating. Can you talk more about like the evolution in your theory of change in politics as you've gone from activist organizer member of the state legislature, member of Congress and now mayor? One of the things I've enjoyed the most about being an elected official is applying community organizing principles and strategies in a legislative context. It's different. It's different. But that's why the first order of business to me is always to organize my colleagues, which is why I said before I was sworn in, I focused on building relationships with everybody in the city council and the board of supervisors and anybody else around. So what we have done is my little theme is locking arms with different levels of government. And then I consider it my job to make sure that the members of council are successful. And doing that, then we can work on things collaboratively together. And that is one of the basic principles of activism. And then I also believe though that you have to have the outside pressure. You need the outside. And I believe in a fundamentally an inside and outside strategy that the difference between me and AOC and some of our new city council people is is that when I was their age, the last thing in the world, I would have thought about doing is running for office. And so now that they've run for office and they're in office, you know, I'm very committed to making sure that they're successful. And the other challenge is when you're an activist and organizer, a lot of what you do is an opposition to people that you disagree with the humanly. And when you're in a position like this, you probably have to build relationships with people who you disagree with on a whole bunch of issues. And I think that's probably hard for a lot of folks who are activists and organizers to imagine doing. Well, exactly. And I think in a way you got to get out of your head in the sense that what is the goal is it the goal should be more than you. And so people at which I kind of chuckled at people are like, oh, how are you going to work with city council there? So different is like, do you know I just came from DC? The most conservative city council member could not fly as a conservative in DC. And you know, I spent time building relationships with some of the most extreme members of Congress because I keep my eyes on the prize. And the prize is the issue that I'm working on. And so I can tolerate lots because they in result is what matters, which is a very community organizing mindset. Yeah, exactly. Marikaren Bass, thank you so much for joining positive America and stopping by come by again. Thank you for having me on and I will. Positive America is brought to by stamps calm boy does the year go by fast, especially if you're a business owner. That's why it's important to plan and make the most of your time all of a sudden it's cute to all the Senate's cute to this letter that I'd written about getting all our money at a Silicon Valley bank, but I didn't have a stamp. You forgot to do it. Consent in time. And you certainly didn't want to go all the way to the post office. It would have slowed me down. It's not calm. This wouldn't happen. Get ahead of the competition now by using stamps calm to mail and ship stamps calm. Let's you print your own postage and shipping labels right from your home or office stamps calm has posted rates. You literally can't find anywhere else like up to 84% off USPS and UPS for 25 years. The stamp calm has been indispensable for over one million businesses, including ours and if you sell products online stamps calm seamlessly connects with every major marketplace and shopping cart you stamps calm to print postage wherever you do business. That's why we've used stamps calm since our early days here at crooked media. St. your business up for success when you get started with stamps calm today sign up with promo code cricket for special offer that includes a four week trial plus free postage and a free digital scale. Okay, before we go, we wanted to have done this in a while. So we wanted to take some questions from all of you. And so we will dive into the old mail bag. Questions. All right, first one we had many, many questions on this. What do you all think of the Biden administration's recent approval of the willow project the willow project is basically conical Phillips big oil company wants to drill at a site in Alaska near the Arctic for oil. And it had to be formally approved by the Biden administration. They approved it. Dan, what do you think? Obviously, I don't like it. I think it's. We were on the limb. I've been trying to figure out why the Biden administration did that the president made a pledge in the campaign no more drilling on federal lands. He was, he's been excellent on climate as a president so much better than I think anyone expected both in what is accomplished and doing things like putting a Obama's climate advisor in charge of his economic policy and all these things like that. And based on the reporting. What it seems to have been the decision point here was Conoco has had this lease for 20 years and that they were the they were going to lose the case that they went to court and along with they lose. It would cost upwards of $5 billion if they lost because it's not just that they would force them to do it but that the courts would force the US government to give. Conoco Phillips all of what the expected profits from said lease would be. So they made a decision. I know I don't know this. I don't know about the law to know what the whether this was the only decision to make a decision to essentially negotiate into a more narrow project than would have been approved otherwise. So it's at a five sites. It's three sites. They're wallowing off a whole bunch of the land around it to make sure that stuff is never used for drilling. It is a deeply unfortunate choice. I don't know that you know some of the points just they didn't really have a choice other people say otherwise the one thing I do think president by deserves the benefit of the benefit of the doubt is there all the people saying he's doing this to appeal to middle of the road voters concerned about gas. I don't think that's the case. That's not how these things work. I think this was a substantive policy decision made by people who work in policy and government not the president's reelection campaign or anything like that. I think they were forced with the work as is often the case between the president a series of shitty options and they chose this one. I wish this wasn't the one they chose I wish they had better options but this is how we got here. Now that this is the most important thing for me too is that like I just there's a lot of understandable cynicism about there about politics and government not just Republicans but Democratic politicians as well and everyone and partly it's because the press covers every decision as like the politics first and obviously politics factors into just almost every decision you make politics in terms of like what most people in the country want what will they accept what won't they accept right. But we have been here a million times before where a bunch of lawyers or policy people or whoever in the administration and the federal government tell you that you can't do something that you really want to do. And you have to do something you don't want to do right. Right. Well you have to do something you don't want to do and I think that it's not just the Biden administration saying that about the law like there was a the inspector general of the department of the interior from the Clinton administration which was in the 90s that was the administration ended up giving them lease. So these people it's so the Biden administration did not give any new leases to draw on federal lands but sometimes you just have to approve the existing leases. You know they were just you know they concluded based on all the legal advice they got that they were going to lose in court and like you said it was going to cost them money to lose in court cost taxpayers money. Now could they have said fuck it we're going to fight in court anyway and if it costs us you know a few billion dollars for the taxpayers. So what at least we tried to fight yeah they could have made that decision. We are now seeing what has happened in the courts every time the Biden administration tries to take an executive action many times the courts and particularly the Supreme Court seem hostile to what they're trying to do we're dealing with that with student debt right now. So it sucks it is notable that they were and we should not pretend I think that like the willow project is it's not going to be it's fine as it's it's horrible it's bad to spew a bunch of carbon into the air at a time when we can least afford it and we should be doing everything we can take our care. Carbon out of the air it sucks they were able to reduce the size of the project by like 70,000 acres and so now the calculations are that like you know the project represents like 0.009% of the total emissions reductions we will get from the inflation reduction. So relatively speaking to the scale of what they were able to achieve with that climate legislation it's small still shitty but it's small and then of course the next step is I think because they were forced into this decision the Biden administration also took a step this week to basically close off the entire Arctic Ocean for any new oil and gas development a step which really pissed off the oil and gas companies. So they everyone got mad at them on this but I think we didn't realize how annoyed the oil companies are for the fact that he used this occasion to then close off the rest of the Arctic to new drilling so I just again one of those two really bad decisions and yet to pick the least bad one. Alright next question what tips would you give the Biden team for next month's anticipated 2024 campaign announcement address you're the speech right let's hear what you got big crowd lots of energy the number one I know this is just please put them in front of some screaming yelling people who are all fired up and have been for a while just no no small crowds no drew crowds definitely not anywhere near the what get them out on the road big crowd short keep it short. The theme the theme I would do a choice between Republican extremism and Biden willing to work with anyone to focus on actually improving people's lives and focus on the issues that they care about I would do it basically a shortened version of the economic section of the state of the union and then I would include a section that highlights the Republican extremism and anti freedom agenda on abortion gay rights trans rights civil rights and sort of wrap it up with a big you know ending about democracy and preserving democracy both here and abroad why that's so important that's what I would do sounds great that's that's my that's my speech how much do you remember from the speech you wrote rock Obama in April of 2011 announcing his reelection campaign. Well it's interesting because I don't remember that speech at all what I remember is the speech that tried to frame the reelection campaign which is a speech that he delivered in also what a me Kansas which was a speech this is before he knew that Mitt Romney was going to be the nominee and it was just a crowded Republican field it was I think the fall of 2011 and we went to December December yeah I think you're right and we went to Kansas and it was a big crowd and he tried to frame the election as a choice between he basically said that like protecting the middle class is the defining issue of this election and the future of the middle class and talked about income inequality and economic inequality is the core issue and you're going to you know throw your lot in with with eventually will be Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan and a bunch of people who want to deeply cut taxes for the wealthy so they can and then get and then pay for it with cuts to Medicare and Social Security or everything Bragg Obama had been trying to do to move the country forward I remember that speech a lot here's what I remember from Obama's announcement speech re-election us a speech was there is a slight screw up and there was an empty seats in Ohio was it too far was Ohio and then Richmond oh yeah and there are most of the coverage was about how Obama had lost his mojo and can fill a large arena anymore Wow of course I'm glad you're the words were great to I'm sure please discuss the myth of pristone case in Texas and its ramifications I'm very very concerned so this is a case where a federal judge appointed by Trump in Texas may rule may ban one of two extremely common and safe abortion drugs that the FDA approved decades ago Dan what do you think yes we should be concerned this is not just a Trump judge this is like the Trump judge Matthew Kazmerich is to he is seeks out these sort of national magna issues you know it's there's always like this idea that every district court judge is is audition to be an appeals court judge every appeals court judge audition to be a Supreme Court justice Matthews cat Kazmerich is auditioning to be judge Dean Piro like that is his goal here right and so he you know they the legal experts that I read said that the he is a dangerous entity we should be worried about him he raised there are some real questions in the hearing about the 50 state impact of this because you have I think it is 22 state attorney generals with the plaintiffs trying to ban it but like with all things that are really important that would eventually head to the Supreme Court now we live on the razor's edge of an extremely important long approved very safe drug that is often used to protect the health and life of the mother FDA has approved it right the safety profile is it's as safe as Tylenol something like 99% safe with like with no other complications in the stroke so if he does decide to ban it the DOJ will seek an emergency stay from the 5th circuit court of appeals that's also a very conservative court it could then go right to scotus scotus could then either decide to grant a stay or accept the injunction which of course if scotus accepts it then that means that it is temporarily banned before the case has heard and the Supreme Court decides if this happens even if ultimately the Supreme Court decides that we that they cannot ban this drug it could be months and months and months without people having access to it now the other option is the FDA there's a couple of loopholes in the law or the FDA the FDA could try to bypass this and re approve the drug through the FDA's process but even that could take several months as well so and look it's this is also like a first test of the Supreme Court's reasoning in dobs was like oh well this should be left up to the states but this is something where this is not leaving it up to the states if he bans it it's going to be band nationwide including in states possibly including states where abortion is still legal so then those states would have to respond the FDA would have to respond the Biden administration so it's going to be a real mess and at the very least if the judge bans it we could be seeing you know access disrupted for several months all right then how do you think it could affect new Hampshire Republicans if New Hampshire Democrats don't have a meaningful primary to vote in could large number of moderates and liberals vote in the Republican primary there instead absolutely it could have a real impact and it has in the past where in New Hampshire you can't undeclared voters can vote in the primary you can actually put people from the other party can go in vote the other primary and just sign up it re-register is undeclared on the way out we saw this in 2008 one of one of the reasons Barack Obama lost to Hillary Clinton was a lot of the undeclared into people thought that Obama was going to win by a lot people including us at our pollsters thought that and so a lot of the I didn't feel like naming him was like really relevant 15 fucking years like basically almost 15 years to the day you're just bringing back up about this Joel's one of the best pollsters in the best yeah we'll see if he still feels that way but I'll hold because people thought that was less competitive a lot of the independent undeclared voters in New Hampshire who would have voted for Obama decided to vote in the Republican primary and pick John McCain and so it's just there's going to be a lot there you're not going to be splitting the independent vote between a democratic primary and a Republican primary if they want to vote they're going to vote in the Republican primary and that it's hard to know exactly how that will impact it because independent does not mean moderate it will change that an annex and if it was just a pure mega primary which would benefit Trump next question what's the appropriate response when you see a 20 something at the gym watching Ben Shapiro on her phone not hypothetical that is the question sorry it's only to take this one you immediately knocked the phone out of her hand no that's not I was going to say call the cops call the woke police you you mock her relentlessly you tell her she's wrong no this is what I wanted to take this I think what I would do is instead of mocking the person relentlessly instead of trying to knock the phone out of her hand instead of telling her she's a monster for watching Ben Shapiro all of which may feel good and maybe the right course of action morally but would leave that person continuing to watch Ben Shapiro and maybe even more ensconced in her Ben Shapiro like bubble or you can say is that Ben Shapiro you're watching I've I've watched him before I've watched him before just feel like sometimes he can be very like one sided so I've been trying to listen to some other points of you on the other side just to sort of get a balance of listening to this this podcast called potte of America you should try it it's really good because you know I've watched Ben too but I would and then maybe should check out potte of America and then maybe we can venture I have a similar approach would be you tell that person that there is a anti drag queen protest happening outside when that person leaves to attend the program you then take their phone and subscribe to the potte of America I just I the reason I took this question is we have had people come up to us and say love potte of America I listen to you guys and I listen to Ben Shapiro it has happened it has happened more than once this is my hobby horse I say this all the time voters are weird they are complicated they are impossible to predict not everyone who listens to Ben Shapiro is everything you think that they are and so they are there are persuadable people out there and we should be trying to persuade this the reason I take this question there's a couple other questions I didn't take but one of them was if if I'm going to do it if Ron DeSantis is trying to commit trans genocide and Joe Biden is the head of the military shouldn't he use his military power to stop Ron DeSantis because he is like Hitler that was one question the other one was what is the process to get rid of a state that we do not like because they're too right wing people come on it's just it's you know the process is going out into the country and persuading people that we are correct and then having them vote that is the only way that is the only way unless you would like to start a civil war in which case a lot of people are going to get killed in the United States I mean that escalated because we are a country that is a wash in guns and weapons we've seen the violence happen on January 6th we've seen it out of their places political violence is a real thing and the right is extreme and they are horrible and the way to convince people is to go out and make a case might not always work might never work but it's our best shot I cannot wait to see how you pivot to the quote fun questions so here's a fun question what shows have you guys been watching and most importantly how is Dan feeling about the bravo line up these days are you up to date on the scandal wall did I pronounce that correctly you I believe you did do you have any concepts of what that is only because folks here crooked have been talking about it I am looking at a chart about scandal ball in the studio that I think was happening for a social social first piece of content that took place here last Friday exciting yeah that's why I saw it on Instagram but I couldn't really follow it so anyway Dan what do you think I am vaguely up to date on scandal ball I'm familiar with what it is I know who Tom sand of all this but I do not watch fantasies I would like to watch fantasies but I'm intimidated by the number of seasons to date there's like ten of them so I've I've been in a debate with our producers yes last week about whether they have opinions on whether I have whether the question is can I just jump in right now or do I have to go back to the beginning there's a dispute I have people have opinions let me know I'm curious about it bravo great I have one concern which is I feel everyone knows I love blue deck I feel like below deck is expanding too fast we got below deck below deck mediterranean blow deck adventure blow deck sailing yacht and the problem I've come to is yachting not a huge industry there's only so many people in yachting who are good on reality TV and now we're spreading those people out over like seven different franchises so that's my concern what else you watching anything new we are watching we just finished 1923 the Yellowstone spin-off which is 1923 is better than Yellowstone but 1883 the other Yellowstone spin-off is better than 1923 but they're both good there's a television show with Harrison Ford and Helen Mirren like oh yeah it's great I was going to say speaking of Harrison Ford I've been watching shrinking is it good I love it they're single Harrison Ford Jessica Williams all of them are great and it's a it's a it's a re I very much enjoyed a ton of TV we're all speaking of TV we're also watching liaison which is this new did you ever watch the bureau do we ever commit you to watch the no I think I think Tommy has and Ben everyone has yeah it's the greatest show it's on the it's on the Mount Rushmore with the wire and breaking bad is a great wow it's a good wow liaison is sort of Apple TV's attempt to sort of recreate the magic it's half half front half and French half in English but pretty good we're like three episodes or four episodes ends pretty good and I have and we just finished last of us I can't believe you watch last of us I can either so Emily started watching it by herself because I was like zombie movie about some like existential post apocalyptic post pandemic world no thank you no thank you and then I would go upstairs to bed and then we'd be like crying and saying it's like the most moving show and she loves it and she's like I'm telling you it's more like a don't be scared of it it's not that and so I got into it and I and I very very much enjoyed it when I watch the first episode how they would not watch it she does not do pandemic dystopian zombie stuff that very first scene where they basically do the old news show that explains the what will become the pandemic that will lead to the zombie apocalypse I thought it was what I thought there was no that you would be out on that was my thought was there was no way John is going to watch a show like that it's great it I wish it was longer I feel like they because it was not episodes they spit like they basically went from where they start back to sport where they started to where they ended way too fast like it was great and it was it it you're right it is not a zombie show and I appreciate in this like weird kind of fucked up Hollywood moment when people take like genre stuff that will get made and get funded and then jamble a whole bunch of other stuff into it and it like a really smart way yeah we got a question predictions on the succession finale what do you got let's see I think I think Logan's got to die that's the whole point of the show it's called succession I feel like Kendall is not going to end up so well either he's going to be arrested or maybe maybe he dies too but I could see him being arrested I don't I don't think Kendall comes out on top I'm trying to figure out like who ends up taking over like is it going to be a like a game of thrones like ending spoilers spoilers yeah careful if you haven't watched game of thrones any is it going to be like Greg takes over is like Connor I could see Connor Roy I could see Connor being the one I think Greg I think Greg is we're in the end so I think that would be in line with the game of thrones ending which we will not discuss yeah yeah cousin Greg why not I don't think it will be I'm so excited for it I'm so excited yeah all right last question recent proud parent moments for each of us well I have to because I have two children the first one is Jack has decided to party trade himself what we have a god your kids are really smart we have a trip coming up and we I guess I can say this we have a trip coming up and so we were a one away till after that trip but he's decided he's not going to wait and so yesterday he just took his diaper off and just went poop in the potty man that's so cool he's sort of a toilet's a lot yeah I mean it's going to be a real pain the ass we actually do it but but he is Charlie Charlie Charlie had to go the other day and Emily said do you want to use the potty and he said um potty's for big boys and I'm close but I'm not quite there yet I'm not quite there yet that's what he said so our old boss Barack Obama was in town and had met Charlie and so we went to go introduce Charlie to Barack Obama and it was getting close to bedtime there's a little late and Charlie had to wait around a bit so I was in another meeting and I was like how's this going to go he's getting a little antsy we got a two and a half year old here he's got this like little bag of marshmallows that he's eating as a snack Barack Obama walks out and Charlie runs up to him and says hi Barack Obama would you like a marshmallow give him the marshmallow gives gives our old friend Mike brush who's with him a marshmallow gives all the secret service guys marshmallows and then sits down and says my name is Charlie I'm two and a half and my dog's name is Leo and then pulls out a book from Emily's purse that is a book about the Obama's a kid's book about the Obama's to show Barack Obama and he's like man he's sharing good job guy what is this what is this I was like yeah that's that's Charlie how did Obama look at the marshmallow is he has he never seen something before he looked at it and immediately turned to one of his aids and gave him the marshmallow and made a face he's like I am not running I am not seeking voters anymore I'm not going to pretend I'm not going to eat unhealthy stuff I can't pretend he liked the marshmallow yeah that was so which is when I knew that Obama has not changed at all I was going to say I do my other one because I have two children oh yeah I forgot Kyle when we Kyle was like I kind of did algebra actually yes last she last fall did the same thing Obama was in town we took her kids to meet him he was we're very excited for that and the Obama's produced the television show Ada twist scientist on Netflix which is an amazing kid show it's great there are all these books Kyle reads all the book what read loves the books and she in despite being like it's being entirely wild and we were desperately afraid they were going to destroy the president's hotel room just as Jack was one and a half at the time in a lunatic but when they were finally kind of sat down at table with Obama and she started talking to him about Ada twist scientist and this is one episode about the Golden Gate Bridge and she's convinced they made the Golden Gate Bridge wrong because it's part of the it's part of the episode the show is a incorrectly made suspension bridge and so she like walked him through it and he was like what and then we had to lead wow and then Obama encouraged us because we were in San Francisco to go see the Golden Gate Bridge afterwards so that she could analyze that and we did he's like oh look I think you'll realize that you're in the wrong here anyway thank you again to Karen Bass for joining us today everyone have a great weekend and we will see you next week bye everyone Potsay of America is a crooked media production the executive producer is Michael Martinez our senior producer is Andy Gardner Bernstein our producers are Haley Muse and Olivia Martinez it's mixed and edited by Andrew Chadwick Kyle Seglund in Charlotte Landis sound engineered the show thanks to Halle Key for Ari Schwartz Sandy Gerard Andy Taft and Justine How for production support and to our digital team Elijah Cohn Phoebe Bradford Milo Kim and Emilio Monto our episodes are uploaded as videos at youtube.com slash pod save America this show is sponsored by BetterHelp getting to know yourself can be a lifelong process and BetterHelp connects you with a licensed therapist who can take you on that journey of self discovery from wherever you are all right boys we just did a whole podcast has everyone feeling I feel great feel good about it good good I'm glad thanks for asking just wanted to make just wanted to check in with both of you and let you know that I know thanks for giving me this basis is just a mature to talk about how I feel thanks for being so attuned to us that's what I'm trying that's what I'm trying better make sure we resonate on the same frequency checking with your host BetterHelp is entirely online just fill it a brief questionnaire to get matched with the licensed therapist and switch therapist any time for no additional charge discover your potential with better help visit betterhelp.com slash PSA today to get 10% off your first month that's BetterHelpHELP.com slash PSA