The “Cooper, Taylor, SCIFer, Spy” Edition

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S1: This ad free podcast is part of your Slate Plus membership.

S2: Hello and welcome to the Slate Political Gabfest for October 24th 2019.

S3: Cooper Taylor skipper spy edition. I’m David Plotz about the Obscura. I’m in Washington D.C. Joining me from New Haven Connecticut. From New York Times Magazine and Yale University Law School. It is Emily Bazelon. Hello Emily.

S4: Hi. You sound like an announcer for the next Democratic debate. Are you practicing.


S5: They invite you in. Moderator they have not asked me to moderate. Maybe there are some moderate.

S6: And from CBS is 60 Minutes or he has now been inaugurated. He has said I’m John and I’m John Dickerson on 60 Minutes. It is in fact. John Dickerson Hello.

S7: John Dickerson Hello. DAVID Hello Emily.

S8: Hello. We very vague.

S1: Simon for your debut Can I just say that yes we are excited we’re even going to hit it up hit back to it in Slate Plus.

S9: Oh yeah. That’s really good listener. Very good. Yes. We’ll keep the log rolling.

S10: We’ll reference it on today’s gabfest. The most shocking impeachment testimony yet impeachment takes some dark strange turns this week then Facebook is it evil or just terrible or merely wicked. We will discuss then should should Democrats should progressives take to the streets to try to end the Trump presidency what has happened to mass protest. Why is there not more mass protest during this presidency. Plus we’ll have cocktail chatter so much impeachment action this week.


S11: There were a bunch of critical elements on Tuesday and Wednesday and Thursday as we take note out more things are happening first. Probably most importantly Bill Taylor ambassador to Ukraine testified that there absolutely was a quid pro quo planned within the U.S. government apparently the President Trump’s orders to withhold 391 million dollars in military aid to the government of Ukraine until the Ukrainian president publicly announced a probe into the pipe. Biden’s second there was a scheme that was again seems to have come out of Taylor’s testimony in other places which was delineated which involved getting the Ukrainian prime minister to act out his announcement of a probe on CNN they attempted to sort of extort him to go on CNN and gave him a script of what he would need to say to announce this probe. Third the Ukrainians did indeed know about this quid pro quo demand. One of the claims that the Trump administration has made is that they could have been a quid pro quo the Ukrainians didn’t even were even aware of it false they did know about it a month earlier than previously believed contradicting the administration’s claim and and then finally well maybe not finally a group of conservative legislators invaded the skiff the secure room where secret depositions were taken. Actually I guess they weren’t taken in that room but they invaded the secure room to protest the secrecy of the impeachment inquiry and delay the impeachment inquiry for five hours. I’m sure there are other crucial points that I have missed.


S5: They ordered pizza and brought their cell phones into this and they brought their cell phones stick into the skiffs. Yes I would like to talk less about this gift because I feel the need to direction.


S6: So Emily what was so important and what Bill Taylor the ambassador to Ukraine said and why is he an important witness.

S8: I think until now the clarity there was clarity lacking in the accusation that President Trump withheld military aid to Ukraine which Congress had approved in exchange for the Ukrainians promising or at least beginning an investigation to dig up dirt on Joe Biden and his son and also into the origins of the 2016 election.

S4: Kind of following along a conspiracy theory that Trump believes in. That would discredit the Mueller investigation and the whole notion that the Russians helped Trump win the 2016 election. So what we have now from Taylor is this explicit quid pro quo for something big military aid as opposed to something smaller which was the withholding of a meeting between Ukrainian presidents Lansky and Trump. So this is the quid pro quo. Trump has denied that all his defenders in the Republican Party have relied on and Taylor has a ton of credibility. He has 50 years in public service. He has served every presidential administration Republican and Democratic since 1985. And he brought receipts. He had this 15 pages of testimony based on notes that he had taken while these events are unfolding. And he spoke so much in sorrow rather than anger expressing deep dismay about the kind of ruining of America’s strong support for Ukraine in the face of Russian aggression. And it seemed clear that he was motivated by this feeling that the government has taken a disastrously wrong turn and that is harming a country and a part of the world that he has poured himself into and cares a great deal about. Well so I mean it was a pretty blockbuster day honestly.


S12: Well I want to interrupt on one important point which is that all of what you’re saying may well be true. I’m sure it is true. But how do we know that you are characterizing something that was done in secret and has been leaked out so say.

S8: Well we do have these 15 pages of testimony from Taylor and I you know I think to me I find this whole notion that the Democrats are doing some dastardly deed by holding these closed door hearings. I don’t buy that. You know lots of preliminary aspects of congressional investigations take place behind closed doors. See Benghazi run by the Republicans eventually these folks are going to have to testify in public if we proceed to an impeachment trial in the Senate or they’ll testify in public in the house before then. This seems like a perfectly fine way to gather information. I kind of wonder if the Democrats are making a political error because these witnesses seem to be very strong on the other hand I’m so glad we’re not having to listen to these members of the House grandstand on television why they ask their questions. So whatever I do however want to hear more backup testimony for Taylor’s account because he talked about a number of other officials who were in the room or on important phone calls and what he was just bribing. And then there is a contradiction between key aspects of his testimony and things that Gordon Sunland who’s the kind of trump guy in the middle of this has told Congress and also Kurt Volker. There are the like Trump officials whose accounts now sound fishy.

S13: So John one of the few gaps in the Taylor testimony at least as it’s been reported out is that he did not have any direct order from the president to quid pro quo something that he was hearing that second hand that people said oh the president had said this and directed chief of staff Mulvaney to do this and that. Does that matter.

S14: No.

S9: I mean a couple of things is the president does not need to just in the same way in a in a crime so he does need to say exactly what they’re doing when they’re doing it. And also this isn’t a crime and the car and the venue in which it’s being adjudicated is not strictly a legal one. It’s kind of it’s a quasi legal political and and legal it gets to a legal stage when you get into the Senate and you and you do in fact have the chief justice presiding. So it’s it’s not totally completely political but if you keep the eye on the ball which is that the president is is accused of misusing his job and the powers of his job for his own political purposes and then bending U.S. foreign policy for his own political purposes in a way that we know one of the things that Taylor also reportedly testified about based on the 15 pages of opening statement is that that the Ukrainians were dying at the hands of the Russian led forces as a result of the delay in American military aid. So the consequences here are real. They are directly real. And with respect to the delays that were for the purposes as he did he apparently testified for the purposes of getting promises about this investigation and I should note quickly that it’s the public promise of the investigation is politically powerful more than simply the private promise to investigate because of course as we know from other investigations once you say an investigation is happening off you know it takes all these legs and it becomes and and as we saw from the coverage of the State Department investigation of Hillary Clinton’s emails. The investigation itself gets a lot more coverage than the exoneration does anyway. So you have the president who is bending U.S. foreign policy for his own private political purposes and so that’s the big problem. And there it’s not just Taylor what makes Taylor damaging is that Taylor has testified to something that now a whole host of other people from the from Voltaire to Sunland to hill all testified to parts of this. There is a quote and then this was all in furtherance of of ratifying what the original whistleblower said and it’s essentially what Mick Mulvaney said out loud from the White House podium which he then had to had to backtrack or he had. And so the story lines up what Taylor says brings into sharper relief a story that was already coming together. And finally I would just say I think you were being you were having fun with that question and the idea that this is all being happening in secret. Emily’s answer is the right one of course. This process will play out and it will not be secret and people will have to put the facts on the table. But one thing we do know is we have a pattern of behavior of President Trump’s much of that pattern is what got him elected. And the idea that he would not be involved and not interested in a possible political benefit to his campaign from looking at corruption in Ukraine and then this was solely about his dedication to the idea of corruption is inconsistent with the picture of Donald Trump that the people have had a chance to publicly witness over the last three years.


S11: And just to actually add pungent detail to that. So one of the claims that the specious claims that the administration seems to be making it oh this is simply the primarily the president being concerned with corruption Ukraine. But if you look at the actual behavior of the administration as was reported I think in the Times The Washington Post had an article in The Post about the cutting of the funding gap.

S6: Yes that that the administration has consistently thought to pursue cuts to all all the programs which root out corruption in Ukraine and other places. And the idea that this is actually a matter of concern that corruption is actually a matter of concern of this administration is clearly nonsense based on the facts. Emily. So what John has just presented and what we’ve all seen this week is this this incredibly damning set of of supposed of alleged facts and reporting about the president’s withholding of congressionally appropriated military aid to our allies who were causing the probable deaths and weakness of an ally of ours for personal political gain and distorting of American foreign policy possibly suborning suborning the Ukrainian president to appear on media to lie about it which actually may in fact be a crime according to something I read. And yet and yet and yet and yet there is not a significant amount of outrage on the right about this.


S8: Any chance that that starts to change if it happens it’s going to happen all at once because the only way to do it safely is to do it in a park. And I think that Fox News would also have to basically simultaneously turn on Trump. I think it’s possible but unlikely that we’re going to see that switch because I think there is such fear of the Republican base in terms of its loyalty to President Trump personally. When you look at how polarized Congress is and then the changing way in which people consume news and how it’s delivered from Watergate I think you see just like a different set of conditions on the ground for the political assessment that you’re talking about. John what do you think.


S9: One thing that occurs to me just that I want to finish off on my point about the publicly observable behavior of the president. What we have in this instance that’s alleged and that and that actually the president has said out loud is that he cared so much about corruption that he delayed furthering U.S. foreign policy which was to help Ukraine to keep pressure against the Russians. So in this case corruption was so important that U.S. foreign policy was in a secondary position with respect to Turkey Russia Philippines Saudi Arabia and probably some countries I’m not remembering the president to the acclaim of many has taken an extremely relaxed position towards corruption murder all kinds of bad behavior human rights abuses in order to support countries that he argues are doing things in the favor of American foreign policy. So just in terms of of taking the alleged acts and measuring them against what a what Donald Trump normally does we have yet another instance in which this behavior is so completely out of character from a character we know one thing about who doesn’t change the way he behaves he may change his positions but doesn’t change this wildly. So this is this is why you don’t necessarily need to have the transcript in front of you. The facts that are known suggests that the story you’re getting is asks you to believe something that your your own experience wouldn’t you wouldn’t suggest is the case in politics. The most important thing I think that happened this week and it may not have even it may have been a slip of the tongue in which case I’m putting too much weight on it.


S15: But Mitch McConnell was asked if he as the president had claimed told the president that his phone call with the president of Ukraine was perfect. McConnell said. He asked this in front of a group of reporters. McConnell said he never talked to the president about the phone call for the president of Ukraine and when then when Nancy Cordes of CBS who asked the original question and said Well then why is he lying. McConnell said Well you’ll have to ask him. Mitch McConnell and perhaps above all others and I think he take this as a compliment knows how not to answer a question. We all know and it become conditioned to what it sounds like when a politician gives a response and not an answer. When he was asked did he have this conversation with the president did he say it was a perfect phone call he could have said given a principal dancer I never talk about what I talk about with the president. He could restated the point said that was a perfect phone call and not address the idea of whether they’d ever talked about it. He could answer to a totally different question. He could have blamed the Democrats. He could have talked about the the devil and the deep blue sea. He didn’t do any of that. He said the phone call never took place. Maybe it was a rare slip up from one of the most calculating politicians on the Hill. It could also be a sign that that Mitch McConnell is sending signals to the president look you better clean this up better than you have so far. Or McConnell feels if you look at somebody like Cory Gardner running for re-election as a Republican in Colorado his numbers are very bad at the moment for re-election. McConnell would have to lose a lot of seats in this off year election. But if the president goes down in flames that’s not going to be good for senators running and Mitch McConnell’s majority ship of the Senate could be in peril. So that’s a lot of extrapolation from one answer but I think it’s an interesting thing to watch.


S10: But look we haven’t and I’m just I’m not getting indignant at you because you’re you’re merely a Tribune you’re merely carrying a message forward in the world. It is absolutely outrageous. This is the subordination of American foreign policy something which Republicans Democrats a bipartisan bill to help Ukrainians military aid to. To help the Ukrainians in a war against Russia. And the president has has taken this and put it to his own completely nefarious political purposes. It’s you know revolting. It is an undermining of Congress. It is an undermining of foreign policy. Where is the where’s just the kind of civic outrage that should exist in our legislators. It’s shocking it’s shocking that not even one of them not even Mitt Romney who I admire the heck out of it is able to to speak up about this.

S8: Well four way Romney spoken up a little bit. He just hasn’t said like I’m ready to impeach.

S5: I mean of the Republic Romney is doing the battle remotely followed by far by far.

S10: But I’m saying. Even the person who has not much to lose is not really kind of standing up and saying firmly how absolutely outrageous this is.

S7: Can I Can I just throw some some kindling on your on your roaring fire. In fact what you have is at least you have a couple of instances of the exact opposite happening so you have Steve Scalise in the leadership the whip of the Republicans in the house in this stunt that we mentioned at the top of the conversation saying that Republicans are being shut out of this secret process. Forty five Republicans have access to the to the transcripts of the interviews in which Republicans are taking place. And what that does I think is different than what what happens when when members of Congress are asked to stand up for something the president says and they they shuffle away and say I didn’t hear what he said or they mischaracterized what he said. So as not to have to defend it or so forth and so on. Those are you know low grade things what Congressman Scalise is doing and others have done it as well is basically taking he knows what the rules of the of the of the House procedures are in power in part because they were passed by a Republican majority. He knows how this works. He knows that Republicans are in there in the meetings that they stormed. Nevertheless he’s presenting it to the public as if as if Republicans were not allowed as if the Democrats are doing something terribly wrong. This is to to basically distort reality by burning the institution that he is a part of. And that he has some obligation of stewardship stewardship towards and that is something that you can’t go back against. That’s something you can’t you know say well it was Donald Trump and he has an interesting way of talking. This is using something that’s happening in the moment. And and it’s also causing other kinds of weird back bends. Senator John Cornyn saying you know this impeachment is overturning an election by definition impeachments overturn elections. That’s what they do. So yes. And there is only one actually there’s only one person president who could have been impeached where it would not overturn an election and who would that be Gerald Ford.


S16: Ding ding ding ding ding ding Very good David very god very good. I was I went I thought it included I include I included Chester Arthur and John Tyler but Martin to me in pointed out.

S7: No actually since they were vice presidents they would have been elected as well and so would be John. Actually yes. Right now. Well that these. Well and Truman and so forth. But they were ultimately elected. If you are one president it would be for it.

S12: So anyway Carry on everybody. To add on to what Jonathan around Scalia’s son and they’re burning down their own institution. This is why I think there’s so much outrage about the skiff takeover not over the protest which seems legit. But if the members of Congress bringing their cell phones into the secure facility which is totally trivial question in some ways trivial matter but it does show the way in which they’re they are willing to ignore rules ignore principles ignore things which they they have held to be important to other circumstances just to completely grandstand a point into that small act of destruction of destruction of the security of that facility is in some ways more significant than all the disruption that they’re causing from their protest.

S8: Well they did it to distract right I mean they succeeded in changing the headlines for at least a day. So like good on them for that as a political move. But I think the part of the reason maybe you’re thinking about this or at least I was last night is all the things that were like down and up and up is down. So you know we used to basically as a country agree that like ISIS was bad that preventing Russian aggression was a goal of the United States. And lately that protecting classified information if it had anything to do with you know Hillary Clinton or her state department was incredibly vital. And now all of those things are like up for grabs in the Republican Party.


S11: And another one of those is that the State Department that American diplomats represent our interests. And then you have this complete gutting of the State Department undermining of the idea of these diplomats working for the national interests and it’s now it’s all deep state conspiracy and instead we have we have the cartoonishly sinister trio of Giuliani and his henchmen going over to to run shadow foreign policy which is supposedly better than what all these diplomats are doing.

S15: Can I jump on that point very quickly which is that Bill Taylor was appointed by Trump George W. Bush and originally put in the foreign service by Ronald Reagan but that actually none of that should matter. A secretary of state should stand up for those officials because it sends a signal to the rest of his team to the rest of his State Department and that’s one of the things that Taylor was getting at in his opening statement which is that the norms and traditions and honor and character and duty that you feel to this shared set of beliefs that is what propels people into 30 year careers in the foreign service that is what propels people to join the CIA. And do you know dangerous or unsung work late at night. That is what as secretary of defense Mattis explained to me that is what sends the young man or woman up the hill in Afghanistan that these ideas and these this sense of duty and this that that Taylor was writing about in his opening statement. That’s what is at stake here.

S8: There was another aspect of that opening statement. I’ve been thinking about which is that Taylor describes his concern when the secretary of state Pompeo asked him to take over as the top diplomat in Ukraine. And the reason Taylor was concerned is that he knew that Marie Jovanovic had been pushed out in this unruly way by Giuliani and his henchmen. So he’s saying to Pompeii like basically I only want to do this job if it’s clear that the United States support for Ukraine and true anti-corruption efforts in Ukraine and strengthening Ukraine against Russia if all those values are still our policy and what we hold dear. And Pompeo reassured him. And obviously you know Taylor feels completely sold out. But I also wonder if Pompeo is really regretting that he appointed someone to this job it was an actual upstanding public servant. Right. There are like these key sort of mid-level positions in the impeachment story that if they were held by flunkies this whole story would be different. Taylor is one of them. The inspector general for the intelligence community whose name is Michael Atkinson. He’s the one who made sure the whistle complaint whistleblower complaint actually made it to Congress. I mean it had its own route to Congress but he went basically around the Justice Department which was saying oh no you don’t have to turn this over if these people were all like political toadies we would not have the record that we have.


S12: We have our annual conundrum show coming up live at the Fox Theater in Oakland California on December 18th we have tickets still at Slate dot com slash live. We want you to come and we also want you to send us your conundrums. We have some good ones but you should tweet to us with hashtag conundrum or go to our special forums like dot com slash conundrum and fill it out with a conundrum there we’ve gotten some great ones from you already. So for example is this a real this is a philosophical question is hell the devil’s heaven. I don’t know that’s deep.

S8: That’s a question for the good days. Got a lot to a lot of that show to be able to answer for the rest of your life.

S10: You either have to speak in rhyme or sing everything you say which shoot to man.

S6: There’s so many more other good ones. Please come to our show in Oakland on December 18th Slate dot com slash live.

S12: For tickets Emily Bazelon what is going on at Facebook and with Facebook. Relationship with politics and with Congress and with conservatives and with politicians there seems to be a bunch of different streams all merging and a whole again as usual makes Facebook seem deeply unappealing.

S8: Yeah. So Facebook and its CEO Mark Zuckerberg are emerging as a kind of villain and punching bag for both the right and the left and a difficult position. But of course whose fault is that. So what we’ve seen in the last week is the real debate to use a polite word over Facebook s current policies involving ads political ads for the upcoming elections and also just like speech in general. And so Zuckerberg tried to address this head on with the big speech at Georgetown University in which he comes out strongly for the values of free speech and he says look people don’t want their ability to see different points of view mediated by any kind of company and so we’re putting all these political ads out there for you to judge for themselves. And if politicians are lying well you can hold them accountable. This is of course not a new position. This is the idea that Facebook is a platform not a publisher and is thus not responsible for a lot of the content that it puts out there in the world.


S4: The problem with this of course is that on a number of fronts Facebook is very much policing content and it is actually deviating from its current fact checking policies for political ads treating them differently than it treats other content. And I think Congresswoman Alexandra Del Castillo Cortez did like an amazing job of kind of showing Zuckerberg at his most evasive and and just sort of unsatisfying in terms of the policies he has about political ads on the right. You also have Facebook very aware that Senators like Josh Holley off Missouri are making their bones by accusing Facebook of being biased against conservatives. And I also think that Facebook is kind of stuck with Zucker Berg’s own libertarian ideology. He really does want to believe that his company is making the world better and that its policies toward campaign speech in general and ads in particular is going to work. I think it’s not going to work. I think that Facebook is going to be a force for ill not good in the upcoming elections but Zuckerberg just doesn’t want to see that. And there is a pretty easy fix here which is that Facebook could just say you know what. We’re not going to run any political ads if they don’t want to do that writ large. They could say that about national elections you know for local candidates or smaller races you can see the value in people being able to promote their views on social media and maybe they’ll be more likely to be held accountable for lying which used to be something people didn’t do in ads because it was shaming but for the national elections in particular the presidential election it’s really hard to see how Facebook running ads is a good thing.


S15: But here’s the question that if people have stopped Penn penalizing candidates for lying.

S16: Haven’t we gotten to a place where Facebook and not new. Neither Facebook nor anyone else can solve that problem. Facebook can’t plug every hole in the in the dam which again isn’t an argument for not trying to do anything. But then the question is are the real serious problems of our of our information sharing much deeper and more problematic than anything that he can fix.

S13: So what I think is being overlooked in this I actually think the political ad issue is pretty minor. It’s not nothing and and there’s a Decepticon quality a huge amount of the political advertising on Facebook and you also can’t track it the way you could track TV ads and so that’s it.

S8: So people know responses to political ads then change their algorithm in terms of other things that are presented.

S10: I don’t think it’s a I just don’t think it’s a huge issue. What I think is being overlooked here is the way or underplayed are all these attacks on Facebook from the right. This notion that Facebook is somehow biased against conservative when actually the exact opposite is what’s happened is that Facebook has now become and Facebook and the Facebook ecosystem have become so effective for organizing on the right and for passing on false mostly false largely false information if you look at the most shared articles on Facebook on any given day nine of 10 of them are conservative semi truth at best kinds of articles things from Ben Shapiro is always showing up on the top of those lists and that the that actually this idea that that Facebook is is somehow suppressing the speech on the right is just nonsense. What’s happening is that is because there’s a kind of I dunno if it’s a gullibility if there’s a willingness to believe it that Facebook is just a more effective ecosystem for four people on the right but it is where the ideas of the right and the more dangerous ideas the right find purchase but you know root in and get shared and I think what Mark Zuckerberg doesn’t really want to acknowledge Mark Zuckerberg who I think probably thinks of himself as a libertarian with a liberal bent is that he has created an environment is very very useful for the right and for people that he actually finds loathsome and he will gradually heat because he’s been doing these dinners with conservative pundits you know he’ll have Tucker Carlson and other folks of that vein over for dinner and have these discussions with them he’s going to end up in that world he’s going to you I guarantee you within three years we’ll see him at dinner with Jared Kushner and a banker Trump and they’ll be hanging out together is that he’s that the company is fundamentally an ecosystem for the right now not for the left.


S8: And that’s a great network problem. And then add to that that he gave a speech to his employees that leaked in which he talked about the idea of an anti-trust action against Facebook in potential Elizabeth Warren administration as an existential threat to the company. Now that’s a good natural stance for him to take like yes if the government brought in antitrust enforcement action against Facebook. That would be a problem so you can see why he doesn’t want that to happen. But I think again the politics are pushing him in a particular direction.

S16: David’s essentially saying a version of what I was saying because I think that if you look at the top 10 things and by the way if you’re not David you can tell me. But if you look at those top 10 stories those would seem to me to be beyond Facebook s reach those stories that are being sent around are not really a lot of them are not fact checkable. I mean they are characterizations and framing and elevations of certain issues that distort political reality perhaps but that don’t have a specific fact that can be that can be pinpointed and therefore to remove them. What strikes me about Facebook and I mean they did they did remove a recent network of Russian backed accounts that are another one of the challenges out there because the Russian backed accounts are not just fake they’re they’re actually using things that would be considered not fact checkable to create division and dissent and discord. And so that’s a problem which they are. Another problem they have to solve which they’ve done some things to try to get at. But what what strikes me is that lack of creativity towards improving these more basic ideas about critical thinking and and that if you were any of these companies Facebook or Twitter or any of the others that you’re there is an opportunity to use and come up with new ways that would actually promote or at least try. You may not solve it but at least try to break people out of these patterns that are causing these tribal reactions to information.


S4: You know one of the things that Facebook is just refusing to really face up to or at least I haven’t seen it publicly do that is the way in which its algorithms promote insightful content even if it’s not completely false like you’re saying social media insightful with a C insightful you mean insight.

S5: Yes. Yeah. Not now not. Yeah. Yeah. All right. I just want to clarify.

S8: Yes. Content that has the effect of inciting people and provoking strong emotions in particular anger. I mean we’ve seen this on YouTube and we see it on Facebook and Instagram and the other social media platforms it controls. And so that’s another way in which there is a bigger responsibility here. And you know you can also think about this in terms of the way in which the government is abdicating its role. So our government does not want to tell people what they can or can’t see on social media but our government does regulate the airwaves and television.

S4: And so in a way I think the most to me persuasive or at least like poignant thing that Zuckerberg can say is like look the government has put us in this awkward position of having to figure out how much to police speech. And we don’t want to be in that position. You can argue that what should be happening here is the FCC should be helping Facebook or taking over from Facebook in making some of these decisions.

S10: Yeah. I think that’s just not going to happen. Not offensive.

S8: Not yet. But it’s something another administration could really take on. I mean that. Right. Like we have to get away from the notion that the government can’t do anything about this because then you have the social media companies in that role. And that is not like the really great place to locate this discussion. Their incentives are not public service.


S16: Yeah. They’re admitting that basically that their model benefits from bilge would be a good first step. Yes. And it’s the same it’s the same natural reaction that. And you know the hunt for attention has been what all these social media platforms have been after since their inception. And politicians are looking for the same attention and they know how to keep it and maintain it which is by riling you up and fundraisers who send you the solicitation selling you the wolf is at the door. Do the same thing. The House and Senate which flips all the time between parties. There’s the structure of the thing creates no incentive for working together. The incentives are for demonizing the opponents so that you can gain control of the institution again. So they are flowing with and profiting from the attention shattering that’s been a part of all of these other parts.

S13: They should the way they advocated for a more inclusive immigration policy they should turn loose their energies and passions and powers towards creating this new what fantastic solution to grow in the other direction Slate Plus members you get bonus segments on this podcast and on other Slate podcast today in tribute to Jon’s wonderful interview his first 60 Minutes interview where he got Christine Legarde to show how she pretends to drink wine. We will talk about other ways to pretend to do things and you can see that if you go to Slate dot com slash gap has plus you can’t see it actually because we’re podcast but you could hear us talking about it if you get like that complex Gaddafi’s plots to become a member today but you could see John’s interview with Christine Legarde on 60 Minutes. All of a sudden this week there was a spate of pundits making the same argument. I think it began with Matt Yglesias inbox then infected David Lee and Hart and Michelle Cottle at the New York Times all arguing making the same point that perhaps the key way to accelerate the removal of predator President Trump or to accelerate his unpopularity is mass protests. And yet there are not mass protests so John why are there not mass protests right now. We began the Trump presidency with probably the largest protests in American history. There was also after the Stoneman Douglas shooting there was this marvel instead of protests around gun safety. But at the moment impeachment has not caused a up swelling of people in the streets in the way we see in Hong Kong and Chile and in other countries.


S15: There have been mass street protests that seem to be having causing real change or at least causing real uproar Well I think I mean one there is probably a certain sense of fatigue and proof of this is that some of the news organizations that used to catalog and every one of Donald Trump’s lies have stopped doing it.

S17: They’ve just been too many of them. And it’s also quite taxing because if you care about the opinion of other people you actually need to evaluate whether what’s being said is a lie or merely being spun. But the point is that even people who are in the business of paying close attention and despite fatigue are getting fatigued by the kind of constant pace of things in the modern world.

S16: I think secondly impeachment is probably more abstract than if it is specific right of yours that whether it’s the right to vote or or that even the migrants being separated at the border from their children or with women and an abortion rights there’s a direct personal relationship with either the specific issue where somebody you know who cares a great deal about the specific issue. But I don’t I. So I think that explains perhaps some of the middling turnout but. But I think as a as an organizational tool for people who are opposed to the current administration to use public demonstration not necessarily to improve the conditions of the impeachment inquiry but merely as a way to capture voters register voters and otherwise participate in the electoral process the way the same Tea Party did.

S17: Seems to me to be you know probably a smart way to go from a political perspective if you’re not a fan of the president.


S8: Yeah I mean I thought Matt Iglesias initial article was pretty persuasive. One of the things that is at stake here is just like getting media attention some sense of urgency that this is something that people are really galvanized by and horrified by. And it seems like impeachment right now could take on that character in a way that it didn’t have the same kind of momentum behind it last summer when organizers kind of tried to do some impeachment rallies. So it does seem like that kind of pressure point could be really meaningful right now and give people an outlet for their energy.

S12: Emily do you think the purpose of that is to actually build support for impeachment and removal from office. Or is the purpose more of a bank shot or more of an electoral play which is this may not cause the removal of President Trump from office an impeachment conviction but it will definitely galvanize these protests will serve this electoral organizing function the way that the women’s march in twenty seventeen hugely did which is that the women’s march was itself sort of a one day event but it ended up having this tremendous knock on effect because it cal it inspired a whole bunch of people who would then become candidates and inspired groups that then helped organize for the 2018 election. So do you think that the these protests are removal protests or they are fundamentally for electoral purposes for 2020.

S8: I mean I think it’s both the argument Matt was making is that Watergate was all about moving the kind of technical insider D.C. political mechanisms toward impeachment and what my point now was at the time the parties were much less polarized the judiciary wasn’t split between conservatives and liberals in the same way there was no Federalist Society. And you also had three nightly news networks delivering essentially the same set of facts into American households every night so an agreed upon set of facts for the public. None of these conditions apply now. And that makes mass protests a more important signal. And so yes it’s possible that that would change the way some Republican senators in swing states in particular are thinking about impeachment if they felt real concentrated public pressure and then it has this knock on effect as you’re saying about galvanizing people for the election. I think that what we’re going to see probably among Republicans a kind of switch to a process defense for Trump right as the case for impeachment gets stronger. Based on testimony like Bill Taylors and if this case for a real quid pro quo of withholding military aid becomes completely buttoned down then you’re going to start to see Republicans say well you know the election it’s only a year and change away we should just wait for that. And so then the rallies if they happen would become an important touchstone for that circumstance as well as for impeachment.


S12: One of the the things that I always come back to when presidential elections pop up or even when when any national action comes out plots is law. I’m gonna give you guys plots as law. Really you in on this. I’m ready. What’s his law is which ever side is having more fun. And then an election wins.

S5: So if you look at Ali’s are a sign of people having fun people and people having fun.

S10: If you if you look at 2016 there there was so much delight in the trolling of Hillary Clinton. There was so much I mean there was a nastiness to what Trump was doing but there was also a kind of exuberance to Trump his supporters and they had so much fun making fun of Hillary. 2010 same same with the Tea Party. There was this we’re part of the Tea Party movement. We have the Tea Party. The Tea Party movement and 28 2008 with Obama and the rallies around Obama. Similarly 92 with Clinton. There was this again this joyfulness and what Clinton was doing that got people excited. 1980 with Reagan. Whenever I look at where the kind of glee is and took 2018 Democrats had it. Again there was so much. It’s not just enthusiasm. It’s it’s Glee and Glee can have malice in it also. So. So there’s plenty there’s plenty of 2018 in 2010. There’s tons of malice but it is. Where is the where is the the kind of joy. And that’s I. And whenever I see that I’m like oh these guys are gonna win. And and so to me the point of the impeachment rallies is meh it might actually change voting on impeachment. Change may change the dynamics in that. But mostly it’s going to get people fired up and and and loose and they’re gonna have funny signs and great Yeah me hymns that are going to spill over into the 2020 election and that will help Democrats a lot.


S12: That’s Plotz as law.

S17: But the problem is that the people who are ironic and stuff like that plus is law RTM are people like you were saying I’m sorry John we’re talking yes you’re talking the law.

S18: What David is very pleased with himself right now.

S19: He is he’s having fun having been having Glee heavy Glee is likely to have the most fun. I win the podcast.

S7: Yes he’s having a little. He’s having glee. Meanwhile is somebody listening to the podcast has thrown their head set across the room and not for the first time.

S16: This is two reactions that one people who are ironic and and say sort look at things with a sideways glint of the kind that it seems to me is a precondition for the joy that you’re describing tend to maybe not be get out there and march types and that there’s probably a Twitter set there’s a there’s a kind of social media sapping that takes place where people feel like they can kind of say they’re witty thing on Twitter and move on.

S10: Secondly I interrupted you can I stop you there and you’re totally right about that for one thing. Which is a strong disagree based on the experience of both the gun rallies and the women’s market. I do not have any joy at gun rallies. Oh my God. You were absolutely wrong. If you if those were joyful occasions then it’s not that they’re it’s not that there isn’t somber but the collective fervor that we have to find. Anyway the pleasure of company and the end if you looked at what the signs were and the wit and the kind of the the way in which people interact in the way that people dressed. It was filled with I mean same thing with the Tea Party the Tea Party was it was at heart was a very dark movement in a lot of ways. There can be darkness in this. There’s a it’s that the kind of sense of collective fervor and enthusiasm and and connectivity that people feel is what I’m talking about.


S16: Well then if that’s your that’s a different definition of joy than I thought you would do using So under that definition. Sure. The choral area to the plots law is Nixon’s law which is whenever there is an organization aligned against acts that on X. When ever.

S8: But there are so many organizations aligned against everything.

S17: I’m like Well I don’t know this is a previous OK.

S20: OK.

S6: And just wrapping this up there. There were these efforts at impeachment rallies earlier they did not really work. How is it you think if they’re going to be impeachment rallies today that there will be an organizing principle for them what is it that actually will get people to show up in the streets around this as opposed to just being indignant about it which they clearly are.

S8: So I feel like until the Ukraine scandal impeachment was divisive unpopular and not clear like there just wasn’t a clear case for it and none of those things are true anymore. When you look at the polls when you look at the facts it’s just all much more galvanizing. So to me the everything that happened regarding impeachment discussions before like the end of September I think is just in a different box than what’s happening since then. This is about corruption. It’s pretty simple. And a lot of people don’t like corruption or at least like that’s been the American way in the past.

S12: Let’s go to cocktail chatter when you are gleefully maliciously planning your street protest in your local tavern. What would you be chattering to your friends about John Dickerson.

S9: Two things. One is the new york times piece called centrism is canceled high schoolers debate the impeachment inquiry and it’s about a Times piece about a challenge at high school and the debate they had about impeachment in the history class in which they had to actually behave not like dogs and not like people you know not the poo flinging engaged on in Twitter. And it’s an interesting piece that it contains this fact. Well I guess I will put this to the crowd. What do you all think is the percentage of adults who can name all three branches of government.


S6: Oh God. It’s gonna be really low.

S14: I want it to be like 80 80 percent 40 39. So David I just dropped the mike over here and they’ll be very interesting to see.

S17: What people so they can like. But do they know what they do and so forth.

S21: So that’s a kind of technical question like. I mean I have to marinate in this all the time but I mean I I know the answer. Just research everyone. Sometimes these are kinds of gotcha questions like you could understand that we have a judiciary a Congress and a president and not know that we call those things. There are three branches of government right.

S15: Yeah. It all depends on how the question is framed. That’s a quite a fair point.

S10: What do you think the wrong answers that people give out. Because I bet people say the military is a branch of government but that’s the if they’re asked.

S7: They might say that it was done by Annenberg at the Annenberg civics knowledge survey. We’ve talked about this before and whether and also then we should come back to it again probably some point but you know. So what’s the point. Like is this just who cares as Emily I think is implicit in what you’re saying which is OK maybe you can’t name them in the way either the pollster asks or maybe even in the way of perfectly divine design poll would ask but what if you understood the content.

S17: Is it more important to know there are three branches or understand that the government was formed with a with a system of shared powers and that it was meant to be slow and inefficient so that there would be minority rights and the majority wouldn’t wouldn’t run roughshod. And also that a minority wouldn’t be in control and then whether that’s under assault right now and so forth and so on.


S8: So anyway I would like I would like people to understand what they have the power to change through their vote. Like how are interlocking mechanism of separation of powers works they’ll have to know what it’s called I don’t care about that just like some sense of like the president picks judges the Senate confirms that like that’s how the third branch gets construct right.

S17: Just like some idea of what leads to what in the system that the more fun part of my chatter is a Twitter handle that I follow called History Lovers club and lovers is LV r s no vow.

S15: I think the no valley is this post great pictures and just little bits of joy in the middle of the day one that was posted this week was reasons for admission and these are the list of reasons for admission to a lunatic asylum in the eighteen hundreds and the tweet says it reads like a list of potential metal band names. Any deal includes things like immoral life ill treatment by husband egotism excessive sexual behavior the war time of life kicked in the head by a horse overtaxing mental powers political excitement I want to know the cases of the people who were admitted for these reasons anyway but I the bigger point is too.

S17: It’s a very enjoyable Twitter account to follow and so I encourage everyone to do so. LOL Beth What’s your chatter.

S21: I have a kind of trolling. David Plotz chatter Hey hey is my outrage of the week is about a bill that the Trump Golf Links and hotel in Ireland sent to the Irish police. Oh had to go. However I’m I’m gonna keep going. They had to cover this side trip that President Trump made to Ireland and this bill which comes to over a hundred thousand dollars is to the Irish police from Trump’s golf resort. And it has things not hit like eight hundred and seventy five. I don’t know if these are pounds or dollars for additional tea and coffee due to inclement weather. I am so apoplectic about things like this. It drives me crazy. I mean maybe as an American taxpayer I should be glad to know that is Irish taxpayers who are getting screwed this time.


S8: But the notion that you know we are having foreign governments pay into President Trump’s private properties for services that he demands I just it it just makes me furious.

S20: Yeah I can’t I should. Even you. SHERRY Well it was shocking. How can they do that. Welcome back. Read a view what’s what.

S12: If you’ve read any Tana French you know that the Irish cops say they’ve got so many important murders to follow.

S19: They can’t be exactly killed handle inclement weather.

S20: They don’t haul additional t that. There.

S13: The Dublin murder squad has work to do. My chatter is I thought Emily was surely going to chatter it but I’ll just do it because she didn’t. The amazing arguments that were made by President Trump’s personal lawyers this week in front of a judge.

S19: Oh my God. Have you heard about this.

S6: Yeah. So. So it’s a case involving President Trump’s tax returns. And he’s fighting a subpoena around this on grounds that he as president has absolute immunity from criminal indictment or investigation over his taxes and his attorney then said in response to a question from the judge the judge asked Well if President Trump stood in the middle fifth Avenue and shot somebody could local authorities investigate. Could they do anything about it. And Trump’s lawyer said no. That if the president murdered someone on Fifth Avenue with a gun no one could investigate that now. No one could pursue it.

S8: This isn’t about whether you could convict the president at trial during his tenure or even whether you can indict. You may not even investigate.

S6: That’s the position they’re taking the position is. Nothing can be done. And his lawyer William Kohn Savoy said that is correct. Nothing can be done. It is shocking. Do you think the Supreme Court’s going to uphold that. No.


S4: When they get I do not think that is a tenable legal position. I really hope not.

S9: I’m saying Emily is is there a way in which that could be an own goal which is to say you make a series of of stable and reasonable claims in the first three things you say.

S17: The fourth thing you say is so bonkers and at odds with the original conception of the job that it completely eviscerates the previous three things you said or can they just be. And that was stupid. You went too far. But you know the underlying your underlying claim is or your underlying defenses is a reasonable one.

S8: You can say Oh that’s stupid. You went too far. Your first three points are valid. The problem is they went to this point that because in this case it’s only about investigating the president. Right. We’re talking about whether the Manhattan district attorney can subpoena the tax returns of Trump for the purposes of an investigation. So they had to go there.

S6: That’s the problem. Your listeners you have also been sending us wonderful chatters at Slate gabfest you’ve been sending us stories that fascinated you. They’re tremendous. Again I say this every week. Just such a great set of things this week.

S1: I want to call out a tweet from it at Joe pie pail pie. Joe I’m sorry to mispronounce you if I have but it points to a piece on ESPN top comment about the fitness routines of chess grandmasters. So it’s about how people who play chess have to stay in fighting shape even though all they do is sit in front of a board and think and they basically don’t move for hours and hours and hours the piece is moderately interesting on the question of their fitness routine and how you know they eat protein and don’t take as much sugar and now they drink chocolate milk because that’s got a good mix of sugar and proteins in it blah blah blah. What was fascinating and it was the data on what happens to a grandmasters weight during a tournament and during these World Championship matches which take place over 10 days. These guys will lose 20 pounds even though they’re not doing anything. They’re just sitting. And the reason they’re losing 20 pounds is that the kind of even you think of oh the way you lose weight or the way that you drop calories is by intense physical activity actually intense mental activity and intense stress your body is working really really hard you’re metabolizing a ton and you just don’t want to eat. You also have a hard time taking in calories. And so they they were talking about the number two player in the world who’s not the only way is like a buck 60 to begin with will drop down 20 pounds drop a seventh or eighth of his body weight during a tournament.


S21: Clearly I’m just not thinking hard enough.

S3: I now had that same thought yeah definitely felt the same way as I read that. That is our show for today. The efforts is produced by just funk. Our researchers Bridget Dunlap a Caplin helped in D.C. today Ryan have helped the New Haven. Yes Emily was Ryan McCoy. Yes. And Allen Pang is in CBS with John Gabriel Roth is editorial director of Slate podcast June Thomas is managing producer. Please follow us on Twitter at Slate gabfest. Tweet chatter to us there was a tweet conundrums to us with a hashtag conundrum and if you can be in Oakland on December 18th please join us at the Fox Theater for our annual conundrum show. Slate dot com slash live. For tickets to that for Emily Bazelon and John Dickerson and David Plotz.

S22: Thanks for listening. We’ll talk to you next on Halloween.

S6: Hello Slate Plus how are you so. Slate Plus inspired today by John’s John’s inaugural effort at 60 Minutes which is a profile of Christine LeGarde the head of the IMF who is now going to run the European Central Bank. And my favorite moment in John Story which I commend it to you. For all reasons but a particular commended the last bit John notes something about Legarde which is that she apparently has this reputation for being able to fake drink wine that she doesn’t drink or even if you drink but she pretends to drink a lot more than you actually drinks. And so John while sitting and having a having a drink with her has her show how she pretends to drink and it’s fantastic how she likes you see her swirled the mind around sniff it you know. You know sort of make you know gesture really be interested in it. Paul put it up to her lips bake a swallow and then put the glass back down not having drank anything. It’s just it’s acting. It is acting at the highest level. So I wanted John to tell us how that came about and then we can talk about other ways to fake things.


S1: This will be rated G version. It’s not gonna be like this but I can get extremely graphic here. So your children.

S7: I hadn’t even considered that and now here we are. So yeah.

S15: Well I had read in a bunch of the profiles that she doesn’t drink when she’s on the job and she’s French first fall and has a house in Normandy and is just more is just incredibly French and I thought what a what a surprise that somebody who comes from a wine growing culture and is so French wouldn’t drink wine and then I thought well how does that how do you do that in a job where there is so much schmoozing and so much toast giving and all of that. And so there are a bunch of times in the interview. This is the only one that made it to that made it into the piece where I asked her to teach me something I said I also asked her to teach me. Part of what the profile was about and what she’s devoted her career to doing is lifting up women basically hiring them or insisting that she won’t go to meetings in which there are only men. And she did that both in the private sector as a lawyer and at the IMF and plans to do it at the European Central Bank. And so I said she talks about mentoring women and in these rooms full of men. So I said Okay I’m a woman I’m going into a room full of men. What do you what do you teach me like give me the. Give me your briefing before I go in. So that was also part of it anyway.


S17: So she showed us how to do that and I she does in fact drink wine but just not on the job because she wants to keep her wits about her.

S8: What do you guys do about food you don’t wanna eat when you’re at a dinner and you feel like people are sort of watching or you’re supposed to be politely eating food or you take a bite of something and it’s gross.

S15: What do you guys do. Is this a cappella is it. Yeah. Is it is it like at a friend’s house or you ate at you know dinner for the King of Sweden huh.

S21: Is the answer different in those two different. Yeah I guess it is. Well let’s let’s take either of them. I’ll take them both. I’m interested in both answers.

S13: I don’t think it’s that I don’t find that that hard. I mean I think once you’ve taken a bite of something it’s very hard to undertake the bite. So you.

S5: Well I’ve found no I have found no way to things out to get away from that part of it.

S1: But the. Not eating something that is on your plate is pretty easy because it all generally there’s in most situations like that there’s more than one thing on your plate and so you eat the things that you like and you kind of cut up the thing that you don’t like and push it around you deconstruct it slightly. So it’s not in its whole position it’s it’s broken up. The the chicken you’ve cut the chicken off the bone you have it actually eaten the chicken it’s just pushed around elsewhere on your plate and just looks kind of like a garbage fire has happened there but not that you haven’t eaten it. It’s just that you’ve oh you’ve you know you’ve just been a little bit messy and that’s that. That’s my strategy for things which are truly revolting John.


S7: If it’s not as somebodies private house eat it is acceptable to if you if you take a bite of something and it is just so awful that you think you might do injury to yourself in one form or another it is fine to discard it into your napkin discreetly discreetly. Yes of course. No you don’t hock it across the table.

S21: Maybe that’s the big napkins are actually for you know a corner of them and still have the rest of it.

S15: One summer I made money. I don’t even know if I made money actually but I worked in a restaurant folding napkins and running them through this very hot roller that flatten them out and iron them out and you would take the napkins out of the bin in which they’d been thrown to first wash them. And man when you opened up some of those napkins that surprises you would find it was like Cracker Jacks but in reverse anyway the. But I don’t know what you do it’s your best you know your best pal’s house and you take a bite of the you know delicious thing they’ve slaved over and it’s awful. You know some kind of ratted to to a mistake that they’ve taken a risk on the rat the rat and the red to Iraq and rat it doing so well yeah. And what do you do. I don’t know.

S13: All right what. All right let’s talk about another one of these which I think is how do you fake somebody fake recognizing someone you know you should know but you actually don’t remember who they are.

S8: It has to be someone I this one. So I do two things. One is that I play along desperately but the second is that I will ask my husband or someone just to if I have a second to go up and introduce themselves in front of me. So the person has to say their name like that is such a relief. If you can make that happen.


S21: My only problem in those moments is that I’m so like I’m so worried that I sometimes don’t even hear the person say their name then and then I have forgotten it again huh.

S17: This is my terror in life right. My former colleague Karen Cordy used to be and clarify who is now holds this same position. And they were very good at recognizing my absolute inability to remember my own name and my life anyone else’s. Yeah some. Sometimes I will get a discrete text reminding me of the name of my own children you know. But Carol once I can’t exactly remember the full nature of the gambit but I think she used another person to make an introduction of somebody to get them to say their names so that I would then remember it. It was it was masterful.

S6: What if you don’t what if there’s literally no way no one around. What if there’s nobody to be employed.

S16: Yeah yeah but people who do things like say hey chief Hey captain a doctor there’s a lot of that and once you once they say that oh man you know now my other one.

S10: How do you pretend to pay attention in a meeting either telephonically or in person where you’re basically not paying attention. I mean you guys don’t have that problem.

S8: Well I used to knit my way through classes as my way of dealing with this and it actually helped me concentrate. Oh that would be good lunch. Yeah. Yeah. I have so much nervous loose energy and I’m such a fidget Ah. And so it both saved my fingernails from oblivion and actually like calm down enough that I could listen.

S10: So. So I find my true sin which I confess I have committed on the show occasionally is is it.

S6: I know that each of you has committed it to relapse and you do it too. You know one of you was talking the conversations going on and I’m kind of like checking my email and checking ahead in my script or whatever just to see what we can talk about next. But sometimes I’m just checking my email or texting somebody and yet I have to maintain the pretense that I’m paying attention to this meeting or this conversation.

S8: Don’t you catch the very last thing one of us says Isn’t that like when my kids accuse me of not paying attention I can usually spit back like the last five words only now they know and they’re like guess what came before that.

S6: Yes I do.

S21: When I work for you I would get because I you know for after a while I didn’t work in the same office as you would get on the phone and I would be seeing some hash and things like otherwise why are you on the phone with your boss.

S18: And there would be this silence. And I was like yeah yeah. David you’re not paying attention and I’ll be like OK. So you just I just said all that and you weren’t listening and you are like OK you’re right I’m sorry. And then I was OK because you were just this is such a good quality of yours that you apologized immediately.

S6: So I was like OK you just I mean it’s so the discipline you have to have if you’re me and you’re kind of on your it’s just you have to close your computer. For me it’s that act of will of closing the computer will focus my attention. But it’s really hard.

S8: Do you feel that your listening skills have deteriorated over time. Because I absolutely feel this way. It’s yes it has to do with the distraction of our devices but it’s also that literally sitting and listening to a lecture or even sometimes like a podcast in the car. Like everyone around me will be absorbing information and it will just be like just not penetrating my brain. Yeah.

S6: Yes.

S17: Since I have to do it for a living I try to work on that. The way I would work on like physical fitness because it’s it’s super true and it’s so much harder than it used to be because people are particularly in public interview settings on a in a political context. People are far the sense of shame and going back to the Zuckerberg conversation the the downside of lying in public has almost disappeared for certain people. So you’re having to watch out for people saying things that are just completely what used to be completely out of bounds. My biggest problem is at a public setting not listening to the conversations of other tables because a people are loud bores and b I have it is a it is I’m incapable of not hearing what other people are saying. And so it’s very hard to come. It was hard to focus on the conversation at hand.

S8: Even if you’re with your most darling intended when somebody at the next table is you know flapping their blueberry all around the table I have a theory about this which is that it’s end of what in the end being me if you were raised in a large family in which there was constant chatter and distraction actually you just block all that out. So David and I were recently in a cafe together and he was totally listening to a quite interesting conversation behind us.

S18: And I had no idea that was happening whatsoever.

S10: That is true. I did my number one listening mechanism is to go for a walk that if I’m going for a walk with somebody I can hear. That’s fine. It’s it’s being immobile sitting sitting and passively receiving is really hard.

S8: And that is such a good track and clue. I completely agree with you.

S23: But also you feel better. Yeah I bet there is a system for it if in fact maybe I’ve looked for it but for people who have to listen and I’m trying to think of a what a job would be. So maybe crisis hotlines might be like this although that in that case you’re just listening for one thing. But for people who interrogators may be in like the CIA or in murder cases and stuff who have to listen with a supreme and constant acuity if there is a thing like a memory palace for staying stuck in conversation so that one could practice as a way of trying to improve this.

S19: But the other thing would help in improving the listening skill is if people in say such pitiful I was going to ask him one other faking question but I think that’s typical. Let’s end on TiVo.

S6: Yeah. All right. By Slate Plus.