David Plotz: This ad free podcast is part of your Slate Plus membership. Hello and welcome to the Slate Political Gabfest.
David Plotz: November 24th, 2022. Happy Thanksgiving. The What If Twitter Vanished Edition. I’m David Plotz of City Caste. I’m in D.C. I’m joined, not in D.C.. By John DICKERSON of CBS Primetime from New York. Hello, John.
John Dickerson: Hello, David.
David Plotz: And from New Haven, Connecticut, Emily Bazelon of The New York Times magazine. And Yale. Yale, your law but no longer ranked, the no longer ranked by U.S. News. Yale University Law School. So now not one of the top law schools in the country.
Emily Bazelon: But of them. Yes.
David Plotz: How does it feel to be working at unranked and probably now unaccredited law school? Illinois.
Emily Bazelon: Righteous. It feels righteous. I don’t think we lose our accreditation for the dean pulling out of the U.S. News and World Report rankings, but maybe that will be next. But yeah, no, it was totally righteous thing to do. They’re not valuing public service enough, and those rankings are just like a terrible score on the universe, as far as I can tell.
David Plotz: This week on the Gabfest could Twitter vanish? What would happen if it did? Then this World Cup was born and squalor raised in sin. Can it be redeemed? And then a once prominent anti-abortion activist claims Justice Alito leaked a key Supreme Court decision some years ago, weeks before it was made public. What does this tell us about the recent Dobbs leak? Does it matter if the court is leaky?
David Plotz: Plus, of course, we’ll have cocktail chatter. And reminder, our Conundrum show is coming up. And we have a great guest who’s going to who’s going to cogitate on the mysteries of the universe. With us, Alison Bechdel. She of the Bechdel Test. And who better who better than the writer cartoonist, I would say part time philosopher Alison Bechdel. So if you have conundrums you’d like us to answer, you’d like Alison to tackle, please send them to us by going to Slate.com slash conundrums. And just just a little teaser.
David Plotz: Dear listeners, here are a few that you’ve scented sent to us already. Should voting be weighted to account for how long the vote would impact your life? For instance, if you’re 18, your vote would be worth one vote. But if you’re age 77, it would be worth a 10th of a vote. That’s a really good question. Then another one. Would you rather travel a hundred years back in time to meet your ancestors or a hundred years into the future to meet your your descendants? Great question. And this one. Fuck. Marrickville Bread, rice, pasta. Which is an amazing question. Amazing. So submit your conundrums to us at Slate.com slash conundrums.
David Plotz: The chaos at Twitter has calmed down slightly this week, I guess, by the standards of previous recent week. Elon Musk has not tweeted quite as many provocations at his employees.
Emily Bazelon: Of course, he has fewer employees, so why bother?
David Plotz: But that’s exactly right. Most of the people who he was tweeting provocations at have been fired or quit. That’s what’s happened. The site still seems to be operating. Donald Trump, I guess, is allowed back on it. So is Marjorie Taylor GREENE. I thought this morning is allowed back on it. Still, Twitter exile ease. The Twitter heretics are issuing dire warnings that the site could collapse and die. So so I think there’s the question of what could it fall apart and what would that be like? And then could it vanish and what would that be like? So do you guys think it is a reasonable posit that Twitter could actually fall apart?
Emily Bazelon: I think it could break in some way that could prove temporary. Like they could fix it. But, you know, there’s people who know about coding and things that I don’t know about have presented various scenarios in which there is a part of the Twitter technology, part of the infrastructure that breaks or jams. And there aren’t people who have the deep knowledge of the system to fix it. I would imagine that eventually they would get it back online. You could worry about a data breach in the middle of that. So, you know, if you have a lot of private DMS on Twitter, now might be a good time to delete them.
Emily Bazelon: I also think in the medium term it could go bankrupt. I mean, Musk has saddled it with an enormous amount of debt, and so the financial picture looks like a threat to me. On the other hand, it’s this international, you know, place where people talk to each other and yell at each other and it’s not easily replaced at all. I’ve been interested to see how much energy there is in rooting for its survival despite the kind of evil overlord veneer of the moment.
John Dickerson: To me, Elon Musk took over this thing, and when there was personal suffering in the Pelosi family and the moment of uncertainty and Paul Pelosi lying in a hospital bed with his head being stapled back together, Elon Musk made the personal decision to make their lives more miserable in front of his millions of followers. So that I think, has to be kept clearly in the. The center of the moral frame.
John Dickerson: On the other hand, there are things that could be done with focus, attention and a little skill that could make Twitter very good. It could basically allow the awful to go have their own channel where they all talk to each other and trade their, you know, spoonfuls of poison to each other. But that people who are interested in the functioning rational world and conversation and all of the wonderful things that are part wonder joy of of Twitter could have a clean channel that’s actually helped by the technology, that misinformation can be figured out and that there are solutions to this, which might make quite a pleasant place.
John Dickerson: There might be more channels, and some of those channels might be truly awful, but they would be essentially minimized. And I root for that. I think that there is that there are ways to fix parts of Twitter, including its attacks on our attention. The problem, of course, is that Musk and you can see this in his tweets, at least for the moment, is is running his business model on attention grabbing because he needs presumably the revenue.
David Plotz: So I, I definitely think that people who think it’s it is in its death throes or it’s going to fall apart completely are are deluding themselves. A smart friend of mine I was talking to about this yesterday points out that Reddit, which is at least as complicated and also incredibly contentious, has like 20% the number of employees that Twitter had. So it is very possible that it was overstaffed. And it’s also true that in our own lifetime, we all can remember the Twitter operated more or less as it does today with probably a 10th of staff. I mean, it’s not Twitter is not that different than it was eight years ago or ten years ago or 15 years ago. So some stuff will break and more offensive things will be on the platform, but I assume it will work.
David Plotz: And I also assume I assume that where the troubles will come from, Musk will be with advertisers because they no longer will see it as a safe space that has increasingly become a place where there is brand advertising. But if it’s perceived as this, as this safe space, as a haven for villains and trolls and mockery, and that there are no reliable protections for a brand to keep itself away from that, then advertisers will shy away, as we’re already seeing. Jon, you’ve painted a picture where you know, there are these separate Twitter micro universes. And here’s one where we discuss flowers and here’s one where we discuss anti-Semitism and here’s where we are anti-Semitic. I don’t know if that feels that feels like a pipe dream given who owns it.
Emily Bazelon: And while much of Musk’s free speech theory is so simplistic as to be not theory, there is good free speech theory for this, right, that you want people talking to each other across these divides and you create content moderation that allows not for walled off gardens, but for a free for all.
John Dickerson: Well, what if what if essentially they up the tools of both the ones you don’t see and the ones you have? So, for example, I’d say the mathematically easiest, you know, offering, which is basically you make mega blocker an internal tool of Twitter. And you know, it’s very easy to see. In fact, you could really basically use one of Musk’s own tweets as your mega blocker. And basically everybody who has favorited one of his sort of highly immature, pitiable tweets, you block everybody who favorited it and you would clean up your your you would create your wall. It’s not Twitter doing it. It’s giving you the power to create your own world in which people who gather round that and to like that kind of thing are just not in your world anymore.
John Dickerson: And this is not you know, I don’t want to hear what people have to say who prefer lower tax rates. These are people who kind of find nourishment in the lowest order of immature behavior. And so that’s fine. Let them go do that. I mean, it’s not fine. It’s awful, but let them go do that. And you wouldn’t have to be around that and you would have created it yourself and he would have given you the tools to create it. And that way it’s that that seems totally possible. That way you leave the big circus, but you create your own walls.
Emily Bazelon: So this is very journalist centric. But Jon, as a journalist, you feel comfortable using tools like that. I mean, at The New York Times, we’ve been asked not to use tools like that. And the idea is that we’re not supposed to be blocking people. We’re supposed to be open to what they’re saying back to us. And I see the virtue of that. On the other hand, the weird thing about social media is the cross between the personal and the professional. And so there are some personal, you know, costs to being bombarded in that way.
John Dickerson: Yeah, we make decisions all the time about how to apply our time and attention to the. From information that comes to us. So and we also make a. We also understand the hierarchy of information that comes to us and what we have time and attention for. And so, first of all, if Twitter is your primary way of getting in information, you’ve got the wrong end of the stick just from the beginning of it. And if if tweezing out how you do and don’t receive information on Twitter is where you’re spending your energy as a news organization, you’ve got the wrong end of a second stick.
John Dickerson: So I think as a journalist, you know, your obligation is to pay attention to bigger, smarter voices of all different kinds and to use some of them, you know, and use your brain in that world, including as you do going and reporting and talking to actual people. So when you’re done with all that, there’s no more time in the day for you to listen to. What spoon boy seven, eight, three, five has to say about, you know, Jews and how they run the world. It’s not I don’t think it’s a big, huge loss.
David Plotz: I would like for you guys to explain to me this question, which is that what is what is the value that Twitter brings to the world that other entities cannot? And what is the thing that would truly be lost if we lost it? So I and I will like preface that by saying I as I mentioned, a couple of weeks on the Gabfest I am now on I’m now on a Twitter diet of Twitter fast and I’ve given up scrolling Twitter. I don’t look at tweets anymore and I feel like I’m missing some of the conversation. On the other hand, I’m reading more books and watching more World Cup. So that seems good. And I just wonder what it is that you all think is the irreplaceable aspect of it that can’t be taken over by an Instagram where a brand can certainly share its message or by TikTok, where an influencer can certainly do something fun that people will find engaging.
John Dickerson: All those things can replace it. There’s nothing special about Twitter. You know, people happen to be there already and I’m lazy. So I think it’s I’m platform agnostic. But but what I do think for me, the utility of it is, for example, this morning, Diane Swonk, who’s the chief economist for KPMG, did a riff on basically she was saying, I don’t want to I don’t want to have to game out the damage that would come from another rail strike. And then she essentially did. I mean, she so it was like a series of tweets about this rail strike that might very well happen. And it was quite an interesting low barrier to posting. And so she could this is, you know, the equivalent of what she would say if you ran into her on the bus and she.
David Plotz: Would be shaking because there was a rail strike.
John Dickerson: That’s right. Because there’s a realistic and it was interesting expert information that you didn’t you know, she didn’t have to go get booked on CNBC. She didn’t have to go write something for a. So it was a you know, a low touch way to do that, which was very useful to me and prompted my thinking. And now I can go off and read more if I want. I learned stuff from political science professors every day about cool things that they’re researching and have studied and found. And so those kinds of that stuff is so useful. I would hate to have it disappear entirely, but it doesn’t need to show up on Twitter.
Emily Bazelon: I think it’s what John is saying, the sort of quick hits of analysis by experts in a moment where you’re curious and maybe you would see that in a news feed, but you very well might not. That’s the most useful thing. And then the other thing is gossip and people having fights with each other and being mean. And while that is attention grabbing and I totally fall for it, I think especially in our like less office COVID era, it scratches some itch that I have. It is not good. Like that’s the part where a Twitter farce would be very good for me because often it just draws me in in a kind of spectator way. It’s like a gladiator fight and need to know that people are mad at each other or if it has some effect on me, If it’s directed at me, it then like affects my day and neither of those things are helpful and I would be better off without it.
John Dickerson: The point then and made, which I think is right, which is is more complicated, is is at what point does one make a personal decision about participating in an in a thing that is an engine of perfecting hate and that relies on that hate and relies on the attention grabbing nature of not just gossipy hate, but, you know, truly dangerous, awful hate. While you may be participating in your channel over here and you don’t see all the sludge in the other one, you’re nevertheless participating in something that’s morally bad.
David Plotz: Slate Plus members. Yet Bonus segments on the Gabfest every week. If you go to Slate.com plus Gabfest plus you can become a member.
David Plotz: Our Slate Plus segment today is a sort of preview of our Conundrum show. We’re going to pick one of the conundrums that’s been sent in. This one was sent in by Ben and we going to talk about it as our Slate Plus segment, just as a little teaser for for the show that we’ll be doing a few weeks. And that question is going to be what’s something you wish you could travel through time to convince your younger self of, but you doubt your younger self could be brought to believe? Like many of you, I will be spending the next four weeks. Watching the World Cup. That will be what I’m doing. I woke up early, watched the Argentina Saudi Arabia game this morning at 5 a.m.. That was exciting. We’re not going to talk today about the likely outcomes about Lionel Messi’s swan song, the It’s Coming Home derring do of the English team. The injuries to the French team. The the possible disappointments of the US team we’re talking about as a political spectacle.
David Plotz: This World Cup has come on to the stage in a full kind of full dressed up in villainy. It was one nefariously with Qatar bribing the extremely bribe of all FIFA greedy sport acrobats back more than a decade ago. They got the cup over the U.S. through just absolute bribery and chicanery. And it’s been kind of just a ghoulish parade of horrors ever since. They’ve imported hundreds of thousands of laborers from the poorer world, especially from Nepal, to build stadiums and roads and hotels, and with scant regard for the well-being of those workers who died by the hundreds in the scorching heat.
David Plotz: There it was is the continued persecution of gay people in Qatar. The suppression, even unto today of the slightest effort by soccer players to acknowledge the persecution of gay people in the and the kind of bullying of soccer players to prevent them from publicly acknowledging it. There’s so much that’s ugly, ugly, ugly about what this World Cup is. And yet. And yet when I will be on the side of and yet I will represent the side of and yet. Emily China Olympics. Russia Olympics. Russia. World Cup. Not exactly. These sports events are not exactly the province of the most egalitarian and humane democracies. It’s not like, you know, Oslo this week and Stockholm next week.
Emily Bazelon: Yes, you are right, of course, that there are many global sporting events that do not win the Human Rights Award in terms of where they are located, and that is probably to the good in the sense that we are in the end won globe and ruling out countries based on their human rights records is probably a bad idea.
Emily Bazelon: At the same time, I think what troubles me about this World Cup in Qatar is all of the migrant labor that went into actually building the apparatus for the event that seems to have just involved enormous suffering and exploitation and death and in a way that seems like they really could have fixed that and there could have been a way to actually pay people what they were owed. I mean, there’s so much money at stake here. The idea that the people who get cheated are the laborers who are actually building the stadiums, etc., is disgusting. And I mean, it’s in the past, I suppose, But it’s really discouraging that FIFA and the World Cup were what appears to be so for sale that they couldn’t insist on some basically decent labor standards as this thing was getting constructed in a desert.
David Plotz: One of the things that I guess I’d never really thought about is obviously there’s this tremendous number of deaths in Qatar from construction, either of World Cup facilities or things that are related to World Cup facilities. Death and suffering and the deaths or, you know, hundreds of suicides of Nepali workers and horrible Qatar like.
Emily Bazelon: Yeah, that we don’t know. But thousands of people have died.
David Plotz: But the other point is that it’s actually it is not just a Qatar problem that that if you look, it is even more deaths than Saudi Arabia, much bigger country deaths in the UAE like throughout the region. Workers, migrant workers are brought in and treated appallingly and die at shocking rates. And it’s so it is it’s certainly true that the World Cup is a is an accelerant of that in Qatar’s case. But it’s not true that this is a problem of the World Cup. It’s a problem of of a kind of economic system throughout the region.
John Dickerson: And does that in that case and I’m not trying to be.
John Dickerson: So take this in with all the proper caveats, but I mean, in a sense, a lot more people know about what you just described, David. Now, as a result of the World Cup than they would have before.
Emily Bazelon: But that feels to me like not enough. I mean, yeah, you’re right. Obviously, I don’t mean to be suggesting you’re saying that it is, but I mean, that isn’t the response or a response, David, to your correct point, that FIFA and the World Cup had a chance to try to change that dynamic and a responsibility, and they didn’t. And that is worse. Like you are still they are still implicated in this terrible economic picture, even if it’s broader. Maybe especially because it’s because it’s broader.
David Plotz: No, I think that’s true. And I think your point, like they did spend I think the figure is more than $200 billion on this. And it does seem like if you’re spending $100 Billion, could you have maybe put some shade like made water readily available, like things like that? So it is it is it is shocking.
John Dickerson: And there’s a way also in which I guess is a. Gianni Infantino. Yeah. The head of FIFA. Confirmed all of the worst. Views of FIFA in his hour long tirade, saying that, you know, Europeans should apologize for 3000 years before it has Europe has any right to make any claims about human rights.
David Plotz: What about Islam?
John Dickerson: Yeah, which is basically identical to what Donald Trump said about Russia. Like, and to end hungry, too. He’s like, we. But of course, the point is that one of the things hopefully that Europeans have learned after the failures of 3000 years is that turning a blind eye to abuse of those who have no voice for the purposes of your entertainment is not something you should do. So that it seemed to be he just that that sort of compounds the point you guys were making, which is that FIFA had a chance to use its leverage for good. And not only didn’t, but is also now saying, like you’re hypocrites for even thinking we should.
Emily Bazelon: And of course, they’re hypocrites. But that doesn’t mean you don’t try to make things better in the moment for the people who are being the most crushed.
David Plotz: It is the worst of all organizations. I think what’s funny is that my strong suspicion is that this is going to turn out to be basically a fiasco for Qatar. It’s going to be a fiasco in several senses. One, they’re going to be terrible at the soccer. And so they’ve made a like multi-billion dollar international effort to improve their soccer team and so that they compete, compete with these other teams. And they’re going to at least judging by their first game, they’re just terrible and they’re going to lose badly. And it’s going to show that you can’t, in fact, buy your way to soccer excellence. You can buy your way to influence, but you can’t, by the way, buy your way to excellence.
David Plotz: Secondly, I don’t think this is a country the size of Connecticut. No offense, Emily, but it’s hard to see what they’re getting for their $220 billion. It’s not going to be a tourist mecca. It’s a tiny kind of nothing spot of desert which is sitting on a big pond of natural gas. It’s not going to be a force in world soccer. It’s built these stadiums, which are white elephants. In fact, they look like white elephants, actually, but they’re white elephant stadiums. They’re never going to be used for anything else.
David Plotz: And I just don’t I just don’t see there’s actually been a ton of very effective sports watching in soccer recently where you where countries use their influence to kind of make themselves look better. And if you can look at the government of Abu Dhabi bought the Manchester City football team, soccer team, the government of Saudi Arabia just bought the New Castle soccer team. Qatar has actually done the successfully buying the Paris soccer team where they bought these excellent internationally valued brands and run them really well and have, I think, gloss their image by doing that. But I just don’t think the World Cup is I think the World Cup is going to it’s going to seem like like a kind of a joke. Ultimately, I don’t think they’re going to succeed.
Emily Bazelon: Everybody seems pretty bitter about it right now. Right? The Qataris, everybody.
David Plotz: Yeah, I think they should have just stuck with owning teams.
John Dickerson: May I ask you a question, David, that’s related to what you said we weren’t going to talk about. But has the sport as a fan of the sport and I’m really, really, really open to being a fan of soccer, I just don’t have the time. But has the gilded influence of countries like Qatar change the quality or style of play?
David Plotz: It has changed where the balance of power in the world is. So there’s now half a dozen teams Manchester City, Paris Saint-Germain and now Newcastle, which have so much money that they’re able to concentrate great players in a way that it was much harder to in the past. And so so the super teams are even even more super than they used to be.
David Plotz: So that’s one piece. I think the other piece is that it’s made it the quest for global talent has gotten even better. So they think every every village and every every place in Cameroon that can be scouted for a great new player, it’s going to be scouted for a great new player. So it’s so the the the level of talent is extraordinarily high. Like, you don’t there are not people who who who are missed. There’s not there’s not like, oh, that guy would have been great. It’s everybody who could be good is cultivated, trained. And so I think the quality of play is incredibly high. The quality of soccer in the world at especially the top level is unbelievably high right now. And as a fan, that’s a huge pleasure.
David Plotz: Similarly, I mean, it’s you know, as you’re an American, you probably are more familiar with basketball, very similar to what’s happened with basketball, except imagine that it’s not just NBA teams that are scouting. It’s also the government of Abu Dhabi, the government of Saudi Arabia. You know, the that that the effort is is global and even more west, better funded.
John Dickerson: And what I would then like is a 5000 word essay comparing global basketball to global soccer. Because on the one hand you have more people playing in soccer and therefore it would seem like you would have more opportunities to be the kid from a poor family in Cameroon who rises to greatness than in basketball. But you also need big fields. And in a world of, you know, global warming, you don’t have them so much, whereas just a hoop is possible. So like, what is the what are the opportunities.
Emily Bazelon: Provided.
John Dickerson: By both? Thank you. That is exactly what I was trying to say.
Emily Bazelon: It’s a great idea. Whereas the assignment editor on this call, where exactly?
John Dickerson: 5000 words, please.
David Plotz: Well, what’s also really interesting and this is we’re really getting off topic here, is that when you think about the world population centers and notably China and India, but also most of the countries that surround China, and yet there’s practically no good soccer and there’s practically, with the limited exceptions, there’s practically no good basketball. And it’s like, wow, that is half the world’s population that actually isn’t really being touched by these two mega global sports. What’s up with that? Like, why have they why.
Emily Bazelon: Are they super good at other sports so to be so.
David Plotz: It varies some some and some. Yes, but but not compared to how big their populations are for the most part. I want to make one one other point, which is that there has been this way. So the World Cup is in Qatar, partly because Qatar beat out bribed out the U.S. for it. But Olympics increasingly are going to countries that are autocratic, kleptocratic, and where there’s an authoritarian government that can get away with allocating the money, the funds needed to build all the stadiums and the infrastructure. And there’s this this truism now in international economics that these global sporting events are really bad economically.
Emily Bazelon: Sort of like sport. American cities paying tons of money for sporting teams. Right. Although at least that has a more long term benefit.
David Plotz: I just want to say that I don’t believe it. I think that the brand value for for the right kind of places and I would say like London in 2012, Los Angeles in 1984, Beijing in 2008, that the brand value for those places for doing those events was so huge that, yes, I’m sure on a simply dollar to dollar economic value like did the dollar we spend on the stadium result in another dollar of tourist activity?
David Plotz: No, it did not. Like maybe that’s true, but like if you looked at it overall, I really think that the big mega sporting events for the right places are super valuable. I think Barcelona, like the Barcelona Olympics, put Barcelona on the international tourist map in a way that’s kept it there. I don’t think it’s going be true for Qatar, but I do think it but I would love to see American cities and competing for these events again in a serious way because I think we would benefit from them.
David Plotz: An interesting report by Emily’s New York Times alleges that Justice Samuel Alito revealed perhaps intentionally, perhaps unintentionally, the decision in the 2014 Hobby Lobby case about the right of private companies to refuse to cover contraception for employees. To some conservative religious activists who had buttered him up and ingratiated themselves with him, the Reverend Robert Schenck, who is an evangelical minister and former anti-abortion leader, now disaffected, heretical, claims that that when he was still in the in the anti-abortion movement, he trained donors to cultivate the conservative justices, appealing to their religious beliefs, their religious interests, and also creating a social atmosphere where the justices would feel supported for their beliefs and thus, presumably more likely in the long run, to rule in their favor and also giving Schenck some information he could trade on.
David Plotz: So, Emily, a really interesting report. It doesn’t have to do with the Dobbs leak that we talked about is not directly about the Dobbs Leak. But it did start to reveal as and then there’s been some subsequent reporting this this relationship that exists between, in this case, conservative justices and activists who seek to benefit or seek to shift conservative justices or to seek the Supreme Court’s to change its decisions. So what did you make of the report?
Emily Bazelon: Well, I think you’re absolutely right. There are two parts to this of this article, this probably series of articles by Jodi Kantor and Jo Becker. And the first part is the leak. And so we should talk about how much this matters. And, you know, so we’ll take that first. And then the second part is this like social cultivation that’s connected to praying with the justices in the Supreme Court building. Those are allegations from the successor of Robert Schenck that she made like on a hot mic. That’s not brand new news, but it’s connected to this group, Faith in Action and Liberty Counsel.
Emily Bazelon: And the issue here with this sort of social cultivation is, I think, more interesting to me in some ways, because there is first of all, this, I think, real problem of an appearance of impropriety of groups that are filing briefs in front of the Supreme Court and then also having these private meetings, especially prayer sessions, because their prayer is such an obvious tool of advocacy and of people’s deep emotions about a subject. So if you know the justices in or out of court or praying with groups for the end of abortion who are also filing briefs asking to reverse row versus Wade, like that just seems like obviously crossing a line. And I should just say in this context that the Supreme Court sets its own ethics rules and basically has no rules.
Emily Bazelon: And at the end of all of this, is that just like huge problem, I think, in how it operates as an institution. And we’re seeing the cost to the institution in the liberties people are taking, justices are taking. And, you know, there were calls for the FBI to get involved in this leak investigation, but I don’t think that’s actually happened. Hobby Lobby was the company that didn’t want to provide health insurance that included birth control coverage.
Emily Bazelon: So the allegation here is that Alito or his wife at a dinner with a very wealthy couple, let slip that that the decision was going to come down on behalf of the challengers who did not want employers to have to pay for birth control for their employees, and that when Schenck found this out a few weeks early, he was then able to prepare for it.
Emily Bazelon: So I find this part, obviously, if it is true, it’s bad. Supreme Court judges aren’t supposed to let this information slip. I’m not sure how much it really mattered in the world that this reverend knew this in advance. It does, however, just add to the sense that, you know, something to close was going on. And I think for me, one of the most startling parts of the story was so one of the pieces of evidence supporting this thesis is that the wife and the couple emailed Reverend Schenck and said, I have some news for you. Call me no email. So obviously she had something to disclose that she didn’t want written down.
Emily Bazelon: And then her excuse to The New York Times for this was, oh, she’d gotten sick that night and Justice Alito had driven her home. And that was something she needed to be super excited and report privately and a phone call. And that’s so implausible. Like she should have just said. I don’t recall. I mean, really, it just seems utterly just not believable.
Emily Bazelon: And so that makes you think, okay, well, it does seem like there was this private channel of communication. And that’s just they’re just not supposed to be doing that. And I don’t think it’s necessarily suggests that Alito is the source of the Dobbs link, because I just I mean, there is an argument that leak was in his interest, but I it’s. Not that strong to me. But it does go with this picture that’s emerged of Alito as being really intemperate.
Emily Bazelon: Right. I mean, this is a person who’s given these, like fire and brimstone speeches at Notre Dame and elsewhere who, you know, like mouthed this denunciation of President Obama during a State of the Union. Like he’s just doesn’t seem to have a lot of self-control. And that’s not good for the court as an institution. I mean, maybe it’s fine that we’re getting to see that, but.
David Plotz: Why is that not good?
John Dickerson: It’s not good in at least the narrow case that if it’s a self-policing institution, at the basis of self-policing is that you have some ability to be restrained and that you aren’t swayed by your emotions, and particularly by the ones that are most closely felt by you, because those are the areas that most need recusal in otherwise. So if you’re if you’re susceptible to flying off the handle, not good in a place that says you must police whether you are going to fly off the handle or not.
David Plotz: I’m not sure if I believe what I’m about to say, but it absolutely infuriates me, the kind of man’s monastic self-regard that the Supreme Court holds itself in and this pretense that they are that they are, you know, these high priests of the law above everything. We just know they’re humans like us. They’re exactly like us. They’re vain, they’re petty, they’re small. They are susceptible to flattery. They’re susceptible to, you know, making one decision before lunch and another one after lunch because of of how good lunch was.
David Plotz: And and to that, this is I think what Alito does is is is revealing a little bit more of that humanity than justices. And the Supreme Court as an institution wants revealed. But I don’t know that that’s correct. I mean, and I would and I don’t actually know the answer to this question, Emily, but I’m sure you do. I am sure it is the case that Ruth Bader Ginsburg was cronies and friends with liberal legal activists. Sure. Of it. 1,000,000% like it. Was she leaking results? I have no idea. But like, was she hanging out with people who who were, you know, very sympathetic to the liberal side of cases? I bet she.
John Dickerson: Was including journalists who cover the court and shape the public perception. I mean.
Emily Bazelon: Nina TOTENBERG book is about this, like there is tons of hobnobbing going on in it. So but there is a difference between socializing with people and telling them what’s about to happen. So let’s just make that clear. But I think you’re right. I mean, I did a lot of thinking as I was reading this story about how I would have felt if it was liberal justices hanging out with liberal, very wealthy people. And I think there is still an appearance of impropriety.
Emily Bazelon: Right. I mean, part of what’s going on here is like access to the Supreme Court Historical Society. It’s like really buying your way in. There’s also just a weird social aspect to this where, I mean, it doesn’t seem from his response that Justice Alito realized that these this couple he thought he was just friends with was actually like deliberately cultivating him and reporting back to Reverend Schenck, like various dates they had and things that were said, etc., etc.. I mean, even if you did do this leak, that seems like something that would take you a back that the people you thought were your friends and supporters were actually basically like plants. That’s that’s weird. Yeah.
David Plotz: They’ve been paid to be friends with him.
Emily Bazelon: Or they were.
David Plotz: They were paying to be friends of friends.
John Dickerson: Yeah. Yeah, I have two points. The first is on the monastic self-regard is what you say, David, is, I think, exactly right. But I think it’s inconsistent for an individual justice to say and this is not what Alito is saying, but but you can’t say, don’t hold me to the monastic standard of purity. And my reason you shouldn’t hold me to that standard is because I am a sterling member of the monastery. In other words, they use it to protect them from inquiry. Yes. And so then you can’t then say, well, this allows you.
David Plotz: To do that. Yeah. Yeah. No, I agree. I totally agree with you.
John Dickerson: Yes. And Alito, just like Scalia, you know, really does polish up the badge of monastic superiority and so doesn’t really isn’t allowed just to to avail himself of that defense. But but what I found so extraordinary about this piece was not the whether Alito leaked or not, it seems, having reported on a zillion things like this, there are million times. So now that’s a zillion and a million people call you and say, Oh, I got this thing like I was at this dinner and they said this, read it. And I’m like, Well, what exactly did they say? And they said, Well, they said, Hobby Lobby. Right. Okay. So that’s great. But what else did they say? No, they said Hobby Lobby. Okay. But did they say Hobby Lobby is going to be decided this way? They said Hobby Lobby.
John Dickerson: Right. So you have this game of telephone with interested parties who want to basically dine out on the fact that they were at at Alito’s and they want the thing to go a certain way. And, oh, by the way, Alito is probably going to rule in this particular way. It’s no big surprise. So all of the confirmation bias in the game of telephone makes it highly possible that this is essentially either somebody pretending they know something they don’t, which people do all the time on in relationships like this.
John Dickerson: Oh, look how close I am to Alito. He told me this when it’s total hokum, but that doesn’t matter. What’s fascinating is that this is a portal to this world of grooming the justices. And I think this is where it’s interesting with respect to Dobbs, If the idea that you were mentioning earlier, Emily, was that Alito leaks it or not, Alito himself, but somebody works for Alito leaks the opinion to keep Justice Roberts in a box, to keep Justice Roberts from trying to find a more kind of middle of the road decision that it keeps the pressure on. That is what I understand this this campaign of Ministry of embolden. It was was that Shanks objective here was was not just to get people to change their minds, but to really lock down these justices in a cocoon of of of affirmation so that they would stay on the maximalist position. And that does seem consistent with the theory behind one of the theories behind the leak of Dobbs.
Emily Bazelon: Yeah, and that’s really interesting. You know, in some ways, it seems like obviously conservative justices are surrounded by people in a conservative and religious. If they’re religious social media that’s supporting them and making them feel like they’re doing important work, that they’re doing God’s work. And, you know, Supreme Court justices all over the ideological spectrum are going to have that kind of support in their lives.
Emily Bazelon: I thought reading this, that these conservative justices may at least feel that they’re embattled in a way that was sort of surprising to me, given the Federalist Society and all of the money and attention and fame and glory that has come from the right wing for being who they are. And I think it’s sort of part of their persona and their view of the world. I mean, we see this with Alito very strongly that, you know, he feels like he’s shaking a fist in the face of the liberal establishment. And I also do understand, I mean, when you think about law schools and even legal world, it is a mostly liberal place. And so they’re they’re right that I mean, I think it was first I was like, why is Reverend Schenck was this just a big grift on his part that he was getting all this money to be right next to the Supreme Court? And don’t the justices have this in their lives sufficiently that, you know, this is just like a play for donors?
Emily Bazelon: But then I started thinking, no, actually, I think they are performing a real role here. And then the appearance of impropriety starts to matter to me more. Not because I think that, you know, Alito’s going to vote to uphold Roe without this, but that in the long term, there are things that justices do and the level of just sort of righteousness that they feel that are going to be affected by this kind of influence.
David Plotz: Just aligning myself, Emily, with your point about them feeling embattled, I think it’s not just that they that the legal establishment, that Washington, they live in Washington, which is a very yes, there are lots of Republicans who are in Washington. Sure. But it’s a very liberal city. The media coverage that is in Washington, it tends to be very liberal. The kind of legal the legal media coverage is extremely liberal. So I do think that they feel like in their day to day and this, I bet, was severely compounded by the the threat to to Justice Kavanaugh. They feel like, oh, we are you know, we’re living in the lion’s den here and we we need to find the allies that we can find. And I think it’s probably really psychically important for them to to be more cocooned and cushioned. I don’t think that the liberal justices feel that way when they go to the opera.
David Plotz: Let’s go to cocktail chatter. When you are having a post tryptophan cocktail, post-Thanksgiving cocktail, Emily, what will you be chattering about?
Emily Bazelon: There was an amazing and so well-reported and very disturbing story in my New York Times magazine this week by Rozina Ali. It’s about the forced adoption and really the one word that is used in the story is kidnapping of an Afghan infant by a former U.S. servicemen.
Emily Bazelon: Evangelical conservative in the United States. And it’s just this tale of, oh, so there is a there is a man and a woman who are under fire. Allegedly, the man blows himself up. The woman is killed by U.S. forces. And they there’s a two month old baby who is with them. And she is brought to this American peace. And understandably, the people at the base are, you know, taken with her. Then the Afghans find out about this and they figure out who her family is. And they the child goes back to people who are closely related to her, who are taking care of her until she’s two years old.
Emily Bazelon: But this particular U.S. servicemen, Jeffrey Masked, gets obsessed with this baby and basically tricks and deceives and lures this Afghan couple into coming to the United States, ostensibly to get medical care for her. And this is, of course, as U.S. forces are leaving Afghanistan and everything is chaotic and they’re scared and impoverished and then succeeds in trumping up a case in American court that allows him to forcibly take this baby, this two year old, away from them. And it just broke my heart to read it. I find the idea of taking children away from the people who are their functional parents and taking care of them to be just heart rending every time. This has this whole international veneer that just made it more upsetting.
Emily Bazelon: And this case is going back to court this month. So it was a really well timed story in terms of shining some light on this. And I’ll be really curious what happens next. But kudos to Rozina Ali. She went to Afghanistan to find this family to try to understand what had happened in this village when these deaths took place. And it’s a really good story.
David Plotz: John, what’s your chatter?
John Dickerson: My chatter is about a deception cake with a frosting of weasel anise. The Philosophy of Modern Song, which is a book by Bob Dylan that was put out by Simon Schuster, was offered to some patrons for $599 to get Hand-signed copies of this book. And this was sent out. The philosophy of Buttered Song arrived with what were hand-signed autographs by Bob Dylan, except the people who purchased the $600 limited edition started comparing notes and realized that all the signatures were the same. So it wasn’t a hand sign, it was an autopen. So this was the first act of deception.
John Dickerson: Then when Simon Schuster was busted, they said to those who purchase the philosophy of Modern Song Limited edition, we want to apologize. As it turns out, the limited edition books do contain Bob’s original signature, but in a penned replica form. So they not only were weasels in the first instance, but then they’re basically like saying, as it turns out, the truffle pasta was actually made by a guy named Joey Truffle. He right. So they were like trying to weasel out of the original deception, which is like compounds, the original deception by being weasely.
John Dickerson: And then when I realized and I’m asking this question, you, Emily, do they have to put out that weaselly attempt to justify their lame behavior for legal reasons? In other words, they have to say, actually, we were cheating you by pretending, but it actually is based on his real signature so that they’re not accused of an even bigger fraud. Emily than the words knowingly deceiving.
Emily Bazelon: Right. I guess I would hope that even if that did have a kind of legal appeal, that someone would not actually do that.
David Plotz: I mean, I’m sure Simon Schuster is is has some culpability here, but I’m sure Bob Dylan has some culpability, too. Like this went out over his signature. Literally. How many copies were there?
John Dickerson: 900.
David Plotz: That’s half a million dollars of fake Bob Dylan signatures. Are they giving people their money back? Yeah.
John Dickerson: Yeah, they’re giving people their money back. But also, it’s the kind of thing where, like, this isn’t the decision of one dude to go get the auto pen and, like, sell them out of the back of his truck. This is something that people gathered around a table to figure out and like, make come to fruition.
David Plotz: My chapter two, two quick chapters. First, just a reminder, on November 30th, next Wednesday, I’m going to be co-hosting a live telecast, DC at Politics and Prose at Union Market. And Michael Schaffer and I are going to be talking about DC politics, what’s happening in DC for a live city cast DC podcast. I’m so looking forward to it. It’s at 630 at Politics and Pros Union Market, and I think there’ll be some drinks afterwards and just can meet the team.
David Plotz: Great group and we’ll talk about interesting stuff. My real chatter. Sometimes we chatter about things that Slate is doing. We talk about things that Slate is doing because, you know, we’re we’re good citizens of the Slate. I want to talk about something that Slate is doing that is so good that it it deserves like six or seven chatters of itself of its own, which is that there is a podcast that my friend Josh Levine, host of also host of Hang Up and Listen, the Sports weekly sports podcast of Slate called One Year, where Josh takes a year kind of at random in American history and does a bunch of stories around themes of that year, like usually things that are sort of not quite the main story that happened that year, but things are slightly off the beaten track, but that reveal something about America or about that year, about that time. And Josh has generally done things that are pretty contemporary, like the eighties and nineties, but now he’s doing the year 1942 and it’s an incredible podcast.
David Plotz: So I would strongly recommend that you listen to three episodes of one year in 1942. One is called The Year Everyone Got Married, which is about how in 1942 Americans got married at an incredible rate because all these men were getting sent off to war and so they wanted to get married. And there were all kinds of reasons. And he talks to in particular this one war bride, this one woman who got married in 1942, still alive at the age of 98. And just she’s incredibly vivid and and the story is beautiful. That’s number one. Number two is the day the music stopped, which is about this incredible fact. John DICKERSON Did you know that in 1942, American musicians went on strike and there was no new recorded music in the United States for more than a year?
John Dickerson: I did not. I did not know that.
David Plotz: And so there’s if you listen to what happens to American music, it is wild. And so it’s actually that musicians are going instrumental musicians are going to strike. So there’s all this acapella music that’s recorded, there’s music, there’s certain musicians who weren’t in the union, like certain instruments, like the harp. And so if you listen to popular music from 1943, there’s it’s like music played accompanied by a harp. And music takes this real swerve between 1942 and when it comes back in 1944. And it completely changes the history of American music and it all comes from the strike that happens. And then there’s an episode called The Info Wars of 1942, which is about this German propaganda, English language, German propaganda radio station that was beamed into America. There are you. These episodes are fantastic. Listen to it. It’s such a great show, such a great podcast.
David Plotz: Listeners, you also have great chatters for us and you email them to us at Gabfest at Slate.com. You tweet them to us at at site Gabfest. And our listener chatter this week comes from a Lauren Dugois.
Speaker 4: Hey Gabfest. This is Long from Paris, France. My chatter is in reaction to Emily’s comments last week that the only way to defeat the bullies to present a united front and link arms. And that reminded me of the story of Ken McElroy. Ken McElroy lived in the city of Skidmore, Missouri. And he was the town bully and everybody hated him so much so that eventually in 1991, his pickup truck was surrounded by a crowd of about 30 to 40 people, and he was shot to death twice. And nobody could say who did it. Nobody could identify the killers. No arrests were made. No charges were pressed. This town got away with murder. So obviously I’m not advocating shooting anyone, but I thought this was a pretty potent illustration of Emily’s point. Thanks. Wow.
David Plotz: That was a good one. That is like that is a really bad cocktail chatter.
Emily Bazelon: That was like, drop the mic. Cocktail chatter.
John Dickerson: That was. Yes. With with like a little hint of punk rock in there.
David Plotz: That is our show for today. The Gabfest is produced by Cheyna Roth. Our researchers Bridgette Dunlap our theme music and Why They Might be Giants. Ben Richmond is senior director for podcast Operations and Lisa montgomery is the VP of Audio for Slate. Follow us on Twitter at at Slate Gabfest. For as long as Twitter continues to exist, tweet chatter to us there and go to Slate dot com slash conundrums to give us conundrums. Think a few more days to collect them their condoms for us. And for Alison Bechdel, who’ll be our guest on our Conundrum show. For Emily Bazelon and John Dickerson, I’m David Plotz. Thanks for listening and we’ll talk to you next week.
David Plotz: Hi, Slate Plus. How are you? We are going to do our Conundrum show coming up in the interregnum between Christmas and New Year’s. But we’re preparing and you guys are sending us your conundrums to slate.com, such conundrums. And we thought we would we would whet the appetite. Get the. Get the digestive juices flowing by doing a conundrum for a Slate Plus segment this week. So the one we chose is from Ben. What is something you wish you could travel through time to convince your younger self of, but you doubt your younger self could be brought to believe? Emily the Bazelon.
Emily Bazelon: I wish I could tell my younger self that it is totally fine to have babies in the middle of trying to develop your career as a young or less young person and that you can afford to take some time and just be relaxed about it and it’s all going to work out. And you don’t have to carry yourself by trying to take shorter leaves or work your way through the whole thing. I wish I had been just had more faith in myself and been more relaxed and taken more time off when my kids were little. And that is always the advice that I try to give people who are coming up.
David Plotz: So you think you wouldn’t have believed yourself?
Emily Bazelon: I know I wouldn’t have believed myself because I had too much anxiety and insecurity.
David Plotz: So did did people give you that advice or no one even gave you that advice? Wasn’t it future? Emily Definitely. I come back.
Emily Bazelon: I’m sure there were some people who tried to give me that advice, but I did not believe in myself enough to listen to them.
David Plotz: That’s that’s a really good one. And you think even if Emily Bazelon herself shows up age 52 or whatever you are 5150. I’m not even sure you’re young. One 5151 year old Emily Bazelon grizzled, barely ambulatory Emily Bazelon shows up to 26 year old Emily Bazelon and says. Look, I know that you should take this time. I know it. I can tell you from lived experience. You should take this time. You wouldn’t believe it.
Emily Bazelon: I guess if it was really like the ghost of Christmas future and I could see some map of myself and understand exactly if I had proof.
John Dickerson: And then test your future self.
Emily Bazelon: Yeah, but that’s not really. I feel like this is more imagining that you can’t prove it, but you’re just whispering in your own ear. Right? I like the conundrum.
John Dickerson: The wisdom is so powerful that it would accept. Embedded in the question is the fact that the wisdom isn’t so powerful. That would work because your younger self wouldn’t take it.
Emily Bazelon: Right. And I don’t.
Emily Bazelon: So sometimes with these loops, the thing that is tricky for me is that how much does my level of anxiety drive the fact that like then things right?
David Plotz: What is yours, John? What do you have a thing? Do you have a one?
John Dickerson: I mean, I think this is a great question because I think the worry like so the I think one of the most dangerous quotes in the world is Mark Twain’s quote, which is if you find a job you love, you’ll never work a day in your life. No, you will work and you will worry. And that work and that worry will make you do great work. And in fact, it’s the work in the worry that you’re signing up for if you’re a certain kind of person. So if you are prone to worry, first of all, if you’re not prone to worrying you lucky dog and may live, continue to be an awesome placid zoom into your rewarding future. But if you are a person of worry, then that worry is what that is you, that is you and you need that worry and that worry sharpens you. And that worry also helps you when you get older.
John Dickerson: Realize that, hey, you know, sometimes your worries are unfounded. One of the greatest, I think, exercises which I’ve not used myself, but I’ve read about it and I really believe in it, even though I have no direct evidence of it, is. Before you go into a new enterprise, write down all your expectations and put them in an envelope and mail that envelope so that it comes to you in a year. There is no process for doing that, but you get the point in a year. Write down the reality of things and your expectations for a year later and then compare your reality of things with your expectations a year ago.
John Dickerson: And there’s usually going to be a big delta. And in that delta, you realize all the stuff you worried about that didn’t come to happen should perhaps not get so much of your worry. And that’s, I think, super useful. But you can only feel that way and trust that system. If you worried like crazy over the course of your younger life. So so I wouldn’t want to rob myself of the worry by being able to convince myself not to worry about something because I think that worry sharpens me.
Emily Bazelon: Well said.
David Plotz: What is yours, John? What? Do you have a thing? Do you have a one?
John Dickerson: My thing would be I would never You could not have convinced me that evangelical voters would vote overwhelmingly for Donald Trump, having covered them as much as I did. You could never have convinced me of that. But that’s not a personal thing I like because of what I just because of what I just said about my own desire to and the necessity of worry, I’ll have to think of a better personal one. So come back to me on that.
Emily Bazelon: But actually, wait, can we stop on John’s remit? I think it is a little bit personal because it to me suggests how sincere you are about ascribing good faith motives to people. So there were all these and evangelical voters and they were talking about morality and character and fitness in a way that you took very seriously. And then they decided that they had other goals, they had us and all of that. And you were genuinely surprised.
John Dickerson: Well, exactly. And it’s not from lack of interviewing them, Right. Like, I basically, you know, I have boxes and boxes of notebooks in my basement filled with interviews with with evangelical voters or voters who proclaimed to see a deep connection between personal morality, truth telling, public morality, living by a code, character formation, having character, restrain all those things which I believe are important in my life, which is probably the great blindspot. And obviously having covered history and understood like it’s not that I was naive to the forces of, you know, cynicism and self-dealing and pride and all these other things. So it wasn’t like I was blind to that fact. But I just you’re right. I did all those interviews and thought that they amounted to to a certainty that that I would not have been able to be convinced out of.
David Plotz: I think I went down the wrong path on this.
Emily Bazelon: So I thought so-and-so was going to win the soccer game. And they did. And I just couldn’t deal with my esteem is really was going to not make that messy. Messy. I was kidding. I am.
David Plotz: Leonardo. The know is that I got hung up on the question that I could not be that I that I could never bring my younger self to be to believe it. And I guess what happened was that I was like, if. If I David Plotz showed up. In 19. In front of 1992, David Plotz and I was able to convince 1992 David Plotz that I was in fact the his future self. Like, I think young David Plotz would believe anything that I said because it’s like, how?
Emily Bazelon: I’d worked out all lectures with you, too. You’re like, Here are the photographs.
John Dickerson: Because you’d worked out time travel, so you must know. Yeah, I have.
David Plotz: Absolutely I would. I think it would be pretty easy to convince me of anything if he’d told that David Plotz Donald Trump would be elected president. You definitely. You know, if you told me to invest in Google, I’d be like, What’s Google? But I would go do it because obviously it made sense. And so I didn’t. I think Emily’s. Emily has the profound and correct answer. I, i it what it did make me think was that actually I am not convinced.
David Plotz: Then I looked back and like, is there some point, some decision I made that I feel was definitively wrong or had I made a kind of a decision that was 30% different at that moment, my life would have been better. There’s nothing I can look back on and say, like, I know for certainty, had I done X, my life would have been better. Had I done Y. At this moment, my life would have been better. Literally, there’s nothing I can think of. It’s not that. It’s not that there aren’t ways that my life could have been better or where the where I couldn’t make more contribution to the world. I just can’t locate the point where I know, Oh, if you hadn’t taken that job. Oh, if you hadn’t, you know, hadn’t written that story or whatever it is that, that life would have been better or I would have been more psychically gratified. I just I can’t say it in a way that.
David Plotz: Emily, you’ve identified a place where you made what you know to be a mistake. I don’t I’m sure I have made mistakes. I’m not I’m not saying I haven’t made mistakes. I made terrible mistakes. I just can’t find them. Exactly. I think maybe I would. Maybe I would. Now that I actually say this, I took this job where I was commuting to New York to run Atlas Obscura, and I totally underrated. How? Difficult that would be on my life. And so maybe that. Yeah, maybe that.
John Dickerson: Yes. Because it has to be a thing about which you didn’t have doubt in the mind. Because I was thinking, I know the paragraph of the story that I would have should have fought harder to keep in the story like I can. But but I at the time thought, Oh, this is going to be a big mistake. But like I was convinced out of it. But that’s not what we’re talking about. We’re talking about the thing that you were either totally blind to or super confident of my views about, probably my views about television before I was in it. You probably couldn’t have convinced me out of. But that falls under a much bigger blanket of like hot take ism that hopefully I’ve shared a little bit more as I’ve grown older.
Emily Bazelon: In fairness to your younger self, David, I don’t think you are totally blind. I think you just thought that it was going to be okay and that it was worth it.
David Plotz: You know, it’s funny though. I had lunch with someone as I was starting the job. Someone who had who traveled a lot for work, and he was telling me how difficult it had been for him traveling a lot for work. And I remember just and it’s absolutely stuck with me and I absolutely chose not to internalize it. John, do you have anything you want to add?
John Dickerson: I don’t know. I feel like maybe when we get when we get to the actual conundrum show, I will we will revisit this because I will have had the great illumination in the intervening time period. I mean, because because I like the narrow delimitation, the limit we have on this question, because I think it finds something more interesting than just the things about the things you recall.
Emily Bazelon: About stages of life. Yes. That’s really what it’s about. Because your middle age self, which is what we all are, has like a little more perspective and a little less just like jagged, career driven anxiety.
David Plotz: All right, Slate. Plus, we got deep cut, deep as one should over Thanksgiving. Talk to you next week.