The “We’re Not Fooling Around Here” Edition

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S1: This ad free podcast is part of your Slate Plus membership. The following podcast contains explicit language.

S2: Hello welcome to the Slate Political Gabfest for October 3rd 2019. We’re not fooling around here. Addition I am David Plotz of Atlas Obscura. I’m in Washington D.C. locust center impeachment America. That’s probably some CNN studio downtown. John Dickerson of CBS is 60 Minutes joins me from New York City. Hello John. Hi.

S3: And Emily Bazelon of the New York Times Magazine and also Yale University Law School School of Law Law School joins me from probably from New Haven. Are you in New Haven Emily or somewhere else.

S4: No I’m actually in New York. I feel like I joined a different show like this debate and you turned into a circus barker.

S5: Oh I don’t know I’m actually I mean I’m I’m just trying to artificially pep myself up.

S6: I’m having a slow start to the more I like what it sounds like OK Deb died.

S5: I was I was at Coney Island yesterday. I was at Coney Island for the Atlas Obscura offsite UNTIL I’M FEELING VERY carnival barker I see the tallest man man will swallow a four foot sword on today’s gabfest.

S3: We have so much Ukraine so much impeachment. First we will talk about what is going on in the investigation and how President Trump and his allies are counterpunching. Jon did you just say God did you just like.

S7: Well I just I like what you just because there’s so much that’s happened just between the time you started your sentence and right now I mean so who sued the prospect of trying to update it. And and is is it just daunting.

S8: That’s great. That is that is actually the story of the term presidency if there’s so much that happened between the time plots started his sentence and now then second impeachment.

S3: Trump a topic we were going to talk about a brilliant piece by Pete Wiener about why conservatives cannot break from Trump who has corrupted and debased them and his explanation is different than perhaps what you’ve heard before. Then we’ll talk about the Harvard affirmative action case involving admissions for Asian-American students and how that just took a new turn. Plus we’ll have cocktail chatter and an exciting announcement gab fest listeners especially West Coast gabfest listeners. Our annual conundrum show will be live at the Fox Theater in Oakland California. We’re coming to the East Bay December 18th for tickets and information go to Slate dot com slash live. That is our favorite live show of the year. We will discuss amazing conundrums that you will give to us hopefully living up to such classics as would you rather be a fish or tree. Please join us. Fox Theater Oakland December 18th for the annual conundrum show Slate dot com slash live. Tickets on sale Friday morning. Holy moly the impeachment Ukraine scandal is metastasizing quickly and grimly.

S9: There is so much unusual and hard to follow stuff happening there a incredible Bill Barr piece.

S3: Bill Barr is making a Where’s Waldo around the world journey to gather dirt or try to clear the president in the Mueller investigation. There’s an emerging showdown between the administration and Congress over whether the administration will in fact comply with any requests for evidence or testimony. The president is hurling grotesque insults at Democratic members of Congress and genuinely seems unhinged although that’s kind of his normal state of being. So maybe it’s not different anyway. John what are the most important things that happened in this scandal and in the investigation this week or in the last two and a half minutes.

S10: Well I think the most important thing really is that we is that there is a summary approaching upon a transcript of the president United States pressure pressuring a foreign leader to investigate a political opponent both the one in 2016 kind of tangentially and then specifically Joe Biden. So that’s the main thing. And as as Haley Barbour used to say sometimes the most important thing is to keep the main thing the main thing and the reason that’s the main thing is not only because presidents are not supposed to do that because their most important job is keeping America safe from when they do when they lose focus on that in order to. That’s not good. It’s also they’re not supposed to use the power of their office to hurt political opponents. But the other thing the other reason it’s important is that that storyline that that narrow storyline and the fact that it’s launched an impeachment inquiry in the House has changed and has changed the political dynamic for the moment the country is now 45 percent of the country on Thursday in a new poll that came out favors impeachment. So there’s a plurality of the country that favors it and and the public opinion on this has done something different than what we’ve seen before.

S11: If you if you look at the question that’s been asked on impeachment for more than a year the line of people who say that there is not that they don’t favor impeachment that there isn’t a case for impeachment hovers along at the top and below it these support for impeachment goes below. This is based on on polling from 538 and all the questions that ask some version of yes or no question about impeachment. They follow along basically in parallel lines and occasionally they kiss against each other but mostly they don’t support is above support. In the last couple of weeks or maybe even a little bit less those lines have crossed. So that’s something new for the last since you know 2018 middle of 2018. There are a thousand different rivulets coming from the main story which we can discuss. I guess the only other final point I would make is that there has still not been really what they call and I think Emily you’ll tell me if I think this is a Steven screen expression from Yale but there have been no charismatic dissenters yet. In other words there is nobody from the Republican Party who is not already in the never Trump camp who has said impeachment should go forward of sufficient stature to fulfill that bend in the narrative which which one usually would expect.

S12: Well talk a bit more about that in our second topic. Emily actually I want to. You didn’t get a chance to talk about this last week and there’s so many as John said rivulets. Let’s say they’re there they’re perhaps cacophonous mountain streams more than they’re rivulets. One of the ones that’s most interesting is this spectacle of Bill Barr the attorney general who doesn’t seem to be doing his actual job as attorney general he seems to be spending much of his time trekking around the world on missions for the president notably to Italy.

S13: And what are the mission that he is pursuing and is it appropriate for the attorney general to be pursuing the personal political ends of the president. Is that how the attorney general should be spending his time right.

S14: Well the buttoned up version of what Barr is doing is that he is properly meeting with foreign leaders to further an investigation of the Mueller investigation’s origins. He if you give him the benefit of the doubt has some credible reason to think that there was a problem with what his own intelligence officers at the FBI were doing and he wants to get to the bottom of it. And he is enlisting their aid.

S4: The issue of course with this. Well there’s a few issues. So one is just the notion of elevating what looks to be a grudge driven directive from Trump to the top order of an attorney general’s business. That means that he’s personally taking trips. And I think second is this question of whether there is any factual basis for thinking that the origin of the Mueller investigation was troubling in a way that merits its own investigating. If you think of it like yeah maybe there’s something to it then OK maybe you can direct the Justice Department’s resources toward that end. But if you think this is made up and that it’s really a another dirt digging expedition it seems truly alarming to think that the Justice Department is now enlisted in this effort.

S15: And I can’t decide myself like which way to think about this. It is different from Giuliani because Giuliani is a freelancer working for Thompson’s personal attorney and this is the official government business. But does that make it worse or better.

S5: That is a great question Emily on the one hand you think well Giuliani Giuliani is not not elected not appointed serves no government office is working for the private end the present.

S13: And we’ve outsourced parts of our foreign policy to him.

S5: That is an absolute no red flag in every possible respect that is the president you know using his personal employees to advance his personal agenda. But taking advantage of the resources of government I would commend to anyone who has a chance to listen to the daily dailies episode on Thursday has a great rundown of what Giuliani did and it ends up being a great summary of the entire whole spectacle actually. But but yet it does feel somehow worse that Barr who is an agent of the entire.

S3: Government of the American people who is ostensibly has some degree of independence from the president and that is turning the full might at the Justice Department on a private political enemy of the president to serve his political personal ends that I think it is. I think that that one is worse.

S10: I think I think if I had to read it although it depends on where you where you put the finger because on because because Giuliani is essentially just an extension of the president’s misuse of his office. If that’s if you sign up to that agreement so Barr is misusing his office and the purpose of for the purposes of doing something that’s political and not a top priority. And Giuliani is doing it on behalf of the president which is basically the same category open I can as far as destroyed a bureaucracy while doing it.

S8: He’s destroyed any credibility I’ve ever had powerful institution which has had credence. That’s true.

S16: Is that the context matters here and what I mean is that in particular relating to this particular moment of Castle’s scandal it was Barra’s Justice Department that said the whistleblower complaint should not be made public should not be given to Congress and that’s based on what looks to me like a very very shaky legal analysis of the Office of Legal Counsel.

S14: So I’m worried about that part to it already looks like Barr is implicated in suppressing this complaint and this scandal.

S4: And so the notion that he’s then off on the side trying to gin up lack of confidence in America’s intelligence agencies. Right. Like he’s over there discrediting their work. Now if you think they were up to some shenanigans then that’s a good thing. But if you have no reason to think that and they were just credibly doing their jobs that looks kind of batshit the.

S7: And if I could just staple on to that I think that’s I think that’s right. We may someday we’ll find out what if there is just like massive corruption and rot and T uncovers it. If there is only like a little bit of something then then this is extraordinary measures you’d kill on a fly with a shotgun and then I remember after Jim Comey has been fired.

S15: Right. Like we are you know that Comey did something very irregular in publicizing the Hillary Clinton resignation but did not do that before the election with regard to the FBI has increased into Trump. So there’s already been some addressing of FBI irregularity that does not support Trump’s theory of the case. And the notion that you know the FBI like look I’m not usually someone who gives law enforcement like a huge amount of leeway but they were acting in this urgent situation with this incoming president who they worried could be compromised in some way. So the idea that like now they could be on the hook for potential criminal violations or whatever bar is looking into and enlisting foreign powers in that inquiry.

S17: You know again like what’s going well can I just add to that which is essentially you’re saying is the time and attention that the entire law. Well not the entire but that the chief law enforcement officer is that well we get to call the attorney general sometimes they call the president that too. So I get confused. But anyway the attorney general’s time and attention is being arranged in this direction. Then we learned on Thursday that the inspector general of the state department turned over documents about basically some stuff that Giuliani had given the state department about what the inspector general or at least a characterization what he turned over what amounted to conspiracy theories inside the State Department officials with knowledge of Ukraine said this is crazy.

S7: It’s conspiracy theory. Nevertheless the push was still on to do this investigating. Why does this matter. I think it attaches to what you’re saying Emily which is the extraordinary amount of time and attention applied to this issue then continually applied to the issue despite objections from people with expertise.

S17: What was the governing national security interest. Is this one of the top five things that should get this much time and attention in a presidency. It was not the top five is in the top 10. It’s not the top 20. But yet it’s getting all of this time and attention and there’s an opportunity cost. That means that time and attention and focused isn’t being applied to anything else that’s happening the world turns out. It’s a hard job. Need time attention to apply to things that are super important.

S13: Yeah. And there’s also this other example when we look at the politicization of the Justice Department where it now appears that one hundred and thirty people associated with the State Department and Hillary Clinton are now facing a kind of investigation for having sent emails to Hillary Clinton that ended up on her private server.

S8: Actually they didn’t even send it to her. They sent it to somebody else who then forwarded to her and some of these material these e-mails was retroactively classified and so it was classified material. And so these people are having their lives turned up side down harried in some cases getting black marks put on their record that’s gonna make it hard for them to get another job.

S12: Hard for them to get approved for something later on for what is what is an utterly politicized and and completely malevolent malicious investigation. And that’s that’s another example of misuse misuse of resources. I want to turn actually now to a couple of other things. There are some other big big cataracts of water flowing down John. The president this week seemed genuinely kind of unhinged. He hijacked a press conference with the Finnish president. Poor Finnish president to rail against Adam Schiff and others. I’m going to lay.

S8: And he you know he’s Pete spoke at the whistleblower should be possibly executed as a spy.

S13: He retweeted this. This conservative evangelical pastor who predicted that Trump’s removal from office might cause a civil war.

S3: Do you think that this is it’s chaos still his friend. Which is it. It has been for the past three years. Is that still the case.

S17: Well it depends what you’re talking about impeachment or re-election. I think those polls are interesting.

S11: You now have and again polls will change but that they are behaving differently than they have in the past when there have been these big moments. So and but I think that you could have a positive. You could have a situation where I mean there are a couple of things that feel like possible dams are breaking. I spoke to a former administration official who anticipated that two things might happen. Some number of people who have other things they know about the administration or the president that they’ve been kind of keeping under wraps that are in the same possible category as the Ukraine as is Ukraine. And the conversation the president had even if he don’t think it goes all the way to impeachment it is the behavior it is the disordered behavior of of a disordered White House and this disorder is manifesting itself in all kinds of different ways. There’s this amazing interviewing in The Washington Post where the acting Homeland Security Secretary Michael Keenan in which he says he basically has no control over his agency because everything about immigration is being run out of the White House so that general feeling of chaos people who feel hey I experienced or witnessed or otherwise was connected to a moment of chaos they might start leaking about it feeling just kind of either liberated or or kind of wanting to get it off their chest. There are also possibly people who’ve witnessed other things that happen who start talking particularly if they’ve been subpoenaed. And so I think that creates a different atmosphere here that might all have nothing to do might add to the president’s behavior and really affect the election which is OK maybe not enough to impeach him. But but not worth going through this for another four years and I guess I would add one more thing about this week we should talk about quickly. Mike Pompei the secretary of state was asked on this week by Martha Raddatz if he knew anything about the phone call at that point the summary the phone call had been released.

S7: He was on the call we learned this week. We we did not know that on Sunday on Sunday. He he did not say what you would expect him to have said if he believed what the president has said which is the president said this is a perfect phone call if you watched the clip on this week. His answer was evasive. He didn’t deny but he just totally changed the subject. He was quite it appeared uncomfortable to talk about it.

S11: The reason I think that’s significant and interesting is a Pompeo has future political desires and so that that that video clip is not going to look so great but also the president’s argument is nothing wrong with the phone call. Remember how focused I am on the phone call.

S17: President saying perfectly fine phone call but the secretary of state who was on the call heard it firsthand was given an opportunity to say exactly what the president said at a moment where it really would’ve helped in that news cycle could have said you know what. It was a perfect phone call didn’t. And so what was that about.

S11: There might have been you know a reasonable explanation. I’m not sure what it is but that I think is another moment here that was important in the last week.

S16: I mean John don’t you think that one big question looming out there is whether we’re going to see more defections because people are worried. First of all about their reputations but also about their legal exposure. And it’s possible that you know there can be rats fleeing the sinking ship pretty soon although on the other hand if other big bombs and information don’t drop then I would imagine we won’t see that. And people will start to feel reassured and now I don’t I we have seen so few rats fleeing the sinking ship.

S3: When you think about how many scandals there have been during the course of this administration how many things where you would think oh my reputation is dead if I don’t cooperate there really have been almost none.

S9: I mean the only one you can even maybe not at is what’s his name the White House counsel who cooperated with Mueller and against John McGann.

S3: But even he hasn’t even shown up to testify to Congress. I think there is an extraordinary shift. I think people are much less concerned about their reputation or maybe they feel their reputation is tied up with a kind of conservative pro Trump movement that they don’t want to get on the wrong side of. And they’d rather there isn’t a kind of consensus opinion of the American people that they’re worried about they’re worried about the opinion of their tribe and their tribe is does not want them to to flip.

S11: Well it depends who you’re talking about. And we’ll get to the question of tribe in the next topic but I do think there is one interesting thing that a former intelligence official I was talking to mentioned which is a lot of this stuff the the conversation with the Ukraine president and other conversations that might have been in the same disordered category as probably been picked up by foreign intelligence. And there are other countries that have things and transcripts and phone calls that might not look so great in this new context if released. And if you were an official who was either on those calls or knew about those calls or participated in the the seclusion of the get that information to keep it from leaking within the White House it might not look so wonderful. And so there this person was always making the case that that some of those people who know about other stuff that’s out there if such stuff is out there might be inspired to talk for their own reputations to to kind of get ahead of of the story. And and that would be people in the category of not political types so much but you know people in the foreign policy community who who worked in the administration but aren’t you know aren’t going in attending every Republican rally.

S13: Emily one of the stories of this entire administration has been it’s since there’s been a Democratically controlled House has been its resistance to any cooperation with Congress won’t send officials to testify claim executive privilege national security excuses will not turn over a request documents will not turn over tax returns et cetera et cetera et cetera with impeachment. This is going to be go to eleven with these emerging legal conflicts do you think they are going to resolve themselves neatly if they don’t resolve themselves neatly. What are the possible ways they could unfold.

S14: The only real step the Democrats have is threatening to draw up an article of impeachment based on obstruction of justice.

S4: If the subpoenas them documents etc aren’t complied with and that’s more than they had before and I think as a result you’re going to see a little more turning over of information and making witnesses available to testify. We already saw that with the release of the call summary and the whistleblower complaint. But I don’t think we’re going to see a wholesale change. And what happens when the executive branch does not comply is the issues go to the courts to be litigated and they have not been speedily litigated in the courts. Technically Congress has the power to issue its own contempt citations but that just seems to be like basically a dead letter that doesn’t really move anything. So I think that we’re gonna see a lot more stonewalling maybe not as complete but certainly enough.

S12: There was a piece by Wil Wilkinson in the New York Times.

S13: He’s a well as a I would guess you would say a moderate Republican thought that rarely exists anymore arguing the president must be impeached and removed and cannot be allowed to run for office again. For this reason which is that he is set out to distort and shape and ruin the election to cheat the election if he is allowed to run and win. If he is if he is impeached not removed from office and then is allowed to run and win it means there is no integrity left in the system it means we’re willing to accept all forms of cheating and power politics and the misuse of the justice system US justice system for personal political gains for the sake of power politics for the sake of for the sake of personal triumph. What do you make of that John. Do you think that that. Well I mean it’s obviously true. But do you think that that that’s going to play with any Republicans will any Republicans feel like man if this guy gets to stay in office after the ways in which he’s distorted the the political process have come to light that we have sacrificed the possibility of having free elections and fair elections indefinitely.

S11: Well it feels like this argument’s going to sort in in a way that isn’t necessarily conducive to new learning. So for example I think you’d have so the traditional Republican response I think even from people who might be done with Trump would say sure the phone call with the president of Ukraine was not great but you know presidents try and use their office to get reelected all the time and this is and he’s disordered and and and shouldn’t be re-elected. All these other problems but that this isn’t this isn’t so much worse than the other things he’s done that it that it tees up that that that question.

S7: So I mean it’s an interesting argument. But I don’t I don’t when when I read it and as you repeated I didn’t feel like that’s going to that’s going to turn the the way. When I first when when somebody’s months and months of months ago said you know the question with Donald Trump is is do you really want four more years of this drama. That to me was a pretty clarifying argument.

S11: It may if made in the public square the people who who might even not like liberals or Democrats would say you know what. I don’t know that I want four more years so I didn’t find this is clarifying as say that.

S18: Slate Plus members you pay a little bit of money and you get amazing bonus content from the Godfather and others like podcasts you get bonus segments on every episode and today on our bonus segment we’re gonna be talking about red meat not red meat politics but actual red meat and the new study suggesting that eating meat is not bad for you. And which has so many people upset and up in arms should you change your behavior based on that study. Go to slate that complex gabfest plus to become a Slate Plus member today continuing on the impeachment theme. The true mystery of the Trump era made manifest made ever more manifest during this Ukraine scandal and the move to impeach is why Republicans stick with Trump. He has turned the party inside out.

S12: People who used to Valerie’s personal morality above all and politicians have fully attach themselves to somebody who is an immoral fiend. Republicans who held certain foreign policy principles have absolutely abandoned them who had certain principles about free trade have absolutely abandoned them dispense with concerns about budget deficits ditch the federalism they used to cling to so dearly welcomed kind of meddling and corruption that they never would have tolerated in a Democrat they are utterly entwined with the president. Though they know at some level they probably shouldn’t be for political reasons or for other reasons. And I think there have been different explanations hazarded. The number one explanation has been hazard is its brilliant self-interest that oh we’ve gotten lower taxes or oh we’ve gotten a lot of justices confirmed that that pursue conservative ends. But there is a new explanation out and that new explanations come from Pete Wainer who is a conservative intellectual but not Trump supporting one and John do you want to talk a little bit about what what his explanation is or what his theory is.

S11: Sure. Although yes just for the purpose of team that up. So basically he argues that there is a cycle that psychological impulse that kicks in that is essentially that belonging to the tribe is more important than any of those other things and that what happens is there’s a kind of snowball effect which is that defending President Trump is kind of the first thing you do. And then defending your defensive President Trump ends up being the thing that is most responsible for the adhesion that that’s the thing that keeps you no matter what he does. And this I remember very clearly with somebody explained to me with Paul Ryan one of the times he chose to speak out. This was even during the campaign. I think that Ryan was essentially saying you know if I speak out against this I’m going to have to. This is slightly different than Peter’s point but that that if I speak out on this everything I say you what you didn’t speak out about the other five things.

S7: Did just the first time having heard that three years ago was it suggested the kind of box he’s talking about. But but it’s more than just a box because the way he frames it is you not you start to gain. You start to sort of be delighted to defend the president and that you become me the way he describes it you become almost a different person because of the psychological adhesion and tribal feeling that kicks in from from making defenses of the president. Is that roughly what is that right.

S3: Yeah I think it’s the tribalism is the key word. Do you form a sense of group identity of harmony and cohesion which replaces that tribalism trumps the sense of personal ethics personal morality personal political ideology that had guided you because in some ways you’ve made this accommodation with someone you know is immoral someone you know has is wretched and the the way you get solace is the comfort of the group and the group protects you and defends you and welcomes you and then becomes immune to criticisms of its tactics immune to to people’s condemnation of them because that just further reaffirms your separation from them. And it’s it’s sort of terrifying Emily don’t you think.

S15: But it’s also so natural right.

S4: I mean I think another key element of this is that you become more and more convinced and the group reinforces this that the other side is worse. And so you see through the things through that lens and there are plenty of media outlets and social media posts that can feed your sense of that. And I think a lot of people just totally distrust what they read in the media or see in media that doesn’t write that framework. And so it’s partly like you’re you know trolling the other side and it’s partly that like the ends justify the means like you think that your ends or better until you’re willing to come up with a lot of this. And I think before Democrats get all like hot we should remember that we tolerated and put up with and defended a lot of Clinton shenanigans that did not seem to be confident with our personal ethics. I’d like to tell you about myself specifically because I wasn’t doing any work. I wasn’t a journalist at the time but you know like there is if there’s a lot of incentive to disregard wrongdoing by someone you think is right and I think that’s the that’s the intellectually honest way to approach this.

S11: And it’s why this question is so interesting because we’re all susceptible at one level or another to motivated reasoning and just throwing over things that were that were deeply held before. There is a strong feeling I mentioned something on Twitter because I was thinking about this in connection with my book aversion along the lines of what what David said in the introduction to this which is if you look at both on a policy and cultural stand from policy and cultural standpoint that the Republican party that spent years talking about deficit reduction now doesn’t talk about it at all trade immigration that the the GOP autopsy after the 2012 campaign had one policy recommendation support for comprehensive immigration.

S17: That’s 180 degrees opposite to what the party’s policy is now on questions of morality and truth telling Republican voters when polled. There’s a 20 point difference between what they believed in before Trump after. It’s okay now for a lot of people to not tell the truth. It’s okay now to have a lower moral standard. That’s a big switch in a short period of time. The response from liberals was you fool. They were always like this. Therefore there’s nothing to see here. It’s just the. And I don’t think that’s I don’t think that’s either the case or what’s interesting about the human behavior here. And so I think Emily what you what you put your finger on is right in the question I think for me the reason where this comes is that this is actually familiar. The whole way the whole reason the Constitution was set up is because the framers knew that human beings were susceptible to this kind of behavior that particularly when power was on the line demagogues and the tools of demagoguery would be successful or they knew that just wanting to stay in power would be successful and you would forgive. And as you see Bill Clinton’s a good example you would forgive the transgressions on the very things you said you cared about because you had somebody in there who in other ways was doing things you cared about. They knew all that would happen. So they put all these protections in place those protections have dropped and then the norms that used to cause people to say wait a minute you can’t do that are all basically mostly gone.

S12: There’s an interesting distinction I think between the political leaders of the party or the elected officials and the rank and file particularly senators. I think it’s probably the case that a lot of the senators make particular ones about a deal one on one with Trump in some way. Recognize that Trump is a malignant narcissist and they recognize also because they’ve been around politics for a long time and they’ve seen what you know what proper political behavior is and and what the guardrails of Washington are that what he’s done has been destructive and counter to the interests of a well-run government. But they are not going to break with him because not because they they themselves have been caught up in the tribalism although some of them have but also because they just don’t want to. They don’t wanna commit suicide with their party. They know their rank and file has been caught up in this tribalism even if they themselves have not personally fallen deeply into it. There is one one other point or one other question I have about this which is if this is the case that you have a this tribal list attitude about Trump how do Democrats and moderates try to peel people away from that. What is the mechanism. I think it’s because there are so many things reinforcing that Fox is reinforcing it. The president himself reinforces it. Every attack by Democrats somehow reinforces that tribal instinct what are the ways in which it can be minimized in which you can find some commonalities and start to get people to at least start to doubt or to lower their temperature. What do you think Emily.

S16: I feel really pessimistic about this. I’m sorry to say that but last week I was hanging out with some people who seemed like Republican voters and told me that. But that seemed to be the case and they wanted to tell me how they have utterly lost faith in the media. They can’t find anything to listen or watch that seems reliable to them. They dismiss the New York Times in the same breath as any other news outlet et cetera et cetera. That makes me feel kind of hopeless because it means that we don’t have a lot of way back to a shared set of facts and that kind of just reliability like making information not reliable anymore is you know like that’s what it’s like to live in Russia. You have no idea what’s government propaganda and what’s not. And if we start inflicting that on ourselves I’m not sure how you peel yourself off from a set of attachments that are themselves supported by disinformation campaigns right.

S13: You have to right. You have to create a common narrative and commonalities and people it’s so hard for people to find them as they segregate they said written their news consumption they segregate you’re getting that where they live. They segregate in their religious practices how great and how they work where their kids go to school. And so it is until you have points of commonality where you can find something which you do share it doesn’t have to be what you share it doesn’t have to be a point about President Trump. It may just be you support the same football team and cheer in the same way that it put it. But there are fewer and fewer of those points of commonality. And it does make it seem very very difficult to create any any break in the tribal division.

S19: Jon you’re assuming that when you find the points of commonality right like they can be personal and warm and full of love and friendship but they may not change your mind about a single thing in politics.

S20: Well I think the.

S11: I think nothing’s going to change. For a little well it depends where what we really mean about change here. Because I think it’s the adhesion is kind of there a couple of things there’s one is psychological. I mean all the tricks used to gain power in election are to create this kind of tribal feeling to sort of demagogue the other. And usually there’s a wall between what you do in campaigns and what you do as governing. That’s Wall is disappeared. Somebody could reassert that wall. That’s that’s one thing. But I think the the the problem here is that there is the psychological rallying that happens in in both parties and that’s happening strongly among supporters of the president. But I think there is that policy side which is for people who and this is why the president and his defenders have quite a rejoinder to the Jeff likes and Mitt Romney and all the rest because yeah they say they say you know critical things of the president but then they either vote with him or support everything he does.

S7: And the argument is basically look on the most important things he’s doing the right stuff. And and so I’d rather have somebody in there doing the right stuff on judges and regulations than Elizabeth Warren. So it’s both what he’s achieved and the threat that Emily mentioned earlier of the other. And we know from polling that both parties have a number of people. It’s almost no to a majority. I think it’s a plurality. I think the other party is not just wrong but an active threat to America. So if you add doing the right things on the stuff you care about plus the fact that the nominee of the other party will be an active threat to America. I don’t think you have to be psychologically you know overwrought to sort of say OK well my team is you know in a great but it’s better than the alternative.

S11: And so I think until you get I think all those things will allow people to kind of stay where they are until you have a big breaking moment and that will either be something that you know maybe Ukraine grows into that maybe not. Or it just becomes an election. And maybe nobody has a great revelation. But people decide and I’m just not going to turn out and the breaking moment ends up just being the other team does turn out.

S8: So let me let me close this with an alternative theory or maybe an additive theory.

S12: So in addition to the winter vision there’s also a theory from a couple of I think political scientists Lewicki and Lynn Blatt. I didn’t write down the first names and that isn’t much more a theory about political power why is it that there has been this extreme tribal ist instinct and why is it that the Republican Party has become basically a white Christian party party of white Christian identity.

S3: And the theory that they lay out is actually it’s just a simple math matter of power and numbers that the white christian majority in the Republican Party which is the massive majority the Republican Party is terrified of losing power and losing.

S8: And the consequences of losing power they recognize there’s been an extreme demographic shift in the country and as a result they are and they’re trying to hold on. They don’t want to lose the election because they’re worried they lose elections because they’re worried about what those consequences will be and they see really dire consequences and part of that’s a from a heightened anxious world view that has been fomented in part by Fox and by by Trump and.

S13: But they are willing to engage in any kind of dirtiness and politics to preserve that bunker polished that bunker identity including basically deal legitimating the system if you look at a state like North Carolina where they tried to strip power from the elected governor or try to the level of gerrymandering the the efforts to just restrict voting by people of color restrict voting by ex felons every every piece of the the armature used to didn’t discourage voting discourage political participation from non-white people is part of this.

S5: This this white Christian Identity attempting to hold onto its power. Emily did that move you my or my gloss on that move you.

S4: Well it worries me because then you start thinking that I mean when was the last time a group that self identified strongly as a group versus other groups and had hegemony gave up its power without like a huge amount of you know effectively like revolutionary effort. I mean you know think about like the white South Africans and what it took to dismantle apartheid. If we really are divided by race and religion ethnicity to this degree and you know the white people you’re talking about see their power is declining and as doing so at the expense of people of color like I don’t see how they go quietly into the night and the only way to think about changing that is to enlarge the definition of what it means to be like part of the group. Right. And so you want some larger notion of American belonging. And I think we’ve had that at certain times in history or at least we’ve had the illusion of that. And right now that light feels very well.

S11: The only thing is that the demographically they are not on the on the side of the train they’re going to leave.

S21: Right. But but but they distorted the political system so it didn’t matter.

S7: Well it does matter. We’ll see.

S19: The Yeah I mean we’ll see if their efforts may not be strong enough and they also may not in the end like care to disenfranchise enough people to make it work.

S7: But right now it feels like a threat that the trends that the Republican Party was consumed with just three short years ago or maybe for now continue apace. And and there are losing some of their own voters and that’s why partially what part of what you see in the strategy from the Trump campaign both in the last election and this one is is not just to maximize their base but to also diminish the size of the other one not just through specifically even anything of ballot access or any of that but just to just kind of bum out voters so that they don’t turn out that’s not a strategy built from strength. That’s a strategy built on you know on a tough hand and just trying to ruin the hand of the other person. But so implicit in that strategy is a is a is a weakness that that can’t just be solved. I mean not unless you like start putting tanks in the streets.

S22: Yeah well that’s right.

S19: I mean we’ve had other periods of this in American history right.

S5: That’s. That’s a terrifying. There could be tanks in the streets.

S16: Well or go back to the 1920s where you know the white mostly rural residents who were threatened by the census count because it revealed many more immigrants in urban areas just like it didn’t redistrict for nine years and passed immigration restrictions to slow down the changing demographics. Yeah. It gave way and I guess you could say go back and then the country rolled on. I’m never quite sure when I start thinking about the low points which conclusion to draw all right.

S18: A big affirmative action ruling from a district court judge.

S3: It upheld a Harvard admission practices as related to Asian-Americans. There’s a claim from a conservative legal group led by a man named Ed Blum said. Blum I’m not sure that Harvard was discriminating against Asian-American applicants and letting in certain kinds of less qualified African-American Hispanic and white applicants and therefore Harvard Harvard’s admissions practices need to be radically changed and shifted. This case will be appealed up to an appeals court a federal appeals court and then end up at the Supreme Court. But it was seen the district court ruling was seen by supporters of university admissions affirmative action as being a pretty big win. Emily tell us a little bit about the case where it came from and why it is seen as important.

S16: Well this case like you said came from Edward Blum who’s tried to litigate other affirmative action claims or I should say anti claims on behalf of white students. And this time he found Asian-American students to sue Harvard. And so that’s a better face for this effort. Better to have some people of color on your side. The testimony at trial like revealed the sausage making of the Harvard admission process and it didn’t always look great because college admissions at selective institutions are not fair. They’re just not like there are many many more people who would thrive at Harvard and Yale and all these other places. Then there are spots for that and so somewhat arbitrary decisions get made about who gets in and who doesn’t. And then there was a lot of letting in of legacies and athletes and kids from families who donate money at the school fully 43 percent of the white students at Harvard fit into one of those categories. To me that’s like the headline if you want emissions to be more fair. Maybe that is the place to focus instead of them. Far far far smaller number of black and Latin students. But that’s not what opponents of affirmative action care about. And so we had this suit and the judge’s ruling was you know necessary for maintaining any race based affirmative action anywhere. The reason I say that is that Harvard has all the money in the world to throw at admissions. And so it doesn’t have quotas which the Supreme Court outlawed in the 70s. It has this very careful individual review and whatever factors it’s using and the way in which it takes race into account if Harvard can’t do what it’s doing then basically I think no college would feel like they could continue. And of course the big question is what is the Supreme Court going to do when it gets this case. You know maybe a year from now maybe a little longer. And the problem I think for proponents of affirmative action is that there were enough unattractive facts coming out from Harvard that if a conservative majority of judges justices wants to end affirmative action like they can do it.

S23: What do you mean by an interactive fact.

S16: Well well from the point of view of some Asian-American students who didn’t get in they on average as a group had lower like personality personal ratings these kind of ineffable characteristics that make it look like there’s this stereotype of an Asian-American as being a less exciting student to admit overall. And like that’s bad. I mean that’s pretty inexcusable honestly. And it’s super unfair. The problem is what I said before like there is no real fair way to do this. I mean the notion that because you got an eight hundred or whatever the number is now on your S.A.T. and you had perfect grades you deserve to get it more like I just don’t believe it. I don’t believe that based on what I see from my law students at Yale like they come from a range of backgrounds they bring different things to the school. We could all be replaced in a heartbeat by other people. Maybe we should have a lottery at this point or these schools should expand the size of their classes vastly as my friend Daniel Markovich is going to be on the show soon argues. But like just there we kind of searching for some holy grail of like fairness admissions here and it just doesn’t exist right.

S12: I mean I’m just gonna make the point which Emily you’re not that a minute ago and which we talked about before on the show the way in which athletic preference gets used is just so appalling. Having spent some time watching the Northeast elite college admissions process through my daughter and thinking about it from my other kids it’s grotesque the way in which athletics has become this this affirmative action for four white kids essentially it’s affirmative action for white kids who’s way well-off white well-off kids who’ve been whose parents of invested them doing learning how to be good at some particular sport and spending a bunch of time on sport it’s fine to spend a bunch of time in a sport it’s good teamwork is great.

S13: Nothing wrong with it but the overvaluation of that relative to so many other things is disgusting and I don’t think I think it’s sort of unrealistic to get rid of legacy preferences.

S8: It’s just too hard emotionally it’s too important for schools identity and for for donations. I don’t think the same thing is true for athletics.

S13: I think schools could step back from athletics and it would be OK they just they just need to tap several of them do it at the same time and step back. What does that mean means. It means don’t don’t don’t give so many preferences to athletes who come in who are gonna make your fencing team a little better recruiting a little bit better.

S8: Don’t spend so much of your endowment and so much of your capital campaign on building new athletic facilities don’t emphasize in all your fundraising and your outreach the athletics is the key central pillar of what you’re doing. Don’t reserve so many spots just don’t reserve somebody’s spots in your class and instead say we’re not going to be a great you know the best school for four mediocre Division Three football. We’re going to be the best school for chemistry and we’re going to bring in a couple of chemistry Nobel laureates to be professors.

S3: That’s what we’re gonna spend on and we’re gonna we’re gonna have this reputation is like having the best undergraduate chemistry department of any college in the country. And that seems to me so much to be so much better if they were doing that. And but they’re cowardly.

S16: Can I add two things. The first is that I don’t think we should give up on eliminating or reducing legacy emissions. The second thing is that what these colleges are really falling down on is admitting low income students. And we talked about this with Paul Tough a couple weeks ago. It’s like that is a sham that it is a just shameful fact of university existence.

S24: And if universities increase the number of poor students they could admit more white students in along with low income students of color. And that could help address these issues of fairness in a way that you know would resonate with more white Americans and make them feel like these institutions were a potential part of their lives. I mean I also think Yes obviously it’s hugely important to support public universities in and wide angle lens but as long as we’re going to have this you know elitist meritocracy based on selective schools it needs to be more widely available to people across the socioeconomic spectrum.

S12: Right. Last question on this. Emily why would Ed Bloom bring a case like this with a private university.

S8: And why why isn’t the main attack to take down affirmative action at public universities first. I would’ve thought there’d be a much easier path if the Supreme Court really going to say Yeah I know there’s always with universities there. They’re always getting federal funds and so that’s always your back door to make anything a federal case in federal business.

S13: But Harvard is effectively a private organization in a way that a public university is not effectively a private organization is is the Supreme Court really going to meddle that deeply in the policies of a private organization.

S16: Well Bloom’s previous case that went to the Supreme Court was at University of Texas Austin. So that was a public university route. There is a parallel lawsuit that I believe he’s funding at the University of North Carolina. Another a public school and I think the Harvard and USC efforts are kind of happening in tandem and I don’t know exactly why the Harvard trial happened first but I think there is basically a coordinated effort to go after both public and private universities. Yes Harvard does receive federal funding. That is the backdoor way and I think also from the point of view of like optics I mean for the Supreme Court. Just imagine the opinion that Justice Alito or someone is going to write like Harvard this place dripping in money is not being fair and not letting in low income kids is not. Instead like it’s putting a thumb on the scale in a way that hurts Asian-Americans like that’s going to make. That’s a great way to.

S25: On the lips let’s go to cocktail chatter when you’re having your pumpkin cocktail like every time I go to a bar.

S12: It seems to be some protests looking pumpkin or pecan pie cocktail on the menu. Yuck. But when you’re having that John Dickerson What you gonna be chattering about you the thing about pumpkin.

S17: What happens when like suddenly whether it’s pumpkin or kale or cauliflower like they’re just quietly these vegetables or or I guess fruits. And then suddenly they’re everywhere. Anyway the story of big pumpkin should be told but it’s not my chatter My chatter is a great pumpkin Charlie Brown.

S3: It’s the Great Pumpkin. That was the story of big pumpkin.

S17: My chapter is about America in one room when I chatted about some number of weeks ago and this was this effort to address what we were talking about earlier and I had to bite my tongue not to raise it which is that there is actually a you know that America’s polarization is real. It’s a virulent but it’s mostly because in the political process has been captivated or has been controlled and continued to be controlled and the polarization makes it worse by people who are at both ends and who are maximally online. And you know exact maximum price for participation in politics but American one room took five hundred and twenty three registered voters from around the country flew them all to Dallas to a to a resort and basically did an experiment about what they believed about what things the labels were stripped away.

S7: And it found and it was done with the Center for deliberative democracy at Stanford and the National Opinion Research Center in Chicago. So this is you know the best of political science trying to put people in a room who are representative of the country and they studied.

S17: There was if they were given a fifty five page handbook that was prepared by policy experts and they basically did what you expected which is that they had notions based on their personal experience that were well-informed but not didn’t fit necessarily into the political scripts that we all have. People when they met each other even if they had different views they changed their opinions they behaved basically like human beings. And Emily Badger and Kevin Quigley wrote a piece for The Upshot about this and they also took pictures of all the participants which makes for a very appealing article in addition to the way it’s written. Now of course the big question is how you connect this experiment or and what it says with the way we actually do participate in politics and that’s a much bigger challenge. But there is it’s worth reading and looking at these opinions and ideas and people because they represent another large part of America that isn’t really a part of the conversation in the way we normally have it.

S3: Emily what is your pumpkin spice chatter. I think I have a special announcement. Pumpkin spice.

S26: Chattering announcement I do my special announcement comes from someone who e-mailed us about an upcoming wedding. The people who are getting married had online profiles and each mention the gabfest. And that’s how they met. Their names are Colleen Laurie and Rudolph. Long day we were picked up by this. So we wish you the most lovely wedding and a great day. And now on a very different note my chatter is about reporting that Pro Publica has been doing on audits at the IRS. This is like exhibit three hundred and eighty million in why it is expensive and rotten to be poor in America. The IRS is auditing the working poor at about the same rate as the wealthiest 1 percent.

S16: ProPublica reports that in a letter this week the IRS commissioner said the reason they’re doing this is that it’s just a lot cheaper to audit low income people you can use low level staffers their tax returns are complicated just easier to go check them. And so these huge piles of wealth and undoubtedly lots of tax avoidance is going on investigated because people in Congress especially Republicans have been cutting the budget of the IRS. And meanwhile the working poor are having the tax collectors drive them crazy. I mean this is just it just makes no sense. And it is so frustrating to hear about.

S12: My chatter I actually have a little thank you. Before my chatter which is there was a wonderful review in vulture of the ten most important political podcasts of all time and I’m so pleased to say that we were old enough we were top of the list we were the first one written about and it was such a lovely piece about who we are and what we do description of who we are and what we do. I’m just going to read a little bit it’s by me on any fact who used to actually podcast for Slate and Leon wrote that that we the three of us have a sibling like rapport interrupting laughing and teasing sometimes quite brutally.

S8: They are experts but one whose intimacy and affection for one another pursuit permits a kind of genuine intellectual candor. They are funny informed and sometimes thrillingly mean. Their thinking is collaborative they change each other’s minds. Listening to them is like witnessing an essay being written in real time by a writer trying to untangle an idea with our smartest friends. That was such a nice thing to read. It’s like being seen like all of a sudden we were seen.

S6: Well it’s either that it’s better than being seen. It’s like the best mirror ever with the greatest lie of it.

S17: But as a sign of my cycle psychological deficits it made me when I read it I thought Oh I’d really like to be that person as opposed to being a mirror.

S3: All right. My actual chatter is about an amazing solicitation that the Republican National Committee sent out in Montana. To raise money for Trump’s re-election and they sent out forms to potential donors that were labeled 2019 congressional district census and they look exactly like not exactly like extremely similar to the actual census forms. They look like an official census form but it’s a it’s then asked a series of questions that are designed to make you feel good about Republicans and bad about Democrats and then to prompt you to give money. But it has this quality of official ness and census ness and receptiveness that’s grotesque and it’s actually probably or potentially a federal crime is a federal crime to pretend to be the census. And here we have the very party that the president represents doing it and using his name to help him with his presidential re-election. So it’s another example of of the taking of the official government arm and somehow misusing it drag doing it in order to help the president’s personal political ends. It’s pretty gross.

S16: I’m sure the FEC would be on it. Oh wait. The FEC has no quorum and is totally and completely dysfunctional.

S12: Yeah definitely they’ll be on it. Right. Exactly. Well said we also get listener chatter every week. So many great listener chatters this week so so many great ones and I’m just gonna call out to you Angela at Oreo cookie Angela sent us a truly depressing story from a l dot com and Alabama news site about a practice which is apparently quite common in Alabama and also exists in other states where Alabama sheriffs have in their custody in jail somebody who is sick someone who has a sudden quite serious illness something maybe even fatal. And so while they’re transporting this person to the hospital for treatment they release them from jail they release the emanates from jail. Have the inmates sign a release form so the inmate gets to the hospital is no longer in custody and therefore the jail in the state is not responsible for any of their care and the patient themself becomes responsible for all the bills. And then once this health crisis has passed these people are often rearrested. It’s just vile it’s just vile and wrong and we should be ashamed. So thank you.

S2: At Oreo Tookie for pointing out that depressing peace to us that is our show for today the Gabfest is produced by Justin Frank Melissa Kaplan helped out here in DC who helped out in New York John and Alan paying. Oh the Berlin. He’s always at his post fourth on Twitter and at Slate gabfest. Tweet your chat to us and please if you’re in the East Bay the West Bay the South Bay the North Bay bass city please come to our December 18th show in Oakland at the Fox Theater our annual conundrum show. Got a second com live starting Friday morning for tickets for Emily Bazelon and John Dickerson David Plotz. Thank you for listening. We’ll talk to you next week.

S18: Hello Slate Plus how are you you may have seen there was a study there was five reviews published in the Annals of Internal Medicine this week by a bunch of scientists looking at looking at studies about red meat and they came to the conclusion that there is no health reason that they were able to discern not to eat red meat.

S13: That when you dig into the data when you look at when you sort of desegregate the kinds of people who eat meat from the kinds people who don’t eat meat and sort of take away the the distinction there that does not seem to be intrinsically in red meat something which is health damaging to the health or or at least we don’t. There’s not enough evidence to conclude that people should not eat red meat for health reasons and that got a lot of people up in arms. Why do get people up in arms.

S15: Emily I don’t know why did it get people up in arms. I will end up in arms.

S16: I just find these like dietary recommendations like they are like yo yos and I basically just don’t really listen to any of them and I’m not going to like start rabbit eating red meat because of this plus red meat is terrible for carbon foot.

S21: That’s why people got it but that’s what’s got people up in arms. Yeah. Because they are gonna take it away. Well yeah. No. But beep.

S19: Oh wait if you think the science is solid. Like

S24: you’re not supposed to not report on this health finding because the you rent. It doesn’t.

S17: You’re not on Twitter enough are you. I mean I know yes you’ve said two things that would get you on Twitter that would literally melt your phone. You mentioned Bill Clinton having done anything wrong in the context of a conversation about Donald Trump and presidential standards which would have melted your phone and you said that you’re not supposed to ignore science when it doesn’t support your other maximalist position on something else. This is not behavior you’re supposed to maintain.

S11: If you want to be get a lot of likes and have your ratio the right way anyway. Yeah it seems like it’s giving aid and comfort to a something that contributes to them the decimation of the environment. Also I think it probably hurts a lot of stocks for meat replacement and also there’s a whole like and this part is not. I mean you are supposed to eat lots and lots of vegetables and fruit and there’s a good reason for that. And so people who promote that for good and correct them right health reasons might worry that part of the push for some people to go eat fruits and vegetables is is that they were pushed away from meat. And so maybe this would cause a backsliding.

S3: Right. I think that it’s very important that we not put our personal morality ahead of the science and personal values about how righteous it is not to eat red meat and and to be clear about what it is and isn’t righteous.

S8: And if in fact that eating red meat is good for you or not bad for you that should be acknowledged and at the same time we should there should be really good science about what the environmental impact of raising so many animals for meat is and that and actually I’m not a scientist and I don’t even know the data from what I’ve been able to glean from little bits I’ve read in the press.

S13: The raising of cattle and the raising of pigs is tremendously damaging to the environment tremendously carbon heavy and that that is one of the key reasons to eat less meat and if we all took half of meat out of our diet they we’re eating three quarters of it. We would be doing a lot less damage to the atmosphere and so focusing on that and not getting too worked up over the health effects or not is make sense and I totally agree with you Emily that it is it is a fool’s game to try to follow nutritional advice. It’s just impossible right.

S16: I mean obviously like there are some like don’t drink like a wash don’t eat all the sugar in the entire world like there’s some out there so I’m not sure I managed to follow the second directive adequately on Sunday. But yeah it just seems like if you let yourself you could be having like significantly different diet like every week of the year and less time. Yeah you might genuinely miss red meat when you don’t eat it because I feel like I get off so easy here I just don’t even notice. Like months go by I don’t have any I don’t think about it but I feel like if I really loved it. Like if they were taking drugs away from me that would be a different matter.

S7: Well the wonderful jars that the food. Our attention to there are a lot more places you can get alternatives to red meat particularly in the lunch space where you don’t have to order like a sandwich because it’s only sandwich shops. You know there are lots of different kinds of foods you can eat now. So that makes it a little bit easier. But but the end and I think this was true at one point in the cycle of meat eating in America when it became when it was associated with poor heart health. What they found was actually that steak restaurants I think took God to actually a bump because what happened was people stopped eating red meat at home but then they treated it like a special thing. And so they went out to good steak restaurants and so that feels like. Interesting the right way to me which is I love a good steak. But in the same way when I’m trying to think of anything else that would be in that category. But I’m. But we’re talking like you know not that frequently here like once ice cream sundae. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Exactly. So once a month and therefore you’d wanted to be done really well.

S3: Yeah I I definitely cut back on red meat although I think it is more unconscious than conscious and I. My problem is that I don’t really like chicken and that is the thing that people are always trying to shove down your gullet.

S16: If you hated chicken like genuinely like revolt from it I I I avoid eating it but you’re often served that you can’t get it.

S3: So if you go to someone’s house and they made chicken you eat the chicken and it’s fine you’re there things they’re good chicken dishes I just never I would never willfully order chicken anywhere. And that is the thing that is supposed to be the justified protein and it was I love pork and I quite like I like beef and very not in all forms but a bunch of forms. So I am I think I’m like you John is that I try to make it special when I have it especially with beef with pork I end up having a lot of pork in different forms just because I think purchased delicious is so good that I would I would find it hard to cut out pork but I agree with you Emily that it’s this isn’t like sugar and all the people I know who cut out sugar they’re always there always smugly telling me how good they feel and I and I get irritated with them. Yeah well they’re probably right I just think they were feeling they were just feeling bad before for other reasons. Maybe not having seizures. John is probably cut out sugar. You can have sugar John.

S7: No I’m just trying. But I don’t do is I don’t use sugar as the mid afternoon. Like Jack. Me back up that I that I used to write that I used to.

S3: Yeah. That’s definitely just that’s Doritos.

S27: All right those you eat. I was kidding. I like to read it. Both kidding he’s kidding. The idea that that would be a healthy fast food ever.

S6: Like literally I don’t understand Doritos at all. I want them to chips. I don’t understand it.

S12: Oh Emily. Wow. So Doritos are filled. They’re so crunchy they’re so filled with salt and mommy and. Oh I’d love to read.

S6: I don’t like how they smell good though they do smell.

S16: They do smell not great but do you buy any new food you’ve discovered in like middle aged adulthood.

S3: Oh yeah. Huh.

S19: That they’re basically all vegetables like things you just never eat before I know you’re like Oh I eat that a lot but bubble tea.

S3: No one for me. But that’s. Oh yeah. That doesn’t really count. I mean there are certain kinds of food recipes that I make. But you mean a kind of category of food.

S19: Well like I used to never eat nuts.

S16: I just wasn’t interested in them. And then I discovered a super yummy roasted unsalted.

S6: You’re not particularly yet or even a hundred percent and I love them. Yes.

S16: So you’re saying I’ve gone nuts yes I’m gone nuts but in this extremely specific way only from this one place only if they’re fresh et cetera et cetera what are they.

S7: They’re salted cashews.

S16: No they’re unfold that I don’t like salt roasted unsalted whole cashews from edge of the woods in New Haven.

S27: All right that’s it. Can we wrap this. Actually because I have to go catch a flight.

S6: Really. The kitchen’s keep talking forever.

S21: That’s really interesting. I guess so do not do not have whatever sense you’re getting started don’t get started. OK.

S28: I’ll do it by Slate Plus.