ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Emily Bazelon, John Dickerson, and David Plotz discuss the release of the Mueller Report, Trump’s refusal to respond to Congressional subpoenas, and the resurgence of measles.

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TRANSCRIPT

00:00:00the following podcast contains explicit language
00:00:10Hello and welcome to the Slate political gabfest for April 18th. 2019. The oh my God, this is terrible. This is the end of my presidency Edition. I'm David Foss about your I'm in Washington DC where I didn't run into Bill bar this morning John Dickerson of CBS This Morning it you could probably been on the air since far started speaking census report came out. So I'm glad that you're here with us. Hello John hello and good morning from one bar to the other at the end of the day.
00:00:40Is not the morning that is shows have discombobulated you are it's already afternoon. We're taping Emily bazelon of the New York Times magazine. You are also discombobulated. Probably your in your your birth city of Philadelphia on your book tour Philadelphia with your best-selling book. That's right friends and we both want to charge the best seller. Thanks for getting it. Make sure you guys are the best on this week's Gap at the Mueller report redacted Edition drops. We will have our lightning response to the most anticipated report since that maybe the starboard then the White House is adopting a policy of obstructing essentially all congressional birth records request Congressional subpoenas. How will this show down? And then who what is responsible for the surgeon measles in the drop and vaccination rates plus we will have cocktail chatter.
00:01:34What a day began with attorney general Bill Barr pre spinning his version of the Mueller report as being lightly redacted and and showing no signs of presidential criminal Behavior. The report itself arrives slightly after bars, press conference this morning more than four two pages long, not lightly redacted significantly redacted and we have all spent the last twelve hours checking it out looking at it. So John, what are your initial thoughts? I know and I'll give you let me just bracket the thing. I know you're going to say which is it. We all hate the lightning respond game. It's this thing came out on Thursday. We are taking on Thursday. So we recognize that none of us has read the whole report. We can't have processed over for it. And so so work. I'm just getting to Asterix on the top of the episode so you don't have to say anything. Okay. Thank you. I guess I have I don't know what to think. Yeah. Well, right it is it is
00:02:34The attorney general in the White House carefully managed the rollout of this to take maximum advantage of the way the news environment Works, which is not the best way in the world you tourney General gave his second summer. Ain't the first time we was the fourth page report on how the press conference which was another summary of the findings before people got a chance to look even at the redacted version of it. So he set a frame for the way to look the Inn for information and people will have to make a judgment about whether the frame he put around there any information change the way people thought about it in a way that was material important and the reason the way in which it might someday become materially important is is that we are essentially there are three venues for evaluating the Mueller report. There is B criminal indictable venue, which is the AG that's up to the AG. He made a determination not to move forward on that are obviously other criminal cases related to Trump Behavior, but I respected this report then there's the question whether to impeachable or not. We'll have to see what Congress decide.
00:03:34But remember the threshold are essentially is it the Democrats have to get all of their members in the Senate to vote for it + 20 Republicans pretty high threshold there for this information. And then there's the is there anything in the report? That is so objectionable or do you have Jonathan Turley sprays contemptible that it makes voters in 2020 decide that they don't want four more years of this president for and so we've seen the Attorney General take a crack at kind of the first venue where this would be assessed and I will wait to see the Congressional report and then finally what the voters say one final thing to say about well, no, let me to shut up there and get him when he starts to Emily. What is it that particular struck you were there any facts that you learned or or framing that you saw in the report so far that his head stuck with you that is ripping you.
00:04:23I mean, I think that the amassing of facts about obstruction of evidence even though we know that mother didn't conclude that he was going to indict Trump for this. It's pretty astonishing even though a lot of it is familiar seeing it all in one place and then thinking about the gap between the way the Attorney General of the United States presented the facts and what we're actually see it. I mean to just name one example, he bar said that the fact of trump being president the back of the justice department of said that it doesn't believe that if it has the power to indict in the president flower said that didn't factor into mahler's decision-making but the report clearly includes. As a factor and it's just one of a number of kind of astonishing inconsistencies and I think it's also just worth noting the timing of this so first we had a couple of weeks of runner-up in which bar control the narrative very successfully lots of outlets reported.
00:05:23Summary as the Mueller report as opposed to Bar summary of it and it was impossible to challenge his his description of it cuz we didn't have it then, you know, we spend the morning with his version of events. And so we're all scrambling with less time in the day to actually digest this report which oh, by the way is, you know between four and five hundred pages and is not searchable. So yeah, like the Press is going to catch up on this and I hope we talk about it again next week when we can be no more settled in our conclusions. But in the meantime, we're going to make mistakes were going to be rushed and it's easier to rely on the attorney-general's point of view and I'll be really curious about whether there is a discrepancy between you know, newspaper coverage cable TV coverage and fox coverage of this day in particular that I have a searchable version of it if you wanted Emily impact like just posted one this I think you would like a refrain that I I don't want to spend a lot of time or a lot of my
00:06:23Brainspace focusing on the the framing The Ville bar has Donna the president has done. I would like to look at what is in this report and what it what is so extraordinary is not that it necessarily has radical new information. Although as as people taken to the footnotes in his is smarter people that I read it. I'm sure they will be bits of new information to come out but much of what we see in support of stuff that it was reported or hinted at in reporting that's already been released or was revealed in earlier diamonds from Mueller and his team but we have an extraordinary Russian effort on the presents. They have to win the election for Trump or lose it for Clinton to disrupt American politics and reduce confidence in American elections and to divide Americans that is incredible effort and effort that the president's team made no effort to stop and in fact at every occasion that they were presented with the opportunity to cooperate with it. They sought to cooperate with it and saw two.
00:07:23Gain, an advantage from it and never to report it and then repeatedly lied about what they did and then following that and then a massive repeated effort. We just look at the table of contents about this by the president's team to obstruct and I mislead lie deceive about what those contacts have been. So there's been extraordinary set of crimes committed against the American people in American government and we need to meet up but really Panic about that because what the Russians did what they try to do what they could it again do in a future election with incredibly damaging and that that first part of mileage report is is stunning and disturbing at the at the deepest level to me as a citizen. How couldn't I with what with your point about let's not spend too much time on the framing but one of the key questions, would you underline and which is at the heart of this is where does the rule of law stand just isn't kind of a concert.
00:08:23Turn the American situation and where do we end as the cheat, you know as an attorney general reflects on the rules. And so the end of this experience has the Attorney General improved the way people think about the rule of law or not. And so I think how he characterized the report and the distance between the person who has Authority by dint of the job. He has the distance between what he says about the report and what It ultimately is I think matters with respect to the way the general notion of rule of law exist, and I've just add to Emily's point about Mueller end and whether you can indict president claimed that the president quote unquote fully cooperated with the investigation, but then when you read the actual my lab report, it says during the course of our discussions or president did agree to answer questions, but he did not agree to provide written answers with questions on obstruction topics or questions on events during the transition.
00:09:23That's not cooperating. Ultimately while we believe we had the authority and legal justification that he goes into talking about though. They could have subpoenaed him, but they decided not to because they could have they basically figured they had what they had and it would take too long but it is a point is that the president was not fully Cooperative. Although I'd like to know Emily what you think about the both the fact that the president did not assert executive privilege with this and that he seems to have allowed his staffers to basically speak freely to the to the special counsel hoping they weren't going to have to invoke it. And so that's one way to evaluate how meaningful that is and I'm really glad you brought up the Gap again between Parts description and the actual lack of cooperation and the rule of law framing is exactly the right one. The fact that we are seeing most of this report is a victory but there are parts of it. We can't see and part because of harm
00:10:23Ongoing investigations that should have tantalizing reason for reduction that makes you wonder if they're more shoes to drop at all. So what we're not finding out in the meantime
00:10:34So this report is effectively been laid at the feet of Congress and the American people does not laid at the feet of the courts is not laid, we have these two enormous issues in enemy engaged in a phenomenally successful campaign to to undermine us and disrupt our the core of our of our political system 1 and 2 a president who is manifestly unfit to serve who at every turn has has used the might of his office to serve selfish dishonest and corrupt our political system. Actually. There's this I wish that we were able I wish we were we had that the kind of mental fortitude to be able to say if you describe what we've just learned about the president and what we just learned about the Russians without names attached with that party's attached if you describe what we have just learned about the president to a random citizen who had somehow been locked in a box you didn't say it was a republican even take as a Democrat every single person who you could describe this too would say every every person every member of Congress.
00:11:34Every charge every fucking alien would say this is a person who does not is not fit to hold his office and should be impeached removed from office. But the partisan system will not allow it. So given given that the place where was partisanship John what the heck can this report do like is it because everyone's going to go to their Corner? What is what can this do that? Say? Yeah. That's why I was mad at least three different fields on which this gets as a stand and this is the second field impeachment field. I mean at the end of the day the house has to make wood may have to make an impeachment determination and then you have to get 20 Republican Senators. I think I think basically just goes to the 2020 electorate and in that instance a butt and then the question is a political matter for Democrats is okay fine. It'll be adjudicated by the voters. But what role into if you're just a partisan Democrat, how do you want that information to get out in a way that is orderly and conveys, you know the full scope of this which includes we
00:12:34Mansion in among the scope of things to discuss his 10 instances in which the president actively tried to get in the way of the investigation to misinform and that includes everything from Houston. He tried to get Corey Lewandowski to influence Jeff sessions to recuse himself an effective investigation and two attempts to fire Mueller. There's an extraordinary episode where the White House counsel Don mcgahn basically says, he's ready to pack his bags because the president is so insistent that began fire Mueller that he's going to leave. This is just I should make an aside much of the recording done by the post and the times and the journal which was called fake and lies and all that is all affirmed here by the investigation of the report so much of it was true in real time at even though the president said it was all made up. So I guess the question for voters will be or one of the questions could be there's a lot of detail in this report about a highly disordered presidency. It may not have met the illegal.
00:13:34Mission for obstruction because that requires the intent and I think there are a lot of instances where you you could buy the case that the president just didn't want to have an investigation not because he thought the investigation would find anything but because he thought investigation was going to clot up his administration for its entire time, but that's the legal standard the political standard is do you want a presidency witch based on the Mueller report is highly disordered and dysfunctional and and brakes at which shatters. The presence is Jonathan Turley. Do you want four more years of that Emily one of these getting into some specifics. I know if you had a chance to look at the writing at the Trump Tower meeting. Did you get a chance to look at that yet or not? What's interesting to me about some of the details in this report? And in particular the Trump Tower meeting is it it confirms that the report confirms what we've learned in general terms about from from reporting from that John set the time to post the journal another.
00:14:34But the Trump Tower meeting actually did I think it's a little bit of a turned out to be a little bit less than anticipated for the presents critics that it that they hope for something awesome. They they wanted something amazing. They wanted some truly damaging information about Hillary Clinton. They went into the meeting expecting it but there really wasn't any particularly good information. The meeting was a bit of a dud and they lied about it afterwards and covered it up, but that it actually it actually expressed a willingness to try to work with that actors and include with a barn power but there was not very much to collude with social Hazard should our interpretation be a good few or that was a that actually this shows their their mal-intent throughout
00:15:22I mean, I think if you're worried about the willingness of people who are now running the country to you know, look around for dirt to try to encourage getting dark but not as still worrisome the standard that Miller was using the Society of coordination. So it wasn't enough for him that the Russians were offering at certain points and that the Trump campaign was willing and kind of inviting the offers are also wanted to see them actually like we're knitting the whole thing and it may be that the fumbling nature of these efforts to kind of contact each other are what saved everybody in the end though again, we do see all this lying about it afterward and you know attempt sister to cover it up including the president lying about helping or sore helping to write his son's defense and initial explanation of what this meeting is about saying it was just like a meeting about adoption.
00:16:22As opposed to any of effort to get information and so it seems clear that people knew that what they were trying to do was suspicious in a way that would seem damning if people under if people knew what they were excited about.
00:16:38John there's this lines be much quoted on television, which is where the president said. Oh my God. This is terrible. This is the end of my presidency. I'm fucked when Mueller was appointed the independent counsel appointed interpreting that in one way, but actually not sure that's correct. I think some people are saying No, this is him. Is it a sign of a guilty conscience by Buddy really seem to be saying this is going to be such a distraction for my Administration. I won't be able to get anything done and isn't he? In fact, correct about that? Well, you ought to say not to say that they that they don't deserve this look as good as it looks like they were you know, obstructing and and committing wrong acts all the time. But but isn't it correct that it has been a terrible distraction in the way that he expected. Yes, and I think that's a key on because it gives you it's a test of the way where you said depends on where you stand and hand soap as you say its critics think this is him saying, oh my God, it finally been caught.
00:17:38General bass isn't it basically his entire reason for not pursuing obstruction case on the idea that the president have them didn't have the motive in the motive. That was driving him was not. Oh my gosh. I'm being caught but oh my gosh, this is such a big is going to ruin my presidency because it's just going to be days and days and days of distracting investigation. And what is interesting about the attorney general's press conference was he basically spoke to the president's motive and said this President Trump facing unprecedented situation as he entered office federal agents and prosecutors were scrutinizing his conduct before and after taking office the same time. There was a Relentless speculation in the news media and what he's saying is that there was substantial evidence to show the present was frustrated and angry about his his sincere belief that the investigation was undermining his presidency. So this goes to your point that he was sincere and bleeding. This is ruining his presidency and he wanted to stop it from happening not because he wanted to get caught but because he didn't want it to to ruin his presidency. Now one thing that the Attorney General do
00:18:38Find out but it's obviously has to be remembered here is that the reason he was getting all the scrutiny is that he and lots of people concerned with the campaign said we had no contact with Russia and any possible way and then we found all these instances in which there was conduct and then the president said he had no business dealings with Russia and then we didn't find this out until very recently by we find out that he was in fact pursuing a Trump Tower deal. So it was not an innocent in creating the conditions but then made him feel like a hounded president. So then to use the Downing of the president while the investigation is going on as exculpatory information that goes to his intent I think is a little tricky but you're right to focus on that to readings of that poignant moment because I think that gives you a very close reading of how people can see it differently.
00:19:26Emily just as a last word on this do you what do you think are the next phases in Mueller Russia investigation?
00:19:37Do you think that we've basically, you know played out the string here and and there will be this will be much less of a focus for people or do you think that this will continue to obsess people as they pour into detail Play Over the report for 4 or even through the 2020 campaign?
00:19:55I think they'll be more interested in NASA specially because of the ongoing investigations. We still have to find out what's going to happen to Rodger Stone weather Trump's going to issue any pardons. I think there's going to be more mistrust right? Like everyone's going to revert to their prior beliefs about Trump based on this report. If you like him you're going to go with his notion that he's been exonerated or at least not indicted and that's going to be good enough and you're going to treat the whole thing is this unfair distraction, that's still rattling around and if you think that he's miss you mistrust and there's a lot here to mistrust a lot of dissembling. I'm a lot of Lying by people who work for him and by the president and I think John's conception of this kind of distracted disordered shattered presidency, the chaos of it comes through and that will and a feed the Flames. I think the Democrats are probably going to face more pressure to from there.
00:20:55Turn impeachment and they're not really going to want to do it. They're going to see it as the Electoral remedy being the better remedy like this is something the voters should decide they're never going to win an impeachment trial in the senate for impeachment proceeding I should say based on this report. It's not definitive enough and it's going to remain out there is this would have lingering sense that you know mother was the independent prosecutor. He clearly is expressing a lot of misgivings about the president's conduct but he shops shortstop should have been dating the president in part because he doesn't think the justice department has the power to do that. And then you have this kind of whitewash when the attorney general which is not good for the rule of law and is going to give a lot of people who worry about that role being independent of the president a lot of pause as a reputation fascinated by what the Attorney General thinks how he thinks this is all going to play out for him in history because I think we're in the settled calm of reflection.
00:21:55The distance between the way he presented this report and its ultimate sitting and they'll demand sentences in it will fall on him and his reputation. And I wonder if he thinks yep, it'll all be at work out and just be fine or whether that big distance is something that will be forever remembered for final point. I would say on the presidency is this is a picture of the president in an extreme moment. And this isn't Michael Wolff and this isn't speculation in you know, some anonymous source. This is a is a highly reported that window into the operation of the Chief Executive Inn and extreme moment. And so do people think that when he's in another moment where things are extreme is he going to behave like he did here and does that make them encouraged about four more years, or does that make them nervous?
00:22:47Slate Plus members you get a bonus segments on the gabfest other sleep podcast are Sleepless taken today. We're to talk about Notre Dame or memories of it. We will mourn and celebrate the great French Cathedral go to sleep. Com FS plus to become a member today and alarming story in the Washington Post this week confirmed what our own eyes have seen which is at the White House is adopting a policy of blocking essentially any Congressional request for any record about anything. The White House with president has done or is doing this includes increased by the presence taxes about security clearances about meetings with foreign leaders. The White House is also pressuring Banks and accountants that it work with the president not to comply with Congressional records request. They're even telling every secretary every Department every every executive branch Department not to turn over any records without first checking with the White House. So Emily Congress has has a legitimate oversight function of Congress has a job.
00:23:47To be a check on the executive branch, which is supposed to execute the laws of the the land into to carry out. The laws that congress has passed in Congress has the right and do the duty to check on it to what happens when the executive branch essentially refuses to cooperate with the oversight of the Congress and says it's you know, either because of executive privilege or because this is this is a personal partisan political targeting. We're just going to have a big long slog of a stalemate where we're going to find out the Congress just doesn't have a lot of power and uniformly it can hold the people in contempt of congress. But if you have the whole might of the executive branch behind you are withholding is Congress going to really seek to put people like in jail if they don't respect a subpoena. I really doubt it and then there's going to be a big long slog of a fight in the courts and the courts hate these kinds of complex. They do not want to intervene in a dispute between the other two branches. So it's just going to be ugly and it's
00:24:47Probably going to end up winding moving the needle toward more executive secrecy and more executive privilege. And that's going to be a problem. If you worry about the continuing growth of the imperial presidency rights the ability to procrastinate and delay by the Executive Branch outstrips the ability of Congress to stop at procrastination to lie because those who say the patents are in Congress has the power to subpoena and his power to compel witnesses to come forth into compel documents. But but if the projector franchising imply, they have the choice of putting them in prison in which they haven't done since 1935 and will not do better choice of asking the Department of Justice to prosecute someone who's refusing to comply with Congressional subpoena. But if it's the executive branch itself that's being subpoenaed. They don't want their not going to the president that they don't don't bother talking to prosecute the prison where they can go to the courts in a civil action to try to compel that testimony in that has you say is slow and the courts don't want to be part of that and what we've seen is disability.
00:25:47In previous administrations in the George W bush and Obama administration. They were very small examples of the the executive branch refusing to comply with Congressional records request Eric Corbin coryza, very sorts and it just took forever and took years and years and years and often and by the time there was a resolution that the administration was over or the Congress subpoena expires with a term of an existing Congress of the that the existing timer switch stop serving into the speed of wouldn't have ever taken effect. So it does seem to me that this is it this is a battle which the executive branch is basically going to win by attrition by slowing things down and John is somebody who is a student of the system what happens when Congress is unable to perform this legitimate oversight role because of the bad faith and resistance of of an executive branch that doesn't want to write well, they just pave over Independence Hall and move on into
00:26:47It's I mean, I'm not sure what happens. I mean, I think I think this is of course what the founders were terrified about and I think what happens is essentially and what used to keep everybody behaving was those we've talked about this before of course is the is the Norms that existed and then also the fact that you wanted to some to get along with the Democrats you were ignoring. I thought one thing we should just know didn't you know, we've been being pretty tough on the attorney general and I thought that dumb he is referring to the legislative the legitimate oversight interests of Congress and his effort to work within those people may think that's just a rhetorical move but you need but compared to the president who rhetorically doesn't think Congress has legitimate oversight interest. At least. It's a distinction. They're obviously saying something that you think so, but the percentage restore legitimate is different than actually acceding to those interest, but I don't know I think what ends up.
00:27:47Happening is basically this Grimes through and United breaks when Republicans say enough is enough. We we've got to stand up as an institution and it and if that doesn't happen that it changes by a new president of either party who decides to try to run a present to see differently where you work with the other party and if you want to work with the other party, you don't you don't deny them their voice or their you know Constitutional Powers.
00:28:14Oh my God, it's just not going to happen meet Emily. It's not the Republicans are never going to kind of come along and be like yes. Yes, they should be able to get access to all of those all of us records. I mean baby. Is there a case? Maybe I'm missing it may be the missing it Emily vizzo case that actually all these requests from democrats for things related to the president's Financial dealings are illegitimate and they should just stop it and focus on Health Care instead that would actually Snapchat questions.
00:28:44Yeah, I don't I mean I think you can make a flip case that they're better off focusing on substance and they would probably argue back like both and we're doing both of those things. But legally speaking, you know, they are trying to get the president to be transparent about things that other presidents and politicians have taken as a matter of course and they have a statute on their side. So I know I don't think that the idea that like this is some frivolous lawsuit has a lot of legs for years. I've been complaining about the the supineness of Congress and everyone is noted that Congress has the course the executive branch has seized Powers, but also the Congress has let the executive branch has power because Congress off a digit in want to deal with stuff. They just want to let the president have to deal with it not have to take Card vote here. You have a democratic house at least that is saying okay. We want we want to do stuff. We want a confrontation on this we want to do stuff and we're standing up for our privileges as a as a body and there's
00:29:44Will not going to be able to get it done because if the executive branch refuses to play detective Branch refuses to abide by the laws and a Norms if it existed for two and a half centuries, they have very little recourse and that's incredibly alarm. Ain't it? Just I don't know. I just feel like a yet another harbinger of a system that is that is irretrievably fucked there was a before we exit this topic. There was a lot of the the concern about this issue is over the present taxes and there is no sign the president is willing to surrender his tax returns at the treasury secretary refuse to supply them when the house Ways and Means Committee requested them as they are entitled to see them the other day and said that every time the present will resist this till the end. There was a wonderful piece by Benjamin Apple Applebaum arguing at all taxes should be public that everyone's tax return should be
00:30:44And that in fact when when did income tax start in the 1920s tax returns were all public and millionaires hated it so much that they got the law changed, but don't you do you guys have any sympathy for the idea that everyone's taxes ever going to be able to see everyone else's taxes? I love the idea more about other people's finances. It would give us all more bargaining power with our employers if we really understood what other people's taxes and salaries look like and there is a norm against sharing that information in American culture. And I think it usually hurts workers. Although on the other hand. If you think of unhappiness is being in part said by the notion of relative wealth, I guess you could spend a lot of time in yourself a really miserable by looking at other people taxes in Norway. This is the law you're allowed to see everyone's taxes. If you look at them with taxes though. There's a record that you looked.
00:31:44Are you have to be able to be willing to to own up to the fact that you're looking at someone else's taxes? Well, I like that and someone actually we already have this for one big form of taxes, which is property taxes your property taxes what you owe and the records of that are public and anyone can look that up at any time. And so and I think there are states Wisconsin maybe one of them where you can look up people's tax returns. So it doesn't it doesn't seem to be totally anathema. And I and I think it is one of these things with rich people really don't want because they don't want to be subject to the appropriate when people learn how much they're making and how much they're Sheltering but but it seems like it would be really good and end for the reason you said Emily is pretty clear about transparency for salary like you look up what your colleague was the same job. As you is reporting is as their income and you discover. It's twice what you're making us going to be a good bargaining chip for you.
00:32:42Measles used to affect 4 million Americans a year caused severe illness and 50000 Americans are killed five hundred Americans a year off and children but in the 1960s when the measles vaccine, so when the broad used it reduced the number of cases in America effectively 2000000 it is true. That means they'll still kills more than a hundred thousand people worldwide people are not vaccinated but the disease with effectively eradicated in the US and now thanks to Rising pockets of non-immune are the children herd immunity and certain communities perfectly certain conservative in Fletcher and he's weakening and there's terrible effect to that. So New York is in the midst of the worst measles outbreak in many a year and so is Washington state in New York that is largely confined to that's it at Jewish community in Brooklyn than a couple of Upstate towns. There are certain for certain reasons parents have been persuaded. The vaccines are dangerous or unkosher in Washington state. It's in
00:33:42Best rated in a relatively insular Slavic Community as well wear it back to Nation rates are too low for her to me to be to be fully effective. So Emily, why is this their Rising vaccine skepticism and religious exemptions that is then in turn making us vulnerable to to add breaks like this people believed. He's like totally bogus fears about immunization, which is like one of the crucial scientific advances that keeps our children and healthy and especially saves the lies of babies who can't be vaccinated for measles until they're your old. I mean, it seems like the same forces that fear that you know vaccines are causing autism. And Sid's the let you know, the idea of babies just dying for no reason in their cribs are kind of back and they figured out how to disseminate materials in particular religious communities, including some Orthodox Jewish sex.
00:34:42Should have really taken on a lot of social power and kind of themselves spread among parents. And so now we're having stories of parents in Rockland County in New York who are hiding cases of the measles when their kids get them because they don't want to get in trouble for not vaccinating their kids, but they're also refusing to vaccinate them and I it's such a trace example of people shooting Society in the foot like making things worse for no apparent reason. I just find it so baffling and upsetting literally the most cost-effective thing that Society the humans of it ever invented practically cut maybe clean water if you're starting to establish a society the first thing you wanted me to clean water the second thing is vaccine and it's it's insane and it's it's it's and it's it has to do with this loss of trust institutions in the loss of belief and shared National values and and they could have overvaluing of
00:35:42Some kind of a community value over a national or taking of community into small terms and I'm thinking of the the broader world that you live in it is appalling. I was thinking about this. Sorry Johnny Chan's basically that you will contaminate another person. If you have it that you can cough and the droplets in the air continue to carry this for hours afterwards so that it's particularly contagious. And so you're you're harming your the chance that you're harming other people is particularly acute in this case. There's this is quality of of libertarianism that liberates it to this is Auntie vaccinations Workwear Libertarians and kind of conservative religious people meet up.
00:36:42On this idea of how parents should have autonomy to make choices for their children and we should all be free agents to do the things that we choose to do and where it where that nice idea that idea that we're all free and should be able to make choices runs up against reality and you just need to think about like, you know, if a 5% of people decided they're not going to obey traffic laws because they have religious exemption like they don't believe in stop signs. Like they don't they don't like a octagon it would cause pure chaos and misery verbal and we all recognize that and they're certain kinds of things where everyone has to participate or doesn't work and wear the level of the cost of participation is actually very very low the cost of stopping at stop sign. It's very very low the cost of back then your children is very very low and you just have to accept it if you want to live in ordered.
00:37:33Society where people can prosper and where people can be healthy and my babies don't die and the stupidity of of people around this is maddening and I I just bet you can't yell at them. You can't like I don't want anyone who's Nancy Baxter to listen to me yelling right now cuz not going to serve any purpose for me to yell at them, even though they're idiots. So people can't send their kids to school without vaccinating them declaring a state of emergency in Rockland County all those tactics by the government seem to me to be warranted like there is real Public Health crisis here and it is a moment for the nanny state or just for the state to overrule people's irrational impulses when they put other people In Harm's Way date Steve lost the battle is not the nanny State. It's like it's like civilization civilization. Is it the agreement that we will there certain things were going to do in common so that so that we can all thrive
00:38:33Prospering so that our babies don't die. And so that we live longer and that we're healthier and that we we can be in community with each other and think of it as it is a blessing to community which is if you if other people are sick, if other people keep cannot be trusted to be around other people's children because those people are carrying measles cuz they're unvaccinated then think communities fracture isolation increases there's fragmentation. And so it's actually it's a it's a giving of community and we should think of it that way and not is this is the state oppressing us with their Nanny regulations. That is not what it is. And by the way continue to get vaccinated for measles mumps and rubella it now, but I just want to reiterate what you were saying before because you were feeling that existential frustration and rage at people who are basically not following the social Compact and I know you started by saying this but I mean when you deny the the Congress has any role to look into the
00:39:33Part of the rule when there's a social compact. It was decided they are as well, which is that it we will give power to the government and then the government will arrange itself in such a way that it will take good care of the power. We give it by separating its power so as not to trample and he bring one branch to trample on our Liberty. So it's the exact same thing. We're basically someone is deciding that this carefully range system. That's a part of the social compact that they're not going to maintain it which starts the deterioration of the social Compact and when social compact deteriorate, you know, then you get into people sharpening their snow shovels and coming after you on the street corner.
00:40:13This isn't a very uplifting episode of our show. I feel like we're reaching all these kind of grand conclusions today. That's a nice thing to chatter Shirley John has some nice loopy. Happy chatter to offer. Let's go to cocktail chatter. When when you're looking for some small sign of Hope in the bottom of a glass John. What are you going to be for the Yankees in 1947? That's not true. Okay. They're not true how everybody is it Lucy Finnigan a great, you know, Julian Mortensen presser law to University of Michigan has a paper out which I will admit. I've only listen to because the paper wasn't out until this.
00:41:13I arrived and get access the paper until this morning news cast with them with the motor report, but lawfare the podcast Benjamin with his interview Julian on the lawfare podcast and basically his theory is that when they designed the presidency of the article to vesting power vested the president with executive power, which was something very different from something called The Royal prerogative and that essentially for all of American History. We have been misreading the power of the presidency and particularly with respect to the emergency Powers through which so much of the presidential expansion has taken place both in a cute moments. But then also after basically the New Deal the expansion that is allowed the presidency not to just grow for emergencies, but then to just grow and grow and grow and Julian's argument is basically that there was a very specific kind of power that the founders could have given the president the Royal prerogative that they did not and that there for the presidency is Farm.
00:42:13Are limited to basically just executing the laws that congress passes than any of these other emergency powers of the presidency claims that it can grab a hold of so, it's just a very it's worth reading. I'm sure I'm very interested in reading it and obviously it's very much at the heart of what one of the debates and things were talking about right now, Emily.
00:42:36Do you have a chatter for us? I do I want to recommend a story in my very own New York Times magazine by Rachel Kushner who writes fiction that I really like but this is a nonfiction piece about a woman named Bruce Wilson Gilmore who advocates for prison abolition and Rachel kushner's pieces just really interesting exploration of this idea, which I know sounds far-fetched to a lot of people but just the fact that it's getting mainstream coverage shows. I think that the Overton window is shifting on this issue. Obviously. We are like very very far from abolishing presence. And in many ways. If you think about an absolutist terms, it's an impractical goal. But what Wilson Gilmore is really doing is trying to get us to rethink our whole considered conception of safety and whether harsh punishment really adds to safety and it's good piece. I can I I'm going to do a little bit of logrolling. I promise this will be my last log roll for a while, but my podcast
00:43:36Maybach which is also called charged and is in your feeds launch this weekend. I would be delighted and happy if people listen to it. I'd love to hear your thoughts. I feel like the intimacy of hearing people's voices wife reported on for so long really adds Dimension to the story. I'm trying to tell so go find it this week and we were talking about another old friend of ours who who we loved Rosemary quickly to Rosemary quickly with a lawyer a medical ethicist a writer traveler a swimmer Emily Yu Yu Co Clerk's with her coincidentally today and she had cystic fibrosis this terrible genetic disease. It was plagued her all her life. She was she just bought it like the demon and in 2004 in March of 2004 Rosemary got a lung transplant of something that people with cystic fibrosis often do sheep.
00:44:36Looks like diary about getting this leg transplant. She wrote that she was an old friend of mine asked her to write it for us and choose you know, she she wrote about what it was like to get a lung transplant at the end of it as a medical assistant is that someone who can apply foundation and what that experience was like so she got the lung transplant in May and March. She was married to Jeffrey Harris in May of that year and then in September of 2004 she died of complications from that lung transplant. So she choose 33 years old. She was just a remarkable kind of fascinating person. I just want to read one part of her diarrhea because I find it. I tried come back to this over and over again when I started feeling like why bother
00:45:20So she's talking about getting this lung transplant. I've been trying to conjure some philosophical Reflections about this experience giving myself Proclaim professional title deficits, but it feels amazing me presumptuous to say anything about what has happened in terms of where Fortune has fallen. I know very little about the persons as long as I now inflate. This is the single most difficult thing for me to contemplate about this experience even harder than considering my own demise doing that had mold that over so extensively my daughter was a 19 year old killed in a car accident her parents agreed to donate several organs know that restoring and saving a handful of lives. Sometimes I think about all the experiences. I will be sorry to miss out on the event of my premature death prolonged career Rich marriage generations of family and folding and last week just walk into a grocery store. I thought of the donor and how she absolutely misses out on all of these is it heroin feeling but not one that holds me back. I'm not saying I owe it to the donor to make the most of her gift. This would imply that have control over whether something goes awry with the lungs if anything I've learned it's
00:46:20Man is bleeding faith on the other hand goes pretty far except face means taking the good outcome the same at the bad one. That's something that was meant to be. I have much less confidence nowadays any idea if you fight hard enough, you'll beat the odds. If only it work that way still you may as well fight.
00:46:37All right, that's a little bit of a downer. The rosary was wonderful and she would not and she's just a person who isn't funny great writers just a person was just full of he was full of Vitality and she would want us to take away very quickly and energetically to the next thing we're going to do which of our listeners that are so you guys have been sending as amazing amazing recommendations for things that we should read or look at and and spend time with and I would encourage you to keep doing that tweet to them treat them to us at at slate gabfest or show them at facebook.com gabfest and this week Ryan MacKenzie Point us to a very Charming Reddit Thread about what dishes if there was if it's a president of United States have communal cookbook in you had to add a dish to it. What what dishes would each president at it. Is it in the in the way that Reddit threads are basically impossible. The following are filled with Insider information. It's almost impossible to follow this but when you kind of get to each person's recommendation for what a present should do, it's it's pretty funny and the light.
00:47:37Recommend this Reddit Thread about presidential signature dishes today that is produced by Jocelyn. Frank are researchers audio and Gabriel editorial director play audio. You should follow us on Twitter at slate gabfest tweet chatter at us for Emily bazelon and John Dickerson. I did it, but thanks for listening. You'll talk to you next.
00:48:05Hello sleep less.
00:48:08Como Sava
00:48:11never has a French greeting been more appropriate.
00:48:15Como tale Vu anyway, we are we thought we would end up talking about Notre Dame this week, but obviously there was a lot of other news and and lots of other people have talked about it, but it's I think I might imbible I wouldn't presume to speak for John Emily, but it was when when I saw those images and and heard about that the fire it it was
00:48:40Incredibly upsetting and not because I had a teacher in the way. I don't know. It was just so upsetting it was it was the idea that something that is so deeply part of our the world cultural heritage. The such accomplishments of human civilization could be destroyed and fortunately it is not destroyed. His only damaged was was really upsetting but so we're going to talk a little bit about our own memories our thoughts about Notre Dame if we have any so Emily, do you have any experience with Notre Dame or anything you want to say about Notre Dame? And I think what's so upsetting about these moments is it says it's pretty obvious but now point but it's the idea of these this Irreplaceable history being damaged and obviously had other instances of this. I was particularly thinking of when the national museum of Brazil burned down and I was like, it's just hard to think about the idea that you can lose.
00:49:40Is a whole piece of history in that case it was these anthropological records of past civilizations that were gone. One thing is I guess a little comforting about Nostradamus. It had been reconstructed and rebuild so many times over the ages that we're not losing something that's like thousands of years old and was in any kind of pristine condition if it already been changed, but I think the way we can consume history means that even felt really recent like 19th century history feels really old toss and I never thought that much about the idea that like, oh these weren't the original, you know Interiors or even exteriors of this amazing Cathedral like other French rulers head decided they weren't the right style and people had Stripped Away some of the treasures it sort of comes to you is this hole and and it just obviously resonates with this political moment where our France is having a kind of, you know, brought her identity crisis and just seems kind of tragic even though I know it's a building
00:50:40yeah, but you
00:50:44Yeah for me, it's incredibly wounding because I have the same feeling about history and I just every old thing that is kept, you know, I have I have a strong physical reaction to being around mold things. And so you add that to the Catholic angle and it's a it's impossible to watch those pictures which seemed everywhere when the burning haven't done yet on the other hand the idea of dark and Light which is when you look at the outpouring of the outpouring with respect to Notre Dame, but then also the 3 Louisiana churches that burned down when people saw the vet billion dollars have been raised for the rebuilding of Notre Dame.
00:51:33Deaf, and that was just a teaser for the rest of our sleep less conversation. Go to sleep. Com gabfest plus to become a slate plus member today.

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