« Pod Save America

“Quid pro penthouse.”

2018-12-03

George H.W. Bush leaves a complicated legacy, Michael Cohen’s guilty plea pieces together a conspiracy that implicates Trump, and Republicans respond to their midterm defeats with power grabs in Wisconsin and Michigan. Then Congressman Hakeem Jeffries talks to Jon F. about his new position as Chair of the House Democratic Caucus, as well as the party’s message and strategy in 2019.

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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Presenting sponsor parts POD save America is the precursor. Let's talk about one of our smartest presidents, Johno Adams, what you said: John Adams, The Harvard educated Adams allegedly had an iq of one hundred and seventy three yeah, but I need to get the Harvard in those days, was to be white and be near it she a peace treaty during the Revolutionary war and avoided a war with friends during his presidency. That smart you that John Adams HBO miniseries? No, I did not watch that. Oh it's good! Is it? Oh, it's very good continue, I feel like he didn't, come off as well in Hamilton what else is smart, but using zipper dot com, slash cricket to get qualified candidates fast difficult as the number one by employers in the Us S, that's from hiring sites on Trustpilot with over one thousand reviews. Why? Because their burgers,
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What what? What they've America I'm done forever. I'm John love it and tell me the torque later in the potter conversation with congressman, Hakeem Jeffries was just elected to be the house. Democratic caucus chair world go talk with the legacy of George Hw Bush, the latest Trump investigation and how Republicans are responding to their mid term losses, especially in states like Wisconsin and Michigan for you that love it. I hear your beloved the show is returning, love it or leave it we'll be back on Thursday to those of you complaining to me at my twitter feed. I'm sorry that we only did forty seven in a row on believe we're back. We
some great gas lines up, which you can discover by downloading it, and you won't be disappointed. We're going do a bunch of shows for the rest of December then will be in January also in some touring this week. We're doing shows all across the United States of America. Amazing amazing also remind you. The deadline to purchase health insurance is the affordable care. Act. Is December. 15Th check out plans on healthcare, DOT Gov, because signups are little down because Trump has been sabotaging the law for the last couple of years and it's starting to have an effect on that site works. Now it does work, it does work, get some health care, come to love it or leave it. Don't worry about falling Klig lights. There you go, don't worry about falling Klig lights, I'm just saying the danger. It's a real danger with this. Ok, let's get to the news. George Hw Bush, the forty
First, president of the United States died over the weekend. He was ninety four years old before he was president, which served as vice president, director of the CIA ambassador to the United Nations, chairman of the Republican National Committee envoy to China and a congressman from Texas. He was the last combat veteran to serve in the White House. His body will lie in state in the Us Capitol Rotunda this week, and a state funeral is scheduled for Wednesday morning now, just like, when John Mccain died, there's a bit of a debate about forty one's legacy, most every republican and democratic politician, along with older establishment. Political types have praised. Bush is commitment to service, to decency to governing, in a way that sometimes pissed off his own party. But there are plenty of reporters and focus on the left have pointed out the darker aspects of his legacy and his failure to stand up to the right wingers. Guys. Where do you come down on this debate? I think you should be out of
and take his rightful place amongst american greats. That or we should drag his body to the streets of Rome like Miscellany? That's right! There is only one option: your choice, there's no complexity in our public debate anymore. You get a thumbs up or you get a thumbs down and you are judged accordingly to which side you are on forever yeah. I I you know, there's a lot of talk about the Bush legacy and I'm sure a lot of people. Listen I have read and seen a lot to me what I was thinking about when I saw that he died. Was that what is always struck me about the way Bush is? Is they Listen to understand the connection between their brass knuckles, often race, baiting, often deceptive camp style and then their failure to be seen as
either moderate or convivial once they govern, and that's true of George H, W Bush around the Willie Horton AD, that's true of his son, who ran one of the most despicable presidential campaigns, including a famous added up. Wolves in it about terrorism, and so, although I would say that the did the difference there is, while both of the campaigns were pretty race. Baby George H, W Bush probably govern Mars a moderate, the George W Bush. Well, that's it that's the thing it's like, George Hw Bush kept the right wing at arm's length. It was a game he had to play and slowly but surely it became with each passing election, less and less of a gay game, more and more of what republican policy politicians doing while they were governing was a seeding to the base, but they were riling up and poking with a with a cattle prod through each campaign.
Everything tell me there is no right way to feel about this and we will be attacked by both. Sides will be fun, but I mean I can't help but be impressed when I look at that record of service. You talked about earlier ambassador to China, CIA Direct or vice president ever Congress. I mean that's a lot of time in your life to give your country. I also think it takes considerable courage. Decided seventeen when you hear the news about Pearl Harbor being bombed, that you're going to sign up to go to the military service and be one of the youngest pilots. I mean it's pretty extraordinary, I think, on foreign policy. He showed restraint in deafness at some key times like he didn't stomp on on everyone's grave. When the Berlin Wall came down, didn't take a victory, lap 'cause, he knew that would make it harder to piece things back together afterwards and manage the aftermath. I think, The coalition to get Saddam Hussein out of Kuwait was together well, and I think it speaks well of him that he didn't feel the need to go to take out
in March all the way to Baghdad. Those were tough political decisions back home. So, like it's complicated, but you know he criticized the Civil Rights ACT when he ran for Congress. He he outsourced. A lot his dirty work to creeps like Roger Ailes in Lee Atwater. In like this would love. It was saying sort of means justify the ends take on politics that I don't think you get a pass for. He were talking about this. His dealing with the far right. I mean he tried to run as a moderate and then when Reagan was a four of nature in right wing politics. He flip flopped on abortion and he went from denouncing supply side economic to embracing it. So you know there are alot, he didn't do well, he didn't embrace medical. Solutions of the aids on, and I think a lot of people of people really mad at him about that. He he gave people pardons for IRAN Contra that if Donald Trump did those things, Today we would say it was rightly a constitutional crisis and it attempt to absolve himself from any
name and white wash history. So you know, I think, there's a bunch of good clouds like Adam Gurneys piece in New York Times is long and thorough and thoughtful. You wanna a really tough for peace. Charlie Pierce wrote a piece for Esquire and they took a much harder line. It Bush and then there's Maureen Dowd wrote a piece, it's really sort of about Bush being now next to her when she was really mean to his son, and I think that piece actually explains a lot of what you're seeing in them yeah, because he was unfailingly nice and polite person to those he knew he wrote. Thank you notes. He was grey. Just in kind, and I think that you know Let's everyone remember, a period of time in politics were civility, did feel like it existed in everyone sort of pines. For that, but civility doesn't mean much to you if you were harmed by its policy yeah. I I met I for should say I met him at the White House really and he was incredibly nice and Frankel and I am Frankel and I he was there for maybe was the middle of I'm not sure why
I came into the event, but we went up introduce ourselves incredibly nice. You want to talk to me just a nice person in her son, but I think everyone's life is complicated and and so our presidential legacies and but use the you know, you listed a lot of the good parts in the bad parts of the Bush legacy and I very much appreciated the pieces that were tough on him, but like sort of laid it out in a real, logical, smart way and the pieces that were more sympathetic. You know that all of those were much better than the inane twitter conversation, which is mostly garbage, but look, I think it's important to avoid hey ya graffiti right is important too, even when they die to be able to criticize our leaders are political figures for their mistakes, their failure. So we can learn from those mistakes. We should not turn people into saints who aren't saints, but I also think that you know where more than the worst things we've ever done and when we die
people in public life die it's okay to praise their service in the humidity. That is a natural human reaction. I'd like sometimes we've lost that now it's so might be like if you want to be tough on George Hw Bush's legacy. Great. Like I learned a lot, I learned about some his you know position on the war on drugs, which was bad terrible, learn more about the latter, will learn about sort of the IRAN Contra Pardoning. I hadn't even known about the pardons before then so, and a lot of things that made me question his legacy, which is great. I'm I'm grateful for that. But the the thing that I get annoyed about is like when there's politicians from like Barack Obama, like Bernie Sanders, Bernie Sanders tweeted, something that was a very praising George was the bare minimum of their minimum, and all of these people are like. Why don't do this bad though? But it's like just let people put people handle someone dying like they want to. Well, it's a form of it's another form of like rapid fire twitter time punditry, because it is genuinely important that we not gloss over the and mistakes of people after they die
but in the day after we're not you know we're not fine, rising the Encyclopedia Britannica Entry today finalizing the chapter in the textbook today, just one more I think we should also add is that you know as part of his seating to the right. He replaces Thurgood Marsh with Clarence Thomas right after having appointed David Souter, probably the worst substantive legacy that lives on for his part. Yes, and- and you know it's hard not to connect to the fact that Clarence Thomas makes down to the court despite credible allegations of despicable sexual harassment, but the fact that there are multiple allegations against George Hw Bush for groping, which, at the very very least, speaks to a casualness and objectification of women and how we treated people and and perhaps suggest, even worse. The other thing is this thing about. Like the reason people argue about the death of someone like a president is not because of what it meant in the past, but because what it means for us now and I can help it can act. The way George Hw Bush
himself right with kindness in a spirit of service, complicated by incredible all political calculation. That was damning of him that damages his legacy. That is, you know. Probably one of the great threats we face as a country is the way republican campaign right. It is on the list of things that are hurting us as a country that is one of the worst and he is a practitioner of it, but I think about Paul Ryan. You know this guy. That is also considered to be, Inter personally, incredibly nice, who is also mild. Mannered, is considered thoughtful and has that kind of, Inter personal kindness and yet is able to gloss over the ways in which he's capitulated to trump the damage of his own policy. And to me it's like how do agree. I do think most Republicans at least the ones who are still sane would speak more highly of George Hw Bush's character outside of policy. Then they would of Paul Ryan, but course, of course, I know what your larger point is: we're going to gloss over this now we're going to. We don't want to be glossing over Paul, Ryan's deeds in twenty years from now exactly.
But to me this is one of the key challenges right, because the polite, serious republicans have been playing this name for a very long time and the only difference the way Donald Trump governs and speaks, and the way Paul Ryan governs in Speaks is Donald Trump doesn't care how it looks to the Brahmin Woss, be you know, kind country club Republicans that they hang out with on the weekends yeah politically, I'm more thankful that there are rockets a round, because they continue to propose things that are horribly unpopular, sure the plight side, tax cuts and the like. So they are easy. Defeat, as we saw with Mitt Romney to all right good to debate. It good debate it to today, to just you know as individuals, we don't have to put up public statements about the death of us major for presidents. You know it's like you, don't have to be deck. That's another thing! Yeah! That's on Twitter! That's exactly right! Welcome to you! Welcome to!
People continue continue to be alright. Let's turn to our current president, located as an unindicted co conspirator in multiple felonies is under investigation. In traction of justice campaign, finance violations and potentially conspiring with the a foreign power to undermine our elections with the purpose of helping him win. The presidency, the person who is already implicated trump in some of these crimes is former lawyer and fix our Michael Collins, who last week pleaded guilty to lying to Congress about how trumps organization was pursuing a business deal in Russia with russian government officials, while Trump is running for president in summer of twenty. Sixteen, with Trump's knowledge. Few days ago, Buzzfeed published is reporting that Trump's company at one point discuss giving russian President Vladimir Putin a fifty million dollar penthouse in the new Trump Tower Moscow, as they go She did a deal during the twenty sixteen campaign on on the price per square foot which ultimately fell through when we looking at here- and it's not what's Hollywood thing on them. How much is this matter guys? How much does this so in these revelations? Well, let's start with the third, the Buzzfeed p
about the fifty million dollar condo. That never was it's pretty actually a very big deal, I mean you can't say to a foreign official who has power over green lighting, a project that you'll throw in a slash. Million dollar cherry on top. If you, okay, thing. I'm doing I mean there's a lot of people discussing whether this would trigger the foreign corrupt practices act and and make this action actually illegal. Now, clearly, didn't it didn't happen. Is the tower doesn't exist, but it's a big deal. I mean, I think, stepping back. I think the simplest explanation for a lot of this stuff makes the most sense, which is the trump ran for Is it to get attention and to get pr and to market himself? He never thought he was going to win. Nor did the people around him, so they figured let's milk this for every thing we've got this like the rod, Blagoy Bitch theory of politics like I got something valuable here. What can we do with it? Access to russian banks visits these so they pursued this Russia project, which we know from Trump's books.
He wrote about in the art of the deal he's been trying to get into Russia for literally decades. So, of course, both Michael Cohen procedure, yeah, of course, Michael Cohen, pursued this. Of course he briefed Trump. All the time about it was like the most important thing to. As we know, Donald Trump doesn't have a lot to do. You watch a lot of tv. Any tweets. Lots, of course, is getting updated. These kids were a big part of it, so Michael Cohen has just exposed Donald Trump and Donald Trump Junior into a whole bunch of people an organization. To a whole bunch of crimes starting with perjury, and we don't know what else yeah I mean for the foreign corrupt practices act. It seems as if, like you know one of their defense is well, the project never happened and they never really took it. Well, the president have to happen for it to be a crime. If you off, The question is that it yeah it's not it's still a crime to rob a bank. Even if it turns out the vote was empty right. The the question is did did Trump knows, but typically about the fifty million dollars penthouse with
with that, we don't know. No doubt in my mind I mean Rudy Giuliani is trying to say this quote. Was this is Kolins deal trump. Didn't talk directly about the Russians by the project. Bullshit bullshit, Michael Cohen, was talking to Dmitry Peskov, who was a top top aide to Putin is described as the press secretary. I don't know what that means in the russian com it's like you, run the state news outlets or something we have briefings yeah. It's actually a pretty easy to be the press secretary to Russia because you want me to have questions right that thing about that again, but if Colin is getting connected with with people at the very top, of course, he's briefing tribe this, of course, yeah it charges, but also it's. I think it's like we're all still living in part in the kind of morass of Trump's, dumb fake brand. Like the Trump Organization is not some giant company, it's fake, it's fake right there. Times when he's applying many people to build something, but in terms of what the comp,
It is a very, very small family operation, run out of his own building. There is zero chance. He would know about this, and we should also just say exactly. We should also just say what the foreign corrupt practices ACT is, which is a lot says United States that that that that that that, if you American, you cannot go abroad and bright people and commit crimes in a foreign country to try to get good business communities. The reason I'm saying that is because Donald Trump has often said that he thinks that it's too far, because he wants the ability to bribe people in foreign countries to get business because he's trying to do things in developing countries in Asia, where he says you need to grease the wheels. He used to say that now that he's president, it's a lot easier a year or two ago, we really are. Thank you pitch this staff and getting rid of the F T p. He wanted to do away with it. We've always been reported while up so penthouse aside
legality aside. How big of a deal is at the Trump was pursuing a real estate deal that involve direct interaction with Putin's office. While he was wrapping up the republican nomination. I think it's a big deal that he lied about it. You know it's a big deal that in the context of that negotiation, they were talking about getting rid of sanctions which would have allowed the deal to be financed by a sanction bank. It's a big deal that Michael when in Mcfarland later went on to lie about their conversations about sanctions with russian Ambassador Rachel Maddow on Friday did a really great a block where she tied together a whole bunch of this that I highly recommend people check out 'cause. We don't have time to do it all here, but I mean I think the the conspiracy is starting to come together. The quid pro quo of the major state deal the sanctions relief and then support in the election to damage Hillary yeah, I mean, let's go back to MIKE Flynn. Mike Flynn was awesome, he fired and the reason that Sally Yates said he should be fired, is she knew he was lying
and she knew that the Russians knew he was lying and therefore the Russians had leverage over our national Security advisor because they knew he wasn't telling the truth. And now we know that for the last couple of years the Russians and the russian government has known that Donald Trump and Michael Cohen have been lying about this real estate deal, so they have had leverage over our president for the last couple years like we know that now. So, let's it's a very it's like it's so on. It really is a russian nesting dolls, so, even if Donald Trump had not one right, the fact that this on going to go, she asian over at over a tower was taking place. Wild on Trump was becoming the republican nominee and by the way, one thing that's very strange. If you listen to all the different reporters talking about this is between now
lines, you see that there's more to come and they can't say what it is, but there's more information about how that relationship continue to develop this. If, if what we're seeing is all true when it with no reason to believe it's, not the fact that Donald with was having this sort of negotiation while he's becoming the republican nomination, get Republic body was seeking the republican nomination he's he moved the Republican party on the issue of Russia, even if he had lost the fact that we have a republican party that is now so softer on Russia. There was so much softer on Russia at the convention. It is a huge, huge victory. Is it incredibly successful prior
yeah and also the the context of the Trump Tower meeting. I'm a remarks he talked about this with you again on Thursday was this email that talked about the broader set of russian support for President Trump's campaign. We know that Donald Trump Junior knew about this project. As Michael just calling just said, he briefed him on it, which makes that meeting in Trump Tower much much more interesting. Well and the people who wrote the Buzzfeed story, the reporters wrote it Anthony Cormier Jason Leopold. You talk about reading between the lines. There's this this line in the story about the the penthouse two FBI agents, with direct knowledge of the Trump Tower Moscow negotiations, told Buzzfeed NEWS earlier the here, the cone was in frequent contact with foreign individuals about the real estate venture and that some of these individuals had knowledge of or played a role in twenty sixteen election meddling. So the big question we talked Marcy Little bit about this on Thursday is: how does the whole hacking election interference? Conspiracy, sort of meet up with the business negotiation rush? You know call and stuff can-
and this is the potential link that this these of the real estate deal. The people involved in the real estate deal in the russian government were some of the same people who interfered the election yeah. It's the other really into same thing. That in not pointed this out on Friday, is that, like Satyr and Michael Cohen, at some very early administration went in, they took a secret ukrainian peace deal plan. He dropped it off in Michael Flynn's office. Now what are those bozos doing? Cooking up a secret ukrainian peace deal which, by the way the peace deal, was like you, Crimea, we get rid of sanctions were good right like wash your hands it right. So there's there's a a bunch of weird shit going on. It feels like way too big a coincidence got Michael Cohen, playing Henry you're over Here- that's yes, yeah and Henry Kissinger with a head injury. The the idea, but that there is a, I think it was been with us who noted this, that there is this pathetic quality to what we
seeing, which is at one point. Michael Cohen, is emailing just publicly of we'll email addresses to try to get ahold of someone friend said Russia dot com, it's a little bit like you know, all of a sudden. You know these guys, it's like the trumpet Asian was like playing. You know, playing coffee shops and you know playing little dividend doing open and then all of a sudden. They found themselves in an arena. You know these guys were so outgunned so unprepared for the level of scrutiny they were about to get. He was just trying to get a. You know a hotel, the Building Deal done and all of a sudden all this power and attention and possibility a cruise to Trump because he joined the campaign,
goose the apprentice rating, it ended being the yeah nominee. You don't do this if you think you're going to win and you're suddenly going to have to release financial records and and may not be subject to the kind of transplants. Your transparency rules that he's supposed to be right. So the Johns point: it's like there's these three things that enter internal intersect, one there is the the damage of actually do in this quid pro quo during the campaign, which is will be favorable to you now and let you heard our democracy. If we get to build this hotel The second is the a line in the objection of us help to any give us up to win, which is right, and the second would be interfering campaign, and the second is a lying and obstructing justice and trying to terminate witnesses which can use literally to this morning without a terms please, and then the third piece of it is. I think, the part that Johns of rough lot talking about you know we joked about the p tape, for a in one the pee tape may just be the friends you make along the way. The pee tape may just be the fact that, but a mere Putin knows that the present is a criminal and those three things seem to be all coming to a head right now. Yet so coming up
actions I mean over the weekend. Michael Combs lawyers submitted a sentencing memo to the judge that asked for leniency. Memo states that Cohen, told Trump about his contacts with the russian government that he consulted Trump's team on his false testimony to Congress that have been cooperating with New York state on the lawsuit against the Trump, vision. Cnn also reported the cone was originally issued by people close to Trump that he get a pardon if you refuse to cooperate with Mahler. So now the the Trump defense of all this at the super lawyer really Rudy Giuliani is bones, a liar he's always been a liar, but we should say this: their molar knows that Michael Cohen is not the most trustworthy human. But just admitted it you just admitted to it. Bob Muller is not you know. Basing any conclude things are making any indictments just done. Based on Michael Cohen's, word alone. There are documents there are emails, there are phone records like Muller is smart. He has the goods here. It's not just like Michael Cohen word against Donald Trump word. We wouldn't have a case. Otherwise we have no idea what General Flynn has been saying for months,
we'll find out this week. I think some of it or not yeah yeah. So if you say so coming attractions molar owes the court a brief on December. Seventh, that is this week on his contention. That metaphor, lied and committed. Additional crimes were hoping that tells a good story and then Cohen is sentenced on the 12th. So we might know some more about the common stuff on the 12th and then Michael Flynn is you just mentioned, is sentence on the 18th and he's been cooperating to to say the least. So my question is your call. Well I don't know this yet, like you know it is a people say like wood. We have one. If voters knew he was paying off women to conceal a fears and pursuing a real estate deal with Putin while running for president. We will never know this, but the question now is: are we in impeachment territory
already you know, like a lot of you ask a Democrat, should we impeach Donald Trump was elected and they're going to say? Oh, I gotta wait for the report to be over. You know 'cause they don't they wanted to get too far ahead of things, and I understand that position, but Moeller is basically writing this report in real time through each of these sentencing submissions and these indictments like aren't we at a point right now or Democrats, whether it's politically popular or not, has some sort of an obligation, even if it stopped right now. If there was nothing, Isn't there enough to say that he is severely abused? The powers of his office probably probably kept up the dangling the pardons the obstruction, the witness to history. I know a lick lick. Yes, I mean Donald, like Donald Trump has done witness, tampering and obstruction of justice on Twitter Tuesday, and it's not even that big of a deal because often times on it all the time yeah. So you know there's been this question like will Democrats over reach and it's like well. However, we do one investigate
how we have one hearing where were in charge for people start worrying about overreach. I think I think, there's two things that are very clear one. It is obvious that Donald Trump has committed impeachable I think that is like trivial and if you're denying that you're full of shit, I think the second is have Democrats done the job of setting the stage for impeachment. The question is: no, I think they have not, and so I think that I think we need to have less sort of academic debate as to whether or not Donald Trump is computed, committed, impeachable, offenses and think more about. If we want to be with what is it, what is it going to? What is the world look like when we're, when a month away from Democrats up passing an impeachment resolution to the Judiciary Committee? What is the world look like you know when we first started see, I think the flan indictment was, I think, one of the
big hinges in the past two years, and I remember we were talking about this at the time 'cause. There was all this drip trap. This drip drip drip of information. It never felt like enough, and we said well, it's going to feel different when the thing that comes that tells us something is shifted, it's kind of feel different and when Flynn guilty that felt different. I think we're now at the place where we need another. One of those feelings is not right: it's not fair, but it still kind of the world we live in that we need something to shift, and I don't think this time it's going to take new information. I think it's going to take a new kind of attention and end strategy from Democrats once they take Congress to say here, is the process by which we are going to see if what Robert Muller is produced and what what chairmanship and that committee, produce has given us enough information to declare that Donald Trump should be impeached. On June six Donald Trump Junior after the Trump Tower Meeting took a call from a blocked number for three or four minutes. I would bet almost anything I own that that car
from his father down from, but I will check which I know I would never put her, which I think up ends the whole story. The whole covers. Or that he doesn't know about this meeting? So, like there's little pieces of information that I think will soon be able get our hands on that will fundamentally change. We view this discussion. I also think, though, if Michael Cohen is cooperate, on this stuff. He is probably talking whole lot about the Trump Organization's business dealings. Generally speaking- and I think if you read the Washington Post, two thousand and sixteen campaign. There was some pretty good evidence of widespread fraud, misuse of the charitable organization, all kinds of things that I think are. To create real legal jeopardy friend, fundamentally change the way people view him. I still think that the path to Donald Trump leaving the White House is through his electoral defeat in twenty twenty I I I I still going to matter what kind of information comes out. It's going to be a very uphill climb in the Senate, but the Democrats have a house now and
I think that, even even if they're worried it may not be the most popular thing to do. We we all know I mean we're saying, like obviously is that obviously, is committed. Impeachable offenses, that's true, but it's actually it's it's not trivial. It's a it's a big deal and I I think that there may be sort of a constitutional obligation on behalf of the Democrats, to sort of go through this and go through these here even if they are worried about how it looks, because I do not think we can set the precedent that we have a president. I'd states who obstructs justice for justice really who engages in these kind of business deal. Who has a foreign power has leverage over like we just we can't have that. We have to say that that's wrong yeah. So I think that's, I think. That's right, but but yeah and obviously you know, Congress has a constitutional obligation, If the president is criminal to investigate it is committed high crimes and misdemeanors, and when I say it's trivial, I don't mean that the crimes are trivial. I mean it's obvious that he's done it. It's less obvious how you make a demonstration to the public, especially especially that's public, their getting their news a such a up way now to figure out how
make that case mean. I guess I think the question for us like just like. I would what you guys think, how do we go? We are at now to kind of shaking people from this kind of torpor around all this stuff that, where there is this insane connection between surprise in Series this like. How do we like? We have? No, we know enough. We know a lot we're going to know more, but it's it's always going to be incremental now, because Miller has been slowly this for may shun, not through one big report but through sentencing document, part of it is just repeating and reminding everyone of how we've gotten to this point and what happened far, you know when Democrats run teams that you talk about this, like how many people forgot until Michael Cohen, came back into the picture that he a couple months ago, implicated president in multiple felonies is an unindicted co. Conspirator like we need to bring this up. We need, lay the groundwork, remind people as we're talking about this of the actual abuse is that have been committed. You know, like you, don't have to
start guessing about what mother might do or might not do just talking. What's already happened, you know I mean I I just we're. Gonna know a lot more than we do today before Democrats take power in the house. That's right, and I also think we are seeing an increasingly desperate flailing tweeting president, who knows that his son is in real legal jeopardy yeah and that could lead to pardons our these very public discussion of pardons, and I think that kind of news might change people's opinions yeah if you're, if you're letting your kid can offer something like this. So I look up to and I don't know the answer to your question- I want to make the best political case, I'm less interested in like the moral, our constitutional obligations and attack issue of me, but just where I am well. I also think that, by the way you can both can and coincide together, especially because I think we talked about this before a very effective message against Donald Trump in twenty twenty is going to be how he has a corrupt, rich buffoon, who only cares about himself and no
else and just about everything we've seen about the Russia Investigation plays right into that character, Donald Trump. He cares more about himself his own bottom line than he does about the american people in the United States of America. That is how he's acted in domestic affairs and foreign affairs, and that is how he acted in all of the they're, coming out this investigation Broadway stamps dot com. As you know, the holidays are the busiest time of year, especially at the post office. That's why we you step star, compensate us so much time during the hectic holiday season. The rush yes dot. Com brings all the services of the. U S post office, right to desperate John, to the bring the rain from good driving there. I don't know means, but it's right yeah. It was raining today whenever you heard this a week ago, but I pretty official US postage for any letter any package, any class of mail using your own computer and printer. Then the mail carrier picks it up. No trips to the post office required couldn't be easier
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and the new democratic governor, Tony Eavers in Michigan republican Legislature is trying to that ballot measures on minimum wage and paid sick leave. Republicans have tried things like this Reese in North Carolina where they tried to take out Roy Cooper's legs from underneath them before he even became governor in twenty seventeen tell me: what exactly are there was Conson Republicans up to here and why is it so bad? So couple things are going to be typically do they want to make it hard for the incoming governor in the incoming attorney general to withdraw from the republican lawsuit, challenging Obama care. They want to move the state's two thousand and twenty presidential primary from April to March, which will cost the state like seven or eight million dollars more, but it could reduce turn out for a state Supreme Court contest that set for April. So that's uh the diabolical. Why do they want to reduce turn out? She went in election yeah, exactly they want to early voting rules to make it hard for early voting to occur so they're, basically trying to take their ball, go home and set up a bunch of way, so they can suppress the vote for the next election, and you know there is
clearly like a Mercer Coke Brothers, like big industry, playbook that they're handing legislatures 'cause. This happened in north care find a very similar things are happening in Michigan and now Wisconsin. A lot of it has to do with, like the State Board of elections and redistricting that, like it, is devious, diabolical shit, and I think that wickler, who works at Moveon DOT. Org is a friend of the pod in a badass activist sounding the alarm about this for a couple of days, but he's right that, like there's not a page, one New York Times store sorry about what's happening, Wisconsin, even though it's like literally subverting democracy and when the stuff went down in North Carolina international organizations are like. I don't know that the state is a day accuracy anymore. In fact, it probably isn't it overturning the will of the voters planning for short people. People rendered a verdict on Scott Walker and the Republican administration in Wiscconsin. They did it in Michigan. They did it in North Carolina and Republicans who do not have matured majoritarian support and in
Election are now saying: fuck it we're going to do what we want in Michigan State voted to raise the minimum wage the Republicans in the in the government, is like no yeah. You know paid sickly yet so in in, for it did cap tipped worker pay it forward hours per hour. That's not like inside baseball, nonce things that happens in a state capital that is harming real yeah. What happened is there was about measure to raise the minimum wage to twelve dollars it past? Now the Republicans are saying the twelve dollars doesn't go into effect until twenty three thousand and thirty four tip workers they don't ever get the twelve is it set for four hundred and they also, they also passed a valid initiative on paid sick leave, and it was so that employers could give you nine days off and now Republicans are saying
Nope. You only get four, and this is a specific and hurtful there. It's very specific and also the tip the tip wage thing. That is a huge fight and there's a ton of lobbying money, a ton of corporate interests in keeping that tipped wage low, because that is a boon to the restaurant chains and the restaurant industry and you're. Seeing that fight play out by the way DC refused to go along with raising a tip minimum wage. So, like you see this fight play and across the country. This is. This is pinpoint acute lobbying money coming in to undo the will of the people, and it's picked in Michigan. One other thing like they're, shifting campaign finance oversight from the Secretary of State's office to some new commission. They will create so again they're going to they're going to make it harder in the future to police money in pool x, they're setting themselves up yeah to use the cook brothers cash to win back the or to the quick things Wisconsin they're they're, trying to stir power from Iverson Self. They want to prevent him from
changing was voter id law law very harsh and they want to force him to implement the Medicaid work requirements. The the onerous Medicaid work requirements that have already in Arkansas led to you know twelve thousand people losing their Medicaid that Scott Walker had put in what's graceful one more right did you know, there's been this battle over this lawsuit about Obamacare right to me, that was politically toxic for a lot of Republicans by helped us win across the country they're trying to make it so that eight, so that the Republicans in the legislature can hire a lawyer, their own lawyer, their own lawyers, to privately concede to make sure that those the state doesn't withdraw from this lawsuit more from any. Basically, it's the ideas they are taking the power away from the attorney general to choose to defend or not defend any suit. That comes by the same. Early purely to just take the basic, the basic powers of attorney general and just devolve into the legislature.
I just don't like him a lot and the same move in Michigan, so there's definitely a play that they're doing across the country. Republicans for democratic attorney, General's they're, saying you don't have the right to decide which cases that you want to defend or not, and we're gonna have the legislature be able to hire their own lawyers. So what can people do about it? If you're in Wisconsin, you can go to a rally on the state street steps at five hundred and thirty pm central time this evening Monday evening or if it's past, that you can call your legislators at six hundred and eight two hundred and sixty six nine thousand nine hundred and sixty one more thing that speak in North Carolina this. This story has been percolating here not last week, the North Carolina State Board of Elections refused to certify a congressional election marred by very serious and sketchy allegations of fraud. The republican candidate in the state's knife, compressional race Mark Harris, appeared to win that election. By it's like about round nine hundred votes are, but there were significant irregularities in the State Board of elections is looking into sworn statements that a person was basically going around the district tricking voters into handing over
absentee ballots, some of which were even incomplete. Of course, the Republicans are the only ones committing for us so force. They are, of course they are. It is so so brazen this these people should go to jail for a very long time for manipulating old people in Africa, communities and literally stealing their ballots steel. I'm here to collect your absentee ballot of a nice bye minutes poll worker here that okay, I'm just gonna, throw it away, and the idea that that number at the also just also just like man is leaving quite a trail just Doug. You know you, you need to witnesses for your ballots and they're these people just going around just approving a pallet after pallet after valid after pallet after ballot little thing as one North Carolina Democrats should look to the examples. At by Reverend Barber, who is leading the the moral Mondays campaign for four years in in organizing and organizing because of that work. They were able to fight a lot of this yeah. It was because he was working on grassroots organizing for four years in advance of this
power grab that we are able that to fight back it's. So it's so important, because movements like that, that's what you need in Wisconsin and Michigan, like as everyone sort of turned their attention and we're talking about the media hasn't done a great job covering this, or at least some of the media hasn't done a good job covering this. You know people turn their attention to Congress. They turn the tension to the presidential race and stuff, like that. This goes on and dates and it's incredibly important for, like grassroots activists to be there on the ground. Stop this from happening. One other thing, too, is that you know you see this critique from conservatives and which is maybe, if the federal government weren't so large, the stakes in these elections wouldn't feel so high. Then why the are they playing exact, same game at the stay, level one of the most important things in our democracy is that when you lose it's okay, it's okay! You just Lee If you just say, we lost and will fight another day, but it but the, but the not accepting democracy, not accepting democratic results, rejecting votes
refusing to try to let people vote believing fundamentally that the deck is so tilted against you by the media, by whatever forces in the culture that you don't need to respect. The will of the voters is that toxic idea and it simply doesn't have the same purchase in democratic politics as it has in public politics and it's a huge problem. This goes back to why there's a lot of fun as for George Hw Bush, because he classically transition to the office to to Bill Clinton. He wrote a letter, that's been all over. The news of people should check out. That's gracious, but any goes back to the tradition, step by Washington. You step to walk away, yeah and and that peaceful transition of power is what separates a democracy from not well. I I was thinking about Michigan Wisconsin in North Carolina when I read Jonathan Martin's New York Times over the weekend, where he talks about how there are no signs that Republicans are
any kind of soul, searching or planning any kind? Of course, correction after their mid term defeats full steam ahead, John? Well, it's got to have a soul, you know and and democratic attorney, who was the lead attorney in the Florida recount Mark Elias, he'd, sort of tweeted out the story out and wrote instead of changing course is the GOP is doubling down on voter suppression and limiting voter rights. There. Only electoral strategy at this point is to prevent people from voting. It does seem like the answer to the question: why aren't they soul searching? Why aren't they course correcting is because they don't want to because they can't, because they know their agenda, isn't that popular in the country, and so their only hope right now is to just try to do all these antidemocratic things to just cling to power yeah. I also think that Donald Trump is still president and they're all still worried about the dynamic where they are far more concerned about it
primary opponent in a general election laws, because they know that if your mark Sanford was a member of Congress in South Carolina who famously went for a weird hike, Google, it and you speak out against Donald Trump- he can come whoop. Your ass in a primary, so the Energi in their bases on the far right. I would also say, though, that this is another area where, like Mass, give money astroturf from huge special interests- the coke there's an all these organizations are all geared towards pushing the party to the right in hardening and fully implementing these voter suppression techniques. We should not look past how dangerous and disgusting those groups are Paul. Ryan gave this interview is interest. You see, you see, you see that the this sort of trend line power Rangers interview. He says he laments- what's happened to our politics and he wants to know why it inspirational kind of republican politics can't take hold. Then his super PAC run some of the most racist ads in the country and, as he's leave,
he decries the national debt. Even though he's the one who balloon the deficit- and he says oh by the way- these California election results- I don't buy him something fucked up, and you see this problem, Republicans don't know how to answer honestly, which is they built a coalition that choirs racial animus deception and voter suppression in order to successfully impl, not a right wing agenda, they're not Hw Bush anymore. There are no longer just holding their nose and saying therefore, supply side economics or no longer holding their nose and saying they do leaving the right to choose, they are now party that has been grown up in the thirty years since who now believe, I think they are supply siders. They are these ideologues. George H, W Bush was appealing to an electorate that was eighty five percent white and the country is drastically changed and they are trying to lock people out of voting pull that up with that chat is the heart of it right that the Republican, the Republican Party does not represent a majority of voters in this country anymore. They haven't for some time. Donald Trump lost the popular vote. Bronco Bamma won it twice right. George Bush
George W Bush in his first election was a popular vote. Loser right and you know, we've seen when Democrats have. Poorly in the midterms in twenty ten and two thousand and fourteen it's when turn out was very low and so there's two ways you can go when you don't command majority support in the country. As a party you can choose to change. Your party's position change course, reform some of your policy stances or you can try to cling to power. Voter suppression, voter id some of these power grabs that we're seeing in his concert in Michigan right. That's why Your shoes are playing that you're, putting nature in the tank to get the last bit yeah the whiteness at will to come to the polls for them and look it could it could work and, and we we see it worked and and twenty sixteen clearly that's why Donald Trump as president but it's not a great long term strategy. Yeah I mean Paul Ryan is on this like little legacy. Tour and the guy lives on a different planet and it is truly pathetic to watch there. Some pushback happening on Trump. In the Senate side, Jeff Flake is blocking Gina,
nominees in an effort to force a vote to protect Muller, ok glad he's doing it, which he done it sooner. The vote to cut off arms sales to Saudi Arabia is a major rebuke to Trump. Is the right thing to do, but it's also made so that that's a good thing, but he right now is still trying to jam through five billion dollars for the wall, a position that sixty percent of the country thinks is stupid and doesn't want there's no calls on him from the media to moderate, because the election results, but that always always always happens to Democrats, and I think that some of the frustration here well and that's why Democrats just not in strong! Yet here I like, we, we have the popular support. We have the leverage here. No, you don't get your while you don't get a penny. You're done. It's interesting, you know before Donald Trump came along. There was the beginning of an aunt of of a little bit of recognition, There was this reimagining of republicanism that was needed. You have rights priebus doing that autopsy. That said, they needed to
moderate immigration to appeal to a cosmopolitan and multicultural America. You had Marco Rubio with his finger in the wind, realizing that immigration was a way for him to move forward and Trump coming along and showing that there was still this path left within the republican Party. For this you know racially aggrieved economically aggrieved populism really shut the door on a lot of that and we're just seeing right now, this sort of republican Party in limbo. You had this alternative vision of what republican politics could be, but there was no one with the political courage and the political skill to demo. Trade it successfully, and so all of these guys from Rubio all the way down just capitulated one hundred percent, they lost the primary that was their chance. After this we're going to talk to going to see what the democratic strategy is and talk to democratic, congressman and new
share of the house, democratic caucus, hooking Jeffers, hi fi Mereka- is brought to you by peloton. Don't let a busy schedule, keep you from getting a great workout. Are you looking for the perfect gift this holiday? Yes about a pallet on bike love it you had a Palatine bike, you do it all the time I do it once in awhile. Sell me on it. Here's the thing. Alright, there's a lot of things you can out there for a loved one, you Get them may tie. You can get them a vacuum. Anyone of those ones with the ball to advertise you get people sweaters, get weird mouth noises or math, and I had a hiccup. You could all kinds of chips. Socks. You can drag out a joke. Also give somebody the gift of now Looking like shit in a bathing suit, you know summer is coming, get that purse he's been eating Thanksgiving and Christmas,
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Guess, what no declined to climb cash out? Okay, on the plus, today, the incoming chair of the House, Democratic Caucus New York, congressman came Jeffries, Congressman Jeffers. How are you good good? Thank you have me on absolutely so. You've just been elected chair of the Democratic caucus, Congradulations up for those who don't know much about how the house works. What does the House Democratic Caucus Chair do and what do you hope to do in this position? Well, Chad, House, democratic caucus is the fifth highest ranking Democrat in the Congress operationally. What that means is the chair. Rick preside over the weekly caucus meetings that take place, usually on the Monday after the evening of first vote, as the largest gathering of house Democrats during the week in the United States, Khan
at that meeting Choosy takes place for an hour. We discuss the issues of relevance that we will be tackling either on the floor or before committees as well as devised, exactly how we're going to approach the challenges that we hope to confirm on behalf of the american people. Those meetings have also been used over the course of the last two years to divide the overall strategy. As it relates so how we were going to approach governing in the error of Donald Trump, provide the form for people from outside to come in and make presentations as well as for, Inter deliberations, I described, describe the caucus meeting sort of as a huddle where all Democrats progressive, new dams, blue dogs can come together as a team figure. What plays were going to execute on behalf of the american people. We didn't go out on the field that we try to get things done. So you
going strategy. You recently said that message just message: discipline will be necessary for Democrats to keep the majority and that the last time Democrats were in complete control of government. We failed to adequately Munich, Kate, what we were doing and why? How do you change that this time around and what is the message about what Democrats in the house are hoping to achieve over the next two years? Well, nothing breeds success like success and when we came back to Washington in November of twenty sixteen, we understood at that point that the only vehicle that we had to help shape what was going to take place governmentally, as well as the impact, the view that the american people had at the relates to what House Democrats stood for
was to shape public sentiment by changing the way that we communicated and traditionally are, as you and others have a correctly pointed out, Republicans talking headlines, Democrats talking fine print and the problem with that is that you need to mask the fine print in order to govern and Democrats master. The governing process with the party that has the live. So this nation, social Security, Medicare Medicaid Civil Rights ACT, voting rights, act, fair housing, act, affordable care act so on and so forth. You need to master fine print to govern, but in order to communicate and persuade you have to speak in headlines, One of the things that we effectively did over the last two years as it relates to shaping the playing field around healthcare pre existing
additions in the affordable care act was to communicate what the stakes are in ways that we're clear, concise and compelling. We did the same thing as it relates to what we labeled as the GOP tax scam, making clear that this was an unacceptable piece of legislation that they jammed down. The throats of the american people were eighty three percent of the benefits went to the wealthiest one percent, and then we close with our for the people agenda, focusing on just three things: lowering healthcare costs, increasing pay for everyday Americans and cleaning up corruption, we now have the opportunity to build upon that level of message. Discipline combine it with operational unity around the legislative process, so we can both get things done and talk to the american people about. Why we're doing the things that we're doing and why we're not getting cooperation, perhaps from Republicans in the Senate, or from one thousand six hundred Pennsylvania Ave.
So in in your race for caucus chair, you narrowly beat out Barbara Lee, and a lot of the coverage has characterized the race as person with ties to party leadership. That's you against a person with closer relationships to the progressive wing of the party. What is being a progressive mean to you it's great question, because last time I checked based on voting record, I was wanted twenty five most progressive members of the United States House of Representatives based on objective standards, now certainly I've nothing but the highest degree of respect for Barbara Lee. She has been a phenomenal representative for the people in Oakland and the EAST Bay communities that she represents and will go down in history as one of the most important legislative voices of the 21st century? My view has been that for us to get things done on behalf of the people I serve in the eighth congressional district in Brooklyn and a little bit of queens
that we have to fight the administration when we must but try to work with them when we can, for instance, around criminal justice reform and the effort that I've been involved in to get the first Step act passed. Which will help currently incarcerated individuals successfully. Reenter society save taxpayer dollars. Also ensure that we dramatically reduce recidivism, and so, in my view, we have to resist the administration anchored in principle. Never and wherever they engage in overreach and attack our values, but also in a divided government context will be in next year. Try to work together to get things done on behalf of the american people So one power, the new house has is investigations. You guys can disappear, I have a subpoena power now, there's been A lot more news about the molar investigation. Over the last week we got the president in I hate it as an unindicted, co conspirator. We know he
lied about pursuing a real estate deal directly with the russian government during the campaign. He's dangling, pardons he's, tampering with witnesses on Twitter. What is the threshold that this president would have to cross for you to consider impeachment? Well, I think we have to take things in stages, and certainly Donald Trump is totally out of control, and my colleagues in the house the republican side of the aisle have abdicated their constitutional responsibility to be a check and balance on an out of control executive. Essentially, they functioned as the cover up caucus for Donald Trump over the last two years as of January. Third. Those days will end and we will no longer. I have situation where we seed our authority as a separate and co equal branch of government. But we have to proceed responsibly and, in my view, Democrats and progressives and folks from across the nation, fought hard to force
sessions initially to recuse himself? We won he recuse themselves. We then fought hard for the Department of Justice to be compelled to a point, a special counsel. We won ROD Rosenstein backed up despite his initial reluctance and Point in the great American Bob Muller as special counsel. In my view, we have to now let Bob Muller be Bob Muller make sure that the investigation can proceed in a full, fair and comprehensive fashion and allow him to report to the american people report the Department of Justice Report, the Congress, what his findings are and then we can proceed from there. Do you see any evidence so far, just based on because one thing that mothers doing is, you know there may be: are for Congress. But clearly, he's writing a lot of this report within the various indictments and sentencing
submissions and all the rest that he's making public right now. Do you see evidence in these reports that have already been made public and these indictments that trouble you enough to think about how we may have to consider impeachment proceedings down the road. Well, I think it wouldn't be responsible for us is House Democrats having just been given the mandate of heading into the majority to put the cart before the horse, as a judge that I used to clerk for would say and just allow the fact continue to be uncovered for us to analyze those facts in the make a decision. What is clear to me, though? John is that the Trump Administration and Donald Trump himself a playing checkers and Bob Marley is playing three dimensional chess? That is, that is true, systematically laying out a case and because of the thoroughness of how he has proceeded so far.
I don't think we need to undermine the dynamics of what he is done by jumping out and drawing conclusion until he is presented everything to us but congressman. What's the host democratic position on border security funding in the government. Shutdown negotiations over in the Senate, Chuck Schumer seems be willing to offer either a clean, continuing resolution for a couple months or you know, he's pointed Do an older bipartisan deal on one point: six billion dollars in fencing that that he would support. What's the House Democrat position, I think the majority of House Democrats are taking the position that, to the extent are: there are any additional resources that we even consider putting on the table that it cannot be.
For a border wall should be for fencing, perhaps for some technology enhancements, perhaps for some reasonable addition to the personnel on the border, not for interior enforcement. The one thing that should be cleaned every is that Donald Trump made a promise to the american people. He said we build a wall and Mexico is going to pay for it. So my view is that Donald Trump to go talk to the mexican government and if he can come, them to pay for his silly border wall. The maybe we can have a conversation about it, but until such time as does that the administration should take a hike, as it relates to a border wall that he himself said. We would not spend a dime of american taxpayer dollars on
you think that there's any kind of need for a while even of Mexico did pay for me, even though they're not going to me, do you what what kind of security do you think we need on the border that isn't already there, but clearly we have a broken our immigration system that needs to be fixed and we need to try to fix it in a bipartisan fashion, because it's the only way that it will be sustainable into the future. I've often and said that what we probably need to do, because a lot of the my grace into this country, as you know, comes from the all American northern Triangle, countries of Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras- it's not from Mexico. Now you've got a border between Mexico and Guatemala. That is approximately two hundred miles. You have a border between the United States and Mexico that is in excess of two thousand
it's much harder to maintain a level of security on our two thousand mile plus border with Mexico. Then it would be if there was cooperation between us in the mexican government as it relates to that border between Mexico and Guatemala, which is about one tenth of the size. So that's one of the things that if we had somebody in the White House that was willing to pursue reasonable international diplomacy, We could begin to address that issue. We also need to deal with the root cause of the problem in terms of the violent nature of what is taking place in no central America. Northern triangle, countries which are three to five most violent countries in the world and we've got address those conditions if we have any real shot of stopping the type of out migration that is being done based on pure
humanitarian need, so obviously the better shot for the House Democrats to really get something done is to have a partner in the White House is also a Democrat. What do you think are the most important lessons we need to take from this past midterm election that will help. Us pick the right nominee and run the right campaign in twenty twenty, a question, because what often happens is that we have them we fall in love with what I call the charismatic superbrand right. This John F Kennedy that Bill Clinton. After Obama phenomenal folks, but if we solely relying on the emergence of someone who fits into that category and you will have some candidates. Perhaps my good friend and colleague bet to over decides to run who would fit that criteria several others, but there there are some fundamentals to defeating this administration, which I, the
What lessons learned for Us- one, you alluded to earlier, staying, focused and disciplined on message and making sure that that message is anchored in kitchen table pocketbook issues as opposed to getting down into the mud and taking the bait from Donald Trump that he throws out to distract, and so, in the run up to the mid term election on November six. They try to distract us in the house, at least with Kavanaugh. We didn't take the bait. They tried to distract us with the caravans. We didn't take the bait. Try to distract this as a related to the leak of some draft memo on transgender issues. We didn't take the bait, we stayed focused on pre existing conditions and making sure we protect
People who fell into that category lowering healthcare costs dealing with the outrageously high cost of prescription drugs talked about a real infrastructure plan, not the fake one talked about cleaning up corruption in Washington DC in a meaningful way, not draining the swamp, making a fake promise and in turn, in the swap into a cesspool, which is what the administration is done. We have to stay disciplined and focus, and I I think that our presidential candidates, who will have the best opportunities to succeed, will follow that same course that we undertook, as House Democrats congressman Jeffries. Thank you so much for joining us and good luck on your in your new role. John takes have me on and appreciate what you guys do it pod save America. Thank you very much. Take care. Take care thanks to Jim Jeffries, for joining us today. Thank you, guys. For being thanks for having us. So it is me in
decorator. I want to do it, it's not that both! see you later. If you do anything today check out Ben Wikler's, Twitter and all the things you can do to stop this brazen power gram in Wisconsin, it's important good call. Alright, everyone bye bye.
Transcript generated on 2019-10-12.