Charles Cooke, David French, Michael Brendan Dougherty, and Luke Thompson discuss Jeffrey’s Epstein’s suicide, the ongoing protests in Hong Kong, and the Democrats’ gun control plans.
• Charlie: Alexandra DeSanctis on Laurence Tribe
• MBD: Christopher Caldwell on ‘The Coming Migration out of Sub-Saharan Africa’
• David: Madeleine Kearns against legalizing prostitution
• Luke: Jonathan Lesser on nuclear power
• Charlie: Gary Thorne when Gleyber Torres hits a home run
• MBD: Mopeds in beach towns
• David: Antonio Brown
• Luke: Amtrak’s onboard magazine
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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
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Jeffrey Epstein is dead, Hong kong-
continues to explode, and the Democrats, mall gun control for the September Senate session will discuss
of that and more on this week's edition of the editors I'm Charles Cook in this week for Rich Larry, who is on assignment I'm joined by Michael Brandon, Darity, not doing the Mbd thing, I'm joined by Luke Thompson and by David French, so
Jeffrey Epstein is dad were told it was a suicide, but there have been a number of conspiracy theories to the country, including those peddled by some fairly high profile,
pieces? One thing is for sure all this was not the outcome at that prosecutors wanted David. What does abstain staff suggests to you file play a problem in our prisons bit of both well at you know, I don't we
have any direct evidence of foul play. What the early reports seem indicate is ace
staggering amount of incompetence- and when I say staggering- maybe staggering is an understatement, so apparently
again. This is based on reporting. It's not based on the conclusion
or the results of any formal investigation.
Where we seem to be right now is that he was taken off suicide watch after having tried to commit suicide after he tried to
suicide, allegedly he his roommate, because
supposed to have a roommate in this room, someone who would
over him and certainly be able to immediately alert prison officials if he tried
himself in the room was was taken out of the room he was supposed to
checked on every thirty minutes, and now the last report is that the prison official
fell asleep that were the two people who were responsible for checking on him one or both
fell, asleep and then falsified records to indicate that they had not fallen asleep. So this is.
And this isn't just you know this would be bad. This would be terrible,
Joe blow at you know a gang banger from Cincinnati? That would be unacceptable. This
so happens to be the most high profile prisoner, probably in the entire federal prison system and so
when you're. Looking at these facts in what the best
and we have is just
Ordinarily, you would look at sort of conspiracy, theory, world and say: come on guys come on just stop it just stop it.
Now you take a look at these facts and you're just thinking what on Earth
You don't even know what to believe and look. I know our government can be incompetent. We
how the government can be incompetent. We know that the government can be
Brutally indifferent to the lives of prisoners, one in the more powerful pieces written the last couple
today's was my good friend
law school, classmate KEN White wrote in the Atlantic. Thirty two and
that's just from relatively recent history of just brutal indifference to the health of
nurse resulting in the deaths of prisoners so yeah this.
This happens and it's probably still likely that
story is staggering: incompetence, monumental incompetence, but
You know what I'm going to say is: well that's what the evidence seems to indicate now, but we had
better have an extraordinarily thorough investigation here, because this is this is
excusable on every level. What are the implications here
Michael leaving aside for a moment the question off the way that our prison system treats prisoners and also the question of what we expect of that prison system. What are the implications for the Epstein case cases? Is it over
Well, I mean one of the big worries is that I think people,
actually had when news came out that he died. Is that you know there is
You know this is a way to shut down the case. We don't actually know yet what his is.
Arrangements are they? Maybe I'm expecting there going to be extremely complex
and may involve a lot of jurisdictional hopping for four
investigators and for plaintiffs against the estate. I I need, I do think once
people get over the the.
Controversies surrounding his death.
The attention is going to focus on. I think you pronounce your name.
He's Lane Maxwell
I don't usually Maxwell's his Maxwell, his kind of accomplice. His
is female. Madam uhm. I think
she's kind of next to be put in the dock?
and so I wait for that to happen it,
The case is not over, though I mean they're still supposedly,
sits in these in the estate,
in a weird way. The suicide might continue to drive public interest and intrigue in it. Right I mean
This is is now almost more mysterious because of these events, so I think there is
still the desire to know okay. How did he make his money? We know what was he actually
investing in who else
is implicated in these scandals. Are there tail
are there other pieces.
Discovery that are going to come out and bring down powerful people. I mean, I don't think
interesting that is going to Wayne entirely.
Charlie on a technical legal answer to that investigation. Question
so there it's interesting, there's like conspiracy allegations in the actual indictment and so
the actual indictment says in part in RG object of the conspiracy that Jeffrey Epstein, the defendant, others known and unknown would
Did blah blah blah
wooden did do all
things that they did together and so
With the existence of that conspiracy indictment, it's already been made clear from the sp and wide that, while the obviously the criminal case against him is over the criminal
castigation continues and there were apparently leaks that.
Private island with his weird temple was rated
yesterday or earlier in this week, so that investigation is going to continue and embodies exactly right that there is still an estate,
that has enormous assets that can be sued?
and then there's going to be a civil forfeiture action in all likelihood against the mansion
and so there's going to be at least three different strands.
Of legal activity not including anything that might be brought against Jizz Lane or Ghislaine Harvey pronounce it all right. Look. What do you think we should make of this
does this tell us anything sweeping about our politics.
I think Jonah had a nice piece talking about how this reaffirms the kind of conspiratorial and paranoid style that's taken over american politics of late, but I would simply point out that you know the Bureau of Prisons is a part of the federal government. It falls under the
justice, and this is sadly rather typical, behavior for a federal agency, and so I question anyone who says we should nationalize health
vacations, nationalize health insurance, nationalized healthcare provision, etc, because if these people can't keep the most high profile
Pre trial defendant alive.
I mean, I guess, okay, we'll give them that they kept El Chapo alive, so they batted five hundred in allow.
Couple of months what
hello business do, they have running fundamental sectors of the economy. I mean governments monopoly
is the legitimate use of force. Detaining people is one of
a few things, they should be especially good at you know.
Regulating insurance markets. Just
writing. Where broadband fiber broadband fiber, I don't really think fall squarely in the we'll wheelhouse, but exerting coercive power over human beings, that's kind of their gig and if they can't even do that,
well in something is fundamentally broken in our bureaucracy. So look. I obviously agree with all that. I'm a conservative, I'm a fan of markets. I think governments do an awful lot very badly, even the things that they are obliged to do, but there is a school of thought that says that one of the differences between say, government provision of healthcare and the way the government runs. The prisons is that people want good health care and therefore there is a pressure on the Gov
to do it in a certain way, whereas the american people are indifferent toward prison and that we see this in, for example, the casual way people joke about people being killed in prison people being raped in
as an actor, there's also an argument that the only reason that anyone cares about this is because Jeffrey Epson was famous, he was rich. He may well have been connected to all the figures of whom we've heard
and that this is really exposing something that is not only a big protests, but that is the subject of total indifference on the hot on behalf of the public. Is that
yeah, I think it's. I think it's fair. I. I would point out, though, that
there's been some good writing in constitutional law and frankly, this has been expanded over more than a hundred years, including by judges that the
the numbers of the bar and members of the band should have a unique interest in seeing to it that our car sales systems effectively run and that that's why, during the progressive era, for instance, we had things like judicial, so
panels and institutions that codified the
of specific professions in the regulation of our system created at the
level. Now, I'm not saying we should give the trial lawyers run of the the the chicken coop when it comes to federal prisons, but the reality is is that, while that is true, we have done things to accommodate it and, frankly
This is a clearly embarrassing lapse, and, while you know it said that tough cases make bad law
harassing administrative lapses, embarrass political figures and should incline them to be more thoroughgoing, supervise.
Administration now I think, there's been
shift in american political culture where we don't expect our president to run a tight ship, see, for instance, the GEO hacking, which was
Chinese, just walking in and taking away. You know personal personnel records on five percent of Americans.
And the Obama administration, as far as I can tell, was utterly unembarrassed by it, but
isn't that sort of Norman expectation of affect government from the people who were elected to execute the law. It will be very difficult to see polity.
Change? But I think that's that's the sort of level of of relevance here right.
Any major mistake- and- let's be honest- it doesn't have to be a high
profile defendant necessarily to shock the conscience. We've seen this in the past.
And lead to the kind of political consequences again in extraordinary cases that
rage, political actors to be responsible administrators David. You disagree.
I know I don't I don't disagree. I do I. I would say, though, that you're you're hitting on it a really core points which was about public indifference. I think that
That is a central story of the prison system throughout the United States,
when it was really interesting watching some of the folks that I respect a lot who have
tens of experience with criminal justice from a defense perspective
acted very differently to the app's teen news and basically everybody else. So everybody else was. How could this possibly happen- and I saw a defense attorney after defense, attorney after defensive,
Turning on twitter, say, oh, how naive can you possibly be
This is the system, it was,
just random people saying that, though I mean Prepa Haro was saying like there should be video to you know, like you know, complete videotape of this. How does the
No, I know so it is so it's a in me even if I was saying charge of the southern district, but that was the defense right. When the can
the theory started, the defense was not an antenna. This is
The system works. You just don't notice it in most cases, because you don't know the person who's committed, suicide or at least know his name
yeah the- and you know it was the defense lawyers are saying this is the way this goes, and this is that the defense lawyer,
lawyers for an was, I think at this point. It looks like he was wrong:
just simply wrong about their survey
once in the cell, which
necessarily surprise me, I'm not exactly sure that even the former US attorney is going to be apprised of all of the
all of the surveillance at work in in
well. That is not. I don't believe that is under his direct supervision. That's bureau of prisons, so
yeah? I you know I I I but I think, Charlie, that the distinction that says: hey, Americans, don't really care all that much and to the extent that some Americans do care, they actually want prison to be pretty punitive and the way
it treats prisoners and
They don't necessarily want to allocate a whole lot of resources and limited budgets to provide
prison conditions me. I think all that is absolute
the case and it doesn't really.
Come to ahead until something in in the chickens? Don't really come home to roost until something like this happens, and even if it's, even if it
ultimately works out that in the investigation that part of
and here are some explanation for what happened here. Was corruption
the part of Chris prison officials. Again, that's
that's something that that we don't
necessarily care all that much about in our daily political lives. There's just an enormous amount of indifference here, Michael. What do you make of the argument that this aside from being bad per se, has contributed always the reflection off either way a
Declining trust in american institutions and that that's why we've seen.
People who hold position.
That in times past, would prevent them from sharing conspiracy theories sharing conspiracy theories. Well, listen! I I mean
It does contribute to that, and it's not just, of course, the poor handling in the prison right.
Fearless leader, Rich Lowry, wrote a column this week that the system always seem to break in Jeffrey,
Steen's favor at every turn. I mean he got that not only
he was not only able to blitz prosecutors in the past. He was able to to cut terms of tree
in his imprisonment that are just unfair
the mobile to the rest of us right? I mean you, wouldn't get an ability
if you or I Charlie were done in, for I don't know, Waht tax fraud or
or some other non violent crime.
The chances of you or I being able to get treated
we can run a business twelve hours a day out of and and leave the prison is impossible. He got this deal with pedophilia as as the conviction
so it that was is our society corrupt. I mean, I think
Yes, I mean it. I mean it's almost like society. Sometimes it's almost a kind of synonym for corruption inside in some philosophical sense, but I I mean, I think
The conspiracy theories are not going to stop either. I mean I purse
I think, are you sharing some of them? I mean I've. Read
keywords reporting on Epstein, which goes back to two thousand and three
she's, been covering. This is an investigative journalist.
She said that, when one of the reasons that Acosta,
who resigned as secretary of Labor over the Epstein case over his handling of that sting case
Florida, you know she reported that
he was doing his due diligence when they are. They ask about abstain when they're bringing him into the administration and that
Breezly told his his people that he had
told by whom,
don't know that
belong to intelligence and to ease up I mean okay is Vicky Ward, correct
This is, it is not. It was
only one of the explanations or one of the conspiracies that was going around, which was how does the
I get access to so many of the
world's most powerful and rich people, when he doesn't seem to be conducting any real.
Trades with any real funds on Wall Street or on the gold coast of Connecticut mean there
still a mystery at the heart of this that until
details. Come out, people are going to fill them in with their conspiracy
is it? Are we in a specially corrupt society? Actually, don't think that's the case, but
especially different one to rich powerful,
semi good, looking men, yes and that
in shows that.
Alright, well, exit question on this topic? Does Jeffrey Epstein's suicide make it more likely or less likely that we will eventually get to the bottom of all that Michael has just outlined, Luke.
I will defer to David on this, but my gut tells me this opens up a lot of new legal channels, so it will take longer, perhaps and be less coherent, but I think we'll get more information David
I think will be more likely in part because the public
Outrage surrounding this suicide
is so great that there's there's an
actual rare sense of bipartisan revulsion and
rare essence of bipartisan.
Bipartisan demand that this investigation-
He lead in this investigation be chase down, so I think yes, Michael
I mean you have to have a number of people that want to be the kind of hero of the case come forward and
I don't know, I guess I agree with Luke, but I'm I'm still, but there's slightly. I think I'm with
You can, then I think there's more of a chance we'll get to the bottom of this, but I'm still
read that our chances low can
how many other powerful people may
still be implicated and still have room for maneuver.
I think it's more likely, and I think that's in part the case, because powerful people are implicated. I think that they now have an incentive to make sure this is wrapped up in the name is cleared and I think also the criticisms that were leveled it bill Bob, for example, if he was in our national hacked abstain, mud it the v spot him to to action in a way that he may not have been incentivized-
to take if, if abstinent remained alive, the situation in Hong Kong continues to unravel Easton Mass protests once again, the apple
effectively shut down yesterday? One thousand one hundred flights cancelled economies losing 10s of millions of dollars, and some are worried.
That this pre sage is a chinese crackdown. The end of the two system system
the Chinese had promised in the beginning of chinese complete jurisdiction.
Versus going. What does it tell us about China? Are we going to see tanks rolling into Hong Kong boy? I think it's really hard to predict exactly where it's going to go, because I think China,
has started to view this or Beijing, has started to view this as a novel event,
protests are not unheard of in China, they pop up and they die back down. Sometimes they are repressed aggressively. Most of the time
they kind of are allowed to blow off steam and then the participate,
slowly punished in individual cases based on ubiquitous state surveillance. That obviously hasn't happened here,
and so we have a situation where one Hong Kong's unique situation as part of China, but part not part of a centralized system. But
as a result of that, an outlet for mainland elites to buy luxury goods go on holiday experience,
broader world, outside the narrow confines of of,
China's you know limits on speech. It serves
both as a challenge to centralized rule, but also as a kind of re in
or Sir centralized control as a as like a pressure outlet for chinese leads. So
I think part of the reason we've seen these unsteady moves on the part of the mainland is because they don't know what to do
the situation they face before it's it's a distinct place and a protest of greater longevity than expected
I had to put money on it. I would say
Beijing, will not try to repeat tenement square in Hong Kong
they will try to slowly let the steam out of the protests. At the same time, they talk tough and
you are it's fair to say not. Somebody who advocates
can adventurism and you're also sometimes somewhat skeptical toward protests per se.
If you on this sound a little bit like Patrick Henry, what's going on yeah
so yeah- I am- I have been skeptical In-
call them. Color revolution style protests in Eastern Europe. I've been
skeptical about our state.
in these, and you know
skeptical about maybe some of the beneficiaries of those protests into say Ukraine or elsewhere. That turn out to be just
themselves, not Patrick Henry and George Washington, but just another corrupt local autocrat.
Uh in waiting. That's just putting the demo.
See brand on, but Hong Kong
For me one is that I wrote
or maybe a week or two ago, uh
how Hong Kongers understand their own protest movement and
understand it as a defense of Hong Kong,
and settlement which was implanted there by british imperialism as it was
on the shores and it's
very clear, headed idea.
Freedom and the defendant very
Plainly simply an impressively mean
The we've seen in the last few days. You know videos of call of physical clashing at the airport, but remarkably, you have had protek
of five hundred thousand people, one million people up to two million people in
a small area with a population of about eight million and you've had no deaths.
I had almost no violence. You've had
a few actual clashes beyond those? Instead
created by the police who have lost a ton of respect in Hong Kong and that's
actually been. One of the hurtful things that hung Congress have expressed is that they have lost respect previous
he previously had
for a highly esteemed police force. I think there are
remarkable. I think I think the press
in the United States, should at least rhetorically give
more support. I would like to see more support from you
and beyond, I think than what we thought of some statements thus far. Well, I mean it seems,
trump has had a strategy of separating the moral case against China's political culture from his case on the trade war. I,
Bruce can see why you would do this.
There are reasons to do that right because you don't
want to be seen, as the United States presses
as saying okay
well I'll. Take a
deal on beef futures
and I'll stop talking about democracy,
Hong Kong right. So you don't want to.
Self, in a position where you're cutting
away your moral authority
but you also don't want to be seen, which could be the case now as having cut off
that moral authority or the ability to speak. Morally and politically,
situation in Hong Kong or in the
Jiang Province. Frankly, you don't want to
be seen as cutting that off before you've even started, and I worry that
has done that right has basically said he's not going to comment on internal chinese matters at all, and I just I
I don't think uh. I don't think world leaders should do that. I think world leaders need to
to China and say this was a country that, for
read about ten years seemed to be moving in the right direction, and now it's his.
Medically gone backwards, and that pressure
needs to be applied, not just in a bully.
Oh it in american media, but it needs to be you know,
we need to start having meetings with corporate America,
leaders who do a lot of business in China and start talking about. You know
China's going on one path, these
determined to go on that path.
Chinese leaders seem interested in more economic decoupling from the United States, United States.
Interested in the same
there may be, you know, sanctions or embargoes. You know other things coming in the future up more for political reasons than for you know a trade war reasons
we need to start prepping the ground, and so the president needs to speak much more openly in free
and like I said this isn't just Hong Kong. It's also the concentration
Samson Jinjiang. I mean this
an issue that should be given up and frankly, we should
bring the hammer down immediately on the British for working with Huawei when
their new prime minister, you know is
talking openly of striking a trade deal with United States. I mean
yeah I mean also, we we've seen that there are some some divergent political imperatives here, because both Mcconnell and plus he is made strong statements based just on the police crackdown, two date, which is
you know, violent and certainly not something you want to see, but nothing on the level of what I think many of us fear could come
Michael mentioned corporations and then,
role in this- and so one of the criticism
I've. Seen here is the day of Georgia passes a pro life bill. It seems as if
every major company in the United States either condemns it or promises not to do business in the state of Georgia. But in Hong Kong we see these police crackdowns and there is but radio
Silence right, I mean you know we have seen this is. This is been a problem for a while in it and frankly, as somebody who lives in a red state that has
Occasion, been the subject of corporate attempt,
threaten corporate economic sanctions. It's infuriating frankly, it's it's absolutely infuriating to see woke,
to condemn american citizens for having the audacity to do things like vote for life or vote for greater religious liberty.
Susie asked Eckley
doubling down on investment in China,
and look. I know, there's a lot more money to be made in China than there is in Tennessee, but we're being Totale. It were being told all the time that this is a matter of principle and but
and so what ended up happening- and I think Michaels Point earlier About-
You said there was a ten years where it looked like. There was some progress
and now that has been reversed, but what's happened is
even as China's reversing that progress and we now are con,
leading what would be have been previously unthinkable. The thought of of tanks or armored port
personnel carriers rolling.
Hong Kong. How may
China has been able to sort of have its cake and eat it too. It's been able to cracked down
citizens, it's been able to fill concentration camps and it's been able to host glittering Disney premiers
been able to host,
You know these NBA stars that a trek across across trunk China,
introducing new shoe. You know new shoe designs and
gleaming factories opening across the country providing consumer goods for the United States and so time and time again,
China doubles down on its oppression. It doubles down on its communist identity or
its communist style repression and then
still enjoys the benefits of this relationship with corporate America and the benefits are beyond money. Let's be clear about that. There are there cultural benefits that accrue to China
that enhance the lifestyle of the chinese people. I mean people in China, like
can. Maybe is a great deal in sometimes
they tend to have some great
it's just like Americans, for example the Chinese loved the as all
it's all decent movie viewers dead, but so
the question here: is, I think it's given the power, the commercial and corporate power
Commercial and cultural power of american corporations in China, when
talking about a reaction to China. I think we have to talk more than just a government reaction. We have to talk about what's in american reaction, to what's happening to China and it's imperative on the president. I think the speak out
made to do more than speak out, I liked some of Tom
cotton suggestions John Mccormick reported on that?
on in our that he said, among other things, halt trade negotiations with the I really
like the suggestion of sanctioning senior Chinese Communist Party officials, revoke visas of party leaders in their families, here is one that I think could really
right with the chinese elite curtale student visas for chinese nationals uh one of these
one of the things that we have seen
is that I were I kind of sanction that I like
a sanction directed at elites who actually have perhaps the the capacity
impact policy and
aiming sanctions that these leads, I think, could be smart, so it's not just speaking out it's acting and then
king, I think, should include these corporate executives, who have clearly stated another context that morality matters and that there and
more at there in more than just the business of making money. Well, let's, let's see
that's true, let's see, if that's true, when the bottom line is really at stake, and not when you're,
and not when you're taking on the state of Tennessee. But the reality here is that China is broadly free to act as it sees fit.
Without America taking any hard action,
now certainly no boots. On the ground, I mean I China
It is, if not
for power and near Super power, this is not just their backyard.
It's their yard. They will be able to do what they want. The question is
Will we be able to impose any kind of of call
threaten to credibly threaten to post any kind of cost on them that would tilt the calculus against in her bed.
I even marginally- and I think it's incumbent upon us as much as we can to tilt the calculus against intervention, ok
Ok, well, exit question on this topic. First, for Luke
look in ten years, so we're going to look back and say that was a blip and Hong Kong stayed relatively free, or that was the beginning of the descent into complete
fiction. I think there's zero chance that this will just be a blip, but I I don't so I I would predict confidently that there will be ongoing conflict between the mainland and Hong Kong. I don't know which way it's going to come out, Michael. I agree with Luke. I think
I personally think am american commentators- should not preempt
lovely, I'm does beef
Fatalistic about Hong Kong and say: well, you know this was all decided in
one? Ninety seven at the handover and there's nothing to be done?
if two million out of eight million are determined to be ungovernable,
it will be ungovernable
so, I think, the hunger
people themselves may be able to have. I
they have a much larger say
in their fate then even against a power,
government in Beijing with enormous resources to million people are hard to govern if they are determined not to be David,
I'm going to come, I'm going to ratify and endorse every syllable of Luke's response, zero chance. It's a blip um
be continued pressure. I don't know exactly how it's going to how
at. I don't know how it's going to play out, but there will be continued, continue
pressure. If I had to
If I had to decide whether or not there would be tanks rolling in immediately or in the very near term, I'm going to say no, but maybe I'm wildly optimistic yeah. I think it's a bit of both. I think it's going to be a lot less free than it was under the british, but I think that there is sufficient international pressure and domestic pressures Michael says: if one in four residents of Hong Kong decides to push back, it's not much. You can do about that. So I think it will be enough to stop it descending into tyranny, but not an ideal situation all around well. The last topic today is gun control
typically the Democrats push for a range of policies, Chuck Schumer said two days ago that he would like Donald Trump to drop his fund, raising request for the wall and instead come to Congress for five billion dollars to fight both gun, violence and white supremacy. The houses passed a
universal background check bill, which is far more stringent than the two mentioned bill that was debated in twenty thirteen. We've heard talk of red flag laws coming out of Congress, both laws that would
state level, red flag regimes and also some talk of a federal red flag
and then there is the usual muttering about a rekindling of the assault weapons ban. They would all come to you first on this. What do you think is likely to happen? What should happen where Republicans in the Senate on this? Where is the president on this? What should we expect when the Senate gets
back in September, I think it depends a great deal on whether or not there is another mass shooting between now and then. Ah, I think there,
If there is not another mass shooting, the chances of action
dramatically it's as we have seen on already. It appears that the bulk of the new cycle,
moved on from this issue.
Fighting about other things now that sort of the nature of of
the combat in the Trump era is we tend to move on quickly so
I think a lot depends on events between now and then, if there is another mass shooting, I expect I I would
check to see at least some action as far
what should happen at the federal level. I
wrote this earlier this week, but I have real constitutional issues with aspects of universal
background check law, namely I just
It violates the commerce clause to have the federal government
Bin and and regulate new intrastate transfer of innings
good from one person. To another I mean, if you're, going to extend
can extend commerce clause authority to that that far
I'm not even sure why there's a commoners clause. It just seems that then
What you have is the ability of Congress to just read: regulate commercial activity in the United States.
I think, there's a there's, a
your constitutional issue there. I also just as a
as a matter of principle object to
creation of a new class of criminal laws without
the real evidence that the
criminal law is going to address the problem or solve the problem. It's it's designed to solve, and
I'm sorry, but the research on
personal background checks,
because to research on background checks generally, in other words,
the existing background checks through federal federally licensed dealers.
Is really lacking, and it's absolutely irrelevant and lacking on gun violence in general, and it's absolutely irrelevant
to the mass shooting problem.
What I would like to see. Congress do and I would like to see Congress Fund well drafted red
Lausanne. The emphasis is on well drafted because there
some red flag laws in the United States of America that are terra
they're bad uh? I would like to see Congress pass legislation.
Puts conditions on the Red Flags law
so that it will support, and then I would like to see what actually
to see Republicans involved in
putting together a well drafted red flag law and, let's see what it can do, let's see what it does at the state level. I think there are big problems with a red flag law that comes through the federal Gov.
It's an attempt to create a federally mandated red flags in legal infrastructure. I think
some constitutional issues. With that there's practical issues with that
But what I would like to see is the funding bill with states with the
is a patient of gun rights advocates putting together well drafted laws and let's see what they do? Look where the politics on this I keep hearing it said in the press and in some quarters of the Democratic Party, but it's all shifted,
This time it was different morning, Joe, for example, seems to have settled on the idea that, if Republicans don't act, then
they will lose in perpetuity and yet from what
the standard of the thinking of the vast majority of republican senators, not all of whom represent no Wyoming. That's not necessarily the case. What do you think I mean? Let's, let's put aside what morning Joe says, he thinks doesn't think I. I do not think that this time is different, but I also don't think that attitudes on on guns are static, even within the republican coalition, let alone with an electric writ large
a couple of things are going on. First, I think the Senate is the wrong place to look for shifts and republican attitudes on guns. I would look at the house because
You are seeing softening on guns geographically in places where historically
more robust commitment. Gun rights is in places in Sub suburban sort of affluent market, suburban areas where highly educated folks are
less likely to own guns than they were a generation ago or are less or more likely to for cultural reasons. Sympathize with gun control, part of that is a byproduct.
Of more unmarried women who tended to be anti gun rights in the aggregate and
democratic moving into the suburbs so who lives in the suburbs is changing for one.
But also a part of it is simply that there has been a shift among affluent voters, but it is a small one on the whole
it enough to change their vote. Ah,
I some yes, but not many in the house. I think you know, I think there are
some suburban republicans, who would vote for a kind of man
sing to me type bill who made
four or six years ago would not have having
there's not a coalition of pro gun, control, Republicans and
reason, for that is that there's not actually a coherent pro gun control position when it comes to
either addressing gun violence as a problem writ large, which is chiefly a by product of the criminal act.
Mission of handheld firearms, specifically pistols right,
are the source of most gun crime and illegal pistols at that. And, second, because you have a gun control
movement that is almost gleefully ignorant of the kind of basic facts of their own issue. So you will have people talking about
stopping gun show loopholes, even though there's paltry evidence that a the quote, unquote, gun show loophole, has anything to do with gun crime or gun violence. People will talk about. You know, stop
mass shootings, and yet have no serious proposals about
how to do that? And so, while you know the red flag, laws have kind of come now
out of this latest round of debate and appear to be a tangible
policy answer and a tangible policy answer can attract bipartisan support early on, as David pointed out, what
a red flag law itself means is, is very much open to contestation. I also think, like the biggest tell that the politics on this haven't shifted.
Is Chuck Schumer because of Schumer wanted a bill. He wouldn't try to link a gun control to the wall.
His decision to link it to the wall is pretty much proof positive that he doesn't think legislation is coming through. So if you were to bet on what will see, you would say, the most likely outcome is some red
funding. I I don't know I mean you could have some. I don't think we're gonna get you.
Legislation for this. So where does the money come from? What federal program gets eaten in
to redirect funding to subsidize red flag implementation by the states? I don't see it.
You know. I also don't see the president as having a settled view on this so facing the political cost of
of defunding, one element of the executive branch to fund a new element of the executive branch seems like too big of a leap for him
even though, at times sentimentally, he seemed supportive of gun control.
Michael where you on all this 'cause. I remember two.
Years ago we had an interesting discussion on this very show about gun cult.
In general about whether the hyper individualistic rhetoric around gun ownership and that's how you put it was healthy. What what do you think we should do?
you see the problem, I mean there's a couple of things. One
my I've, often prefaced by saying my
kind of ideal of what America
gun, culture or a gun, control
regime that I'd favor is like it's almost completely irrelevant to the actual legal
heritage we have at this point, I
basically think um
culture as in gun clubs,
even the NRA itself or gun owners of America and the events that they put on actually think
Things are very good, I think
People that gather in them are generally the most responsible citizens. We have they're very responsive
their guns they're very responsible with how they store them with how they
their children to respect them and use them
for more gun culture in the United States, because
I have so many guns in the United States, so I think that's, I'm kind
pro social person
comes to guns. I think the dangerous thing with,
is mass shooters as they tend to be alone and because of
sure of the
Second amendment. If there're an adult,
and they go to a sporting goods store and they have enough credit or cash
get a gun, they can get one, and
I almost wish there was a
way for the existing gun culture to kind of assimilate them organically before they do that in a troubled moment. I personally think
in the current political environment- we're not going
see any major legal development, I think that's. Should we function, I
I don't think legislating
in the heat
of the moment after a tragedy like that is usually yields. The best results, I think
the problem of mass shooters is now
easily addressed in law. I think the
some of the easier things to address in law, through red flags and other things, and even
surely will be reducing
gun deaths by suicide and other things where you can
I've said in the past it to David, I'm I'm for some new.
Words that have been around in some
in groups of of kind of promoting
the idea of people who feel they in entering a mental
of crisis or or some other.
This in their lives being able
almost giving them the social script.
To use to give their guns.
To another friend who is a gun owner to hold them temporarily? I think that's the kind of
I think that's the place where America has real opportunities, mostly
socially, but some legally to
use the number of gun deaths in the country. The the the mass
Killer then the nihilistic mass killer is, I'm a
a trend that is still rising, and I think it's devilishly difficult to address it.
I don't think it's a difficult gone. Sorry I was gonna say I don't think it's devilishly difficult to address it. It's just that we're willing,
the conversation at trampling the second and but if you actually want to address that, you have to travel the second first and the fourth and when you
Putting what do you mean by that? We could easily reduce the number of copycat killings by having a blanket
and on media, printing, the names of perpetrators or their manifestos etc. But that is obviously a violation of first amendment right we could have a we could
totally keel, Haul Hippa and make it possible for the federal administrative state to look into anyone's administrative records or health care records on the slightest pretense of of Danger war war nettle on wellness that we
a manifest violation of the fourth amendment. If we were doing all of these things, alt all the time. At the same time, we were confiscating firearms. We would not have this prob
I re yeah. I thank you what I say like I agree, that's what I'm saying is devilish. I think it's devilishly difficult to do this while retaining our our sense,
are inherited? You know rights and freedoms, zero
and also I think, it's devilishly difficult to do it. When you have. You know four hundred four hundred fifty million.
Never really held I mean so I don't
I think there is a uh
good policy address right now for mass shootings
of of the kind that we saw two weekends ago and and I
I don't know how it will be resolved.
I mean other than like petering out over a generation. I just I would admire the sort of the ardent gun, confiscation folks or the the gun control people, if
were willing to say well yeah we're walking over the second amendment and we're going to walk over number one and number four, because, as you say,
country, with as many guns as we have, which is at least one per person. You know the guns are out
there already. What something like eighty percent of gun crime is committed with illegally obtained guns. It's easy to get your hands on a gun illegally. If you want to there are things:
we could do policy wise to cut down on the availability of you illegally acquired guns. But the point is that you know we have. We have a situation where a week,
have a group of people that wants to end this as a social ill, come what may but they're, not willing to actually talk about what it would take to end it, because they know that if they talked about what it would take to end, it would immediately become politically radioactive. Look final thing
Do you have any read on where Trump is on this, because if I read Mitch Mcconnell's words,
I can imagine that he's essentially saying yes, there will be a debate on this. The things that will be discussed will be and we'll see where Michael Kisses and and what the Senate is is all over the place I mean Trump. The New York Times reported last night had been to
Chris Murphy Trump keeps insisting makan this with him on background checks, and then Mccall's office says that it's not Trump has ostensibly packed. Some sort of
flag, Flaglor provision, but then made a joke yesterday about Chris Cuomo that
the mind it. He told Diane
Einstein a year and a half ago in a meeting that he would be willing to entertain
another assault, weapons ban and then, by the time that any action could be
taken on anything. He said, he'd veto the whole
So I would do you have any idea where he is, or is this just typical fascination, I think part of its vast,
and I think part of it is that even within his own family, he has wildly divergent views on this particular issue,
more than on most other issues. You know he has his two sons are ardently
Arden hunters and firearm owners their the gun enthusiasts. And then
far as we know, his daughter and son in law who actually work in the White House, are on the side of of increasing restriction regulations. So I eat trump.
Probably pretty close to a lot of Americans wear when there's a horrible event. He
as we need to do something and then, as things bogged down into the actual process of doing things, he either loses interest or
things to question the efficacy of the the the proposals or begins to wonder whether or not they're or begins to see the trade offs that that an application proposal would have and gets uncomfortable with it. And so inertia takes over
Okay, well, my next question was going to be whether we
see action when the Senate returns, but you
in your own way, on set that my view is that we will not. Although there is a slim chance that there will be some federal funding for state level Red flag Lewis, but even that I think, might well be rejected in pop by the democratic view
it is not enough. It's time now to look at our edits, picks, Michael. What is yours my pick,
Is Christopher, Caldwell's piece
the recent issue of national Review on Africa
migration and Europe and the politics of Europe,
regarding this, and and basically the the the population trends.
Going to inform migration from Africa into Europe over the next few decades, as for call, was been way ahead of the curve,
on this issue and on european politics generally. He is the I think, best american writer working today and I'm glad that
writing a national review. More now, David French Watch, your editors, big.
I'm gonna go with like the story.
We had on prostitution. An
Maddie's piece about prostitution in in urging that it not be legalized, and it is an extremely poignant piece it
the story riding along in LA meeting.
Talking to some of these prostitutes who are out on the street
very well written absolute
It's just an outstanding read and it's a compelling argument and I can't recommend it enough. Look.
Jonathan lesser has a new piece on nuclear power. Some of the promise of nuclear power given state level renewable
the requirements and also some of the political challenges that it's faced. I think it's informative, but also an effective piece of of advocacy writing as well. Hi will. My pick is Alexander the scientists on Lawrence Tribes. Bizarre assertion that the reason white supremacists are pro life is that, while you don't actually have to get to the because, because they're not the fact of the matter is white, supremacists tend to be in favor of a
ocean because it gets rid of in the words of Ruth Basic inspect populations. We don't want more of a and also that, because they don't want to contribute to what they still missing the stupidly c s replacement Alexander goes through this argument and points out that tribe has it.
Completely backwards, that you would see far more minority babies born in the United States if abortion were illegal or discouraged stained, not not fear
Can't wait for a time announced that
let's by Laurence Tribe, I have to say he obviously had a great reputation at one point. It looked as if he made.
Put on the Supreme Court. He wrote one of these seminal textbooks on constant
hello all there. As an advocate of the second amendment, I am and not a great fan of at least until two thousand, when he concedes he was wrong about the second moments meeting anyway. He seems to have blown it off a threat to his his right,
station is not where it once was his family members. What's interesting about that,
and, what's interesting about that, is he tweet? I'm sorry. He tweets like a lot of these professors, talk in the classroom, and so you
tiny getting a window when you read the Lawrence tribe, twitter feed
to how the more politically radical professors often interact with their students and interact in the university community, not all of them, of course,
maybe not even certainly not even most of them, but when I read
I see Laurence Tribe's twitter feed. I think
he's giving he's giving Americans a window into some anti how radical faculty interacts, even though he does not have and did not have until recently reputation. For radicals, I mean I tried the
does now tribes. Brain is always been about:
making patterns and associations, and that's part of what made him such an exciting thinker to read. Even when you didn't agree with him- and I think that tendency towards Free Association is, is yielding some of these more bizarre and conspiratorial ideas. Absolutely one last time for our light items,
Michael, you are becoming a malt, don't know
I know sooner. What's your lies I to Michael,
last week I was on vacation in the New Jersey, Beach town, that my family, my wife's family, goes to every year. It's like a big, extended Romney's,
while family vacation, without Romney style, money
year. Now it's becoming a thing where myself and
brother in law and his cousins rent,
a moped or several mopeds and
terrorizing the streets of the city with them
all is thirty five miles per hour that you can get out of them.
I just have to say that writing these under powered mopeds in these you know
beautiful and sometimes very quiet beach towns on the barrier islands of New Jersey
actually doing it in the middle of the night after your kids go to sleep is just about the most zen like thing that can be done. Just this
this smell of sea salt, air
passing over these tiny bridges and paying dollar twenty five tolls in cash to real,
human beings at one in the morning,
No, it's just just perfect. It
we need a movie the secret life of Michael. No, I mean it's just fabulous
it really is, and then you know like you have to justify going to the next town. So you
but the Wawa and get a like a cookie and moped diaries. Yeah. It's great,
that is, that is also something you have in common with Mitt Romney Michael, is love of Wawa hello, really
yeah. Absolutely and what's your view of Luke Dog is the favorite meat,
Lou keeping reading the Amtrak magazine. So I spend a lot of time on the train and Amtrak produces what may be the finest american publication, and the irony is that
not subscribe to it, I'm other than national review, of course, but
Call the national and it has great photo essays, fantastic interviews, and it's just it's. It's really a wonderful publication.
And so anybody riding the Amtrak if they don't have a copy in your seat back, go ask the conductor for one, because you won't be disappointed.
So both of your favorite magazines have national. In the title.
And yet I didn't attend the National conservatism conference. How odd
David. You been engaged in the travails of Antonio Brown,
Yes, this is for those listeners who do
pay attention to NFL football. This is a
crazy story in two two crazy stories:
somewhat intertwined but involving the same person one first ever practices missed because of an extreme frostbite injury,
he went into a cryo chamber without adequately protecting his feet and he got extreme frostbite on his feet. That is something I didn't know was possible in
Oakland, California, but there you have it and then he's
threatening to retire and less. He can wear the helmet of his choice and so apparently the nfl
let's requiring that all play
wear a helmet? That's at least you know
certified or licensed in the last ten years or so his helm
It's too old. He tried to sneak it back on to the practice field, apparently with a homemade paint job to make it look like the new elements and then he's taken to Twitter to try to, for.
Find the similar make and model of his old helmet
somewhere out in the ether an it's a crazy
the story. I mean this is a super talented super, talented, a world class athlete who is suffering from extreme frostbite and antique
waited helmet at the same time and it's just
It's a crazy story by have been watching the
Yankees play the Orioles. I've been watching.
Yankees play the Orioles in Baltimore
and I've been watching the Yankees play the Orioles in New York and one thing is common to both locations and that is Glaber Torres
hitting home run off to home, run off to home. Run you go on the Wikipedia page for laboratories. You will see the second line says laboratories is.
So the owner of the Baltimore Orioles he is in
in fact, one home run away. There's a final game of the season
against the Orioles tonight, from a record set by Lou Gehrig, who has,
fourteen home runs against Cleveland in one season. That was in one thousand nine hundred and thirty six. So that should give you some indication of how remarkable this has been, but perhaps the most entertaining part of it other than. Of course, the homeruns themselves has been the reaction of the Orioles announcer Gary Thorne,
who has progressively lost his mind and is now in on the joke
earlier in the season when Torres hit the second
I'm running, a single game, Gary Thorne, said get off the,
will do whatever you have to beat him up
and now there is just a sigh, an a chuckle and one imagines the sound of a hand reaching for a whiskey glass. In fact, the
you New York Yankees in ounces of taken to rushing into the next door booth whenever laboratories hits a home run to torment Gary Thorne. If you like baseball watch this evening, you may well see the record run being head and the requisite reaction from Gary Thorne. Well, that is all we have time for this week. Thank you to David friends, thank you to Michael Brown and it thank you to
Thompson- I am Charles Cook filling in for Rich Lowry. We have been the to and we will see you next week.
Transcript generated on 2019-11-07.