136 episodes

Blunt truth and dark humor for a world in chaos. A Daily Beast podcast hosted by Rick Wilson and Molly Jong-Fast. Tune in every Tuesday and Friday

The New Abnorma‪l‬ The Daily Beast

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Blunt truth and dark humor for a world in chaos. A Daily Beast podcast hosted by Rick Wilson and Molly Jong-Fast. Tune in every Tuesday and Friday

    Mary Trump: Here’s How We Send Donald to Jail

    Mary Trump: Here’s How We Send Donald to Jail

    The Manhattan District Attorney’s office finally got its hands on Donald Trump’s taxes and it’s only a matter of time before it becomes clear why he spent so much time trying to keep them hidden away. In this episode of The New Abnormal, Mary Trump joins as Molly Jong-Fast’s co-host to talk about the development, a topic that she knows a lot about. (Quick recap: She helped with the New York TImes’ investigation into Trump taxes.) But these taxes are different than the taxes Mary had been involved with, she says. “The taxes I gave them are old and from my grandfather's company. So I think [the new taxes] will be really helpful in establishing patterns where such patterns actually exist,” she explains. But there’s one problem. She doesn’t think Trump is really sweating it down in Mar-a-Lago, mainly because he’s gotten away with so much shit for so long. What makes this time any different? “If he goes down because of his taxes, Al Capone style, I'm all for it,” she says. “And if it's bad enough, which it's going to be, I think his ability to stay out of jail decreases significantly.” It’s not impossible, and there is one thing she says we can keep doing to make it happen. Then! there’s still the Republicans’ MAGA Problem. “It's almost like they have Stockholm syndrome [from Trump] that they gave to themselves,” Molly says, and Mary piles on: “They are an anti-democratic party and they will do anything, including embracing counter-majoritarian tactics, to maintain their power, no matter how illegitimately.” Even if it goes against their voters’ own interest, or well-being. (“Self-interest in the name of being superior,” says Mary.) Then! Rep. Sylvia Rodriguez (D-TX) joins Molly, producer Jesse Cannon and Daily Beast congressional reporter Sam Brodey to share what the situation currently looks like in Texas, how AOC spent a few days visiting her and helping out and why running off to Cancun was never even a thought in her mind—but recruiting Sen. Ted Cruz to volunteer at the food bank with her is. (“His neighborhood is slightly different than mine, and they have a lot of access to resources and it would be helpful.”) Plus, Rep. Val Dennings (D-FL) shares what being in the Capitol during the riots was like from a former law enforcement officer perspective and faces Molly’s very blunt question. Is she going to run for Senate?


    If you haven't heard, every single week The New Abnormal does a special bonus episode for Beast Inside, the Daily Beast’s membership program. where Sometimes we interview Senators like Cory Booker or the folks who explain our world in media like Jim Acosta or Soledad O’Brien. Sometimes we just have fun and talk to our favorite comedians and actors like Busy Phillips or Billy Eichner and sometimes its just us discussing the fuckery. You can get all of our episodes in your favorite podcast app of choice by becoming a Beast Inside member where you’ll support The Beast’s fearless journalism. Plus! You’ll also get full access to podcasts and articles. To become a member head to newabnormal.thedailybeast.com
     
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    • 57 min
    Blaire Erskine Exposes MAGA Insanit‪y‬

    Blaire Erskine Exposes MAGA Insanit‪y‬

    Atlanta-based comedian Blaire Erskine has blown up on Twitter over the past year with videos that not only roast Trump-loving conservatives but have also managed to fool a large number of prominent liberals. With characters like Tiffany Trump’s best friend, Marjorie Taylor Greene’s daughter and Ted Cruz’s spokesperson, Blaire rides a fine line between parody and reality and nails it every time. In this episode, we talk about how she honed this new craft during the pandemic, why 90% of the hate she gets comes from the left and a lot more.
    Twitter: @blaireerskine and @mattwilstein | Instagram: @blaire.erskine and @lastlaughpod
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    • 47 min
    Orange Is the New Orange: Trump Just Might Go to Jail

    Orange Is the New Orange: Trump Just Might Go to Jail

    For years, he’s gotten away with it. He lied. He cheated. He treated the government like a get-rich-quick-scheme and his most ardent followers like marks. 


    But now, Donald Trump could be facing serious criminal charges. The kind of charges that might lead to the former president going to jail. 


    The Supreme Court turned down Trump’s final appeal, and that means his accounting firm has to turn over his tax records and business documents to Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance ASAP. “Trump's lawyers will always come up with something, but there should be no reason why the grand jury won't get these financial records tomorrow,” Daily Beast legal analyst Jay Michaelson tells Molly Jong-Fast on the latest edition of The New Abnormal. 


    “Basically, what we all know happened was: Trump inflated the value of his business when it suited him, which is in order to get on the Forbes list [of richest people] and also to get loans from Deutsche Bank. And then he deflated his worth in order to save on taxes. So that's illegal... Not only is that insurance fraud and bank fraud, but that could affect those loans,” Michaelson adds.


    “Will he go to jail for, like, the rest of his life? Probably no. Is it possible that this would lead to criminal charges that would carry jail time? I would say that's pretty likely, and we could have a grand jury indictment fairly soon,” Michaelson continues. “A lot of these kinds of white collar crimes are settled, and they're settled out for large financial settlements. In this case, I'm not sure that Cy Vance is interested in settling with Donald Trump—even if Donald Trump could afford the fines that he would have to pay, which I don't think he can.”  


    To which Jong-Fast asks, “Can he borrow it from Jared?”


    “Unfortunately, he's not the financial wizard that he makes himself out to be.”


    “Wait. But Jared made $200 trillion.”


    “Don't fall for it. I mean, he's cute, but he's not really that smart.”


    Also on a packed episode of The New Abnormal: Tommy ‘Quentin Quarantino’ Marcus talks about all the cash he raised for Planned Parenthood—in Rush Limbaugh’s name. ‘How to Be a Liberal’ author Ian Dunt tells us how post-Trump Americans should see still-Boris Brits like him: “So what you should do is look at us like we were like someone you used to date that is still taking heroin. ‘I'm so glad I left that behind,’ because that's where we are.” 


    Finally, Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Sen. Mark Warner about how the fight against the far-right needs to be taken international. “We're going to do a deep dive on this anti-government extremism—and particularly some of these groups, their ties to right-wing groups in Europe, oftentimes amplified by Russia,” he says. “I know the threat is real. I know it's not just in this country.”


    If you haven't heard, every single week The New Abnormal does a special bonus episode for Beast Inside, the Daily Beast’s membership program. where Sometimes we interview Senators like Cory Booker or the folks who explain our world in media like Jim Acosta or Soledad O’Brien. Sometimes we just have fun and talk to our favorite comedians and actors like Busy Phillips or Billy Eichner and sometimes it's just Rick & Molly discussing the fuckery. You can get all of our episodes in your favorite podcast app of choice by becoming a Beast Inside member where you’ll support The Beast’s fearless journalism. Plus! You’ll also get full access to podcasts and articles. To become a member head to newabnormal.thedailybeast.com
     
    See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

    • 59 min
    TRAILER: Dem Impeachment Manager: Here’s Why We Didn’t Call Witnesses During Trump’s Trial

    TRAILER: Dem Impeachment Manager: Here’s Why We Didn’t Call Witnesses During Trump’s Trial

    We know how the story went: Trump was impeached for a second time. There is a trial. He is found not guilty because there not enough votes needed to make it happen, despite the majority of the Senate voting against the former president. Lots of people have questions in regards to this process. Namely, what the hell? But also, why didn’t the Democrats forgo their right to call witnesses? Rep. Joe Neguse (D-CA) told co-host Molly Jong-Fast his perspective on things in this member-only bonus episode of The New Abnormal. “Whether it's five witnesses or 5,000 witnesses, it would not have changed the ultimate outcome,” he says, echoing Rep. Jamie Raskin has said on the issue. They did consider witnesses nonetheless, says Neguse, but to him, it came down to timing. “It was clear that other witnesses whom had been speculated about in the media in terms of potential witnesses that we could have heard from were unlikely to voluntarily comply and voluntarily appear, which meant we would have to issue subpoenas. And they could very well contest those subpoenas in court,” he says. Ultimately, he feels the point was made, and everyone knows Trump was responsible: “That is something that obviously was crystal clear by virtue of the evidence that we showed during the course of the trial, which of course the American public had a chance to see as well.” He shares his own experience during the Capitol insurrection, including the moment he realized things had gotten bad. “I texted my wife and told her that, uh, I loved her and our daughter,” he says. Plus! He and Molly discuss what plans the House has to make sure this doesn’t happen again and that people in power are held responsible. And is Medicare for All and federal legalization of marijuana on the horizon?
     
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    • 3 min
    The Vaccines Are More Effective Than You Think

    The Vaccines Are More Effective Than You Think

    Andy Slavitt was shocked when he joined the Biden administration. 


    “I was under the impression coming in—as many, many Americans were—that there were big stockpiles of vaccines waiting to go out the door that were produced over the course of the last year. It's been much, much less the case than I think we'd been led to believe,” the White House senior adviser for COVID response tells Molly Jong-Fast and Jesse Cannon on the latest episode of The New Abnormal. 


    It was one of a host of shortcomings the Biden team found, Slavitt says: “Not enough vaccines, not enough vaccinators, not enough places for people to get vaccines.”


    “So when we got here January 20th, one of the things we learned as an only 46% of the vaccines delivered to states had actually made its way into people's arms. Now you'd never expect that to be 100%. But 46%? It was low,” Slavitt adds.


    There’s now a plan in place to purchase as many as 600 million doses, hopefully enough for every American. States are now using 75% of their doses, a big step up from a few weeks ago. And there may be another vaccine around the corner, from Johnson and Johnson. “I would love to tell you, we weren't going to be starting with a huge stockpile of Johnson & Johnson vaccine. The truth is we're starting with a small number and we've got to build it as quickly as possible.”


    Meanwhile, the virus is evolving. More contagious, deadlier variants are spreading, fast. But even here, Slavitt sees some signs for hope. “All of the vaccines work very well against the English B117 variant. So that's good. The South African variant—and there's another one that looks like the South African, that's the Brazilian variant—that one it's interesting. There is a degradation of performance of the vaccines against the South African variant. However, that degradation is thankfully still above the scientific threshold for effectiveness,” Slavitt says. “It still generates antibodies. It doesn't generate as many. But it’s good.”


    The vaccines may even be a bit better than advertised, Slavitt says. “You know, we may have done a little bit of a disservice to ourselves when with the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines, we talked about the end point as including [serve] and mild [COVID-19 cases], because we really don't care as much about the mild. And so we get very fixated on the fact that they're 95% percent effective against both, right. And we probably should have stepped back and said, ‘you know what, let’s just measure it against more severe symptoms.’ In which case, the Johnson and Johnson does very close to comparable.” And all of the vaccines seem to stop severe cases—from all the variants. 


    There are even some indications that “viral load”—the amount of virus a person carries—“is decreased for people who are vaccinated,” indicating “that these vaccines not only reduce disease and save lives, but these vaccines also will reduce the ability of people to affect one another, which if it holds up, will be terrific news.”


    But only if the vaccine gets into the arms of the people who need it the most, Slavitt cautions. 


    “It's not just how many vaccines are being administered, but also how equitable equitably they're being distributed. Because look, we all know there are half the population or more would crawl over broken glass to get the vaccine, right. But the problem is they’re crawling over other people,” he adds. “You know, they're getting online and going into communities, maybe neighborhoods they've never visited or visited in a long time, but [where] we put vaccines that are really hard hit by the virus. People are coming in, refreshing their browser, and going in and getting these appointments. It's really important that we not just focus on how many people we vaccinated, but that we do it as equitably as possible.

    • 48 min
    Mitch McConnell Proved He’s Even More Craven Than Ted Cruz

    Mitch McConnell Proved He’s Even More Craven Than Ted Cruz

    That impeachment vote in the Senate was tough to swallow, with 43 Republicans voting to acquit Trump for the insurrection done in his name, by people waving his flag. Even more gag-worthy was Sen. Mitch McConnell’s speech afterwards—blaming Trump for the wannabe coup minutes after voting to let him off.


    “The most galling statements for me were the ones from the Mitch McConnells and the Rob Portmans and the Marco Rubios after they voted to acquit Donald Trump, basically saying, ‘Well, you know, the whole coup thing was kind of bad and I wish you wouldn't have tried to do it. And I wish a cop wouldn't have died. And you know, he made some bad choices. But you know, I had no choice,’” Bulwark writer-at-large Tim Miller tells Molly Jong-Fast on the latest edition of The New Abnormal. 


    But of course, McConnell and his crew did have a choice. The House impeached Trump on January 13. The Senate decided to take a vacation, rather than take up the case right away. And once the vacations were over and Biden was sworn in, they decided against all reason and precedent that an ex-official like Trump somehow couldn’t be convicted.


    “For Mitch McConnell to be like, ‘I really wanted to do it, but…’ Bullshit. The only reason that you didn't do it was because of you. It is galling. Give me a hundred [militia-friendly Rep.] Lauren Boberts—who are too stupid to know that it was bad, or Ted Cruzes—who are sociopaths—over Mitch McConnell, trying to try to tell me that he has some feelings about this. Give me a break,” Tim says.


    Also on the show: Rep. Andy Kim tells Molly what it’s like to be the rare Democrat representing a Trumpy district. Molly gives an update on the Lincoln Project situation. And Tim keeps going in on McConnell.


    “I know that many listeners will think that Mitch McConnell doesn't have a soul at all, and that's understandable. But he actually does have a flicker of one. He does love the Senate, you know,” Tim adds. “And he wanted to be able to emote about that in his weird Mitch McConnell way. And that's what actually makes it worse… Don't try to memorialize to me. You had an opportunity to do something you didn't. You made the craven move. You sided with the insurrectionists.”  


    Miller says, “Basically what we saw on Saturday was a Republican party that had an opportunity—after five years of being craven cowards that rolled over for Donald Trump at every chance—finally was able to put the stake in his heart and say, ‘We don't need you anymore. We don't tolerate this. And we want to move forward, even it takes a little pain.’ And 43 of them said... ‘nah.’”


    If you haven't heard, every single week The New Abnormal does a special bonus episode for Beast Inside, the Daily Beast’s membership program. where Sometimes we interview Senators like Cory Booker or the folks who explain our world in media like Jim Acosta or Soledad O’Brien. Sometimes we just have fun and talk to our favorite comedians and actors like Busy Phillips or Billy Eichner and sometimes it's just discussing the fuckery. You can get all of our episodes in your favorite podcast app of choice by becoming a Beast Inside member where you’ll support The Beast’s fearless journalism. Plus! You’ll also get full access to podcasts and articles. To become a member head to newabnormal.thedailybeast.com
     
    See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

    • 44 min

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