102 episodes

The Weekly List is a podcast hosted by Amy Siskind, author of The List. It supplements the popular Weekly List on our website, www.theweeklylist.org, which tracks the ever changing new normals of American politics. The podcast gives greater context to the "not normal" news items from the previous week, and will highlight a few stories and changing norms from the Trump regime that you may have missed.

The Weekly List Amy Siskind

    • News

The Weekly List is a podcast hosted by Amy Siskind, author of The List. It supplements the popular Weekly List on our website, www.theweeklylist.org, which tracks the ever changing new normals of American politics. The podcast gives greater context to the "not normal" news items from the previous week, and will highlight a few stories and changing norms from the Trump regime that you may have missed.

    Week 184 - Transition to Greatness

    Week 184 - Transition to Greatness

    This week, Trump fully transitioned from leader  to salesman, leaving the states to fend for themselves, while he  promoted a “transition to greatness.” After a week when two White House  employees tested positive for the coronavirus, Trump made the remarkable  claim he has been taking hydroxychloroquine prophylactically — leading  public health experts to sound the alarms to American citizens not to  follow Trump’s lead. Days later, the largest study yet on the drug’s  efficacy to date found no benefit, but severe cardiac risks for Covid-19  patients.

    This week, Trump continued campaign stops at  battleground states, visiting a Ford Motor plant in Michigan that had  been reconfigured to manufacture ventilators. Despite requests from the  company and demands by the state’s attorney general to abide by  restrictions requiring a face mask, Trump refused, later saying, “I  didn’t want to give the press the pleasure of seeing it.”

    Trump also battled with Michigan’s secretary of  state (notably Michigan’s governors, SoS, and AG are all women), and  with Nevada, over those states offering voters the option to vote by  mail given the pandemic. Without offering any evidence or proof, Trump  made accusations of voter fraud and threatened both states with  withholding federal funding — something he cannot do. Days later he  commanded houses of worship to reopen immediately as “essential,” and  similarly threatened governors not to get in the way — another power he  does not have.

    As the week came to an end, and the death toll  neared 100,000 Americans in less than three months, Trump started  Memorial Day weekend by golfing at one of his clubs.

    Read the full list here: https://theweeklylist.org/weekly-list/week-184/

    • 1 hr 15 min
    Week 183 - Obamagate

    Week 183 - Obamagate

    This week Trump tried out a new, more positive  approach as the death toll passed 80,000 and more than 36 million  Americans were unemployed, claiming, “We have met the moment and we have  prevailed.” Trump bragged the U.S. leads the world in testing, then  later seemed to indicate testing was not important, and if we didn’t  test so much, we wouldn’t have so many cases — leading an NYT health and science reporter to say of Trump, “This is not somebody whose grasp of the science is even third-grade-level.”

    Contrary to Trump’s upbeat assessment, this week  Dr. Anthony Fauci and CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield gave somber  testimony before the Senate, warning of dire consequences of reopening  too soon. Whistleblower Dr. David Bright warned the House in testimony,  “Without better planning, 2020 could be the darkest winter in modern  history.”

    This week Trump turned to an old strategy of  blaming former President Barack Obama and accusing him of  “Obamagate” — although it was unclear what this was, and Trump never  clarified. Nonetheless, Fox News and the conservative media compliantly  spent the week on this shiny coin, turning coverage away from the  growing death toll, and grim economic news. Health experts pressured the  FDA to issue a warning after a growing body of data showed  hydroxychloroquine, the drug touted by Trump and his cohorts, could be  deadly.

    The week closed with an emboldened Trump firing  another inspector general, the fourth in recent weeks, as he continued  to retaliate and surround himself by incompetent loyalists — sadly, with  little pushback and no consequences.

    Read the full list here: https://theweeklylist.org/weekly-list/week-183/

    • 1 hr 11 min
    Weeek 182 - Outbreak in the West Wing

    Weeek 182 - Outbreak in the West Wing

    This week, despite a White House model showing  ending social distancing would result in a spike of 200,000 new cases a  day and deaths of 3,000 a day, the majority of the country started to  reopen. Public health officials warned of dire consequences, with one  likening the premature reopening to genocide, but Trump triumphantly  declared Phase 1 was over, and now the American people would need to be  “warriors” and return to work — a possible death sentence for many of  the vulnerable.

    Trump was back out on the campaign trail,  visiting a factory in swing state Arizona, where his campaign music  played in the background, and Trump continued his strange bravado of not  wearing a face mask. Within days, it was discovered that two White  House employees in direct contact with Trump and Vice President Mike  Pence had tested positive, as had 11 members of the Secret Service, yet  Trump continued to flout advice from experts on wearing a mask and  social distancing.

    This week, the country lost 3.2 million  additional jobs, and the April unemployment rate came in at 14.7%, the  highest since the Great Depression. It became clear this week, as Trump  said the White House coronavirus task force would be shuttered, and then  under pressure, instead reconfigured its purpose to planning the  reopening, that indeed, Trump and the federal government did not  actually have a plan of what to do, or have interest in developing one.  Instead, Trump was willing the roll the dice with American lives in  hopes of reopening in time to spur the economy ahead of the November  election. As one op-ed writer noted, while numerous countries with mass  testing and contract tracing were returning to normal, Trump had  essentially quit.

    Read the full list here: https://theweeklylist.org/weekly-list/week-182/

    • 1 hr 18 min
    Week 181 - Vietnam War

    Week 181 - Vietnam War

    This week, with his approval dropping and  Republicans alarmed about losing the Senate in 2020, Trump shifted away  from holding daily task force briefings. Instead, he and his regime  sought to portray a great economic recovery coming soon, with the worst  of the pandemic behind us. Trump told reporters, “I see the light at the  end of the tunnel very strongly,” and Jared Kushner told “Fox &  Friends” that the regime’s handling of the crisis was “a great success  story.”

    While Trump tried to shift the narrative, the  death toll passed another milestone — deaths during the Vietnam  War — and ended the week with more than 65,000 Americans dead. Trump  sought to move the goal posts again for what he could call a “good job,”  from 60,000 on April 10, to 70,000 early this week, then by the end of  the week to hopefully less than 100,000. As Trump continued to agitate  for states to reopen and to back protestors, a patchwork of reopenings  played out, as Dr. Anthony Fauci warned that opening too soon would “get  us right back in the same boat that we were a few weeks ago.”

    This week Trump and his regime focused on  shifting blame to China as part of Trump’s re-election strategy. Trump  contradicted U.S. intelligence claiming, without evidence, that Covid-19  originated in a lab in Wuhan. Others in his regime and Republican  lawmakers turned up the rhetoric and threats of retaliation.

    Read the full list here: https://theweeklylist.org/weekly-list/week-181/

    • 1 hr 11 min
    Week 180 - Global Epicenter

    Week 180 - Global Epicenter

    This week opened and closed with Russia: opening  with a bipartisan Senate Intelligence Committee report reaffirming U.S.  intelligence’s January 2017 conclusion that Russia interfered to help  install Trump, and closing with Trump surreptitiously signing an unusual  joint statement with Russian President Vladimir Putin amid the  pandemic.

    This week the country passed the tragic  milestone of 50,000 deaths from the coronavirus — more than 1 in 4  deaths worldwide. The country is losing 10,000 Americans every four days  now, and as New York sees its cases and deaths ebb, several other  states surged. Trump flipped from encouraging states to reopen, to  pulling back, to encouraging again. Polling showed the vast majority of  Americans want to stay home, despite the optics of protest rallies, some  fomented by far-right groups or groups with ties to Trump himself. He  and his regime have yet to come up with a plan or strategy to control  the pandemic, as the U.S. continues to be the global epicenter. Data  this week revealed the virus was already in major U.S. cities in  February, quietly spreading undetected to thousands of Americans.

    After a major study cautioned against the use of  hydroxychloroquine, Trump later in the week made a remarkable  suggestion to try ultraviolet light or disinfectant. Following the  uproar thereafter, Trump finally backed off from his daily task force  briefings, which had morphed into campaign rallies, some two hours long.  Republicans, Trump aides, and campaign staffers fretted the briefings  and his lack of response to the outbreak have hurt him in 2020 polling  in battleground states, and threaten to drag down not only Trump in  2020, but also Republicans could lose the Senate.

    Read the full list here: https://theweeklylist.org/weekly-list/week-180/

    • 1 hr 28 min
    Week 179 - Absolute Authority

    Week 179 - Absolute Authority

    This week Trump threw a series of shiny coins to  distract from the growing death toll and his mishandling of the  coronavirus response. On Monday, he proclaimed he, not the governors,  had “absolute authority” to reopen the country; on Tuesday he halted  funding to the World Health Organization in the midst of a global  pandemic; on Wednesday he threatened to adjourn Congress to make recess  appointments; on Thursday he announced his plan to reopen the economy to  much ballyhoo and which wasn’t actually a plan; and on Friday he  encouraged protestors with tweets to “liberate” states from lockdown  orders. Each item was remarkable on its own, and the media spent their  days dissecting the legality of the pronouncements and whether they were  presidential, as the death toll surpassed live lost in three years of  the Korean War and kept going.

    As the week came to an end, the United States  accounted for nearly 1 in 3 worldwide coronavirus cases, and nearly 1 in  4 deaths. The U.S. is just 4.2% of the world’s population. It became  increasingly clear that months of inaction, lies, and disinformation had  turned a country which up through the Obama administration had been a  leader in preventing global pandemics, into the epicenter of infection,  death, and dysfunctionality.

    As the U.S.counted 2,000 or more deaths per day,  with no slow down in sight, Trump, Fox News, and conservative  commentators minimized the import with various whataboutisms, and  not-so-subtly pushed for the country to reopen. Not that the country was  ready — it was definitely not according to public health experts.  Rather Trump was singularly focused on getting re-elected, which  required an economic upturn, as 22 million Americans filed for  unemployment — even if that meant inciting insurrection.

    Read the full list here: https://theweeklylist.org/weekly-list/week-179/

    • 1 hr 7 min

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