The Owner's Manual of This Union

  
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After reflecting on the best and worst parts of our country’s founding document for Constitution Day, David and Sarah dive into Attorney General Bill Barr’s Constitution Day address at Hillsdale College yesterday, in which he defended political judgment in bringing prosecutions and railed against federal prosecutors’ propensity to punish as much misconduct as possible. Our podcast hosts agree with Barr that there is an effort by federal prosecutors to expand federal criminal law to an unreasonable degree. But David reminds us that federal prosecutors are not just the instrument to be wielded by the attorney general, they are charged with carrying out laws that have been passed by Congress. “Perhaps we have gone too far with civil service protections,” Sarah explains, “and that we are unable to remove anyone who is part of the permanent federal bureaucracy even for misconduct at this point really.”

Most of the news headlines referencing Barr’s speech highlighted his comparison between career federal prosecutors and preschoolers, as well as his rather distasteful comparison between coronavirus lockdowns and … slavery. “You know, putting a national lockdown, stay at home orders, is like house arrest,” Barr said yesterday in response to a question about the constitutionality of stay at home orders. “Other than slavery, which was a different kind of restraint, this is the greatest intrusion on civil liberties in American history.” Sarah suggests a new legal truism on today’s episode: If you compare anything to slavery, you’ve already lost your argument.

Stick around for a deep dive into Lochner v. New York its relation to coronavirus lockdown court order, as well as a discussion about whether Trump can win enough Electoral College votes without winning Florida. Sarah and David wrap up today’s episode with a reflection on their biggest career failures.

Show Notes:

-Bill Barr’s speech at Hillsdale College, Three Felonies A Day: How the Feds Target the Innocent by Harvey Silverglate, Yates v. United States, Lochner v. New York, Morrison v. Olson, and William S. Stickman IV’s Pennsylvania District Court decision, 30-day trial at The Dispatch.

Tell Somebody in Your Town

  
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For the month of August, the Biden campaign outraised the Trump campaign by a whopping $150 million. (Biden raked in $360 million last month compared to Trump’s $210 million). As stark as this fundraising difference may be, is there any reason to believe it will be meaningful in the long run?A lot of this money will go toward television ads at this point, but campaign money starts diminishing in value once people start voting by mail. In other words … now. Not to mention that the fundraising difference doesn’t matter so long as each candidate meets a certain threshold. On today’s campaign update episode, our podcast hosts discuss these fundraising efforts while dissecting Trump’s surprising lead with Hispanic voters as well as the usefulness of yard signs, door knocking, and phone banking to a campaign’s overall success. Rather than waste time putting up yard signs or trying to persuade voters to vote with ideologically charged Facebook posts, Sarah argues that the most important—and statistically effective—thing you can do to boost voter turnout is text your closest friends and remind them to vote. As David points out, “It fits in with the sort of general reality that we have a large amount of influence over a small amount of people and a small amount of influence over a large number of people.” Stick around for a discussion about the newest additions to Trump’s Supreme Court list—also known as Sarah’s close friends list—as well as David’s latest Sunday French Press newsletter on the use and abuse of critical race theory.

Show Notes:

-Sign up for a 30 day trial at The Dispatch here!

-“The Sweep: Swing States and Voter Registration Trends” by Sarah Isgur and “Sorry campaign managers: Lawn signs are only 98.3 percent useless” by Philip Bump in the Washington Post, and three polls showing Trump winning Hispanic voters in Florida, The Emerging Democratic Majority by John B. Judis and Ruy Teixeira.

-“The Most Tremendous Reelection Campaign in American History Ever” by Olivia Nuzzi in New York Magazine, the newest additions to Trump’s Supreme Court list, David’s latest French Press, “On the Use and Abuse of Critical Race Theory in American Christianity,” the New York Times’ 1619 Project, and “A pandemic, a motel without power and a potentially terrifying glimpse of Orlando’s future” in the Washington Post.

How to Commit Voter Fraud?

  
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Last week, President Trump encouraged North Carolina voters to test their state's election security. David and Sarah discuss how, exactly, someone commits voter fraud, and what voters need to know as we close in on this November's election. But that's not all: Sarah gives us the latest on the state of the race and how the Trump campaign lost its cash advantage. Plus, David has some thoughts on Tenet.

Show Notes:

-The New York Times on “How Trump's Billion-Dollar Campaign Lost Its Cash Advantage

-Sign up for Sarah's newsletter The Sweep

Time, Place and Manner

  
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There’s a bit of post-2016 election PTSD among American political strategists, where any slight uptick in Trump’s polling numbers is perceived as an emergency situation for the Biden campaign. But despite the almost constant news cycle turbulence in American politics that would have caused big swings in a normal presidential election, the polls have remained relatively stable over the past few months. Biden remains in a clear and comfortable lead over Trump on practically every policy issue except for the economy. Why? According to Sarah, “It’s because of the referendum effect, and it’s because of the wild partisanship moment we’re in right now.” How stable are these divisions that have emerged? Hyper-partisanship isn’t going anywhere as we approach the presidential election, and as David reminds us in today’s episode, “these identities are cementing at the state level as well.” After going deep into the weeds on the latest presidential polls, our podcast hosts delve into the temperamental differences between city life and suburbia, the president’s memorandum on combating lawlessness in America’s cities, and a primer on time, place, and manner restrictions on the First Amendment.

Show Notes:

-The Sweep: Midweek Mop-Up with Dave Kochel, Fox New polls in Arizona, North Carolina and Wisconsin, CNN poll, Suffolk University/USA Today poll.

-David’s forthcoming book Divided We Fall: America's Secession Threat and How to Restore Our Nation and Trump’s memorandum on “Combating Lawlessness In America’s Cities,” a very important city council meeting speech about boneless chicken wings, and a documentary on the dreaded man cold.

Satire Meet Reality

  
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Ever since its humble beginnings in March 2016, The Babylon Bee—a Christian, conservative version of The Onion—has been a godsend for Americans who have become worn out by news outlets that take themselves too seriously. From its theological inside jokes about the prosperity gospel to its long-standing feuds with Snopes and CNN, the Bee has made its mark in the world of satire. On today’s episode, David and Sarah are joined by the Babylon Bee’s editor-in-chief, Kyle Mann, who tells us about the challenges of satire writing in a cultural moment when it’s not always easy to determine fact from fiction. “There is an element where it’s not that our articles are too close to reality, it’s that reality is too close to satire,” Mann explains. “It’s what makes it so hard to write because you write something that you think is so goofy and over the top and then people believe it because reality is so crazy.” Listen to today’s episode for a conversation about C.S. Lewis’ best books, Kyle’s joke-writing process, and a tell-all about why Twitter’s decision to temporarily deplatform and demonetize the Babylon Bee was ironically “the best thing that could happen” to the team. Today’s episode would be incomplete without its requisite dose of legal nerdery. Tune in to hear David and Sarah discuss the never-ending saga with Michael Flynn, the McGahn case, and Sarah Palin’s defamation case against the New York Times.

Show Notes:

-Some of the Babylon Bee’s top headlines: “Nation's Cats Endorse Trump In Hopes Americans Will Go Back To Work And Leave Them Alone”, “Nation Shocked As Jerry Falwell Jr. Doesn't Turn Out To Be Man Of Upstanding Character,” “Lego Introduces New Sharper Bricks That Instantly Kill You When You Step On Them,” “Joel Osteen Sails Luxury Yacht Through Flooded Houston To Pass Out Copies Of 'Your Best Life Now,' ” “Inspiring: Celebrities Spell Out 'We're All In This Together' With Their Yachts.”

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