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Episode 12: Dan McLaughlin on Biden Press Coverage, Election Security and Baseball

Updated: 4 days ago



Dan McLaughlin on Biden Press Coverage

Dan McLaughlin joins Sam Stone and Chuck Warren on this week’s episode of Breaking Battlegrounds. Dan is a senior writer at National Review Online. He was formerly an attorney practicing securities and commercial litigation in New York City, a contributing editor of RedState, columnist at the Federalist and the New Ledger, a baseball blogger at BaseballCrank.com, BostonSportsGuy.com, the Providence Journal Online, and a contributor to the Command Post. His writings on politics, baseball, and law have appeared in numerous other newspapers, magazines, websites, and legal journals.


Sunshine Moment

11 Ways the Pandemic Has Changed Wedding Traditions Forever

There are positive effects that have come out of the experience of COVID. Couples say that they have a deeper appreciation of what is essential, especially with respect to how they celebrate with family and friends. For many, a new and fearless spirit has energized them to break with wedding traditions and transform the way they want to marry.


Full story: https://www.brides.com/ways-covid-19-pandemic-changed-weddings-5118315


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Podcast Transcripts:

Sam Stone: [00:00:10] Welcome to Breaking Battlegrounds, I'm your host, Sam Stone with me, Chuck Warren, also in the studio today, the irrepressible Kiley Kipper,


Chuck Warren: [00:00:19] Irrepressible indeed. Indeed.


Sam Stone: [00:00:21] And coming up on the line, someone I know, Chuck, you and I are excited to talk to. Dan McGlaughlin of the National Review is a senior columnist with them previously. He's practiced law for 23 years handling securities and class action defense and has previously written for Red State and has been blogging since 2000. All of that is fantastic. But there's something more important, he is a giant baseball fan,


Chuck Warren: [00:00:49] A baseball fan, we will touch upon that today, even though we're not sports radio talk show, we're going to talk about it because it's America's pastime.


Sam Stone: [00:00:56] It is America's pastime. It is a passion for you and I.


Chuck Warren: [00:00:59] Well, you're a communist. You don't like baseball.


Sam Stone: [00:01:01] Absolutely.


Chuck Warren: [00:01:02] Probably not smart.


Sam Stone: [00:01:03] No, that's right.


Chuck Warren: [00:01:04] So we're excited to have him on with that today.


Sam Stone: [00:01:06] I think that should be one of the questions on the employment agreement we do going forward. Right. Ladies, how do you feel about that?


Chuck Warren: [00:01:13] Well, it's an interesting thing. And I want to ask Dan this as we get them on to. Have you noticed most politicos are baseball nuts?


Sam Stone: [00:01:20] It's true.


Chuck Warren: [00:01:21] And I've always felt it has to do with the pace of the game, the numbers or some strategy involved.


Sam Stone: [00:01:27] I think the strategic elements of it appeals to our minds. So it looks like we have Dan on the line. I don't want to hold off too long and folks out there, if you're not following him on Twitter, you absolutely should be @baseballcrank. And with that, welcome, Dan McGlaughlin.


Dan McGlaughlin: [00:01:45] Glad to be here.


Chuck Warren: [00:01:46] Dan, thanks for having this is Chuck Warren. We want to start off with the two most important questions of this interview today. One, what teams do you foresee in this upcoming Major League Baseball season making the playoffs? And two, if you were commissioner for the day, what are the two rule changes you would make to enhance and improve the game of baseball?


Sam Stone: [00:02:06] Good ones?


Dan McGlaughlin: [00:02:07] Oh, well, I mean, the playoffs these days, you know, we need fifteen minutes to list all the teams that are going to be in there. right? But, as a Mets fan, I'm pretty upbeat and optimistic about where the Mets are. You know, I think they obviously they have to keep their pitching staff get to a point in the season when they've got the entire pitching rotation healthy at the same time. Which is always a challenge. You know, and I mean, clearly, the the Dodgers are going to continue to be a force to be reckoned with. The really interesting thing to me is, is going to be watching the Astros because obviously they, had some ups and downs last year and seeing where they end up turning out. So, I mean, in terms of rule changes, I mean, I'm very much a purist and a traditionalist. So I'm perfectly fine, for example, with, say, requiring relief pitchers to face three batters. I think that's actually a pro traditionalist movement. I'm not a fan of bringing the designated hitter into the National League, and I don't like the seventh inning double header thing. But at the same time, there's so few double headers. It doesn't matter that much. But the one that really offended me is this whole phantom runner on second base in extra innings. I think that's just wrong. It's the very nature of baseball.


Chuck Warren: [00:03:51] Well, and the bigger bases I heard that's one thing. Now, they think that's going to prevent injuries making the base bigger.


Sam Stone: [00:03:56] But some of this stuff they're trying in the minor leagues is wacky. I mean, limiting the number of times you can try to pick off to three. What happens after you've thrown two.


Dan McGlaughlin: [00:04:05] Well, and then and then, you know, then that's basically how are you going to hold the guy on at that point?


Sam Stone: [00:04:12] Yeah, I Think you're just handing him a stolen base.


Dan McGlaughlin: [00:04:15] Yeah. Which is I mean I guess if the it is true that one of the problems that the game has right now and this is kind of it's sort of a bit of a metaphor for a lot of the economy is these days, which is that the teams are acting in a completely rational way to pursue the best winning strategies. Right. Which is guys who take a ton of pitches, swing from the heels, strike out 200 times a year and hit a lot of home runs and hit for low batting averages. And that's a perfectly good way of building a winning team. But it's not as much fun to watch as guys putting the ball in play a lot. And, you know, and the chess game of guys stealing by base stealing is so low right now around the league. Yeah, yeah. So a rule change that encourages more base stealing in and of itself is not a bad thing. But I think the limiting the pick off throws is kind of, you know, at that point you're kind of cuffing the pitcher.


Chuck Warren: [00:05:17] Exactly. Well, let's get back to more of the topics of the day. You know, there's a great line in the movie. I'm sure you've seen Bull Durham when the manager throws all the bats in the shower and says, you know, baseball's a simple game. You throw the ball, you catch the ball, you hit the ball. I feel like this applies to reporters covering the Biden White House, now. They're not making a simple game anymore where the reporters and where they ask follow up questions. It's it seems out here in Middle America, that this is purely, you know, we're a cheerleading corps and we're going to do what we can to make you look good unless we're forced because there's tens of thousands of migrants trying to cross the border and people are seeing it on pictures. Would then we need to bring this up to you. But everything else we're going to try to cheerlead. Do you feel do you get that sense? I know you're in those circles. What are your feelings about how the D.C. press corps is handling the Biden administration?


Dan McGlaughlin: [00:06:11] Oh, absolutely. But I mean, in contrast to discussing the baseball playoffs, our our list of Biden press conferences that we can analyze is is quite short. Right? You know, we finally got the one and it was very obvious that, as he did during the campaign, that Biden was picking off a pretty selected list of reporters with prescreened questions.


Sam Stone: [00:06:34] And struggling with that.


Dan McGlaughlin: [00:06:36] Yeah, he was still kind of horrified, I think, by some of the questions, though, because, I mean, if you look at the way they were questioning about immigration and the filibuster and such, it was all almost all of the questions were basically saying to Biden, why aren't you moving further to the left, faster right? And even even Biden, I think, was kind of shocked by that question. He got this this one question from Yamiche Alcindor but you know, well well, aren't all of these people just coming to America because they've heard the word that Trump is gone and you're this great moral man who attracts and even Biden, I think, recognized that that was a trap, because the last thing he wants to be telling, you know, ordinary middle America voters is, hey, we've got all these people flooding to the poor just now because I'm the president. So I think even Biden realizes that that's not attack that is. But it's sort of amazing that you've got reporters up there saying, well, why not? You know, why aren't we why don't we make it easier for people to come here illegally, you know?


Sam Stone: [00:07:38] You know, Dan, as someone who's worked border races and worked border towns for a long time here, I think one of the traps, I think, is a huge trap. And I think one of the things they don't realize or maybe they do and this is why it makes them nervous, is sooner or later there's going to be video of some of these migrants being horrifically abused and or killed by the cartels that they're paying to to traffic them here, because these are these are not coming on their own. These are organized criminal operations to cross the border. You put your life at risk from those cartels if you try to cross the border without paying them off. So sooner or later, that video is going to happen because we know those things happen and videos are everywhere. That's a huge risk when you're talking about this sort of open borders policy.


Dan McGlaughlin: [00:08:26] Yeah, I mean, Biden. I mean, you know, another thing that I noticed yesterday, I mean, if you remember when Trump was talking during the campaign about about the coyotes, right. The the smugglers and people were jumping up and down about how like racist it is for Trump to use that word. Biden was using it yesterday. I mean, it's just that's how they're known. And, you know, in the people who are in the business. So, yeah, I mean, you know, I think sometimes, conservatives sometimes I think get too up in arms about, well, open borders means you're letting in like bad people, which is certainly true because if you don't control the border, you're going to let drug dealers and terrorists and various other sorts of people in. But but it's also a humanitarian problem when you have you know, you have innocent people, hardworking people trying to get into the country and they're getting abused. And so it really I mean, it does go both ways there. And, you know, look, it's hard not to be sympathetic.


Chuck Warren: [00:09:28] No, absolutely.


Dan McGlaughlin: [00:09:29] To people who want to come here, I mean, I think most of us probably are descended from people who were, you know, like poor or working class people who wanted to come to America for opportunity. But the reality is you can't blame it on everybody and you have to have some kind of orderly process for how you do it. And I think that. You know, it's one of those issues where I think there actually is an awful lot of middle of the road sentiment in the country and the Democrats just keep running away from that in a way that that is is, you know, they're in this echo chamber of people in the media and academia and Hollywood and everything saying, well, why don't we just open the borders completely? And I think they're, you know, they're causing some real danger there.


Chuck Warren: [00:10:17] You know, let's let's quickly transition here to you wrote a fantastic piece in National Review on election reforms. You know, Sam and I, you know, being involved in elections, feel that, you know, there's things that happen, but not at the magnitude that some of our conservative friends really, truly believe in their heart happened. I have lunch with an acquaintance the other day. And, you know, they thought I had gone just crazy, not believing the Dominion Machine's rigged. And I mean, just I mean, just looked at me like, you know, what is wrong with you? Are you on something? Basically, was her opinion, Sam and I, of the opinion that there's some reforms that need to happen. You know, but the bigger problem is, a, you know, the D.C. New York media probably need to start filing FEC reports of the contributions they're making to Democrat campaigns. And we think ballot harvesting is a real big problem. And the Republicans either have to really stop that or they got to start doing ballot harvesting and sells. There's nothing stopping us from doing it, but that's what they do year round.


Sam Stone: [00:11:17] Take take your pick. We just have to play by the same rules, the opposition does.


Chuck Warren: [00:11:20] But let's talk about your article. What are the three things that you and we'll go for a bit here, then go to the next segment on this. Well, let's our number one, what is one thing, if you were king for the day that you would immediately implement on election reform.


Dan McGlaughlin: [00:11:37] I would like to see, you know, I mean, one thing that actually I guess at the end of my piece, which is is I think would be really helpful, is to have much harder deadlines against both state election officials, whether they be legislatures, whether they be state executive officials or federal courts or certainly the Justice Department having really anybody changed the rules on an election either, you know, within 60 days before Election Day or after the election. Right. I mean, you're going to have lawsuits after the election saying, well, this law wasn't followed. That law wasn't followed, but you should not be still fighting, you know, a week before the election or a month after the election about what the rules should have been.


Sam Stone: [00:12:24] Dan I got to say, I thought the Supreme Court refusing to certify the Wisconsin and Pennsylvania case. And we'll get to that when we come back. But refusing to certify and hear those Wisconsin and Pennsylvania cases, not on Dominion, but on the changes to the law was a real travesty. And we'll talk about that more when we come back. Breaking Battlegrounds.


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Sam Stone: [00:13:46] Welcome back to Breaking Battlegrounds with your host Sam Stone and Chuck Warren on the line with us today, Dan McLaughlin of the National Review. Please follow him on Twitter @baseballcrank. Great Twitter name. When we went to break, we're talking about some of the elections changes that happened before this election. And I kind of made it made the point that the laws in Pennsylvania and in Wisconsin, which were changed without the authority of their state legislatures, I think the outcry over issues around the Dominion machine's perceived issues around the Dominion machines and all the other potential election fraud things that the Trump hammered on really obscured the fact that those were two very different things than those two cases which should have been heard by the Supreme Court. And I think it's critical that states take strong steps to reassert authority in elections.


Dan McGlaughlin: [00:14:45] Yeah, I agree with that completely. I think the court really missed an opportunity and look, ordinarily the court, a court doesn't like to get involved in elections disputes, which I understand. They say they still feel kind of burned by all the controversy over Bush versus Gore. And B. they don't generally like to get involved in cases that are sort of academic. Right. Where where their decisions are not going to change the outcome. But this is a chance for them to kind of work on the law in a way that is helpful.


Chuck Warren: [00:15:15] Well, what's happened by them doing that? They've done something conservatives should not want to have happen is that being courts deciding who wins? Right. And so they should have done this before the election. So the rules were clear because then you had conservatives on our side as you had Democrats on the side in the past go and say, well, the court will go rule on this. What I don't want is a conservative judges ruling on elections. I think it's a horrible trend to start. But you know, them not doing that obviously added confusion and fed the conspiracy minded folks on on the right.


Sam Stone: [00:15:52] It absolutely did. And then on top of that, I think you have a real issue here when you have in 2016, essentially two thirds of Democrats who think the election was stolen. Right. You know, by Russia or whatever in 2020 of two thirds of Republicans who think it's stolen, election integrity and transparency is really critical for the functioning of our country going forward, isn't it?


Dan McGlaughlin: [00:16:16] Yeah, it's just it is very dangerous to have and, you know, and it's always going to be that mistrust is going to be exploited inevitably by the worst people in the system. And, you know, it is it's just it's corrosive and it is exactly the sort of thing that you have courts of law, among other things, to eliminate, you know, to be able to say, look, everybody got their day in court and we you know, we ruled on what the rules are and one side won fair and square.


Chuck Warren: [00:16:45] Absolutely. Dan, let's talk about photo ID. So right now in various states, people who are getting the vaccine have to show picture I.D. to get the vaccine. We do everything in this world from a mortgage to opening a checking account to getting a car loan. You can't do this without a photo ID. What do you believe? And polling shows two thirds basically believe photo ID is required not only in person, but on absentee balloting. Right. Um, my question is what? Why do you think Democrats oppose the photo ID so much even when Republicans say we'll just pay for it? They don't we're not going to anybody give me a pocket. The state will provide this for free. What do you feel their gripe is about it?


Dan McGlaughlin: [00:17:32] I mean, there's a combination of things. I mean, I think part of it is just that they feel they can make hay on being able to have something they can say about voter suppression, you know, that they feel I mean, I think they they do they do tap into kind of the historic fears of, you know, black voters in particular who have an ancestral memory. In some cases that doesn't go back terribly far, a real and genuine voter suppression. And I think that that they're they're just they have this kind of knee jerk thing that says, well, you shouldn't make voting harder without considering the idea that, look, any kind of rule, any rule at all is going to impose, you know, some amount of burden on the voting process. But if the alternative is you have no rules, then you have no ability to secure the ballot whatsoever. And ultimately, you have no ability to protect the votes of people who do cast them from being swamped.


Sam Stone: [00:18:31] Mm hmm. Well, and when you combine that with automatic mail ballots, you're creating a hole in the system that can be very easily exploited and that I would not call voter fraud necessarily, but that I would definitely you know, it's dirty. I mean, the way they collect and gather ballots and harvest ballots is not a clean process.


Sam Stone: [00:18:59] And I think that hurts the perception of our elections.


Chuck Warren: [00:19:03] Absolutely. Dan, what's been the feedback, your National Review article for those of you you don't know, please look it up. It was a National Review two weeks ago. It's very thorough. It's very detailed. There are wonderful call to action items there that if you really are concerned about election integrity, these are good points to look at. What's the feedback been to your article since you said you posted it?


Dan McGlaughlin: [00:19:25] I mean, you know, I've gotten a fair amount of positive feedback there. Always going to be always going to be some critics of, you know, the article most most of whom did not read it, you know, which is it's just inevitably the way these things are. I mean, you know, I think we just my view is you just need to have have, you know, many of these are just kind of common sense solutions, and I don't think that we ought to be you know, we shouldn't put unreasonable burdens on people. For example, one of the suggestions that that has been made is, well, you know, you should have to get like your your signature on an absentee ballot notarized. Well, OK. I can see if you get it notarized. Maybe there should be some, you know, that should immunize your signature from challenge. Right. But, you know, we shouldn't be forcing people to go to a notary.


Sam Stone: [00:20:14] That's a step way too far.


Dan McGlaughlin: [00:20:16] Yeah. So I can see that as an alternative to some other things. But, you know, that's an example of putting an unreasonable burden on. And, you know, I mean, I think the Democrats do have the one legitimate, really legitimate grievances that I think Democrats have and that Republicans ought to be doing more to alleviate is is the fact that, you know, in a lot of particularly, you know, a lot of black neighborhoods around the country, there aren't enough polling places, there aren't enough voting machines at the polling places. And it seems to me that instead of extending like a month of early voting and doing all these things to to water down and to like help people bribe people who are standing on line and stuff like that with, you know, food and water and free drinks. And it's the simple solution is to try to reduce the lines.


Sam Stone: [00:21:06] Yeah. You know, Dan, We've talked about that before. You do that with more polling places. I mean, obviously, and you have to fund them and you have to staff them and you have to pay for that. But one thing I think that Chuck and I have talked about before is the destruction of all the civic institutions and the things that united us in this country, the fracturing of those institutions. And I got to tell you, I think going to the polls was one of those institutions that that actually has hurt us, Not having. That mail in balloting has taken away some of that civic unity. And we've talked about doing things like having a four day in person election where that Tuesday is a state holiday and you make public transportation free. You really make it into a celebrated event


Chuck Warren: [00:21:52] In early voting should be open all if you're going to early voting, keep it open to eight or nine. Why are they shutting these things down at five and six people work.


Sam Stone: [00:21:59] Yeah.


Dan McGlaughlin: [00:22:01] Yeah, and I mean, look, I'm not a fan of early voting, but I have far less objection to early voting, that is, you know, either either, like you said, a four day week, you know, Saturday through Tuesday or even a Wednesday through Tuesday if you want to make it a week. But you really should not be stretching it, you know, two weeks, a month of early voting, because, first of all, even just in terms of securing the voter registration list


Sam Stone: [00:22:26] And it changes the timelines on candidates. Dan, I'm sorry to have to cut you off. We're going to break Breaking Battlegrounds. We'll be right back.


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Sam Stone: [00:23:25] Welcome back to Breaking Battlegrounds, I'm your host, Sam Stone in the studio with me, my co-host Chuck Warren on the line, Dan McGlaughlin of the National Review. You can follow him @baseballcrank on Twitter. Be sure to check out his columns. One of the brightest people in news media today. And Chuck, when we went to break, you had a very good question.


Chuck Warren: [00:23:46] Yeah. Dan, tell us how a person who practiced securities law for 22 years became a columnist or a reporter. How did you make that step? What got you to do it?


Dan McGlaughlin: [00:24:01] Well, I guess, like boiling a frog is something to happen. But slowly, because I started, I did an op ed column in college and I started doing originally baseball blogging on the side back in 2000, you know, after I worked in the World Trade Center. So after, you know, terrorism blew up my office, I got more back into political writing and blogging and joined a group blog, Red State in 2004. I was there for 12 years, started doing, you know, National Review, brought me over to do as a contributing columnist in 2016. So I've been doing that, you know, I'd been doing that for for two decades by the time I finally got the opportunity to leave the law behind and come on board. And our full time actually, you know, in March of 2020. So just when the world, the whole world was moving to working from home involuntarily, I was taking a job that involves, you know, sitting at home and writing all day.


Chuck Warren: [00:25:06] Ok, so, you know, you're well-read, you're writing a lot. What are two issues you foresee that really concern you about America over the next two to four years, that things you feel like, look, we have got to focus on this like a laser. We have to change the course we're going on or we're just in real trouble. We're a couple of those things that come on top of your mind.


Dan McGlaughlin: [00:25:27] I mean, I think, as much as I'm concerned about spending and I think the government spending that we're seeing right now is orders of magnitude beyond anything we've we've seen in our lifetimes. But I would say the two biggest things that worry me right now, one are the attacks on our system and the other is our culture. So in terms of the system, you know, it's things across the board from attempts to change the election rules to trying to break down the filibuster in the Senate, to, you know, trying to pack the Senate with new states or pack the Supreme Court. All of these efforts, you know, coming from the Democrats principally to change the rules of the system in ways that, you know, kind of will be permanent. And, you know, the culture is a broader concern. And I think it's not just a matter of, you know, left wing culture war, although that's a big part of it. There is also what you're talking about, that decline in faith and trust in American institutions, decline in, you know, sense of civic responsibility and an understanding of, you know, what Ronald Reagan called an informed patriotism and understanding of our history.


Chuck Warren: [00:26:47] I feel like both sides are sort of talking our country into a banana republic status, which is really uncalled for. And that's something that concerns me quite a bit. I mean, you talk to people on either side, 2016, it was stolen. It was stolen fom Trump. 2020 was stolen for Biden. And, you know, and you listen to them. And if you're just someone who's not paying much attention, which is 80 percent of the voters, you're going to think, oh, my gosh, we're Venezuela.


Sam Stone: [00:27:12] Well, and I think politics are the religion now for big chunks of America. And when you frame political arguments on the basis of faith, you're essentially saying that the people who oppose you, it gives you ground to call them evil or to see them as evil and as other.


Dan McGlaughlin: [00:27:31] Yeah, I really think that that I mean, I think if you turned from the 1990s to the 2000s where a lot of the hinge for this is, it did happen gradually. But it just seemed to me in, you know, going back to my youth in like the 80s and 90s, that there was much less of that combination of two things, which is on the one hand, sort of conducting attacks not just on the politicians you disagreed with, but the people who voted for them. And simultaneously the rise in refusal to accept the legitimacy of election losses. Right.


Sam Stone: [00:28:10] You know, both sides have been guilty of that, Rather repeatedly.


Chuck Warren: [00:28:14] So, Dan, what is the next article you're working on? What is what is said to be looking forward to?


Dan McGlaughlin: [00:28:21] Yeah, I mean, I'm always where I'm looking at, you know, some to the 2024 Republican field, which is, of course, deep and complicated and all that much depends on what Trump does. And taking a look at some of the election law changes that have been coming through in Georgia.


Chuck Warren: [00:28:39] Fantastic.


Sam Stone: [00:28:41] You know, I think what happened in Georgia is going to happen in a lot of other states, in the red states, and then you're going to see kind of the opposite kick back from the blue states who will loosen the election laws.


Sam Stone: [00:28:56] Dan, thank you. We're still learning all this fun radio stuff. Thank you for being on with our training wheels here. We really appreciate you. Great conversation today. Breaking Battlegrounds is coming back in just a minute with our sunshine moment.


Chuck Warren: [00:29:10] Thank you, Dan.


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Sam Stone: [00:29:45] It's time for the sunshine moment on Breaking Battlegrounds. Today's ray of sunshine comes courtesy of the great, the one and only the Mackenzie Semerad.


Makenzie Semerad: [00:30:00] Thank you. Thank you. All right. So I want to talk about weddings in the era of covid, and this topic will become more relevant because this weekend we are celebrating a special couple.


Chuck Warren: [00:30:12] Yes, we are.


Makenzie Semerad: [00:30:13] In the past year, the reality of covid-19 has stepped in to influence weddings by postponing, modifying and changing the way wedding celebrations take place. I think we've all witnessed that firsthand. Some examples. There's way more at home, weddings, maybe backyard, extremely small, intimate weddings, lots of tented affairs and a huge rise of elopements. But there is a positive to it, though. Couples are saying that they have a deeper appreciation of what is essential, especially with respect to how they celebrate with family and friends. And for many, a new and fearless spirit has energized them to break with wedding traditions and transform the way they want to marry. And that's opposed to fairy tale or the celebrity weddings they see on TV or in magazines. So I think that's pretty special.


Sam Stone: [00:31:01] I think that's beautiful, quite frankly. I mean, I think there are sort of two types of weddings. There's that sort of fraternity sorority party wedding or, you know, celebrity wedding. And then there's the family part. And that's the really important part. And it's nice that people are focusing on.


Chuck Warren: [00:31:17] It would be interesting to do a study of how many people you invite to the wedding that you're still talking to or know exactly what's going on in your life within five years or 10. You see that a lot. You see it a lot here in Arizona. And I always see these big crowds and lots of friends. I'm like, OK, well, how many of you will talk to Barbara or Jenna and so forth? It's a different time. So Special Persons Weekend. My daughter is getting married due to covid. We've had two cancellations. So today will be three times the charm. But it's been interesting to watch my daughter as a person who believed in the fairy tale wedding. And it's you know, we've had this gorgeous weather in Phoenix all week till yesterday and today, today she's getting married and then he hits back to eighty again tomorrow. And, you know, we were talking about it. And, you know, last night as we were doing wedding rehearsal walk, I am sure she's doing OK. I'm quite grumpy about the weather. I think it's a load of crap. You know, it's not very good for tourism either. And I was asking her about it. She says, you know, I got my family, I'm getting married. I'm great. And I think that goes to what Mackenzie? I mean, she's absolutely giddy about it. The day is here. Those closest to her are here. You know, we talked about this where there's there are look, you can never you can never. The amount of death and carnage from covid have been horrible. But in regards to some things like this, it's caused people to take a step back and say what is really important today in long term.


Sam Stone: [00:32:54] Yeah, absolutely.


Chuck Warren: [00:32:54] And I hope people, you know, people have short memories, um, but I hope they keep that in mind somehow, whether they do it through keeping journals or, you know,


Sam Stone: [00:33:05] I you know, I got to tell you, though, Chuck, as a Northeasterner, if I'm being forced to wear a suit, I'm taking 65.


Chuck Warren: [00:33:11] Yes, yes, yes, yes.


Sam Stone: [00:33:13] What is this 80? You really need me sweating that much?


Chuck Warren: [00:33:16] Well, as the ladies in the studio can tell, based on my tan, your pale skin that, you know, one worships the sun and one does not. So that's not the case. Maybe. Sam, let's talk a little bit. I want to talk about the Biden press conference. But first, I want to talk about Mayor Gallego, our chief fearmonger in the state of Phoenix. I think her leadership through covid, if anybody who's paid attention to it, probably two or three, would just say, what a nightmare.


Sam Stone: [00:33:44] No, it's it's beyond a nightmare. I mean, the press here in particularly the Arizona Republic, which then leads the tone or tenor for all the other local media, they're in love with her and they have been for years and they excuse every fault. But her leadership under covid has been beyond awful. I mean, she has been driving the fear mongering since day one, claiming that by middle of summer, we were going to have 800 plus people a day in Phoenix alone, not just the state dying. She has continued to push fear at every single turn. Phoenix has had the most restrictions in all of Arizona, we kept kids off of outdoor soccer fields until last week and there was no reason for that.


Chuck Warren: [00:34:29] And she made a push to close the walking, hiking trail.


Sam Stone: [00:34:31] She made a push to close the hiking trails. And we have known not just since the start of covid, but frankly, since much, much longer before that the risk of viral transmission outdoors is basically nil. I mean, that really is a joke when you see people, you know, walking by themselves in a park and they're wearing a mask. That's the result of the fear, peddling and fear pushing that Mayor Gallego into it less a lesser extent, Kyrsten Sinema and our local media have pushed and it is she is psychologically damaged thousands and thousands of people. It is inexcusable. And yet it's not merely excused, it's being cheerlead by our local newspaper.


Chuck Warren: [00:35:16] Well, the local newspaper has been in the bed for a long time, unfortunately. I remember when we were doing Responsible Budgets initiative to fix Phoenix pension problem. Right, right. There was nothing more to fix Phoenix pension. There are no tax increases. He weren't robbing Peter to pay Paul. You say you have to be accurate with your numbers, this is what you do need to do to get this even.


Sam Stone: [00:35:34] We weren't cutting anyone's budget.


Chuck Warren: [00:35:35] And remember, when we discussed that, my great logic was, well, the republic has been all over the pension crisis in Arizona. This is something they'll support us on. It was crickets. I mean, all they were concerned about as Chuck Warren's funding this. And, you know, he's part time resident of Utah.


Sam Stone: [00:35:53] Yeah, no, I mean, look, they took they took you, me and Tim Mooney. Now, two of us live here full time. You're here half the time. Absolutely. And the narrative was these are out of town, some sort of dark money, nefarious, out of town consultants. You paid for it.


Chuck Warren: [00:36:12] Oh, exactly.


Sam Stone: [00:36:13] And that was ridiculous.


Chuck Warren: [00:36:15] It's it's beyond ridiculous. And then when the council how much did you have to put in to fund up shore up pensions here two or three weeks ago in Phoenix?


Sam Stone: [00:36:24] Oh yeah. Now, I mean, at this point, right. Phoenix has about ten percent of our budget that's getting eaten up by past due pension costs. That increases massively in the coming years. So we're going to get to the point in a couple of years where it's a quarter of our free cash flow to address this problem. I mean, it is just unbelievable.


Chuck Warren: [00:36:42] And then the republic will start writing an article about it saying this is a crisis. Why wasn't it taken care of?


Sam Stone: [00:36:46] And they will what they will not do is blame what they desperately, clearly hope will be then Governor Kate Gallego, because she's clearly planning to run for governor. In fact, she's raising money right now that's going into her city fundraising account for mayor. But we all know she's not running for re-election as mayor, that she's intending to run for governor. And this is essentially a scam that will allow her to take in max contributions. Now for a theoretical mayor mayoral campaign, those moneys will get rolled over and those same donors will be allowed to max out to her again for her governor's run. So it's cheating the law. And this is a woman who spends all her time beating her chest over, you know, how ethical and all that she is. The truth is she has proven nothing of the sort.


Chuck Warren: [00:37:36] Well, you know, we talked about this for I really do believe there needs to be a law that if you are a current elected official and you decide to run for another office, you need to resign your office. I mean, let's not let's not even have the tinge of that gray. Just say, look, I'm mayor, I'm running for governor. I'm going to resign so I can really do what I'm supposed to be doing, running full time, not being paid by the taxpayers.


Sam Stone: [00:37:59] Well, and quite frankly, when you have an existing account for a lower level office, you know, fundraising account, those money should either have to be returned to the donors or they should be donated to a nonprofit. And those nonprofits should be very limited into which ones you can give it to. You know, I mean, talk about like food banks and the Arizona Animal Welfare League, the people that we know aren't ballot harvesting with that money. That should be what gets happened is that money and you should have to raise all your money fresh. This is really cheating the system. She can use her influence and her power to basically coerce donations twice.


Chuck Warren: [00:38:39] And and to be fair, she's not the only elected official, or politician who does this now.


Sam Stone: [00:38:44] They all do this. But that doesn't make it not wrong.


Chuck Warren: [00:38:47] Right. Right, right, right.


Sam Stone: [00:38:48] And if you're out there campaigning on, you know, how clean you you are and how you're the most ethical person and you care most and all this stuff that she tries to claim you, you ought to hold yourself to a higher standard routinely don't.


Chuck Warren: [00:39:03] They don't want to get back to finish up here on the Biden situation. But first, I want to ask the ladies here, you know, obviously the wedding is on my mind today. And the weather, how many how many friends have you had that have had to cancel or delay weddings during covid.


Makenzie Semerad: [00:39:19] I've had at least four or five


Speaker2: [00:39:21] Same for you, Kip?


Kiley Kipper: [00:39:22] Yeah, I'd say probably two or three.


Speaker2: [00:39:24] We have Jaimie here, Jaimie?


Jaimie Kleshock: [00:39:27] Nobody who's had to cancel, but I had one friend who had to seriously scale back her wedding pretty drastically.


Chuck Warren: [00:39:33] Where was she getting married out here?


Jaimie Kleshock: [00:39:34] No, actually in Columbus, Ohio.


Chuck Warren: [00:39:36] Oh, Ohio. I guess just saying Columbus, Ohio. Answer so many thanks to that


Jaimie Kleshock: [00:39:43] Doesn't it. Yeah.


Chuck Warren: [00:39:45] So how do they handle it, ladies. Did they reschedule it. Has anybody called off a wedding now because of it?


Makenzie Semerad: [00:39:51] Nobody's canceled for me, but I've had one go through with it who you know, cut their wedding invitation list and oh gosh, probably only a third went and then the rest all were rescheduled for this spring or summer.


Kiley Kipper: [00:40:06] I think it's a little bit of a blessing in disguise, because I do have one friend who they called off the whole thing completely, they ended up breaking up, but if they had gotten married, they would have had to go through a divorce. But just because of the delay, they never ended up getting to the marriage.


Chuck Warren: [00:40:22] You know what would be interesting, 10, 20 years. One of you look it up one day and you're sitting with your kids in the backyard. Google was the divorce rate of people who got married during these covid years. I bet you the divorce rate drops dramatically.


Sam Stone: [00:40:36] Yes.


Chuck Warren: [00:40:37] Look, you really make a decision. I'm in this. I want to do this right because of you're delaying it and cancelling...


Sam Stone: [00:40:42] And I think we have moved up the divorces of lots and lots of people this year


Chuck Warren: [00:40:46] But for those still getting married, it will be interesting. The divorce rate, 10, 20 years now. I bet it's quite low compared to averages.


Sam Stone: [00:40:53] You know, what I actually thought was really interesting? I saw in the newspaper the other day that everyone was kind of talking at the start of covid that you would have a giant wave of covid babies. But it's turns out to be just the opposite, that there are far fewer people who have gotten pregnant.


Chuck Warren: [00:41:08] It's the only prediction onco. But I had that did not come true. I was so wrong on that. I thought there would be this baby boom, five new congressional seats. I mean, I just thought the population


Sam Stone: [00:41:17] Apparently between the election and the laundry, there was too much to argue about.


Kiley Kipper: [00:41:22] I will say, though, I got a quarantine puppy and that is the best birth control, he ate the couch. And I was like, I can't afford a child, let alone this puppy.


Chuck Warren: [00:41:34] Kiley this is not about you and your puppy, it's about love and weddings. And Kiley somehow throws in her puppy. So, Kiley, tell us about your puppy. What is it?


Kiley Kipper: [00:41:43] Oh, he's a labradoodle and he's he's very bad. We're working on training right now.


Chuck Warren: [00:41:48] What does that mean? You're working on training. You say no?


Kiley Kipper: [00:41:50] Yes. We put him outside when he eats the couch.


Sam Stone: [00:41:53] Well, you know, I'd feel bad for you, but right now, one of my cats is serving in the role of Phantom Pooper. So I don't know. I can't feel too bad for that couch because it's been at least twice this week. I've stepped in it walking out of bed.


Chuck Warren: [00:42:08] Oh, um, well, besides the sunshine topic, let's go to my last item here. I am so depressed at the state of journalism. It's it is so bad.


Sam Stone: [00:42:08] That press conference highlighted what an utter joke it is. I mean, that was embarrassing.


Chuck Warren: [00:42:29] And there's nothing serious about it. There's no follow up questions. There was there wasn't even anything on except his statement. I mean, no one's going to follow up on it. I mean, it's it's ridiculous.


Sam Stone: [00:42:40] Well, and then they let him go on and on about the race, the the racist filibuster,


Chuck Warren: [00:42:46] Which he which he has used numerous times as a U.S. senator with Barack Obama, who both thought it was the best thing since sliced bread when they were in Senate.


Sam Stone: [00:42:56] Every Democrat in the Senate in 2020, voted for multiple filibusters, every single one of them. I mean, they filibustered Tim Scott's bill that was designed to make elections more accessible for African-Americans. They have filibustered everything, so aren't they all... I mean, by their own standard, aren't they all racist?


Chuck Warren: [00:43:19] Well, by that standard, but that's not how the press reports it now. So, you know...


Sam Stone: [00:43:23] It's the worst double standard they have.


Chuck Warren: [00:43:24] Look, I do think I do think, I am not for eliminating the filibuster. I do think there are some things that need to change. I mean, I guess, you know, I grew up on Mr. Smith goes to Washington where Jimmy Stewart. Right? I mean, I like the old days. You got to stand up. Got to keep talking. Right. And you could tag team if you want to.


Sam Stone: [00:43:40] Yeah. I actually think a talking filibuster makes a great deal of sense. I do.


Chuck Warren: [00:43:45] You should be able to tag team should the one person say, like there's we're filibustering and then just keep talking until they get what they want.


Sam Stone: [00:43:50] Right? If you haven't seen it, it's one of the great episodes of The West Wing when one of their senators, when the senators filibustering and they find out it's about his grandkid and an issue, leukemia, And so, yeah, if you haven't, that's a great episode to watch.


Chuck Warren: [00:44:05] Kiley can do that where she's training her puppy to say no, or not chew the couch.


Sam Stone: [00:44:10] Good luck, Kiley. With that Breaking Battlegrounds. We'll be back next week


Chuck Warren: [00:44:16] With Burgess Owens.


Sam Stone: [00:44:18] Congressman Burgess Owens with your host Sam Stone, Chuck Warren in the studio with us today. The lovely course of ladies. Have a good one.

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