Episode

10/29 What’s “In” With Infrastructure & A Decade of Democratic Meltdown w/ David Dayen & David Sirota

October 29, 2021

It’s Casual Friday! Sam and Emma host David Dayen, executive editor of the American Prospect, as they walk through as much of the two hundred policies in the Bipartisan Infrastructure framework as possible. The former David (Dayen) first takes on his summary of why the infrastructure battle was a failure for Democrats, starting with complete mismanagement of expectations of what could make it into the bill, how they imagined their success in making it bipartisan, before he dives into the failure to optimize what they could do as the constraints became more clear. Working into the effects of the Manchin-Sinematic wrecking, David explores the waste of the 1.75 trillion top-line through provisions that include 90 billion for “equity,” and other nonexistent policies, effectively weakening the parts of the bill that democrats, and Americans, actually want. He also covers what could’ve been another use of these “ornamental” provisions, which work to build up the total spending, using their necessity to ensure that Republicans will still pass them, while removing them from the spending equation, including hundreds of billions for anti-trust, privacy bureau, and bolstering fisheries. While recognizing the obvious fault of Democratic leadership, Dayen, Emma, and Sam discuss the role of non-profits in tandem with the progressive caucus and Democratic base in pressuring expectations on the party, forcing a packaging of the entire agenda into a single bill, resulting in practically no lasting structural policy, before they dive into what (or who) has stood in the way of specific climate and pharmaceutical policy, from Manchin’s rejection of penalties for unsustainable energy to the countless Pharma-bolstered representatives that fought back against the government’s negotiating capacity. Next, they move onto the policy put forward for our children, including universal Pre-K and an extension of the Child Tax Credit, alongside the bureaucratizing of childcare provisions to hinder their utility, before they wrap up the interview by touching on the restructuring of Medicare funding and corporate and white-collar taxes.

In the second half David Sirota, founder of the Daily Poster, joins Emma and Sam to discuss his upcoming 8 part investigative podcast, “Meltdown,” covering the collapse of the Democratic party in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, with Obama’s promises and their opposition (his policy) working to undermine faith in our government, as a top-down (emphasis on top, not so much on down) bailout left homeowners struggling for agency, and gave room for a rebirth of the Republican party in the shadow of Bush’s failures, and eventually paved the way for Donald Trump’s election. And in the Fun Half Sam and Emma touch on Ben Shapiro’s claim that climate change, the threat of which he has constantly been downplaying for years, is now “baked into the cake,” John Eastman talks representing the rural republicans at the Claremont Institute Gala, and Zuck shows us his metaverse, plus, your IMs!

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