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Let's Get After it with Chris Cuomo
26 minutes | Jun 17, 2021
A chat with former Biden Senior Advisor on COVID, Andy Slavitt
We all lived the chaos of what was and somewhat still is our country's collective response to the pandemic. And when looking at American leadership throughout this crisis, one can't help but ask how they chose the best path forward along the way.Former Senior Advisor to Biden's COVID team Andy Slavitt joins Chris to offer perspective on the U.S. response to COVID, the misguided attacks on Dr. Anthony Fauci, the concept of vaccine passports, and Slavitt's book Preventable.Andy Slavitt on Dr. Fauci: "It is a little bit unforgivable and typical for people to try and fire the guy who actually is the one that is most responsible of anybody we know for getting us out of this mess."
23 minutes | Jun 16, 2021
Mental health is health
Navigating the last year has laid bare the fragility of our physical and mental health. Anxiety and estrangement are elevated, creating an even more vital need to identify and own the struggles we face every day. What before may have been a strain has been magnified by the pandemic for all of us. Take it seriously. Would you not see a doctor if you were having a heart attack? Plus: Chris' origin story of how he got into media after starting a career in law and finance, while listening to some advice from broadcast legend Tim Russert.And: A beat on President Biden's summit with Putin.Cuom'ote of the Day: "I know people dont talk about this and I think and it's a mistake. If I were on an insulin regulating drug, would there be a problem with me telling you that? Would you care? No."
22 minutes | Jun 15, 2021
Why aren't Dems all over modifying the filibuster?
In today's episode, a look at a few beats:Modifying the filibuster: Chris and Vick look at four ways to do this without blowing up the practice entirely, and the modifications over the years that remind us, this is not an antiquated or unused tool in the toolbox.The Byrd Bath: Remembering this is the process in reconciliation, made law by the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, wherein a provision in the budget has to pass muster that it will directly effect the budget, and so goes through the vetting process of the “Byrd Bath”, with the Parliamentarian ruling yay or nay. If it doesn’t pass the sniff test, those parts of the bill are sometimes referred to "Byrd Droppings". You can't make that up.Pressure on the Acting AG: Following reporting last month, this series of e mails released from the House Oversight Committee show an intense pressure campaign on Acting AG Jeffrey Rosen in late December 2020 through early January, who, to his credit, understood the sandwich being served and refused to take a bite. Rejecting Italian satellite conspiracies, no to meeting with Giuliani and his 'witnesses', declining baseless ‘ballot irregularities’ in GA, MI, NM and other states, are just some examples of acting AG Rosen resisting efforts to have the DOJ get involved in throwing shade on the legitimacy of the 2020 election. Cuom'ote of the Day: "The filibuster has not always been, in fact, has never been what it is now."
23 minutes | Jun 14, 2021
Using the lens of common sense
Do you want the real story or the one that is politically convenient? Right now Republicans have a 'wait and see' attitude and an ever-evolving narrative. And if you flip the R and the D, you'd have the exact same dynamics coming in opposite directions.For Example: The Wuhan lab theory on the origins of COVID is getting more politicized by the day. What's worse? Not knowing, or only wanting to know the information that fits your agenda politically? Manipulating the narrative can be cautioned across every story, from Trump's DOJ, to COVID origins, election 'security', even Biden's coming summit with Putin. Context is key.Cuom'ote of the Day: "The only thing that magically disappears in real life is the truth. Everything else is ascertainable."
23 minutes | Jun 10, 2021
Is piecemeal the way?
A major concern over the sheer volume of unemployment relief payments during COVID was always the potential for fraud. Well, that fear may have become a reality. And, as Chris surmises, if the amount the imposters stole is anywhere near what Axios has reported, then foreign crime syndicates have surely won this battle. Also on the Table: We'd all prefer something rather than nothing, right? This same logic may apply to how to get a stagnant Senate to move. Case and point: the Senate passing the Innovation and Competition Act with a 68/32 vote. Is it time to consider doing HR1/S1 in pieces to get more Senators on board?You've Been Warned: Never mess with another person's Lip Smackers. But if you do, you better be as fast as Chris was in the hilarious childhood story he tells that didn't end well for his sister.Cuom'ote of the Day: "The Mo Man was fat, but quick and crafty."
19 minutes | Jun 9, 2021
De Jure vs De Facto on Voting Rights
"Give me a way to not lose by helping the other side and I'll do it". So goes the sentiment of many in the GOP according to Chris' logic. While part of Republican resistance to any Dem proposal is a natural push and pull of ideas, the intensity is heightened right now out of fear of consequence. Not from voters, but from their own party.These "election integrity" laws moving through many state legislatures seem to fail a basic sniff test: is there any proof of a lack of integrity in the voting process that needs correcting?Cuom'ote of the Day: "One of the things that's killing us in our dialogue is mangling context for advantage."
27 minutes | Jun 8, 2021
You don't understand what you're up against...
Are Dems playing the game the way it needs to be played in our new political 'normal'? Chris asserts that the sentimental adage of love beating out hate has no place when there is an existential threat posed on the future of our democracy. Sen Joe Manchin has stated his case. Now it is time for all Senate members to cast votes on the floor and let the opposition be seen and heard. If the GOP don't play ball in the bipartisan way Manchin hopes, will he and other moderate Dems shift their thinking on the filibuster?Cuom'ote of the Day: "We are at a point of inflection and no one is paying attention."
24 minutes | Jun 7, 2021
Common concern can create collective will
There has always been xenophobia, there has always been animus, there has always been the 'other' when it comes to each new generation of immigrants. Who is embracing this dynamic and who is rejecting it?In this bonus episode, Chris recounts getting to know a first generation immigrant who came to his house to handle some electrical work. The conversation gives Chris pause to reflect on the Cuomo family's immigration experience, and understanding this man as just one generation removed from his own family story.Still on the Table: Joe Manchin is the greatest Rorschach test for where we are politically. How do you see Manchin's choice not to support the For The People Act while still holding out hope for a deal on the John Lewis Voting Rights Act? Is he right to continue to stand on principle when a large swath of the Republican party sees more value in obstruction than acting in good faith?Cuom'ote of the Day: "Common concern can create common will."
25 minutes | Jun 4, 2021
Passivity has no place in progress
We all should maintain hope that we will be better prepared the next time there is an international viral outbreak. But are we? Does our government have a plan in place for a future pandemic? Rather than focusing every moment we have to equip ourselves, we're currently caught up in weaponizing the virus through a debate on it's origin.Also on the Table: The pervasive nature of conspiracy theories, often applied to unknown events like Unidentified Aerial Phenomena, have found their way into what should remain objective. What is true? What is real? Shouldn't these debates on UFO's and extra-terrestrial life be held to the high bar of undisputed facts?Weekend Homework: Watch the movie Contagion and be awed by how telling this film was for things to come during this pandemic.Cuom'ote of the Day: "Passivity has no place in progress."
24 minutes | Jun 3, 2021
It can't happen here...
In this episode, Chris owns that the two party system is breaking down. We need rational actors in positions of power who are motivated by the voters that put them there. Are we at an inflection point we can get beyond?While recognition of a problem is a meaningful part of finding a solution, it can't end there. That's tough on an individual basis, even tougher on a collective one. Cliché's aside (and Chris rattles off many!) how do we nullify or at least reduce our divisions to get the gears turning again? Is filibuster reform a path?Cuom'ote of the Day: "Democracy is because you want it- not because you have to have it. It is not a 'must'."
23 minutes | Jun 2, 2021
Collective will, collective conscience
The state of play: Everything is through the looking glass- things are seen only as we hope them to be. If politics are played at the state level with suppressive voting laws, is the fix at the federal level? If Democrats blow up the filibuster, will it come back to bite them when the GOP regain power? All our frustrations are part of this unending game, and the players are doing what you allow and reward.Plus: The pushback on young Tennis star Naomi Osaka for not speaking to the press was unrelenting. Chris looks at this story though the lens of increasing mental health awareness. If she broke her wrist would there be this same backlash? Mental health is health.
27 minutes | Jun 1, 2021
Final Five Voting
In this episode, Chris chats with A.B. Stoddard about her recent RCP piece that takes a deep dive on Katherine Gehl's concept of Final Five Voting. A.B. digs into how it works and where it is working (currently in Alaska, in consideration in the legislature in Wisconsin).Chris and A.B. then break down potential pitfalls and if, how and where this could be implemented. Can this scratch our collective itch for better representation that more closely reflects our ideals, be it GOP, Dem or somewhere in between?
22 minutes | May 27, 2021
The Wuhan Lab theory...
Chris kicks the tires on this idea that the Wuhan lab theory hasn't been brought up before. It is being politicized and weaponized. Yes, Trump talked about it but he never offered up any sort of proof. And the proof, as you may remember, is in the pudding.Also on the table: the January 6th Commission- how could anyone not want to know how it happened? The opposition to the Commission is all part of the game. And lest ye not forget: a look at how populism is increasingly appealing to both parties; 10 Senate seats that have the potential to flip, and the reality that 18% of the population controls 50% of Senate.
18 minutes | May 26, 2021
Co-opted by the fringes
Chris talks well water plumbing problems and the Mo' Man taking it upon himself to climb into a crawl space where he met up with a live electrical current. Zaaaaaaap! Home Ownership 101.And he takes a bit of the air out of MTG's comments that are still being chewed on. She knows what she's doing, it's not a shock or even a new occurrence. But the focus on her is a continuing distraction from what matters. We don't accept this type of non-action in any other aspect of our lives other than politics.Chris believes in the marketplace of ideas, but also owns that often we are co-opted by the fringes on both sides. Also: Hunter S Thompson on the TV business...
27 minutes | May 25, 2021
What do you empower and what do you ignore?
Marjorie Taylor Greene continues to be given a voice even when making nutty comparisons between the House mask mandate and the Holocaust. Should this be news worthy? Is it worth our time and attention? In the end, everyone loses when it distracts from the real issues that we collectively face. This ongoing game sidetracks us all from progress.More instructive: asking GOP leaders to talk about infrastructure and voting rights, when their main position so far is opposition.
16 minutes | May 24, 2021
The Class Gap
TODAY'S BONUS EDITION: Chris' take is that class matters in some of the same ways that color does when it comes to systemic inequality. He believes there is a combined interest in addressing many of the same core issues- including policing, and argues it's not an either/or, it's an 'and'. Also: In his Morning Newsletter, NYT’s David Leonhardt looks at the class gap that exists in people not yet vaccinated, and those who are skeptical. While the dividing lines most often talked about are Republicans and also Black and Latino populations (for different reasons) there is also an analysis beyond: the gap in class. These groups each have working class populations. And when you look at the numbers (via Kaiser Foundation) divvied up by class (using college as a delineator) those most hesitant to getting the shot are non-college educated, regardless of race.
13 minutes | May 20, 2021
Chris sees it as a dangerous and toxic game to conflate the events of the January 6th insurrection and last summer's protests for racial equality. This thinking is often echoed by the same people who won't wear masks, and dont want to get vaccinated. And the numbers show the game being played is making us sick. Polling, as detailed by a recent op ed by Catherine Rampell, shows almost half of GOP respondents think it better to make voting harder then to come up with good ideas on governance.
22 minutes | May 19, 2021
What's with the mask confusion? Are vaccine passports a panacea?
Like almost every other phase in this pandemic, the CDC mask update has created more questions than answers. People are looking sideways at each other wondering if they are being honest about being vaccinated when not wearing a mask. If we can't trust each other, is the solution a federal vaccine passport? While there are upsides, there are also potential inequities a system like that could bring.Chris also looks at the CDC's sloth-like pace when it comes to updating their guidance and remembers the Trump administration's denial of the threat of COVID early on. If the President had owned the pandemic from jump, would he still be our Commander in Chief today?
19 minutes | May 18, 2021
You only know what you show
Chris urges transparency on the part of North Carolina authorities, as he reacts to DA Andrew Womble announcing that the shooting of Andrew Brown Jr. was justified and that no charges will be filed against the deputies involved. While DA Womble showed some snippets of the body cam footage during the press conference, he said he will not release it to the public.
15 minutes | May 17, 2021
Dr. Leana Wen on the confusion around the new CDC mask guidelines
Dr. Leana Wen, emergency physician, public health professor at George Washington University and former Baltimore Health Commissioner joins Chris to look at what the somewhat surprising new recommendations from the CDC mean for those who are vaccinated and for those who can't get the shot yet, if at all (kids under 12, immuno-compromised).What's good and essential about the new guidance, what needs to be flushed out further?Further reading: Dr. Wen's Washington Post Op Ed
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