Classified documents were where now?
Feb 18, 2022
Episode 604

Classified documents were where now?

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Plus, a karaoke-filled Economics on Tap!

Grab your drinks and settle in, folks. It’s time for a little Economics on Tap! On today’s show, we’ll discuss the National Archives revealing that classified materials were recovered from former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago property. Then, Kai and Kimberly dive into the troubling reactions to an ice skating final at the Winter Olympics, and the latest on a potential land war in Europe. Then things get a little musical during a round of our game Half Full/Half Empty (featuring a surprise host!).

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Here’s everything we talked about on the show today:

Got any questions, comments or concerns? An answer to the Make Me Smart question? Email it to us: makemesmart@marketplace.org. Or leave us a voice message. We’re at 508-827-6278 (508-U-B-SMART)!

Make Me Smart February 18, 2022 transcript 

Note: Marketplace podcasts are meant to be heard, with emphasis, tone and audio elements a transcript can’t capture. Transcripts are generated using a combination of automated software and human transcribers, and may contain errors. Please check the corresponding audio before quoting it.

Kimberly Adams: That was the Midwest “bless your heart,” not the South “bless your heart.”

Kai Ryssdal: Clearly it was. Alright, anyway, hello. Hello, everybody. I’m Kai Ryssdal. Welcome back to Make Me Smart. Making today make sense is what we do on this podcast.

Kimberly Adams: Indeed. And I am Kimberly Adams, thank you for joining us on Friday. It is Economics on Tap. We will have a drink, do the news play a round of Half Full/Half Empty. Emcee today by a special surprise guest that we don’t even know yet. Right? Do you know who it is?

Kai Ryssdal:  We don’t even know. I do not know, I do not know. There was a whole passel of engineers down in the studio. So we’ll see.

Kimberly Adams: Hmm, be an adventure.

Kai Ryssdal: That’s right. That’s right. That’s right. That’s right. Okay, so this my first one of these in awhile. It’s my first Friday in a very long time. So remind me when we do this, we figure out what we’re drinking and then we do the news?

Kimberly Adams: Yes, yes, yes. What are you drinking Kai?

Kai Ryssdal: I’m drinking – I’m going upscale. I’m having a Stone FML. Double IPA. Alcohol is eight and a half percent by volume. So you know, we’ll see what it’s like at the end of the pod. But I figured what the hell. Going out to dinner tonight with the family, my son can drive. It’s all good. So I don’t care.

Kimberly Adams: How convenient for you.

Kai Ryssdal: Oh, god, it’s the greatest thing when your kids can drive. Life changing.

Kimberly Adams:  Fantastic. Some people have noticed on YouTube live stream that I am not at home with my cat in the background, I am in the studio, which means that my drink had to be a little bit more basic, because it was like what I could stick in my purse comfortably on the way. So I’m having a rum and coke and keeping it – all the engineers – and keeping it far away from the mixing board over here. So don’t yell at me.

Kai Ryssdal: Well part of the reason I’m on my laptop – nobody, nobody needs to know this. But part of the reason I’m on my laptop is because for the second time in less than a year, I spilled liquid on my Marketplace laptop. And the microphone doesn’t work anymore. So that’s why I’m on my iPad. Nobody tell Marketplace IT. How about that? Okay.

Kimberly Adams: All right. News. Yes.

Kai Ryssdal: Let’s do it. Yeah, why don’t you go first.

Kimberly Adams: So I’ve got another Washington story. I’ve really been fascinated. And I mentioned this a couple weeks ago with all the developments on the various investigations into President Trump. And today, there, there’s been this ongoing fight between Trump and the National Archives over documents that he took with him when he left the White House. Now, of course, you take your personal effects when you leave the White House. But there are a lot of things that you’re just not allowed to take, like gifts that you may have received, important documents that, you know, talk about what you did while you were president. It’s kind of a felony to do that, to take that away.

Kai Ryssdal: Yes. And so people, people who were not Donald Trump, over the years have lost their careers and their jobs are doing exactly this. It’s not a joke.

Kimberly Adams: Right. And in particular, today, the news came out the National Archives confirmed that some of the documents that they had to basically threatened to sue or file charges against Trump to get back and so they went down to Mar a Lago, and they got a bunch of these document back. They confirmed today that some of the documents that they retrieved were classified documents and and yes, some people in the in the chat mentioned that there was some reporting from Maggie Haberman that he allegedly flushed some documents down the toilet while he was in the White House. And so you know, like you said, guys, some people lose their careers over mishandling classified information so I’m really not shocked by the story but shocked that it’s so brazen, I guess.

Kai Ryssdal: Yeah, if I had done this when I was in government service with a security clearance I had which was it was a significant security clearance. I’d gone to jail. I’d gone to freakin jail. You know? So, yeah, I don’t get it. I don’t get it.

Kimberly Adams: And so the question is what will happen now? Are they going to file charges?

Kai Ryssdal: Bupkis. Bupkis. Bupkis.

Kimberly Adams: And that’s not great for the rule of law.

Kai Ryssdal: No, no, it’s not. No, it’s not. Although just as long as we’re on the former president’s legal troubles, it’s worth pointing out what happened in New York yesterday, where Attorney General Letitia James is going after the Trump Organization, for, among other things, Trump inflating the value of his holdings in trying to get some loans and for Ivanka doing some other things. And the judge in a case in which Ivanka and Don Jr, and the former president said, “no, no, no, we don’t have to testify.” The judge, in fact said “yes, you do. And you have to do it in 21 days or less.” So, you know, there will be an appeal, of course, but the trials and tribulations of Donald Trump and the Trump Organization are nowhere near over, even though he’s doing all this other stuff on the side in terms of stealing classified documents, right. That’s kinda what he did.

Kimberly Adams:  And don’t forget the launch of the NFT’s that according to some reporting are being purchased back by some people close to the Trump campaign.

Kai Ryssdal: That’s a whole thing can. We will put yeah, we will put that NFT thing on the home on the story page because – on the show page – cuz that’s a that’s a banana pants story. Truly is.

Kimberly Adams: Oh, banana pants, Molly.

Kai Ryssdal: Shout out. Well, you know, so I’m wearing I’m wearing my sorry, let me just do this is gonna make –

Kimberly Adams: Are you  wearing the banana pants?

Kai Ryssdal: No, I’m not. Do I have a banana shirt on? Wait, hold on. Oh, wait, I do. No, my banana pants. They never fit that was the thing they never fit. They literally came up to my armpits. But wait. So first of all, I’m wearing and Melody Perkins got me – “Stock market is not the economy,” very nice.  “Stock market is not the economy.”  It’s a one off. But also part of the swag I got. We got that was available. I mean, it wasn’t just me was the shirt.

Kimberly Adams: The banana shirt. I got this sweatshirt that had the marketplace logo with the headphones on it and I got it like XXL so I use it as a sleeping shirt. But I do have a little bit of swag. Do you remember these?

Kai Ryssdal: Pint glasses? Oh, yes. I’ve got it – Oh, no. What is that one? Oh my god.

Kimberly Adams: This is the 25th anniversary pint glass. We had some of these in the bureau. It has like all sorts of languages on it for cheers and salud and santé. Whatever.

Kai Ryssdal: Nice. Yeah, that’s awesome.

Kimberly Adams: Some archival swag.

Kai Ryssdal: Archival swag. I’ve got my … glass too. So my news. One serious one and two less erious – actually, they’re all kind of serious. Number one. And I’ll zip through these first two. Number one if you haven’t, look, this is it is it is not easy watching. It’s not like gory or anything but it’s just emotionally really troubling. The video from the Olympics yesterday, and the women’s figure skating and the absolute tragedy and just brutality that that was with the 15 year old Russian girl and having we believe been given drugs and competing anyway and the whole thing it was a mess. But the aftermath, immediately after the standings were known was horrible to watch on television. I did watch it because I wanted to see it and be able to talk about it. But it’s terrible. And I think if the International Olympic Committee doesn’t wake up and smell the roses, it’s it’s actually just really bad for the future of sport. I just want to throw it out there. It really it really troubled me.

Kimberly Adams: I haven’t watched it but I read the description. I feel so sorry.

Kai Ryssdal: It was horrible. It was horrible. It was horrible. They’re kids. They’re 15 years. 16, 17 years old. It was it was all just terrible. So that’s number one. Number two. There ain’t gonna be no baseball this year, kids. I’m here to tell you. There ain’t gonna be no baseball. There’s a lockout. There’s been a lockout by the owners of the Players Association since December. pitchers and catchers were supposed to report this week. They have not. They had a meeting either yesterday or today. I forget when it was, lasted 15 minutes between the players union and the owners. There ain’t gonna be no baseball this year. And I think we just need to wrap their brains around that. People need to wrap their brains around that.

Kimberly Adams: I have not been following this story. I didn’t realize it was that serious.

Kai Ryssdal: Oh, yeah. Yeah. Yeah, baseball is gonna go away. Baseball is gonna go away. And look, I’m not a huge baseball fan until we get to the World Series or like late stage playoffs. But it’s really sad. It’s a tragedy. A lot of people put a lot of time and effort and energy emotionally into this. And it’s it’s gonna be really sad for them because people are fundamentally getting greedy. People are getting greedy, you know? And then of course –

Kimberly Adams: I’m sorry, I’m laughing because Chris SW says “Wow, St. Louis is not going to recover.” True. What will we do?

Kai Ryssdal: Yeah. Yeah, exactly. Exactly. Go Cards. Last thing, and I just I want to just just remark on this. It’s, it’s overwhelmingly likely now that there’s going to be a land war in Europe. And that, first of all, is insane. Second of all it upends 70, almost 80 years of really hard work by the Western Allies in maintaining the peace. And it’s really hard work and it’s now going to all come a cropper, the president of the United States said today within the next several days. And that to me is just mind boggling. It’s just extraordinary

Kimberly Adams:  Although he also did say in the coming – the administration did say in the coming days last week, so.

Kai Ryssdal: Yeah, that’s true. They did. That is that is fair, but one does get the impression based on the troop buildups I think we’re at like 160,000 Russian troops now around Belarus. And last weekend, it was like 100,000. You know, I did. It’s amazing. It’s amazing. Just extraordinary. Okay. That’s enough of that.

Kimberly Adams: There’s no nice way to transition to the game.

Kai Ryssdal: No, there is no nice way. So we’re just gonna do it. I would say Drew, go ahead. But oh, no, I can’t because clearly, it’s not Drew. Yes?

Donna Tam: I’m gonna go on a limb and say you knew who it was Kai.

Kai Ryssdal:  No! Donna Tam! I did not. I did not!

Kimberly Adams: Donna!

Donna Tam: I thought for sure Kimberly would have gotten me.

Kimberly Adams: Well, but I mean you’re in the Zoom all the time. I didn’t think it was anything unusual. But, hi Donna!

Kai Ryssdal: All right. Well, you’re up, pal. If you want to stay … you gotta do the job.

Donna Tam: I mean I’m gonna try here. You’re right, man. You’re right. I’ve got myself in a pickle here. Because you know, I’m not I’m not Drew, that’s for sure. Ah, well, we can go with the first topic, then. Alaska Airlines subscription based flight passes.

Kimberly Adams: Oh, I saw that. That was really interesting.

Kai Ryssdal: I did not.

Kimberly Adams: Okay, so this is Alaska Airlines is offering like a monthly subscription for a set number of flights. I don’t know the exact number. But it’s basically this idea. If you’re regularly flying on the airline, you can pay a set fee, and do that instead of paying per ticket that, you know, may fluctuate, and you don’t know how much it’s gonna be on a given point in time. But apparently, like one of the major quarters from like, somebody correct me if I’m wrong, I think like Anchorage to Seattle is like not included. I’m not exactly sure.

Kai Ryssdal: Oh, come on man.

Kimberly Adams:  But so. So I’m gonna go half full on this. Because for the people who regularly fly, you know, I can see it making a difference. And you don’t want to get caught up in the vagaries of pricing. But no business does this kind of thing unless they know they’re gonna make money off of it. And so I don’t know that it’s actually going to save anybody any money. But I also think it’s interesting. And I’m going half full, because I’m interested in the idea of the subscription model, entering the airline industry. And I’m fascinated to see what that will turn into.

Kai Ryssdal:  I agree with everything Kimberly said. Chalk that up. Done.

Donna Tam: So the next topic is Disney residential communities.

Kai Ryssdal: Why? Why? I don’t know the story, but why?

Kimberly Adams: So I have a story, but I don’t know what the news peg is. But I have a story about this.

Kai Ryssdal: Okay. All right. Go ahead. Go ahead. Okay, I’m in.

Kimberly Adams: Okay, so I guess we had a story about Disney residential communities. Let me just click on that really quickly before I say my story. So when I was in high school, I went to Disney World with a friend and this is a lengthy amount of time ago, we don’t need to get into the numbers as you learned not to do that Kai. But when we were there, they were marketing, this Disney community nearby in Florida that was supposed to be like all Disney all the time. You had houses, you had schools, you had a little community like center and all this thing. And the community went bust years later. And so like they sold all these houses and promised all these amenities. And apparently it did not go well. So now I’m looking CNN has a story, I guess they’re trying this again. Oh, right. So now they’re trying it again, to create multiple residential neighborhoods across the United States, the first of which is expected to break ground this year in Rancho Mirage, California.

Kai Ryssdal: California, of course.

Kimberly Adams:  Yeah. So I’m actually all the way empty on like, themed neighborhoods.

Kai Ryssdal: The needle is on E absolutely. And I think it’s gonna be bad business venture for Disney as well. I mean, I’m sure very smart people have thought this through and done the modeling, but eh. Hard pass.

Kimberly Adams: I’ll be interested in what they learned from their failed experiment in Florida.

Kai Ryssdal: Right. Right.

Kimberly Adams:  And how that translated into what this is. But yeah.

Kai Ryssdal: Failing is learning.

Kimberly Adams: Thank you, Natalie in the chat. I’m talking about Celebration, Florida. Yes, that’s what it was. Oh, and someone else points out. What about Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville communities? You can’t build them fast enough. So you know, maybe there’s a model where it works with margaritas.

Kai Ryssdal:  Okay All right. Margaritas. Donna. Number three, please. Margaritas. “Wasting away again in Margaritaville.” Anyways.

Donna Tam: Just gonna give you enough time to finish that song. That’s great Kai.

Kai Ryssdal: No, no. “Looking for my …. “anyway sorry go ahead.

Donna Tam: The next one is business comfort clothes.

Kai Ryssdal: Oh, business comfort clothes. So I had a conversation this week with the CEO, Elizabeth Spaulding the CEO of Stitch Fix. And apparently we have gone from suit and tie and proper business attire and women, you know, dressing for the office as well. To business casual, and now we’re in business comfort after this pandemic. And that’s like athleisure, except with a vaguely professional tint to it. I don’t know, I should tell you, I went to the office today wearing this sweatshirt, a pair of running shorts, and sneakers and a pair of socks. So I’m no one to talk. But I alright, so look, I’m nobody’s idea of a fashion plate. But I think dressing professionally is a good thing. I think it feels nice to get dressed up. Although I don’t do it a lot. And I think I’m opposed to business comfort. That’s where I come down. half empty on business comfort. Sorry, sorry to walk you through my thought process.

Kimberly Adams: That’s okay. I’m all the way full because I have I am one of those people who redid my wardrobe during the pandemic for business comfortable or comfortable, whatever you called it. Like this shirt that I’m wearing that I got. It’s machine washable, it goes in the dryer, but it’s also a button up and it’s very comfy. And I’m absolutely wearing it with leggings that could probably pass as dress pants and I am here for it and happy to stay in these clothes for the rest of my life. Well, probably not leggings for the rest of my life. I doubt anybody wants to see that. But I like it all the way full. Next!

Kai Ryssdal: Noted, next! Oh man that was a good comeback. Donna, Donna!

Donna Tam: Next topic is the “Fresh Prince” reboot.

Kai Ryssdal: Oh, I’m so intrigued by this. I’m so intrigued. I’m all the way full I think it’s gonna be really good. I haven’t read in reviews. I know nothing about I’ve seen the trailers all the way full.

Kimberly Adams: I don’t know. I haven’t watched the previews, haven’t seen the reviews. I just always get terrified when they touch something so beloved. You know.

Kai Ryssdal: Yeah, yeah, I get that.

Kimberly Adams: Like, you know, I’m like going through the entire lyrics of the intro in my head right now and I’m like, What can be better than that? You know, and like are they still gonna throw –

Kai Ryssdal: No, go ahead sorry.

Kimberly Adams: “In West Philadelphia born and raised on the playground where I spent most of my days chillin out peace  all around …”

Kai Ryssdal: How did you know what I was thinking? How did you know what I was thinking? What I was gonna say before I cut you off was wait a minute you know all the words? Holy cow. Oh my god.

Kimberly Adams: Oh boy. So it’s like, it’s so beloved. It’s so precious to me and like, I don’t know. Like I want to believe it’s gonna be wonderful and great, but I also am a little bit afraid so I’m gonna go just halfsies without in any kind of lean.

Kai Ryssdal: There you go. Alright, that’s fair. That’s fair. I don’t think that’s been explored. Do we have one more Donna or is that it?

Donna Tam: Yeah, we do. But first of all, Kimberly, that was amazing.

Kimberly Adams: And I didn’t even get all the way to the end. I should say, I do know all the words but go ahead. We’re running out of time. Not really cause it’s a podcast but.

Donna Tam: The last topic here is Metamates.

Kai Ryssdal: Oh my god. So Mark Zuckerberg had an all-staff meeting at his company which is now Metamates hold – meta, sorry, Meta Holdings, which includes Facebook and Instagram and WhatsApp and whatever else they bought. Anyway, so he rolled out the new slogan for the company which is “Meta, Metamates and me,” which is to say that the people who work at Facebook instead of being team members, or associates, or colleagues or people who work at Marketplace or whatever is now Metamates and no, no, half empty. That’s where I am.

Kimberly Adams: It reminds me of that scene from Mean Girls where it’s like, “stop trying to make fetch a thing.”

Kai Ryssdal: Yes, yes. That.

Kimberly Adams: All the way empty.

Kai Ryssdal: Totally. Totally. Totally, totally.  Yes.

Kimberly Adams: Good job Donna! Well done.

Kai Ryssdal: Ah Donna Tam you’re awesome. Thanks for climbing on the Zoom, Donna. That was great. With all you have going on. It’s very cool of you to come with us. We really appreciate it.

Donna Tam: Well, I’m never doing that again. Because that’s really hard. I don’t know how you guys do it.

Kai Ryssdal: Don’t think just talk it’s not hard. Alright. We are. There’s the music. We are done before we leave a couple of things. Number one still time to sign up for a newsletter and also get a chance to win that signed t-shirt of me in a car 25 years ago. Cutlass for 442 convertible red with a white top.. Biggest mistake I ever made was selling – well, no, that’s not the biggest mistake I’ve ever made. But it’s like top three.

Kimberly Adams: I was about to say, if that’s the biggest, good job.

Kai Ryssdal:  Well, I am not joking. When I say top three. Number one was there was a woman involved. Number two was a financial thing. And number three was that car. That’s God’s honest truth. Anyway, going to marketplace.org click on the banner up at the top. There’s going to be a link of course in the show notes. Deadline to sign up is February 28. It can be the Make Me Smart newsletter or any Marketplace newsletter at all. Once again, it’s a signed, and look this is Bridget Bodnar’s language, not mine. It’s a vintage Kai t-shirt. I frankly think Kai is vintage enough already without the t-shirt but that’s a whole different thing. Anyway, Alright, I’m done. Stop me please.

Kimberly Adams: Regardless, we’d love for you to sign up for the newsletter. Ellen works really hard on it as well along with several other folks we all sort of have this Slack channel where we send in ideas for the newsletter and we get excited as to whose ideas actually get picked to go in the newsletter so please sign up. But yes, that is it for us for today. We are off on Monday. Well sort of off, we’re off for Make Me Smart. But you know.

Kai Ryssdal: Kimberly’s working my job. So thank you for that, by the way.

Kimberly Adams:  You’re welcome. Enjoy your time off, because it will be President’s Day but we are back on Tuesday with a deep dive into some of the problems with the way that we do credit scores in this country. And we’ll be talking about some potential solutions. So we hope that you will join us for that.

Kai Ryssdal: The problems by the way, are myriad with the way we do credit scores in this country. If you got questions by the way, moving on about we’re moving to next Wednesday. Now if you’ve got questions about inflation, comments or actually an answer to the Make Me Smart question: “What is something you thought you knew you later found out you were wrong about?” Email us and makemesmart@marketplace.org. Leave us a voice message if you’d like 508-827-6278. 508-UB-SMART those are all letters by the way as Sam Fields pointed out, U B SMART.

Kimberly Adams: People are asking in the YouTube chat if the shirt is real or just an NFT?

Kai Ryssdal: Right? If it was an NFT I’d be making some money off of it.

Kimberly Adams: Make Me Smart is produced by Marissa Cabrera and Marque Greene our intern is Tiffany Bui.Today’s episode was engineered by Charlton Thorp. The senior producer is Bridget Bodnar.

Kai Ryssdal:  The team behind our game Half Full/Half Empty is Steven Byen who does all of the video for us. Mel Rosenberg also Emily McCune the theme music, oh my god I have to stop now. I’m sorry. The music for Half Full/Half Empty was written by Drew Jostqad who clearly has the day off. Director of On Demand is our one and only host of Half Full/Half Empty today Donna Tam. Yay Donna.

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