Mar-a-Lago, here we come
Aug 12, 2022
Episode 730

Mar-a-Lago, here we come

We just couldn't help it.

We couldn’t end the week without talking about the story we’ve (quietly) been avoiding: the FBI raid on former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home in Florida. Kimberly and guest host Meghan McCarty Carino explain how the story went from an investigation about classified documents to espionage. Plus, is polio making a comeback? Then, the hosts weigh in on Serena Williams’ retirement, Peloton getting pricier and splooting!

Here’s everything we talked about today:

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Make Me Smart August 12, 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: Chit chat and chit chat and chit chat. Oh, and here we go. Hello everyone, I am Kimberly Adams Welcome back to Make Me Smart where we make today make sense.


Meghan McCarty Carino: Hey I am Meghan McCarty Carino, in for Kai Ryssdal. Thank you to everyone for joining us this Friday for the YouTube live stream – and on the podcast – for economics on tap.


Kimberly Adams: Yes, and thank you everybody in the YouTube livestream, listening later on, the folks on the fan-run discord even though I can’t seem to load it on my computer today. But Meghan, what are you drinking? Before we get to our news fixes and our games and things like that.


Meghan McCarty Carino: Yeah, so I did not have time for any sort of complicated concoction, which is usually my way. So I relied on the people of France to produce a nice proven sour rose that I had in my fridge. So that’s what I’m about. And it’s pretty warm here, I’m gonna tell you. So it’s nice and refreshing. What about you? I hope you are having something restorative for your Friday.


Kimberly Adams: Yes, indeed. I am. I’ve got my mug of – Jasper is letting himself be known. There, there we go – I have my mug of throat coat tea with some cloves in it, as well as a nice healthy dose of Drambuie.


Meghan McCarty Carino: What is Drambuie?


Kimberly Adams: Oh, oh, well, this is a story. So some time ago, a friend of mine, her mom suggested that I try this cocktail called the rusty nail, which I had never had before, which is made of Scotch whisky and Drambuie. And it literally made my eyes water and cough and I had it on the podcast with Kai and everyone laughed at me. But it cleared my sinuses, that’s for sure. So since I still had some Drambuie I decided to mix it with my throat coat.


Meghan McCarty Carino: What is it? Like, does it have some sort of aromatics to it? Like what is, what is this?


Kimberly Adams: Yeah, it’s got like honey and herbs and Scotch flavored liquor. But it’s tasty. And it’s invigorating, shall we say? Yeah, this is a little toasty for me to be drinking a hot drink. But.


Meghan McCarty Carino: How hot is it where you are?


Kimberly Adams: It’s in like the 80s or the 90s or something. I haven’t left my apartment in about a week now. So, you know, isolating as you’re supposed to do. But let’s go ahead and get to our news fixes. And as you were saying just before the show, Meghan, the story that we haven’t talked about all week while we’re waiting for some actual information. Oh my goodness, oh my goodness this raid on Mar-a-Lago. And now they’re saying that the warrant was based on information that Trump – they believe Trump may have violated the Espionage Act. Now, earlier in the debate and the zeitgeist about this, everyone was saying, oh, you know, this is because he may have violated the Presidential Records Act, you know, improperly storing materials. And the Trump camp was basically like, no, no, he declassified all the information beforehand. And so it can’t be a violation of any of these things. That doesn’t matter if you’re talking about espionage. That’s a whole other category of things. And now there’s a lot of reporting, and some of it may have had to do with like nuclear things, documents that were seized in the warrant list that came out today, where documents that are just not supposed to be viewed outside of government facilities.


Meghan McCarty Carino: Stashed in a closet at a country club. Yeah.


Kimberly Adams: Some documents related to like the French president. And so the question, you know, begs the question, like, why did Trump feel like he needed these things? And…


Meghan McCarty Carino: And had been subpoenaed already, right? These documents had already been subpoenaed, is my understanding, to be relinquished at will and had not been.


Kimberly Adams: Yeah, and so now they’re relinquished not at will. And also, you know, the destruction of documents. Another pretty serious charge that we could have known about earlier had certain journalists decided to not hold that information for their books, but that’s a side story there. So yeah, I’m watching this unfold with great interest. And you know, lots of people in the chats here talking about Teflon Don, nothing’s going to stick, that nobody’s going to be able to do anything, but this is a lot. This is a lot. And unfortunately, we’re also seeing the reaction that a lot of folks predicted in the past from some of his supporters, we had, you know, someone who’s very active on Trump’s social media site, Truth Social, going and attacking FBI headquarters. And there are his supporters hanging out outside Mar-a-Lago. I mean, you know, this is a very delicate situation, and I do not envy the folks at DOJ trying to walk the fine line of trying to keep this as apolitical as they can, which is effectively impossible at this point. What’s your news? Because then I’ll come back from comments…


Meghan McCarty Carino: Well yeah, right. I was just gonna say, you know, I was going to restrict my comments on your story. To quote Kai Ryssdal, just, “Hoo, boy”. That’s about the extent of what I was going to add. But yeah, you know, so I thought we should sort of close the circle on something that we talked about quite a bit this week, which was the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 has passed the house. So it’s going to President Biden…


Kimberly Adams: Oh it did?


Meghan McCarty Carino: It did. I think it was just, you know, maybe like 15, 20 minutes ago, passed the house. So that’s heading to President Biden. And again, this is probably – people better know it as the climate bill, but it also – this is going through the budget reconciliation process, as we discussed earlier this week to get around the filibuster proof majority that… So this passed the House. And it includes – it’s about, I think $370 billion in investments in energy, clean energy, and all kinds of climate investments, paid for, as we also discussed, by revising the tax code to try to extract more taxes from very large businesses that manage to deduct a lot of their tax liability and try to recapture some of that. And also is reducing drug costs ideally for those on Medicare, and we’ll see how that trickles through the system. Now we’ll really be able to kind of talk about it and see how that goes. And then I also did want to mention, since we’ve sort of been having infectious disease week here on Make Me Smart, and I am, this is my favorite topic to discuss.


Kimberly Adams: Literally and figurally.


Meghan McCarty Carino: Right? In so many ways. Ah just wanted to drop in here: polio is back. Yeah, it’s back, baby. That’s where we are now. So polio has been identified in wastewater in New York City. It had been, I know this has been an ongoing thing, I guess in upstate New York, in communities that have low vaccination rates I believe. You know, religious communities that have low vaccination rates. And now appears to be also spreading in New York City. This had been going on in London, I feel like last year there was, they had identified polio spreading in London as well. But not a, you know, this is not a huge cause for concern. And in terms of the public, most people are vaccinated against polio, you know, this is something that – before COVID, that was the fastest vaccine ever developed. Amazing advance of technology. Nobody wants to get polio. I have, you know, a member of my extended family who did get polio as a child, was paralyzed, you know, into adulthood. But I was talking with folks on social media today, you know, everyone was like texting their mom, hey, just want to make sure, you know, did I get my full polio vaccination course? Because it is a long course. I believe it’s a three-dose course that happens over quite a long time period is the initial course. And the CDC also recommends – you know, when I travel, I know you’ve lived in many different countries, but when I went to travel clinics, I was advised to to get an adult booster, polio booster. So I got an adult polio booster, and that’s good for life. But they do say that the three-dose series is generally good for life unless you are in a high risk situation. And people on my Twitter were saying like, yeah, so now that includes living in New York City. But yeah, we’re back to the iron lung. That’s where we are. And I know that a lot of childhood vaccinations, even, you know, not among folks who are hardcore anti vaxxers or anything like that, but just because of how disruptive to healthcare the last several years has been, a lot of childhood vaccination schedules have been disrupted and I know this is a big concern in public health that this has happened. And so, just another thing to add to the docket at this time. We’ve got some nuclear stuff going on, we’ve got some polio, we’ve got all kinds of things, but yeah, drink up.


Kimberly Adams: But you know, we also have Sploots. We have sploots, this is my favorite story all week. So this is a story in Slate about squirrels splooting, which is a word that I had never heard before.


Meghan McCarty Carino: I had never heard before either.


Kimberly Adams: Yes so this is basically when you see – like you’re walking down the street and you see like a squirrel like laid out flat, and you think it might be dead but then when you get back to it and you go up to it so like check on it, and it gets up and runs away. And it’s because they’re spreading themselves out to cool down – is Jasper? Jasper is not quite splooting, he’s just…


Meghan McCarty Carino: No, it’s like a half-sploot.


Kimberly Adams: But it’s like, when they spread out and their legs are out, and it’s called splooting. And dogs do it, and other animals do it, and they’re just trying to cool down. Bears do it. But this Slate story has many photos of animals splooting – oh yes, Corgis! As Marilyn Baker says, Corgis are apparently very good at splooting.


Meghan McCarty Carino: Oh yeah, Corgis definitely do it. Yeah.


Kimberly Adams: This just entertain me greatly.


Meghan McCarty Carino: I also saw that there’s an inverse to to this?


Kimberly Adams: Oh yeah, where they’re on their back.


Meghan McCarty Carino: Toop, toops or something?


Kimberly Adams: Toops?


Meghan McCarty Carino: This is also a – let me, yeah, it’s a Reddit thing. Yeah toops! Toops is the inverse.


Kimberly Adams: Also known as frog-dogging.


Meghan McCarty Carino: Well, my computer, I can tell you is, is – what is it? Sleeping? Slooping? Sleeping? Continents mixed up. My computer is sitting right there. Yeah. My computer before we started was getting a little hot and bothered. And so I put it on top of a nice cool package of frozen croissants from Trader Joe’s. So I believe my computer may be considered to be splooting.


Kimberly Adams: That’s as good of a turn as I need to go to a game as I’ve ever had. Oh, boy. All right, this game is half full half empty, hosted by the one, the only, Drew Dro – Drew Jostad, wow, see, there’s that Drambuie again. Drew Jostad. Hey, Drew!


Drew Jostad: Hi Kimberley, Hi Meghan. The CPI came out this week. Are you have full or half empty on the idea that inflation has peaked?


Kimberly Adams: Oh, I was just strongly encouraged by two very smart economists not to make any predictions about inflation peaking. Nela Richardson and Catherine Rampell were like “don’t do it!”. So I am going to go half empty just to be careful.


Meghan McCarty Carino: Okay. Um. I guess I’ll go half full, just because it’s good to have one month of a good indicator. But it’s better than not having. It’s better than having another month of a bad indicator. So I’m gonna say half full, but it’s a heavily caveated half full, mostly because rents are kind of really high, and that’s really bad. Gas, food, these things might go down, but rents – that’s longterm.


Kimberly Adams: We need to get that guy who ran for president on the rent is too damn high platform to answer the make me smart question. See what he has to say about that. All right, what’s the next one, Drew?


Drew Jostad: Okay. Background question. Have you seen the crying CEO post?


Kimberly Adams: I’ve read an article about it. I have thoughts.


Drew Jostad: Okay.


Kimberly Adams: Have you seen this story, Meghan?


Meghan McCarty Carino: No, I don’t. I don’t think so. This does not sound fun.


Kimberly Adams: So basically, this is a CEO who posted a very tearful video on LinkedIn I believe, announcing the fact that he had to lay off some of his employees and how upset he was about it. And that it wasn’t necessarily just because of the economy, but because of a mistake that he made, although he wasn’t very clear about it. And so he got a lot of backlash from people who are like, why are you making this all about you? It’s realy you know, cringy, as many people like to say, and it’s self-centered and it’s much harder on your employees. Why are you making this all about you?


Meghan McCarty Carino: Right? Yeah.


Kimberly Adams: Um, you know, I’m half empty on that particular moment. But I also get it, because we’ve spent the last several years telling our leaders in organizations to be more like connected to the fact that people are humans and have lives. And, you know, I was once in a situation where I was sitting on a board where we had to make some decisions about layoffs and furloughs around the pandemic. And it was super emotional. It really was. And like, now, I didn’t post a video of myself crying about it, but I definitely had some tears. But yeah. So I’m gonna go ahead and dip on that, like, you can cry by yourself.


Meghan McCarty Carino: That’s, uh, yeah, that was a very thoughtful and generous assessment, I think. Very generous. Yeah, I’m definitely gonna go half empty on that. It’s like, sure, you want the boss to have emotional intelligence. And part of that is knowing when to just not go there. So, yeah.


Kimberly Adams: Empty. Next.


Drew Jostad: Real quick, from this article in Fast Company. It does seem that it was maybe a photo of himself crying, not a video.


Meghan McCarty Carino: Okay, so I’m looking at the photo. I’m looking at the photo.


Kimberly Adams: Thank you. That’s better, but not really.


Meghan McCarty Carino: But honestly, it’s a little bit weird.


Drew Jostad: Yeah, I’m not sure it’s better.


Meghan McCarty Carino: That’s intentional. That’s like – exactly. That’s a little bit weirder. Even less. Full empty.


Drew Jostad: Okay, the NIH is working on a project to create a DNA data bank with more diverse people in it. Are you half full or half empty?


Kimberly Adams: Meghan, you go first.


Meghan McCarty Carino: Okay, so I’ll just, I will do the Pollyanna-ish half full on that. I mean, that’s obviously a very important thing to do. So I’ll set up your critique Kimberly, and say, that’s a good thing to do. You know, we know in many cases that medicine and you know, all kinds of – not just medicine, but many things – that the designs of trials, and all of these things are heavily biased by relying on only white participants. And that that really, systemically shapes all these industries and all these things. So I’ll say that that’s a good thing, and half full.


Kimberly Adams: I’m gonna punt on this one and go neutral, because the idea of having a more diverse – and I hear you, Chuck, in the chat saying that, you know, don’t say diverse when you really just mean like brown people, I get it. But there’s also not a lot of women, not a lot of age diversity, not a lot of, you know, different immigration status, geographic variety. A lot of these things tend to be focused on folks on the East Coast, closer to research institutions and things like that. So in theory, it’s great. One of the pieces of information that came out about this database is that the information they had – actually they spotted COVID in that test population earlier, because they had so much information about those folks. It’s just like, you know, it’s all well and good, as long as it stays in the hands of people who treat it responsibly and carefully. But, you know, given some of our political leaders and their stance on science and ethics, I don’t know that I want a giant database of all of our information in there. And also like, China’s doing this as well, and getting a lot of criticism for sort of creating a DNA database of its entire population. So anyway, I’m gonna go neutral. And I know that’s not the way you’re supposed to play the game, but I’m doing it anyway.


Meghan McCarty Carino: Rewrite the rules.


Kimberly Adams: Make the rules mine. Next.


Drew Jostad: Point taken on that. I should not have said diverse people. I did not mean to say it that way. That sounded weird.


Kimberly Adams: I mean, that’s everybody saying, that’s what the NIH is saying, too. They want to have a diverse representation. People throw this word around all the time. And you know, because people have yet to develop a level of comfort in talking about issues of race and ethnicity and differing backgrounds status in this country. And so people always end up stumbling over it in awkward ways.


Meghan McCarty Carino: I am definitely guilty of that in you know, writing for Marketplace. You know, it’s always like, am I going to use some euphemism?


Drew Jostad: The way I phrase it, I could have done better. I could have said something like, the databank itself is going to be maybe more diverse, but the people involved, you know. Anyway.


Kimberly Adams: We are all learning and growing, Drew.


Drew Jostad: Peloton says it’s going to cut 780 jobs. Are you half full or half empty on staying-at-home fitness going forward?


Meghan McCarty Carino: Oh, gosh.


Kimberly Adams: As an introvert, I’m half full. I don’t like going outside. I mean, like, isolation is not great, but I’m handling it, because I like being inside.


Meghan McCarty Carino: Yeah, no, I’m gonna say, I really hate exercising in front of other people, among many things I hate to do in front of other people, but especially exercise. However, I really hate exercising at my own house, which does not have central air conditioning. So I have my unused Peloton in the corner.


Kimberly Adams: Because we have to turn off our AC in order to do this without background noise.


Meghan McCarty Carino: Yeah, but so. Gosh, I guess. I mean, in theory, I’ll go half full on exercising at home. No way that I’m ever going to go back to the indignities of my poor exercise performance being witnessed by other human beings.


Kimberly Adams: Woo and our wonderful colleague Emily was pointing out that so many diseases are spreading at gyms right now. Ew.


Meghan McCarty Carino: Infectious disease.


Kimberly Adams: Okay, next.


Drew Jostad: Half full or half empty on Serena Williams retiring?


Kimberly Adams: Half empty. If she had been somebody else she wouldn’t have had to. And that sucks.


Meghan McCarty Carino: I mean, I do appreciate that this is sort of a – I mean, she has in so many, so many of her big life moments, she has turned into kind of big dialogues around, you know, so many of the issues that she has faced from the kind of bias that she has experienced, on the healthcare system to, you know, on the court bias to, you know, how she and her partner have handled family stuff. And so I think when Serena Williams talks about things like having to step out of the game, as a woman in order to continue to grow her family, it’s really powerful. Not that these are things that have not been discussed ad nauseam for the last, you know, forever, but especially over the last couple years, as we saw the division of unpaid family labor falls so heavily on women. But I’m gonna say, I’m gonna say I’m half full on this, just because I think that she has such a power to affect the conversation around things like these.


Kimberly Adams: Yeah, I’m hearing a couple – reading, not hearing – seeing a couple of people in the comments saying I don’t know what I mean when I say that if she had been somebody else, she wouldn’t have had to retire, to accomplish these goals. As a black woman in tennis, the discrimination that she’s faced, the racism that she’s faced, the pressure that she’s constantly under, the just non-stop everything being harder for her, given what an amazing athlete she is. If she were a white dude, her career would have been able to continue probably much longer, with much less drama, and still had her family gotten her flowers and done everything. And, you know, she’s acknowledged that she, you know, probably wouldn’t have to make this move, if not for all of these other things. And I love that she’s doing it on her own terms and doing it in her own time and she deserves all the things, but you can’t separate her arc from the racism and discrimination, and even the racism and discrimination in healthcare. The fact that when she was having complications for her pregnancy, that that pain was diminished, all of these things factor in. And so while on the one hand, I celebrate her making this decision. On the other hand, I can’t help but see it as just yet another person who, if not for racism, could have gotten so much further. And so that’s that. All right.


Meghan McCarty Carino: Yeah. For those who aren’t familiar with her healthcare issue, I mean, it’s an amazing story. You should look it up. She was suffering from blood clots after her pregnancy, and she basically had to direct her healthcare team, you know, to be able to get life-saving care that if she had not gotten, she probably would have died. But yeah.


Kimberly Adams: Yeah. Well, that’s a dark one to end on, Drew. Come on, give us something else. I know we’re running over on time.


Drew Jostad: I almost don’t want to play the music.


Kimberly Adams: Sploot, sploot! I’m just gonna say sploot.


Meghan McCarty Carino: I need to sploot right about now. I’m gonna tell you.


Kimberly Adams: I know, we’re both like sweating.


Meghan McCarty Carino: The sun has changed direction and now I have lines going across my face from the window blinds.


Kimberly Adams: Everybody, sploot! That is it for us today, Kai and I will be back next week with a Tuesday deep dive on DACA. It’s a 10th anniversary of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. And so we’re going to talk about how that program has impacted the economic lives of young immigrants in the country, the politics of the country, and why there are still so many people without protected status and where immigration activism may go from here.


Meghan McCarty Carino: And in the meantime, you can keep sending us your thoughts and your questions. We would love to hear from you. If you are a DACA recipient, we want to hear your story. You can email us at Or of course leave us a voice message at 508-827-6278, which is of course 508-U-B-SMART.


Kimberly Adams: It’s imperative. Oh boy. Make Me Smart is produced by Marissa Cabrera, and today’s episode was engineered by Drew Jostad – Jostad, Drambuie man. Drew Jostad. And the Senior Producer is Bridget Bodnar.


Meghan McCarty Carino: The team behind our Friday game is Steven Byeon, Mel Rosenberg, and Emily Macune, with the music written by Drew Jostad. And the Director of On Demand is Donna Tam.


Kimberly Adams: Sploot. Several people were commenting that didn’t Meghan used to do this from her closet?


Meghan McCarty Carino: I know.


Kimberly Adams: They missed the can lineup. The can background was pretty cool.


Meghan McCarty Carino: I know, it was very cute, but it was just like a sauna in there. I would probably have fainted if I had stayed in there.

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