86 Comments

Also I’m sorry but I think it’s naive to think adderall is benign. It’s way oversubscribed and can seriously set you down the wrong path, especially if you don’t need it, which most people don’t. People in law school would fiend for the stuff and we had multiple instances of people stealing it from others. Doesn’t mean it should be criminalized or anything but I’ve witnessed people lose their shit with the stuff first hand.

Expand full comment

Yeah Michael is way off on this one. Adderall abuse for people my age is off the charts. I graduated school in 08 and know people who have taken it daily since and cannot function without it.

Expand full comment

I got through engineering and then law school, enduring lots of stress and late nights, without it. I definitely needed caffeine and enjoyed a fair amount of alcohol, though in law school abstained from drinking during the week. Admittedly adderall never came into my sphere - nobody I knew used it (or at least not openly), so I can’t say what would’ve happened if I’d had different friends and influences. Honest question - since I’ve not a clue - how is it different than caffeine?

Expand full comment

This is just in my experience - closest analog is coke, although it doesn't hit you as hard right away; more of a steady stream of focus. Coffee can give me some energy, but doesn't seem to alter my perspective like adderall did. I studied history in college and I would sometimes use adderall to get through my first draft of papers. It would be like I sat down to write and before I knew it I had 10 pages. Would give me laser focus.

Expand full comment

I never took it in law school because I knew I'd be dependent on it.

A lot of people would take and get gak out making "outlines" in the law library until midnight, when it closed.

Expand full comment

When I was in college, some enterprising kids manipulated their doctors to give them Rxs for adderall. Then they sold it on campus for $50 per pill. There was an expose in the school paper.

Expand full comment

Yeah I found that a little strange too. It’s legal euphoric meth and anyone who has taken it recreationally knows how insane it can be. The history of prescribing uppers to people with ADHD is also very strange (Adult ADHD even stranger) and it’s handed out like candy to kids. My Brother In-Law also developed heart murmur’s at a fairly young age and was on crazy doses of adderall for 15 years and it was essentially caused from taking high doses of it.

Expand full comment

What percentage?

Expand full comment

That’s a fair question and I’m admittedly being anecdotal, but the fact that there is a shortage and a 10 percent increase in prescriptions over the last year suggests that it’s reaching a broader population. Also, and I know this is anecdotal, but I know dozens of people on adderall and maybe one was prescribed as a child (when add/adhd is typically diagnosed). The rest got it in conjunction with/and in furtherance of, some life ambition (work, school, etc.).

Expand full comment

And is that bad? We use caffeine. Alchohol. Marijuana. All to attain different states. (Energized, relaxed, euphoric). All of those are abusable.

I feel like a lot of people are stuck on the 90s when it comes to moralizing “addiction” and or just using drugs to “feel” better. People act like there must be something morally reprehensible or just icky about using drugs and to just “do” things.

I always rankle at that kind of talk. I know it affects some people negatively. But if that bath water is dirty. Maybe we take the baby out first then refill the tub instead of just chucking the whole thing off of a cliff.

Expand full comment

Adults having to feign some sort of mental illness to aquire it seems like something that entails a whole lot of problematic outcomes. An issue of prohibition no doubt, but the rate at which it's also been prescribed to developing minds to treat a "disease" is nothing to sniff at either. I dont think anyone here is throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

Expand full comment

I think moynihans point is that the Biden administration is. Not necessarily anyone here.

Marijuana had the same problem for a decade. People just faked anxiety or glaucoma. Went so a medical “permit” doctor. Who spent five minute rubber stamping people for 75 bucks a pop.

I don’t like it either. And yeah I agree it’s mostly a problem of prohibition. People aren’t allowed to say “I just need a pick me up” which is a perfectly valid reason to responsibly take a drug.

Expand full comment

Steven, I’m confused about what you’re talking about re: the Biden admin. People are reacting to Michael scoffing at the idea of someone being addicted to adderall as reported in a WSJ podcast. He’s wrong to do so since it’s a legit problem which is being brought to light in the recent shortage. In my experience adderall addiction is extremely prevalent among the highest functioning people I know who could not preform in the same manner without it. Further, as tolerance and doses get higher and higher more people are forced to come down with colapins and the like just to sleep. imo if the govt banned mdma, alcohol, coke and adderall tomorrow - I think lack of adderall would fuck with more people than the others

Expand full comment
founding
May 13, 2023·edited May 14, 2023

Michael was scoffing about the WSJ podcast mischaracterizing an addiction to Adderall . The criticism was they found a women, who was in rehab for 3 addictions and only explored the addiction that fit their preconceived narrative. Michael wasn't dismissing an addiction to Adderall. He was dismissing the way the WSJ framed the women as an Adderall addict when she was an Adderall, cocaine and booze addict.

One could deduce, that it is hard to discern what she was craving 6 years after rehab; cocaine, Adderall or booze?

To be honest, if one had a "friend" who had used both cocaine & Adderall, the one they most often craved was the cocaine.

Expand full comment

Ah - I guess we heard Michael's framing differently, but I see what you are saying.

I think the danger is that adderall abuse is easier to hide and is vastly more beneficial professionally than coke. Your doctor is the provider, your insurance pays for it, you perform well at work, and it really doesn't have as many physical tics due to its slow release into your system. Not trying to belittle the dangers of coke addiction, but I think you'd be surprised how many people in your life are adderall dependent. That's why the shortage is making news, people are lacking their fix and it's affecting their lives in a big way

Expand full comment

Specifically said I’m not for criminalizing adderall use or regulating it away. Wouldn’t chuck anything off a cliff and agree it can be helpful. I also agree with you that all of those substances are abusable. I’m just saying it’s worth a conversation about adderall, much in the same way as alcohol, instead of pretending it’s totally benign.

Expand full comment

Overprescribed*

Expand full comment
founding
May 12, 2023·edited May 12, 2023

"Killing Nicole Brown Simpson" by Bill O'Reilly with Orenthal James Simpson

(I feel kind of bad after typing this. But not bad enough to not post it.)

Expand full comment
founding
May 12, 2023Liked by Matt Welch

I sat on the NM Law Enforcement Academy board for several years, and when it comes to crime, ABQ is a shit show of epic proportions and it's done a number on law enforcement there. I can recall a decertification case about one of the cops who was present in 2014 when two APD officers lost the plot and wound up shooting and killing James Boyd - in this case, the decertification petition related to behavior that was so clearly due to PTSD from witnessing Boyd's killing and it really brought home to me the mental challenges associated with the job in high crime areas. I don't mean to stand up for the bad behavior of cops in NM (and I certainly assented to many decertifications resulting from some unconscionable behavior) but NM is a tough place to be a cop because it has a property crime profile, a drug use profile, a cartel presence profile, and a violent crime profile that belies the beautiful scenery and overall laidback New Mexicoma attitude of its residents and it is 100% due to the drug sales and the cartel activity back and forth across the border with ABQ as the east/west transit point. That said, NM certainly has a lot of really awesome things about it and it's worth a visit if you've never been. Oh, and I hope that sweatshirt Kmele bought has the Zia insignia on it!

Expand full comment
May 13, 2023·edited May 13, 2023

Honestly, I think Moynihan was a bit harsh on Biden. (And I do mean a *bit*.) He might embarrass himself constantly, but there are also times when he's come through in the clutch. In my opinion, he's largely handled the Ukraine war very well. I don't love the guy, and he's done plenty of things I hate, but still... don't things kinda feel better than four years ago?

I'd recommend having Yair Rosenberg on the pod. He's a writer at The Atlantic and has been accurately bullish on Biden from the beginning of the 2020 primary. He's a bit of a cheerleader at times, but he's fairly reasonable. (In case Kmele is curious, Yair Rosenberg is, in fact, Jewish.) https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2023/05/biden-vanilla-appeal-presidential-politics-2024/673956/

Also, what's Jessica Tarlov been up to?

Expand full comment
founding
May 13, 2023·edited May 14, 2023

Throat clear this whole comment by saying my preferred outcome, in the next 3 months Biden and Trump die in their sleep. That is the great reset we all need.

The problem when prestige media spends 4 years protecting Biden against criticism, is the average person doesn't realize how far gone Biden is.

Biden is demented, senior citizen. His handlers are worried he will aspirate if he eats too much solid food. He can't use big boy words in a sentence. His morning workout is 10 curls with a Campbells soup can. At this point, it is elder abuse to run Biden.

The poll numbers are devastating for Biden and the Democrats

60% of registered Democrats don't want him to run.

RFK jr is polling at 20%

Marianne Williamson, a GOOP adjacent crystal healer is polling at 9%.

Kamala Harris is so unpopular, nobody will work for her. She has no comms director (opportunity for MM?) Which explains why she knows all the words & just can't use them in a coherent fashion. In 2020 she was so unpopular with voters, she had to drop out before Iowa caucuses (which is what MM and KK should have said to Maher in response to his Kamala question).

Only 23% of people rate economic conditions as somewhat good. Which is amazing considering the unemployment rate. The last time it was that low was in 2011 (after the 2011 debt celling crisis). 54% of Americans think DJT handled the economy better than Biden. Only 34% think Biden has done a better job.

Biden's handlers in conjunction with the administrative state have advanced a very radical, expensive agenda that most people, in his own party, don't like. I could spend 6 pages on the way Treasury changed the EV credit rules, in the IRA, to increase the cost from $40B to $600B (over a decade) while carving out a work around in the "made in America" rules.

The average person is subject to more regulation & higher costs just to exist day-to-day. Everything is a bureaucratic nightmare. Navigating life is taking a real toll on people.

Never forget, regardless of how many groups got together to "fortify" the election for Biden in 2020 (see Time Magazine for the admission), Biden only won by 43,000 votes in 3 states.

Expand full comment
May 15, 2023·edited May 15, 2023

If your big accomplishment is "well, nuclear war hasn't broken out yet", I'm having trouble seeing how you could label the administration a success. Name a metric in which the USA is doing better than it was 2.5 years ago? I can think of none. If it weren't for Trump, we'd be talking about a failed administration right now.

Expand full comment

Yair is always insightful.

Expand full comment

I’m not looking forward to the 2024 election cycle, what I am looking forward to, is more of Moynihan’s RFK Jr. Impression. Job well done. “The CIIIIAAAA DRROOVVVEE TEDDDYYY INTTOO THE WATTERRR” - haha. Rewinded that about 15 times.

Expand full comment
founding

Speaking of arcane content on the internet, I have a great youtube channel for anyone (like me) who enjoys random old timey films, newsreels, and "how tos" etc. https://www.youtube.com/@PeriscopeFilm there are 7500 videos on this channel and it is marvelous.

Expand full comment
May 12, 2023Liked by Matt Welch

"Too fast for brisket. Shout at the brisket." This killed me.

Expand full comment

"Kickstart My Heart" takes on a whole new meaning when someone in a booth starts having chest pains...

Expand full comment
May 12, 2023·edited May 12, 2023

It had me thinking of alternate titles...Kickstart My Ribs? Kickstart My Pork? Ribs! Ribs! Ribs!? Dr. Dryrub? Eh, diminishing returns.

Expand full comment

Dr. Applewood

Expand full comment
founding

“Shout At The Deviled Eggs”

Expand full comment

I don’t know why I still subscribe to the NYT, but their article last night explaining the incident was infuriating.

Expand full comment

I discontinued my NYT sub in 2021. Couldn’t do it. Too dishonest. Too blatantly biased.

Expand full comment

Anyone else notice that with the curly hair and mustache, Penny looks like he walked out of a 70s porno? (Too soon?)

Expand full comment

I confess this was the first thing that crossed my mind when the images came out.

Expand full comment

Someone on Twitter compared him to Ken Scrhom, who played for the Minnesota Twins in the 70s. I’d never heard of that guy, but my dad would’ve remembered him.

Expand full comment

And lo, behold that awesome sight, the line which even I dare not cross: naming this fictitious porno/snuff film.

Expand full comment
founding

Motels: For people with one big shoe. I could have stop listening right there and got my money's worth.

Expand full comment
founding

Suggested Vince Neil menu items:

“(She Got the) Cooks that Grill”

“Shout at the Deviled Eggs”

“Wild Side of Onion Rings”

“Kickstart My a la Carte”

“Same Ol’ Cheese + Charcuterie Station”

“Lobster Feelgood”

Expand full comment
founding

“Scone Sweet Scone”

“Don’t Pho Away Mad”

Expand full comment

I mean, it's a BBQ joint, so I'm not sure how many (any?) of these items would be on the menu, but I got a hearty laugh out of "Don't Pho Away Mad" and "Cooks That Grill"...

Expand full comment

I enjoyed Moynihan going full Costanza there for a second: “Beep, beep, beep” 😂

https://youtu.be/RhKQfrE1KTE

Expand full comment

"Killing My Boner: Something About A Loofah"

Expand full comment

I think the idea that the witness' approximation of 15 minutes is in any way reliable seems entirely absurd to me. I'd be surprised if anyone sitting at home could approximate 15 minutes with any consistent reliability, much less while being trapped inside a subway car during a deadly altercation.

Expand full comment

While I love you, Moynihan, you do sometimes trail off at the end of your phrases and your articulation is under shot (your tongue, for example, doesn't go all the way to the target part of your mouth). Your tongue moves in that direction but doesn't get all the way there and you move on to the next position which is also undershot. This under shooting of the articulatory contacts sounds very fast and this, combined with the softer voice, is hard to understand. I'm a speech pathologist and have noticed this since I started listening to the podcast. It only happens sometimes but every time it happens, I have no fucking clue what Moynihan is saying. But, let it be acknowledged, that not always understanding Moynihan can, at times, be a true gift.

Expand full comment

It seems like every couple of weeks I hear about something absolutely batshit crazy that Michael Beschloss has said. I would love to hear a conversation between you guys and a respected historian who hasn't lost their bearings who could talk about 'the history of history'. I finished 'The Lincoln Miracle' by Edward Achorn a couple of weeks ago, and it was striking in the book how ridiculously biased the press was during those times (i.e., the existence of overtly political media like MSNBC/FNC is in no ways unique to modern times). Historians, being human beings, also inject their own points of view into their writings, but I presume that throughout history, the level of objectivity has ebbed and flowed in historical record-keeping. If any TFC'er has book recommendations on this topic, I would love to hear them.

In a similar vein, is there any chance ever of having DKG on the podcast, given that Moynihan knew her growing up? The tubes say she's 80, so probably not much time left to have a recorded conversation with her, with the subject matter of said convo mostly centering around teenage Moynihan degeneracy.

Expand full comment