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Smart people talking about politics, policy, culture and other stuff
🇬🇧 English
last modified
2019-12-11 18:53
last episode published
2019-12-11 04:06
publication frequency
2.08 days
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Date Thumb Title & Description Contributors

Revisiting the Trayvon Martin Case, Part Two (Glenn Loury & John McWhorter)

Glenn and John respond to criticism of their discussion of The Trayvon Hoax ... Why Glenn finds the film credible despite its creator's conspiracy theories ... John: The public didn't get the full story of Zimmerman's 911 call ... The case as a forerun... author

Revisiting the Trayvon Martin Case (Glenn Loury & John McWhorter)

George Zimmerman sues a bunch of people for $100 million ... Rightwing filmmaker Joel Gilbert's The Trayvon Hoax ... Gilbert's past conspiracy theorizing ... An age of fake news and relativism ... What John thinks really happened ... Recent racially... author

The Academy and Foreign Policy (Daniel Drezner & Daniel Bessner)

Daniel's review of Dan's book The Ideas Industry ... Is a democratic exchange of ideas impossible under capitalism? ... What is the field of international relations for, exactly? ... Warren vs. Sanders on foreign policy ... Daniel: We need a "post-nat... author

Who Really Pays Taxes? (Glenn Loury & Laurence Kotlikoff)

Does the US tax system favor the rich? ... Why spending is more equally distributed than wealth ... How Larry makes his calculations ... How billionaires can avoid paying taxes ... Larry: We should tax consumption instead of income or wealth ... Larr... author

Special Thanksgiving Edition (Bill Scher & Matt K. Lewis)

Previewing the Scher and Lewis Thanksgiving family fights ... The complicated method to watch Bill's favorite Thanksgiving sitcom episode ... Matt's case for dragging out impeachment ... Should Dems hold out for an impeachment bombshell to break? .... author

Gender and the Generations (Kat Rosenfield, Phoebe Maltz Bovy, and Meghan Daum)

Meghan's new book, The Problem with Everything ... Are women less inclined to be heterodox thinkers? ... Generational differences between Gen Xers and Millennials ... How childhood became highly gendered ... The commercialization of feminism and the ... author

As Good As It Gets? (Bill Scher & Matt K. Lewis)

Matt: Democrats have exceeded my expectations at the impeachment hearings ... Signs that Giuliani will be the fall guy ... In defense of boring hearings ... Why wasn't the debate a Pete pile-on? ... Bill: Don't sleep on Klobuchar ... Matt: Is this Dem ... author

Impeachment and Stuff (Robert Wright & Mickey Kaus)

The many ways that Twitter is mismanaged ... Bob vs. Mickey on impeachment ... Is there any evidence of Biden's guilt? ... Bob accuses Mickey of defending Trump's Iran policy ... Mickey: "I'm not sure I want four more years of this" ... A thought expe... author

The Economics of Fighting Climate Change (Glenn Loury & Laurence Kotlikoff)

Critiquing William Nordhaus's work on the economics of climate change ... Larry: My plan for carbon taxation is a win-win ... Can elderly voters who don't care about the future be won over? ... What about critics of capitalism itself? ... Accounting f... author

Canyon Dreams: Basketball on the Navajo Nation (Robert Wright & Michael Powell)

Michael's new book, Canyon Dreams: A Basketball Season on the Navajo Nation ... Michael: "Rez ball" is defined by speed and fluid movement ... What life is like on the Navajo reservation ... The syncretism of traditional and Christian religion among ... author

OK Boomer (Aryeh Cohen-Wade & Daniel Kaufman)

Explaining the wildly popular "ok boomer" meme ... Why Dan is both critical of and sympathetic toward "ok boomer" ... The Marxist critique of woke capitalism ... Twitter users offer bad life advice given by Boomers ... Do today's young people have a ch... author

The Free Market, Impeachment, and NeverTrumpers (Glenn Loury & Steven Teles)

The Niskanen Center's defense of a "free-market welfare state" ... Hidden ways the government obstructs the free market ... Why a wealth tax probably wouldn't work ... Steve's ambivalence about impeachment ... Glenn says the emoluments charges are "... author

Jimmy Hoffa and the Surveillance State (Robert Wright & Jack Goldsmith)

Jack's discovery that his stepfather Chuckie was illegally surveilled by the feds ... J. Edgar Hoover and the origins of FBI surveillance ... Robert F. Kennedy's war on Jimmy Hoffa ... Jack: Prosecutorial discretion is one of the government's most da... author

"It's Hard to Be an Individual" (Glenn Loury & John McWhorter)

Buzzwords vs. the power of reason ... College students stay silent instead of saying the wrong thing ... Why cultural appropriation is such a flashpoint ... John: "It's hard to be an individual" ... Cosmopolitanism and fearing the cops ... The sense o... author

Hatred Not Welcome Edition (Bill Scher & Matt K. Lewis)

Bill: FDR's "I welcome their hatred" line has been misunderstood ... Buttigieg runs as an anti-populist ... Dueling polls show either only Biden or every Dem defeating Trump ... Matt: Mayor Pete is the Obama in the race ... The meaning of the upset D... author

Not-So-Grand Strategy Edition (Heather Hurlburt & Daniel Drezner)

The story behind Heather's Expos hat ... Trump's failed, reality TV–esque, fatal car crash reconciliation ... Will impeachment cause US foreign policy to improve? ... Is the era of grand strategy over? ... Why a US–EU entente is coming post-Trump ... ... author

What Happened to Jimmy Hoffa? (Robert Wright & Jack Goldsmith)

Jack's new book, In Hoffa's Shadow ... Jimmy Hoffa's real accomplishments as a labor leader ... Chuckie O'Brien, Jack's stepfather and Hoffa's right-hand man ... The conventional story: Chuckie delivered Hoffa to his killers ... Jack's early belief i... author

Choose Your Own Impeachment (Bill Scher & Matt K. Lewis)

DC celebrates as the Nats win the World Series! ... Trump's brazen impeachment strategy ... Bill: "The crime is in real time" ... Matt puts himself in the shoes of a Trump supporter ... Matt criticizes Brit Hume's recent defense of Trump ... Biden rem... author

J*ff G*ldbl*m Edition (Kat Rosenfield & Phoebe Maltz Bovy)

The strange trend of using asterisks to talk shit on Twitter ... Nicole Cliffe alleges (without evidence) that Jeff Goldblum is a bad man ... "Oh no, not him!" vs. "I always knew!" ... Why is Cliffe so powerful on Twitter? ... Kat: Cancel culture is a... author

"Watchmen," Scorsese, and "Joker" (Aryeh Cohen-Wade & Milton Lawson)

HBO's very strange Watchmen sequel ... Why is race the show's central theme? ... What is the show trying to say about cops? ... Martin Scorsese disses comic book movies, nerds go nuts ... Milton reviews Joker, the most chattered about movie of the yea... author

Human Rights Abuses in Syria and Beyond (Robert Wright & Sarah Leah Whitson)

Sarah explains Human Rights Watch's mission ... Is Turkey’s Erdogan engaging in ethnic cleansing? ... Sarah: A "safe zone" along Syria's Turkish border won’t work ... Why armed proxy groups are always unaccountable ... The imminent humanitarian crisis... author

Convince a Bernie Skeptic (Aryeh Cohen-Wade & Micah Uetricht)

Aryeh asks Micah to convince him to vote for Bernie Sanders ... Could Bernie lead a mass movement for progressive change? ... Micah: There's a hunger in America for transformative politics ... What does Bernie mean when he calls himself a socialist? ... author

Debating the Case for "Black Optimism" (Glenn Loury & Coleman Hughes)

Coleman's new essay, "The Case for Black Optimism" ... Does it make sense to compare blacks and whites in terms of progress? ... Glenn presents the counterargument ... Coleman detests that blacks are viewed as "one massive problem" ... Glenn sees many... author

If We Lose the Republic... (Bill Scher & Matt K. Lewis)

More and more people are talking about impeachment ... Why Trump's betrayal of the Kurds rocked conservatives ... Is Matt in the Resistance now? ... Explaining Biden's dominance in recent polls ... Matt: If Warren is the nominee, conservatives will co... author

Voguing (Kat Rosenfield & Phoebe Maltz Bovy)

Support Feminine Chaos on Patreon! ... Examining the idea of squandering your privilege ... Lauren Duca teaches at NYU and everyone gets mad ... The trickiness of writing a profile of someone who is sort of an asshole ... Fashion magazines get woke: "... author

Nepotism, the Debate, and Robots (Bill Scher & Matt K. Lewis)

Billy Carter and political nepotism ... The blessing and burden of having a famous parent ... A good debate night for Buttigieg and Bernie ... Matt: Warren is almost Trumpian in her ability to lie ... Bill: Biden is no longer the frontrunner ... If T... author

What the Mainstream Media Gets Wrong about Syria (Robert Wright & Max Blumenthal)

Max recounts his recent trip to Syria ... A dangerous myth about authoritarian leaders ... Max: We are the biggest dictator on the planet ... Why saying "Putin won" in Syria is facile ... Is the "responsibility to protect" just imperialism in disguis... author

Back and Still Black (Glenn Loury & John McWhorter)

Glenn wants to hear more before supporting impeachment ... John: "Does it not bother you that your country is being run by an idiot?" ... Is Trump a truer tribune of the people than Obama? ... Glenn fears violent civil unrest if Trump is ousted ... Ab... author

Defining Moments (Bill Scher & Matt K. Lewis)

Are cracks showing among Trump's GOP defenders? ... Matt: Trump has changed the conservative base ... Which GOP senators might vote to convict? ... Are Dems already screwing this up? ... Warren on the rise, Biden stagnant ... The political fallout fr... author

The New "New Republic" (Robert Wright & Chris Lehmann)

Chris steers The New Republic (back) to the left ... How Chris's Iowa childhood shaped his politics ... "This might be your great-grandfather's New Republic" ... Evaluating the Resistance ... Why Chris wishes Sherrod Brown was running for president .... author

Elizabeth Warren vs. Bernie Sanders (Noah Smith & Ben Burgis)

Is Elizabeth Warren a neoliberal? ... Why Noah likes Bernie's Medicare for All plan ... Is free college a good idea? ... The pros and cons of a wealth tax ... The fundamental economic changes Ben wants to see ... Venezuela and the failures of Latin Am... author

The Dangers of Impeachment (Bill Scher & Matt K. Lewis)

Is impeaching Trump smart politics? ... Comparisons to Clinton’s impeachment ... Bill: Trump seems unconcerned with his legacy ... Matt: Why are conservatives drinking Trump’s Kool-Aid? ... Would Trump’s failures stick to a President Pence? ... Biden’... author

Truth, Justice, and Racial Equality (Edmund Santurri & Glenn Loury)

What does it mean to be a black conservative? ... Why Glenn's views on affirmative action have shifted back and forth ... What happens if affirmative action is eliminated? ... Glenn critiques the idea of a "New Jim Crow" ... The case against reparati... author

Ukrainegate and Impeachment (Robert Wright & Michael Tracey)

Michael: Ukrainegate flows out of Russiagate ... Are Democrats overinterpreting the evidence against Trump? ... Does it matter that the whistleblower is a CIA agent? ... Why this was the breaking point for House Dems ... Bob: Trump has inured us to a... author

Is Cancel Culture Real? (Aryeh Cohen-Wade & Mellie Macker)

Mellie: Cancel culture is both real and fake ... Saturday Night Live's weird place in American culture ... Lenny Bruce was driven to his death but Louis CK is performing again ... Is cancellation just the market working itself out? ... Bret Stephens pl... author

The Long Southern Strategy (Robert Wright & Angie Maxwell)

Angie's new book, The Long Southern Strategy ... Angie: It wasn't inevitable that civil rights would become a wedge issue ... The Equal Rights Amendment, Phyllis Schlafly, and anti-feminist backlash ... The subtler replacements for overt racism and se... author

High-Energy Impeachment Edition (Bill Scher & Matt K. Lewis)

Why Matt is in favor of impeachment ... Bill praises Pelosi's wait-and-see strategy ... Bill: Dems should be whispering to GOPers, "President Pence" ... Do Warren's big crowds matter? ... Poor Joe Biden just can't get good press ... author

A Politics of Humility, Forgiveness, and Love (Glenn Loury & John Wood)

Is polarization a problem to be solved with "water or fire"? ... If Trump wins reelection, will national reconciliation be possible? ... How John's biography prepared him for this work ... Love thy political antagonist as thyself ... Marianne Willi... author

Corn Pop Is Canceled (Bill Scher & Matt K. Lewis)

Biden, Corn Pop, and the pragmatism of older black voters ... Does the media choose who it wants to win? ... Matt doubts black voters will abandon Biden for Warren ... What happened to Kamala? ... Is Matt's "too dumb to fail" thesis playing out on the... author

The Socialist Manifesto (Robert Wright & Bhaskar Sunkara)

Bhaskar's new book, The Socialist Manifesto ... Where Sanders, Warren, and Corbyn fit on the socialist spectrum ... Trump as radicalizer of the left ... Why Marxism failed in Russia and the Third World ... Bhaskar: My objection to capitalism isn’t abou... author

Caroline, Natalie, and "You Guys" (Kat Rosenfield & Phoebe Maltz Bovy)

Hey, you guys, is there something wrong with the phrase "you guys"? ... Phoebe: "I have trouble believing people are actually offended" ... Is language policing objectively pro-Trump? ... The epic Instagram-influencer friendship drama of Caroline and... author

Immigration, Populism, and the Future of White Majorities (Robert Wright & Eric Kaufmann)

Eric's new book on populism and immigration, Whiteshift ... Why it's counterproductive to call Trump supporters racist ... Eric's vision of an American ethnic nationalism ... Bob: Ideally, shouldn't we get past ethnicity? ... Will mixed-race children... author

Trump's Challengers (Bill Scher & Matt K. Lewis)

The persistence of Biden  ... Do any of Trump’s GOP primary challengers have a shot?  ... Is Trump a dove? A hawk? Neither?   ... What's Gabbard’s endgame?  ... Can Buttigieg’s big campaign fund buy him a late surge? ... Matt: Buttigieg should run as m... author

A Critical Look at the 1619 Project (Glenn Loury & John McWhorter)

Critiquing the NYT's series on American slavery, the 1619 Project ... Why did this package come out now? ... Are today's racial disparities a "predictable" result of slavery? ... The imaginary black man riding the subway who thinks "y'all gotta watch ... author

Bedbugs and Great Power Politics (Daniel Bessner & Eli Lake)

The Bret Stephens bedbug affair ... Eli: Stephens should be praised for going after both Trump and the left ... Daniel: Twitter is toxic but democratic ... Was the Cold War necessary? ... Eli wonders whether Russia is fated to be miserable ... Can Am... author

The Life and Times of Glenn Loury (Robert Wright & Glenn Loury)

Glenn wrestles with the problem of self-regard as he writes his memoir ... "I was a liberal before I was a conservative before I was a liberal before I was a conservative" ... The secret life Glenn led while at Harvard ... Glenn wonders whether his sup... author

Climate Change Politics (Bill Scher & Matt K. Lewis)

Reviewing CNN's climate forum ... The case for nuclear power ... Would Dems accept carbon tax + nuclear + fracking? ... Climate change as culture war ... Biden's bad news cycles and high poll numbers ... Why are the three Dem frontrunners the old whit... author

A Comments Section of One's Own (Aryeh Cohen-Wade & Joanna Mang)

Joanna's piece on Melissa McEwan and her controversial blog, Shakesville ... Actual activism vs. keyboard activism ... The ridiculous art of online war ... Was the site a cult of personality? ... Aryeh's history as a commenter and a moderator ... Sha... author

Governing's Last Day (Bill Scher & Graham Vyse)

Why special guest host Graham is freshly unemployed ... Why did Governing close down? ... How career trajectories in journalism have changed in recent years ... What happens to communities when they lose their local media? ... Can Elizabeth Warren lear... author

Stereotypes, Crime, and the Pursuit of Justice (Glenn Loury & Rajiv Sethi)

Rajiv's new book, Shadows of Doubt: Stereotypes, Crime, and the Pursuit of Justice ... Are stereotypes rational? ... Glenn on the stereotypes inherent in "The Talk" ... The community view vs. the law enforcement view of race and homicide ... Racial pr... author