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Smart people talking about politics, policy, culture and other stuff
🇬🇧 English
last modified
2019-06-21 08:46
last episode published
2019-06-20 23:10
publication frequency
2.08 days
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Date Thumb Title & Description Contributors

The Invincible Gaffe Machine (Bill Scher & Matt K. Lewis)

Do conservatives ever satirize themselves? ... Lessons from politics: Never apologize ... Is Biden in danger of losing black voters? ... Matt wonders if Bernie and Warren are too similar for comfort ... Were AOC’s "concentration camp" comments beyond t... author

Black Silent Majority (Glenn Loury & Michael Fortner)

Michael's book on the Rockefeller drug laws, Black Silent Majority ... Critiquing Michelle Alexander's The New Jim Crow ... Adding a class critique to the discussion of race and crime ... Why Michael is torn over "respectability politics" ... Michael:... author

Libertarian Foreign Policy, Pt. 2 (Robert Wright & Christopher Preble)

Chris’s new book, Peace, War, and Liberty: Understanding U.S. Foreign Policy ... Are libertarians, generally speaking, anti-war? ... Chris: The U.S. is powerful because people want to emulate us ... Libertarianism and international law ... Why has Con... author

Drezburt Returns (Heather Hurlburt & Daniel Drezner)

Who tried to kill Big Papi? ... Who attacked oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman? ... Is Shinzo Abe Trump's friend or supplicant? ... Gauging the odds of war with Iran ... Heather: Trump's actions mean the US can never rejoin the nuclear deal ... The eve... author

The Iran Disinformation Project (Robert Wright & Negar Mortazavi)

The Trump administration’s "Iran Disinformation Project," which Negar helped expose ... Following the State Department money ... Will Congress cancel funding for the project? ... Heshmat Alavi, the Iran expert who turns out not to exist ... How is Trum... author

Will Matt Vote Blue in 2020? (Bill Scher & Matt K. Lewis)

Why Matt is on the Justin Amash train ... What would it take for Matt to vote for Biden (or any Democrat) in 2020? ... Bill: If Biden wins, he won’t be captive to the far left ... How to stand out on a crowded debate stage ... Bill: “Cult favorite” can... author

Dignity (Aryeh Cohen-Wade & Chris Arnade)

Chris's new book, Dignity: Seeking Respect in Back Row America ... Why politics and Trump are mostly absent from the book ... McDonald's, the community center for people on the margins ... Successful immigrant communities like the Somalis in Lewiston,... author

How the News Took Over Reality (Robert Wright & Oliver Burkeman)

Oliver's recent essay in the Guardian, "How the news took over reality" ... The vanished distinction between private and public spheres ... Oliver: Maybe our problem is too much participation in democracy ... Bob on the halcyon early days at Slate, wh... author

Divided Politics, Divided Nation (Glenn Loury & Darrell West)

Darrell’s new book, Divided Politics, Divided Nation ... Why is racial demographic change so important to conservatives? ... How Darrell’s conservative Christian family exemplifies the ideological divide ... Identity politics on the Brown University ca... author

China in 2019 (Robert Wright & Gabriel Wildau)

Gabe, just returned from a stint in China, on the controversial tech giant Huawei ... Is the battle over Huawei in fact just about curbing China's power? ... The "did we get China wrong?" debate ... Gabe (kind of) defends Trump's tariff policy ... Thir... author

Who's Really Winning the Culture War? (Bill Scher & Matt K. Lewis)

Why shoe-leather reporting is really hard ... Why is the right debating “David Frenchism”? ... Who’s really winning the culture war? ... How Biden’s climate plan could win over the left ... Bill: Conservatives have been engaging in "cancel culture" s... author

Moby’s "May-December" Fantasy (Kat Rosenfield & Phoebe Maltz Bovy)

Moby’s Natalie Portman misstep and “May-December” relationships ... How old is too old to infantilize yourself? ... Kat: Incels aren’t a feminist issue; they hate themselves too ... Phoebe: Teenage heartbreak isn’t as gendered as one would think ... St... author

Speech Police (Robert Wright & David Kaye)

David's new book, Speech Police: The Global Struggle to Govern the Internet ... Did social media companies treat Alex Jones unfairly? ... Why online censorship is much easier than it was 15 years ago ... Bob proposes a "free market of algorithms" ... W... author

Mindful Resistance (Robert Wright & )

Bob introduces the idea of Mindful Resistance ... Mindfulness is all about clarity ... Mindfulness as a weapon against Trumpian tribalism ... Buddhism opposes an essentialist view of Trump supporters (and of anything else) ... Salvation of self and s... author

Big Crowds, Yard Signs, and Virtual Caucusing (Bill Scher & Matt K. Lewis)

The legacies of Bill Buckner and Edmund Morris ... Should we be defined by their worst moments? ... Why big crowds and yard signs don’t win elections ... Iowa’s Democratic Party introduces remote caucusing—will it help Biden? ... Progressives jostle fo... author

The Management of Savagery (Robert Wright & Max Blumenthal)

Max's new book, The Management of Savagery ... How arming rebels in Afghanistan put America on the path to 9/11 ... Threat inflation in the War on Terror ... The "seamless continuity" between the Iraq War and the Syrian civil war ... Max: US actions in... author

Francophile Edition (Kat Rosenfield & Phoebe Maltz Bovy)

Are journalists becoming too thirsty for their subjects? ... Phoebe: Journalists dunking on subjects can backfire ... The College Board Adversity Index ... Is a “holistic” college admissions process even possible? ... Kat and Phoebe’s qualifications as... author

A Brief History of Doom (Robert Wright & Richard Vague)

Richard's new book, A Brief History of Doom ... The forgotten causes of the Great Depression ... Parallels between the Great Depression and the Great Recession ... Richard: If Obama had done more for consumers, Trump would not be president ... How rai... author

A Brief History of Doom (Robert Wright & Richard Vague)

Richard's new book, A Brief History of Doom ... The forgotten causes of the Great Depression ... Parallels between the Great Depression and the Great Recession ... Richard: If Obama had done more for consumers, Trump would not be president ... How rai... author

The Mom-o-Meter (Bill Scher & Matt K. Lewis)

Matt: I would vote for Justin Amash for president ... Bill: An Amash run would be good for Trump ... Bill's case against impeachment ... Matt: Trump wants to be impeached ... Signs that Biden gets under Trump's skin ... Biden's aspirational bipartisans... author

Standardizing Disadvantage (Glenn Loury & John McWhorter)

Why NYC’s elite schools are ditching standardized entry exams ... John: The academic achievement gap is a cultural issue ... Getting good grades and the pressure against "acting white" ... What is oppositional culture theory? ... John: There's no repla... author

End of Thrones (Aryeh Cohen-Wade & Michael Sweeney)

The controversial finale of Game of Thrones ... Would Dany have been a good queen? ... Why many female fans felt so betrayed ... Was the story just a big red herring? ... Aryeh: The second part of the episode felt like fan fiction ... The fates of Jon,... author

Nervous States (Robert Wright & William Davies)

William's new book, Nervous States: Democracy and the Decline of Reason ... Is William's view of history Marxian or Hegelian? ... Are we experiencing a crisis of expertise or a revolt against the elites? ... The Internet as a massive crowd we are all... author

Hate Crime Hoax (Glenn Loury & Wilfred Reilly)

Wilfred’s new book, Hate Crime Hoax: How the Left is Selling a Fake Race War ... The real statistics on racial hate crimes ... How the “continuing oppression narrative” hurts race relations in the US ... Wilfred: Being a conservative at a historically ... author

No Progressives in Foxholes (Bill Scher & Matt K. Lewis)

Are Trump and Biden jockeying for the same voters? ... Aspirational vs. pragmatic campaigning ... Has Elizabeth Warren shot herself in the foot (again)? ... Is there a double standard in likability for men and women? ... What Dems could learn from Trum... author

Politics after the Mueller Report (Robert Wright & Glenn Greenwald)

Politics after the Mueller report ... Glenn: Twitter "fosters the worst in all of us" ... The origins of Glenn's Russiagate skepticism ... Glenn: Trump is more belligerent toward Russia than Obama was ... Is Russiagate the Benghazi of the left? ... Did... author

Against the Rules (Robert Wright & Michael Lewis)

Michael's new podcast, Against the Rules ... Michael: Referees across society are under assault ... Is technology making umpires obsolete in tennis and baseball? ... The credibility crisis facing federal judges ... The half-billion-dollar Da Vinci pain... author

Special Dress-Wearing Edition (Kat Rosenfield & Phoebe Maltz Bovy)

The problems with pairing artificial intelligence with dating apps ... Should apps serve us what we want or what we should want? ... A viral tweet on amazing Millennial women and their loser boyfriends ... Young women who use Tinder in Brooklyn are no... author

Libertarian Foreign Policy (Robert Wright & John Glaser)

A libertarian view of foreign policy ... Why John knew from the start that Trump would be a hawk ... What explains the "long peace"? ... Why think-tankers and academics view foreign policy differently ... The Trump administration's Iran obsession ... ... author

On Teaching (Glenn Loury & Michele Kerr)

Michele responds to a recent article in Quillette, “Public Education’s Dirty Secret” ... What does it mean for a teacher to put instruction first? ... How does a student’s race influence teaching styles? ... Michele: There’s no single correct approach ... author

Avengers: Endgame (Aryeh Cohen-Wade & Milton Lawson)

Reviewing Avengers: Endgame ... Spoilers! The movie's first wild twist ... Is time travel a cop out? ... The first big character death ... Milton: Comic book fans have matured ... Assessing the giant climactic fight scene ... The aftermath: selfishnes... author

Sense and Senility (Bill Scher & Matt K. Lewis)

Bill and Matt agree that Biden’s two-pronged kickoff was a success ... Has Biden weathered #MeToo and Anita Hill? ... Elizabeth Warren as the “ideas” candidate ... Who would Biden pick as VP? Kamala, Bill says ... Bill: Warren is itching to debate Bide... author

The End of Satire? (Aryeh Cohen-Wade & Justin E. H. Smith)

Justin's recent NYT op-ed, "The End of Satire" ... Neo-Nazi memes and satire from the bottom ... How Justin's views about free speech have changed ... The line between satire and fake news ... Our surreal reality, where Trump's "gorilla channel" seems ... author

What's Biden's Plan? (Bill Scher & Matt K. Lewis)

Biden announces his presidential bid, finally ... Why did Biden use Charlottesville to open his campaign? ... Bill: Black votes matter in this primary ... How will the rest of the pack “out-progressive” one another? ... Can Elizabeth Warren snag a few ... author

How to Fight Polarization (Glenn Loury & John Wood)

John returns to talk about political polarization ... What made the 2016 election so polarizing? ... A brief history of American political polarization ... Glenn: Dialogue is great, but how do we find consensus around policy? ... How John’s family hist... author

The Julia Louis-Dreyfus Affair (Aryeh Cohen-Wade & Phoebe Maltz Bovy)

Phoebe presents a short explainer on the Dreyfus Affair ... Why we still talk about Dreyfus today ... The Covington Affair, the Smollett Affair, and other contemporary Affairs ... How social media makes causes célèbres more likely ... Why Phoebe iden... author

The "Race Debate" in America Today (Glenn Loury & John McWhorter)

Glenn and John talk at Harvard about affirmative action and reparations ... Does affirmative action put its recipients at a classroom disadvantage? ... Glenn on the lawsuit against Harvard admissions ... John: Reparations have already happened ... What... author

Indian Politics in Perspective (William R. Black & Varsha Venkatasubramanian)

What does the American left have wrong about Indian politics? ... Basic facts and history about India’s government ... Varsha’s dating encounters with Hindu nationalists ... Who counts as “desi”? ... How the Partition of India defined its national myt... author

All about Authenticity (Kat Rosenfield & Phoebe Maltz Bovy)

Kat's article on #OwnVoices novels ... The case against sensitivity readers ... Fiction and our common humanity ... The controversy over the "clean" Chinese restaurant ... Sexism posing as anti-racism ... Is "white Jew" a slur? Is "TERF" a slur? ... author

"Game of Thrones": The Final Season (Aryeh Cohen-Wade & Michael Sweeney)

Clues in the new Game of Thrones title sequence ... Reviewing the season premiere ... What's the point of Euron? ... Does Westeros have a "true" religion? ... Possible endings: Happy, sad, and time travel-y ... Gratuitous nudity returns ... Is this the... author

Assange and the Boundaries of Journalism (Bill Scher & Matt K. Lewis)

Julian Assange’s arrest and the source–journalist relationship ... Trump, Barr, and the difference between “spying” and “investigating” ... Will Barr and the Mueller report help Trump’s chances for reelection? ... Bill: Moderates could make or break t... author

Why the Israeli Election Didn’t Matter (Robert Wright & Yousef Munayyer)

Yousef: This election wasn’t democratic ... A referendum on Netanyahu ... Why the two-state solution was already dead ... Yousef: Netanyahu is a byproduct of the problem, not the problem itself ... Why has Trump gone so far right on Israel? ... The pea... author

Charm City (Glenn Loury & Rose Street Community Center)

The new documentary Charm City, featuring the Rose Street Community Center ... Theory, righteousness, and Glenn’s path to clean living ... Police and public policy in Baltimore ... Alex: Morality isn’t clear-cut on the streets ... Why black grief is of... author

Biden, Buttigieg, and Bernie (Bill Scher & Matt K. Lewis)

Has Biden weathered accusations of inappropriate touching? ... Bill: Biden splits Dems along generational lines ... Is Pete Buttigieg's youth an asset or a liability? ... How experience as a mayor could translate to the presidential office ... Matt: De... author

Does the Foreign Policy “Blob” Exist? (Robert Wright & Daniel Drezner)

The origins of Dan and Bob’s debate over whether the foreign policy “Blob” is a thing ... Is Trump’s foreign policy a neocon’s dream? ... Did we or didn’t we intervene in Syria? (And what’s the lesson?) ... Bob complains about the Blob’s use of the ter... author

Leggings Moms and Soap Dispenser Husbands (Kat Rosenfield & Phoebe Maltz Bovy)

Leggings, the modern locus of anxiety ... A deep dive into Jia Tolentino's New Yorker story about fitness brand Outdoor Voices ... Was Isaac Chotiner's interview with Bernard-Henri LĂ©vy unfair? ... The "Leggings Mom" and other helicopter parents ... A ... author

Grievance Politics (Glenn Loury & Amy Wax)

Why Amy is dubbed the “controversial” law professor ... Why the Intellectual Dark Web is maligned in online media circles ... How the drive for academic stardom stifles the climate debate ... Does the IDW have its own “grievance politics”? ... Glenn’s ... author

Aesthetics, Ideology, and Olivia Jade (Aryeh Cohen-Wade & Daniel Bessner)

College admissions fraud and children as products ... Adventures with Ivy League jocks ... Daniel: "Meritocracy is essentially bullshit" ... Was Black Panther neoliberal? ... Captain Marvel, Wonder Woman, and anti-imperialism ... Why Bernie has the ... author

Buttigieg's Moment? (Bill Scher & Matt K. Lewis)

Buttigieg fever sweeps the nation ... Matt gets “ratioed” on Twitter ... Could the Electoral College prevent a future Trump? ... Is Buttigieg destined for the big time? ... Why Beto could become the Mike Huckabee of the left ... Can Elizabeth Warren re... author

The Mueller Report and the Barr Memo (Robert Wright & Marcy Wheeler)

Why didn’t the Mueller report call for any indictments? ... What came of the information Marcy passed to the FBI? ... What is Manafort still lying about? ... Why Barr’s handling of this has been “so outrageous” ... Should Trump now fear prosecutors in ... author