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Slate Podcast What Next


A smart round-up of the biggest stories of the day. When the news feels overwhelming, we’re here to help you answer: What next? Look for the show every weekday.

A smart round-up of the biggest stories of the day. When the news feels overwhelming, we’re here to help you answer: What next? Look for the show every weekday.
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A smart round-up of the biggest stories of the day. When the news feels overwhelming, we’re here to help you answer: What next? Look for the show every weekday.




How Pelosi Holds the Line on Impeachment

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s political philosophy is an elegant one: If you want to do something bold, you must follow public sentiment, not lead it. Now why can’t House Democrats seem to shape public sentiment? And what makes them so afraid to cross their caucus leader? Guest: Rachael Bade, Congress reporter for the Washington Post.


Strange Alliances on the Supreme Court

It’s June, which means it’s the season of highly anticipated Supreme Court rulings. We’re taking a look at two cases that shook up the typical partisan fault line on the bench. How did conservative and liberal justices find themselves making unusual alliances on double jeopardy and racial gerrymandering? Guest: Mark Joseph Stern, Slate’s courts correspondent.


For Women’s Soccer, An Elusive Goal

At the Women’s World Cup this year, the U.S. players talk about living in a “bubble” -- thinking of nothing but the game, eschewing any distractions. What looms outside that bubble is their lawsuit against their federation for gender discrimination, and it’s already shading the reactions to their games. Guest: Nancy Armour, sports columnist for USA TODAY. Podcast production by Mary Wilson, Jayson De Leon, and Ethan Brooks.


What Bernie Gets Wrong About Socialism

The Bernie Sanders campaign billed his speech on Wednesday as a “major address on how democratic socialism is the only way to defeat oligarchy and authoritarianism.” Besides being a mouthful, the speech was an attempt for Bernie to explain why he calls himself a socialist. However, he gets a key element of the pitch wrong. Was it an accident or is Bernie intentionally trying to change what being a socialist in America means? Guest: Jordan Weissmann, economics and policy writer at Slate.


How Facebook Made an Enemy of Nancy Pelosi

Mark Zuckerberg used to avoid traveling to Washington, D.C., leaving a lot of the political outreach Facebook needed to do to COO Sheryl Sandberg. Now? He’s personally putting in phone calls to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (who won’t return his calls). What does the incident concerning the distorted video of Pelosi that went viral show us about how the social media giant’s relationship with policymakers is changing? And what does it mean for the 2020 elections? Guest: Elizabeth...


It’s Mitch McConnell’s Swamp. We Just Live in It.

If you walk to the Ohio riverfront from Owensboro’s City Hall, past the Courthouse, and the Museum of Science and History, you’ll get to McConnell Plaza. Mitch McConnell Plaza. For years, this town has been courting the Senate majority leader and, recently, its paid off. What does the relationship between his office and his wife, Elaine Chao’s, office have to do with the grants this small city is receiving? Are ethics being violated? Guest: Tanya Snyder, transportation reporter at POLITICO....


Elizabeth Warren Is Not Here to Charm You

Elizabeth Warren might be a different kind of presidential candidate. Is America ready for that? Guest: Dahlia Lithwick, Slate writer and host of the Amicus podcast.


Why Gun Bills in Virginia Always Die

Before Chris Hurst was a legislator in Virginia’s House of Delegates, he was a local news anchor. Working out of the same newsroom as his then-girlfriend, Alison Parker. Alison was tragically shot and killed on live TV alongside her colleague Adam Ward nearly four years ago. In the years that followed Chris has been a proponent of gun control in a state that is reluctant to change its gun laws. In the wake of the mass shooting at Virginia Beach on May 31, Virginia’s democratic governor...


Who Wants to Tax a Millionaire?

As Democrats try to find an economic message that can win in 2020, a group of like-minded millionaires is making the rounds, telling any politicians who will listen, “We want to pay more in taxes.” Why, though? Guest: Morris Pearl, chair of Patriotic Millionaires. Podcast production by Mary Wilson, Jayson De Leon, and Ethan Brooks.


A Health Care Tale of Two States

Washington and Connecticut set out to change health care in their own states using “public option” legislation. With the 2020 candidates discussing Medicare for All, these two states may serve as an example on the kinds of resistance the idea will meet in practice. Guest: Jordan Weissmann, writer at Slate.


The Crowd-Funded Border Wall Is Not a Joke

The strange tale of how a group of Trump supporters started building the border wall themselves, and why the southern border has become a proving ground and businesses and politicians who want to catch the president’s eye. Guest: Politico reporter Ben Schreckinger. Read his latest story from the Southern border.


The GOP Operative Haunting Republicans From the Grave

Tom Hofeller was a dedicated Republican operative, committed to achieving GOP political dominance and doing it with utmost discretion. Now, his political legacy is in the hands of the U.S. Supreme Court—and all because his daughter shared his old computer archives with the wrong group of lawyers. Guests: Bob Phillips, executive director of Common Cause North Carolina. David Daley, author of Ratf**ked: The True Story Behind the Secret Plan to Steal America’s Democracy.


The Basketball Coach Who Won’t Hire Men

Notre Dame basketball coach Muffet McGraw wasn’t planning on making a speech about feminism and gender equality. But at a press conference before the Final Four tournament, that’s just what she did, launching into a screed about the dearth of women in government, politics, corporate C-suites, and sports. “We don’t have enough female role models,” McGraw said. “Men run the world!” The viral moment was a lifetime in the making. Guest: Muffet McGraw, head coach of the Notre Dame women’s...


Why Can’t California Fix Its Housing Crisis?

“California is full.” That’s effectively what some residents and lawmakers in the state said when they chose to punt on a bill that would build more financially sane housing across its biggest metropolitan areas. What does the story of that bill tell us about policymaking for housing and transportation in America? And in a state where homelessness is increasing at an alarming rate, how long will it take California to build the housing it desperately needs? Guest: Farhad Manjoo, a New York...


Mueller Would Like You to Read His Report, Please

Special Counsel Robert Mueller breaks his silence to reiterate the conclusions of his investigation’s report -- and remind the American people to read it. Guest: Slate’s Dahlia Lithwick, host of the Amicus podcast. Podcast production by Mary Wilson, Jayson De Leon, and Ethan Brooks.


Brexiteers Receive Milkshakes and Results

It was the election that was never supposed to happen in the UK in the first place. Several delays, a few milkshakes, and a resignation later the British found themselves voting over the weekend for European Parliament. How did Brexiteers and Remainers fare in this past weekend’s vote? And what does it mean for the UK and Europe writ large? Guest: Josh Keating, International Editor at Slate


Why Trump Keeps Losing in Court

Everywhere President Trump turns, he’s finding himself hemmed in by the courts. But could upcoming rulings from the Supreme Court make lower court judges take a more expansive view of the president’s executive powers? Guest: Slate writer Mark Joseph Stern.


The "American Taliban" Goes Free

In the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, U.S. forces scoured Afghanistan for Taliban fighters. They weren’t expecting to find John Walker Lindh, a young man from California who had converted to Islam and moved abroad to study the Quran. Lindh was dubbed the “American Taliban,” but his case ended in a plea deal, leaving his treatment while in custody a secret. At the time, Lindh’s story seemed uncomplicated: He was associating with extremists. Now, years later, his case feels like a missed...


Losing the Abortion Fight in Georgia

Last week, Georgia joined the wave of states passing stringent anti-abortion laws in a bid to topple Roe v. Wade. One Democratic state senator says she hasn’t lost her resolve to fight for women’s bodily autonomy. Guest: Georgia state Sen. Jen Jordan, representing parts of Atlanta and its northwestern suburbs Podcast production by Mary Wilson, Jayson De Leon, and Ethan Brooks.


Smile! You're on Amazon's Camera

Sheriff’s offices across the country are signing up to beta-test a facial recognition tool made by Amazon. Law enforcement proponents say the technology helps find perpetrators who otherwise may go free. But civil liberties advocates have questions about the accuracy —and the constitutionality—of these tools. Guest: Reporter Drew Harwell. Read his latest in the Washington Post.