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The Weeds

Vox Media

In politics, you’re often told not to get lost in the weeds. But we love the weeds! That’s where politics becomes policy – the stuff that shapes our lives. Every Tuesday and Friday, host Matthew Yglesias is joined by Vox reporters and editors, ProPublica's Dara Lind, and some of the leading minds in policy to dig into the weeds on important national issues, including healthcare, immigration, housing, and everything else that matters. Produced by Vox and the Vox Media Podcast Network.

In politics, you’re often told not to get lost in the weeds. But we love the weeds! That’s where politics becomes policy – the stuff that shapes our lives. Every Tuesday and Friday, host Matthew Yglesias is joined by Vox reporters and editors, ProPublica's Dara Lind, and some of the leading minds in policy to dig into the weeds on important national issues, including healthcare, immigration, housing, and everything else that matters. Produced by Vox and the Vox Media Podcast Network.

Location:

United States

Networks:

Vox Media

Description:

In politics, you’re often told not to get lost in the weeds. But we love the weeds! That’s where politics becomes policy – the stuff that shapes our lives. Every Tuesday and Friday, host Matthew Yglesias is joined by Vox reporters and editors, ProPublica's Dara Lind, and some of the leading minds in policy to dig into the weeds on important national issues, including healthcare, immigration, housing, and everything else that matters. Produced by Vox and the Vox Media Podcast Network.

Language:

English


Episodes

The plan for more free school

5/14/2021
Matt is joined by New York Times education reporter Dana Goldstein to talk about what Biden's American Families Plan will do to bolster and expand public education access in this country. They talk about the plan for universal preschool, free community college, and also talk about how the administration has been involved in pandemic-related school reopening decisions behind the scenes. Resources: "Schools Are Open, but Many Families Remain Hesitant to Return" by Dana Goldstein (New York...

Duration:00:55:17

Homelessness and the rising tide

5/11/2021
Matt and Dara are joined by Vox Politics and Policy Fellow Jerusalem Demsas to talk about homelessness, and the policies that have failed to even properly confront this problem. They talk about the decline of SRO housing, the progressives who seem to oppose any way to help out, and the 1951 sci-fi classic The Day the Earth Stood Still. Then, some research is discussed that takes a look at how Italian workers responded to a 2011 pension reform. Resources: "Iowa is making it harder to be a...

Duration:01:05:14

The app store war

5/7/2021
Matt is joined by Makena Kelly of The Verge to talk about some recent stories at the intersection of policy and tech. She discusses the Facebook Oversight Board's ambivalent "ruling" on Trump's ban from the platform, Apple's ongoing antitrust court battles, and the prospect for a sweeping antitrust overhaul foreshadowed by Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI). Resources: "Facebook's Trump ban can stay in place, says Oversight Board" by Makena Kelly and Adi Robertson (The Verge, May 5) "As Epic v....

Duration:00:44:10

The "hundred days" myth

5/4/2021
Matt and Dara are joined by Vox's Andrew Prokop to talk about the very notion of a president's "first hundred days," whether or not it is a useful or important metric for their performance. Andrew talks about the history of the term, originating with F.D.R., and our hosts evaluate some of the recent lines of comparison between Biden and Roosevelt that have been floating around in the discourse lately. Plus, some research is analyzed that examines the effect of the channel placement of Fox...

Duration:01:08:20

There's lead in your turmeric

4/30/2021
Matt is joined by Rachel Silverman, a policy fellow at the Center for Global Development, who talks about the extreme dangers and high prevalence of lead contamination globally. Despite the manifest health benefits that would be served by Biden's plans to finally replace lead pipes in the U.S., this is marginal compared to the lead poisoning occurring due to unregulated electronics recycling, traditional ceramics glazing, and by bright, yellow turmeric. Resources: "Biden Wants to Eliminate...

Duration:00:47:52

A Manchin for all seasons

4/27/2021
Matt and Dara are joined by Vox's Andrew Prokop, author of an in-depth revelatory profile on America's swingiest Senator: Mr. Manchin in the Middle. Andrew brings Manchin's history as a legislator to bear in discussion, shedding light on what Manchin's policy goals as a legislator in this Congress might be (if he has any, that is), what his governing ideology might be beyond the mere politics of his re-election, and why, ultimately, he is being so weird about the filibuster right now. Joe,...

Duration:01:07:23

Why transit projects fail

4/23/2021
Matt is joined by professor and transit researcher Eric Goldwyn to talk about why transit projects in the U.S. often fail. They discuss several high-profile cases, including the Second Avenue subway line in New York, the Green Line Extension in Boston, and the DC Streetcar. Why do cities spearhead redundant transit lines on top of existing rights-of-way? Why do cities in other countries spend so much less per mile on transit than American cities do? And, how can the political opposition to...

Duration:01:05:05

The pandemic playbook

4/20/2021
Matt and Dara are joined by Vox's Dylan Scott to talk about his new Pandemic Playbook project from Vox, exploring how six nations coped with the Covid-19 pandemic, and evaluating what we can all learn from their experiences to help us with the next pandemic. In this episode, Dylan talks with Matt and Dara about how South Korea's response to Covid-19 was shaped in many ways by the 2015 MERS outbreak, and about how the South Korean people's relationship to their government contrasts with the...

Duration:01:07:21

Think like a scout

4/16/2021
Matt is joined by author and podcast host Julia Galef to talk about her new book The Scout Mindset. They talk about the difference between epistemic and social confidence, the role of uncertainty in thinking critically, and — most of all — about fighting with people on the internet. Resources: The Scout Mindset: Why Some People See Things Clearly and Others Don't by Julia Galef (Apr. 2021) Guest: Julia Galef (@juliagalef), Author, host of the Rationally Speaking podcast Host: Matt Yglesias...

Duration:01:07:57

White paper-palooza

4/13/2021
It's an all white paper episode, folks. Vox climate reporter Umair Irfan joins Matt and Dara to take on three research papers all concerning climate change: first, on the social costs of carbon; then on the disparate effects of temperature rise on a diverse array of geographic regions; finally, on global migration due to climate change. Be sure to check out the bonus content on the short-form version of The Weeds that comes out Wednesday mornings as part of Vox Quick Hits. Subscribe to Vox...

Duration:00:58:02

It's time for class warfare

4/9/2021
Matt is joined by Faiz Shakir, a top adviser to Sen. Bernie Sanders and the former manager of his 2020 presidential campaign, to talk about adopting a working class lens for crafting progressive policy, cultivating an ethic of solidarity, and about the organization he founded, More Perfect Union, which aims to craft media that centers working people. Faiz also gets Matt to go on the record about how his own feelings on Bernie have evolved, from the 2016 campaign to now. Resources: Mission...

Duration:01:07:53

Bidencare?

4/6/2021
Matt and Dara are joined by Vox's Dylan Scott to examine the $400 billion portion of Biden's $2 trillion infrastructure plan that is designated for the "caretaking economy." Is this merely an expansion of Medicaid? Does it actually address fundamental structural issues in the economics of long-term care? Plus, some research is examined that helps illustrate the power of "defaults" in ACA-type health insurance marketplaces. Resources: "White House unveils $2 trillion infrastructure and...

Duration:01:06:19

The politics of cultural criticism

4/2/2021
Matt is joined by Alyssa Rosenberg, cultural critic and opinion columnist at the Washington Post, to talk about the intersection of criticism and politics. Should J.K. Rowling's recent anti-trans political statements retroactively alter the critical appraisal of Harry Potter? Can one be a fan of a cop show like Brooklyn Nine-Nine without committing to the show's interior politics? And can a show operate without interior politics when it, like David Simon's The Wire, confronts problems in...

Duration:01:06:50

All circuits matter

3/30/2021
Matt and Dara are joined by Vox Senior Correspondent Ian Millhiser to discuss the future of judicial appointments in Biden Administration — starting with the spate of appointees announced on Tuesday, just as we began taping. They also discuss some new research about the historical roadshow of the 1915 film The Birth of a Nation around the country, and how this correlated with an uptick in racial violence in roadshow localities in the ensuing years. Resources: "What Biden's first list of...

Duration:00:59:53

The optimistic leftist

3/27/2021
Matt is joined by political scientist and author Ruy Teixeira to talk about how Democratic messaging has gone wrong, and how to get it right. Resources: "Immigrant Neighborhoods Shifted Red as the Country Chose Blue" by Weiyi Cai and Ford Fessenden, New York Times (Dec. 20, 2020) "The Five Deadly Sins of the Left" by Ruy Teixeira, American Compass (Oct. 13, 2020) "'Hidden Tribes,' the new report centrists are using to explain away polarization, explained" by Zack Beauchamp, Vox (Oct. 22,...

Duration:01:00:19

Is gun violence fixable?

3/24/2021
Matt and Dara are joined by Vox Politics and Policy Fellow Jerusalem Demsas to talk about gun violence and mass shootings in America. They discuss the recent shootings in Atlanta and Boulder, talk through the difference between real policy solutions and more superficial ones, and discuss several non-productive but entrenched aspects of the media landscape surrounding mass shootings, gun violence, and progressive reforms. Then, they take on some new research on the correlation between...

Duration:01:22:17

All about inflation

3/19/2021
Skanda Amarnath from Employ America joins Matt to talk about inflation. They discuss how the Fed tracks markers of inflation, the difference between cyclical and asymmetric inflation, and talk about whether or not to give into Larry Summers's fears about an "overheated" economy in our recovery. Resources: "Inflation: The Good, The Bad, and The Transitory" by Skanda Amarnath and Alex Williams (Feb. 12, 2021) Guest: Skanda Amarnath (@IrvingSwisher), Director of Research & Analysis, Employ...

Duration:01:01:36

Asylum policy for the here and now

3/17/2021
Matt and Dara are joined by Vox Senior Correspondent Ian Millhiser to examine the current state of affairs at the southern border, and to evaluate the Biden administration's immigration response more generally. Then, some research is discussed that examines (pre-Covid) data on the correlation between life expectancy and both race and educational attainment. Resources: Statement by Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas Regarding the Situation at the Southwest Border (Mar. 16,...

Duration:01:08:25

Introducing Unexplainable

3/14/2021
Unexplainable is a new podcast from Vox about everything we don’t know. Each week, the team look at the most fascinating unanswered questions in science and the mind-bending ways scientists are trying to answer them. New episodes drop every Wednesday. Learn more: vox.com/unexplainable Listen on Apple Podcasts: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/unexplainable/id1554578197 Listen on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/0PhoePNItwrXBnmAEZgYmt?si=Y3-2TFfDT8qHkfxMjrJL2g Learn more about your...

Duration:00:28:41

An A.I. wrote this title

3/12/2021
Vox's Kelsey Piper joins Matt to talk about the future of artificial intelligence and AI research. Should AI research be more heavily regulated, or banned? What kind of future will the continued development of AI bring us? Will AI turn out to be more like Skynet, or... like Philip Morris? Resources: "The case for taking AI seriously as a threat to humanity" by Kelsey Piper, Vox/Future Perfect (Updated Oct. 15, 2020) Guest: Kelsey Piper (@KelseyTuoc), Staff Writer, Vox Host: Matt Yglesias...

Duration:00:56:08