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Make Me Smart with Kai and Molly

American Public Media

Hosted by Kai Ryssdal and Molly Wood, Make Me Smart With Kai & Molly is now a daily news podcast that breaks down the impact of COVID-19 on the economy and the most complex topics of the week. Together, we make sense of today. Because none of us is as smart as all of us. As a leading public media voice, Ryssdal has been a trusted broadcaster for two decades and has received the Alfred I.duPont-Columbia University Award, a Peabody Award and an Emmy. He is the host of our daily news business radio program Marketplace. Wood has spent two decades covering the tech industry on all platforms and is known as a pioneer in podcasting. She is an Ideas contributor at Wired and has been recognized for her dynamic reporting by the Webbys, the National Magazine Awards, and the Gracie Awards. Listen to them together on Make Me Smart With Kai & Molly wherever you get your podcasts.

Hosted by Kai Ryssdal and Molly Wood, Make Me Smart With Kai & Molly is now a daily news podcast that breaks down the impact of COVID-19 on the economy and the most complex topics of the week. Together, we make sense of today. Because none of us is as smart as all of us. As a leading public media voice, Ryssdal has been a trusted broadcaster for two decades and has received the Alfred I.duPont-Columbia University Award, a Peabody Award and an Emmy. He is the host of our daily news business radio program Marketplace. Wood has spent two decades covering the tech industry on all platforms and is known as a pioneer in podcasting. She is an Ideas contributor at Wired and has been recognized for her dynamic reporting by the Webbys, the National Magazine Awards, and the Gracie Awards. Listen to them together on Make Me Smart With Kai & Molly wherever you get your podcasts.

Location:

United States

Description:

Hosted by Kai Ryssdal and Molly Wood, Make Me Smart With Kai & Molly is now a daily news podcast that breaks down the impact of COVID-19 on the economy and the most complex topics of the week. Together, we make sense of today. Because none of us is as smart as all of us. As a leading public media voice, Ryssdal has been a trusted broadcaster for two decades and has received the Alfred I.duPont-Columbia University Award, a Peabody Award and an Emmy. He is the host of our daily news business radio program Marketplace. Wood has spent two decades covering the tech industry on all platforms and is known as a pioneer in podcasting. She is an Ideas contributor at Wired and has been recognized for her dynamic reporting by the Webbys, the National Magazine Awards, and the Gracie Awards. Listen to them together on Make Me Smart With Kai & Molly wherever you get your podcasts.

Language:

English


Episodes

Please, please stay home this Thanksgiving

11/20/2020
No matter who you are — even, say, a New York Times columnist — it’s so important that you stay safe at home this Thanksgiving, because your bubble is likely bigger than you think. Also, the hospitals are already straining ahead of a long winter. We’ll talk about it, plus our favorite Thanksgiving sides in another round of “Half-Full or Half-Empty.” Here’s a list of everything we talked about today: Some background info on Kimberly’s cocktail today “I Traced My Covid-19 Bubble and...

Duration:00:18:23

This is American exceptionalism

11/19/2020
It’s almost hack to say at this point, but it’s worth remembering: If what President Donald Trump and his campaign are doing right now — refusing to concede a called election, eroding trust in the democratic process, asking for ballots to be tossed — if all that was happening in another country, we’d be talking about it very differently. It’s worth unpacking why that is, which we’ll do today. But first: We’ll explain the feud between Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Fed Chair Jerome...

Duration:00:17:10

We’re on a ‘Groundhog Day’ loop

11/18/2020
The bills are piling up for the Trump campaign. Even though its legal challenges to the election don’t seem to be going anywhere, someone’s got to pay the lawyers. We discuss who is on the hook. Plus: We answer your questions about what a Biden administration may mean for businesses struggling during the pandemic, why the Fed’s Main Street Lending Program flopped, and Kai and Molly reminisce about the last time they were in the same place together, pre-COVID-19 (sigh). Here’s a list of...

Duration:00:14:40

The war on drugs lost this election. Now what?

11/17/2020
One in three Americans now live in a state with legal recreational marijuana, and that wasn’t the only big drug story on Election Day. Oregon voted to decriminalize possession of hard drugs and legalized medical use of magic mushrooms. On today’s show, Beau Kilmer, director of Rand Corp.’s Drug Policy Research Center, will make us smart about the country’s growing patchwork of legalization and how it could reshape the drug economy. Here’s everything we talked about today (if these links...

Duration:00:32:30

Would you take a coronavirus vaccine? What if it came from Dolly Parton?

11/16/2020
With the promise of another coronavirus vaccine from Moderna, in addition to last week’s blockbuster news from Pfizer, we were inspired to go back and do the numbers: Once there’s a vaccine for COVID-19, who’s actually going to take it? The answer is … not ideal. Also on the docket for today: high-stakes content moderation, low-stakes voter fraud and, yes, Dolly Parton’s own efforts to fund a coronavirus vaccine. Here’s a list of everything we talked about today (if these links don’t work...

Duration:00:15:12

Half full or half empty?

11/13/2020
We’re trying out a new game on the show today, where Kai Ryssdal and Molly Wood say whether they’re “half full” or “half empty” on a bunch of stuff in the news. It’s our first try at this, so let us know what you think! Before that, we’ll talk about Nancy Pelosi’s leadership, Charles Koch’s new self-reflection and why Elon Musk is “a boob.” TGIF! Here’s a list of everything we talked about today (if these links don’t work, check out our episode page at makemesmart.org): “Pelosi & House...

Duration:00:19:41

No, Virginia, Santa can’t get coronavirus

11/12/2020
It’s hard to fit a mask over that big beard, but never fear. Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte and, by extension, our show would like to reassure children that they shouldn’t worry about Santa Claus breaking the COVID-bubble for this socially distant holiday season — he’s got a special dispensation for international travel, one night only. We have Kimberly Adams back on the show today to talk about that and some more depressing coronavirus news, like case counts and potential new...

Duration:00:15:22

Here’s how presidential transitions are supposed to work

11/11/2020
The 2000 election isn’t a particularly great analogue to the Trump campaign’s legal challenges here in 2020, but it can help us better understand presidential transitions — because George W. Bush had the shortest one ever. We discussed the transfer of power on yesterday’s show, and a listener asked about it, so today we’re going to get into some presidential history. Plus: your questions about campaign finance, conservative social media and California’s new rules for gig workers, all on this...

Duration:00:22:16

A week after Election Day, here’s what to keep an eye on

11/10/2020
You’d be forgiven for feeling like this election has been going on forever. Early voting started over a month ago in some states. The media couldn’t project a winner until three days ago, and it’s not over yet. There’s the Georgia runoffs, the Trump campaign’s lawsuits and basless allegations of voter fraud, plus the searching about what the polls got wrong. Today Kimberly Adams joins us to sort through all this. We’ll discuss her key takeaways from the election, what it means for the...

Duration:00:31:47

Who’s in charge of protecting the country right now?

11/9/2020
A lot of people are talking about President Donald Trump’s baseless allegations of election fraud today, and for good reason, but he made another move that’s worth your attention. The president fired Defense Secretary Mark Esper via tweet, and there could be more personnel changes on the way at the FBI and CIA. Today, we’ll talk about these moves and what they mean for national security at the end of the Trump administration. Plus: new mask mandates, new revelations about Alexander Hamilton...

Duration:00:14:23

Trumpism is here to stay

11/6/2020
Look, we’re gonna have some fun today. We’re gonna have happy hour and talk about Philadelphia and Stephen Colbert. But we have to do some soul-searching first. Because no matter what results come in tonight, the policies of the Trump administration, and the chaos and uncertainty it sowed, are not an aberration. Happy Friday? Here’s a list of everything we talked about today (if these links don’t work for you, you can find them all on our episode page at makemesmart.org): -“Trump Proved...

Duration:00:18:02

While we wait for results, let’s talk turnout

11/5/2020
We taped today’s show while waiting for President Donald Trump’s first non-tweet remarks since election night, not to mention results from key states. To fill the time, let’s talk a bit about voter turnout, both in this election and across history. Plus, a bit about misinformation and why that dubious Hunter Biden story wasn’t the “October surprise” that Hillary Clinton’s emails were back in 2016. Here’s a list of everything we talked about today. If you can’t open these links, check out...

Duration:00:13:52

How much productivity are we losing to the election?

11/4/2020
Making Election Day a holiday would surely benefit democracy, but what about the economy? A listener wants to know, so for this Whadda Ya Wanna Know Wednesday, we’re looking at the cost to businesses when Election Day stretches to Election Week and beyond. Plus: questions about jobs data, tax filing in the pandemic and all the money thrown away on Senate races this year. Here’s a list of everything we talked about today (if you can’t click the links, check out our episode page at...

Duration:00:17:23

Your election stories

11/3/2020
We asked you all for some dispatches from your Election Day, so we’re playing a few of our favorites for this quick episode. We’ll hear from election judges, first-time voters and comfort-foodies, and later we’ll talk about some music that’s keeping Molly Wood inspired on a stressful day. Wishing you all the best! See you tomorrow. As always, for a list of everything we talked about today, check out makemesmart.org.

Duration:00:16:30

“Find your why”

11/2/2020
It’s a management philosophy, but it could apply to voting, we guess. We’re talking about it with regard to masking up. Massachusetts’ Republican governor just broadened the statewide mask mandate. Could the political winds be shifting toward common sense? We’ll talk about it. Plus: dissecting the fall of Quibi, the zen of dumb video games and the best burger you’ve ever had. Quick programming note: Because of the election (heard of it?) we’re skipping our deep-dive tomorrow and a taping...

Duration:00:15:20

Science is here to save Halloween

10/30/2020
Tomorrow is Halloween, and one of us is in costume. Today we’ll look at some new research on the (minimal) SARS-CoV-2 viral load carried on fun-sized candy packaging. Good news: The results look promising for trick-or-treating tomorrow. But first, we need to talk about facts, the election and bias in the media — which might be more frightening than Halloween right now.

Duration:00:16:24

Look how far people will go to vote

10/29/2020
Sometimes those “make me smile” stories are actually kinda sad. We’ve featured a few like that on the show recently. There are also those stories that might seem sad or frustrating, but if you squint a little they’re pretty inspiring. Take, for instance, the great lengths to which some Americans have gone to fight voter suppression and make themselves heard this election season. That’s what we’re talking about today. Plus: the third wave of coronavirus cases and Amazon’s colossal quarterly...

Duration:00:16:02

Is it daylight savings time or daylight saving time?

10/28/2020
Whatever you call it, this weekend we’ll “fall back” to standard time, and it will suddenly feel like it gets dark very early. One listener wants to know: What if we didn’t? We’re tackling that question and many more from you all on this Whadda Ya Wanna Know Wednesday. Also on the docket: air travel, polling data and commercial real estate. As always, you can find links to everything we talked about today at makemesmart.org.

Duration:00:16:38

The United States is a gerontocracy

10/27/2020
The average age of a member of Congress is 58, and the most influential lawmakers are much older. No matter who wins the election next week, the White House will be occupied by the oldest sitting U.S. president. There’s a word for “rule by elders”: gerontocracy. One reason we’re in one is that more than half of registered voters are over 50. On today’s show, Tufts University youth voter researcher Abby Kiesa breaks down the data, tells us why it’s historically so hard to get young people to...

Duration:00:32:14

A mask mandate, right on time?

10/26/2020
We’re talking about two recent pieces in The Wall Street Journal: one describing a worldwide “pandemic fatigue,” the other arguing that it’s finally time for the United States to adopt a nationwide mask mandate. Today, we’ll take the temperature, so to speak, of the American pandemic response as October turns into November. Plus: Puppies and SNL. For a list of everything we talked about today, check out makemesmart.org.

Duration:00:15:08