Smart people talking about politics, policy, culture and other stuff

Smart people talking about politics, policy, culture and other stuff


United States


Smart people talking about politics, policy, culture and other stuff




The Never-Ending End of the Trump Presidency (Robert Wright & Mickey Kaus)

How late is too late to abandon Trump? ... Reconstructing the runup to Trump’s impeachable anti-Pence tweet ... Why an impeachment trial could be a mistake ... How do you actually get rid of Trump once he leaves office? ... Steve Bannon’s insidious adaptation to his YouTube deplatforming ... The future of Josh Hawley ... Mickey horrified by vaccine regime ... A sneak peek into the Parrot Room ...


Glenn Loury's Intellectual Origins, Part 3 (Glenn Loury & Daniel Bessner)

The three books that pushed Glenn away from the right ... A crisis of identity: who is Glenn Loury and what is his project? ... Glenn's left-leaning moderatism and work in the 90s ... The link between Glenn's economic work and his social theory ... The evolution of Glenn's perspective on Obama ... The Iraq War, the 2008 crash, and how "the elites failed us" ... The current and future state of the American university ...


Will Impeachment Cure the GOP, or Kill It? (Bill Scher & Matt K. Lewis)

Matt and Bill discuss the political reverberations of impeachment, the long-term health of the Republican Party, and whether we need a new domestic terrorism law.


Arranged Marriages for Millennials (Aryeh Cohen-Wade & Justin Murphy)

Justin's new company that arranges marriages for Millennials and Zoomers ... Do city men and country women want to be forced to wed? ... The ideal eligible NYC bachelor: tall and anti-Trump ... Justin: I quit academia because it was "satanic" ... Justin's podcast, Chat for God ...


Recovering from the Capitol Hill Riot (Robert Wright & Conor Friedersdorf)

Will impeachment and deplatforming backfire as weapons against Trump? ... Meta-deplatforming: the big-tech attack on Parler ... Bob: Twitter’s explanation for deplatforming Trump is pathetic ... Big tech’s overwhelming ability to regulate speech online ... Whataboutism and the Capitol Hill rioters ... Two competing justifications for impeachment ... Trump’s disloyalty to his followers ... The pandemic’s role in destabilizing American politics ...


We're Storming the Capitol, It's a Revolution! (Aryeh Cohen-Wade & William R. Black)

Reflections on a bizarre week in America ... Protest, riot, insurrection, coup—or something stupider? ... The postmodern politics of symbols and cosplay ... Aryeh: Blaming this on "white supremacy" is both inaccurate and bad politics ... The link between anti-Semitism and Flat Earthers ... Impeachment? Resignation and pardon? A return to normalcy? ... Bill worries about historiography in the digital realm after Trump's Twitter banning ... What will Trump's post-presidency look like? ...


Trump's Last Act? (Robert Wright & Mickey Kaus)

How culpable is Trump for the violent protests at the Capitol? ... Trump’s brazen incitement of rioters against Pence ... The mystery of the missing Capitol Hill cops ... Biden’s centrist new cabinet picks ... America’s political polarization continues apace ... The growing influence and uncertain fate of Steve Bannon ... Fumbling toward mass vaccination ... A Parrot Room preview ...


The Insurrection and the Republican Party (Bill Scher & Matt K. Lewis)

Matt and Bill discuss how the insurrection is dividing the Republican Party and impacting 2024. Plus, how Trump lost Georgia, and what a 50-50 Senate means for Biden.


The Brave New World of Genetic Engineering (Robert Wright & Jamie Metzl)

Jamie’s book, Hacking Darwin: Genetic Engineering and the Future of Humanity ... Why Jamie thinks young adults should freeze their sperm or eggs now ... The state of genetic engineering today ... The specter of eugenics ... Will gene-splicing create a new kind of inequality? ... How to avoid a eugenics arms race among nations ... Jamie predicts what kinds of gene editing will be possible in 10 years ...


Glenn Loury's Intellectual Origins, Part 2 (Glenn Loury & Daniel Bessner)

Glenn's rightward shift in the early 80s ... A feeling of alienation from the Black elite ... Glenn and Daniel discuss neoliberalism and the "American empire" ... Glenn's emergence as a public intellectual ... How Glenn earned a unique place in public discourse ... Glenn's hiatus from and return to economic theory ... How Glenn helped coin the term "social capital" ...


Materially Determined (Aryeh Cohen-Wade & Tommy Craggs)

Tommy's recent essay, "What’s the Matter With Cultural Politics?" ... Police defunding and the case against "backlash" ... Can the austerity stalemate be broken? ... How the debate over trans rights is and is not like the debate over gay marriage ... Tommy: Racial and gender identity affiliation can lead to labor consciousness ... Tommy praises the Oakland activists who seized an empty house ...


Bob and Mickey’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve (Robert Wright & Mickey Kaus)

The swankier side of Bob ... Could Pence derail Biden on January 6? ... Bob and Mickey try to capture 2020 in one sentence. Then try again. And again. ... Forecasting the pandemic’s end ... Should auld grievance be forgot ... Can Biden avert a new cold war? ... What Bob and Mickey got right and wrong about 2020 ... Mickey’s best and worst of 2020 ...


Can Journalism Survive? (Robert Wright & Eric Alterman)

Looking back at Eric’s 25-year reign as The Nation’s media columnist ... The virtues and vices of democratized media ... Bob: Why does mainstream media do the bidding of the Blob? ... Eric accuses Bob of shirking his gatekeeping responsibilities ... Eric’s free speech case against BDS ... Bob’s problem with #Resistance journalism ... The strange case of Elliot Abrams ... Eric tries to dissuade young people from going into journalism ...


Who's Afraid to Debate Glenn Loury? (Glenn Loury & John McWhorter)

Why won't Jones, Kendi, and others come on the Glenn Show? ... The need for more discussions between black intellectuals who disagree ... The dilemma faced by contrarian black intellectuals ... John and Glenn ponder their niche ... What can't be said about race ... Will we see a more honest discourse on race after Trump? ... John explores the current controversy at the Dalton School in NYC ...


The End of Takes (Aryeh Cohen-Wade & Meghan Daum)

Why Meghan is retiring from writing think pieces ... The devolution of the take, from op-eds to tweets ... The virtues of not knowing what to think ... Aryeh: The "Dr. Jill Biden" debate shows that the Trump era is ending ... The problems of too much speech ... Should we be optimistic about the future of the discourse? ...


Trump's Pandemic Relief Endgame (Bill Scher & Matt K. Lewis)

Matt and Bill discuss whether we can still expect to get relief checks and close out 2020 by assessing what they got right and wrong.


What Black and White Narratives Get Wrong about Syria (Robert Wright & Aaron Maté)

Aaron: The new BBC podcast on the White Helmets is journalistic malpractice ... Aaron critiques the standard Western narrative on Syria ... Was the Syria intervention just a proxy war against Iran? ... How Aaron changed his views on Syria (featuring Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters) ... The controversy over the 2018 chemical attack in Douma ... How epithets like ‘Assad apologist’ short-circuit good journalism ... Aaron’s beef with Bellingcat ... How more transparency at OPCW would help the fight...


Biden Our Time (Robert Wright & Mickey Kaus)

Bob receives the Maroon 5 endorsement ... The New York Times piece on the Toobin Affair ... The endless attempt to overturn the election ... Could we double the rate of covid vaccination? ... Does Joe Biden have an ideology? ... Bob fails in his bid to troll the Blob ... Mickey’s embarrassing tweet takes off ... Twitter’s anti-egalitarian bent ...


Glenn Loury's Intellectual Origins, Part 1 (Glenn Loury & Daniel Bessner)

A working-class undergrad with a job, a wife, and two kids ... Why Glenn was drawn to economics ... How studying economics shaped Glenn's politics ... Anti-Semitism at Harvard and the origins of MIT economics ... Why Glenn believes in meritocracy ... Glenn discusses his influential early work ...


Speech and Censorship on YouTube (Aryeh Cohen-Wade & Douglas Lain)

The mysterious removal of Doug's YouTube video on "the Great Reset" ... Does YouTube have an anti–Alex Jones algorithm? ... Content moderation in an age of infinite content ... What videos should YouTube be taking down? ... Aryeh: The problem isn't people being silenced, it's too many people talking ... How YouTube helps spread conspiracy theories ... Should leftists reject Big Tech? ... Doug on the contemporary relevance of Christopher Lasch ...