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68 minutes | Oct 23, 2021
Preempting MAGA 2024 (Robert Wright & Mickey Kaus)
Mickey: Sinema’s tax plan is screwing up the infrastructure bill ... Bob: It’s a political mistake to cut free community college ... Did Biden accidentally commit to defending Taiwan against attack? ... Why you shouldn’t worry about China’s new missile ... JD Vance’s weird tweet about Alec Baldwin ... Can Trump be convinced not to run in 2024? ... Bob: Steve Bannon is still an extremely dangerous person ... US Covid numbers remain inscrutable ... Parrot Room preview: What Dave Chappelle said about Mike Pence, Merrick Garland’s conflict of interest, how to bribe Trump into staying out of the race, death threats in politics, more car advice, Bob takes another crack at besting Mickey’s joke, meditation retreats, Bob defends “the pounce move,” Alec Baldwin, King Juan Carlos’s sex drive, and the French election ...
51 minutes | Oct 22, 2021
The NYC Exam School Controversy (Glenn Loury & Wai Wah Chin)
What are NYC exam schools? ... The recent attempt to change exam school admissions ... Wai Wah: Changes to exam schools will discriminate against Asian students ... Wai Wah's attempts to expand the Gifted and Talented Program ... Are exam schools "segregated"? ... Eric Adams's support for increasing the number of exam schools ... Wai Wah: Asians are being scapegoated ...
47 minutes | Oct 22, 2021
The Looming Infrastructure Deadline (Bill Scher & Matt K. Lewis)
Matt's recent conversation with Ross Douthat ... Can Democrats get BBB done by the end of October? ... Are progressives onboard with the bipartisan infrastructure bill? ... Matt: The Virginia governor's race point the way for national Republicans ...
59 minutes | Oct 19, 2021
Why Rationality Matters (Robert Wright & Steven Pinker)
Steve’s new book, Rationality: What It Is, Why It Seems Scarce, Why It Matters ... Are humans inherently logical? ... What is “motivated reasoning”? ... How attribution error distorts our public discourse ... How Steve deals with criticism of his work ... Bob’s defense of whataboutism ... Did evolution make us moral—or at least moralistic? ...
123 minutes | Oct 18, 2021
"Dead Jews" and Living Jews (Aryeh Cohen-Wade & Dara Horn)
Dara's new book, People Love Dead Jews: Reports from a Haunted Present ... Anne Frank, Jewish self-erasure, and the actual lessons of the Holocaust ... Unique features of Jewish literature and history ... The case for Jewish anger ... The myth of Jewish immigrants' names being changed at Ellis Island ... Debating Shylock ... The dark truth behind the comic relief of the "last Jew in Afghanistan" ... Dara: American society is fine with hating Hasidic Jews ... Dara's path to daily Talmud study ...
76 minutes | Oct 16, 2021
Donald Trump and Dave Chappelle Walk into a Bar … (Robert Wright & Mickey Kaus)
Trump finally crosses the line for Mickey (again) ... Why is Trump threatening to undermine Republicans in the midterms? ... Mickey: It’s smart politics to dump the child tax credit ... Are some of Dave Chappelle’s jokes antisemitic? ... Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s less-than-flattering appraisal of Colin Kaepernick ... Is Steve Bannon going to jail? ... Bob: “The jury is out” on the possibility of democracy in China ... Parrot Room preview: Supply chains, Michael Wolff’s account of Jeffrey Epstein’s theory of Trump, Walgreens closes stores over crime, Nick Kristof's possible gubernatorial run, more evidence of Ben Rhodes’s blobishness, David Shor, Terry McAuliffe’s chances in Virginia, a roadblock to Mickey’s coup theory, the new Velvet Underground doc, Steven Pinker and the left, a genitalia joke face-off, Facebook’s thought policing, and help for boomers ...
59 minutes | Oct 15, 2021
Authentically Black (Glenn Loury & John McWhorter)
John's linguistic adventure in Brighton Beach ... The complex racial and economic dynamics of redlining ... The problem with John's NYT "megaphone" ... A progress report on Glenn's memoir ... The temptations of playing to the crowd ... What, if anything, does it mean to be "authentically black"? ... Taking "systemic racism" seriously ...
41 minutes | Oct 14, 2021
How Serious Is Dave Chappelle? (Bill Scher & Matt K. Lewis)
Matt: We've become overly sensitive to potentially offensive comedy ... Is Dave Chappelle making jokes or a serious political argument? ... Is Chappelle an "equal opportunity offender"? ... Bill: The Democrats' approach to reconciliation is incoherent ...
89 minutes | Oct 12, 2021
The Culture of American Media (Robert Wright & Aryeh Cohen-Wade)
Aryeh's new YouTube channel ... The early technological innovations of Bloggingheads ... Bloggingheads's curatorial principles ... How the #Resistance media further alienated Trump supporters ... Is journalistic neutrality an obsolete concept? ... Why did the "cool kids" in the US media get the Iraq invasion so wrong? ... The powers and limitations of the UN Security Council ... Bob: "The pandemic is actually a much more complex problem than climate change" ... Why Aryeh's show is getting its own YouTube channel ...
59 minutes | Oct 11, 2021
The Bard of Twitter (Aryeh Cohen-Wade & William Shakespeare)
A new YouTube channel for Culturally Determined ... Meet the man who tweets as William Shakespeare ... The most secret and most grave truths of @Wwm_Shakespeare ... Spying a kind of hope in Shakespearean ambiguity ... Have you heard the joke about the old lady who reads Hamlet for the first time? ... Productions that hold, as 'twere, the mirror up to nature ... Shakespeare's shameless stealing ...
73 minutes | Oct 9, 2021
How Do You Solve a Problem Like Joe Manchin? (Robert Wright & Mickey Kaus)
Joe Manchin’s infrastructure shell game ... The Monty Hall problem explained ... What does Bernie want from the infrastructure deal? ... If the Taliban collapses, can Biden count it as a win? ... The exaggerated claims about China’s “incursion” into Taiwan’s "airspace" ... Should we gird ourselves for a Trump 2024 run? ... Why isn’t Biden giving more pushback to the left? ... The Pandora Papers are more consequential than they seem ... Bob: Biden should loosen patent protections on Covid vaccines ... Mickey: There’s new evidence for the lab leak hypothesis ... Mickey’s theory of Ozy founder Carlos Watson ... Parrot Room preview: Bob asks Mickey for car advice, the Iron Dome vote, Bob congratulates Mickey on last week’s outstanding joke, Bob tells a less outstanding John Wayne Bobbit joke, Facebook’s worst week ever, Bob’s near-death experience, a dream about Mort Kondracke, a new Parkinson’s treatment, and talking about Robert Kagan to ward off fascism ...
55 minutes | Oct 8, 2021
The Case against "The Case for Reparations" (Glenn Loury & David Kaiser)
The post-Vietnam reevaluation of the Cold War ... David: Academic historians largely have abandoned the idea of objective truth ... Were black people really excluded from the New Deal? ... The fortunes of black veterans after WWII ... Why redlining doesn't tell the whole story about the racial wealth gap ... Why the Chicago Defender endorsed FDR in 1940 ...
56 minutes | Oct 7, 2021
Sympathy for Kyrsten Sinema (Bill Scher & Matt K. Lewis)
Matt is crazy about Kyrsten SInema's freewheelin' attitude ... Are hardball tactics working out for progressives? ... How bad are Biden's poll numbers? ...
64 minutes | Oct 6, 2021
Death, Quantum Physics, and Mushrooms (Nikita Petrov & John Horgan)
58 minutes | Oct 5, 2021
Waging Humane War (Robert Wright & Samuel Moyn)
Sam's new book, Humane: How the United States Abandoned Peace and Reinvented War ... The murky legal standing of the Forever War ... Obama’s transition from traditional war to “humane” war ... Are presidents incentivized to keep war going forever? ... Sam: The true face of war is domination, control, and security ... How Vietnam changed the US’s approach to war ... What drives the demand for more humane war? ... Americans’ rising skepticism of Forever War ...
70 minutes | Oct 4, 2021
War of Shadows (Aryeh Cohen-Wade & Gershom Gorenberg)
Gershom's new book, War of Shadows: Codebreakers, Spies, and the Secret Struggle to Drive the Nazis from the Middle East ... How Gershom rediscovered forgotten heroes from Bletchley Park ... Fascist mythology and Italian colonialism ... The strategic importance of the North African front ... Debunking the myth of Rommel as a military genius and "good German" ... The strange story of the isolationist American military attaché in Egypt ... The real exploits of the man who inspired The English Patient ... The North African campaign as the prequel to the Arab/Israeli conflict ...
74 minutes | Oct 2, 2021
Pelosi’s Infrastructure Maneuvering (Robert Wright & Mickey Kaus)
Reconstructing Pelosi’s infrastructure dealmaking ... Does Biden actually need both infrastructure bills to pass? ... Time for some game theory (to explain infrastructure negotiations) ... Positive pandemic news: Declining US case rates, Merck’s new drug ... Is Havana Syndrome real? ... Mickey: We should have empathy for whites who fear being replaced by foreigners ... What the Guinean coup shows us about the GWOT ... Was there political motivation behind the botched Kabul drone strike? ... Why were there 12,000 Haitians in Del Rio, Texas? ... Parrot Room preview: The demise of Ozy, Mickey’s stolen joke, a The Best and the Brightest anecdote, Mickey’s bad newsletter advice, why Bob doesn’t like Tommy Vietor, Bob explains why Mickey triggered him last week, a nominee for a Parrot Room guest, the mystery of the cloned horse, and the legal definition of “reckless disregard” ...
72 minutes | Oct 1, 2021
The Past and Future of Black Political Leadership (Glenn Loury & John McWhorter)
Some posh new (temporary) digs for The Glenn Show ... The challenges and liberties of John's NY Times gig ... John's efforts to help mount an unproduced black opera ... The deracialization of "motherfucker" ... The erotics and economics of Billions ... Why John didn't support Eric Adams for NYC mayor ... What undermined the potential of the Obama years? ... Can Glenn ever forgive Al Sharpton? ... Will Eric Adams be able to operate effectively as mayor? ... The Jacob Blake shooting, a year later ...
52 minutes | Sep 30, 2021
The Biden Agenda On the Line (Bill Scher & Matt K. Lewis)
A birthday week recap ... Will BIB and BBB go bust? ... What are Manchin and Sinema up to? ... What happened to Glenn Greenwald? ...
110 minutes | Sep 28, 2021
The Age of Secular Gurus (Robert Wright, Matthew Browne, and Christopher Kavanagh)
Matt and Chris's podcast, Decoding the Gurus ... What makes a guru a guru? ... Are we living in an age of secular gurus? ... Chris: I have an issue with "unevenly applied" skepticism ... Scott Adams's selectively "pro-science" stance ... Eric and Bret Weinstein's grievance-based worldviews ... Is self-aggrandizement a Weinstein family trait? ... The sinister forces supposedly closing in on Eric Weinstein ... Does social media's emphasis on "followers" encourage the creation of gurus? ...
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