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The Dispatch Podcast
62 minutes | Nov 18, 2022
The DeSantis Dilemma
With Donald Trump officially running for president, Ron DeSantis faces a twisted decision tree. Sarah, David, and Kevin are here to make sense of it. Plus: how should the U.S. respond to the deadly missile incident in Poland?
62 minutes | Nov 11, 2022
All Bow to the God of Conventional Wisdom
Sarah, Jonah, and David come together to give the midterms a post-mortem to end all postmortems. They discuss the vibe theory of political trends, the presidential prospects of Republicans Not Named Donald Trump, and the lessons both parties took away from the elections. Oh, and of course: do all roads lead to Georgia..? Again??
36 minutes | Nov 10, 2022
The Secret Mass Killer
On today’s explainer, Declan is joined by RAND Corporation senior researcher David Luckey. A retired Marine Corps officer, David is now devoted to getting congressional attention to the thing that killed tens of thousands of Americans last year: fentanyl. David explains the scope of the overdose epidemic, its force multipliers, and the ways to fight it. Show Notes: -The Morning Dispatch on the Fentanyl Crisis
34 minutes | Nov 6, 2022
Bibi's Back, Baby
With religion, political corruption, nationalism, and court reform on the ballot, Israel concluded this week its fifth election in three years. Tomer Persico, research fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute, joins Adaam to offer a quick explainer about Benjamin Netanyahu's comeback, the rise of religious nationalism in Israel, and the universal language of populism. Show Notes: -The Morning Dispatch on the Israeli election
64 minutes | Nov 4, 2022
Your Midterms Questions, Answered
With less than a week before the midterms, Sarah, David, and Jonah come together to answer your questions: Can voters push their parties to be better? What’s the best way to engage with your representatives? When is Nick Cattogio joining the pod? Plus: the panel reacts to Biden’s Democracy in Peril, Pt. 2 speech. Show Notes: -Sarah’s piece for POLITICO about the GOP’s election laws -Sarah, David, and Jonah’s report for the National Constitution Center
61 minutes | Oct 28, 2022
Rise of the Vote Bots
What does the Fetterman-Oz debate reveal about the media? Will the isolationist horseshoe in Congress have an effect on Putin? And are we ready for Kevin’s theory of political cooties? Join Sarah, David, Steve, and Kevin as they embark on the penultimate round of midterms punditry. Show Notes: -The New York Times on the new campaign press aides -The Dispatch is coming to Chicago
25 minutes | Oct 27, 2022
The 'Most Moderate' Republican in the Race
Allan Fung was the mayor of Cranston, Rhode Island for over a decade. Now, he’s hoping to be the first Republican to represent the state in Congress in nearly 20 years. He joined Declan to talk about his “check in those party labels at the door” approach to politics, about the possible agenda of a Republican House, and whether Trump still sets the tone for the party. Show Notes: -Axios on Allan Fung
45 minutes | Oct 21, 2022
A Time and a Place for Pettiness
In a compressed panel of election punditry, Sarah is joined by Kevin and Andrew to discuss Democrats’ preemptive blame game. They also try to wrestle with what it might mean for the country if abortion doesn’t play the big role in the midterms Democrats had hoped it would. Also: 2024… should we start talking about it?
64 minutes | Oct 14, 2022
Not at Dartmouth Anymore
A new study shows the stark lack of ideological diversity in elite universities. Lawmakers call to rethink relations with the Saudis after OPEC’s decision to cut oil production. John Fetterman’s NBC interview raises difficult questions. Sarah, David, Jonah, and Declan wrestle with these topics before providing an urgent manatee update. Out of context: “If you stare at 2 + 2 = a duck and you say ‘oh I get it,’ that’s a problem for you.” -American elite students study -Fetterman’s NBC interview -Manatees update
33 minutes | Oct 12, 2022
Sen. Bill Cassidy on OPEC
With OPEC+ committed to gutting production, Americans are bracing for a gas price hike. This leads Sen. Bill Cassidy to wonder, how should the U.S. maintain a relationship with the Saudis when “what they do can make or break a family budget”? On the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Cassidy calls for more market-based solutions to both bolster energy independence and get carbon emissions under control. He joins Sarah to wrestle with all these problems –– and their political implications –– before turning to the main event: the ultimate Louisiana VS Texas BBQ showdown.
63 minutes | Oct 7, 2022
Between Politics and Morality
Sparing an hour between driving his “friends” to and from the airport, Declan joins Sarah, David, and Jonah to debate the Herschel Walker saga, whether moral character matters in politics, and whether Democrats enjoy a double standard on hypocrisy. A broader midterms update is then followed by a quick glimpse into the new Supreme Court term. Plus: Elon Musk gets another NWYT mention.
45 minutes | Oct 5, 2022
Back to Fundamentals
Axios Senior Political Correspondent Josh Kraushaar joins Sarah to explain what happens when the Democrats’ sugar rush drops. Are the fundamentals still favoring Republicans in the midterms? What's going on in Georgia? Can candidate quality block a red wave? And how’s 2024 shaping up? Join for a healthy fix of pre-midterms political punditry and prognostication. Show Notes: -Josh's Axios piece on the state of play for November
66 minutes | Sep 30, 2022
Who Blew Up Nord Stream?
As the editors of The Morning Dispatch eloquently put it, Nord Stream went boom. But who’s responsible? Sarah, David, and Jonah leave no conspiracy theory unexamined. Turning to the midterms, they discuss the power of low expectations, ask when spending money stops being useful, and wonder what it takes to be a good leader (or at least a good politician) during natural disasters. Also: the trio displays heroic restraint in today’s Not Worth Your Time, as they refrain entirely from making any kind of double entendre. Show Notes: -Tucker Carlson, literally wall-to-wall on Russian TV -Lizzo playing James Madison’s flute
45 minutes | Sep 30, 2022
The Future of the Electoral Count Act
Understanding The Electoral Count Act, as it’s currently worded, requires a team of legal experts. So we got one! Sarah is joined by John Fortier, senior fellow at AEI, and Matthew Seligman, fellow at the Constitutional Law Center at Stanford Law School. Together they try to make sense of the law’s history, explain the difference between the two reform bills coming up through the House and the Senate, and debate whether either one goes far enough to prevent a constitutional crisis in 2024. Show Notes: -Matthew in support of the Senate bill -What the Vice President can’t do -John’s guide to the electoral college -Matthew’s 2024 risk assessment
58 minutes | Sep 23, 2022
Putin Makes Nuclear Threats
What happens when Vladimir Putin starts feeling cornered? Sarah, David, Steve, and Jonah react to Russia announcing military mobilization and think through the implications of Putin’s nuclear chest-thumping. They then turn to the politics of immigration (still very bad), and conclude with some rank punditry: is the Democrats’ momentary surge in the polls already bust? Out of context: “To me, it’s a little like the fight: Hiter-Stalin – who is worse?” Show Notes: -NBC poll showing decline in GOP loyalty to Trump -Politico: using cartoons as political ads
55 minutes | Sep 17, 2022
Lindsey Graham's New-Old Abortion Ban
At long last in the same room, Sarah, Steve, David, and Jonah debate whether the conversation around abortion is changing, why it doesn't feel like Republicans are out of power, and whether lawmakers will ever do the right thing on border security. Plus: Sarah offers a troubling glimpse of the gents' problematic footwear.
72 minutes | Sep 9, 2022
Mar-a-Lago Documents Investigation Explained
The rapid developments in the Justice Department’s investigation of classified documents found at Mar-a-Lago may be hard to follow, but not to worry, Sarah, Steve, Jonah, and Declan are here to clarify and discuss. Plus: a look at the long-term impact of COVID-19, and the internal battles as both parties look to the midterms. Show Notes: -TMD: How Sarah Palin Lost Alaska’s House Special Election -The Dispatch: Trump Is Hurting the GOP’s Midterm Prospects
61 minutes | Sep 2, 2022
Justice Department Turns Up the Heat
This week saw the Justice Department disclose new evidence that the former president and his legal team likely sought to conceal classified documents from investigators. Sarah, Steve, Jonah, and Declan are here to discuss. Plus: Alaska says no to Sarah Palin, and how should we view Mikhail Gorbachev’s legacy? Show Notes: -TMD: Trump Team Likely Sought to Conceal Classified Documents From Investigators, DOJ Says -The Sweep: How Will Abortion Play in the Midterms? -G-File: Grading Gorby on a Curve
67 minutes | Sep 1, 2022
Mark Leibovich Talks Thank You for Your Servitude
Steve is joined by Mark Leibovich to discuss his new book Thank You for Your Servitude: Donald Trump's Washington and the Price of Submission. How did the Republican Party get to its present predicament? Leibovich gives us his eyewitness account of how the former president transformed Washington, and a major American political party. Show Notes: -Thank You for Your Servitude by Mark Leibovich -Leibovich’s page at The Atlantic
68 minutes | Aug 26, 2022
Biden Makes a Move on Student Loan Debt
President Joe Biden announced a plan to provide tens of millions of Americans with student loan debt relief. The fallout was swift. Our hosts are here with their reactions. Plus: Jonah, David, and Declan discuss the results of this week’s primary elections. Show Notes: -TMD: Biden’s Base Gets a Student Loan Gift -The Dispatch: The GOP Is Shrink-Wrapping Itself Around Trump -The Dispatch: Tim Ryan Keeping the Pressure on J.D. Vance in Ohio
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