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 Trump Files (Robert Wright & Mickey Kaus)

Forecasting Trump raid fallout ... Could the Dems bring back “Build Back Better”? ... Bob and Mickey compare blue-collar bona fides ... Scoring Biden's recent PR wins and losses ... What's scarier: social media, the FBI, or your Roomba? ... Ukraine war update ... Bob: How ‘defending’ Taiwan could get it invaded ... Parrot Room Preview: The Blobsters advising the White House, yet more Jonah Goldberg trash-talk, Mickey’s car-buying blues, Bob’s rave CRV road-trip review, where in the world is...


Meet the Manhattan Institute (Glenn Loury & Reihan Salam)

Glenn’s impact on Reihan ... How Reihan became president of the Manhattan Institute ... What is the Manhattan Institute’s relationship to Eric Adams’s administration? ... The value of dissenters ... Reihan: We’ve underinvested in our criminal justice system ... What constitutes a quality high school education? ... Michael Bloomberg’s education initiatives ... Reihan’s concerns about racial reification ... The uses and abuses of racial identity ...


The Mar-a-Lago Raid (Bill Scher & Matt K. Lewis)

What's happening to the AZ GOP? ... Do Democrats have the edge in the race for the Senate? ... Could DeSantis be in trouble in November? ... Should Republicans be skeptical of the FBI? ... What can we learn from the Kansas abortion referendum? ... Can the IRA save the Democrats? ...


Remnants of the Blogging Era (Robert Wright, Jonah Goldberg, and Mickey Kaus)

Remembering the halcyon days of early Bloggingheads ... Jonah: Our institutions have become platforms for parasites ... Censorship and polarization in the social media age ... What Mickey cribbed from Jonah to jumpstart his blogging career ... How Twitter killed the blogging star ... Is Substack blogging reborn? ... What’s the matter with the modern left? Jonah diagnoses ... A Trump-Biden rematch and other depressing symptoms of polarization ... Is devotion to an institution a sucker bet? ...


A Biden Comeback? (Robert Wright & Mickey Kaus)

Rip Van Kaus awakens to a frightening new reality ... Bob and Mickey scan the dial for better Christian music ... Did the Taliban sell out Ayman al-Zawahiri? ... Bob: Weapons sent to Ukraine will end up in US extremists’ hands ... Why did Nancy Pelosi go to Taiwan? ... If Trump had been reelected, would Putin have invaded Ukraine? ... Ukraine War update ... Are pro-choice Kansas voters also pro-Democrat? ... Mickey: My fears about Democratic midterm gains look more and more realistic ... Joe...


Capitalism and Democracy in Post-Industrial America (Glenn Loury, John McWhorter, and Richard Wolff)

A special announcement from Glenn ... Richard’s journey from quiet Marxist to public intellectual ... Why Youngstown, Ohio was left behind ... Richard: Capitalist ownership is inherently anti-democratic ... Richard’s critique of Hayekian libertarianism ... Pecuniary externalities vs. objective externalities ... Socialism’s historical track record ... Employees as stakeholders ... The rise of the right in the wake of the New Deal and WWII ... The Glenn Show’s new partnership with the...


Taiwan, Ukraine, and Pelosi (Robert Wright & Thomas Friedman)

Tom: Pelosi’s trip to Taiwan imperils the defense of Ukraine ... Unpacking the Russia-Ukraine/China-Taiwan analogy ... Tom’s critique of Bob’s argument on Russia-Ukraine ... The dangers of humiliating and alienating China ... Does Biden have a plan for winding down the war in Ukraine – and does Putin? ... China could push Russia to end the war – so why is Pelosi poking the panda? ... Why cooperation with China is in America’s national interest ... Tom’s scoop on Zelensky’s worsening...


Fear of a Black Universe (Glenn Loury & Stephon Alexander)

Glenn and Steph’s jam session ... Steph’s adventures in the multiverse ... The parallels between black art and physics ... The centrality of self-reference in Steph’s work ... Is there a racial dimension to how excellence reveals itself in students? ... How Steph learned to level up ... Steph’s new book, Fear of a Black Universe: An Outsider’s Guide to the Future of Physics ... Steph’s admiration for prior generations of Jewish physicists ... How Glenn and Steph navigate stigma ... What is...


Build Back Manchin (Bill Scher & Matt K. Lewis)

Why did Manchin finally do the reconciliation deal? ... Will reconciliation help Democrats in November? ... Why Biden shouldn't run again ... August 2nd primary preview ...


How the Ukraine War Ends (Robert Wright & Rajan Menon)

Rajan walks through three ways the war could end ... Assessing Ukraine’s and Russia’s military aims ... The causes and consequences of Ukraine’s optimism ... What might weaken Ukrainian and western resolve? ... How America’s toxic political discourse prolongs the war ... Does Biden have a plan? ... Do we understand Putin’s motivation ... Will Putin accept anything short of taking the entire Donbas? ...


The Ever-Growing Case Against Trump (Robert Wright & Mickey Kaus)

Mickey lives in darkness ... Dems rise in the polls as Trump falls ... The case that Trump was trying to obstruct Congress on January 6 gets stronger ... Steve Bannon’s role as January 6 ringleader ... How susceptible is the left to election fraud fantasies? ... Are we ready for the current Covid wave? ... Why do we need Saudi Arabia’s oil? ... Will higher wages for unskilled labor stick around? ... NYT columnists admit their errors ... The SPLC attacks Andrew Yang ... A new study challenges...


Race and Conservatism: Walker, Thomas, and Wax (Glenn Loury & John McWhorter)

John: Republicans’ elevation of Herschel Walker is an insult ... If Walker is so inept, why does he have so much support? ... Where’s the outrage over racist attacks on Clarence Thomas? ... Thomas’s historical significance ... The Clarence Thomas (and Al Sharpton) we don’t see ... Are Amy Wax’s views beyond the pale? ... John: “Amy should know better” ... Amy Wax’s return to The Glenn Show ...


Are Dems Hurting America? (Matt K. Lewis & Bill Scher)

Why did Maryland Republicans turn Trumpy? ... Are Democrats wrong to help Trumpy candidates win Republican primaries? ... Should Democrats use gerrymandering to box out decent Republicans? ... Is David Frum right that abortion will matter in November? ... Is Joe Manchin helping or hurting Democrats? ...


The Golden Age of Blogging (and now) (Robert Wright & Ross Douthat)

Ross to Bob: In a parallel universe, you are a media god. ... The non-zero-sum nature of disagreement in the blog days ... Ross’s time as an Atlantic blogging big-shot ... Will Twitter-style discourse last forever? ... Technology, politics, and polarization ... Ross’s niche in the conservative ecosystem ... Globalization vs. the (new) “new nationalism” ... Can the world afford a Cold War II? ...


The Biden-MBS Fist Bump (Robert Wright & Mickey Kaus)

Mickey admits he was wrong about the 10-year-old abortion story ... The Atlantic’s conveniently timed story about MBS’s widow ... Is Biden doing MBS a favor by investigating the PGA? ... Mickey: Democrats are still overperforming in midterm polls ... January 6 hearings update ... Working with, or around, Joe Manchin ... Has Elon Musk actually thought through free speech on Twitter? ... Ukraine war update ... Mickey: The Peter Thiel candidates will decide the fate of the Senate ... Parrot...


Our Gun Problem (Glenn Loury & Rajiv Sethi)

The cryptocurrency bezzle ... Rajiv’s critique of the contact hypothesis ... Will popular proposed gun control measures meaningfully reduce homicides? ... Can we talk about culture without becoming essentialists? ... Rajiv: I find self-censorship and anti-CRT mobs equally disturbing ... Debating the 1619 Project ... Rajiv’s idea to reduce illegal firearm sales: gun insurance ... Why do we see such racial disparities in gun violence? Rajiv has some theories ... What did we learn from the...


Dems Turn On Biden (Bill Scher & Matt K. Lewis)

Is DeSantis eroding Trump's standing in the GOP? ... Why are progressives accusing Biden of not fighting hard enough? ... How the conservative revolt over Harriet Miers doomed Roe ...


An Entrepreneur Takes on the Foreign Policy Blob (Robert Wright & David Sacks)

Why David thinks better US policy could have prevented the Russia-Ukraine war ... Bob: Explaining Putin’s criminal invasion is not the same as justifying it ... How understanding other minds sheds light on international politics ... The importance of speaking out ... What Silicon Valley doesn’t get about international politics ... In what sense does Silicon Valley care about the future? ... When cancel culture meets foreign policy ... David on his political ideology ... Possible endgames in...


Inflation Ruling the Nation (Robert Wright & Mickey Kaus)

Mickey: Inflation could abate by the midterms, saving the Dems ... Bob: Congress’s inability to act meaningfully on guns is outrageous ... How the 14th Amendment could support federal pro-abortion legislation ... Does Boris Johnson’s fall reflect disenchantment with Brexit? ... Build Back Better is back ... Liz Cheney, Democratic presidential candidate? ... Bob’s somewhat intrusive gun control workaround ... Harvard’s pandemic stimulus check study ... Parrot Room preview: A Ukraine update,...


Glenn and John Live at the Comedy Cellar (Glenn Loury, John McWhorter, Sherrod Small, Jon Laster & Nimesh Patel)

Why do race and gender trump socioeconomics in affirmative action considerations? ... Are Glenn and John making a difference in the race debate? ... The argument for charter schools ... Glenn: Nobody really believes that racism is the cause of racial disparities in crime ... The difficulty of having an honest conversation about race and crime ... Seizing the possibilities of our freedom ... John: The race debate is about the cops ... The Jon Laster Challenge ... Sherrod talks to the crowd...