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The Weeds

Vox Media

In politics, you’re often told not to get lost in the weeds. But we love the weeds! That’s where politics becomes policy – the stuff that shapes our lives. Every Tuesday, Dylan Matthews, Dara Lind, and other voices dig into the weeds on important national issues, including healthcare immigration, and housing. Produced by Vox and the Vox Media Podcast Network.

In politics, you’re often told not to get lost in the weeds. But we love the weeds! That’s where politics becomes policy – the stuff that shapes our lives. Every Tuesday, Dylan Matthews, Dara Lind, and other voices dig into the weeds on important national issues, including healthcare immigration, and housing. Produced by Vox and the Vox Media Podcast Network.

Location:

United States

Networks:

Vox Media

Description:

In politics, you’re often told not to get lost in the weeds. But we love the weeds! That’s where politics becomes policy – the stuff that shapes our lives. Every Tuesday, Dylan Matthews, Dara Lind, and other voices dig into the weeds on important national issues, including healthcare immigration, and housing. Produced by Vox and the Vox Media Podcast Network.

Language:

English


Episodes

Immigration, democracy, and the rise of the Western far right

5/24/2022
This special episode of The Weeds was taped live at TruCon 2022! Join Dara Lind, Zack Beauchamp, and Jen Kirby for a live panel discussion about the state of global democracy. They discuss the complicated relationship among migration, the threat of the populist far right, and what this means for global democracy. References: Zack’s latest piece on “replacement theory” He also wrote about Democrats and immigration policies in 2019 And more from Zack about Hungary, Tucker Carlson, and the...

Duration:01:16:46

The scourge of the “time tax”

5/17/2022
Dylan Matthews and Dara Lind are joined by Annie Lowrey (@annielowrey), a staff writer at the Atlantic, to talk about why it’s so hard for people to get government benefits. Frequently called the “time tax,” the administrative burden of applying for and distributing government benefits leads to thousands of people not getting the aid they qualify for. References: Annie Lowrey on Code America’s efforts to fight the Time Tax Pamela Herd and Don Moynihan's book on administrative burden Why Is...

Duration:00:53:26

Ukraine and the global food supply crisis

5/10/2022
Dylan Matthews and Dara Lind talk with Washington Post economic columnist Heather Long (@byHeatherLong) about the global food supply crisis spinning out of the war in Ukraine. The crisis is so bad that the United Nations said it could be the worst shortage since World War II. What, if anything, can be done? Dylan, Dara, and Heather discuss how we got here and the costs of potential solutions. References: The war in Ukraine is triggering a global food crisis. Here’s how the U.S. can help. A...

Duration:00:46:42

What the Alito leak means for Roe — and everything else

5/5/2022
Dara Lind sits down with Vox Supreme Court correspondent Ian Millhiser (@imillhiser) for a deep dive into the leaked draft opinion on abortion written by Justice Samuel Alito. They discuss the text of the opinion itself; why Alito was chosen to write it; and what could happen in the days, weeks, and months following a ruling overturning Roe v. Wade. References: The Roe opinion and the case against the Supreme Court Ian’s explainer on the draft memo What happens next if the Supreme Court...

Duration:00:57:33

The Most Dangerous Branch: Roe v. Wade

5/3/2022
This episode originally published in October 2021 as the first installment of our “Most Dangerous Branch” miniseries about the Supreme Court. Vox senior correspondent Ian Millhiser (@imillhiser) talks with NYU professor Melissa Murray about the future of Roe v. Wade, specifically discussing some of the legal theories used to chip away at the law. References: What we know and don't know on the Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade draft opinion Supreme Court has voted to overturn abortion rights, draft...

Duration:01:13:50

Why do we go to war?

4/26/2022
Dylan Matthews interviews economist Chris Blattman (@cblatts) about his new book Why We Fight, which examines the root causes of war and what can be done to stop it. In a wide-ranging discussion that touches on conflict all over the world, Dylan and Chris discuss the role of the state, commonalities among historical conflicts, and the game theory of war. References: Chris Blattman’s book, Why We Fight Chris’s research work Research on how drug gangs govern in Colombia How therapy can reduce...

Duration:00:50:24

Weeds Time Machine: The Clean Air Act

4/19/2022
Buckle up! The Weeds Time Machine is back. Today, Dylan Matthews, Dara Lind, and special guest Maureen Cropper, economist and professor at the University of Maryland, travel back in time to the 1970s to discuss one of the most important pieces of environmental legislation of the 20th century: the Clean Air Act. References: White paper: Looking Back at 50 Years of the Clean Air Act Hosts: Dylan Matthews (@dylanmatt), senior correspondent, Vox Dara Lind (@dlind), Weeds co-host, Vox Credits:...

Duration:00:45:37

Tax time at the culture wars

4/12/2022
Dylan Matthews and Dara Lind are joined by Washington Post reporter Toluse Olorunnipa (@ToluseO) to talk more taxes for our hot! tax! policy! episodes this month. Today’s topic: Sen. Rick Scott’s 11-point plan to rescue America. Dylan, Dara, and Tolu get into the specifics of Scott’s policy proposal and speculate if the culture wars have seeped into tax policy. Plus, a white paper about unemployment benefits and opioid overdose mortality rates. References: Preorder His Name Is George Floyd...

Duration:00:52:44

Taxes! Let’s get right Intuit.

4/5/2022
Weeds co-hosts Dylan Matthews and Dara Lind are joined by Vox policy editor Libby Nelson (@libbyanelson) to talk about some hot! tax! policy! But mostly, why it’s so annoying to file our taxes every year. The three discuss why the tax code is so complicated to begin with; compare our filing system to other countries; and daydream about what could be done to fix the system. Plus, a white paper about, you guessed it: taxes. References: How to get free tax prep, or volunteer to provide tax prep...

Duration:00:50:42

The Great Expiration

3/29/2022
Dylan Matthews and Dara Lind are joined by Washington Post columnist Christine Emba (@ChristineEmba) to discuss the end of Covid-era welfare programs. We just hit two years of the pandemic, and some of those social safety programs, most notably the child tax credit, have expired. These policies dramatically improved the lives of millions of Americans; did we waste an opportunity to make these policies permanent? And later, a conversation about the politics of sex and consent as discussed in...

Duration:00:51:42

The art of the gerrymander

3/22/2022
Dylan Matthews and Dara Lind are joined by Vox Senior Politics Correspondent Andrew Prokop (@awprokop) for a dive deep into the newly redrawn 2022 congressional maps. They discuss what makes a fair map, the strategy behind gerrymandering, and what this could mean for the 2022 midterm elections. Plus, a white paper about the Voting Rights Act and Black electoral representation in Congress. References: Andrew’s explainer on the redistricting wars The Supreme Court’s last ruling on partisan...

Duration:00:54:30

The myth of US energy independence

3/15/2022
Dylan Matthews and Dara Lind are joined by Robinson Meyer (@robinsonmeyer), a staff writer at the Atlantic, to talk about the illusion of US energy independence. They discuss how the US produces its oil; the fracking boom and bust; and the country’s position in the global market. Plus, a white paper about carbon taxes and CO2 emissions in Sweden. References: Robinson’s piece about America’s “independence” from Russian oil He was also on Today, Explained to talk about the US banning Russian...

Duration:00:51:35

Why it’s so hard to move in America

3/8/2022
Dylan Matthews and Jerusalem Demsas are joined by Nick Buttrick (@NickButtrick), a psychologist at Princeton, to talk about interstate mobility in the US (or the lack thereof). They talk about why it is so hard to move; why some of those reasons, Jerusalem argues, are arbitrary; and what an immobile population means for American culture. References: Jerusalem’s article about why it’s so hard to move in America Nick Buttrick’s research: The cultural dynamics of declining residential mobility...

Duration:00:45:07

Russia's terrible invasion

3/1/2022
Dylan Matthews and Jerusalem Demsas are joined by Vox senior correspondent Zack Beauchamp to talk about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. They discuss Ukraine’s surprising strength to date, plus Europe’s and America’s overwhelming economic response to the invasion. Plus, a white paper about how citizens in authoritarian regimes think about war. References: Vox’s podcast playlist: What to know about Russia and Ukraine All of Vox’s written coverage on Russia and Ukraine Zack’s piece on why Putin...

Duration:01:09:05

A quick update

2/25/2022
We’re hitting snooze on Friday episodes, but they’re not going away forever. We’re just slowing things down while we work on some special projects. We’ll see you on Tuesday! Important Links: Send us an email at weeds@vox.com Check out The Weeds Facebook group Sign up for our newsletter at vox.com/weedsletter Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Duration:00:01:35

Why San Francisco’s school board got booted

2/22/2022
Dylan Matthews, Jerusalem Demsas, and Dara Lind discuss the recent school board recall election in San Francisco and also whether the Great Resignation is boosting inflation. References: Clara Jeffery's summary of why the recall succeeded Former Green Party mayoral nominee Matt Gonzalez’s case for the recall Former board president Gabriela López's post-mortem after she was recalled López’s 2021 interview with the New Yorker on school renaming The $87 million lawsuit Lowell alum Justin Lai...

Duration:00:52:34

Democracy in crisis: The two-party problem

2/18/2022
Vox Senior Correspondent Zack Beauchamp talks with political scientist Lee Drutman, author of Breaking the Two-Party Doom Loop. They discuss the history of the two-party system in American politics, and examine a number of possible structural reforms that could work to get the U.S. out of the morass it's in, looking to several other countries' democracies for inspiration. Host: Zack Beauchamp (@zackbeauchamp), Senior Correspondent, Vox Guest: Lee Drutman (@leedrutman), senior fellow, New...

Duration:00:57:01

The curse of the midterms

2/15/2022
Dylan Matthews and Jerusalem Demsas are joined by Vox’s Andrew Prokop (@awprokop) to talk about the midterm elections. More specifically, why the president’s party almost always loses seats in Congress. They discuss the theories of this phenomenon and what, if anything, can work on the margins. Plus, a white paper about Obamacare and the 2010 midterm elections. References: Why the president’s party almost always has a bad midterm The political science of door-knocking and TV ads White paper:...

Duration:01:01:37

Beijing, boycotts, and the enduring politics of the Olympics

2/11/2022
Dylan Matthews talks with Victor Cha (@VictorDCha) about the international politics surrounding the 2022 Beijing Olympics. The US and several other countries are boycotting the games to protest China’s human rights record, which brings up the question: What does this boycott mean for US-China relations? References: Beyond the Final Score by Victor Cha Cha on the politicization of the 2022 Games Vox’s Jen Kirby on the Biden administration’s diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Olympics Vox’s Bryan...

Duration:00:35:54

Affirmative action could be doomed (again). What comes next?

2/8/2022
Dylan Matthews, Dara Lind, and Jerusalem Demsas talk about affirmative action. They dig into the current Supreme Court case about Harvard’s admission rates and ask: How do we make sure our elite institutions adequately reflect the population? Plus, a white paper about the effects of education on mortality. References: Vox senior correspondent Ian Millhiser’s explainer about the SCOTUS cases Peter Arcidiacono, Josh Kinsler, and Tyler Ransom's empirical papers on Harvard admissions Jay Caspian...

Duration:00:40:11