The Weeds
The Weeds
Vox
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 and Friday, Dylan Matthews, Jerusalem Demsas, German Lopez, 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.
The home care fight in Congress
Joe Biden has proposed a landmark $400 billion expansion of funding for home and community-based services (HCBS), the part of Medicaid that funds support services for older adults and people with disabilities living at home rather than in institutions. But with Congress fighting over which of Biden's priorities to cut to appease moderate Democrats, that proposal could be in peril. Mia Ives-Rublee is a longtime disability rights activist who helped organize the Women's March in 2017 and now serves as director of the Disability Justice Initiative at the Center for American Progress. She spoke with Vox's Dylan Matthews about how HCBS works now, and how Democrats' plans for additional funding would change it. References: Biden’s home-based care plan, explained Polling suggests funding for home care is quite popular "How Could $400 Billion New Federal Dollars Change Medicaid Home and Community-Based Services?" The House Energy and Commerce Committee proposal on HCBS Better Care Better Jobs Act state-by-state fact sheet The Urban Institute's report on strengthening long-term care services Investing in Home Care and Early Childhood Educators Has Outsize Impacts on Employment Hosts: Dylan Matthews (@dylanmatt), senior correspondent, Vox Credits: Sofi LaLonde, producer & engineer Libby Nelson, editorial adviser Amber Hall, deputy editorial director of talk podcasts Sign up for The Weeds newsletter each Friday: vox.com/weedsletter   Want to support The Weeds? Please consider making a donation to Vox: bit.ly/givepodcasts Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Oct 15
45 min
The coming climate exodus
Vox senior reporter Rebecca Leber (@rebleber) joins The Weeds to explain the problem of migration caused by climate change, such as that due to wildfires, rising seas, and crop failures. She explains how a warming planet is forcing people to move both in the US and internationally, and how policymakers are and aren’t adapting. Vox reporters Dylan Matthews and Jerusalem Demsas continue the conversation with ProPublica’s Dara Lind, discussing a new white paper arguing that social mobility in America rose in the 20th century. References: ProPublica’s feature on climate migration in Central America How climate change is driving up flood insurance premiums in Canarsie, Brooklyn NPR’s investigation into the federal government selling flood-prone houses to low-income families California is encouraging rebuilding in fire-prone regions The case for “managed retreat” from coastal areas A New York Times feature on how climate migration will reshape America The Grapes of Wrath, John Steinbeck Why Greg Clark is pessimistic that social mobility even exists White Paper of the Week: Intergenerational Mobility in American History: Accounting for Race and Measurement Error, Zachary Ward Hosts: Dylan Matthews (@dylanmatt), senior correspondent, Vox Jerusalem Demsas (@jerusalemdemsas), policy reporter, Vox Dara Lind (@DLind), immigration reporter, ProPublica Credits: Sofi LaLonde, producer & engineer Libby Nelson, editorial adviser Amber Hall, deputy editorial director of talk podcasts Sign up for The Weeds newsletter each Friday: vox.com/weeds-newsletter  Want to support The Weeds? Please consider making a donation to Vox: bit.ly/givepodcasts Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Oct 12
1 hr
The Most Dangerous Branch: Roe v. Wade
Vox Supreme Court correspondent Ian Millhiser talks with NYU professor Melissa Murray (@ProfMMurray) about the future of reproductive freedom. The Supreme Court started its new term this week, and with six conservative judges on the bench, Republicans are likely to win a generational victory overruling Roe v. Wade. Resources: Texas’s radical anti-abortion law explained The staggering implications of the Supreme Court’s Texas anti-abortion ruling “Race-ing Roe: Reproductive Justice, Racial Justice, and the Battle for Roe v. Wade Hosts: Ian Millhiser (@imillhiser), Senior Correspondent, Vox Credits: Sofi LaLonde, Producer & Engineer Libby Nelson, Editorial Advisor Amber Hall, Deputy Editorial Director of Talk Podcasts Sign up for The Weeds newsletter each Friday: vox.com/weeds-newsletter  Want to support The Weeds? Please consider making a donation to Vox: bit.ly/givepodcasts Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Oct 8
1 hr 11 min
Yes, vaccine mandates work
Dylan, German, and Jerusalem talk about vaccine mandates. They discuss the evidence supporting vaccine requirements, the United States’ history with inoculation campaigns, and the patchwork nature of America’s many public health measures. Plus, a white paper about elite universities.  References: This is a good summary of the evidence supporting vaccine mandates Here is the Homevoter Hypothesis Dylan mentioned The NIMBY lawsuit against UC Berkeley and the NIMBY war against Georgetown’s expansion German mentioned two vaccination studies: this one and this one This week’s white paper about elite universities Leopold Aschenbrenner on the case for smaller universities Hosts: Dylan Matthews (@dylanmatt), senior correspondent, Vox German Lopez (@germanrlopez), senior correspondent, Vox Jerusalem Demsas (@jerusalemdemsas), policy reporter, Vox Credits: Sofi LaLonde, producer & engineer Libby Nelson, editorial adviser Amber Hall, deputy editorial director of talk podcasts Sign up for The Weeds newsletter each Friday: vox.com/weeds-newsletter  Want to support The Weeds? Please consider making a donation to Vox: bit.ly/givepodcasts Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Oct 5
53 min
How genes impact your life
Dylan and Jerusalem are joined by Kathryn Paige Harden, professor of clinical psychology at the University of Texas at Austin, to discuss her new book The Genetic Lottery: Why DNA Matters for Social Equality. They talk about what geneticists have learned about the impact of genes on income and education inequality, the social implications of this research and its potential misuse, and why genetics should leave us humbled by the huge effect of luck in our lives. Hosts: Dylan Matthews (@dylanmatt), senior correspondent, Vox Jerusalem Demsas (@JerusalemDemsas), policy reporter, Vox Credits: Sofi LaLonde, producer and engineer Libby Nelson, editorial adviser  Amber Hall, deputy editorial director, talk podcasts Sign up for The Weeds newsletter each Friday: vox.com/weeds-newsletter  Want to support The Weeds? Please consider making a donation to Vox: bit.ly/givepodcasts Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Oct 1
1 hr 1 min
The debt ceiling’s threat to America
Dylan, German, and Dara discuss the debt ceiling: the current crisis, what the debt ceiling even is, and how the debt ceiling has become a politically polarized issue. They also talk about why the debt ceiling is bad for democracy. Plus, a white paper about Canadian bread cartels.   Resources: The Bipartisan Policy Center’s estimate of when we’ll hit the debt ceiling Congressional Research Service’s history of the debt ceiling Janet Yellen on the costs of breaching the debt ceiling Neil Buchanan and Michael Dorf on why breaching the debt ceiling is the “least illegal” option The trillion dollar coin (and the Obama rejection of it) explained Steven Schwarcz on using special investment tools to evade the debt ceiling Matt Yglesias on the “Honduras scenario” for American democracy failing "Hub and Spoke Cartels: Theory and Evidence from the Grocery Industry" by Robert Clark, Ignatius Horstmann, Jean-François Houde Netflix documentary on the Canadian maple syrup cartel Hosts: Dylan Matthews (@dylanmatt), Senior Correspondent, Vox German Lopez (@germanrlopez), Senior Correspondent, Vox Dara Lind (@DLind), Immigration Reporter, ProPublica Credits: Sofi LaLonde, Producer & Engineer Libby Nelson, Editor Amber Hall, Deputy Editorial Director of Talk Podcasts Sign up for The Weeds newsletter each Friday: vox.com/weeds-newsletter  Want to support The Weeds? Please consider making a donation to Vox: bit.ly/givepodcasts Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Sep 28
57 min
AMA time with Dylan, German, and Jerusalem
Dylan, German, and Jerusalem sit down to answer listener questions. In our first AMA episode of the post-Matt-Yglesias Weeds era, the trio discusses constitutional amendments, climate change, how we could fix global poverty, influential books, and more. Resources: Reasons and Persons by Derek Parfit Gang of Five: Leaders at the Center of the Conservative Ascendancy by Nina J. Easton The Collaborator: The Trial and Execution of Robert Brasillach by Alice Kaplan Night by Elie Wiesel The Cult of Pharmacology: How America Became the World’s Most Troubled Drug Culture by Richard DeGrandpre Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides Cochrane The Journalist’s Resource, the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy Jim Tankersley, the New York Times (@jimtankersley) Victoria Guida, Politico (@vtg2) Eric Levitz, New York magazine (@ericlevitz)   Hosts: Dylan Matthews (@dylanmatt), senior correspondent, Vox Jerusalem Demsas (@JerusalemDemsas), policy reporter, Vox German Lopez (@germanrlopez), senior correspondent, Vox   Credits: Sofi LaLonde, producer and engineer Amber Hall, deputy editorial director, talk podcasts Sign up for The Weeds newsletter each Friday: vox.com/weeds-newsletter  Want to support The Weeds? Please consider making a donation to Vox: bit.ly/givepodcast Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Sep 24
1 hr 9 min
Means testing our patience
Dylan, German, and Jerusalem discuss means testing and work requirements after Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) suggested their inclusion in one of Biden's legacy priorities: the expanded child tax credit. Right now Democrats in Congress are trying to hammer out a 10-year, $3.5 trillion budget that includes an extension of the federal child tax credit; expanding Medicare to include dental, vision, and hearing aids; additional resources for home care workers; a slew of climate change measures; and much more.   Resources: “The Time Tax” by Annie Lowrey (The Atlantic; July 27, 2021) “We’re Still Here” by Jennifer Silva “‘Neoliberalism has really ruptured’: Adam Tooze on the legacy of 2020” by Zack Beauchamp (Vox.com; September 9, 2021) “Are we automating racism?” by Joss Fong (Vox.com; March 31, 2021) “AIs Islamophobia problem” by Sigal Samuel (Vox.com; September 18, 2021) White Paper: “New Evidence on Redlining by Federal Housing Programs in the 1930s” by Price V. Fishback, Jonathan Rose, Kenneth A. Snowden, and Thomas Storrs Hosts: Dylan Matthews (@dylanmatt), Senior Correspondent Jerusalem Demsas (@JerusalemDemsas), Policy Reporter, Vox German Lopez (@germanrlopez), Senior Correspondent, Vox Credits: Sofi LaLonde, Producer & Engineer Amber Hall, Deputy Editorial Director of Talk Podcasts Sign up for The Weeds newsletter each Friday: vox.com/weeds-newsletter  Want to support The Weeds? Please consider making a donation to Vox: bit.ly/givepodcasts Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Sep 21
57 min
Ezra, Matt, and Sarah Try (Again) to Podcast
For Matt’s last episode of The Weeds, Ezra Klein and Sarah Kliff return for a look at why health care and drug costs in the US keep rising, how subsidizing industries leads to higher consumer costs, and what both political parties can do about it. It gets real nerdy just as fast as the last time these three co-hosted. We also learn about the first print piece Matt ever published, and he shares some feelings about pseudo-Cyrillic.  Resources: “How the US made affordable homes illegal” by Jerusalem Demsas (Vox Media; Aug 17, 2021) “Building housing — lots of it — will lay the foundation for a new future” by Matt Yglesias (Vox Media; Sep 23, 2020) “The true story of America’s sky-high prescription drug prices” by Sarah Kliff (Vox Media; May 10, 2018) "The real reason American health care is so expensive" by Liz Scheltens, Mallory Brangan, and Ezra Klein (Vox Media; Dec 1, 2017) White Paper: “Cost Disease Socialism: How Subsidizing Costs While Restricting Supply Drives America’s Fiscal Imbalance” by Steven Teles, Samuel Hammond, Daniel Takash (Niskanen Center; Sep 9, 2021) Guest: Ezra Klein (@ezraklein), Columnist, The New York Times Sarah Kliff (@sarahkliff), Investigative Reporter, The New York Times Host: Matt Yglesias (@mattyglesias), Slowboring.com Credits: Ness Smith-Savedoff, Producer & Engineer Erikk Geannikis, Producer, Talk Podcasts Sofi LaLonde, Producer, The Weeds Efim Shapiro, Engineer As the Biden administration gears up, we'll help you understand this unprecedented burst of policymaking. Sign up for The Weeds newsletter each Friday: vox.com/weeds-newsletter. The Weeds is a Vox Media Podcast Network production. Want to support The Weeds? Please consider making a contribution to Vox: bit.ly/givepodcasts About Vox Vox is a news network that helps you cut through the noise and understand what's really driving the events in the headlines. Follow Us: Vox.com Facebook group: The Weeds Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Sep 17
1 hr 13 min
The Weeds Will Live Forever
Matt, Dara, Jerusalem, and German use Matt’s last Tuesday episode to discuss life expectancy in the US. They explore paternalistic policy decisions, the misnomer of “deaths of despair,” and the longevity of The Weeds. US life expectancy is compared to that of European and Asian nations, and the US numbers are disaggregated and examined up close.  Resources: “Why Americans Die So Much” by Derek Thompson (The Atlantic; Sep 12, 2021) “Inequality in Mortality between Black and White Americans by Age, Place, and Cause, and in Comparison to Europe, 1990-2018” by Hannes Schwandt et al. (NBER; Sep 2021) “The Great Divide: Education, Despair and Death” by Anne Case and Angus Deaton (NBER; Sep 2021) The Insider by Michael Mann (Touchstone Pictures; 1999) “Immigration and improvements in American life expectancy” by Arun S. Hendi and Jessica Y. Ho (Science Direct; Sep 2021) Hosts: Matt Yglesias (@mattyglesias), Slowboring.com Dara Lind (@DLind), Immigration Reporter, ProPublica Jerusalem Demsas (@JerusalemDemsas), Policy Reporter, Vox German Lopez (@germanrlopez), Senior Correspondent, Vox Credits: Ness Smith-Savedoff, Producer & Engineer Erikk Geannikis, Producer, Talk Podcasts Sofi LaLonde, Producer As the Biden administration gears up, we'll help you understand this unprecedented burst of policymaking. Sign up for The Weeds newsletter each Friday: vox.com/weeds-newsletter. The Weeds is a Vox Media Podcast Network production. Want to support The Weeds? Please consider making a contribution to Vox: bit.ly/givepodcasts About Vox Vox is a news network that helps you cut through the noise and understand what's really driving the events in the headlines. Follow Us: Vox.com Facebook group: The Weeds Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Sep 14
1 hr 4 min
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