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, host Matthew Yglesias is joined by Vox reporters and editors, ProPublica's Dara Lind, and some of the leading minds in policy to dig into the weeds on important national issues, including healthcare, immigration, housing, and everything else that matters. Produced by Vox and the Vox Media Podcast Network.
What's the deal with that new Alzheimer's drug?
Matt and Dara are joined by Vox's Dylan Scott to learn about aducanumab, the new drug that was recently approved by the FDA for treating Alzheimer's disease despite a lack of evidence of its effectiveness, possibly serious side effects, and a jaw-droppingly high price tag. Matt, Dara, and Dylan discuss the situation in light of lessons learned, or not quite learned, from the global pandemic. Then, some research is discussed that evaluates the effects of work requirements on supplemental nutrition assistance program (SNAP) participation and the workforce. Resources: "The new Alzheimer's drug that could break Medicare" by Dylan Scott (June 10; Vox) "FDA's Decision to Approve New Treatment for Alzheimer's Disease" by Dr. Patrizia Cavazzoni, Director, FDA Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (June 7) "The maddening saga of how an Alzheimer's 'cabal' thwarted progress toward a cure for decades" by Sharon Begley (June 25, 2019; STAT News) "What the Rich Don't Want to Admit About the Poor" by Ezra Klein (June 13; New York Times) White paper: "Employed in a SNAP? The Impact of Work Requirements on Program Participation and Labor Supply" by Colin Grey, et al. (Sept. 2019) Hosts: Matt Yglesias (@mattyglesias), Slowboring.com Dara Lind (@DLind), Immigration Reporter, ProPublica Dylan Scott (@dylanlscott), Policy Reporter, Vox Credits: Erikk Geannikis, Editor and 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
Jun 15
1 hr 5 min
Zoning our way through it
Matt is joined by Emily Hamilton of the Mercatus Center to talk about the way that zoning and land use policy affects property value, housing availability, and affordability. They discuss some example statutes from those laboratories of democracy, the several states, tackle the most divisive issue in all of housing Twitter, and Matt just lets totally loose about how he's not allowed to replace his home's windows. Resources: H.R. 4307, the Build More Housing Near Transit Act 2006 Arizona Proposition 207 Kelo v. New London (545 US 269, 2005) "How policymakers can improve housing affordability" by James Pethokoukis and Emily Hamilton (May 4, American Enterprise Institute) Guest: Emily Hamilton (@ebwhamilton), Senior Research Fellow and Director of the Urbanity Project, Mercatus Center at George Mason University Host: Matt Yglesias (@mattyglesias), Slowboring.com Credits: Erikk Geannikis, Editor and 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
Jun 11
50 min
Hot jobs summer
Matt and Dara are joined by Vox's Emily Stewart to talk about the state of the economy right now. They take on the jobs numbers, some of the markets that were hit with unforeseen interruptions and shortages, and get pretty philosophical amidst a detailed discussion about the supply chain for chicken wings. Then, some research is discussed that suggests that maybe your tweets really do matter... or, at least when you tweet through U.S. elections where Donald Trump is on the ballot. Resources: "May's solidly meh jobs report" by Emily Stewart (June 4, Vox) "Lumber mania is sweeping North America" by Emily Stewart (May 3, Vox) White paper: "The Effect of Social Media on Elections: Evidence from the United States" by Thomas Fujiwara, Karsten Müller, and Carlo Schwarz (October 27, 2020) Hosts: Matt Yglesias (@mattyglesias), Slowboring.com Dara Lind (@DLind), Immigration Reporter, ProPublica Emily Stewart (@EmilyStewartM), Senior Reporter, Vox Credits: Erikk Geannikis, Editor and 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
Jun 8
1 hr
The pipeline to prison
Matt sits down with John Pfaff, professor and author of Locked In, an influential and important 2017 book about mass incarceration in America. The two discuss some common misconceptions about America's prison population, three different meanings of the term "broken windows," and what might be the true cause of the current trending rise in violent crime across the nation. Resources: Locked In: The True Causes of Mass Incarceration and How to Achieve Real Reform by John Pfaff (2017; Basic Books) Ghettoside: A True Story of Murder in America by Jill Levoy (2015; One World) "Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach" by Gary S. Becker (Journal of Political Economy v. 76 no. 2, Mar.-Apr. 1968) Uneasy Peace: The Great Crime Decline, the Renewal of City Life, and the Next War on Violence by Patrick Sharkey (2019; W.W. Norton) The Death and Life of Great American Cities by Jane Jacobs (1961) "Broken Windows: The police and neighborhood safety" by George L. Kelling and James Q. Wilson (March 1982; The Atlantic) Guest: John Pfaff (@JohnFPfaff), author; professor, Fordham Law School Host: Matt Yglesias (@mattyglesias), Slowboring.com Credits: Erikk Geannikis, Editor and 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
Jun 4
1 hr 8 min
The lab-leak hypothesis
Matt and Dara are joined by Vox's Dylan Matthews to talk about the so-called "lab-leak" hypothesis for the origin of SARS-CoV-2, and to contrast it with the zoonotic origin theory. They discuss the potential policy consequences that ought to result if it turns out that either hypothesis is true, and talk a little bit about whether the global standards for virological research need to be revised. Then, some research is examined that casts "Voter ID" laws in a new light, and leads to some very interesting conversation about how the media should confront authentic challenges to American democratic governance. Resources: "The Lab-Leak Theory" by David Leonhardt (May 27, New York Times) "The Biological Weapons Convention at a crossroad" by Bonnie Jenkins (Sept. 6, 2017; Brookings) Midnight in Chernobyl: The Untold Story of the World's Greatest Nuclear Disaster by Adam Higginbotham (Simon & Schuster; 2019) "The NPT [Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty]: Learning from a Longtermist Success" by Danny Bressler (May 19, Effective Altruism) White paper: "Strict ID Laws Don't Stop Voters: Evidence from a U.S. Nationwide Panel, 2008–2018," by Enrico Cantoni and Vincent Pons (May 22; The Quarterly Journal of Economics) "After Dramatic Walkout, a New Fight Looms Over Voting Rights in Texas" by Dave Montgomery and Nick Corasaniti (May 31, New York Times) Hosts: Matt Yglesias (@mattyglesias), Slowboring.com Dara Lind (@DLind), Immigration Reporter, ProPublica Dylan Matthews (@dylanmatt), Senior Correspondent, Vox Credits: Erikk Geannikis, Editor and 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
Jun 1
1 hr 6 min
Stephen Breyer should retire
Matt is joined by author and Harvard Kennedy School professor Maya Sen to talk about the state of the American judiciary. They discuss Breyer's unwillingness to retire, the pervasive influence of prestige on the "legal elite," the cult of RBG, the influence and role of The Federalist Society, and the inherent biases in the elite legal system that have led to an "affirmative action"-like feeder program for conservative judges. Resources: The Judicial Tug of War: How Lawyers, Politicians, and Ideological Incentives Shape the American Judiciary by Adam Bonica and Maya Sen (Cambridge University Press, 2020) "The Endgame of Court-Packing" by Adam Chilton, Daniel Epps, Kyle Rozema, and Maya Sen (May 17) Ideas with Consequences: The Federalist Society and the Conservative Counterrevolution by Amanda Hollis-Brusky (Oxford University Press, 2015) The Rise of the Conservative Legal Movement: The Battle for Control of the Law by Steven M. Teles (Princeton, 2008) "Legal Scholar's Anti-Sotomayor Letter Leaks, Causing Awkward Fallout" by Heather Horn (The Atlantic, Nov. 5, 2010) "The Case Against Sotomayor" by Jeffrey Rosen (The New Republic, May 4, 2009) Guest: Maya Sen (@maya_sen), professor, Harvard Kennedy School Host: Matt Yglesias (@mattyglesias), Slowboring.com Credits: Erikk Geannikis, Editor and 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
May 28
1 hr 8 min
Give more money to cranks!
Matt and Dara are joined by Vox's Dylan Matthews to talk about what the Covid vaccine development process has taught us vaccine development, production, and regulation. They also discuss the way we fund scientific research, evaluating a possible "prize"-based alternative to our current grant-funding system, and some research is analyzed that concerns the resiliency of so-called "forced entrepreneurs," and their businesses' tendency to better weather recessions. Resources: "How to supercharge vaccine production for the next pandemic" by Dylan Matthews (May 20; Vox) "Inside Moderna: The Covid Vaccine Front-Runner With No Track Record and an Unsparing CEO" by Peter Loftus and Gregory Zuckerman (July 1, 2020; Wall Street Journal) "The story of mRNA: How a once-dismissed idea became a leading technology in the Covid vaccine race" by Damian Garde and Jonathan Saltzman (Nov. 10, 2020; STAT News) "Science funding is a mess. Could grant lotteries make it better?" by Kelsey Piper (Jan. 18, 2019; Vox) White paper Hosts: Matt Yglesias (@mattyglesias), Slowboring.com Dara Lind (@DLind), Immigration Reporter, ProPublica Dylan Matthews (@dylanmatt), Senior Correspondent, Vox Credits: Erikk Geannikis, Editor and 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
May 25
59 min
Research the police
Matt is joined by economist and NYU faculty fellow Morgan Williams, Jr. to talk about his research on policing and gun control legislation, and the consequences of policy on crime and incarceration. Resources: "Police Force Size and Civilian Race" by Aaron Chalfin, Benjamin Hansen, Emily K. Weisburst & Morgan C. Williams Jr. (Dec. 2020) "Body-Worn Cameras in Policing: Benefits and Costs" by Morgan C. Williams Jr., Nathan Weil, Elizabeth A. Rasich, Jens Ludwig, Hye Change & Sophia Egrari (Mar. 2021) "When You Add More Police To A City, What Happens?" by Greg Rosalsky (Apr. 20, NPR) "Gang Behavior, Law Enforcement, and Community Values" by George Akerlof and Janet L. Yellen "The Effects of Local Police Surges on Crime and Arrests in New York City" by John MacDonald, Jeffrey Fagan, and Amanda Geller (2016) "Peaceable Kingdoms and War Zones: Preemption, Ballistics and Murder in Newark" by Brendan O'Flaherty and Rajiv Sethi (2010) Guest: Morgan Williams, Jr. (@MWillJr), faculty fellow, NYU Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service Host: Matt Yglesias (@mattyglesias), Slowboring.com Credits: Erikk Geannikis, Editor and 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
May 21
1 hr
Masks off! Party time?
It's everybody's birthday! No, seriously. Taurus Matt Yglesias is joined by two people who also share a May 18th birthday: Vox's Libby Nelson and The Atlantic's Derek Thompson. They discuss the confusing range of public health and policy directives that have been issued to the American people over the 15+ months of the Covid pandemic. Plus, some research is discussed that evaluates the outcome of the recent rollout of universal preschool in Boston. Resources: "The CDC's Big Mask Surprise Came Out of Nowhere" by Derek Thompson (May 14, The Atlantic) "The CDC Is Still Repeating Its Mistakes" by Zeynep Tufekci (Apr. 28, The Atlantic) "Are Outdoor Mask Mandates Still Necessary?" by Derek Thompson (Apr. 19, The Atlantic) White paper Hosts: Matt Yglesias (@mattyglesias), Slowboring.com Libby Nelson (@libbyanelson), Deputy Policy Editor, Vox Derek Thompson (@DKThomp), Staff writer, The Atlantic Credits: Erikk Geannikis, Editor and 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
May 18
1 hr 12 min
The plan for more free school
Matt is joined by New York Times education reporter Dana Goldstein to talk about what Biden's American Families Plan will do to bolster and expand public education access in this country. They talk about the plan for universal preschool, free community college, and also talk about how the administration has been involved in pandemic-related school reopening decisions behind the scenes. Resources: "Schools Are Open, but Many Families Remain Hesitant to Return" by Dana Goldstein (New York Times, May 9) The Teacher Wars: A History of America's Most Embattled Profession by Dana Goldstein (Anchor; 2015) "Biden Directs Education Funding to Community Colleges, a Key Lifeline" by Stephanie Saul and Dana Goldstein (New York Times, Apr. 28) Learning in Public: Lessons for a Racially Divided America from My Daughter's School by Courtney E. Martin (Little, Brown; August 2021) Guest: Dana Goldstein (@DanaGoldstein), national correspondent, New York Times Host: Matt Yglesias (@mattyglesias), Slowboring.com Credits: Erikk Geannikis, Editor and 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
May 14
59 min
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