The problem with the news right now? It’s everywhere. And each day, it can feel like we’re all just mindlessly scrolling. It’s why we created What Next. This short daily show is here to help you make sense of things. When the news feels overwhelming, we’re here to help you answer: What next? Look for new episodes every weekday morning.
There’s a fight brewing between four auto makers and the Trump administration. This fight is largely about environmental regulations -- but it’s also about what kind of governance is required to have a thriving national economy. And the U.S. might be losing its edge. Guest: Tim Puko, reporter covering energy policy for the Wall Street Journal. Podcast production by Mary Wilson, Jayson De Leon, Danielle Hewitt, and Mara Silvers.Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now.
Vice President Joe Biden still holds a wide lead in Democratic primary polls. Candidates who want to attack him at tonight’s primary debate do so at their own risk. Guest: Slate’s Jim Newell. Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now.
President Donald Trump and his now former national security adviser, John Bolton, have had their differences. From North Korea to Iran, the two have been at odds with one another on some of the most important foreign policy decisions. That tension boiled over with the president tweeting, "I disagreed strongly with many of his suggestions, as did others in the Administration, and therefore I asked John for his resignation, which was given to me this morning." Bolton responded quickly saying, "I offered to resign last night and President Trump said, ‘Let’s talk about it tomorrow.’ "Whatever the case, again there’s a hole waiting to be filled on Trump’s national security team. What happened that pushed Trump’s fight with Bolton over the edge? And what does it mean that Trump is now 0–3 on national security advisers?Guest: Shane Harris, intelligence and national security reporter for the Washington PostSlate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now.
A group of unpaid miners has blockaded a railway in Harlan County, Kentucky. The goal? Stop a train car full of their former employer’s coal from going to market until they get what they’re owed. It’s a straightforward protest that has been going on for more than six weeks now. One thing that isn’t so straightforward, however? How to help coal mining communities, like the ones in Harlan County, confront a future with less and less coal.Guests: Gary Lewis, Harlan County miner, and Ken Ward Jr., reporter at the Charleston Gazette-Mail.Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now.
Twice in two decades, the Electoral College has created great, big questions about presidential legitimacy. Is it time for a tune-up?Guest: Slate’s Mark Joseph Stern.Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now.
Last month, Representative Joaquin Castro tweeted out a list of Trump donors living in his district in San Antonio. Actress Debra Messing asked for an attendance list at a Trump fundraiser in Beverly Hills. Both efforts were likened to doxxing or blacklisting. Should political donors be named if they might also be targeted?Guest: Dahlia Lithwick, legal correspondent and host of the Amicus podcast. Podcast production by Mary Wilson, Jayson De Leon, and Danielle Hewitt.Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now.
Just weeks into his role as prime minister, Boris Johnson has kicked the U.K.’s Brexit drama into high gear. It culminated yesterday in a vote that would force him to delay Britain’s EU exit until Jan. 31, 2020, unless Parliament (in an unlikely scenario) votes to approve a new deal or support a no-deal Brexit by Oct. 19. Johnson has responded by threatening to call a general election in hopes of regaining a governing majority.Is a general election the answer to this Brexit mess?Guest: Josh Keating, international editor at Slate.Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now.
When Christopher Werth saw some paint chips falling off a radiator in his daughter’s New York City classroom, he picked one up and sent it to get tested. The results spurred him to launch a larger investigation into lead exposure in New York City classrooms.Just across the river in Newark, New Jersey, another city is dealing with its own lead troubles. Elevated levels of the metal have been found in the city’s drinking water.What do these two cases tell us about the legacy of lead in America? And what can be done about it?Guest: Christopher Werth, Senior Editor at WNYCSlate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now.
What would it look like if the U.S. Senate ditched its filibuster rule, allowing legislation to pass with just a simple majority? Guest: Slate staff writer Jim Newell.Podcast production by Mary Wilson and Jayson De Leon.Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now.
How has Mexico President Andrés Manuel López Obrador changed his country’s approach to migrants heading north? Guest: León Krauze, Slate columnist, Trumpcast co-host, and Univision news anchor.This episode originally aired in April 2019. Podcast production by Mary Wilson and Jayson De Leon.
Back in March, Rep. Ilhan Omar spoke passionately about pro-Israel political forces that “push for allegiance to a foreign country.” She later apologized for unwittingly deploying an anti-Semitic trope. Why were Omar’s words so triggering? And is she making a fair point? Guest: Slate economics & policy writer Jordan Weissmann. This episode originally aired in March 2019. Podcast production by Mary Wilson and Jayson De Leon.
Henry Grabar explains why the global market for your trash collapsed, and how American recyclers are course-correcting.Guest: Meleesa Johnson, president of the Associated Recyclers of Wisconsin.This show originally aired in April 2019. Podcast production by Mary Wilson and Jayson De Leon.
Some of your favorite presidents have tried to pack the Supreme Court. So why does it sound like such an extreme tactic? And how did some of the top Democrats running for president come to embrace it?Guest: Mark Joseph Stern, Slate’s legal correspondent. This episode originally aired in March 2019. Podcast production by Mary Wilson and Jayson De Leon.
Joe Biden might be the favorite to defeat President Trump, but that doesn’t mean Biden would defeat Trumpism. Guest: Jamelle Bouie, New York Times Columnist.This episode was first posted on March 12, 2019. Podcast production by Mary Wilson and Jayson De Leon.
Over the past several months, tensions have escalated in Hong Kong, Kashmir, and the United States. Each for their own reasons. But what if all these headlines are connected?Guest: Josh Keating, international editor at SlateFor more information about this episode please read:• “The Next Jimmy Aldaoud” by Chris Gelardi• “India’s Great Disenfranchisement” by Namrata Kolachalam• “Crossing a Line in Kashmir” by Nitish Pahwa
Henry Grabar fills in as host, surveying how the Democratic presidential candidates would try to fix the housing affordability crisis. What kinds of local policies have given rise to the crisis in the first place? Guest: Jenny Schuetz, a fellow at Brookings. Related: Watch Elizabeth Warren explain her plan to boost homeownership among black and brown families. Podcast production by Sam Lee with help from Danielle Hewitt. Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now.
When it comes to pedestrian deaths, the Sun Belt is the most dangerous area in the country. Six of the 10 most dangerous metro areas for pedestrians are located in Florida. Nineteen of the top 20 are in the Sun Belt. How is the way we build our cities and suburbs contributing to the problem? And what can be done to try to reduce traffic deaths across the country?Guest: Angie Schmitt, writer Streetsblog USA
Activists invigorated by the Women’s March and the Me Too movement are expanding the definition of what it means to be a female political leader. Meet one woman who’s coaching them along the way. Guest: Chris Jahnke, speech coach to women working in politics. Podcast production by Samantha Lee with help from Danielle Hewitt.Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now.
Sarah McBride made waves at the Democratic National Convention in 2016 as the first transgender person to speak at a major party convention. Three years and many political successes later, McBride is trying to add another win to her résumé. One that would make her the first elected openly transgender state senator in America’s history.Guest: Sarah McBride, candidate for Senate District 1 in Delaware.Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now.
Did your heart skip a beat reading and hearing about all the economic news this week? Today on the show we explain just what’s happening in the markets and try to pin down why things are happening the way they are. Plus, we offer a few possible ways to stave off the worst of an economic downturn.Guest: Jordan Weissmann, Slate’s senior business and economics correspondentSlate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now.
This week the pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong escalated, as activists effectively shut down an airport and beat up suspected imposters. Activists show no sign of letting up, even though the local government has withdrawn the extradition bill that initially sparked outcry. How could this possibly end?Guest: Yvonne Chiu, professor at the U.S. Naval War College. Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now.
Another presidential primary means another trip to the Iowa State Fair. But the Democratic Party’s new rules for thinning down the field of candidates means a photo-op with a turkey leg isn’t all it used to be. Guest: Slate’s politics writer Jim Newell.
The demographics of migrants crossing the southern border of the United States have changed over the last several decades. What used to be young Mexican men seeking economic opportunity has turned into families seeking refuge from broken Central American governments. Sonia Nazario has spent decades reporting from Honduras, a country where corruption runs rampant and gangs have become the de facto government. She says that the foreign aid that the Trump administration has cut off to Central America is the very aid that could help solve the crisis at the southern border.Guest: Sonia Nazario, journalist and author of Enrique's Journey: The Story of a Boy's Dangerous Odyssey to Reunite with His Mother.
In the absence of new federal laws to address mass shootings, school safety has become a design problem. Guest host Henry Grabar asks: How are architects responding to an era of active shooter drills and bulletproof backpacks? Guest: Jenine Kotob, architectural designer at Hord Coplan Macht. Podcast production by Mary Wilson and Jayson De Leon.Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now.
Five years ago Wesley Bell watched as protests erupted across Ferguson in the wake of Michael Brown’s death. Bell, the son of a police officer, stood between the protestors and the police as he watched Ferguson descend into chaos. In an effort to make lasting change in the community he decided to run for public office. Seven months ago, he won.In our third and final episode revisiting Ferguson, we talk to Wesley Bell about his new role as St. Louis County’s top prosecutor and how he has decided to use his power.Guest: Wesley Bell, prosecuting attorney, St. Louis CountyListen to Parts 1 and 2 of our series, “The Worst Night” and “Questioning the Legend.”
There are two stories of what happened in Ferguson, Missouri, the day Michael Brown was shot and killed by police officer Darren Wilson: the story we heard immediately after, and the story we came to know months later.In the second part of our three-part series, we ask: If we misremember Michael Brown’s death, does that change Ferguson’s legacy?Guest: John McWhorter, writer, professor, and host of Lexicon Valley.Listen to Part 1 of our series, “The Worst Night”
Its been five years since Michael Brown was shot and killed by officer Darren Wilson in the middle of Ferguson’s Canfield Drive. His death at the hands of a police officer sparked protests across the country and cemented the Black Lives Matter movement into the American consciousness.In the first of our three-part series, we ask: "On the worst night of clashes between protestors and police in Ferguson, what didn't we see?"Guest: Joel Anderson, Host of Slow Burn.
In 1993, a mass shooting in downtown San Francisco prompted a familiar debate about restricting access to guns and assault weapons. But something unusual happened. Two major gun control bills passed Congress and were signed into law. How did it happen?Guest: Harry Cheadle, senior editor at Vice. Read his piece on the 101 California Street shooting. Podcast production by Mary Wilson, Jayson De Leon, and Ethan Brooks.Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now.
Capital One is only the latest victim of a massive data breach. Equifax announced millions of users were affected by its data breach back in 2017. The fallout from Equifax’s episode is still playing out today.Why is the United States so bad at defending against cyberattacks? And once the damage is done, why can’t we manage the fallout?Guest: Josephine Wolff, assistant professor of cybersecurity policy at Tufts. She’s the author of You’ll See This Message When It Is Too Late: The Legal and Economic Aftermath of Cybersecurity Breaches.
Advocate Mariame Kaba explains why the Cyntoia Brown story is compelling, complicated, and deeply frustrating -- why it's wrong to portray Cyntoia Brown as a child, why Brown’s story is deeply familiar to black women in America, and why Kaba considers Brown’s crime a radical act of “self-love.”This episode originally aired January 9th, 2019.
In just over a month, North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District will hold a special election. The Democratic candidate has been running for over two years and following the red state Democrat playbook to the letter. The new Republican candidate is running as the sensible conservative who will defend the president. Which strategy will prevail? What can that tell us about voters heading into 2020?Guest: Dave Weigel covers politics for the Washington Post.
The Fed will cut interest rates Wednesday for the first time since the Great Recession. Why are they cutting the rate now, and what does that mean for the underlying strength of the economy?Guest: Jordan Weissmann, Senior Economic Correspondent at Slate
How did a small-town eye doctor mastermind an anti-immigration movement premised on racism? Guest: Hassan Ahmad, founder of the HMA Law Firm in Virginia. He is suing the University of Michigan to unseal the complete archives of the late John Tanton.Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now.
A scientist on the outer fringes of his field has been patiently making the case that the U.S. government applies far too conservative controls on toxins in the environment. Now, he’s trying to implement his ideas at the EPA -- by writing a sweeping new rule that could make the agency unable to regulate pollution & other contaminants. Guest: Susanne Rust, reporter for the Los Angeles Times.
Special Counsel Robert Mueller appeared determined to do two things in his House testimony on Wednesday: carry no water for partisans, and communicate the national security threat of Russia’s interference in U.S. elections. Guest: Slate’s Dahlia Lithwick, who predicted the Mueller testimony would be a “game of chicken between chickens.”Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now.
The protests in Puerto Rico are about so much more than nasty messages endorsed by the governor. The island’s political grievances were decades in the making -- and even if protesters get the governor to resign, there are more complicated power struggles ahead. Guest: Natalia Rodríguez Medina, who has been covering Puerto Rico’s protests for Latino Rebels. Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now.
In 1990, David Duke ran for Senate in Louisiana, appalling the Republican establishment and freaking out the Democratic consultant-class. Duke didn’t win -- but he did well enough to feel emboldened, and a year later he launched a campaign for Louisiana governor. The coalition that formed to defeat Duke has some advice for anyone trying to squelch racist policies and rhetoric today. Guest: Tim J. Wise, author of the books White Like Me: Reflections on Race From a Privileged Son and Dear White America: Letter to a New Minority.
“I’m 10-15.” That’s the border patrol code for “alien in custody.” It's also the name of a secret Facebook group where a number of Customs and Border Protection agents posted racist and sexist memes. What about this agency allows such rampant misconduct?Guest: A.C. Thompson, reporter at ProPublica. Read his story on the secret Border Patrol Facebook group.Podcast production by Mary Wilson, Jayson De Leon, and Ethan Brooks.
Deutsche Bank was the one lender that couldn’t quit Donald Trump. Now the bank holds the key to understanding President Trump’s finances.Guest: David Enrich, finance editor for the New York Times. Podcast production by Mary Wilson, Jayson De Leon, and Ethan Brooks
It was all lined up just how President Trump wanted. A "safe-third-country" agreement with Guatemala was nearly complete, but over the weekend it fell apart. This is the second time the administration has tried to negotiate a safe-third-country agreement with a Central American country. Why is this the thing the Trump administration wants? And where does it leave those who are desperate and seeking asylum in America?Guest: Jonathan Blitzer, staff writer at the New Yorker. Read his story on how the negotiations between the Trump administration and Guatemala fell apart.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is the most unpopular senator in the country. Yet, he has represented the state of Kentucky for over 25 years, defeating an array of opponents along the way. Will his challenger in 2020 suffer the same fate as the rest?Guest: Ryland Barton, Capitol Bureau Chief at Kentucky Public Radio.
Over the weekend President Trump's timeline filled with racist comments directed at members of the so-called "Squad." This includes Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, and Ayanna Pressley. In a press conference on Monday, the president defended his racist rant while at the same time trying to deepen divisions between House Democrats -- divisions that are very real and have become very public. How did the conflict between House Democrats make its way to the President Trump’s timeline?Guest: Ryan Grim, DC Bureau Chief at The Intercept and author of We’ve Got People: From Jesse Jackson to AOC, the End of Big Money and the Rise of a Movement.
This week, an appellate court in New Orleans heard oral arguments on the constitutionality of the ACA. The argument? That Obamacare is more coercive without a tax penalty. This position - one that has lawyers on both sides of the isle scratching their heads - may end up at the Supreme Court. Could this bad legal argument spell the end of the line for Obamacare?Podcast production by Mary Wilson, Jayson De Leon, and Ethan Brooks.
The intriguing story of a British ambassador’s hasty resignation, and why it perfectly encapsulates our current geopolitical moment. This story has everything: leaked confidential reports, world trade implications, and a reference to the movie The Terminator. Guest: Slate’s Josh Keating, international editor.
Is there something fishy about the way Hunter Biden made money while his father was serving as vice president? One reporter looked into it. But he didn’t find corruption. He found something far more complicated -- and commonplace. Guest: Adam Entous, staff writer for the New Yorker. Read his piece on Hunter Biden. Podcast production by Mary Wilson, Jayson De Leon, and Ethan Brooks.
Over the weekend, multimillionaire Jeffrey Epstein was arrested on charges of sex trafficking. But back in 2003, journalist Vicky Ward had the inside scoop on Epstein: She interviewed two of his victims and wrote up the story for Vanity Fair. And then, her editor spiked the allegations from the story. This is the story of how Epstein used his connections to evade scrutiny... again and again. Guest: Journalist Vicky Ward. Her latest book is Kushner, Inc. Podcast production by Mary Wilson, Jayson De Leon, and Ethan Brooks.
At a prison in southern Mississippi, guards can’t do basic population counts. They can’t keep cellphones, drugs, and weapons out of the building. They are at the mercy of gang leaders to control the inmates. Is this just what happens when you try to do corrections on the cheap? Guests: Joseph Neff and Alysia Santo, staff writers for the Marshall Project. Read their story on Wilkinson County Correctional Facility. Podcast production by Mary Wilson, Jayson De Leon, and Ethan Brooks.
Jumaane Williams has been an activist, a city councilman, and is currently New York City’s public advocate. However, before that, he was a student in New York City’s public education system. As a product of the system, Williams is thinking about ways to address the segregation that exists among public schools in New York City today.This show was recorded live at Slate Day 2019.Guest: Jumaane Williams, public advocate for New York City.
Last week, Kamala Harris challenged Joe Biden on his record with respect to busing. Most Americans understand busing in the context of the segregated south, but for Kamala Harris, the story is different. What does her experience as a child in the Berkley school system tell us about busing? And why could this issue be a tricky one for some Democrats going into 2020?Guest: Matt Delmont, Professor of History at Dartmouth College
In the days after rapper Nipsey Hussle was killed, members of rival gangs across Los Angeles came together to mourn his death. In the months since, that mourning has turned into action as gang leaders attempt to broker peace within their warring factions. Now that some have reached a tentative cease-fire, the question now is: Will it last?Guest: Cindy Chang, a reporter covering L.A. police for the Los Angeles Times.
On Thursday, the Supreme Court blocked the addition of a citizenship question to the 2020 census and delivered a staggering win for the Republican party in the case of partisan gerrymandering. Is this just another case of a small win for progressives and a huge win for conservatives? And what do the decisions tell us about the roles of Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Kavanaugh on the court moving forward?Guest: Mark Joseph Stern, covers courts and the law for Slate
Republican state senators in Oregon are refusing to go to work. In a state legislature where Democrats hold a supermajority, the walkout is one way Republicans can put a halt to their rivals progressive agenda. With several statehouses throughout the nation being held by a supermajority, is walking out going to become more common?Guest: Jason Wilson, journalist and columnist at The Guardian
Eric Logan, a black resident in South Bend, Indiana, was shot and killed by a police officer in the early morning hours on Father’s Day. Mayor Pete Buttigieg returned to the city, putting a halt to his presidential campaign, to deal with the fallout. The return home hasn’t been so welcoming.Guest: Adam Wren, contributing editor at POLITICO and Indianapolis Monthly
For years the residents of St. John the Baptist Parish, Louisiana thought their town was simply the victim of bad luck. Suffering more than their share of illnesses. Almost everyone in the town knows someone that has died of cancer. It was only in July 2016 that the EPA informed the people of St. John that the local neoprene plant was emitting carcinogens leaving the small town with the highest risk of cancer from air pollution in the whole nation. With the residents in a fight for their very lives, what could the way politicians reacted to another town’s poisonous air pollution tell us about why nobody has acted to save St. John, Louisiana?Guest: Sharon Lerner, environmental reporter at The Intercept
Last week, a series of escalations brought the US to the brink of a strike on Iran. But only a few short years ago, the leaders of both countries were celebrating a landmark nuclear agreement. What changed? One of the architects of the Iran Nuclear Deal takes us through the journey, and lays out the Trump Administration’s limited options in the coming weeks.Guest: Ambassador Wendy Sherman, former Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs
Mexico has agreed to crack down on immigration in response to threats from President Trump. But that isn’t stopping the flow of migrants -- it’s pushing it further underground.Guest: Emily Green, freelance reporter. You can read her latest story on VICE News.
For a long time, Brandon Flood kept his criminal history quiet - he worked in the Pennsylvania state government, and didn’t want his former convictions to detract from his career success. But now, that history makes him uniquely suited for his new job as secretary of the state’s Board of Pardons. How did he go from submitting his own pardon application - to one year later, leading the body that helps make those clemency decisions? This episode was originally posted in April. Guest: Brandon Flood, Secretary of the Pennsylvania state Board of Pardons. Podcast production by Mary Wilson, Jayson De Leon, and Ethan Brooks
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s political philosophy is an elegant one: If you want to do something bold, you must follow public sentiment, not lead it. Now why can’t House Democrats seem to shape public sentiment? And what makes them so afraid to cross their caucus leader? Guest: Rachael Bade, Congress reporter for the Washington Post.
It’s June, which means it’s the season of highly anticipated Supreme Court rulings. We’re taking a look at two cases that shook up the typical partisan fault line on the bench. How did conservative and liberal justices find themselves making unusual alliances on double jeopardy and racial gerrymandering?Guest: Mark Joseph Stern, Slate’s courts correspondent.
At the Women’s World Cup this year, the U.S. players talk about living in a “bubble” -- thinking of nothing but the game, eschewing any distractions. What looms outside that bubble is their lawsuit against their federation for gender discrimination, and it’s already shading the reactions to their games. Guest: Nancy Armour, sports columnist for USA TODAY. Podcast production by Mary Wilson, Jayson De Leon, and Ethan Brooks.
The Bernie Sanders campaign billed his speech on Wednesday as a “major address on how democratic socialism is the only way to defeat oligarchy and authoritarianism.” Besides being a mouthful, the speech was an attempt for Bernie to explain why he calls himself a socialist. However, he gets a key element of the pitch wrong. Was it an accident or is Bernie intentionally trying to change what being a socialist in America means? Guest: Jordan Weissmann, economics and policy writer at Slate.
Mark Zuckerberg used to avoid traveling to Washington, D.C., leaving a lot of the political outreach Facebook needed to do to COO Sheryl Sandberg. Now? He’s personally putting in phone calls to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (who won’t return his calls). What does the incident concerning the distorted video of Pelosi that went viral show us about how the social media giant’s relationship with policymakers is changing? And what does it mean for the 2020 elections? Guest: Elizabeth Dwoskin, Silicon Valley correspondent for the Washington Post
If you walk to the Ohio riverfront from Owensboro’s City Hall, past the Courthouse, and the Museum of Science and History, you’ll get to McConnell Plaza. Mitch McConnell Plaza. For years, this town has been courting the Senate majority leader and, recently, its paid off. What does the relationship between his office and his wife, Elaine Chao’s, office have to do with the grants this small city is receiving? Are ethics being violated?Guest: Tanya Snyder, transportation reporter at POLITICO. Read her latest story on Mitch McConnell and Elaine Chao.
Before Chris Hurst was a legislator in Virginia’s House of Delegates, he was a local news anchor. Working out of the same newsroom as his then-girlfriend, Alison Parker. Alison was tragically shot and killed on live TV alongside her colleague Adam Ward nearly four years ago. In the years that followed Chris has been a proponent of gun control in a state that is reluctant to change its gun laws. In the wake of the mass shooting at Virginia Beach on May 31, Virginia’s democratic governor called for a special legislative session to consider new gun laws in the state, but will the Republican Legislature rise to the occasion? Guest: Chris Hurst, delegate in the Virginia House of Delegates for the state's 12th District.
As Democrats try to find an economic message that can win in 2020, a group of like-minded millionaires is making the rounds, telling any politicians who will listen, “We want to pay more in taxes.” Why, though?Guest: Morris Pearl, chair of Patriotic Millionaires. Podcast production by Mary Wilson, Jayson De Leon, and Ethan Brooks.
Washington and Connecticut set out to change health care in their own states using “public option” legislation. With the 2020 candidates discussing Medicare for All, these two states may serve as an example on the kinds of resistance the idea will meet in practice.Guest: Jordan Weissmann, writer at Slate.
The strange tale of how a group of Trump supporters started building the border wall themselves, and why the southern border has become a proving ground and businesses and politicians who want to catch the president’s eye.Guest: Politico reporter Ben Schreckinger. Read his latest story from the Southern border.
Tom Hofeller was a dedicated Republican operative, committed to achieving GOP political dominance and doing it with utmost discretion. Now, his political legacy is in the hands of the U.S. Supreme Court—and all because his daughter shared his old computer archives with the wrong group of lawyers. Guests: Bob Phillips, executive director of Common Cause North Carolina. David Daley, author of Ratf**ked: The True Story Behind the Secret Plan to Steal America’s Democracy.
Notre Dame basketball coach Muffet McGraw wasn’t planning on making a speech about feminism and gender equality. But at a press conference before the Final Four tournament, that’s just what she did, launching into a screed about the dearth of women in government, politics, corporate C-suites, and sports. “We don’t have enough female role models,” McGraw said. “Men run the world!” The viral moment was a lifetime in the making. Guest: Muffet McGraw, head coach of the Notre Dame women’s basketball team. Podcast production by Mary Wilson, Jayson De Leon, and Ethan Brooks.
“California is full.” That’s effectively what some residents and lawmakers in the state said when they chose to punt on a bill that would build more financially sane housing across its biggest metropolitan areas. What does the story of that bill tell us about policymaking for housing and transportation in America? And in a state where homelessness is increasing at an alarming rate, how long will it take California to build the housing it desperately needs?Guest: Farhad Manjoo, a New York Times opinion columnist, who covers technology, global affairs, and culture.
Special Counsel Robert Mueller breaks his silence to reiterate the conclusions of his investigation’s report -- and remind the American people to read it. Guest: Slate’s Dahlia Lithwick, host of the Amicus podcast. Podcast production by Mary Wilson, Jayson De Leon, and Ethan Brooks.
It was the election that was never supposed to happen in the UK in the first place. Several delays, a few milkshakes, and a resignation later the British found themselves voting over the weekend for European Parliament. How did Brexiteers and Remainers fare in this past weekend’s vote? And what does it mean for the UK and Europe writ large?Guest: Josh Keating, International Editor at Slate
Everywhere President Trump turns, he’s finding himself hemmed in by the courts. But could upcoming rulings from the Supreme Court make lower court judges take a more expansive view of the president’s executive powers? Guest: Slate writer Mark Joseph Stern.
In the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, U.S. forces scoured Afghanistan for Taliban fighters. They weren’t expecting to find John Walker Lindh, a young man from California who had converted to Islam and moved abroad to study the Quran. Lindh was dubbed the “American Taliban,” but his case ended in a plea deal, leaving his treatment while in custody a secret. At the time, Lindh’s story seemed uncomplicated: He was associating with extremists. Now, years later, his case feels like a missed opportunity. How did it happen that he went through our criminal justice system, but we learned so little about extremism and the nation’s treatment of detainees?Guest: Karen Greenberg, director of the Center on National Security at Fordham University School of Law. Her book is Rogue Justice: The Making of the Security State.
Last week, Georgia joined the wave of states passing stringent anti-abortion laws in a bid to topple Roe v. Wade. One Democratic state senator says she hasn’t lost her resolve to fight for women’s bodily autonomy. Guest: Georgia state Sen. Jen Jordan, representing parts of Atlanta and its northwestern suburbsPodcast production by Mary Wilson, Jayson De Leon, and Ethan Brooks.
Sheriff’s offices across the country are signing up to beta-test a facial recognition tool made by Amazon. Law enforcement proponents say the technology helps find perpetrators who otherwise may go free. But civil liberties advocates have questions about the accuracy —and the constitutionality—of these tools.Guest: Reporter Drew Harwell. Read his latest in the Washington Post.
Over the weekend, billionaire Robert F. Smith ended his commencement address to the Morehouse Class of 2019 with an extraordinary pledge: He would pay off the entire class’s student debt. Smith’s pledge will undoubtedly transform the lives of those students, but what about everyone else? What does student debt relief look like on a national scale? And what can we learn from studying the Morehouse Class of 2019? Guest: Jordan Weissmann, Slate’s senior business and economics correspondent.
When New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced he would run for president, the mockery was swift. City tabloids were typically disdainful (New York Post: “Everyone Hates Bill!”). New York’s attorney general quipped, “Why?” Even de Blasio’s former staffers have declined to voice support for their old boss’s presidential bid. Here, now, an explanation for why New Yorkers are so sure their mayor would be a bad fit for the White House. Guest: Henry Grabar, Slate staff writer.
For the past couple years, politicians in Florida have been raising concerns about election security and making vague allusions to Russian hackers gaining access to voter databases. With the Mueller report, we finally got confirmation—but that’s about all we got. Are voters ever going to get the full picture of how Florida election information networks might have been compromised in 2016? And, if we want our systems to remain secure … should we want the full picture to be available, even to our enemies?Guests: Politico reporter Gary Fineout, and Leon County Elections Supervisor Mark Earley.
Ronald Sullivan joined Harvey Weinstein’s defense team in January. This set off a wave of protests and sit-ins across the Harvard campus asking for the removal of Sullivan as faculty dean at the university. And those student protests worked. On Saturday, Harvard University announced that it was declining to renew the appointments of Ronald Sullivan and his wife, Stephanie Robinson, as faculty deans of Winthrop House. What precedent does this decision set? And is it fair for the university to strip them of their positions?Guest: Lara Bazelon, an associate professor at the University of San Francisco School of Law.Podcast production by Mary Wilson, Jayson De Leon, and Ethan Brooks.
If the U.S. stumbles into a war with Iran, it’ll be largely one of John Bolton’s making. The national security adviser appears to be running the foreign policy show at the White House and has a taste for regime change in several countries, including Iran. Who’s the surprising person inside the administration reining him in? And can the U.S. recover from four years of antagonizing our allies and expanding our enemies list?Guest: Dexter Filkins, staff writer at the New YorkerPodcast production by Mary Wilson, Jayson De Leon, and Ethan Brooks
Monday marked another escalation in the trade war with China. And yes, even by the academic definition, our guest says this is a full-blown trade war. Who’s feeling the effect most, and how is the administration handling the fight it began with the world’s second biggest economy? Plus, how are the politics of tariffs playing out for Trump?Guest: Jordan Weissmann, senior writer at SlatePodcast production by Mary Wilson, Jayson De Leon, and Ethan Brooks.
Anti-abortion activists in Alabama are rushing to topple Roe v. Wade. But have they crafted an abortion ban that’s too extreme, even for Alabama’s Republicans? Guest: Brian Lyman, reporter for the Montgomery Advertiser. Podcast production by Mary Wilson, Jayson De Leon, and Anna Martin.
Last weekend, Slate published an obituary for Rachel Held Evans, the blogger who championed liberal values and challenged evangelicals on their politics. She was known to her devoted readers as RHE, and she represented something new in evangelical Christian communities, as some began to shift toward a progressive ideology nevertheless rooted in faith. That movement is now expanding beyond churches and into the political sphere, where Christians are no longer assumed to be conservative.Guest: Slate staff writer Ruth Graham.
On May 2nd, Catherine Pugh resigned as mayor of Baltimore - making her the second mayor in less than ten years to leave office amid corruption allegations. The scandal forcing her to step down involved a children’s book, an FBI raid, and a host of ethically dubious business relationships at the highest levels of city government. What happens next for Charm City? Guest: Luke Broadwater, reporter at the Baltimore Sun.
The House Judiciary Committee is set to vote on holding Attorney General William Barr in contempt of Congress, for failing to provide a full and unredacted copy of the Mueller report. It’s the latest in a series of clashes between the legislative and executive branches—clashes that don’t show any signs of letting up. Was our 230-year-old Constitution designed for this highly partisan, highly confrontational moment?Guest: Noah Feldman, Harvard Law School professor and host of Deep Background, available on Luminary.
We got our files mixed up this morning! This is the corrected show for Tuesday, May 7. The proposed Equal Rights Amendment is simple: It would prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex. To become part of the U.S. Constitution, the ERA has to be passed not just in Congress, but in 38 state legislatures. In 2017, Nevada became the 36th state to pass it. Last year, Illinois became the 37th. And last week, Congress held a hearing on the plan. Guest: Carol Jenkins, co-president and CEO of the ERA Coalition and the Fund for Women’s Equality.
With all the breathless enthusiasm for the presidential race, no one seems very interested in the U.S. Senate. Why not?Guest: Slate writer Jim Newell. Podcast production by Mary Wilson, Jayson De Leon, and Anna Martin, with help from Samantha Lee.
Deutsche Bank was the one lender that couldn’t quit Donald Trump. Now the bank holds the key to understanding President Trump’s finances. Guest: David Enrich, finance editor for the New York Times. Podcast production by Mary Wilson, Jayson De Leon, and Anna Martin, with help from Samantha Lee.
Attorney General William Barr showed up to the Senate Judiciary Committee to testify, but the spotlight was also on his colleague, Special Counsel Robert Mueller. What will it take to resolve the growing divide between these two men and their views of the Mueller investigation?Guest: Jeremy Stahl, senior editor at Slate. Podcast production by Mary Wilson, Jayson De Leon, and Anna Martin, with help from Samantha Lee.
Back in 1991, when a 35-year-old law professor named Anita Hill accused Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment, it was Joe Biden who got to decide how to handle the allegation. Why does Hill think Biden failed her and all subsequent women who would bring a harassment allegation before the Senate? And what does Biden owe those women now, as he seeks the Democratic nomination for president?Guest: Dahlia Lithwick, writer for Slate and host of the Amicus podcast. Podcast production by Mary Wilson, Jayson De Leon, and Anna Martin, with help from Samantha Lee.
At Brigham Young University, students and alumni are forcing a conversation about the severe enforcement of the school’s strict Honor Code. How did BYU’s high standards lead to some students feeling less safe? Guest: Erin Alberty, reporter for the Salt Lake Tribune.
The NRA is in a financial mess of its own doing. A number of executives, vendors, and contractors have used their positions to enrich themselves, extracting hundreds of millions of dollars from the organization in the process. How did secrecy, poor judgement, and sweetheart deals toss the NRA into an existential crisis?Guest: Mike Spies, reporter at The Trace.
Back in 2014, a mysterious hashtag started trending on Twitter: #EndFathersDay. The accounts tweeting the extremist sentiments appeared to be the accounts of black women. But black feminists on Twitter knew something was amiss. So they got to the bottom of the hashtag—and used their own to fight back. Guest: Rachelle Hampton, Slate writer.
Immigration judges walk into work everyday knowing that the system they operate in is broken. It has been for decades, through multiple administrations. So what’s the fix? The answer isn’t as radical as you might think.Guest: Judge A. Ashley Tabaddor, immigration judge in Los Angeles and president of the National Association of Immigration Judges.
The Trump administration wants to add a citizenship question to the U.S. Census, and the proposal has former Census directors up in arms. If the Supreme Court votes to allow the citizenship question, what could happen to the nation’s decennial headcount?Guest: NPR correspondent Hansi Lo Wang. Podcast production by Mary Wilson, Jayson De Leon, and Anna Martin.
For a long time, Brandon Flood kept his criminal history quiet: He worked in the Pennsylvania state government and didn’t want his former convictions to detract from his career success. But now, that history makes him uniquely suited for his new job as secretary of the state’s Board of Pardons. How did he go from submitting his own pardon application to, one year later, leading the body that helps make those clemency decisions?Guest: Brandon Flood, secretary of the Pennsylvania Board of Pardons.