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October 15, 2019
The impeachment inquiry has crowded out all but the most urgent news about the 2020 presidential election. In doing so, it’s frozen the Democratic primary in ways that have helped Sen. Elizabeth Warren at the expense of almost every other candidate. How long will the freeze-frame last?Guest: Amy Walter, National Editor of the Cook Political Report and Friday host of WNYC’s The Takeaway.Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
October 11, 2019
As the impeachment inquiry rolls on, it’s easy to get lost in the paperwork and characters surfacing each week. We’re here to help sort through it all and tell you what you really need to know. Today: the White House’s letter to Congress and what it says about the fight that’s only going to heat up on Capitol Hill.Guests: Dahlia Lithwick, who covers the courts and the law at Slate. And Jim Newell, a politics writer at Slate.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.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
October 10, 2019
Growing up in D.C. during the civil rights era made the fight for D.C. statehood deeply personal for civil rights advocate Wade Henderson. He’s said that being unable to secure a voting representative in Congress is one of his greatest disappointments. Christina Cauterucci speaks with Henderson about the fight for statehood and why he still has hope for the movement.This episode is a part of Slate’s Who Counts initiative. In the run-up to the 2020 election, Slate will be investigating who counts in the voting booth, who counts as an American, whose money counts in the democratic process, and whose doesn’t. And we need your help. Your support will let us assign more stories, travel to overlooked places, commission special podcast projects, and pay for reporting we otherwise would not be able to do. To learn more about this project and how to support our work, please go to slate.com/whocounts.Guest: Wade Henderson, former head of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human RightsPodcast 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.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
October 9, 2019
The Federal Election Commission was designed to prevent the parties from going rogue with overly punitive campaign finance regulations. But what’s paralyzed FEC is something less partisan, and more principled: Democrats think the government should enforce campaign spending laws. Republicans don’t.Guest: Ellen Weintraub, Federal Election Commission Chair.Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
October 8, 2019
The Supreme Court embarks on its new term with a solidly conservative majority and a sense of urgency when it comes to settling legal questions that keep cropping up. Will Chief Justice John Roberts continue to strike centrist compromises in the interest of preserving the court’s legitimacy? Or will the country feel the court’s rightward shift?Guest: Mark Joseph Stern, legal reporter for Slate.Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
October 7, 2019
Last week, a contentious affirmative action case came to a temporary resolution. In a lawsuit filed against Harvard by Asian American students and conservative opponents of affirmative action, a judge ruled in favor of the university’s race-conscious admissions process. The selection process, she says, helps create a diverse student body and does not discriminate against Asian American applicants. But here’s the catch: there are examples of bias in the application process. And this case is probably far from over.Guest: Elie Mystal, executive editor of Above The Law and contributing writer at The Nation.Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
October 4, 2019
How independent can a Trump cabinet official be? Acting DHS chief Kevin McAleenan is testing the limits. Guest: Nick Miroff, Washington Post reporter covering immigration enforcement and the Department of Homeland Security.Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
October 3, 2019
Adam Schiff was elected to Congress as part of the blowback against House Republicans after the Clinton impeachment saga in the late 1990s. Now he’s at the forefront of another spectacular political scandal enveloping Washington. Schiff, who chairs the House Intelligence Committee, has been a leading critic of the Trump administration. But that doesn’t mean he’s losing his cool now that the impeachment inquiry is officially underway. Schiff remains composed, pragmatic, and understated—which might be the best tactic for squaring off against the president.Guest: Todd Purdum, staff writer at the Atlantic.Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
October 2, 2019
In the late spring and early summer of 2019 there were these stories. Stories that ran in the New York Times and BuzzFeed News about Rudy Giuliani and his backchannel campaign to get Ukraine’s help securing Donald Trump’s re-election. Though not easy reads these articles are undoubtedly the first draft of what Washington can’t stop talking about now, the Ukraine Scandal. So, what made the whistleblower’s version of the story stick?Guest: Eric Umansky, Deputy Managing Editor at ProPublica and Editor of the Trump, Inc. podcast.Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
October 1, 2019
A growing contingent of Amazon employees has been pushing the company to be a leader in the fight against climate change. Recently, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos promised to reduce carbon emissions and add thousands of electric trucks to the company’s fleet. Activist employees hope that’s just a beginning. Guest: Louise Matsakis, staff writer for Wired.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.
September 30, 2019
In a week that saw the talks of impeachment boil over into Congressional action, a former Republican Senator says Speaker Nancy Pelosi was right to hold off on an impeachment inquiry until now. Once a reliable critic of the Trump administration, Jeff Flake joins Mary Harris to discuss a week that could change the presidency, how he’s reflecting on the Kavanaugh hearings one year later, and why there’s no room for him in today’s Republican party.This conversation was recorded live at the Texas Tribune Festival in Austin, TX.Guest: Former Senator of Arizona, Jeff FlakeSlate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now.
September 27, 2019
On Thursday morning, the House Intelligence Committee publicly released a whistleblower complaint providing evidence of President Trump’s alleged abuse of presidential power. The complaint came just before the Acting Director of National Intelligence was due to testify before the committee. Slate's Dahlia Lithwick and Jeremy Stahl take stock of the rapid changes in Washington since House Democrats announced their impeachment inquiry.
September 26, 2019
Parents in Howard County, Maryland, are pushing back against a school redistricting plan that would address overcrowding and a lack of diversity. Opponents say the changes will disrupt communities and strap kids with longer commutes. They say it’s not fair for their families and their kids. How are educators supposed to make the case that something that upsets individuals is better for the public good?Guest: Joshua Starr, CEO of PDK International
September 25, 2019
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced an official impeachment inquiry into President Trump on Tuesday evening. After a year of Democratic leadership holding off, what makes this time different for Speaker Pelosi? And what happens now?Guests: Dahlia Lithwick, covers the courts and the law for Slate. Jim Newell, political reporter for Slate.Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now.
September 24, 2019
Last week, Time Magazine released photos of a 29-year-old Justin Trudeau in blackface. In the days following, the Canadian Prime Minister admitted to two more instances of using blackface. The Canadian election is a month away. How will Trudeau’s latest scandal effect it?Guest: Jesse Brown, host of Canadaland podcast.Podcast production by Mary Wilson, Jayson De Leon, Danielle Hewitt and Mara SilversSlate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now.
September 23, 2019
Somewhere in Washington right now there is a whistleblower. We don’t know who they are, what their job is, or if they’re a man or a woman. The only thing we do know is that they are in the middle of a political firestorm. So, how did this all come about? And will it be enough to push Congress to act?Guest: Shane Harris, covers intelligence and national security for the Washington Post.Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now.
September 20, 2019
Prime Minister Narendra Modi held his first rally in the U.S. when he was elected in 2014. Now, he’s coming back to appear in front of 50,000 people in Houston, Texas. The other person expected to take the stage is President Trump. So, what do the leaders of the world’s two largest democracies plan to gain from the visit?Guest: Milan Vaishnav, director of the South Asia Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now.
September 19, 2019
A buzzy new drug to help treat people with a peanut allergy was recommended for approval by an FDA advisory board this week. It would be the first government-approved method intended to combat these kinds of allergic reactions. The story behind that drug helps explain how the cost of many prescription drugs ends up being so high.Guest: James Hamblin, staff writer at The Atlantic.Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now.
September 18, 2019
A star college athlete can help rake in millions for the schools they attend but never see a cent for themselves because of existing NCAA rules. California lawmakers just passed a bill that would allow collegiate athletes to profit off of their name, likeness and image in a step to rectify the discrepancy. The Fair Pay for Play Act is just a piece of the larger conversation about paying college athletes. Is the NCAA being pulled closer to paying its athletes?Guest: Bomani Jones, Co-Host of ESPN’s High Noon and host of The Right Time with Bomani JonesSlate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now.
September 17, 2019
Last week the House Judiciary Committee voted along party lines on new investigative procedures the panel will use as they inch closer and closer to possibly writing articles of impeachment. So, has the impeachment conversation changed on Capitol Hill? And is today’s hearing with Corey Lewandowski the first test?Guest: Rachael Bade, Congressional reporter for the Washington PostSlate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now.
September 16, 2019
Last week the lieutenant governor of Texas, Dan Patrick, came out in support of modest background checks for gun sales. In the past, even the mere suggestion of tighter gun laws was a career ender for Texas Republicans. Are the political winds shifting on guns in Texas?Guest: Ross Ramsey, executive editor of the Texas TribuneSlate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now.
September 13, 2019
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.
September 12, 2019
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.
September 11, 2019
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.
September 10, 2019
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.
September 9, 2019
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.
September 6, 2019
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.
September 5, 2019
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.
September 4, 2019
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.
September 3, 2019
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.
August 30, 2019
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.
August 29, 2019
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.
August 28, 2019
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.
August 27, 2019
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.
August 26, 2019
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.
August 23, 2019
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
August 22, 2019
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.
August 21, 2019
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
August 20, 2019
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.
August 19, 2019
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.
August 16, 2019
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.
August 15, 2019
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.
August 14, 2019
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.
August 13, 2019
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. 
August 12, 2019
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.
August 9, 2019
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.”
August 8, 2019
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”
August 7, 2019
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.
August 6, 2019
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.
August 5, 2019
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.
August 2, 2019
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.
August 1, 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.
July 31, 2019
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
July 30, 2019
Here's how a leftist, transgender, PhD dropout is winning over white supremacists and more on YouTube. Guest: Micah Loewinger, producer at WNYC's On The Media.
July 29, 2019
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.
July 26, 2019
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.
July 25, 2019
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.
July 24, 2019
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.
July 23, 2019
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.
July 22, 2019
“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.
July 19, 2019
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
July 18, 2019
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.
July 17, 2019
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.
July 16, 2019
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.
July 15, 2019
Why not go by they/them? Would a gender-neutral world be better? And what would it look like? Guest: Farhad Manjoo, New York Times op-ed columnist. Read their latest, “Call Me ‘They.’”
July 12, 2019
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.
July 11, 2019
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.
July 10, 2019
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.
July 9, 2019
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.
July 8, 2019
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.
July 3, 2019
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.
July 2, 2019
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
July 1, 2019
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.
June 28, 2019
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
June 27, 2019
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
June 26, 2019
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
June 25, 2019
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
June 24, 2019
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
June 21, 2019
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.
June 20, 2019
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
June 19, 2019
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.
June 18, 2019
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.
June 17, 2019
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.
June 14, 2019
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.
June 13, 2019
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
June 12, 2019
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.
June 11, 2019
Elizabeth Warren might be a different kind of presidential candidate. Is America ready for that? Guest: Dahlia Lithwick, Slate writer and host of the Amicus podcast.
June 10, 2019
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.
June 7, 2019
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.
June 6, 2019
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.
June 5, 2019
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.
June 4, 2019
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. 
June 3, 2019
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.
May 31, 2019
“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.
May 30, 2019
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. 
May 29, 2019
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
May 28, 2019
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.
May 24, 2019
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.
May 23, 2019
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.
May 22, 2019
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.
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