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Updated 2018-09-25 01:18
How the 1990s Shaped #MeToo (Aryeh Cohen-Wade & Eve Fairbanks)
Eve's essay on how the 1990s shaped #MeToo ... Fear and possibility in a '90s childhood ... The decade when testing took over ... What '90s kids did and didn't learn about sex ... Being a cool girl vs. being a good girl ... When Eve wanted to say no but felt she couldn't ... How #MeToo has recast women's understanding of old relationships ... Are men capable of being better? ...
Into the Hands of the Soldiers (Robert Wright & David Kirkpatrick)
David’s new book, Into the Hands of the Soldiers ... How David wound up witnessing the Egyptian Revolution of 2011 ... Al Jazeera as the “Johnny Appleseed” of the Arab Spring ... Varieties of Islamism, from “conservative” to “liberal” ... The Muslim Brotherhood as a bourgeois movement ... Mohamed Morsi’s election, brief tenure, and removal from power in July 2013 ... Abdel Fattah el-Sisi’s post-coup struggle for legitimacy ... The Obama administration’s muddled pre-coup messaging to coup-master Sisi ... Did the coup give fuel to Islamist extremists? ...
All about the Democratic Socialists of America (Aryeh Cohen-Wade & James Martin Cole)
James explains the Democratic Socialists of America ... What does DSA member Ocasio-Cortez’s win portend for the Democrats? ... Was it smart for DSA members to disrupt the Homeland Security Secretary's dinner? ... Why Medicare for All is the DSA’s flagship policy issue ... The effect of Twitter culture and Chapo Trap House on DSA ... James’s essay on DSA’s future electoral strategy ...
Problematic Uncles Edition (Bill Scher & Matt K. Lewis)
With the economy hot, why are Trump's approval ratings not? ... What if Trump wants to be a one-term president? ... Why Dems should pay more attention to their boring old centrist senators ... Bill: It's time for NeverTrump conservatives to just become Democrats ... Is Trump the "racist uncle" of the GOP family? ... The dangers of watching '80s sitcoms with your kids ...
The History of the White Power Movement (Robert Wright & Kathleen Belew)
Kathleen's new book on the white power movement, Bring the War Home ... How some veterans of Vietnam and the Gulf War turned to white nationalism ... Did the 1990s militias' plan to overthrow the federal government make any sense? ... The causes and consequences of the Oklahoma City bombing ... Does PTSD explain the veteran-turned-militiaman? ... "ISIS-associated" Islamist terrorists and "lone-wolf" white nationalists ...
A Racial Dissenter at Columbia (Glenn Loury & Coleman Hughes)
Why Coleman dissents from the racial orthodoxy at Columbia University ... Why is race America's most radioactive topic? ... Social injustice vs. cosmic injustice ... The allure of racial grievance ... Does the black community need better public policies or just self-help? ... What's the point of affirmative action these days? ... The case against Columbia's "Great Books" curriculum ...
Debating Iran and the US (Robert Wright & Eli Lake)
What's next after Trump's tweet threatening Iran? ... Bob vs. Eli on whether Iran is a meaningful threat to the US ... Comparing Iranian and Israeli foreign interventions ... Bob: America and its allies turned Syria from a tragedy into a catastrophe ... Why Bob sees no chance of Trump cutting a deal with Iran ... Was the uproar over Trump's Helsinki performance overblown? ... Is the Republic at peril? ...
Do Republicans have an Alger Hiss problem? (Bill Scher & Matt K. Lewis)
Drawing conclusions from Michael Cohen’s secret Trump recording ... Is politics becoming the last refuge of the celebrity? ... Did Communism run rampant in the FDR administration? ... Bill wonders if Trump is the modern-day Alger Hiss ... The surprising alliance between American social conservatives and Putin ... Bill: Far-left candidates should be wary of opportunistic support from Russia ...
Tyrant: Shakespeare on Politics (Aryeh Cohen-Wade & Stephen Greenblatt)
Stephen's new book, Tyrant: Shakespeare on Politics ... The Henry VI trilogy: Making England Great Again ... Why Shakespeare understood demagogues so well ... Shakespeare's distrust of democracy and the mob ... How do you stop a tyrant? ... The mad kings in Lear and The Winter's Tale ... Richard III and Trump, fusing comedy and malice ...
Hillary Clinton's Faux Feminism (Robert Wright & Liza Featherstone)
Liza: Hillary Clinton's faux feminism lost her the election ... Recalling Clinton's infamous "baking cookies" remark ... Liza says Clinton used "neoliberal identity politics" ... Progressive, liberal, neoliberal: please define ... Liza's book on focus groups, Divining Desire ... The truth about famous failures: New Coke and the Edsel ... Was 2016 a rejection of focus-group driven politics? ...
What's wrong with "blame America first"? (Bill Scher & Matt K. Lewis)
Why the Putin meeting caused Matt’s mom to turn against Trump ... Russian spy Maria Butina and the appeal of foreigners who bolster our politics ... “Blame America first” and the dangers of moral equivalency ... Russia’s history as “difficult actor” ... How Bill got duped by Sacha Baron Cohen ... Why Matt has sympathy for those fooled by Butina and Baron Cohen ... Bill: Repealing Roe would “rip America in two” ...
Debating Trump and Russia (Aryeh Cohen-Wade & Michael Tracey)
Michael: The liberal narrative about Trump is contradictory ... Michael: Trump's worst acts were also done by past presidents ... Aryeh: Trump doesn't care about politics ... Do pundits accomplish anything by constantly psychoanalyzing Trump? ... Does Trump have a non-interventionist instinct? ... Why Michael doesn't buy the Russia narrative ... Aryeh: The hacked emails hurt Hillary, but not in the way you think ... Michael: Democrats should focus on Trump's corruption in office ... Why are so many leftists skeptics of Russiagate? ...
Right-Wing Conspiracy Theories! (Aryeh Cohen-Wade & Will Sommer)
Will reports on the Roe v. Wade movie and becomes part of the story ... Down the rabbit hole of the QAnon conspiracy theory ... What draws people to conspiracy theories? ... Are the latest Mueller indictments the end of Seth Rich conspiracizing? ... Ben Garrison, the leading pro-Trump political cartoonist ... How does the alt-right view antifa? ... Meet Jacob Wohl, Trump's #1 Twitter fanboy ...
Trump and Putin, BFFs (Robert Wright & Jacob Heilbrunn)
"Vesuvian wrath" over Trump's press conference performance ... What explains Trump's antics at the NATO meeting? ... The Cold Warriors and the doves have swapped roles ... The growing international alliance of anti-internationalists ... Did the Iraq War make Trump president? ... Jacob explains the foreign policy realism of The National Interest ... Jacob: Trump's foreign policy hearkens back to the pre-WWII GOP ... Bob’s fantasy about Theresa May ... Why does Trump like Putin so dang much? ...
Wrong Pick Edition (Bill Scher & Matt K. Lewis)
Matt is disappointed that Trump didn't pick Amy Barrett for the Court ... Matt: Choosing Barrett would have been a "win-win" ... Why did Trump pick the white guy? ... Does anyone on the right (aside from Matt) believe in diversity? ... Red-state Democrats' hard votes on Kavanaugh ... Bill: Dems must win the Senate to kill the Trump judiciary project ... Should NeverTrumpers be happy about Kavanaugh? ...
Debating Trump's Intelligence (Glenn Loury & John McWhorter)
John: Trump has the brain of a 13-year-old boy ... Glenn: Trump will be viewed as more effective than Obama ... Is Trump an idiot? A savant? ... Glenn: Clarence Thomas is a symbol of African-American excellence ... John wishes Thomas wasn't silent at oral argument ... Critiquing the black intelligentsia ... How big of a problem is the "Starbucks and swimming pools" problem? ...
(William R. Black & Arabelle Raphael)
How streaming sites like PornHub changed the porn industry ... Arabelle: Consumers of porn don’t respect its creators ... Under FOSTA, who is a “sex trafficker,” anyway? ... Escorts vs. prostitutes: Is class the only distinction? ... Arabelle’s article on Stormy Daniels and the Resistance ... Bill’s article on the alt-right’s anti-Semitic conspiracy theories about porn ... Arabelle: There's a lot of racism in the porn industry ... The uphill battle for labor rights in sex work ...
The Problem With 'Abolish ICE' (Bill Scher & Matt K. Lewis)
Trump leaves his mark on Bill’s Fourth of July celebrations ... How to vet a Supreme Court nominee ... The Court as a battlefield in the culture war ... Bill’s advice for Sen. Susan Collins: Insist on a non-partisan nominee ... Do Supreme Court justices mellow with age? ... Bill: “Abolish ICE” is splitting the Democratic Party ...
Trump's Supreme Court (Robert Wright & Sarah Posner)
How Trump and the evangelical right became bedfellows ... “Two Corinthians” and Trump’s familiarity with the prosperity gospel ... Amy Coney Barrett, Trump’s likely pick to dismantle Roe v. Wade ... Bob: State-level abortion laws will deepen the divide between red and blue states ... Did Trump pay to cover up an abortion?—and why evangelicals don’t care ... Sarah: Becoming numb to Trump’s transgressions is “how authoritarianism works” ... Bob’s tactical approach to political outrage ... Was deplatforming Sarah Huckabee Sanders’s dinner a good idea? ...
Justice Kennedy and Everything After (Bill Scher & Matt K. Lewis)
With Kennedy gone, will Roberts become the swing justice? ... Roe v. Wade, the end of norms, and why democracies die ... Correcting historical myths about FDR's court-packing scheme ... Bill: Ocasio-Cortez's win doesn't mean socialists are ascendant ... Is this the end of American labor unions? ...
Incarceration, Crime, and Race (Glenn Loury & Adaner Usmani)
Public sentiment and punitive policy on crime ... Glenn and Adaner on crime in America vs. Northern Europe ... Democracy's effect on criminal justice policy ... Does the "New Jim Crow" cause higher incarceration? ... Glenn puts on the hat of a Trump voter on crime and race ... Adaner explains poverty's relationship to crime ... The spectrum of moral culpability and choice ... Adaner responds to Glenn asking if a welfare state would reduce crime ...
Is Glenn a member of the Intellectual Dark Web? (Glenn Loury & Bret Weinstein)
What is the Intellectual Dark Web, and does Glenn belong in it? ... The IDW’s proximity to the alt-right ... Bret: The IDW’s commitment to truth supersedes ideology ... Does civility in argument still matter? ... How Trump baits the left into defending the indefensible ... Bret: The Democratic Party rigged the 2016 primary ...
Aryeh Cohen-Wade & Amanda Mull
Amanda: Body positivity is a scam ... What causes women to feel badly about their bodies? ... The double-edged sword of looking at bodies on Instagram ... Why Amanda sees her critique as separate from #MeToo ... Why has the fashion world embraced ugly clothes? ... The effect of online shopping on plus-size clothing options ...
Robert Wright & Omar Baddar
Omar critiques Wajahat Ali's controversial article on West Bank settlers ... How the Israel/Palestine conflict is covered in the media ... The Israel Anti-Boycott Act ... Bob offers a defense of Ali's article ... Has the Mideast conversation shifted in America? ... Omar sees the Boycott Israel movement growing in power ... Israeli fears of Palestinian violence and their political consequences ...
Bill Scher & Matt K. Lewis
Democrats tread carefully reacting to Trump’s North Korea summit ... Has North Korea changed NeverTrump conservatives’ minds? ... Bill: Trump finds common ground with violators of human rights ... Matt: Trump sets himself apart from “metrosexual” world leaders ... The unenviable position of being an elected Republican under Trump ...
Glenn Loury & John McWhorter
Does John have “light skinned” privilege? ... Why marrying out-of-race is a loaded issue in the black community ... How anger at structural racism becomes blinding ... John: What makes black oppression in 20th century America unique? ... Why identity built around victimhood is the modern way ... Roseanne Barr and the significance of punching up or down ...
Robert Wright & Wajahat Ali
How Wajahat got disinvited from a major Muslim conference ... The Israel-Palestine conflict: Jews vs. Muslims or Jews vs. Arabs? ... Why publishing in The Atlantic fueled the controversy ... Wajahat’s essay takes criticism from left and right ... Worst-case scenarios ... Can the international community change the equation? ... The case against Wajahat, and his response ...
Bill Scher & Matt K. Lewis
Did Trump make a big mistake by uninviting the Philadelphia Eagles? ... Want a presidential pardon? Have your wife plead your case on Fox! ... Has Trump spurred a left-right realignment? ... Would a non-racist Trump have done better or worse? ... Bill: In South Dakota, #MeToo helped a GOP candidate win ... California's crazy primary night ...
Aryeh Cohen-Wade & Jason Zinoman
Jason's new book, Letterman: The Last Giant of Late Night ... Letterman's influences: Carson, Allen, and Paar ... Letterman as a postmodern figure ... Looking at Letterman and women through the lens of #MeToo ... Letterman's self-hatred and depression ... How the show changed on CBS and the war with Leno ... Late-period Late Show, a bizarre place to work ... Jason: Letterman helped normalize Donald Trump ...
Robert Wright & Shireen Al-Adeimi
Yemen-born Shireen on the civil war in her homeland ... Why is the US helping Saudi Arabia bomb Yemen? ... Shireen: The Saudis work with Al Qaeda in Yemen ... A brief history of the conflict in Yemen ... How the war turned Shireen into an activist ... What's the Saudi endgame? What's the Houthi endgame? ... Is the US in effect helping Al Qaeda and ISIS in Yemen? ...
Bill Scher & Matt K. Lewis
Bill and Matt rave about country music podcast "Cocaine & Rhinestones" ... Dinesh D’Souza’s descent from intellectualism ... Making sense of Trump’s high profile pardons ... Among Roseanne, Samantha Bee, et al., whom would Matt fire? ... What Joy Ann Reid and Ronald Reagan have in common ... Bill previews next week’s California primaries and San Francisco’s mayoral race ...
Aryeh Cohen-Wade & Phoebe Maltz Bovy
Remembering Philip Roth ... Phoebe on Roth's depictions of Jewish women ... Where did Roth end and his characters begin? ... How Roth helped American Jews assimilate ... If you haven't read Roth, here's where to start ... Where is Jordan Peterson going? ... Order, chaos, gender, and being told to clean your room ...
Robert Wright & Nikita Petrov
“The harshness of Russian law is softened by its optionality” ... Nikita’s briefly successful escape from a paddy wagon at a political rally ... It’s not always Putin who kills Russian journalists (Meet Chechnya’s leader) ... A look inside Russia’s supposedly fearsome troll factory ... Support for Putin and Russia's intimate relationship with suffering ... “Monstration”: a mock rally investigating the absurd ...
Bill Scher & Matt K. Lewis
Bill and Matt talk Tom Cruise movies ... Does Trump favor evangelicals over his white working class base? ... Matt: Jeff Flake won’t save us from Trump ... How should conservatives respond to Trump’s possible foreign collusion? ... Democratic midterm primaries: The relitigation begins ...
Glenn Loury & Amy Wax
Why even the "hard sciences" are vulnerable to identity politics intrusion ... Glenn and Amy interpret Raj Chetty’s study on race and social mobility ... Is the proverbial “boys’ club” limiting women’s professional opportunities? ... Amy: Students have a choice in how they react to challenges ... Amy’s take on maternal leave and professional parity ... Should university funders influence class curricula? ...
Robert Wright & Michael Brooks
Do you have to be tribal to have a big following? ... Identity politics and its discontents ... What made Trump's xenophobia an electoral winner? ... Michael responds to Mark Lilla's critique of the left ... The Intellectual Dark Web as a branding exercise ... How delicately should the left approach the subject of race? ...
Robert Wright & Bret Weinstein
The Intellectual Dark Web and the MSM ... How does one join the IDW? ... Bret: Critics on left and right want the IDW to go away ... Is the IDW right wing? ... Why is socialism resurgent? ... Why Bret considers himself to be on the left ... Bret blows Bob’s mind with some grand evolutionary theorizing ...
Bill Scher & Matt K. Lewis
Primary election round-up ... Democratic women had a good night... ... ...but there's no common narrative to the primaries as a whole ... Support Bill and Matt on Patreon! ... Matt: Robert Jeffress should not have been at the Jerusalem embassy ceremony ... Evaluating the evangelical alliance with Trump ... The embassy move and the moribund Mideast peace plan ...
Robert Wright & Rania Khalek
The quest to reboot the Syrian civil war ... Why toppling Assad would be a catastrophe ... How the Syrian civil war got started ... Some dubious groups the US has armed in Syria ... Assad and chemical weapons ... The reliance of western journalists on rebel PR ...
Glenn Loury & John McWhorter
Are Glenn and John part of the "Intellectual Dark Web"? ... The Starbucks incident and other racist affronts ... John: Microaggressions can't keep me down ... Glenn says his ideological opponents know they're holding a losing hand ... Glenn: Ta-Nehisi Coates wrote a "racist screed" about Kanye ... What was Kanye trying to say about slavery? ... Trump as rapper ... Has Trump done anything for black Americans? ...
Bill Scher & Matt K. Lewis
Why sanity is winning out in the congressional primaries ... Is Dennis Kucinich the future of the Democratic party? ... Among crazy bastards, Trump is sui generis ... Why Trump’s tough guy strategy is working with North Korea ... Matt: McCain has a right to snub Trump at his own funeral ...
Glenn Loury & Laurence Kotlikoff
Democrats and Republicans spin Trump’s tax overhaul ... Why does Paul Krugman think the bill is regressive? ... Larry gives the bill a final grade of B- ... Larry’s plan to make food stamps more equitable and accessible ... Why no one is talking about the deficit ... Corporation are legal fictions: why tax them? ...
Robert Wright & Musa al-Gharbi
Is the anti-Trump sentiment of scholars biasing their research? ... Busting demographic myths about the 2016 election ... Status threat vs. economic anxiety as sources of Trump's support ... Do liberals have a deep need to see Trump voters as creepy? ... The many strategic mistakes Clinton made ... "Negative intersectionality" as a problem for Democrats ... Musa gives Trump good odds for 2020 ... Musa: A return-to-normalcy campaign by Dems won't cut it ...
Bill Scher & Matt K. Lewis
How did Giuliani go from America's Mayor to national punchline? ... What happened to the GOP's elder statesmen? ... Analyzing the $130,000 Michael Cohen revelation ... How much credit does Trump deserve for the thaw in North Korea? ... Matt: In a negotiation, North Korea would outfox Trump ... Rubio's media faux pas ...
Robert Wright & Damon Linker
Damon wonders whether international law is hopeless ... Bob: America would be better off if it respected the UN Security Council ... How legitimate is international law? ... Damon: There's no real judicial system in international law ... United Nations 1.0 vs. United Nations 2.0 ... Why do chemical weapons outrage us in a way that bombs do not? ...
Aryeh Cohen-Wade & Osita Nwanevu
Osita’s piece on Kanye West’s pro-Trump tweets ... Kanye as a bellwether for the mainstreaming of the alt-right ... Why is Jordan Peterson on Kanye's radar? ... Osita: Kanye isn’t going to convert his fans into Trump supporters ... Kanye and Trump, masters of publicity ...
Bill Scher & Matt K. Lewis
Matt endorses the Karate Kid relaunch ... Trump runs his mouth on Fox & Friends ... Was Ronny Jackson treated unfairly? ... Trump's reverse Midas touch ... Why do GOP presidents keep appointing unqualified people? ... Will conservatives dump Trump? ... President Kanye, here we come ...
William R. Black & David Walsh
David's dissertation questioning the William F. Buckley narrative ... George Wallace's 1968 appearance on Buckley's show Firing Line ... Who was more conservative, Buckley or Wallace? ... Buckley's snobbery vs. Wallace's populism ... Parallels between Wallace and Trump ... David: The conservative gatekeepers are gone ...
Robert Wright & Jonah Goldberg
Jonah's new book, Suicide of the West ... Children of the affluent who hate affluence ... Jonah criticizes the Howard-Zinnified view of history ... The problem with Alinskyite conservatives ... Capitalism and its (white conservative) discontents ... The trouble with being a measured conservative critic of Trump (i.e., being Jonah) ... Jonah’s plan for Western Suicide prevention ...
Robert Wright & David Roberts
David: American conservatism is basically white cultural resentment ... Is the left as tribal as the right? ... The "war on Christmas" as a case study ... Is pluralistic democracy contrary to human nature? ... Maybe nothing can unify Americans as a nation any more ... So whom should the NYT op-ed page hire? ... The one thing Trump could do to alienate his base ...
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