125 episodes

Engaging interviews and discussions of elections and the political issues of the day

Chris Riback's Conversation‪s‬ Chris Riback

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    • 3.6 • 5 Ratings

Engaging interviews and discussions of elections and the political issues of the day

    Jonathan Karl: Front Row at the Trump Show (Live Event)

    Jonathan Karl: Front Row at the Trump Show (Live Event)

    This is a special live Zoom edition of Chris Riback’s Conversations, the first in our new series of political book conversations sponsored by Cornell’s Institute of Politics & Global Affairs.
    What does it mean for democracy when the President attacks the free press as fake news? How should journalists balance the need to avoid becoming the “opposition party,” as Steve Bannon described them, while also standing up when individual reporters – frequently women, frequently minorities – are publicly ridiculed?
    Jonathan Karl is ABC News’ Chief White House Correspondent. Jon’s also President of the White House Correspondents’ Association and author of the new New York Times Best seller: “Front Row at the Trump Show”
    As Karl writes: “Our democracy is built on trust…. That’s why I fear President Trump’s war on truth may do lasting damage to American Democracy.”

    • 58 min
    Mayor Noam Bramson: From Patient Zero to New York as Epicenter

    Mayor Noam Bramson: From Patient Zero to New York as Epicenter

    Chances are, you may not have heard of New Rochelle, NY before about a month ago.
    It’s New York’s 7th largest city, located just 30 minutes north of Manhattan. It was founded by refugee Huguenots – French Protestants – who were fleeing religious persecution in France in 1688. During the 1930s, New Rochelle was the wealthiest city per capita in New York state and the third wealthiest in the country.
    For listeners of a certain age — or any of you who watch the classic TV shows on YouTube — you’ll also know that New Rochelle is where Rob & Laura Petrie lived in the Dick Van Dyke show.
    It has a strong business community and cultural scene. And it’s beautiful. It sits right on the water is known as the Queen City of the New York Sound.
    Of course, right now, New Rochelle, NY has become known for something else: One of America’s multiple ground zeros of the coronavirus. Nearly every major media organization has suddenly paid a visit. And if you Google "New Rochelle" now, as you might imagine, nearly every result has something to do with the virus.
    And the face of New Rochelle through all of this – the one racing from town meetings to food distribution centers to senior living homes to religious groups to 60 Minutes interviews – is the city’s hometown mayor Noam Bramson.
    And I mean hometown – Noam was born in New Rochelle. He grew up there. After leaving for college, he returned. He’s been mayor since 2006. And it’s where he’s now raising his own family.
    So how do you run a municipality through a pandemic? And what’s it like to see the place you love – your home – go through this kind of challenge? That’s what we discussed.
    Before we begin, let me put my bias on the table right away: I’ve known Noam for nearly 30 years. We met in grad school. He was very smart, unnecessarily modest, and always friendly. As you’ll hear, some things don’t change, even when you’ve had to lead your hometown through a pandemic.
    For show notes & my newsletter, go to chrisriback.com.

    • 30 min
    Rep. Steve Israel: Running for President in Time of Coronavirus

    Rep. Steve Israel: Running for President in Time of Coronavirus

    When I first scheduled an election analysis discussion with former U.S. Representative Steve Israel, it’s fair to say that my initial set of questions had nothing to do with how to run for President in a time of Coronavirus.
    That’s where this conversation begins, but not where it ends. Because while we all navigate this new reality, we’re also still trying to understand the Democratic primary: What in the world just happened? How did Joe Biden get blown out in the first three caucuses – and then turn it all around to basically run the table? And assuming Biden holds on, did the moderate wing of the Democratic Party really win the ticket – or did the progressives set the agenda and took moderates along for the ride? How unified is the party? And what about Biden’s running mate – he said he’ll choose a woman VP candidate. Ok, beyond that, what are the practical and political factors that matter?
    More background on Steve Israel: He spent 16 years in Congress representing New York's 3rd Congressional District – that’s on Long Island. He’s the former Chair of DCCC and today serves as Director of Cornell University’s Institute of Politics and Global Affairs. He’s also author of two political satire books, and we talk about his most recent one that took on the gun lobby – it’s called “Big Guns,” and it’s an excellent read.
    For show notes & my newsletter, go to chrisriback.com.
    As referenced in the intro, here is a link to the special edition of The 180 Podcast on the coronavirus with Dr. Pamela Cantor, Turnaround for Children’s Founder and Senior Science Advisor, about how to address the fear, stress and disruption caused by the pandemic.

    • 29 min
    Rick Hasen: Can America Run a Fair Election?

    Rick Hasen: Can America Run a Fair Election?

    Today we continue with our check on the state of American democracy. We began with Harvard professors Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt to get an update on “How Democracies Die” and the question: How much more can our institutions take?
    Today we’ll look at the cornerstone of our democracy and a question that’s as shocking to ask as it sounds: Can America run a fair election?
    I told you – crazy. But whether that’s Putin’s great accomplishment, the post Iowa Caucus fiasco reality, or simply the result of the disintegration of nearly all of society’s institutions over the last years, well, that’s where we’re at.
    Look at the evidence:
    The latest headlines that U.S. Intelligence briefed Congress that Russia is already attacking our elections again, trying to help Trump win in 2020…and trying to help Democratic front-runner Bernie Sanders, too.
    Voter suppression in Kansas, Georgia, Wisconsin, North Carolina, Texas, and elsewhere
    Unproven claims of voter fraud to hurt confidence in elections.
    Regular threats – or so-called jokes – to not leave office… from Trump to recently-ousted KY Gov. Matt Bevin
    Massive, targeted disinformation campaigns – even from within the U.S.
    And of course, election irregularities in Broward Country, FL, election debacles like the recent Iowa caucus, and even NY Times reporting from the Nevada caucus of “errors and inconsistencies” similar to Iowa.
    While concerns around the viability and fairness of U.S. elections have been raised in the past – anyone listening to this podcast seen a hanging chad? – it’s fair to say the distrust and concern have never been as great as they are today.
    It all adds up to one of the major threats to American democracy and the question I asked at the top that few of us ever expected to seriously hear.
    So where are we? How bad is the problem? And perhaps most importantly – how does American democracy survive if Americans don’t trust their elections?
    Rick Hasen is the one to ask. Hasen is Chancellor’s Professor of Law and Political Science at the University of California, Irvine and author of the new book “Election Meltdown: Dirty Tricks, Distrust, and the Threat to American Democracy.” Hasen writes the often-quoted Election Law Blog, which – like his excellent Twitter feed – is an absolute must read. Rick is co-author of leading casebooks in election law and remedies, as well as author of over 100 articles on election law issues, published in numerous journals including the Harvard Law Review, Stanford Law Review and Supreme Court Review. 
    For show notes & my newsletter, go to chrisriback.com.

    • 35 min
    Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt: Revisiting “How Democracies Die”

    Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt: Revisiting “How Democracies Die”

    It’s time for a democracy check.
    With the Trump Impeachment Trial over and the 2020 presidential primaries in full bloom, I’ve been thinking a lot about what I imagine many other people are wondering, too:
    How’s our democracy doing? Are America’s democratic norms still valid? How much more can our institutions take?
    And this was even before the Roger Stone sentencing reduction news broke.
    So I decided to dedicate the next two conversations to the topic. The first one looks at democracy itself – coming out of only the third impeachment trial in our 250-plus year history, how stable are we? The second looks forward: If free elections fill the center of a true democracy, how stable is our election process?
    Both conversations are with previous podcast guests. Today’s is with the two Harvard professors  -- Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt -- who I talked with two years ago and who first brought the issue to national prominence with their New York Times bestseller “How Democracies Die.” As I relistened to our previous podcast – and as I note in this one – it’s crazy how predictive they were about the way things could go.
    The second podcast will be with Rick Hasen, UC Irvine Law and Political Science professor, creator of the Election Law Blog, and author of the new book “Election Meltdown: Dirty Tricks, Distrust, and the Threat to American Democracy.”
    Some background on Levitsky and Ziblatt, Professors of Government at Harvard. Levitsky’s research interests include political parties, authoritarianism and democratization, and weak and informal institutions, with a focus on Latin America. Ziblatt’s interests include democratization, state-building, comparative politics, and historical political economy. His focus is on European political development. 
    Together they’ve spent more than 20 years studying the breakdown of democracies around the globe – places like Germany, Italy, Chile, Venezuela, Peru, among others. Among my questions to them was an update to one of my previous questions: After so much work on shaky democracies in other countries, can they believe even now that somehow our country has become their new laboratory.
    One editorial note: As you’ll hear, near the end of our conversation, I got Roger Stone – Department of Justice headline alert on my phone just as my guests were talking about Attorney General Barr and the ways in which various manipulations of legal systems can impact a democracy’s health. Talk about real life proving the point in real time. While I interrupted the conversation to ask Daniel and Steven’s reaction, the news had just broken and no one had had time to fully consider what it could mean.
    And one listening note: Daniel took our call via Skype from Germany. Sometimes his audio is a little digitized, but that’s the price of primary research.
    For show notes & my newsletter, go to chrisriback.com.

    • 37 min
    Philip Rucker & Carol Leonnig: A Very Stable Genius

    Philip Rucker & Carol Leonnig: A Very Stable Genius

    The first time he said it – or rather tweeted it – was in January 2018. In describing his business, television, and political accomplishments, President Trump typed: “I think that would qualify as not smart, but genius… and a very stable genius at that!” He said it again at a NATO meeting that July. Again the following July 2019. And again in September. And October.
    It’s become one of this era’s defining lines of bravado and self-image that infuriates Trump detractors and fuels his supporters with equal amounts of pleasure. Now, it’s also the title of one of this era’s defining books – an exploration of Trump’s first three years, with deep context and new extraordinary reporting.
    Washington Post reporters Philip Rucker and Carol Leonnig have built on the work they do every day – and, if you watch cable news, it seems every night – to deliver the No. 1 New York Times Best Seller “A Very Stable Genius – Donald J. Trump’s Testing of America.”
    When they’re not writing best sellers, appearing on television or breaking news, Leonnig and Rucker are also earning Pulitzer Prizes, five of them individually and as part of teams. They brought that focus and detail to their book, an overwhelming series of events and back stories that delivers a powerful narrative that defines our times.
    For show notes & my newsletter, go to chrisriback.com.

    • 30 min

Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5
5 Ratings

5 Ratings

very funny and clever pod ,


Lefty media whining. That they have been called out. As biased

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