150 episodes

A weekly discussion about politics, hosted by The New Yorker’s politics editors.

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    • 4.2 • 2.3K Ratings

A weekly discussion about politics, hosted by The New Yorker’s politics editors.

    Is the Historic Climate Bill Enough to Save the Planet?

    Is the Historic Climate Bill Enough to Save the Planet?

    Last week, after more than a year of drama and deal-cutting, the Senate passed a complicated piece of legislation called the Inflation Reduction Act. Its name notwithstanding,  it’s being celebrated as the most important piece of climate legislation in the history of this country. And that is “a pretty low bar,” the staff writer Elizabeth Kolbert tells David Remnick, “because they’ve never really passed a piece of legislation on climate change.” While far smaller than the proposed Build Back Better legislation, Kolbert says, the bill includes significant tax credits that will incentivize the adoption of lower-carbon technologies. But the name of the bill, which seems to recognize that the mass of voters care more about the price of oil than a habitable planet, suggests that the political headwinds have not slackened. “George Bush famously said back in the early nineties [that] our way of life is not up for negotiation,” Kolbert notes. “Well… our way of life may not be compatible with dealing with climate change.” She mentions the recent devastating floods in Kentucky, a red state; “Is Kentucky now going to go vote for people who are firmly committed to climate action? I sadly don’t expect that to happen.”  

    Kolbert is the author of books including “The Sixth Extinction” and “Under a White Sky.”

    • 19 min
    Trump’s and Biden’s Reversals of Fortune

    Trump’s and Biden’s Reversals of Fortune

    The Senate’s passage of the Inflation Reduction Act this week marks a turning point in the Biden Presidency. After more than a year of negotiations, the Democratic caucus agreed on a sweeping package, worth hundreds of billions of dollars, which includes many of the Party’s long-sought climate and healthcare initiatives. This was followed by the news that the F.B.I. executed a search warrant to look for classified documents at Mar-a-Lago, Donald Trump’s primary residence. The staff writer Evan Osnos and Michael Luo, the editor of newyorker.com, break down these two momentous stories. They’re also joined by staff writer Susan B. Glasser, who along with Peter Baker, published a major story about Trump’s antagonism toward the military in the waning days of his Administration. “Were they contemplating using the military in the effort to overturn the election results?” Glasser says. “Your rational self wants to say, ‘No way, that’s crazy.’ But, in fact, the record that’s still being assembled suggests that they were considering doing so.”

    • 36 min
    Jane Mayer on Ohio’s Lurch to the Right

    Jane Mayer on Ohio’s Lurch to the Right

    Last month, the story of a 10-year-old rape victim captured national headlines. The young girl was forced to travel out of state because of Ohio’s draconian abortion ban with no exceptions for rape or incest, which would have been nearly unthinkable until very recently. Jane Mayer took a deep dive into statehouse politics to learn how a longtime swing state—Ohio voted twice for President Barack Obama—ended up legislating like a radically conservative one. Its laws, she says, are increasingly out of step with the state’s voters, and this is owing to a sweeping Republican effort at gerrymandering. While familiar, gerrymandering “has become much more of a dark art,” Mayer tells David Remnick, “thanks to computers and digital mapping. They have figured out ways now to do it that are so extreme, you can create districts [in which the incumbent] cannot be knocked out by someone from another party.” Mayer also speaks with David Pepper, an Ohio politician and the author of “Laboratories of Autocracy,” who explains how, when a district is firmly controlled by one party, the representative is driven by the primary process inexorably toward extremism, until you have “a complete meltdown of democracy.”

    • 24 min
    Can Suing Gun Manufacturers Reduce Gun Violence?

    Can Suing Gun Manufacturers Reduce Gun Violence?

    Gun manufacturers are the only industry explicitly protected by federal statute from liability lawsuits. Carmakers and cigarette companies can be taken to court if their products or marketing endanger the public. But a 2005 law called the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (P.L.C.A.A.) has made it very difficult to sue a gunmaker. Jonathan Lowy has. He’s the chief counsel and vice-president of legal at Brady, one of the country’s oldest advocacy groups against gun violence. Faced with a hostile Supreme Court and a Senate filibuster, Lowy believes civil litigation is a path forward for gun-control advocates. Speaking with Michael Luo, who is this week’s guest host and the editor of newyorker.com, Lowy explains his strategy of slowly chipping away at the P.L.C.A.A. to change how guns are made, marketed, and sold. 

    • 34 min
    Did the U.S. Miss the Chance to Stop Monkeypox?

    Did the U.S. Miss the Chance to Stop Monkeypox?

    The World Health Organization has declared the monkeypox outbreak a global health emergency. There have been nearly twenty thousand cases worldwide and nearly thirty-five hundred in the United States, with New York City a major hot spot. As cases continue to rise, there are questions about whether the Biden Administration has missed a critical window to contain the virus. The New York Times recently reported that shipments of more than three hundred thousand vaccine doses were delayed for weeks in the early days of the outbreak because of the government’s “wait and see” approach. (After this conversation was recorded, on Wednesday, the Food and Drug Administration announced that eight hundred thousand more doses of monkeypox vaccine had been cleared for distribution.) The New Yorker contributing writer and practicing physician Dhruv Khullar joins the Political Scene guest host Michael Luo to talk about the monkeypox virus and what can be done to stem the exponential rise in cases. “The level of urgency and rapidity with which we should have addressed this outbreak did not seem to be there,” Khullar says. “[But] I don’t think we should give up hope. It’s still early days. . . . We eradicated monkeypox’s cousin smallpox. We know that we can do this with a forceful response.”

    • 31 min
    New Mexico Is a “Safe Haven” for Abortion Between Texas and Arizona

    New Mexico Is a “Safe Haven” for Abortion Between Texas and Arizona

    In New Mexico, Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham has declared the state a “reproductive safe haven” between Arizona to the west, and Texas to the east. Already, she says, New Mexico’s few abortion clinics are seeing an influx of patients from outside its borders. “When you are a safe-haven state,” she says, “you put real stress on [the] current provider system.” Lujan Grisham speaks with David Remnick about her executive order—issued days after the Supreme Court decision in Dobbs—to prevent the extradition of abortion providers, a request that she expects to see from Texas law enforcement. Dobbs puts states at odds over one of the contentious issues of our time. “They’ve invited states now to fight with each other, sue each other,” she says; this is “the most despicable and horrible aspect, frankly, of this particular decision.”

    • 13 min

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5
2.3K Ratings

2.3K Ratings

SIE92 ,

Thoughtful and informative

This podcast analyzes political issues with rigor and depth and the result is to shed light and expand understanding.

Seascorpio ,

Good podcast, annoying tone of voice

Great podcast if you can get past the host’s croaking tone of voice. Once I hear the croaking, it just rings louder and louder. Sorry.

Mauricio Rich ,

Excellent

This is the journalism quality we all need.

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