543 episodes

In politics, you’re often told not to get lost in the weeds. But we love the weeds! That’s where politics becomes policy – the stuff that shapes our lives. Every Tuesday and Friday, host Matthew Yglesias is joined by Vox reporters and editors, ProPublica's Dara Lind, and some of the leading minds in policy to dig into the weeds on important national issues, including healthcare, immigration, housing, and everything else that matters. Produced by Vox and the Vox Media Podcast Network.

The Weeds Vox

    • News
    • 4.4 • 7.3K Ratings

In politics, you’re often told not to get lost in the weeds. But we love the weeds! That’s where politics becomes policy – the stuff that shapes our lives. Every Tuesday and Friday, host Matthew Yglesias is joined by Vox reporters and editors, ProPublica's Dara Lind, and some of the leading minds in policy to dig into the weeds on important national issues, including healthcare, immigration, housing, and everything else that matters. Produced by Vox and the Vox Media Podcast Network.

    What's the deal with that new Alzheimer's drug?

    What's the deal with that new Alzheimer's drug?

    Matt and Dara are joined by Vox's Dylan Scott to learn about aducanumab, the new drug that was recently approved by the FDA for treating Alzheimer's disease despite a lack of evidence of its effectiveness, possibly serious side effects, and a jaw-droppingly high price tag. Matt, Dara, and Dylan discuss the situation in light of lessons learned, or not quite learned, from the global pandemic. Then, some research is discussed that evaluates the effects of work requirements on supplemental nutrition assistance program (SNAP) participation and the workforce.
    Resources:
    "The new Alzheimer's drug that could break Medicare" by Dylan Scott (June 10; Vox)
    "FDA's Decision to Approve New Treatment for Alzheimer's Disease" by Dr. Patrizia Cavazzoni, Director, FDA Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (June 7)
    "The maddening saga of how an Alzheimer's 'cabal' thwarted progress toward a cure for decades" by Sharon Begley (June 25, 2019; STAT News)
    "What the Rich Don't Want to Admit About the Poor" by Ezra Klein (June 13; New York Times)
    White paper: "Employed in a SNAP? The Impact of Work Requirements on Program Participation and Labor Supply" by Colin Grey, et al. (Sept. 2019)
    Hosts:
    Matt Yglesias (@mattyglesias), Slowboring.com
    Dara Lind (@DLind), Immigration Reporter, ProPublica
    Dylan Scott (@dylanlscott), Policy Reporter, Vox

    Credits:
    Erikk Geannikis, Editor and Producer

    As the Biden administration gears up, we'll help you understand this unprecedented burst of policymaking. Sign up for The Weeds newsletter each Friday: vox.com/weeds-newsletter.

    The Weeds is a Vox Media Podcast Network production.
    Want to support The Weeds? Please consider making a contribution to Vox: bit.ly/givepodcasts

    About Vox
    Vox is a news network that helps you cut through the noise and understand what's really driving the events in the headlines.
    Follow Us: Vox.com
    Facebook group: The Weeds
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    • 1 hr 5 min
    Zoning our way through it

    Zoning our way through it

    Matt is joined by Emily Hamilton of the Mercatus Center to talk about the way that zoning and land use policy affects property value, housing availability, and affordability. They discuss some example statutes from those laboratories of democracy, the several states, tackle the most divisive issue in all of housing Twitter, and Matt just lets totally loose about how he's not allowed to replace his home's windows.
    Resources:
    H.R. 4307, the Build More Housing Near Transit Act
    2006 Arizona Proposition 207
    Kelo v. New London (545 US 269, 2005)
    "How policymakers can improve housing affordability" by James Pethokoukis and Emily Hamilton (May 4, American Enterprise Institute)

    Guest:
    Emily Hamilton (@ebwhamilton), Senior Research Fellow and Director of the Urbanity Project, Mercatus Center at George Mason University
    Host:
    Matt Yglesias (@mattyglesias), Slowboring.com
    Credits:
    Erikk Geannikis, Editor and Producer

    As the Biden administration gears up, we'll help you understand this unprecedented burst of policymaking. Sign up for The Weeds newsletter each Friday: vox.com/weeds-newsletter.

    The Weeds is a Vox Media Podcast Network production.
    Want to support The Weeds? Please consider making a contribution to Vox: bit.ly/givepodcasts

    About Vox
    Vox is a news network that helps you cut through the noise and understand what's really driving the events in the headlines.
    Follow Us: Vox.com
    Facebook group: The Weeds
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    • 50 min
    Hot jobs summer

    Hot jobs summer

    Matt and Dara are joined by Vox's Emily Stewart to talk about the state of the economy right now. They take on the jobs numbers, some of the markets that were hit with unforeseen interruptions and shortages, and get pretty philosophical amidst a detailed discussion about the supply chain for chicken wings. Then, some research is discussed that suggests that maybe your tweets really do matter... or, at least when you tweet through U.S. elections where Donald Trump is on the ballot.
    Resources:
    "May's solidly meh jobs report" by Emily Stewart (June 4, Vox)
    "Lumber mania is sweeping North America" by Emily Stewart (May 3, Vox)
    White paper: "The Effect of Social Media on Elections: Evidence from the United States" by Thomas Fujiwara, Karsten Müller, and Carlo Schwarz (October 27, 2020)

    Hosts:
    Matt Yglesias (@mattyglesias), Slowboring.com
    Dara Lind (@DLind), Immigration Reporter, ProPublica
    Emily Stewart (@EmilyStewartM), Senior Reporter, Vox

    Credits:
    Erikk Geannikis, Editor and Producer

    As the Biden administration gears up, we'll help you understand this unprecedented burst of policymaking. Sign up for The Weeds newsletter each Friday: vox.com/weeds-newsletter.

    The Weeds is a Vox Media Podcast Network production.
    Want to support The Weeds? Please consider making a contribution to Vox: bit.ly/givepodcasts

    About Vox
    Vox is a news network that helps you cut through the noise and understand what's really driving the events in the headlines.
    Follow Us: Vox.com
    Facebook group: The Weeds
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    • 1 hr
    The pipeline to prison

    The pipeline to prison

    Matt sits down with John Pfaff, professor and author of Locked In, an influential and important 2017 book about mass incarceration in America. The two discuss some common misconceptions about America's prison population, three different meanings of the term "broken windows," and what might be the true cause of the current trending rise in violent crime across the nation.
    Resources:
    Locked In: The True Causes of Mass Incarceration and How to Achieve Real Reform by John Pfaff (2017; Basic Books)
    Ghettoside: A True Story of Murder in America by Jill Levoy (2015; One World)
    "Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach" by Gary S. Becker (Journal of Political Economy v. 76 no. 2, Mar.-Apr. 1968)
    Uneasy Peace: The Great Crime Decline, the Renewal of City Life, and the Next War on Violence by Patrick Sharkey (2019; W.W. Norton)
    The Death and Life of Great American Cities by Jane Jacobs (1961)
    "Broken Windows: The police and neighborhood safety" by George L. Kelling and James Q. Wilson (March 1982; The Atlantic)

    Guest:
    John Pfaff (@JohnFPfaff), author; professor, Fordham Law School
    Host:
    Matt Yglesias (@mattyglesias), Slowboring.com
    Credits:
    Erikk Geannikis, Editor and Producer

    As the Biden administration gears up, we'll help you understand this unprecedented burst of policymaking. Sign up for The Weeds newsletter each Friday: vox.com/weeds-newsletter.

    The Weeds is a Vox Media Podcast Network production.
    Want to support The Weeds? Please consider making a contribution to Vox: bit.ly/givepodcasts

    About Vox
    Vox is a news network that helps you cut through the noise and understand what's really driving the events in the headlines.
    Follow Us: Vox.com
    Facebook group: The Weeds
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    • 1 hr 8 min
    The lab-leak hypothesis

    The lab-leak hypothesis

    Matt and Dara are joined by Vox's Dylan Matthews to talk about the so-called "lab-leak" hypothesis for the origin of SARS-CoV-2, and to contrast it with the zoonotic origin theory. They discuss the potential policy consequences that ought to result if it turns out that either hypothesis is true, and talk a little bit about whether the global standards for virological research need to be revised. Then, some research is examined that casts "Voter ID" laws in a new light, and leads to some very interesting conversation about how the media should confront authentic challenges to American democratic governance.
    Resources:
    "The Lab-Leak Theory" by David Leonhardt (May 27, New York Times)
    "The Biological Weapons Convention at a crossroad" by Bonnie Jenkins (Sept. 6, 2017; Brookings)
    Midnight in Chernobyl: The Untold Story of the World's Greatest Nuclear Disaster by Adam Higginbotham (Simon & Schuster; 2019)
    "The NPT [Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty]: Learning from a Longtermist Success" by Danny Bressler (May 19, Effective Altruism)
    White paper: "Strict ID Laws Don't Stop Voters: Evidence from a U.S. Nationwide Panel, 2008–2018," by Enrico Cantoni and Vincent Pons (May 22; The Quarterly Journal of Economics)
    "After Dramatic Walkout, a New Fight Looms Over Voting Rights in Texas" by Dave Montgomery and Nick Corasaniti (May 31, New York Times)

    Hosts:
    Matt Yglesias (@mattyglesias), Slowboring.com
    Dara Lind (@DLind), Immigration Reporter, ProPublica
    Dylan Matthews (@dylanmatt), Senior Correspondent, Vox

    Credits:
    Erikk Geannikis, Editor and Producer

    As the Biden administration gears up, we'll help you understand this unprecedented burst of policymaking. Sign up for The Weeds newsletter each Friday: vox.com/weeds-newsletter.

    The Weeds is a Vox Media Podcast Network production.
    Want to support The Weeds? Please consider making a contribution to Vox: bit.ly/givepodcasts

    About Vox
    Vox is a news network that helps you cut through the noise and understand what's really driving the events in the headlines.
    Follow Us: Vox.com
    Facebook group: The Weeds
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    • 1 hr 6 min
    Stephen Breyer should retire

    Stephen Breyer should retire

    Matt is joined by author and Harvard Kennedy School professor Maya Sen to talk about the state of the American judiciary. They discuss Breyer's unwillingness to retire, the pervasive influence of prestige on the "legal elite," the cult of RBG, the influence and role of The Federalist Society, and the inherent biases in the elite legal system that have led to an "affirmative action"-like feeder program for conservative judges.
    Resources:
    The Judicial Tug of War: How Lawyers, Politicians, and Ideological Incentives Shape the American Judiciary by Adam Bonica and Maya Sen (Cambridge University Press, 2020)
    "The Endgame of Court-Packing" by Adam Chilton, Daniel Epps, Kyle Rozema, and Maya Sen (May 17)
    Ideas with Consequences: The Federalist Society and the Conservative Counterrevolution by Amanda Hollis-Brusky (Oxford University Press, 2015)
    The Rise of the Conservative Legal Movement: The Battle for Control of the Law by Steven M. Teles (Princeton, 2008)
    "Legal Scholar's Anti-Sotomayor Letter Leaks, Causing Awkward Fallout" by Heather Horn (The Atlantic, Nov. 5, 2010)
    "The Case Against Sotomayor" by Jeffrey Rosen (The New Republic, May 4, 2009)

    Guest:
    Maya Sen (@maya_sen), professor, Harvard Kennedy School
    Host:
    Matt Yglesias (@mattyglesias), Slowboring.com
    Credits:
    Erikk Geannikis, Editor and Producer

    As the Biden administration gears up, we'll help you understand this unprecedented burst of policymaking. Sign up for The Weeds newsletter each Friday: vox.com/weeds-newsletter.

    The Weeds is a Vox Media Podcast Network production.
    Want to support The Weeds? Please consider making a contribution to Vox: bit.ly/givepodcasts

    About Vox
    Vox is a news network that helps you cut through the noise and understand what's really driving the events in the headlines.
    Follow Us: Vox.com
    Facebook group: The Weeds
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    • 1 hr 8 min

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5
7.3K Ratings

7.3K Ratings

JKAA1 ,

Great Content, but that voice is not good...

One of the best podcasts for serious policy discussion. It’s brilliant in its detail while remaining accessible. If there is a flaw—it is that the host has one of the worst voices for the format. I love his analysis and contrarian approach, but he needs to consider vocal coaching. His voice fluctuates between a high pitched squeal, to the odd use of high rising terminal (uptalk). This is all fixable, and Mathew Yglesias is a talent.

jrm36 ,

It is what it is

First of all, everybody stop criticizing Matt’s voice. That’s how he talks, it’s not going to change, and it’s not like someone else is going to do the talking on this podcast. Once upon a time the weeds was an ensemble project but right now it is Matt‘s project. If you are interested in these topics and his perspective – a big if - then you listen to every minute and wouldn’t really care if Matt started yodeling between sentences. If you don’t it’s not going to be for you.

Stong Language Advocate ,

Stop Liking

If you want people to listen, stop using the word “like”. It is a filler and super annoying to the listener. I could only make it half way through the episode because I got so weary of the teenager style of language. If you want to be a professional, speak like one.

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