On Rational Actors, Kevin and Patrick discuss Cliven Bundy, the Nevada cattle rancher taking on the federal government. Does Bundy have a point about federal land management and militarized law enforcement? Or is this just a springboard for conservative conspiracy theories? Moving on to Obamacare, they discuss the new status quo now that enrollment numbers have clearly exceeded expectations. Could Paul Ryan’s Medicare plan help Obamacare?
On Foreign Entanglements, guest hosts Kelsey and Daveed recount their epic battle as finalists in TwitterFightClub 2014, which Daveed won by using lessons learned from battle rap. Applying comic books to national security, they wonder how Iron Man and Galactus could help the US military. Is the sequel to Top Gun really going to be about drones? They analyze what the large outdoor meeting of Al Qaeda in Yemen reveals about what drones can and can’t do. Daveed offers a counterintuitive take on Al Qaeda’s strength and America’s drone war. Plus: The flaws in a Times op-ed connecting military veterans and white supremacy.
On The DMZ, Matt laments that kids these days are ignorant of the glories of ’80s pop culture, and explains how movies like Red Dawn shaped Gen Xers’ politics. So why has today’s Hollywood abandoned appealing to conservatives? Bill argues that Rand Paul is playing loose with the facts and thus hurting his attempt to rebrand the GOP. Has 2016 reporting gotten out of control? They analyze the new Mother Jones story on New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez that used leaked audio of private conversations to paint her as the next Sarah Palin. Plus: How should politicians navigate a privacy-free world?
On The Score, Freddie wonders why geeks are so aggrieved when geek culture, as embodied by Game of Thrones, is ascendant. Michael notes that an obsession with being the victim is a key aspect of the culture war, and they discuss why “you’re doing it wrong” has become a prime trope of online conversation. They consider the forced resignation of Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich, and the left’s effort to thoroughly stigmatize opposition to same-sex marriage. Freddie makes the case for legalizing polygamy, and explains why he’s an apathetic atheist. Has atheism become pathological? Plus: What would happen if everyone’s Gmail archive suddenly became public?
On Democracy in America, Greg talks to Gordon about transparency and accountability in government. Gordon explains why New Jersey got high marks just before Gov. Christie’s bridge scandal. Greg asks why special interests are sending more money to Montana, of all places. Is all this outside money shifting politics to the left or the right? Is the Supreme Court making it harder to report on campaign finance? They close by considering how many races are determined by outside money.