On Foreign Entanglements, Rob speaks with Erica about the effectiveness of non-violent protest. Erica works through the logic of why non-violence often proves a better practical choice than violent resistance, while Rob wonders why so many movements nevertheless resort to violence. Erica contrasts Egypt’s 2011 revolution and 2013 coup. They discuss the possibility of creating a policy infrastructure for supporting non-violent resistance, which Erica views with some skepticism. Is it possible to turn a violent movement toward non-violence? Plus: What Erica’s research could have taught the Occupy movement.
On a special Thanksgivukkah episode of The DMZ, Bill and Matt discuss this bizarre, once-in-a-lifetime holiday convergence. Bill praises John Kerry for achieving an agreement with Iran and suggests he may be a better Secretary of State than Hillary Clinton. Turning to immigration, they consider how Obama and Boehner responded to pro-reform hecklers. Is immigration reform still a live option? Plus: Matt cautions conservatives not to get carried away about Obamacare‘s troubles.
On The Glenn Show, Glenn talks to Eldar about his new book, Scarcity: Why Having Too Little Means So Much. Eldar argues that “attention scarcity” sheds light on the behavior of poor parents. Glenn asks Eldar about the politics of poverty, and Eldar cracks a joke about incorrigible economists who feel threatened by his research. Glenn asks Eldar to use his research to explain the Great Recession. Finally, they consider how advertisers profit from attention scarcity—while the public loses.
On The DMZ, Matt discusses his un-DMZ-like appearance on MSNBC, where Michael Eric Dyson accused him of displaying “white privilege.” Does the cable news format make encounters like this inevitable? Bill and Matt discuss the role that racism has played (and continues to play) in American politics, but Matt says liberals can’t keep pointing the finger at racism to explain away their troubles. Have Senate Democrats hurt themselves in the long run by limiting the filibuster? Matt says the “nuclear option” makes repealing Obamacare more likely, but other unintended consequences may occur as well. Plus: Why some liberals fear a Hillary Clinton presidential juggernaut.
On Rational Actors, Kevin and David analyze Obamacare’s troubled debut. Kevin says the Affordable Care Act is a Rube Goldberg machine, and David warns of an insurance death spiral. David uses the law to make a larger philosophical case against government action. Who are the real winners and losers if the ACA works as planned? David says health care reform should have focused on making insurance cheaper, not people with preexisting conditions. Plus: Does the GOP have a realistic alternative?
On The Glenn Show, Glenn and Ross discuss the recent book by Anat Admati and Martin Hellwig, The Bankers’ New Clothes. Ross says that the government is inadvertently subsidizing bank fragility. Can anything be done about “too big to fail“? They explain the real reason that Wall Street wants to keep equity low and debt high—more money for bank executives and shareholders. Is it unrealistic to think that government could ever rein in the financial system? Glenn and Ross critique Admati and Hellwig on how accurately regulators can assess bank assets. Ross closes by explaining why he’s not optimistic about removing catastrophic risk from the financial system.
On The Posner Show, Sarah speaks with Matthew about Pope Francis’s impact on American Catholicism. Is the pope turning his back on conservative Catholics? Matthew explains why Francis is shifting focus, not ideology—the church isn’t changing its stance on social issues. Sarah brings up the election of Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville, and Matthew describes the church’s financial crisis. Is Francis’s unscripted nature good or bad for the church? Plus: What the pope has in common with the honey badger.
On Interrobang‽, Katherine and Jillian discuss the implications of the Trans-Pacific Partnership for online freedom. They then turn to the survey by the writers’ organization PEN showing widespread concern over online surveillance. Can a barrage of FOIA requests expose how the FBI operates? Is the NSA spying on your cell phone even when it’s turned off? Is the International Space Station infected with malware? Is international development being used as a front for surveillance? Plus: Did comedian Andy Kaufman fake his own death?