On Friedersdorf, Conor and Phoebe begin by talking about Edward Snowden’s recent request for clemency. They next examine the phenomenon of parental “oversharing.” Conor and Phoebe think jerk-shaming has gone too far—even though some Halloween costumes have been bizarrely offensive, it seems some Millennials just yearn to be outraged. What does the green juice craze reveal about our society? And finally, what does social privilege have to do with the drone debate?
On The Score, Michael and Travis analyze the possibility that the Oakland A’s may abandon their working class city to play in gilded San Francisco. Michael suggests that this is another instance of sports reflecting society, and Travis makes the case against the public funding of stadiums. Next, they do a deep dive into the vexed issue of offensive team names and mascots, notably the Washington Redskins and Chief Wahoo of the Cleveland Indians. Would the Atlanta Braves by any other name smell as sweet? Noting the religious origins of the San Diego Padres, Michael emphasizes that context matters. They lament how these controversies spill into left/right culture war battles. Plus: Great sports teams names vs. awful ones.
On Foreign Entanglements, Rob and Daniel take a critical look at the idea that America must keep force “on the table” with respect to nuclear negotiations with Iran. They discuss the news that Saudi Arabia may have contracted for a nuclear deterrent with Pakistan, and briefly discuss Israeli attitudes toward the negotiations. How will domestic US political considerations affect a nuclear deal? They next examine the ongoing political phenomenon that is John Bolton. Rob and Daniel conclude with a discussion of air power and American foreign policy.
On The DMZ, Bill and Matt discuss the fallout of various elections, starting with game-changing political news out of Bill’s home of Northampton, MA. Moving on to the Democratic victory in Virginia, they debate whether running against Obamacare helped or hurt Ken Cuccinelli‘s chances. Bill suggests Republicans should quit whining, leading Matt to make the case for Chris Christie in 2016. Is Christie the GOP’s only hope, or is he a risky bet? Bill asks Matt whether Republicans still have a deeper presidential bench than the Democrats, and how the conservative civil war is likely to play out.
On Rational Actors, Kevin and Zoë debate conservative critiques of Obamacare. They clash over whether the law is raising or lowering costs. Kevin says that the conservative vision of health care reform would prioritize lowering costs over expanding access. Next, they discuss a new report that excoriates the Obama administration’s record on press freedom. Zoë says that a shield law for journalists must be part of the solution. What could stop the trend of increasing government secrecy?
On The Posner Show, Sarah talks with Geoff, author of the book Rule and Ruin. Geoff argues that we are living in a new era of a far-right Republican Party. They discuss the role of the John Birch Society in the GOP’s rightward tilt in the 1960s, and its legacy of attacking conservatives for betraying its view of American ideals. Geoff breaks down what last year’s Republican National Committee “autopsy” says about the death of moderation in the GOP. Can Mike Lee or Chris Christie be the moderates of the future? Plus: Why the conservative movement has no pope anymore.
On Foreign Entanglements, Rob and Kelsey don their Breaking Bad Halloween costumes to talk about drones and science fiction. Kelsey describes many of the less well-known uses of drones, including anti-poaching and disaster relief efforts. They identify a distinction between how drones are really used and their popular image. They then discuss the technological cross-pollination between military and civilian uses. Turning to the new Ender’s Game film, they explore how the sci-fi series treats child soldiers and anticipates drone warfare. What can the Ender series tell us about the moral implications of drones?
On The DMZ: Matt says Obama lied by saying, “If you like your plan, you can keep it.” Will he and/or the Affordable Care Act suffer politically? Matt sees Obamacare as a vindication of conservative epistemological modesty over liberal paternalism. Have shutdown cheerleaders Ted Cruz and Mike Lee changed their tune? Bill recalls Calvin Coolidge as an example of a temperamental conservative. Matt reviews the downs and ups of the recent crop of GOP politicians. Plus: Does the likely Democratic gubernatorial win in Virginia have national significance?
On The Glenn Show, the topic is the student protest at Brown University that thwarted a speech by NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly. Glenn accuses the protesters of “intellectual thuggery.” John says the blame ultimately lies with Brown professors who taught their students poorly, but Glenn defends Brown’s ideological heterogeneity. John argues that undergrads are not truly taught both sides on issues where race and politics intersect. Glenn and John present the more cogent case against stop-and-frisk policing. John emphasizes the performative aspect of student protests. Plus: The way in which racial debates are harder now than in 1963.
On Interrobang‽, Jillian and Katherine survey Sisi Fetish, a tumblr chronicling strange forms of adulation for Egypt’s military leader. Should liberals be wary of embracing libertarians in the fight against NSA surveillance? They discuss revelations about German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s phone being tapped, and how new European data protection regulations will affect US tech companies. Have the NSA revelations hurt US attempts to track terrorist financing? Jillian highlights Mark Zuckerberg’s very selective approach toward free expression. Does Facebook want to become a news platform?