On The DMZ, Bill and Matt discuss the GOP special election victory in Florida and whether Obamacare has become a liability for Democrats. They evaluate Obama’s decision to appear on Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis. What if Chris Christie had decided to play Bridgegate for laughs? Is CPAC good for potential Republican presidential candidates? Was this year’s conference good for Ted Cruz, and is he a threat to Rand Paul? And what were the other big stories out of CPAC?
On an epic edition of Friedersdorf, Conor and Mark debate issues arising from the case of the New Mexico photographer who refused to shoot a gay wedding. How much does motivation—hate, animus, or religious conviction—matter in these disputes? Conor reflects on his Catholic upbringing to discuss religious believers who think encouraging same-sex marriage is sinful. Should a gay photographer be legally compelled to shoot a traditional Catholic wedding? Conor and Mark debate how non-discrimination laws should work. Does the photographer have a First Amendment case? Mark challenges Conor with a hypothetical town where the restaurants refuse to serve gay people. Finally, are we heading toward a future with more or less conflict between gay rights and religious freedom?
On Rational Actors, Kevin and Gabriel discuss the schism between CPAC and the gay conservative group GOProud. Are conservatives ready to accept gay marriage? They discuss why gay marriage and abortion are not analogous, and why knowing an openly gay person increases one’s support for marriage equality. Will gay rights groups be magnanimous in victory toward social conservatives? Kevin and Gabriel consider the recent defeat of religious freedom laws that would allow discrimination by business owners, and debate whether appeals to religious conscience will convince most Americans to support such legal exemptions.
Is science reaching the limit of what humans can grok?
Texas Sharpshooter Fallacy explains some cancer clusters
Gorilla Illusion: We’re blind to what we’re not looking for
Maybe we won’t boldly go where no man has gone before
Can Neil deGrasse Tyson fill Carl Sagan’s shoes?
The militarization of research: How worried should we be?
On The Posner Show, Sarah talks with Matt about the fallout from Gov. Brewer’s veto of Arizona’s SB 1062. Matt explains why, contrary to what many conservatives claim, the failure of the bill was not an example of persecution of Christians. Are religious institutions poised to lose their tax-exempt status over gay rights? They debate whether photographers should be able to refuse service to gay couples, and Matt explains why, if he were a photographer, he would refuse. If the Supreme Court strikes down bans on same-sex marriage, will conservative Christians retreat to monastic-like communities? Sarah and Matt debate whether marriage is a broken institution. Plus: Is the persecution narrative a winning strategy for the Christian right?
On The DMZ: Has Mitt Romney been proven right about Russia? Has the Ukraine crisis exposed Obama’s weakness? Have conservatives rediscovered interventionism—or are they attracted to Putin? Does the crisis rekindle Rubio’s 2016 hopes, or does Rand Paul’s isolationism hold sway with primary voters? Did the GOP establishment strike back against Tea Partiers in the Texas primaries? Plus: How CPAC is like show business.