On The DMZ, Bill and Matt make their Super Bowl predictions and discuss the Richard Sherman phenomenon. They then turn to new 2016 polling showing Christie down and Ryan and Walker up. Should the GOP take the lead on issues like immigration reform, or is doing nothing a viable strategy? Would legalization alone settle the immigration question, or are Democrats right to press for citizenship? Matt praises Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, who gave the GOP response to the State of the Union. Plus: Is Reince Priebus‘s proposed boycott of MSNBC over an offensive tweet justified?
On Rational Actors, Kevin and Ben discuss Ezra Klein‘s move to Vox Media and the challenge of striking out as an independent journalist online. They consider how social media has displaced SEO and encouraged journalists to hone their personal brands. Where does Vox see this new project going? What lessons can new media outlets draw from the success of BuzzFeed? Turning to the State of the Union, Ben proclaims Obama a diminished figure, while Kevin defends the president. Finally, they debate the significance of Obamacare in terms of Obama’s legacy.
On the premiere of Drezburt, Heather and Dan preview foreign policy at the State of the Union address. They debate whether Obama has failed to make free trade a priority, or whether Congressional obstruction is to blame. Heather praises Democrats for largely holding the line against new Iran sanctions. Next, they discuss the World Economic Forum in Davos, which Dan says has gone “beyond caricature.” What is revealed by the massive gender imbalance at Davos? Moving to the crisis in Ukraine, they consider whether the country could splinter. Plus: Why Syria became a catastrophe but Tunisia did not.
On The Glenn Show, Glenn and John talk about the link between inequality and single parenthood—and why this is such a controversial topic to discuss. John is concerned about single women having more than one child. Do we know what to do to keep someone out of poverty? John thinks that by focusing on inequality instead of single-parent families, liberals are putting the cart before the horse. They discuss David Brooks’s recent column on inequality and Robert Reich’s harsh critique of it. Glenn emphasizes that when it comes to discussing poverty, “culture” shouldn’t be a dirty word.
On The DMZ: Can Ezra Klein create an independent, high-brow news site that succeeds financially? Bill and Matt analyze Glenn Beck’s apology for “helping tear the country apart.” Should Beck be welcomed back into polite society? Why did former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, indicted this week, throw away his career? Bill notes that President Obama managed to rise through Chicago politics untainted by corruption. Was McDonnell’s sin striving to rise from humble beginnings?
On Foreign Entanglements, Matt and Patrick discuss the Iranian nuclear talks, beginning with the Foreign Policy Initiative’s open letter to Congress. Is the Obama Administration right to oppose new sanctions on Iran? How much of a role did sanctions play in bringing Hassan Rouhani to power? Is the new nuclear inspection regime adequate? Why has Supreme Leader Khamanei empowered Rouhani to participate in these negotiations? Can the negotiations be broadened to include human rights?
On The Glenn Show: What does Martin Luther King, Jr. Day mean 45 years after King’s death? Glenn and Harold note King’s radicalism—and the resistance he faced—in the late ’60s. Harold says MLK’s view of political power holds lessons for today’s progressives. What would have happened if King had not been assassinated at the age of 39? Turning to current politics, Glenn and Harold debate the GOP’s campaign to pass voter ID laws. Harold laments that progressives are often bored by the levers of conventional political power, and offers King as a counterexample.