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Slate Politics Spoken Edition Podcast

Slate Politics Spoken Edition Podcast

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Your daily politics update, brought to you by Slate. Hear more Slate articles at Slate.com/Voice. Want to hear a daily selection of the magazine’s best stories? Learn more at slate.com/voice A SpokenEdition transforms written content into human-read audio you can listen to anywhere. It's perfect for times when you can't read - while driving, at the gym, doing chores, etc. Find more at www.spokenedition.com.


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  • The Political Price of Cruelty
    Wed, Jun 20, 2018


    Stephen Miller has always liked to provoke. Before he was a White House adviser, Miller was a teenage provocateur devoting his time and talents to “trolling” his ideological foes. He brought that same ethos to the Trump administration, delighting in the outrage accompanying his travel ban and his push against the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, indifferent to the human cost of his favored policies.

  • Trump’s Damning Doublespeak
    Tue, Jun 19, 2018


    President Trump and his attorneys used to demand a high standard for proving collusion. Words alone, they argued, weren’t enough. Trump and his aides might have met secretly with Russians, solicited campaign help, received campaign help, and done favors for Russia. But without proof that all these words and deeds were connected, they insisted, there was no basis for investigation. We can now junk that argument, because Trump and his lawyers have shown they don’t believe it.

  • Unread October
    Mon, Jun 18, 2018


    Was the FBI biased against Donald Trump in 2016? Trump and his supporters think so, and now they have fresh evidence: a 500-page report on the Hillary Clinton email investigation, prepared by the Justice Department’s inspector general. The report includes text messages in which two then-FBI officials, Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, spoke of “stopping” Trump.

  • It’s All Too Much, and We Still Have to Care
    Fri, Jun 15, 2018


    As a purely descriptive matter, it’s surely true: We are all going numb. As Donald Trump makes war with Canada and peace with dictators and human rights abusers, the narrative is that everyone’s lost all feeling. Polls show the public believes that Trump paid off a porn star, and they don’t care. They believe that he lies habitually, and they also don’t care.

  • The Kim Con
    Thu, Jun 14, 2018


    At the press conference following his meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Singapore on Tuesday, President Trump called himself “an emissary of the American people” and spoke of “my instinct, my ability or talent” for negotiation. “My whole life has been deals,” said Trump. “I’ve done great at it.” Trump is indeed a skilled salesman, and his presentation of the new U.S.-North Korean denuclearization agreement is a fine sales job.

  • Why Democrats Should Keep Moving Left
    Wed, Jun 13, 2018


    In comments made to GOP donors last week, former Republican presidential candidate and Utah’s likely next senator Mitt Romney predicted that President Trump is likely to win re-election in 2020. “I think President Trump will be renominated by my party easily, and I think he’ll be re-elected solidly,” he told the audience at his E2 political summit.

  • Remember “Crack Mayor” Rob Ford? His Meaner Older Brother Could Become Ontario’s Premier on Thursday.
    Tue, Jun 12, 2018


    Though American voters have managed not to elect more populist right-wing businessmen with legal trouble so far this year, the same may soon not be true in its neighbor to the north. In Thursday’s Ontario elections, Doug Ford, brother of infamous Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, could become the second-most powerful politician in Canada.

  • Trump’s Damning Defense
    Mon, Jun 11, 2018


    Last weekend, the New York Times published a long letter that was sent by President Donald Trump’s lawyers to special counsel Robert Mueller in January. The letter argued that Trump shouldn’t have to give an interview to Mueller’s investigators, in part because the president is entitled to pardon anyone, fire anyone, or shut down any investigation for any reason. But beneath these imperial claims, the letter inadvertently substantiates much of the case against Trump.

  • The Feinstein Problem
    Fri, Jun 08, 2018


    A little over three months ago, the delegates of the California Democratic Party declined to endorse five-term incumbent Dianne Feinstein for re-election. They instead came just shy of endorsing Kevin de Le?n, her progressive challenger and the leader of the state Senate’s Democrats.

  • The Enlightenment’s Dark Side
    Thu, Jun 07, 2018


    The Enlightenment is having a renaissance, of sorts. A handful of centrist and conservative writers have reclaimed the 17th- and 18th-century intellectual movement as a response to nationalism and ethnic prejudice on the right and relativism and “identity politics” on the left.

  • The Nastiest Primary in California
    Wed, Jun 06, 2018


    NEWPORT BEACH, California—Last month, at a politically themed chili cook-off in Huntington Beach, Sandy Metcalf’s manila folder went missing. The folder contained copies of documents alleging Hans Keirstead, a neuroscientist running for Congress in California’s 48th District, had slept with his graduate students and, in one case, had punched one of them in a boozy incident following a concert.

  • Scott Baugh vs. the World
    Tue, Jun 05, 2018


    NEWPORT BEACH, California—The House race in California’s 48th congressional district was supposed to be like so many others this year: An upscale, suburban, traditionally Republican suburb that had voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016, where Democrats would target a longtime and suddenly vulnerable incumbent. After 30 years in the House, Rep.

  • The Absolute Misery of Dropping Out for the Greater Good
    Mon, Jun 04, 2018


    FULLERTON, California—In April of 2017, Phil Janowicz became the first Democrat to announce his candidacy against Republican Rep. Ed Royce in California’s 39th District, a seat that Royce had held, in one form or another, since 1993. For decades, no one had realistically thought Democrats could topple Royce, but Janowicz, a tenured chemistry professor, spent the rest of the year trying to build a Democratic base in the district, which contains much of northern Orange County.

  • Ireland’s Abortion Vote Is a Historic Victory. But It’s Not a Model for the U.S.
    Fri, Jun 01, 2018


    Last week, a supermajority of Irish citizens voted to repeal the Eighth Amendment of the country’s constitution, which effectively banned almost all abortions. Though polls predicted victory for women’s rights activists, the outcome still came as a shock to those who were too cautious to hope that the overwhelmingly Catholic country would join the rest of Europe in decriminalizing the procedure.

  • The Stacey Abrams Test
    Thu, May 31, 2018


    In 2014, as the Democratic leader in the state House of Representatives, Stacey Abrams spearheaded the New Georgia Project, a plan to register hundreds of thousands of black, Latino and Asian Americans who live in the state but don’t vote in its elections. Abrams ultimately registered just 46,000 people, but she held fast to her theory of the case—that outreach and mobilization could turn Georgia blue, or at least make it a blue-tinged purple.

  • Two’s a Party
    Wed, May 30, 2018


    Before the 1950s, what you thought about health care, guns, or abortion had little to do with where your vote went. Then the modern two-party system came along—or was engineered. On a recent episode of The Gist, Mike Pesca spoke with Sam Rosenfeld, author of The Polarizers: Postwar Architects of Our Partisan Era, about the evolution of political parties in the U.S. Their conversation, which has been edited and condensed for clarity, is reprinted below.

  • “I Think Trump Could Be Useful”
    Tue, May 29, 2018


    If the people who came to see Pussy Riot in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday night were expecting an electro-punk show, they were in for a little surprise first: a slideshow. As a scrambled, anonymized voice narrated over the club’s sound system, a numbered list of facts about global income inequality flickered on a projection screen, along with the knit balaclavas that the Russian art collective made famous.

  • Trump’s Favorite Animals
    Mon, May 28, 2018


    President Trump has harsh words for the undocumented immigrants he’s deporting. “You wouldn’t believe how bad these people are,” Trump fumed in front of cameras last week. “These aren’t people.These are animals.” Trump later said he was talking about MS-13, a criminal gang, and aides repeated his message.

  • The Four Major Questions Facing the Democratic Party
    Fri, May 25, 2018


    Both progressives and moderate Democrats are crowing over the results from Tuesday’s primaries. Stacey Abrams, a progressive endorsed by Bernie Sanders and the group Our Revolution, defeated former state Rep. Stacey Evans to become the first female black gubernatorial candidate for a major party in history. In Kentucky’s 6th Congressional District, Amy McGrath beat establishment candidate Jim Gray, the mayor of Lexington.

  • The Moral Conundrum of the Trump Era
    Thu, May 24, 2018


    In some ways, last week was a banner week for limited acts of moral courage in the Trump era. In the Senate, Jeff Flakeannouncedlast Wednesday he would join Rand Paul and John McCain to oppose the nomination of Gina Haspel to lead the CIA, citing herties to a torture regime in which she participated and then worked to obscure. She was still confirmed on Thursday, when six Democrats voted on her behalf. Also on Wednesday, a host of Senate Republicans voted to save net neutrality.

  • Negative Energy
    Wed, May 23, 2018


    A “dark money” organization tied to a major electric company pumped significant cash into an Ohio congressional race in what a losing candidate describes as an act of retribution over a failed financial deal.

  • New Trump Administration Rule Will Force Doctors to Stop Saying “Abortion”
    Tue, May 22, 2018


    The Trump administration is planning to instate a rule that will bar recipients of federal family-planning funding from educating women about abortion options, making referrals to doctors that provide abortions, or providing abortion care. Conservatives have cheered the move as a way for the federal government to partially “defund” Planned Parenthood without requiring an act of Congress. Reproductive-rights advocates are calling the policy a “domestic gag rule”—a U.S.

  • The Pennsylvania Primary Was a Big Win for Women
    Mon, May 21, 2018


    The Pennsylvania primary on Tuesday was a big night for women in a state whose 20-person congressional delegation currently includes only men. The state has been represented in Congress by just seven women in its history—three of which filled vacancies left when their husbands died—with at most two serving together at any one time.

  • Liberals, It’s Not About Being Nice
    Fri, May 18, 2018


    Over the weekend, the New York Times published an op-ed titled “Liberals, You’re Not As Smart As You Think.” In it, University of Virginia political science professor Gerard Alexander accuses American liberals of arrogance and warns them against making broad negative generalizations about large swaths of the population. “Liberals often don’t realize how provocative or inflammatory they can be,” he writes.

  • These House Republicans Are Trying to Force the DACA Issue
    Thu, May 17, 2018


    When I asked Florida Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart last year if he would sign a discharge petition to force a vote on a bill to investigate Russian meddling in the election, he didn’t hesitate for a second. “I don’t sign discharge petitions,” he said. “I didn’t even sign an immigration discharge petition.

  • How to Survive Trump’s Presidency Without Losing Your Mind
    Wed, May 16, 2018


    This past week, journalists in America were struggling to comprehend two major stories: The first was that Donald Trump announced (via tweet) on Wednesday that any news that paints him in a negative light is, by definition, “fake news.” He went on to threaten the press credentials of any journalist who doesn’t portray him in a flattering light.

  • What Pennsylvania’s Female Candidates Could Tell Us About the Midterms
    Tue, May 15, 2018


    Since Donald Trump’s election in November 2016, two narratives have shaped conventional wisdom about the Democratic Party. One is that the party is flirting with an ideological crisis, forcing establishment Democrats to decide whether their future lies with more progressive candidates who can turn out the base or more conservative Blue Dogs who might appeal to Trump voters. The other narrative anticipates a more unified path.

  • The Privilege of 911
    Mon, May 14, 2018


    On Tuesday, a white graduate student at Yale called the police to report that one of her black classmates was napping in a dorm common area. The ensuing encounter between the police and the student, Lolade Siyonbola, who is getting a master’s degree in African studies, was captured in a video that has drawn national attention to the case.

  • McCain’s Absence at Gina Haspel’s CIA Confirmation Hearing Was a Game-Changer
    Fri, May 11, 2018


    Gina Haspel was on Capitol Hill on Wednesday facing questions from senators in her quest to become head of the CIA. On Wednesday’s Gist, Mike Pesca spoke with Tim Weiner, author of Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA, about the hearings. They discussed how Haspel dodged several questions about her involvement in torture as a CIA officer and what that means for the agency going forward. The interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

  • Witness for the Prosecution
    Thu, May 10, 2018


    Did President Donald Trump know in October 2016 about a $130,000 payment to silence a story that threatened his election? Did he deliberately conceal that payment from the Federal Elections Commission? Has Trump now approved a legal strategy to acknowledge the payment in order to buy the silence of his personal attorney, Michael Cohen, in the Russia investigation? These were largely mysteries until Wednesday night, when former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, who has joined Trump’s legal team, began a crusade to shield Trump from campaign finance charges. In interviews with...

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