The Weeds

The Weeds

In politics, you’re often told not to get lost in the weeds. But we love the weeds! That’s where politics becomes policy – the stuff that shapes our lives. Every Tuesday and Friday, host Matthew Yglesias is joined by Vox reporters and editors, ProPublica's Dara Lind, and some of the leading minds in policy to dig into the weeds on important national issues, including healthcare, immigration, housing, and everything else that matters. Produced by Vox and the Vox Media Podcast Network.... Show More

Episodes

March 3, 2021 59 min
Matt and Dara are joined by Vox Politics and Policy Fellow Jerusalem Demsas to talk about how to take on America's housing problem, exclusionary and discriminatory zoning restrictions, message against NIMBYs, and ultimately, to sue and destroy the suburbs. Then, research is analyzed that confronts the effects of rising prescription drug prices on patient behavior. Resources: "America's racist housing rules really can be...
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February 26, 2021 60 min
Author, researcher, and University of Pittsburgh professor of history Lara Putnam sits down with Matt to talk about the structure of local progressive political organization. They talk about the recent history of these movements in the wake of the 2016 election, the effect of these groups on downballot races in Pennsylvania and nationally, and look to the future of these groups in the Biden era. Resources: "Democrats are surgi...
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February 23, 2021 58 min
Vox's Emily Stewart joins Matt and Dara to unpack what's in the Covid relief bill, now that it's out of committee. They talk about state & local relief, UI extensions, the $15 minimum wage, and why Congress is perma-hamstrung to effect real change. Plus, some research is analyzed about popular trading app Robin Hood, and its possible affect on stock prices. Resources: "The year that Congress just gave people mo...
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February 19, 2021 48 min
Melissa Boteach of the National Women's Law Center joins Matt to have a discussion about the role of child care in the economy, which has been "made visible" in the Covid-19 pandemic, and exposed the economically marginalized care workers who perform this essential work in an industry on the verge of collapse. Resources: House Hearing on Child Care During COVID-19 (Feb. 19, 2021) "How COVID-19 Relief for the Care E...
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February 17, 2021 55 min
Vox's Emily Stewart joins Matt and Dara to wonder about whether and how Trump may rear his head in politics again, and about the future of the Republican party (zombie Paul Ryanism, or dynastic Trumpism?). Plus, a new study about the EITC is examined that leads to a broader discussion about the role of "nudges." Resources: White paper Hosts: Matt Yglesias (@mattyglesias), Slowboring.com Dara Lind (@DLind), Imm...
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February 12, 2021 54 min
Immigration advocate Ali Noorani of the National Immigration Forum joins Matt to discuss the future of immigration in America, including the oncoming "grey tsunami," the consequences of Trump's border and asylum policies, and the effects of the way we speak about immigration on immigration policy. Resources: "Room to Grow: Setting Immigration Levels in a Changing America" by Ali Noorani & Danilo Zak (Feb. 3...
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February 10, 2021 59 min
White House reporter Ella Nilsen joins Matt and Dara to talk about the current state of the Covid-19 relief bill, and the implications of the debate for both Congress and the Biden Administration. Plus, research on the correlation between SNAP benefit timing and college entrance exam scores. Resources: "The Senate vote-a-rama gets Democrats closer to approving Covid-19 relief on their own" by Li Zhou & Ella Nilsen, Vox...
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February 5, 2021 58 min
Economist Adam Ozimek from Upwork joins Matt to discuss the future of remote work, post-pandemic. They discuss the implications for migration, local governance, and the elusive concept of work/life balance. Resources: "Economist Report: Future Workforce" by Adam Ozimek (Dec. 2020) Guest: Adam Ozimek (@ModeledBehavior), Chief Economist, Upwork Host: Matt Yglesias (@mattyglesias), Slowboring.com Credits: Erikk Gean...
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February 3, 2021 63 min
Vox Senior Correspondent German Lopez joins Matt and Dara to discuss what went — and is still going — wrong with vaccine distribution, as well as to talk through some new research about the effects of implementing eviction moratoria on the spread of Covid-19. Resources: "What Biden can do to fix America's Covid-19 vaccine mess" by German Lopez, Vox (Jan. 22, 2021) "'We crushed it': How did West Virginia bec...
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January 29, 2021 67 min
Matt is joined by author Molly Reynolds of the Brookings Institution to talk about the intricacies of the Senate filibuster, budget reconciliation, and the Byrd rule, with a view toward the prospect of getting legislation through a divided Senate. Resources: U.S. Senate rules on filibuster and cloture "The history of the filibuster" by Sarah Binder, Brookings Exceptions to the Rule: The Politics of Filibuster Limitations in...
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January 27, 2021 61 min
Vox Senior Correspondent German Lopez joins Matt and Dara to discuss some of the motivations, obstacles, and oppositions to the Biden administration's early signals on immigration policy, as well as a white paper on a natural experiment in the effects of a reduction in the number of police staff on crime. Resources: "Biden's sweeping immigration bill, explained" by Nicole Narea, Vox (Jan. 20, 2021) "Biden's...
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January 22, 2021 62 min
Matt is joined by author Mike Konczal, Director of Progressive Thought at the Roosevelt Institute, and author of the new book Freedom from the Market. They talk about the past, present, and future of public affordances in America, and discuss the shifts in political imagination that could inaugurate a new era of public programs in the earnest interest of benefitting Americans. Resources: Mike's new book, Freedom from the Market...
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January 20, 2021 57 min
Vox business and politics reporter Emily Stewart joins Matt and Dara to unpack what's in Biden's giant stimulus package, and to examine how the new Congress will handle the massive imperatives of economic recovery, on the eve of the commencement of the Biden administration. Resources: "Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion Covid-19 stimulus plan, explained" by Emily Stewart, Vox (Jan. 14, 2021) "Legislative Process 101 ...
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Matt is joined by antitrust and competition policy expert Charlotte Slaiman to discuss the ongoing antitrust cases against Google and Facebook, the basics of antitrust litigation, and their outlook for the future of regulatory efforts to rein in the power of Big Tech through pro-competition policy. Resources: "Only Regulation Can Jumpstart Competition in Big Tech" by Gene Kimmelman and Charlotte Slaiman, Fortune (July 16, ...
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January 13, 2021 74 min
Vox Senior Correspondent Zack Beauchamp joins Matt and Dara to discuss some of the potential political ramifications of the insurrection of 1/6/21, as well as what this event might portend for addressing questions of police reform. Resources: "Capitol police officer praised as hero for diverting mob from Senate chamber" by Randi Richardson, NBC News (Jan. 11, 2021) "I experienced the heinous assault on Capitol; now, tim...
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Matt is joined by Employ America policy advisor Elizabeth Pancotti for a detailed discussion about unemployment insurance. They take on the recent expansion of the benefits, explain some of the difficulties in distributing them, and outline a possible road toward meaningful reform. Resources: "Bennet Unveils Sweeping Proposal to Strengthen Unemployment Insurance Amidst Coronavirus Pandemic" (March 24, 2020) Guest: Elizabet...
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Umair Irfan joins Dara and Matt to discuss some challenges and obstacles to prioritization and distribution of the Covid vaccine, in the U.S. and elsewhere. Resources: White paper Hosts: Matt Yglesias (@mattyglesias), Slowboring.com Dara Lind (@DLind), Immigration Reporter, ProPublica Umair Irfan (@umairfan), Science Reporter, Vox Credits: Erikk Geannikis, Editor and Producer The Weeds is a Vox Media Podcast Network...
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December 22, 2020 56 min
Mary Cunningham, vice president of Metropolitan Housing and Communities Policy at the Urban Institute, joins Matt for part two of homelessness week to discuss the causes and potential solutions of homelessness. They dive deep into the data surrounding the issue, and take a look at President Trump's claim that homelessness is on the rise. More to explore: Subscribe for free to the Ezra Klein Show, a Vox podcast where Ezra brings...
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New America’s Kevin Carey explains loan forgiveness and the deeper problems with American higher education. Guest: Kevin Carey (@kevincarey1), Vice President, Education Policy and Knowledge Management, New America Host: Matthew Yglesias (@mattyglesias), Slowboring.com Credits: Jeff Geld, (@jeff_geld), Producer Jackson Bierfeldt, Editor The Weeds is a Vox Media Podcast Network production Want to support The Weeds? Pl...
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December 15, 2020 61 min
Dylan Matthews joins Matt and Dara to discuss Covid’s impact on poverty and the road to recovery. Resources: "Joe Biden is taking office amid a poverty crisis" by Dylan Matthews, Vox Income and poverty in the COVID-19 pandemic by Jeehoon Han, Bruce D. Meyer, and James X. Sullivan Kamala Harris's plan for $2,000 a month transfers to every man, woman, and child  Plan to have the Fed give people money by making everyone a...
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