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This week, the FDA decided to pause the Johnson & Johnson vaccine following reports that six women—of the nearly 7 million Americans who have received the J&J vaccine—developed serious blood clots after getting the jab. Is pausing the vaccine worth the tradeoffs? Will the FDA’s move fuel vaccine hesitancy? Sarah, David, Chris and Jonah give us the …
 
Are you a “scout” or a “soldier”? What do those terms even mean? In Julia Galef’s new book, The Scout Mindset, she argues the scout mindset is underrepresented in today’s world. “The scout’s role, unlike the soldier, is not to go out and attack or defend,” she says. “It’s to go out, and see what’s really out there as clearly as possible and to put …
 
If it’s a day that ends in “Y” in Washington, it’s probably a day during “infrastructure week.” The gang talks about President Biden’s infrastructure bill and debates whether or not it’s fair to call it an “infrastructure” bill. Plus, what should the U.S. do about the continued aggression coming from China and Russia, and the differences in voting …
 
In a wide-ranging conversation spanning from his time working in the Trump White House, to his early days as a leader in the House Freedom Caucus (which we learned was supposed to be called the “Reasonable Nutjob Caucus), Mick Mulvaney talks with Sarah and Steve about his life in politics. During the conversation, Mulvaney opines on John Boehner’s …
 
President Biden introduced a massive $2 trillion infrastructure plan in Pittsburgh, and the gang is wondering what type of fight the GOP is going to put up against the bill. Steve asks, “You’d think this might be something Republicans would object to and fight pretty strongly. Are you getting the sense that Republicans will do that?” To hear everyo…
 
We heard from many of you that you are having trouble persuading people close to you to take the COVID vaccine. You wished there was something you could pass along to people with the actual facts about the vaccine, not scary myths about why a person should not get it. You asked, and we listened. Former CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden joined Sarah and …
 
This week (so far) we have seen a mass shooting, a crisis at the border, a major walkback from President Trump’s favorite lawyer, Sidney Powell, and more. On today’s Dispatch Podcast, Steve, Sarah, Jonah, and David talk about all of it and then some. Gun violence has been front and center in the news, and rather than yelling about it, the gang has …
 
Danielle Pletka, senior fellow and foreign policy expert at the American Enterprise Institute, joins Sarah and Steve to discuss all things foreign policy. The conversation starts with the fiasco that was the first bilateral meeting between the Biden administration and China, and then focuses on Pletka’s expertise related to foreign policy in the Mi…
 
In a St. Patrick’s Day edition of The Dispatch Podcast, Sarah, Steve, Scott, and Declan start off today’s discussion with the ongoing migrant crisis at the border. Plus, the gang explains how while most of the conservative world was talking about Dr. Seuss and Pepe le Pew, Democrats jammed through the biggest advancement of the welfare state since …
 
For the first time on The Dispatch Podcast, author of the Capitolism newsletter and neoliberal shill extraordinaire Scott Lincicome joins Sarah and Declan. On topics ranging from free-market fundamentalism to the crazy world of semiconductors, Scott brings his expertise to break it all down. As he says on today’s episode, “You know, Glengarry Glen …
 
Congressional Democrats’ omnibus voting rights, campaign finance, and ethics bill, H.R. 1—also known as the “For the People Act”—passed in the House last week, and our hosts are here for the breakdown. Stay tuned to hear the gang chat about retirements in the GOP Senate, whether arguments about cancel culture are trumping more substantive public po…
 
The Dispatch’s associate editor and Morning Dispatch guru Declan Garvey joins Sarah to ask Oren Cass what his mission is with American Compass, a center-right organization of which he is the executive director. Cass thinks it’s time the conservative movement reforms itself and he is trying to do so from within. Cass says, “What has been missing fro…
 
The Senate is set to debate the Biden administration’s COVID-19 relief package this week, and today the gang talks about the politics of getting it passed. Steve posits the administration’s strategy is more focused on public opinion, rather than what Republicans want: “They say ‘we care about bipartisanship outside the beltway, not inside the beltw…
 
Is the Biden administration bungling their Covid-19 and vaccine messaging? As Steve put it to Jonah, “It’s awfully cynical of you to suggest that what they’re doing is withholding information because they want to pass their emergency relief bill, and you’re absolutely right to be that cynical.” Also up for discussion: why Xavier Becerra should have…
 
Hot off of his latest policy proposal, Sen. Mitt Romney joins the podcast to discuss his and Sen. Tom Cotton’s plan to raise the minimum wage, a proposal that also mandates that businesses use E-verify to prevent the hiring of undocumented workers. Sarah asks him about partisanship in the Senate, what he thinks of the current state of the Republica…
 
In a call with European foreign ministers on Thursday, Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken said he would begin steps to restore the 2015 Iran nuclear deal that was abandoned by the Trump administration. Today’s guest, Tom Josclelyn, thinks a series of upfront concessions to Tehran before the country’s leaders even come to the negotiating table wou…
 
At the beginning of the pandemic, Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York drew ire from lawmakers of all political stripes for sending COVID-19 positive patients back into nursing homes. But resentment against the governor reached a tipping point in late January, when New York Attorney General Letitia James released a blistering report showing tha…
 
President Joe Biden has recently drawn ire from GOP lawmakers for lagging behind his stated goal of getting K-12 children back into the classroom for in-person instruction. Liesl Hickey, a partner at Ascent Media and co-founder of N2 America, joins the show to chat with Sarah and Steve about teachers unions, remote learning’s effect on student well…
 
We’re on day two of the Senate’s second impeachment trial of Donald Trump and our hosts are here for the breakdown. On Tuesday, the House impeachment managers released a video montage of January 6 in an effort to tie former President Trump’s rhetoric and words to the storming of the Capitol. “[The video] had in many ways the effect that displaying …
 
Former Fox News Decision Desk team member Chris Stirewalt joins Sarah, Steve and Jonah to chat about GOP leadership members' struggle to police their own. Stick around for a chat about Joe Biden’s foreign policy agenda, Stirewalt’s take on why “the way America is getting its news is not working for America,” and … lima beans! And also for a very sp…
 
On the coronavirus stimulus package front, Biden has refused to compromise on his commitment to sending $1,400 checks to Americans. Is it wise for the president to push such a bill through Congress in spite of Republican opposition? As Steve argues on today’s episode, “If Joe Biden’s intransigence this early is pissing off people like Rob Portman a…
 
Ohio Representative Anthony Gonzalez was one of only 10 GOP House members who voted for President Trump’s second impeachment, and he’s faced quite a bit of backlash from his constituents for doing so. “In the long arc of history, I believe it was the right vote, and I believe it sends the right message,” Congressman Gonzalez tells Sarah and Steve o…
 
Biden administration folks are claiming they inherited a nonexistent coronavirus vaccine rollout plan from the Trump administration, with one anonymous administration official going so far as to tell CNN last week that the team will “have to build everything from scratch,” a claim that even top epidemiologist Dr. Anthony Fauci later disputed as pat…
 
Will Joe Biden’s governing strategy be effective? “I don’t think Biden has ever been driven on ideological issues, what he’s driven on is keeping his party together,” NBC’s Chuck Todd tells Sarah and Steve on today’s episode. “There is a part of me that says Biden can be the Reagan for Democrats.” How does the filibuster fit into the president’s ca…
 
Joe Biden was officially sworn in as the 46th president of the United States on Wednesday. He assumes office at one of the darkest moments in United States history, when a global pandemic has taken the lives of more than 400,000 Americans and rampant polarization continues to test our nation’s character. Did his inaugural address meet the moment? W…
 
“I was proud that after the assault on the Capitol, we were back in the chambers a few hours later,” freshman GOP Rep. Peter Meijer from Michigan’s 3rd District tells Sarah and Steve on today’s episode. “There was someone’s blood drying, right? And we’re going back to work to send the message that our constitutional process—it got erupted—but you’r…
 
“The President of the United States summoned this mob, assembled the mob, and lit the flame of this attack,” said Rep. Liz Cheney late Tuesday afternoon. “Everything that followed was his doing.” This week, our hosts discuss the brewing showdown over impeachment between Cheney—the House’s No.3 Republican—and Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy. How does…
 
Wednesday’s storming of the Capitol should not have come as a surprise to anyone who has paid attention to Donald Trump’s election-related conspiracy-mongering in the weeks since November 3. Politico’s chief political correspondent Tim Alberta has been interacting with Trump supporters for months now and joins today’s show to explain why Wednesday’…
 
Was Wednesday’s storming of the Capitol by Trump rally-goers inevitable? Should President Trump be impeached? Where does the Republican Party go from here? Our staff members have been warning about the dangers of Trumpism long before The Dispatch was launched in October 2019. But as David says, “never has vindication felt so miserable.” After all, …
 
House Democrats are heading into next year with the slimmest majority either party has seen in two decades. How might this shape intra-party relations among Democrats moving forward? “The new dynamic will force Democratic leaders to change their tactics, both in drafting bills and in reining in the rank and file,” Haley Byrd Wilt writes in her debu…
 
In the weeks following November 3, a surprising number of state Republican parties have made it their mission to attack any high ranking GOP officials in their state who have certified or somehow acknowledged Joe Biden’s electoral victory over President Trump. How will this GOP infighting play out over the next few months? Declan joins Sarah, David…
 
How might the Supreme Court respond to Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s lawsuit contesting the results of the election? Why did so many House members and state attorneys general file amicus briefs in support of the lawsuit? Is Paxton’s legal effort just a political stunt? On today’s episode, Sarah and Steve are joined by Ilya Shapiro—director of…
 
The Supreme Court denied injunctive relief on Tuesday to Pennsylvania Rep. Mike Kelly in a one-sentence order that unceremoniously ended the Republican lawmaker’s bid to overturn his state’s election results. “What distinguished this case was it actually had an interesting question of law in it,” David argues on today’s show, in reference to the Pe…
 
After Georgia election official Gabriel Sterling asked GOP lawmakers to tone down the unsubstantiated claims of vote fraud in his state earlier this week, the Trump campaign shared a 90-second video on Twitter alleging another Georgia related election conspiracy theory. “Video footage from Georgia shows suitcases filled with ballots pulled from und…
 
During an interview with the Associated Press on Tuesday, Attorney General Bill Barr said that “to date, we have not seen fraud on a scale that could have effected a different outcome in the election.” In what seems to be a clever attempt to appease the president, Barr also said during the interview that he had appointed John Durham as special coun…
 
Charles Koch and Brian Hooks joined Sarah and David to discuss their new book, Believe in People: Bottom-Up Solutions for a Top-Down World, which is about social entrepreneurship, the principles of human progress, and empowering people to discover their gifts. On today’s show, Koch and Hooks explain how finding common ground with people across the …
 
Twitter’s Jack Dorsey and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg were in the hot seat again on Tuesday, answering questions from Senate Judiciary Committee members about the policing of misinformation and controversial speech on their platforms. The biggest takeaway from the hearing? Both political parties want to regulate Big Tech, but for very different reas…
 
Is the Republican Party in the midst of a policy wasteland? Today’s guest, Ben Ginsberg, surely thinks so. According to Ginsberg, who is perhaps the most prominent Republican election lawyer of our time, the future of the GOP rests on its ability to transform its policy agenda into one that appeals to minorities and women. “If [the GOP] can avoid t…
 
Secretary of Defense Mark Esper got the boot on Monday in a characteristic Twitter announcement from President Trump. Esper’s sudden dismissal was accompanied by a firing spree of numerous other Pentagon officials who were quickly replaced with Trump loyalists, raising a lot of questions and alarm bells in D.C.’s national security bubble. Sarah and…
 
Does a video show someone burning ballots with votes for Trump? No. Did Michigan ‘magically’ find 138,339 votes for Joe Biden? Nope. What about Wisconsin? Did voter turnout exceed the number of registered voters in the state? A thousand times no. But tight vote counts in battleground states have laid the perfect groundwork for election disinformati…
 
Minutes before 5 p.m. on Wednesday afternoon, the president took to Twitter to claim victory in Georgia, Pennsylvania, and North Carolina. The president also said he “hereby [claims]” Michigan “if, in fact,... there was a large number of secretly dumped ballots as has been widely reported!” The president and his closest allies are also alleging tha…
 
What do Republican lawmakers want the Republican party to look like in a post-Trump era? “There’s a great fear of one scenario which is that Donald Trump loses in a race that is extremely tight,” Axios reporter Jonathan Swan tells Sarah and Steve on today’s show. “In that scenario, it would be much more difficult for elected Republicans to disown T…
 
The idea that Joe Biden will somehow heal America in a post-Trump era has become the closing argument of the Democratic candidate’s campaign. Will Biden’s “return to normalcy” pitch constrain his presidency? There’s a lot of ill will festering among congressional Democrats over coronavirus relief negotiations and the confirmation of Justice Amy Con…
 
Is the presidential race where the polls say it is? What might pollsters be missing this election cycle? Is there a scenario in which Biden wins the electoral college handedly and Republicans somehow hold the Senate? Polls suggest that Republican senators’ reelection odds aren’t looking too sunny in Maine, Colorado, and Arizona. But what about Repu…
 
The story that the New York Post published last week about Hunter Biden raised all sorts of red flags for veteran journalists. How did they come into possession of the information in the first place? How did they authenticate the story before publishing it? All things considered, the available reporting process indicates that the New York Post’s st…
 
How do journalists and tech platforms determine what information is verifiable online? How can news consumers determine which media outlets to trust when the line between partisan bias and disinformation becomes hazier and hazier? On today’s episode, David and Sarah are joined by Renée DiResta—a technical research manager at the Stanford Internet O…
 
How is Amy Coney Barrett holding up in her Senate confirmation hearings? Well, her record is squeaky clean, she’s held fast to the Ginsburg rule, and she’s remained calm and collected despite the Democrats’ best efforts to break her composure. Another benefit from this hearing, as Sarah points out, is that “the media has finally come around to unde…
 
Donald Trump is trailing in the polls by roughly 4.2 points in Arizona, a state Republican presidential candidates have won consistently in recent decades (with the exception of Bob Dole in 1996). Our podcast hosts are joined today by New York Times reporter Jonathan Martin, who explains the demographic changes that have resulted in such a quick po…
 
Do this week’s national presidential polling averages doom Donald Trump’s chance at winning the election? Joe Biden has maintained a steady national polling lead of 6 to 9 points for months now, with no signs of letting up as we approach November 3. The latest CNN, NBC, and Rasmussen polls from this week show Biden in a 16-, 14-, and 12-point lead,…
 
Donald Trump shocked the world when he announced overnight via Twitter that he and the first lady tested positive for the coronavirus, a startling development in an already news-saturated week for the president. Who better to discuss these momentous developments than Dr. Jonathan Reiner—a cardiologist, professor of medicine and surgery at George Wa…
 
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