The Political Orphanage

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Politics minus bile plus jokes. Comedian and avowed independent Andrew Heaton interviews authors and thought leaders about policy and big thinky stuff. Then on Fridays he talks with degenerate comedian friends about funny headlines. (

    • May 31, 2023 LATEST EPISODE
    • weekdays NEW EPISODES
    • 54m AVG DURATION
    • 445 EPISODES

    4.8 from 739 ratings Listeners of The Political Orphanage that love the show mention: andrew heaton, snuffy, political orphanage, blue team, heston, civil discussions, civil political, andrew is the best, enjoy andrew, andrew is hilarious, something's, listen to andrew, lawnmower, justin robert young, blaze, overall good, frankie, libertarian, glenn beck, somethings.

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    Latest episodes from The Political Orphanage

    The Three Personalities in Politics

    Play Episode Listen Later May 31, 2023 81:34

    Bijoy Goswami is the author of “The Human Fabric: Unleashing the Power of Core Energy in Everyone.” He joins the show to discuss the personalities that make teams flop or excel, and how they apply to politics.  Bijoy's course:

    power politics personalities bijoy core energy bijoy goswami
    Money Doomscape of the Debt Apocalypse

    Play Episode Listen Later May 24, 2023 130:42

    The National Debt engorges daily--when does it collapse in on itself and crater the economy? In this special we tackle the nature of federal debt, the apocalyptic scenarios its current trajectory leads to, and the pitfalls along the way. Plus, where the train went off the rails, when deficits are smart or dangerous, and the solutions we could enact to ward off fiscal Armageddon.  SAVE WALLACE! - PayPal: Venmo: @andrew-heaton-1 P.O. Box: Andrew Heaton, 1401 Lavaca Street, No. 594, Austin, TX 78701

    Was Abraham Lincoln Leftwing or Rightwing?

    Play Episode Listen Later May 17, 2023 75:26

    Where would Lincoln fall on the Left-Right spectrum? Was Jefferson a radical leftist? Was Hamilton a reactionary conservative? If the whole Left-Right spectrum is bunk... where did it come from, and when did it become universal? Professor Hyrum Lewis joins to discuss his new book, "The Myth of Left and Right: How the Political Spectrum Misleads and Harms America." Top Ten Best Episodes: SUPPORT THE SHOW! Featured Books at:

    Disneyland with The Death Penalty: Singapore

    Play Episode Listen Later May 11, 2023 64:41

    Think tanks from the right and left regularly glorify Singapore's economy as either an exemplary free market or a progressive rockstar. Meanwhile, it's regularly lampooned as an authoritarian state with questionable democracy. What the hell is it?! Comedian Sam See, of Singapore, joins to discuss TOP TEN EPISODES:

    Confirmation Bias is Hilarious But Expensive

    Play Episode Listen Later May 3, 2023 74:32

    What do military research boondoogles on astral projection, psychic boon-bending children, and extensive bouts of policy antics all have in common? Confirmation bias.  Brian Brushwood and Justin Robert Young join the show to discuss confirmation bias vis a vis their hit podcast, "World's Greatest Con" World's Greatest Con:

    Salesmen Beat Engineers at Politics

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 26, 2023 101:37

    Jason Voiovich is a sales and marketing professional, and author of "Marketer in Chief." He joins the show to discuss how advertisers see politics, and what policy wonks and electioneers do not.   TOP TEN EPISODES: Bonus Episode: Pitch to Red and Blue States! SUPPORT THE SHOW!  

    The Answer is Always Status

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 20, 2023 71:16

    Will Storr is the author of “The Status Game: On Human Life and How to Play It.” He joins to discuss the never-ending scrum for status which defines human hierarchies. We're Not Wrong Live Show

    Capitalism Remains Undefeated!

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 12, 2023 61:22

    Rainer Zitelmann is the author of “In Defense of Capitalism: Debunking the Myths.” He joins to make a plea for free markets and economic freedom, and counters the most common arguments against capitalism.   “How Nazis Thought About Economics”

    What Do Marxists Actually Think?

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 6, 2023 85:55

    Freddy deBoer is an author, academic, and Marxist. He joins the show to discuss the nature and worldview of Marxism. "Laughter is Better Than Communism"

    Sucks to Legally Immigrate

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 29, 2023 84:59

    What hoops do you have to jump through to work in America or become a citizen? Is it worse under Democrat or Republican administrations? What could make it better? Immigration attorney Anna Gorisch joins to discuss.

    Coastal Bias

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 22, 2023 59:14

    Media trust is on the decline, but what's causing it? If it's bias, what accounts for the perceived increase? Steve Krakauer is a long-time journalist from NBC, Fox, Mediate, CNN, The Blaze, and now the producer of the Megyn Kelley show. He's the author of the new book "Uncovered: How the Media Got Cozy with Power, Abandoned Its Principles, and Lost the People."

    Would You Shut Down the Internet, If You Could?

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 15, 2023 76:12

    The Internet brings astonishing knowledge, convenience, and communication to modern society. But overall does it make us more or less happy than before we invented it? Rex Williams, host of The Whiskey Tribe, joins to ask: If you could pull the plug on the Internet, forever–would that really be so bad? "We Try to Match Churchill Drink for Drink... send help."

    internet drink rex williams
    How to Run a Scottish City

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 10, 2023 52:05

    Robert Aldridge is the 258th Lord Provost of Edinburgh, Scotland. He previously served a Councilor in Edinburgh since 1984, focusing on city enviornment, recycling, refuse collection, street cleaning, parks, and homelessness. He is the former Chief Executive of the Scottish Council for Single Homeless and latterly Homeless Action Scotland.

    Design Your City's Ugly Away - Dave Amos

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 9, 2023 45:50

    Dave Amos is a the producer and host of “City Beautiful” on YouTube, and Assistant Professor of City Planning at Caly Poly San Luis Obispo. He joins to discuss urban design, and how to make cities more attractive and livable.

    Sim City Was Always Wrong

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 8, 2023 101:54

    What should urban planners design, and what should they leave to citizens and markets? To answer that question we summon none other than Alain Bertaud, an urban planner who has worked in major cities across multiple continents. He is a senior fellow at NYU's Marron Institute of Urban Design, and was the principle urban planner for the World Bank. He's the author of "Order without Design: How Markets Shape Cities."  SUPPORT THE SHOW! 

    What Do Mayors Actually Do? - David Holt

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 7, 2023 56:52

    David Holt is Mayor of Oklahoma City, one of the top twenty largest cities in the United States. He joins to discuss the nature of his position, and the issues facing major cities. SUPPORT THE SHOW!

    The Coming Suburban Apocalypse - Charles Marohn

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 6, 2023 90:40

    American cities are prioritizing big box stores over small businesses, in a model predicated on permanent growth. But when growth hits a snag, will suburbs collapse?  Charles Marohn is the founder and president of Strong Towns. He is a land use planner and (retired) professional engineer. He is the author of Strong Towns: A Bottom-Up Revolution to Rebuild American Prosperity SUPPORT THE SHOW!  

    Why Do We Do Tipping? (WSPN)

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 1, 2023 86:43

    What are the underlying economics and origins of tipping? Is the practice expanding to new sectors, and if so, is this good or just irritating? The World's Smartest Podcast Network joins to discuss! Kristaps Andrejsons' PayPal address:

    world paypal tipping kristaps andrejsons
    National Divorce and James O'Keefe - "We're Not Wrong"

    Play Episode Listen Later Feb 28, 2023 101:34

    We're Not Wrong is my other political podcast, with host fellows Justin Robert Young and Jen Briney. On this episode we discuss “national divorce,” the rise and fall of James O'Keefe of Project Veritas, and the difference between journalism and activism.  If you enjoy it, check out the podcast WE'RE NOT WRONG! 

    Addicted to Dopamine

    Play Episode Listen Later Feb 23, 2023 74:01

    Why is addiction (booze, drugs, and more) on the rise in the United States? Dr. Anna Lembke is a professor of psychiatry at Stanford University School of Medicine, and chief of the Stanford Addiction Medicine Dual Diagnosis Clinic. She is the author of “Dopamine Nation: Finding Balance in the Age of Indulgence.” Book at: Support the show!

    The Dictator's Handbook

    Play Episode Listen Later Feb 15, 2023 51:01

    Alistair Smith proposes that the only real thing governments differ on is how many selectors are needed for a leader to gain and keep power–everything is window dressing. He advocates for understanding politics realistically and strategically, and designing our systems around the idea that leaders are self interested. Also Relevant: “Dr. Jeffrey Pfeiffer on The Rules of Getting and Keeping Power” SUPPORT THE SHOW!

    Bonus: Ukraine Counterpoint with Kristaps

    Play Episode Listen Later Feb 13, 2023 51:19

    Kristaps Andrejsons is the host of "Eastern Borders" podcast, which formerly explored Soviet History, and is now an in-the-field news report on the conflict in Ukraine.  Kristaps is a big NATO proponent and promotes strong American intervention in Ukraine. I've brought him on to contrast with the positions of this week's guest, Ben Abelow.  Also--Kristaps got banned from Twitter when an argument about Ukraine and Russia got out of hand. We discuss the circumstances.

    The Cost of Ukraine

    Play Episode Listen Later Feb 9, 2023 85:23

    We're almost a year into the conflict in Ukraine. What does a conclusion look like? How much is costing in terms of money and lives, and to what end?   Author Ben Abelow joins to discuss the situation and his book, "How the West Brought War to Ukraine: Understanding How U.S. and NATO Policies Led to the Crisis, War, and the Risk of Nuclear Catastrophe."

    crisis war ukraine cost risk nuclear catastrophe
    Why America Can't Europe

    Play Episode Listen Later Feb 1, 2023 90:08

    What's the optimum size of a country? As countries get bigger, does the nature of governance necessarily change?   In this episode, we explore scaling—how an increasingly large nation-state adapts, or fails, to deliver services competently.

    Stanford's Forbidden Words of Hilarious Evil

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 25, 2023 76:54

    Stanford's Elimination of Harmful Language Initiative includes everything from the words “brave” to “crazy.” The World's Smartest Podcast Network assembles to read the list and mercilessly laugh at it. Then, turn their attention to the astonishing and hilarious lies of freshman representative George Soros. LINKS:  SUPPORT THE SHOW! Episode: “When To Scrap Politically Incorrect Words” Stanford's Elimination of Harmful Language Initiative

    ATA: Hollywood Sermonizing vs. Good Storytelling

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 23, 2023 77:31

    CROSSOVER EPISODE from Alienating the Audience When does science fiction get "too political"? What separates a film with a strong point of view from stale publum or Woke pulpitry? Josh Jennings joins to discuss how political messaging can derail or suffocate good storytelling.   

    Fix Teenagers By Putting Them to Work

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 18, 2023 47:18

    America has one educational path: go get a university degree! If you stray from it, you're in trouble. Could shifting the education system towards apprenticeships be a more effective way to help prepare students for life and careers?   Noel Ginsburg is the Founder and CEO of CareerWise, following the 41-year stint as the founder and CEO of the manufacturing company Intertech Plastics. He's a national advocate for apprenticeships, and has testified to the U.S. Senate on their effectiveness. 

    Here's Why Partisanship is Skyrocketing

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 11, 2023 82:27

    A new study shows that “affective polarization” is on the upswing: negative feelings about enemy parties is on the increase, even if policy positions and ideology are not. What's the main drive behind the increase? Dr. Andrea Jones-Rooy joins to discuss the primary factor in partisan rancor.  Morris Fiorina: The Country Isn't Polarized  Tim Carney: Loneliness is Worse for Cities Than Godzilla  Amusing Ourselves to Death  “The Origins and Consequences of Affective Polarization in the United States”  Heaton on Andrea's show: 

    Automation Comes for Lawyers and Shrinks

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 4, 2023 75:14

    Generative AI like ChatGPT and Dall-E 2 are poised to change… everything.   Tom Merritt of the Daily Tech News Show and Darren Kitchen of Hak5 join to discuss its ramification, and how automation will free up everybody… or put everyone out of a job.   See Heaton's AI artwork from Lensa and Dall-E 2 at SUPPORT THE SHOW!

    Inequality and the New Feudalism

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 28, 2022 52:10

    Joel Kotkin worries that we're careening into a new bout of feudalism.   He sees a resurgence of intellectual dogmatism, coupled with inequality and lack of mobility, pushing civilization back into a feudalistic power structure of lords, peasants, and priests.   He joins to discuss his book "The Coming Neo-Feudalism: A Warning to the Global Middle Class"

    Snuffy's Explosion-Proof Christmas

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 23, 2022 77:07

    It's the fifth annual comedy Christmas special! All underwritten by Snuffy's (Off Route 44).   This year's Christmas special includes: Inappropriate curse words; World War I; discussions about bats; hilarity; gluten   Enjoy!   PRIOR SPECIALS:   A Rather Snuffy's Christmas A Grander Snuffy's Christmas Another Snuffy's Christmas A Very Snuffy's Christsmas

    Carnage and Blowback in American Foreign Policy

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 15, 2022 67:03

    Scott Horton wants America to go home. He does not think we should be the world's policeman. And when we try to be, our foreign policy incites blowback, foreign chaos, and unnecessary bloodshed. He joins to discuss isolationism and non-interventionism.   His Soho Forum Debate with Bill Kristol Bill Kristol interview IR Theory: How to Prevent and Provoke Stupid Wars

    We're Defining Inequality Wrong

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 7, 2022 66:57

    Phil Gramm is the author of “The Myth of Inequality: How Government Biases Policy Debates.” He joins to discuss the metrics by which we identify poverty, and how otherwise sound data is frequently misinterpreted.

    Bill Kristol on Military Intervention

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 1, 2022 68:57

    Should America actively promote democracy and liberalism abroad, to the point of destabilizing authoritarian regimes, or arming their enemies? Bill Kristol is a prominent Neocon, and proponent of muscular liberalism–the idea that a robust American presence abroad is integral to global peace and security.  IR Theory Episode: “How to Prevent and Provoke Stupid Wars” PATREON.COM/ANDREWHEATON to support the show and get weekly bonus episodes!

    Bonus: Your Life Is Way Better Than King Louis XVI's

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 24, 2022 70:37

    This Thanksgiving Brian Brushwood joins to discuss the many ways an average American's life is more comfortable, affluent, and magical than the vast majority of human history--including that of pharaohs and kings.  BOOKS: This episode relies heavily on "The Rational Optimist" by Matt Ridley, "Ten Global Trends Every Smart Person Should Know" by Ron Bailey, and "The Better Angels of Our Nature" by Stephen Pinker, and "Abundance: The Future is Better Than You Think" by Peter H. Diamandis. All great books that present convincing stats on the positive trajectory of the world. They're all linked to at RELATED INTERVIEWS:  Matt Ridley on Rational Optimism  Ron Bailey on Positive Trends 

    american better angels better than you think way better matt ridley our nature king louis xvi peter h diamandis stephen pinker abundance the future
    What Skinny Dipping Taught Me About Greed

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 23, 2022 72:25

    The idea that we can eliminate poverty by outlawing greed is like trying to increase marriage rates by making people less horny. In this episode we go over the Medieval understanding of greed, against that employed by economists.   

    This Comedy Club Owner Un-Canceled Louis C.K.

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 16, 2022 73:24

    Noam Dworman is owner of the Comedy Cellar in New York City. A huge critic of Cancel Culture, he caught flak for allowing Louis C. K. to perform at his club. He joins to discuss: should anyone ever be canceled? SUPPORT THE SHOW!

    We Should Abolish Student Councils

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 11, 2022 37:55

    Student Councils are meant to teach young people about democracy, but what lesson are they learning? Namely that elections are popularity contests with no stakes or results! Turner Sparks and Michael Ira Kaplan join to discuss the abolition of student councils, and also give updates on Ruby Kaplan's elementary school candidacy

    The Huge, Dumb Permit You've Never Heard Of

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 3, 2022 65:04

    Jeremiah Johnson of The Neoliberal Podcast joins to discuss how NEPA and environmental impact reports stall construction pretty much everywhere, and alternatives to the red tape.

    So I Got Canceled at Oxford

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 28, 2022 66:31

    My recent speaking engagement at Oxford University, the various ne'er-do-wells claiming I am a fascist, and why politics attracts toxic personalities. Plus, protocols to help us remain good faith actors and not drink deep of the bile. Find the Heaton Protocols at:

    The Iranian Regime Still Sucks

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 20, 2022 41:50

    The government of Iran has shut down its Internet, and brutally clamped down on dissent. Why are the people protesting, and are they within striking distance of revolution? Should America root for them from the sidelines, or send guns? Lisa Daftari of The Foreign Desk joins to discuss

    Who Screwed Up Worst on Covid

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 13, 2022 68:57

    Did Florida's fast-and-loose Covid policies fail compared to New York's strict lockdowns? How effective were mask mandates? How did the United States stack up against Europe and Australia? Maxim Lott of "Maximum Truth" crunched the numbers on which regimes saved or lost lives during Covid 19. And offers a tool to asses if otherwise effective restrictions are actually worth it.

    Russia's Sham Referendums in Ukraine

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 5, 2022 91:19

    Kristaps Andrejsons is a war correspondent regularly covering the conflict in Ukraine, ad the host of the Eastern Border podcast.   He joins the show to discuss:    * Why Russia pushed patently false referendums in Ukraine * Who blew up the Nord 2 pipeline * How the Ukrainian conflict might play out * What the West should do in its aftermath

    west russia ukraine ukrainian nord referendum sham eastern border kristaps andrejsons
    Make Congressmen Share a District

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 29, 2022 59:04

    Lee Drutman is the author of “Breaking the Two-Party Doom Loop: The Case for Multiparty Democracy in America.” He joins to discuss electoral reform, multi-member districts, and proportional voting.

    America Ought to Get Herself A King

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 22, 2022 58:00

    The British monarch reigns as the United Kingdom's head of state, while war and taxes are carried out by the head of government, its Prime Minister. Meanwhile, in the United States of America, the President is both. In this episode we explore the nature and benefits of ceremonial monarchs.

    Who Actually Survives a Nuclear War

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 15, 2022 134:28

    Radiation, fallout, and perpetual winter – would you survive a nuclear war? What about the president, Australia, and modern civilization? In this episode we do a deep dive on nuclear warfare, how bad it might be, and what rebuilding civilization would entail.    SUPPORT THE SHOW: Venmo: @andrew-heaton-1 PayPal: REFERENCES & SHOW LINKS: 

    The Rules of Getting and Keeping Power

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 7, 2022 53:50

    Dr. Jeffrey Pfeffer is a Professor of Organizational Behavior at Stanford University, and the author of “7 Rules of Power: Surprising–but True–advice on how to get things done and advance your career.” He joins the show to talk about ways to increase your power in life and at work, and how to avoid stumbling blocks to its accumulation.  Book at

    The Church of Woke

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 31, 2022 89:48

    When does an ideology become a full-blown religion? Does Social Justice qualify? The World's Smartest Podcast Network convenes a roundtable to discuss, including Andrea Jones-Rooy, Turner Sparks, and Michael Ira Kaplan.

    world church woke andrea jones rooy turner sparks
    (Rebroadcast) The Berlin Wall

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 25, 2022 71:30

    Since this week's show and bonus episode both take place in Germany, we'll go ahead and throw in a rerun of my all-time favorite: "What Really Brought Down the Berlin Wall." Original air date: January 21, 2021 SUPPORT THE SHOW!

    How Nazis Thought About Economics

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 24, 2022 81:14

    Heaton flies to Berlin to interview German historian Rainer Zitelmann, author of "Hitler's National Socialism," about the ideology and political economy of Nazi Germany. Book at

    Space Bureaucrats vs. Space Billionaires

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 17, 2022 53:34

    How do we best get space tourism and moon colonies – big public projects, or cocky entrepreneurs? Lori Garver is the former Deputy Administrator of NASA, and the author of “Escaping Gravity: My Quest to Transform NASA and Launch a New Space Age.”  Book at: Robert Zubrin on "How to Build a Moon Base":

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