The Wright Show

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Conversations with a series of people who have nothing in common except that program host Robert Wright is curious about what they’re thinking.

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    • May 24, 2022 LATEST EPISODE
    • weekdays NEW EPISODES
    • 1h AVG DURATION
    • 240 EPISODES

    Listeners of The Wright Show that love the show mention: robert wright, parrot, wright show, mickey kaus, great mix of guests, buddhism, bob, interesting conversations, philosophy, hair, author, religion, broad, wide variety, varied, audio quality, political, science, politics, respectful.



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    Latest episodes from The Wright Show

    Jihad, Trumpism, and the Crisis of Liberalism (Robert Wright & Suzanne Schneider)

    Play Episode Listen Later May 24, 2022 60:00

    Suzanne's new book, The Apocalypse and the End of History: Modern Jihad and the Crisis of Liberalism ... The ongoing War on Terror in the age of the new Cold War ... Jihadism as a modern phenomenon ... The recent evolution of the doctrine of jihad ... What about modernity are jihadists – and US right-wingers – reacting against? ... Suzanne: To thwart authoritarians, build robust democratic communities ... Who is fighting the liberal status quo? ... Are Democrats too idealistic? ... Dispelling the myth of primordial ethnic tribalism ...

    Replacing Great Replacement Theory (Robert Wright & Mickey Kaus)

    Play Episode Listen Later May 21, 2022 60:00

    Bob: Tucker Carlson's replacement rhetoric is intentionally inflammatory ... Is the rhetoric of “transformation” analogous to that of “replacement”? ... Two NYT headlines that trigger Bob ... Is Russia making more progress than it seems in eastern Ukraine? ... Mickey: If Trumpists depose Mitch McConnell, it could forestall a Trump 2024 run ... George W. Bush's magnificent Ukraine-Iraq gaffe ... Can John Fetterman win in the PA general election? ... Parrot Room preview: Severance, Covid, Elon Musk's sex scandal, the Depp-Heard trial, Jonathan Chait on charter schools, unemployment fraud, the Dead End podcast, the origins of Ukrainian nationalism, Benjamin Wittes's infuriatingly Blobby Twitter thread, and what Ramesh Ponnuru misses about replacement rhetoric ...

    The Power of Crisis (Robert Wright & Ian Bremmer)

    Play Episode Listen Later May 18, 2022 60:00

    Ian's brand new book, The Power of Crisis ... Did NATO expansion lead to the invasion of Ukraine? ... Ian: We shouldn't have left Russia behind after the Cold War ... How much trouble is caused by America's lack of perspective-taking? ... The critical problems Ian wants the world to focus on ... Does the “democracy vs. autocracy” framing do more harm than good? ... The rival technological visions of the US and China (and Elon Musk) ... Could our current crises be the seeds of future flourishing? ...

    Spinning Ukraine Coverage in the West (Robert Wright & Mickey Kaus)

    Play Episode Listen Later May 14, 2022 60:00

    The baby formula conundrum ... Mickey: Chuck Schumer has put Dems in a bad position for the midterms ... Is the Ukraine military aid bill excessive? ... How neoconish think tanks influence Western coverage of Ukraine ... Mickey asks: Would a new cold war be so bad? Bob answers. ... Kathy Barnette's surprising surge in the Pennsylvania GOP senate primary ... If a Trumpist Trump hasn't endorsed wins a race, is it a win for Trump? ... Is Tesla's stock price threatening Elon Musk's Twitter purchase? ... Musk backpedals on his free speech position ... Video of Israeli soldiers beating mourners at the funeral of journalist Shireen Abu Akleh goes viral ... Mickey: It's much more plausible that the Roe v. Wade opinion leaker was a left-winger ... Parrot Room preview: Steve Schmidt's meltdown, Dinesh D'Souza is at it again, the creepy views of a Disinformation Governance Board member, IQ differences in a pair of South Korean twins, J.D. Vance, the child tax credit, Station Eleven, the etymology of “black hole” and its connection to Bob, drinking spinal fluid for brain rejuvenation, Tucker Carlson, and the shifting Latino vote ...

    Russia, China, and the New Cold War (Robert Wright & Susan Thornton)

    Play Episode Listen Later May 10, 2022 60:00

    Sizing up the new Cold War ... Is China complicit in Russia's invasion of Ukraine? ... Dissecting the Russia-Ukraine, China-Taiwan analogy ... Understanding Taiwan's status – and vulnerability – in the international system ... Did US foreign policy make Russia's invasion of Ukraine more likely? ... What role did the US play in Ukraine's 2014 revolution? ... Was Bush 41 the golden age of American post-Cold-War diplomacy? ... Susan: Trump shook things up but was a blight on America's reputation ... Bob has an idea: How about a world without war? ...

    Hillbilly Victory (Robert Wright & Mickey Kaus)

    Play Episode Listen Later May 7, 2022 60:00

    What does J.D. Vance's primary win teach us about the Trump Effect? ... Will the overturning of Roe give Democrats a boost in the midterms? ... The Hillary Clinton campaign's role in amping up Russiagate ... Bob: A cornered Putin is a scarier Putin ... Doing the nuclear war math ... Can Putin take Odessa and Kharkiv? ... Taylor Lorenz tangles with Matt Drudge ... A new study shows that Omicron is not intrinsically milder than the original Covid virus ... Some quick corrections ... The Biden administration's ill-advised Ukraine leaks ... Parrot Room preview: Elon Musk talk, Station Eleven, Severance, the latest January 6 leak, Bob gets a classic Michael McFaul brush-off, the White House Correspondents Dinner, Gavin Newsom, unjustified deplatforming, WNYC's Dead End podcast, and Roe v. Wade ...

    Consciousness All the Way Down? (Robert Wright & Bernardo Kastrup)

    Play Episode Listen Later May 3, 2022 60:00

    The basics of “analytic idealism”—Bernardo's consciousness-only theory of reality ... How intuitive is the materialist worldview, really? ... Does evolution select for “true” perceptions of reality? ... Is idealism compatible with evolutionary theory? ... Bernardo: The "physical" world is a convenient fiction ... Putting idealism to the (empirical) test ... The idealist view of various quantum physics quandaries ... Telepathy, premonition, and other “weirdness” under idealism ... Can analytic idealism change your life? ...

    Is Elon Musk In Over His Head? (Robert Wright & Mickey Kaus)

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 30, 2022 60:00

    Does Elon Musk know what he's gotten himself into? ... Bob: Leaving Twitter is harder than it sounds ... Bob offers Musk a free idea for monetizing Twitter ... Is the US backing Putin into a corner? ... Mickey: Kevin McCarthy's dumbness is an asset ... A cynical theory about the origins of Russiagate ... Does anyone have anything to look forward to? ... Parrot Room preview: Covid, Jeffrey Goldberg, Mickey is worried about immigration again, false flag accusations against Russia, Bob complains about William Burns's memoir, Glen Campbell trivia, Tucker Carlson talk, the transition of power at the NYT, another Madison Cawthorn sex scandal, Station Eleven, and Nico ...

    A Biden-Trump Rematch? (Bill Scher, Matt K. Lewis, and Robert Wright)

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 27, 2022 60:00

    At long last, Bob enters the DMZ ... The big changes afoot at the DMZ and Bloggingheads ... Staying alive in a hyper-competitive media environment ... Are we going to see a Biden-Trump rematch in 2024? ... Can DeSantis mount a successful challenge to Trump? ... Is Biden sharp enough to make it through another campaign? ... Is Kamala the Democrats' best alternative to Biden? ...

    Is Putin's Russia Fascist? (Robert Wright & Marlene Laruelle)

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 26, 2022 60:00

    What Putin means by “de-Nazifying” Ukraine ... Do most Russians support the war? ... The nature of Putin's nationalism ... What is fascism? Is Russia fascist? ... Are Russia and China creating an alliance of autocracies? ... Sizing up the far right in Ukraine ... Assessing Putin's turn against liberalism ... Marlene: The West could have averted the Russia-Ukraine war ...

    Putin's Gameplan in Ukraine (Robert Wright & Mickey Kaus)

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 23, 2022 60:00

    Bob turfs out in a round of “Name That Tune” ... Mickey: Why do trans and immigrant artists seem mostly to make art about trans and immigrant issues? ... Marine Le Pen's surprising popularity among young French voters ... A possible upside of Putin getting what he wants in Ukraine ... Is the war outlasting Americans' attention spans? ... What's really behind Putin's aggression in Ukraine? ... The search for a Democratic presidential candidate who isn't Joe Biden ... Biden is not not saying he'll send troops to Ukraine ... Can anyone stop Elon Musk from buying Twitter? ... The siloing effects of blue checks ... Bob: Wimbledon's exclusion of Russian tennis players is disgusting ... The massive number of US weapons on their way to Ukraine ... Parrot Room preview: The dismal fate of CNN+, Disney and DeSantis, Mickey's latest paranoid refundable child tax credit fantasy, the craziness of natalists, Marc Andreessen and Elon Musk on censorship, “the shit hits the fan” for high-achieving white high school students, the Ritter-Lira-Nuland rabbit hole, the weirdness of Elon Musk, Everything Everywhere at the Same Time, the weirdness of Jimmy Webb, and why are so many golfers evangelicals? ...

    Cognitive Empathy and Ukraine (Robert Wright & Aryeh Cohen-Wade)

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 19, 2022 60:00

    A Wright Show/Culturally Determined crossover! ... Pros and cons of the term "cognitive empathy" ... Aryeh sees a flaw in trying to put yourself in Putin's shoes ... The real threats to Putin ... Is Bob overlooking the Ukrainians' point of view? ... Is Mickey Kaus infecting Bob's brain? ... Does Bloggingheads.tv still have a reason for being? ...

    What's Wrong With This Picture? (Robert Wright & Robert Wright)

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 16, 2022 60:00

    Why there's no Mickey gag… and no Mickey ... The charmingly subversive Elon Musk ... The scarily destabilizing Elon Musk ... The New York subway shooter's disturbingly familiar psychology ... The Ukraine War: armaments update ... Why Russians continue to back the war ... American missteps that may have led to war ... A few kind words about ‘Putin apologists' ... The week in comets and meteors ...

    A Politics of Love (Robert Wright & Marianne Williamson)

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 12, 2022 60:00

    Where did Marianne get the confidence to run for president? ... What childhood travels taught Marianne about people ... How “A Course in Miracles” transformed Marianne's life ... Can unconditional love save our species? ... Changing individual consciousness vs. changing policy ... Liberation through surrender ... Marianne: Think of yourself as one of civilization's immune cells ... If you want change, get better at forgiveness ... What exactly would a “Department of Peace” do? ... Is Marianne eyeing a 2024 presidential re-run? ...

    Can the Ukraine War Be Ended Soon? (Robert Wright & Mickey Kaus)

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 9, 2022 60:00

    Mickey's French election update ... What Macron and Biden (should) have learned re: Ukraine ... Bob's brilliant idea for a Biden ceasefire proposal ... Bob vs. Anne Applebaum on negotiating with Russia ... How prolonging the war could make Putin more dangerous ... Will Elon Musk end Twitter's reign of blue-check terror? ... Is AOC the 2024 candidate we've been waiting for? ... Bob comes to collect on his New Year's covid prediction ... Disney's “niche sexuality” promotion and other signs of Dem midterm doom ... Sarah Palin—and her totally human hands—run for congress ... Parrot Room preview: Bob and Mickey agree in disagreeing with a recent Richard Hanania essay, David McCormick campaign update, Jan. 6 seven hour gap discussion part two, are electric cars really the future?, the Tiger Woods comeback, mystery Ukrainian soldier rabbit hole, William Burns memoir, exercising cognitive empathy for Trump, Bob's underappreciated Will Smith take, and does Ray Dalio pass Mickey's BS test? ...

    Could Russia-Ukraine Go Nuclear? (Robert Wright & Joe Cirincione)

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 5, 2022 60:00

    Bob asks Joe: What are the chances this war goes nuclear? ... Joe lays out Russia's and America's nuclear arsenals ... What would make Putin roll the nuclear dice? ... Why atrocities in Bucha could make for a longer, bloodier war ... Joe: The US withdrawal from Cold War-era treaties led to the current nuclear arms race ... How US foreign policy laid the ground for Putin's invasion ... Bob searches for silver linings. Joe sees a darkening cloud. ... Assessing the Biden administration's foreign policy record ...

    The Tide Turns against Will Smith (Robert Wright & Mickey Kaus)

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 2, 2022 60:00

    Mickey admits he was wrong about everything ... Four takes on the Chris Rock-Will Smith Oscars incident ... Bob: Biden shouldn't be riffing about regime change ... The Russian redeployment in Ukraine ... Attack of the (alleged) ATV-riding Ukrainian techies ... Will Biden try to draw out the war or push for a deal? ... The roadblocks standing in the way of a peace deal in Ukraine ... Mickey: The press is going easy on Biden because the alternative is Kamala ... Will Mitt Romney make Joe Manchin irrelevant? ... The growing movement to restore standardized testing in California schools ... Parrot Room preview: Should Mickey get the fourth Covid vaccine shot, the Bob Saget saga, Eric Schmidt takes over huge chunks of the government, ringing the dinner bell for the extraterrestrials, Eric Garcetti's aborted ambassadorship to India, a survey of international elections, the Vladimir Putin bio, Bob's two theories about what was going on in Will Smith's head, and the gaps in Trump's January 6 phone records ...

    What's Russia Thinking? (Robert Wright & Nikita Petrov)

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 29, 2022 60:00

    Update: Nikita exits Russia ... How big and costly is the Russian exodus? ... The state of peace talks ... “Russian QAnon” and the landscape of lay opinion in Russia ... Lamenting the logic of great power competition in light of Ukraine ... Is Russian state media as tightly controlled as Westerners think? ... Is Putin's hold on power slipping? ... What remains of independent media in Russia? ... Nikita's hopes (and fears) for the future of Russia ...

    Inching Toward Peace in Ukraine (Robert Wright & Mickey Kaus)

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 26, 2022 60:00

    The righteous indignation of the blue checkmarkless ... Is Russia preparing the ground for a peace deal? ... Why didn't the US try to broker a deal earlier? ... How much restraint is Putin exercising? ... What shapes US public opinion on foreign policy? ... Reasons to think peace may not be near ... Mickey's sympathy for Ginni Thomas ... Bob and Mickey do their best to get each other arrested ... The alleged tensions between Team Biden and Team Kamala ... Trump's dimming presidential prospects ... Parrot Room preview: Bloggingheads rebranding news, more questions about Bob Saget's death, midterm trouble for Republicans, more theories about why preschool sucks, the origins of symmetry, Dave Rubin's children, Zemmour falters in France, Oliver Stone's Ukraine doc, the dangers of loose talk about chemical weapons, both Glenn Greenwald and Chris Hayes retweet Bob, how the Ukraine war is winning converts for the Blob, more OJ Simpson, and the documentary My Architect ...

    China and America (and Taiwan and Ukraine) (Robert Wright & Kishore Mahbubani)

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 22, 2022 60:00

    Kishore's diplomatic career and recent book, Has China Won? ... Kishore: America is walking towards a cliff when it comes to handling China ... Is the US making a Chinese invasion of Taiwan more likely? ... China's perception of the Uyghur situation ... How anti-China sentiment in America increases Chinese nationalism ... Diagnosing the degeneration of US-China relations since 2012 ... Bob: Has technology empowered the Chinese to petition their government? ... Good news! China has no plans to export its political system ... Assessing the threat Beijing poses to freedom in America ... China's view of the Ukraine invasion ...

    Is Putin Tanking in Ukraine? (Robert Wright & Mickey Kaus)

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 19, 2022 60:00

    Mickey engineers an unholy Bob Wright-Michael McFaul chimera ... Is Putin losing or winning slowly? ... What China stands to gain and lose from war in Ukraine ... Bob: Biden's approach to China seems to be driven by politics, not diplomacy ... Is Xi's leadership on shaky ground? ... Bob: China is not seeking to impose its political system on the world ... Climate change as the tip of the apocalypse iceberg ... Is Zelenskyy the hero US media makes him out to be? ... How Biden's Ukraine policy may affect Democrats at the polls ... Iran nuclear talks enter the on-again part of the cycle ... Ten things we got wrong in the pandemic ... Parrot Room preview: Hunter Biden, anti-Asian hate crimes, civil service reform, the Michael McFaul Apology of the Week, OJ Simpson and Natalie Wood theories continued, Oliver Stone's Ukraine doc, some mild venting about Timothy Snyder, Mickey reveals the results of his Jeffrey Toobin-Jeffrey Goldberg-Vladimir Putin poll, Steve Earle, Mickey's favorite piece of writing of the week, some studies say preschool sucks, Ketanji Brown Jackson and pedophilia, and Bob talks about a dream ...

    Debating Russia-Ukraine (Robert Wright & Eli Lake)

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 16, 2022 60:00

    Eli's assessment of the Russo-Ukrainian War to date ... Is a negotiated end to the war in sight? ... Bob and Eli debate the implications of the leaked 2014 Victoria Nuland call ... Is the war in Russia's interest? Or Putin's? ... What options remain for more forceful intervention (that won't lead to nuclear war)? ... Eli's idea for a UN alternative sans Russia and (maybe) China ... Debating America's track record as keeper of the “rules-based order” ... Bob and Eli unite against the new McCarthyism ...

    Waging Information War in Ukraine (Robert Wright & Mickey Kaus)

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 12, 2022 60:00

    Would Ukraine actually agree to cede the Donbas to Russia? ... Bob: Xi Jinping could end the war ... Is Putin using madman theory to his advantage, or is he actually going nuts? ... The pros and cons of regime change in Russia ... Is Ukraine becoming Syria? ... How George W. Bush helped alienate Putin from the West ... Russia's new incentive to sabotage the Iran nuclear deal ... America's curious policy on Ukraine and NATO ... Mickey: There's no necessary link between populism and autocracy ... Parrot Room preview: Oren Cass's revisionist account of Adam Smith, a relatively wholesome sex scandal at the Southern border, Mickey takes issue with “sneering, overconfident” legal scholar Akhil Amar, new evidence concerning Bob Saget's death, old rumors concerning Natalie Wood's death, the American trucker convoy flops, Bob plays damning audio from Jake Tapper, the hospital bombing in Mariupol, complaints about Michael McFaul, Putin, a reader's question about Bob's OJ Simpson theory, and Facebook and Twitter's pro-Ukraine/anti-Russia stances ...

    War in Ukraine: Causes and Effects (Robert Wright & Katrina vanden Heuvel)

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 9, 2022 60:00

    Understanding the thought process that led Putin to invade Ukraine ... Could diplomacy have prevented the invasion? ... Imagining possible endings of the war – and what comes after ... Reviewing the events that drove the West and Putin's Russia apart ... How Moscow viewed the 2014 Maidan Revolution in Ukraine ... Could a palace coup in Moscow reset US-Russia relations? ... Bob and Katrina worry that the planet can't afford a second cold war ...

    Seeing Ukraine Clearly (Robert Wright & Mickey Kaus)

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 5, 2022 60:00

    Always be prepared (for nuclear fallout) ... Is Putin headed for the Baltics? ... Why is the Western media reporting so little about the Azov Battalion? ... Mickey: Zelenskyy should give up parts of the Donbas and Crimea ... Bob: I don't think Putin will move on to the Baltics ... Trying to see Ukraine clearly from within the Western media bubble ... The political difficulties of ceding territory ... How Russia's military measures up against the US ... The US's decades-long mismanagement of its relationship with Russia ... Michael McFaul's really, really bad tweet to the people of Russia ... Parrot Room preview: the State of the Union, the January 6 Commission alleges they have Trump, the NYT's “fraudulent” Trayvon Martin video, the latest economic report, big news for Zemmour in France, some Epstein news, the Freedom Convoy keeps on truckin', trouble for Rick Scott, Bob reports on a biography of Putin, a contrarian take on the OJ Simpson trial, what Bob meant by “natural organic borders,” and an (unrehearsed) harmonica performance of “A Whiter Shade of Pale” ...

    Russia, Putin, and the Psychology of Status (Robert Wright & Steven Ward)

    Play Episode Listen Later Feb 28, 2022 60:00

    Steven's book, Status and the Challenge of Rising Powers ... How concerns about status motivate Russia's aggressive behavior ... Bob wonders if Putin's decision to invade Ukraine was based on emotion ... Why Steven thinks Russia's hostile reaction to NATO expansion was partly about status ... When does a nation's wounded pride translate into dangerous behavior? ... Seeing the rise of China as a bid for prestige and recognition ... Bob: Is the US driven by status considerations? ... Applying Steven's argument to Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan ...

    Ukraine's Resistance (Robert Wright & Mickey Kaus)

    Play Episode Listen Later Feb 26, 2022 60:00

    Mickey converts to Bob-ism ... Reassessing the ‘Is Putin Crazy?' question post-invasion ... Were we *too* understanding of Putin? ... Zelensky—to arm or not to arm? ... How will Americans grade Biden's handling of Russia-Ukraine? ... Did Russiagate make it harder for Biden to negotiate with Putin? ... The parallels between Russia-Ukraine and the ‘99 Kosovo intervention ... Biden's Supreme Court nominee ... Mickey denounces Trudeau's “couch potato fascism” ... Why Bob is queasy about this week's George Floyd verdicts ... Parrot Room preview: An Epstein associate bites the dust, Jim Pinkerton's “Mars, Meta, or Meatspace” trichotomy re: humanity's future, The New Yorker's Dean Baquet puff piece, Douthat on the “virtuals” vs “reals” divide, are the convoys coming to America?, Un-cancelling Louis CK, Putin and the psychology of status, Douglas McArthur as role model, The Expanse's jump-the-shark moment, and was Bob too mean on Twitter? ...

    A Russian's View of Ukraine (Robert Wright & Nikita Petrov)

    Play Episode Listen Later Feb 23, 2022 60:00

    The grim state of Ukraine and Russia today ... Nikita's nascent reactions to Putin's Ukraine speech ... Is Putin getting weirder? Or is reality? Or both? ... How did Russians react to the 2014 Ukrainian Revolution? ... Russian views on NATO expansion and the color revolutions ... Nikita: Political life in Russia is (mostly) dead ... Are Putin's actions savvy politicking or signs of madness? ... Has the West mismanaged the post-Cold War era? ...

    Playing Chicken in Kyiv (Robert Wright & Mickey Kaus)

    Play Episode Listen Later Feb 19, 2022 60:00

    Mickey sparks up ... Mickey critiques the "Coalition of the Ascendant" ... Have Democratic positions on cultural issues turned toxic? ... Mike Pence's defense of the RNC's January 6 resolution ... Will the trucker protests go transnational? ... Bob: I don't see Putin doing regime change in Ukraine ... Were defense contractors the prime mover of NATO expansion? ... Mickey: The great regreasing of the Biden Administration has begun ... Is Big Pharma funneling money to the CDC? ... Who is funding Sarah Palin's libel suit against the NYT? ... The proposed changes to the Electoral Count Act ... Remembering P.J. O'Rourke ... Parrot Room preview: A settlement in the Epstein suit, Matt Yglesias and the demise of the Slate Pitch, the rise of Zemmour in France, are people in big cities scared of crime?, Bill Kristof sucks up to Ezra Klein, the previously untold story of how Slate started, how Jeff Zucker's departure could lead to a better CNN, Bob's plunge into the war in the Pacific continues, and Mickey discovers gender-inclusive bathrooms ...

    Why Hitchens Matters (Robert Wright & Ben Burgis)

    Play Episode Listen Later Feb 15, 2022 60:00

    Ben, author of a new book on Christopher Hitchens, gives us a brief history of Hitch ... Bob: Hitchens's argument in God is not Great was...not great ... Where was Hitchens's Marxist materialism when it came to religion? ... Assessing Hitchens's intellectual contributions ... Was Hitchens an “honest” arguer? ... Why did Hitchens become a hawk? ... Hitchens in light of the Intellectual Dark Web ... Ben gives his closing argument for why Hitchens is still worth thinking about ...

    Detaching Trump from Trumpism (Robert Wright & Mickey Kaus)

    Play Episode Listen Later Feb 12, 2022 60:00

    Inflation takes a toll on Mickey's supply closet ... Reviewing Jeff Zucker's “contributions” to American democracy ... Do any Trumpist elites actually want Trump to run for president again? ... Who constitutes Kamala's base? ... What Biden needs to say about Ukraine and NATO ... How Google is helping people break the law ... Mickey: Trump taking documents to Mar-A-Lago isn't a big deal ... Why aren't more people getting their Covid booster? ... Why are Republicans so good at controlling state legislatures? ... Was the Marjorie Taylor Greene “gazpacho police” comment intentional? ... Sarah Palin's lawsuit against the NYT ... Mickey: How can Andrew Yang lament unemployment among men while supporting UBI? ... If waning Latino support for immigration doesn't tighten border security, maybe robot dogs will ... Parrot Room preview: Wokeness, Mickey clarifies what he means by “corporatism,” why Mickey is waging war on meritocracy, affirmative action for different cultures instead of different races, birds aren't real, Putin's repulsive joke, Robert Trivers's groundbreaking paper on sexual selection and a related joke, Joe Rogan and Spotify, war in the Pacific, news on the lab leak theory, decoupling from China, Bob becomes the Tom Friedman whisperer, and Bob learns a harsh lesson about Substack ...

    Ukraine and the Crisis of US Foreign Policy (Robert Wright & Thomas Friedman)

    Play Episode Listen Later Feb 8, 2022 60:00

    How Bob and Tom wound up talking about the Russia-Ukraine crisis ... Tom says NATO should be willing to close its door to Ukrain ... The never ending “age of midgets” in US foreign policy making ... Tilting international relations in a positive direction ... Is Biden's “democracy versus autocracy” framework counterproductive? ... Analyzing the nature of journalistic objectivity – and how to achieve it ... Bob and Tom agree we need non-zero thinking to solve global problems ...

    Saving Putin's Face (Robert Wright & Mickey Kaus)

    Play Episode Listen Later Feb 5, 2022 60:00

    Did Jeff Zucker resign over business or pleasure? ... Bob: “The new Cold War almost became official today” ... A grand solution to the Ukraine crisis ... George Soros predicts the downfall of Xi Jinping ... Is the killing of ISIS's leader really a big deal? ... Are we headed toward one metaverse or many? ... Joe Rogan for president? ... Mickey: It's wrongheaded for the left to focus their animosity on the unvaccinated ... Is Democrats' commitment to free speech softening? ... The power plays surrounding Stephen Breyer's retirement ... Parrot Room preview: More Spotify, Bob and Mickey risk cancelation over Whoopi Goldberg, more Jeff Zucker, Howard Cosell, QAnon, corporatism and undemocratic institutions, Democrats lose their majority in the Senate, so what if Mark Zuckerberg gets another $200 billion, waiting for Biden's Sister Souljah moment, the Biden crime plan, the electoral count plan, Mickey gets transgressive about Joe Burrow, the Washington football team gets a new name, the NFL's resurgence, why can't carbon cleaners end the climate crisis, and mail-in voter fraud ...

    Identifying Anti-tribal Intellectuals (Robert Wright & Arnold Kling)

    Play Episode Listen Later Feb 1, 2022 60:00

    How anti-tribal thinking formed the core of Arnold's “Fantasy Intellectual Teams" (FITs) draft ... Was the pre-internet intellectual era really so great? ... Arnold lays out the details of the Fantasy Intellectual Teams draft ... Grassroots vs. institutional anti-tribal strategies ... Is a social media rebuild possible? ... The challenges in taking FITs to the next level ... Bob and Arnold contrast their approaches to anti-tribalism ... How bad could things get if we can't beat tribalism? ...

    The Ukrainian Thaw (Robert Wright & Mickey Kaus)

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 29, 2022 60:00

    Hey hey, my my, Neil Young left Spotify ... Carrots and sticks in the Russia-Ukraine crisis ... What are Russia's actual objectives in Ukraine? ... Bob: “I haven't heard a single good argument for expanding NATO” ... Why nominating Kamala to the Supreme Court might actually be a good idea ... Are pundits overthinking Biden's low approval rating? ... Is universal pre-K on the chopping block? ... Mickey adopts an unsettling new persona ... Parrot Room preview: A Doug Emhoff scandal?, the war in the Pacific, guess the Lou Reed verdict, let's talk about headlines that start with “Let's talk about,” Raymond Carver and Gordon Lish, affirmative action goes before the Supreme Court, William F. Buckley, Ilya Shapiro gets canceled, the metaverse and the Matrix, bizarre Black Lives Matter news, money liberalism, and why does Apple delay releasing this podcast? ...

    Assessing the Russia-Ukraine Crisis (Robert Wright & Anatol Lieven)

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 25, 2022 60:00

    Does the Russia-Ukraine crisis justify the current sense of alarm? ... How concern for ethnic Russians in Ukraine shapes Moscow's policy ... What the US and NATO can do to resolve the crisis diplomatically ... Can Europe help Biden by staging a diplomatic intervention? ... Russia's next military steps if diplomacy fails ... Anatol estimates the odds of a Russian invasion of Ukraine ...

    Ukraine and Biden's Brain (Robert Wright & Mickey Kaus)

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 22, 2022 60:00

    Looking for signs of decline in Biden's press conference ... Is the child tax credit what swing voters want? ... Two possible inflation fixes ... What's on the table in U.S.-Russia negotiations over Ukraine? ... How well is Biden handling the Ukraine situation? ... Mickey: There's a chance we'll avoid a Trump 2024 run ... Bob's plan to convince Biden not to run ... Meat Loaf would do anything for love (but would he get vaxxed?) ... Bob: I get why white males are under fire ... Parrot Room preview: The secret to Matt Yglesias's success, the FBI searches Henry Cuellar's home, Mickey's beef with the Salvation Army, how the Parrot Room is like the TV show Yellowstone, Bob's panel appearance with Jerry Brown, Robert Malone, active shooter drills, war in the Pacific, the Los Gatos Party Mom, exploring Bob and Mickey's positions on China, Bob issues some corrections, Mickey critiques the Atlantic and David Remnick, and the time Katie Couric interviewed Bob ...

    The Corruption of US Foreign Policy (Robert Wright & Richard Hanania)

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 19, 2022 60:00

    Richard discusses his new book, Public Choice Theory and the Illusion of Grand Strategy ... Richard's critique of the field of International Relations ... Why "concentrated interests" capture US foreign policy ... The arms industry executive who has "single handedly ruined the world" ... How the US helped create the Russia-Ukraine conflict ... The pro-militarism bias in the news media and foreign policy think tanks ... Why does the US misperceive Iran as being a threat to US interests? ... Richard: The US should learn to live with a superpower China ... The failures of the human rights lobby and the brutality of sanctions on Afghanistan ... Do autocracies have more coherent foreign policies than democracies? ...

    Biden's Exit Strategy (Robert Wright & Mickey Kaus)

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 15, 2022 60:00

    Mickey's plan to install Nancy Pelosi in the Oval Office ... Who can convince Biden not to run for reelection? ... Mickey's comeback strategy for Biden ... Bob takes the Parrot Room into untested waters ... Is Boris Johnson in trouble over Covid protocols or policy failures? ... Are seditious conspiracy charges warranted for the Oath Keepers? What about Trump? ... Mickey: The Supreme Court got the vaccine mandate ruling wrong ... Bob: It will be bad if Russia invades Ukraine, but it won't threaten U.S. interests ... Bob: China doesn't have a monopoly on repressive software exports ... Parrot Room preview: Bob takes a Covid test, Mickey catches Bob in an almost-devastating contradiction, Bob tries to catch Robert Malone in a contradiction, Sidney Poitier, Bob Saget, Terry Teachout, Bob v. Andrew Sullivan, Don't Look Up, Ruth Barrett sues the Atlantic, Bari Weiss on Hollywood, David Remnick claims we're suspended between democracy and authoritarianism, Mickey has second thoughts about donating to the Salvation Army, Matt Ridley on the origin of Covid, a Jeffrey Epstein update, Maya Angelou gets a quarter, and what's up with Leon Wieseltier's journal? ...

    How to Talk about Trans Issues (Robert Wright & Agustín Fuentes)

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 12, 2022 60:00

    Bob's early encounters with LGBTQ visibility and invisibility ... How the pros talk about gender ... The uses of “queer” ... A writerly defense of the singular “they” ... Agustín: We need a national conversation about the trans bathroom issue ... What was the intent behind J.K. Rowling's controversial tweets? ... What counts as an “advantage” when trans women play women's sports? ...

    Biden's Long, Slow Pivot toward Normalcy (Robert Wright & Mickey Kaus)

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 8, 2022 60:00

    Mickey: Biden is too scared of his base ... Bob: Biden privileged loyalty over competence in his staffing ... Are January 6 rioters getting off too easy? ... How can an election get overturned? Bob and Mickey count the ways ... Bob's January 6 epiphany ... Where's the love for Sherrod Brown and Cory Booker? ... Can Omicron save us from Delta? ... Is it time to “pivot to normalcy” yet? ... Parrot Room preview: Robert Malone on Joe Rogan, the Ghislaine Maxwell verdict in jeopardy, does everyone want to date AOC, Ben Smith's new publication, Leonard Bernstein on the Beatles, Nick Kristof may not even reach the Kaus threshold in Oregon, Beverly Hills criminals, what's wrong with “gaslighting,” Betty White, Peter Bogdanovich, Novak Djokovic runs afoul of Aussie vaccination policy, Greg Gutfeld gets reprimanded, and is the great David Remnick takedown upon us? ...

    Life and Science (Robert Wright & Edward O. Wilson)

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 5, 2022 60:00

    Has sociobiology been vindicated? ... Why the term ‘evolutionary psychology' survived ... Is there room for free will in a modern scientific world view? ... Science, religion, and “provisional deism” ... Is the “theory of intelligent design” even a theory? ... How religion informed Ed's approach to science ... Facing death without hope of an afterlife ... How Ed reconciled work and family ...

    Bob and Mickey's New Year's Eve Awards Gala (Robert Wright & Mickey Kaus)

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 31, 2021 60:00

    Could a bad actor engineer a Delta-Omicron hybrid? ... Bob: Mainstream coverage of Omicron's dangers has been misleading ... Bob's three 2022 Covid predictions ... How do decisions get made inside Biden's White House? ... Bob and Mickey's Heroes of the Year ... Bob and Mickey's Villain of the Year ... The Best and Worst Ideas of the Year ... The Year's Biggest Surprise ... Ditching the metaverse, Pelosi persisting, and other 2022 predictions ... Parrot Room preview: words and concepts that need to go in 2022, Bob and Mickey reveal what “undernews” is, Biden's cognitive status, 2021's least deserving media attention-getter, the shortage of good hit pieces, who's cruising for a bruising in 2022, Bob and Mickey's worst opinions of 2021, Ghislaine Maxwell convicted, remembering E.O. Wilson, The Expanse, Bob defends his hair, Mickey defends his LSD abstinence, Pacific Crucible, the documentary Ascension, and more reasons why Ron Brownstein's “coalition of the ascendent” is the worst idea of the decade ...

    The Year in US Foreign Policy (Robert Wright, Daniel Larison, Kelley B. Vlahos)

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 29, 2021 60:00

    Why Bob loves Daniel's Substack Eunomia and Kelley's work at Responsible Statecraft ... Daniel and Kelley on how their conservative roots led them to anti-Blobism ... Daniel makes a conservative case for supporting international law ... Trump 2.0? Daniel and Kelley discuss Biden's foreign policy failures ... Bob wonders why Biden didn't try harder to revive the Iran nuclear deal ... The US is starving Afghans in the name of humanity ... Credit where due: Biden got us out of Afghanistan ... How the military-industrial complex helped create the Russia-Ukraine crisis ... Assessing China's internal abuses and external ambitions – and how to respond ...

    Some Meanings of Christmas (Robert Wright & Father William Dailey)

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 22, 2021 60:00

    Have you heard the Good News? ... The role of Christ's suffering in the Catholic tradition ... Walking the path(s) to salvation ... Peace on Earth, the virgin birth, and other Christmas miracles ... Father Bill: “To answer the question ‘Who is my neighbor' is to answer the question ‘How big is my heart?'” ... Deriving the Trinity from the Gospel of John ... Father Bill: The meaning of Christmas is “self-emptying love” … ... … but what exactly is “self-emptying love”? ... The appeal of Teilhard de Chardin ... Christmas's greatest hits ... How Bloggingheads.tv changed Father Bill's life ...

    All About Omicron (Robert Wright & Mickey Kaus)

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 18, 2021 60:00

    Will 2024 be a Trump-Hillary rematch? ... The Omicron wave: how bad will it be? ... David Frum's proposal to triage covid care ... Some non-Hillary prez candidates who are almost as unappealing as Hillary ... Covid lab leak theory update ... Mickey lays out a plan to resuscitate the Build Back Better bill ... Fox News audience capture and Chris Wallace's release ... Are the Fox News Jan 6 texts scandalous? Or even interesting? ... Barton Gellman gets Mickey to take 2024 GOP election theft semi-seriously ... Parrot Room preview: Ron Brownstein on Democrats losing the culture wars, Harvard abandons the SATS, Scotus on Roe v. Wade, more trash talk about Sam Harris and the Weinsteins, Mickey's new case against child tax credits and Bob's new car, and comments from Parrot Heads. ...

    Varieties of Psychedelic Experience (Robert Wright, John Horgan, and Nikita Petrov)

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 15, 2021 60:00

    John and Nikita (and Bob) present their psychedelic pedigrees ... Distinguishing between “unitive” and “non-unitive” psychedelic/mystical experiences ... John's encounter with “[mischievous] animated shards of colored glass” on ayahuasca ... Nikita on DMT ep. I: Presence in everything—essence in nothing ... Can psychedelics get us closer to objective “Truth”? ... Nikita on DMT ep. II: After dis-enlightenment, chop wood ... A world charged with meaning ... John on the necessary contingency of our attempts to understand reality ... Nikita on DMT ep. III: Swapping self for gnosis—deal or no deal? ... “Everything is right here, happening. Pay attention to how it works.” ... Nikita on DMT ep. IV: oscillations between the sensuous and the cerebral ... DMT in a nutshell ...

    Pushkin the Boundaries (Robert Wright & Mickey Kaus)

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 11, 2021 60:00

    Mickey auditions for Scope mouthwash spokesmodel (demonstration included) ... Covid news roundup; OMNIcron controversy addressed! ... Are things getting worse for Build Back Better? ... Is the prosecution in the Ghislaine case taking a dive? ... Bob: Don't go easy on Jussie Smollett ... Good news on Iran talks? ... How to split the Ukrainian baby? ... Parrot Room Preview: Trans Penn swimmer , crime and mountain lions in LA, France's Mr. Zemmour, Jeffrey Goldberg's Trump-centered plan for the Atlantic, Boris Johnson's decline, David Brooks divorces conservatism, perverse Substack incentives, disciplining hostile Beatles commenters, trashing the “Summit for Democracy", Bob's mysterious car dealership experience. ...

    Dealing with Iran (Robert Wright & Trita Parsi)

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 7, 2021 60:00

    Bob and Trita set the stage for the current crisis ... The geopolitics of the Iran nuclear deal ... The nuclear deal was great - so why did Trump pull out? ... Trita: President Biden made significant mistakes early on ... Why the nuclear negotiations might become a charade ... Are US perceptions of Iran becoming more positive? ...

    The (Not Boogaloo) Boys are Back (Robert Wright & Mickey Kaus)

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 4, 2021 60:00

    How reassuring is a Biden re-run, really? ... Mickey finds hope in Omicron ... Mickey rejoices in Biden swerving right on immigration ... Marjorie Taylor Green's latest stunt ... Mickey: Inflation could kill soft infrastructure ... Bob: It's time for challenge trials to fight Omicron ... How popular is BBB? ... Bob pulls a jiu jitsu on Mickey's dental care/car lube metaphor ... How doomed is Roe v. Wade? ... Mickey's mini-rant on Chris Cuomo (and Chris Matthews) ... Parrot Room Preview: The trial of Ghislaine Maxwell, a speech from the (second) French Donald Trump, John Mearsheimer on China, Bret Weinstein on Omicron, Farhad Manjoo on cars, trash-talking Sam Harris, Andrew Sullivan sings B&M's praises, The Beatles: Get Back review, Stephen Sondheim retrospective, Mickey discusses decadence, JD Vance news, weird murder in Beverley Hills, and Iran talk ...

    Is Religion Bad for the World? (Robert Wright & Christopher Hitchens)

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 1, 2021 60:00

    What, if anything, is the basis for an atheist's morals? ... When Christopher says, 'Religion poisons everything,' he means... ... Religion is irrational? Compared to what? ... Christopher: Jesus doesn't love the little children ... Did religion cause the Israel-Palestine conflict? ... Why Christopher won't stop ridiculing God ...

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