Current Affairs

Current Affairs

A podcast of politics and culture, from the editors of Current Affairs magazine.

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    UNLOCKED: Room 101 (or: CA Gripefest I)

    UNLOCKED FROM THE BIRD FEED: BBC radio used to have a show, Room 101, in which celebrities came on and discussed their pet gripes, trying to convince the host to consign the object of their gripes to the titular Room 101... the punishment room from George Orwell’s 1984. In this episode, legal editor Oren Nimni and editor in chief Nathan J. Robinson recreate the show, sharing their loathing for a famous lawyer, a classic book, a gummy bear brand, a social media platform, a famous Leftist, a genre of movies, a major city, a mode of transportation and... garnishes.

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    UNLOCKED: Vaughn Stewart on transforming from a poster into a politician

    UNLOCKED FROM THE BIRD FEED: Maryland Delegate Vaughn Stewart was once a normal "very online" progressive poster like the rest of us. But after a health scare, he decided to move from ideas into action, running for — and, with the help of the Metro DC DSA, winning! — a seat in the Maryland House of Delegates. Current Affairs host Pete Davis sits down with him to talk about running for office with DSA's endorsement, finding policy ideas through twitter, how corporate lobbyists woo delegates, and pushing innovative housing policy.

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    #18: The Dog Days Aren't Over (ft. Glenn Greenwald)

    Current Affairs editor-in-chief Nathan J. Robinson is joined for the whole episode by The Intercept's Glenn Greenwald to talk animal welfare, public censorship, and how to keep track of 26 dogs.

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    #17: The Green Big Deal

    The Current Affairs panel learns about the Green New Deal, discusses the American loneliness epidemic, and share what we think is the worst example of American political amnesia.

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    #16: 2020 Visions

    The Current Affairs panel discusses how they are approaching the 2020 Presidential campaign, we decide whether money is speech, and we all share what we think is the most important lesson that the left can learn from the right.

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    #15: The Voicemailbag III

    The Current Affairs panel opens up the phone lines, answering listener questions on postmodernism, growth, effective altruism, religion, New Orleans and jokes.

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    #14: Fascism Schmascism

    The Current Affairs panel discusses the politics of tragedy, we attempt to define fascism, and we all share something that gives us hope in the 2018 elections.

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    UNLOCKED: Jesse Eisinger on corporate crime fighting

    UNLOCKED from the bird feed to the main feed: Current Affairs host Pete Davis invites Jesse Eisinger — Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist with ProPublica and author of The Chickenshit Club: Why the Justice Department Fails to Prosecute Executives — to the Current Affairs World Headquarters to enlighten us on the topic of corporate crime, feckless white collar prosecutors, and why we should care about the underfunding of the IRS.

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    #13: Spooky Affairs

    In our unlucky 13th episode, the Current Affairs panel gets into the Halloween spirit: we investigate the murder of American democracy, Pete makes the case that Halloween is the best holiday, and we all share our favorite unsolved mysteries.

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    Bonus excerpt: Jesse Eisinger on corporate crime fighting

    An excerpt from today's bonus episode, available in full to our Patreon patrons, in which Current Affairs host Pete Davis invites Jesse Eisinger — Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist with ProPublica and author of The Chickenshit Club: Why the Justice Department Fails to Prosecute Executives — to the Current Affairs World Headquarters to enlighten us on the topic of corporate crime, feckless white collar prosecutors, and why we should care about the underfunding of the IRS.

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    UNLOCKED: MMTers Rohan Grey & Raúl Carrillo on shaking the money tree

    UNLOCKED from the bird feed to the main feed: Current Affairs host Pete Davis talks with the Modern Money Network's Rohan Grey and Raúl Carrillo about Modern Monetary Theory, the big idea shaking up the Left's view of public spending. They — and their ragtag band of economists, activists and politicians — are questioning everything you thought you knew about debt, deficits, spending, and money.

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    #12: Fathers and Suns

    Lyta enters the Lefty Shark Tank to pitch a policy response to the recent Kavanaugh hearings, Malaika Jabali is interviewed about The Color of Economic Anxiety, and the Current Affairs panelist share their favorite utopian communities.

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    Bonus excerpt: MMTers Rohan Grey & Raúl Carrillo on shaking the money tree

    An excerpt from today's bonus episode, available in full to our Patreon patrons, in which Current Affairs host Pete Davis talks with the Modern Money Network's Rohan Grey and Raúl Carrillo about Modern Monetary Theory, the big idea shaking up the Left's view of public spending. They — and their ragtag band of economists, activists and politicians — are questioning everything you thought you knew about debt, deficits, spending, and money.

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    Bonus excerpt: Judging the Judge

    An excerpt from today's bonus episode, available in full to our Patreon patrons, in which Current Affairs Editor-in-Chief Nathan J. Robinson and contributing editor Briahna Joy Gray discuss the unending stream of lies told by Brett Kavanaugh during his confirmation process.

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    Uncovering the Unspeakable: The Case of Kavanaugh's Patriarchiitis

    In an episode-long special, Current Affairs social media editor Vanessa A. Bee and amusements editor Lyta Gold launch their new investigative journalism podcast, "Uncovering the Unspeakable," on our sister network, Concurrent Affairs. Their pilot episode: uncovering the curious case of Brett Kavanaugh's patriarchiitis.

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    Bonus excerpt: Dispatches from Central America

    An excerpt from today's bonus episode, available in full to our Patreon patrons, in which legal editor Oren Nimni and senior editor Brianna Rennix talk about the Central American refugee crisis. Brianna is an attorney for asylum seekers on the southern border and Oren just traveled to Central America to see first-hand the effects of the Trump administration’s horrific anti-immigrant, anti-refugee policies. The two share what they have learned from their work and travels about the larger context of the refugee crisis you have been hearing about in the news.

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    #11: The Fault in Our Barnstars

    The Current Affairs panel discusses whether the political is personal, Nathan waxes poetic about Wikipedia, and we all share something that is trending in the right direction.

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    Bonus excerpt: Room 101 (or CA Gripefest I)

    BBC radio used to have a show, Room 101, in which celebrities came on and discussed their pet gripes, trying to convince the host to consign the object of their gripes to the titular Room 101... the punishment room from George Orwell’s 1984. In today's bonus episode, available in full to our Patreon patrons, legal editor Oren Nimni and editor in chief Nathan J. Robinson recreate the show, sharing their loathing for a famous lawyer, a classic book, a gummy bear brand, a social media platform, a famous Leftist, a genre of movies, a mode of transportation and... garnishes. We present an excerpt here.

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    Bonus excerpt: The Trust Busters with Lina Khan and Sandeep Vaheesan

    An excerpt from today's bonus episode, available in full to our Patreon patrons, in which, continuing the conversation from Episode 9, social media editor Vanessa A. Bee talks tackling monopoly power with modern day trust busters Lina Khan and Sandeep Vaheesan.

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    #10: The Voicemailbag II

    A Current Affairs megapanel opens up the Current Affairs voicemailbag again to answer listener questions on topics ranging from separation of powers to policy prioritization to workplace democracy to the lack of a recent Chomsky drop...and more.

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    Bonus excerpt: All's Well That Endzone

    An excerpt from today's bonus episode, available in full to our Patreon patrons, in which, just in time for the beginning of the season, amusements editor Lyta Gold and legal editor Oren Nimni discuss all things football: its labor politics, its racial politics, and why (according to Lyta) it is the masculine version of drag.

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    Bonus excerpt: Blood, shot.

    An excerpt from today's bonus episode, available in full to our Patreon patrons, in which Current Affairs finance editor Sparky Abraham and editor-in-chief Nathan J. Robinson discuss John Carreyrou's recent book about the Theranos scandal, Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup. Discussed: why you should be skeptical of prestige (and allegedly liberal lawyers); the importance of good investigative journalism; Silicon Valley boosterism; the cult of Steve Jobs; and more.

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    Bonus excerpt: Ian Samuel on being Left in the law

    An excerpt from today's bonus episode, available in full to our Patreon patrons, in which Current Affairs legal editor Oren Nimni and social media editor Vanessa A. Bee interview Indiana Law professor, First Mondays host, and rising legal star Ian Samuel about being a lefty in the law. Discussed: the three's lefty origin stories, the consequences of a Kavanaugh nomination, why the law is a conservatizing profession, and more.

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    Bonus excerpt: "The West" and Other Myths with Daniel Walden

    An excerpt from today's bonus episode, available in full to our Patreon patrons, in which amusements editor Lyta Gold and senior editor Brianna Rennix discuss myths with Classics scholar Daniel Walden, who recently wrote in the magazine about how the whole concept of “Western civilization" is a myth. Tune in to learn about why the myth of dragons may be a lefty one, why Jordan Peterson is confused about myths, what an anti-pope is, what myths can teach us about national origin stories, the purpose of trickster gods, and more.

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    #8: Dreams, Schemes & Time Machines

    The Current Affairs panel discusses what the end of racism and sexism might look like, legal star Ian Samuel enters the Lefty Shark Tank to pitch Supreme Court packing, and we all share our favorite historical what-ifs. (Plus, the segment breaks are haunted by disturbing 20th century ghosts!)

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    Bonus episode excerpt: Michigan Facts

    An excerpt from today's bonus episode, available in full to our Patreon patrons, in which editor-in-chief Nathan J. Robinson discusses all things Michigan with amusements editor (and Michigan native) Lyta Gold. Topics covered in under an hour: white flight, urban planning, the world’s largest porch, elk, college rivalries, pastries, the decline of local journalism, the Northern KKK, Henry Ford, and more.

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    Bonus episode excerpt: Kitchen Knightmares

    An excerpt from today's bonus episode, available in full to our Patreon patrons, in which editor-in-chief Nathan Robinson and legal editor Oren Nimni discuss Gordon Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares, which they argue is, at least partially, a left-wing television show...or, at the very least, a useful spotlight on the petty tyranny of bad bosses.

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    #7: Pink Slips, Blue Lakes, Red Takes

    The Current Affairs panel discuss whether demanding that opponents be fired is good strategy, hear a dispatch from Nathan about the Abdul for Governor campaign, and each share their most conservative opinions.

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    #6: The Voicemailbag

    A Current Affairs megapanel opens up the Current Affairs voicemailbag to answer listener questions on topics ranging from lefty groupthink to ethical consumption to Lyta's theory of comedy to the origin of Nathan's Chomsky love.

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    Bonus episode excerpt: "Speech" Bubble

    An excerpt from today's bonus episode, available in full to our Patreon patrons, in which Current Affairs legal editor Oren Nimni and social media editor Vanessa A. Bee break down the latest cases from the Supreme Court's 2018 term: why they're disappointing, why everything can't be "speech," and why Anthony Kennedy is overrated.

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    #5: Out of Left Field

    The Current Affairs panel discusses the latest flare-ups in the left-liberal divide (civility, Ocasio-Cortez, and more), hears Pete's Lefty Shark Tank pitch for a universal government login, and share their favorite silver bullets for solving many problems in one fell swoop.

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    Bonus episode excerpt: Summer School

    An excerpt from today's bonus episode, available in full to our Patreon patrons, in which Current Affairs finance editor Sparky Abraham and editor-in-chief Nathan J. Robinson discuss all things education: student loans, free college, and the lefty case for education (in response to libertarian Bryan Caplan's recent book, The Case Against Education).

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    Bonus episode excerpt: Handsome Fashs and Widening Gyres

    An excerpt from today's bonus episode, available in full to our Patreon patrons, in which amusements editor Lyta Gold and senior editor Brianna Rennix wax (and wane) poetic about Irish poet William Butler Yeats, taking listeners on a rollicking ride from his strange diagrams to the failure of socialism in Ireland to... the mysterious appeal of Jordan Peterson.

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    Bonus episode excerpt: S. Chapin Domino, will you accept this rose?

    An excerpt from today's bonus episode, available in full to our Patreon patrons, in which social media editor Vanessa A. Bee, contributing editor Briahna Joy Gray and amusements editor Lyta Gold give the Current Affairs take on reality television. Spoiler alert: they are very in favor!

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    #4: Smokey Eyes and Shady Lawyers

    The Current Affairs panel discusses the humanitarian crisis at the border, debate Lyta's general theory of political comedy, and responds to some listener voicemails.

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    Bonus episode excerpt: Masterpiece Pieshop

    An excerpt from today's bonus episode, available in full to our Patreon patrons, in which Current Affairs legal editor Oren Nimni and social media editor Vanessa A. Bee explain and comment on the recent Masterpiece Cakeshop decision that came down from the Supreme Court last week.

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    #3: What the P.C. Police Won't Tell You

    The Current Affairs panel discusses why right-wing commentators feel so aggrieved, figures out what we mean by prison abolition, and make the complicated simple and the simple complicated.

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    Bonus episode excerpt: Freedom (of contract) isn't free

    An excerpt from our first bonus episode, available in full to our Patreon patrons, in which Current Affairs legal editor Oren Nimni and editor-in-chief Nathan J. Robinson discuss their recent Current Affairs articles on mandatory arbitration and freedom of contract. (Plus, Nathan shares his love of pie and trials with learning to play the washboard).

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    #2: All Landlords, Apostates!

    The Current Affairs panel unpacks the accusation of liberal bias, asks whether landlords are necessary, and shares their favorite lost historical hero.

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    #1: Board Shorts

    The panel dives into the Jobs Guarantee vs. Universal Basic Income debate, Nathan pitches randomized college admissions, and everyone shares their worst past belief.

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    Trailer

    A trailer for Current Affairs: The Podcast.

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