House Republicans are refusing to raise the US debt ceiling without huge concessions. Vox’s Dylan Matthews explains why we have a debt ceiling to begin with (and how President Biden could bypass it).
The half-baked gas stove debate
No, the government isn’t coming for your gas stove. Vox’s Rebecca Leber explains why you might want to switch anyway.
Remember you are dirt and to dirt you shall return. Science journalist Eleanor Cummins and law professor Tanya Marsh explain the rise of human composting, now legal in six states, as an alternative to burial or cremation.
What’s up, docs?
What do a Delaware garage and a Florida palace have in common? We dig into Joe Biden’s classified document mess.
Too much water for California
Rain is good for California, but the state was not prepared for what might be a megastorm. KQED’s Dan Brekke assesses the damage from the San Francisco Bay Area and the Pacific Institute’s Peter Gleick explains how we can be better prepared for future storms.
The Taliban vs. women
When the Taliban took power, it promised a place for women in its new Afghanistan. Now, hardliners are embracing policies that do the opposite.
Brazil’s January 6?
Except it was on January 8. The Brazilian Report’s Gustavo Ribeiro explains from São Paulo.
Andrew Tate: The king of toxic masculinity
Controversial manfluencer Andrew Tate is in a Romanian prison, accused of rape and human trafficking. Vox’s Rebecca Jennings and sociolinguist Robert Lawson explain why his brand of grotesque misogyny appeals to millions of men.
Will Kevin McCarthy become speaker?
The 118th Congress has begun with a showdown over who will be elected House speaker. Vox’s Andrew Prokop argues that this is the culmination of a decade-long trend of stonewalling in Congress.
Why we’re all on antidepressants
Ray Osheroff was a successful doctor in the DC area until his depression became debilitating. The way he was treated — and not treated — changed psychiatry. Rachel Aviv tells the surprising story of the rise of psychiatric medication.
The many lies of George Santos
George Santos is supposed to become a member of Congress this week. We still have no idea who he is.
Let’s eat lab meat
Happy New Year! Maybe you’re interested in trying new things? Sean and his mom are. In today’s episode, they drive to Alameda, California to try “hybrid meat” — a mixture of lab-grown meat and veggie meat substitute that could deliver a more sustainable (but still meaty) future.
Abortions before Roe
Before Roe v. Wade, Eleanor Oliver was a Jane: a member of a group in Chicago that helped women get safe but illegal abortions. Sean Rameswaram sat down with her on the day Roe was overturned.
How to save kids from online extremism
A lot of IRL violence starts with online radicalization. We revisit our conversation with writer and parent Joanna Schroeder, who wrote a guide for parents about what to look out for and how to intervene.
Why the Ukraine war happened
Vladimir Putin believes Ukraine belongs to Russia, and he used that a pretense to invade. In an episode originally released in February, historian Timothy Snyder explains why Putin is wrong.
What’s the dill with pickleball?
Pickleball is bringing America together. Pickleball is tearing America apart. Sports Illustrated’s John Walters explains.
Why gaslighting is the word of the year
It’s sooo 2016, but the word still mattered a lot in 2022. Merriam-Webster explains.
Criminal referrals for Donald Trump
The January 6 committee sent the Justice Department four criminal referrals against the former president, who it alleges engaged in an elaborate criminal conspiracy to remain in office after his 2020 defeat. Vox’s Andrew Prokop explains what happens next.
The case against movie trailers
Movie trailers are misleading audiences. Vox’s Alissa Wilkinson says you should stop watching them.
Do I have to care about the Twitter Files?
Maybe not, but you’re going to be hearing about them for a while anyway. Republicans are saying they’ll use them to investigate the Biden administration.
Megan Thee Stallion
Megan Thee Stallion is everywhere, including in court trying to convince the world she was shot by the rapper Tory Lanez. Vox’s Fabiola Cineas and Northwestern University professor Moya Bailey explain why so many are struggling to see Thee Stallion as a victim.
Throwing soup at art
Tensions are simmering in London as climate protesters turn up the heat on their soup-flinging activism. Rishi Sunak’s government is attempting to keep the situation from boiling over.
Between chatbots and image generators, artificial intelligence has gotten scary good lately. The Verge’s James Vincent explains what’s behind the latest wave of AI-powered creations.
Hint of crime
Tostitos chips without real lime. Root beer made with fake vanilla. Instant mac and cheese that isn’t so instant. These products are among the hundreds targeted by lawyer Spencer Sheehan, who wants Big Food to stop misrepresenting its products.
R-E-S-P-E-C-T (for Marriage Act)
Sen. Tammy Baldwin managed to rally bipartisan support for a marriage equality bill, but she’s the first to admit the legislation is “humble.” An activist wonders if there’s an overemphasis on the institution of marriage.