The Weeds

In politics, you’re often told not to get lost in the weeds. But we love the weeds! That’s where politics becomes policy – the stuff that shapes our lives. Every Tuesday, Dylan Matthews, Dara Lind, and other voices dig into the weeds on important national issues, including healthcare immigration, and housing.

Produced by Vox and the Vox Media Podcast Network.

Politics
News Commentary
Social Sciences
101
Time Machine: Buchanan v. Warley (1917)
Vox's Jerusalem Demsas joins Matt and Dara on a time machine trip back to a WW1-era Supreme Court decision that shaped land use policy, zoning, and racial discrimination in housing
47 min
102
Prices on the rise
Matt is joined by economist Julia Coronado to talk about inflation, markets, and employment in the pandemic recovery economy
42 min
103
Time Machine: Immigration and Nationality Act o...
Vox's Li Zhou joins Dara and Matt for another spin in the time machine, to talk about the policy that shaped how immigration largely still works in America
50 min
104
The critical race theory debate
Matt is joined by education reporter Andrew Ujifusa to weigh in on what's really at stake in the debate over teaching critical race theory in schools
51 min
105
Time Machine: Volcker Shock
Matt, Dara, and Vox's Dylan Matthews step back in time to an era of gas rationing, inflation, and a lightning rod Federal Reserve chairman determined to stem the tide
64 min
106
Cruelty: the point
Adam Serwer joins Matt to talk about his new book, the racial politics of Trump and the GOP, and the Reconstruction-era problems we face anew today
56 min
107
Time Machine: No Child Left Behind
Libby Nelson joins Matt and Dara to step into the Weeds time machine, and revisit that controversial George W. Bush-era relic of bipartisan education reform.
58 min
108
Coming attractions
Film critic Alissa Wilkinson joins Matt and Dara to talk about Hollywood's post-pandemic present, studio-era past, and its up-in-the-air future
58 min
109
Who started Covid?
Matt is joined by David Wallace-Wells to discuss the Lab-Leak hypothesis, some missing Chinese data, and what we know and don't know about the origins of Covid
49 min
110
So, for the next pandemic....
Vox's German Lopez joins Matt and Dara to talk about the lessons we've yet to learn from Covid-19, and the pandemic playbook we'll be following next time
60 min
111
What's the deal with that new Alzheimer's drug?
Vox's Dylan Scott joins Matt and Dara to explain — as well as pronounce — the controversial and recently-FDA-approved drug for treating Alzheimer's disease
60 min
112
Zoning our way through it
Matt is joined by researcher Emily Hamilton to talk about the topic you can't get enough of: land use policy and local zoning ordinances
44 min
113
Hot jobs summer
Matt, Dara, and Emily Stewart talk about some of the idiosyncrasies of the late-pandemic/early-recovery economy, and look to what comes next
54 min
114
The pipeline to prison
Matt is joined by John Pfaff, author and criminal justice researcher, to talk about violent crime, sentencing, and mass incarceration in America
62 min
115
The lab-leak hypothesis
Vox's Dylan Matthews joins Matt and Dara to talk about possible origins of the novel coronavirus, and whether we should continue to support research on deadly viruses
60 min
116
Stephen Breyer should retire
Maya Sen joins Matt to talk about the problems facing the American judiciary, the hegemony of the "legal elite," and why we can't seem to learn from the past
62 min
117
Give more money to cranks!
Vox's Dylan Matthews joins Matt and Dara to discuss how the Covid vaccine development could change the way we fund scientific research in the future
53 min
118
Research the police
Matt is joined by economist and researcher Morgan Williams, Jr. to talk about the consequences of crime, firearm, and incarceration policy
54 min
119
Masks off! Party time?
The Atlantic's Derek Thompson joins Matt and Vox's Libby Nelson to talk about the confusing public health and policy messages of the pandemic
67 min
120
The plan for more free school
Matt is joined by New York Times education reporter Dana Goldstein to discuss Biden's plan to vastly expand public education in America
53 min
121
Homelessness and the rising tide
Vox's Jerusalem Demsas joins Matt and Dara to talk about why even progressives have failed to appropriately confront the problem of homelessness
60 min
122
The app store war
The Verge's Makena Kelly talks with Matt about Apple's legal battles, Facebook's oversight board, and the prospect of overhauling antitrust legislation
41 min
123
The "hundred days" myth
Vox's Andrew Prokop joins Matt and Dara to talk about whether or not we should care about a president's "first hundred days"
66 min
124
There's lead in your turmeric
Matt is joined by researcher Rachel Silverman, who tells how the world's lead contamination problem goes way beyond just pipes
46 min
125
A Manchin for all seasons
Vox's Andrew Prokop joins Matt and Dara to talk about the emerging politics of Manchinism, and what Joe from WV wants to do with his power in a 50-50 Senate
61 min
126
Why transit projects fail
Matt is joined by researcher Eric Goldwyn to talk about why transit projects in the U.S. fail — and how they might succeed in the future
58 min
127
The pandemic playbook
Vox's Dylan Scott joins Matt and Dara to talk about South Korea's response to Covid-19
62 min
128
Think like a scout
Matt is joined by Julia Galef, who wants us to stop acting — and thinking — like soldiers
62 min
129
White paper-palooza
Matt, Dara, and Vox's Umair Irfan take on a trio of white papers on the cutting edge of climate change research
53 min
130
It's time for class warfare
Matt is joined by Faiz Shakir, former campaign manager and current adviser to Bernie Sanders, to talk about how the movement continues
63 min
131
Bidencare?
Matt and Dara are joined by Vox's Dylan Scott to examine the portion of Biden's infrastructure plan designated for the "caretaking economy"
62 min
132
The politics of cultural criticism
Matt is joined by cultural critic Alyssa Rosenberg to talk about the political dimensions of contemporary TV and film criticism
62 min
133
All circuits matter
Matt and Dara talk with Vox judicial reporter Ian Millhiser about Biden's court appointments, and look ahead to the future of the judiciary
57 min
134
The optimistic leftist
Matt is joined by political scientist and author Ruy Teixeira to talk about how Democratic messaging has gone wrong, and how to get it right
58 min
135
Is gun violence fixable?
Matt and Dara are joined by Vox's Jerusalem Demsas to talk about why we can't, won't, or don't fix gun violence with policy
77 min
136
All about inflation
Skanda Amarnath joins Matt to talk through what inflation is, how it's tracked, and why the conventional wisdom on it might just be wrong
55 min
137
Asylum policy for the here and now
Matt, Dara, and Vox's Ian Millhiser discuss the current situation at the southern border, and delve into what Biden has and hasn't done on immigration policy
67 min
138
Introducing Unexplainable
A new podcast from Vox about everything we don’t know.
28 min
139
An A.I. wrote this title
Vox's Kelsey Piper joins Matt to discuss the future of artificial intelligence research
51 min
140
The right to vote, constrained
Matt and Dara are joined by Vox's Ian Millhiser to talk about the threats to voting rights in America, and the potential of H.R. 1
66 min
141
Facebook's shadow court
Kate Klonick joins Matt to talk about her investigation into Facebook's new content moderation board
45 min
142
How to destroy the suburbs
Vox's Jerusalem Demsas joins Matt and Dara to talk about the fight against exclusionary zoning
54 min
143
All organizing is local
Professor Lara Putnam talks about the local dynamics of grassroots progressive organizing
54 min
144
Covid-$1.9T
Vox's Emily Stewart sits down with Matt and Dara to unpack some of the lesser-analyzed aspects of the Covid relief bill
53 min
145
The problem of child care
Matt is joined by expert Melissa Boteach to break down the multi-dimensional economics of child care in America
43 min
146
The Antipope in Mar-a-Lago
Vox's Emily Stewart joins Matt and Dara to wonder about whether and how Trump will rear his head again
53 min
147
Rethinking immigration
Matt is joined by Ali Noorani, who says Americans need to change the way they think — and talk — about immigration
49 min
148
What's happening with the stimulus?
Vox's Ella Nilsen joins Matt and Dara to talk about the state of the Covid relief bill
54 min
149
The future of remote work
Economist Adam Ozimek joins Matt to discuss the post-pandemic future of remote work
53 min
150
Where are the vaccines?
Vox's German Lopez joins Matt and Dara to discuss what went — and is still going — wrong with vaccine distribution.
62 min
151
Filibusted
Matt is joined by Brookings' Molly Reynolds to get into the weeds on Senate filibuster and budget reconciliation procedure
64 min
152
Biden's immigration shuffle
Matt and Dara are joined by German Lopez to discuss the Biden administration's early immigration moves and policy signals
56 min
153
Freedom from markets
Author Mike Konczal joins Matt to talk about the history and future of public benefit programs in America
56 min
154
Biden's rescue plan
What's in Biden's $1.9 trillion Covid relief stimulus plan? Emily Stewart joins Matt and Dara to explain.
51 min
155
The Next Four Years: Fighting tech monopolies
Charlotte Slaiman joins Matt to discuss the ongoing antitrust cases against Google and Facebook, and the prospects for tech regulation in the Biden administration.
49 min
156
Will the GOP be Q-pilled or Coup-pilled?
Zack Beauchamp joins Matt and Dara to discuss the attempted overthrow of American democracy.
68 min
157
Unemployment Insurance in the pandemic, and beyond
Matt is joined by Employ America policy advisor Elizabeth Pancotti to discuss U.I.'s history, its recent expansion during the pandemic, and a vision for its future.
54 min
158
America's vaccine distribution needs a shot in ...
Umair Irfan joins Dara and Matt to discuss some challenges and obstacles to the Covid vaccine rollout
57 min
159
Best of: Homelessness and how to fix it
A look back at one of our favorite episodes from the archives
50 min
160
The Next Four Years: Beyond the student debt de...
New America’s Kevin Carey explains loan forgiveness and the deeper problems with American higher education
51 min
161
Build Back Exactly The Same
Dylan Matthews joins Matt and Dara to discuss Covid’s impact on poverty and the road to recovery
56 min
162
The Next Four Years: An optimistic climate agenda
Third Way’s Josh Freed and Jackie Kempfer explain a path forward for low-carbon policy in a time of divided government
66 min
163
The blob is back
Alex Ward joins Dara and Matt to analyze the Biden national security team.
56 min
164
The Next Four Years: The Covid transition
Kaiser’s Jennifer Kates joins Matt to explain the next steps in countering the pandemic
47 min
165
The job nobody wants
Dara and Matt on Biden’s choice to run Homeland Security and the many challenges he’ll face
60 min
166
The post-election economy
Emily Stewart joins Dara and Matt to discuss the prospects for Covid relief and Janet Yellen
55 min
167
The Next Four Years: Joe Biden’s world
The Atlantic Council’s Emma Ashford joins Matt to explain the president-elect’s approach to national security.
67 min
168
Georgia on my mind
Ella Nilsen joins Dara and Matt to break down the runoff elections that will determine the future of the US Senate
46 min
169
The Next Four Years: How to make a Biden Boom
Bloomberg’s Karl Smith explains a bipartisan approach to healing the labor market
63 min
170
The never ending election story
Jane, Dara, and Matt on Trump’s refusal to quit and his “surprising” Hispanic support.
50 min
171
Democracy lost
Ezra and Matt on the election results and the prospects for majority rule.
49 min
172
Election Day Special
Ella Nilsen joins Matt and Jane to discuss the election.
62 min
173
Lessons learned from Trump’s first term
Ezra and Matt look back on what’s surprised them.
47 min
174
Biden’s border options
Dara, Jane, and Matt on the big immigration questions that will face a new administration.
46 min
175
Trump’s last stand
Ezra and Matt on the final presidential debate
51 min
176
Trump's second term agenda
Dara, Jane, and Matt break down the policy stakes in 2020
55 min
177
Go For Broke: Inside the Dot-Com Bubble
38 min
178
Email scandals are back!
Ezra and Matt discuss Hunter Biden’s laptop, social media regulation, and the ongoing stimulus standoff
52 min
179
What is critical race theory, anyway?
Ian Haney Lopez joins Jane to discuss critical race theory: what it is and what it isn't.
49 min
180
By the People: The Supreme Court's war on democ...
What the Supreme Court will do to our voting rights
58 min
181
The stimulus standoff
Ezra and Matt on the deadlock in congress and the VP debate.
53 min
182
On biracial identity (with Thomas Chatterton Wi...
Jane and Thomas Chatterton Williams talk about mixed-race identity, race and racism, and what being biracial means now.
57 min
183
By the People: Blame the Constitution
How America’s constitution is rigged against democracy
62 min
184
Fighting back against factory farming
The human costs of the meat we eat
56 min
185
A dark, dangerous debate
Ezra and Matt on the disturbing presidential showdown.
67 min
186
By the People: How to make sure your vote is co...
The pandemic election
56 min
187
Dianne Feinstein, please listen to this episode!
Ezra and Matt discuss the past and future of the US Senate.
60 min
188
After RBG
Vox’s judiciary expert Ian Milhiser joins the panel to explain Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s legacy and the future of American jurisprudence
54 min
189
By the People: How to rig an election
America’s voter suppression problem
63 min
190
One Billion Americans
Ezra and Matt discuss the early days of blogging, Twitter, climate change, and Matt's case for having 1 billion Americans.
88 min
191
How Trump closed the border
Rep. Veronica Escobar joins Jane, Dara, and Matt to talk about Texas politics and the use of the pandemic as a pretext to clamp down on asylum.
56 min
192
The definitive case against the filibuster
Ezra joins Matt to workshop his latest article — and save American democracy.
49 min
193
Steal this podcast
Meredith Haggerty joins Jane and Matt to debate looting and corporate cooptation of social justice.
52 min
194
LAW AND ORDER
Matt and Ezra discuss why crime is rising in certain American cities, and the country's growing housing crisis.
59 min
195
Trump sells out
Dara, Jane, and Matt discuss Jane’s argument that the GOP establishment changed Trump more than he changed the party
61 min
196
The Trump Show
Ezra and Matt on the GOP convention and the politics of "law and order".
53 min
197
The Cut: Optimism
Avery explores what optimism means in 2020, and why some people are better at conjuring it, and how those who aren’t can change their own mindset.
29 min
198
Trump's peddling a fake Covid-19 cure
Jane, Dara, and Matt on convalescent plasma, FDA reform, and the politics of science
47 min
199
Democratic convention special
Ezra and Matt stay up late to review Joe Biden's big speech and the Democrats' big week
62 min
200
WTF is happening with USPS
Jane, Dara, and Matt on the health and history of the postal service, the political games being played, and what it means for November's election.
49 min