The Weeds

Politics is how people achieve power. Policy is what they do with it. Every week on The Weeds, host Jonquilyn Hill and guests break down the policies that shape our lives, from abortion to financial regulations to affirmative action to housing. We dive deep and we get wonky, but we have fun along the way. New episodes drop every Wednesday.

Produced by Vox and the Vox Media Podcast Network.

News Commentary
Social Sciences
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
The pandemic playbook
Vox's Dylan Scott joins Matt and Dara to talk about South Korea's response to Covid-19
62 min
Think like a scout
Matt is joined by Julia Galef, who wants us to stop acting — and thinking — like soldiers
62 min
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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