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 and Friday, Dylan Matthews, Jerusalem Demsas, German Lopez, 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
1
The Most Dangerous Branch: A well-regulated mil...
With six conservative judges on the bench this term, the Supreme Court could rule in favor of the most sweeping gun rights laws yet.
60 min
2
Is inflation out of control?
It's probably time to talk about inflation.
52 min
3
The home care fight in Congress
What elderly and disabled activists want from Biden.
40 min
4
The coming climate exodus
What happens when the climate forces you to move?
55 min
5
The Most Dangerous Branch: Roe v. Wade
What the new Supreme Court term means for the future of Roe v. Wade.
66 min
6
Yes, vaccine mandates work
Get the shot, whether you want it or not.
52 min
7
How genes impact your life
What role do genes play in social inequalities?
59 min
8
The debt ceiling’s threat to America
The current debt ceiling crisis, what the debt ceiling is, and how to address it.
51 min
9
AMA time with Dylan, German, and Jerusalem
Your Weedsy questions, answered.
67 min
10
Means testing our patience
Should work requirements still exist for federal tax credits and benefits?
52 min
11
Ezra, Matt, and Sarah Try (Again) to Podcast
For Matt’s last episode of The Weeds, Ezra Klein and Sarah Kliff return for a discussion about how subsidies lead to rising health care costs
68 min
12
The Weeds Will Live Forever
Matt, Dara, Jerusalem, and German use Matt’s last Tuesday episode to discuss life expectancy in the US
59 min
13
The Federal Reserve's regulatory issues
​​Matt is joined by Mike Konczal to discuss Jerome Powell’s tenure as Fed Chair and the relationship between interest rates and unemployment numbers
58 min
14
The Federal Reserve: Climate Change edition
Vox's Dylan Matthews joins Matt and Jerusalem to talk about whether the Federal Reserve can use monetary policy to fight climate change
57 min
15
Who's afraid of a big bad poll?
​​Matt is joined by David Shor, Head of Data Science at OpenLabs R&D to discuss the causes and implications of polling errors in recent election cycles
65 min
16
Galaxy Brain Recession
Matt, Dara, and German use this week’s episode to explore the infrastructure bill before Congress
52 min
17
Afghan refugees face an uncertain future
Matt is joined by Vox’s Nicole Narea for a discussion on the complex situation facing Afghan refugees
44 min
18
Boosters: Worth it or not, here they come
Matt and Dara are joined by Vox's German Lopez to discuss the scientific, political, and moral reasons behind the Biden administrations plan to offer third doses of the vaccine to Americans
58 min
19
Baby making vibes
Matt is joined by The Atlantic’s Elizabeth Bruenig for a conversation about the policies and political vibes that affect birth rates in America
48 min
20
Back to School: Masters mishaps
Matt is joined by Vox's Libby Nelson and Jerusalem Demsas for a conversation about the rising cost of master’s programs, their usefulness in today’s economy, and their role as federally subsidized job training
59 min
21
Reign of Terror
Spencer Ackerman joins Matt to discuss the War on Terror, tying its roots to the Oklahoma City bombing and its legacy to Trump’s presidency
57 min
22
Back to School: Learning loss
Matt and Dara are joined by Vox's German Lopez for a conversation about student learning loss during the pandemic
64 min
23
Dare to speak freely
Matt is joined by author and CEO Suzanne Nossel to explore her defense of free speech
52 min
24
Back to School: All for pre-K, and pre-K for all
Vox's Jerusalem Demsas joins Matt and Dara to discuss how pre-K programs could lead to societal changes on a state and national level
48 min
25
Getting power to the people
Matt is joined by Liza Reed of the Niskanen Center to talk about energy policy, electricity transmission, and America's complex power delivery system
39 min
26
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
27
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
28
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
29
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
30
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
31
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
32
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
33
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
34
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
35
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
36
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
37
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
38
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
39
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
40
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
41
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
42
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
43
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
44
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
45
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
46
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
47
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
48
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
49
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
50
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
51
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
52
The pandemic playbook
Vox's Dylan Scott joins Matt and Dara to talk about South Korea's response to Covid-19
62 min
53
Think like a scout
Matt is joined by Julia Galef, who wants us to stop acting — and thinking — like soldiers
62 min
54
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
55
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
56
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
57
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
58
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
59
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
60
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
61
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
62
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
63
Introducing Unexplainable
A new podcast from Vox about everything we don’t know.
28 min
64
An A.I. wrote this title
Vox's Kelsey Piper joins Matt to discuss the future of artificial intelligence research
51 min
65
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
66
Facebook's shadow court
Kate Klonick joins Matt to talk about her investigation into Facebook's new content moderation board
45 min
67
How to destroy the suburbs
Vox's Jerusalem Demsas joins Matt and Dara to talk about the fight against exclusionary zoning
54 min
68
All organizing is local
Professor Lara Putnam talks about the local dynamics of grassroots progressive organizing
54 min
69
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
70
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
71
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
72
Rethinking immigration
Matt is joined by Ali Noorani, who says Americans need to change the way they think — and talk — about immigration
49 min
73
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
74
The future of remote work
Economist Adam Ozimek joins Matt to discuss the post-pandemic future of remote work
53 min
75
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
76
Filibusted
Matt is joined by Brookings' Molly Reynolds to get into the weeds on Senate filibuster and budget reconciliation procedure
64 min
77
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
78
Freedom from markets
Author Mike Konczal joins Matt to talk about the history and future of public benefit programs in America
56 min
79
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
80
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
81
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
82
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
83
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
84
Best of: Homelessness and how to fix it
A look back at one of our favorite episodes from the archives
50 min
85
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
86
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
87
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
88
The blob is back
Alex Ward joins Dara and Matt to analyze the Biden national security team.
56 min
89
The Next Four Years: The Covid transition
Kaiser’s Jennifer Kates joins Matt to explain the next steps in countering the pandemic
47 min
90
The job nobody wants
Dara and Matt on Biden’s choice to run Homeland Security and the many challenges he’ll face
60 min
91
The post-election economy
Emily Stewart joins Dara and Matt to discuss the prospects for Covid relief and Janet Yellen
55 min
92
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
93
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
94
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
95
The never ending election story
Jane, Dara, and Matt on Trump’s refusal to quit and his “surprising” Hispanic support.
50 min
96
Democracy lost
Ezra and Matt on the election results and the prospects for majority rule.
49 min
97
Election Day Special
Ella Nilsen joins Matt and Jane to discuss the election.
62 min
98
Lessons learned from Trump’s first term
Ezra and Matt look back on what’s surprised them.
47 min
99
Biden’s border options
Dara, Jane, and Matt on the big immigration questions that will face a new administration.
46 min
100
Trump’s last stand
Ezra and Matt on the final presidential debate
51 min