On this week’s episode of Gabfest Radio from Slate and WNYC, Political Gabfest panelists Emily Bazelon, John Dickerson, and David Plotz discuss Mitt Romney’s comments about the 47% of Americans who don’t pay federal income taxes. And they look at the variety of same-sex marriage cases that may be taken up by the Supreme Court this term.
Then on the Culture Gabfest portion of the show, panelists Stephen Metcalf, Dana Stevens, and Julia Turner discuss Paul Thomas Anderson’s new movie The Master, about a charismatic spiritual leader and a drifting WWII veteran. They’re then joined by Slate DoubleX co-founder and Atlantic senior editor Hanna Rosin to discuss her new book "The End of Men: And the Rise of Women." Finally, they talk sugary drinks, pondering the recently-passed New York City soda ban, the benevolent dictatorship of the nanny state, and the nutrition science behind limiting refined sugars and the public’s access to them.
Here are links to some of the items mentioned in this week’s episode:
POLITICAL GABFEST (Click here for this week’s individual episode at Slate):
The New York Times has a useful historical review of the evolution of tax policy across GOP and Democratic administrations.
Slate’s Dave Weigel considers the conservatives defending Romney and asks: What would Pat Buchanan do?
Slate’s Elliot Spitzer considers why redistribution is good for America.
Emily is surprised when David omits the part about naked swimming pool parties; David Corn, the Mother Jones writer who first posted the video of Romney, goes there.
David points to David Frum’s two-part essay on the sinister message that underlies Romney’s gaffe.
John remembers that Romney’s week started with news about campaign infighting; Politico has the piece driving that discussion.
John chatters about a Twitter conversation between two Star Trek commanders about their cable woes.
Emily chatters about a New York Times policy change on after-the-fact quote approval by sources.
David chatters about an amazing cancer story.
The Master’s soundtrack, composed by Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood.
Hanna Rosin’s book "The End of Men: And the Rise of Women."
Steven Pinker, author of "The Better Angels of Our Nature" who argues that as the number of women in world leadership roles increases, human violence decreases.
The NYC Board of Health’s approval of a ban on the sale of sugary drinks in amounts greater than 16 ounces at restaurants, bodegas, movie theatres, stadiums, and food carts.
Slate’s Dan Engber on the science behind the soda ban.
Julia’s pick: Firefly, Joss Whedon’s short-lived space western TV series from 2002.
Stephen’s pick: The Kings of Convenience’s fragile and beautiful take on A-ha’s “Manhattan Skyline.”