Episode #32

Gabfest Radio: The DOMA at the SCOTUS Edition

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Saturday, March 30, 2013

On this week’s episode of Gabfest Radio from Slate and WNYC, Political Gabfest panelists Emily Bazelon, John Dickerson, and David Plotz discuss the Supreme Court oral arguments about two momentous gay marriage cases, one involving California’s Proposition 8 and the other focusing on the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). They also consider This American Life’s investigation of why so many Americans are receiving disability benefits.

Then on the Culture Gabfest portion of the show, Dana Stevens, John Swansburg, and June Thomas discuss Phil Spector, David Mamet’s HBO movie about the music producer’s murder trial, from its soggy, static scenes to its intense wig action. The Culturefesters then ponder Spring Breakers: Does Harmony Korine’s latest movie offer ecstatic freedom and transcendence or merely a lecherous camera focused on bikini-clad gyrations? Finally, they discuss Lew Wallace, the disgraced Civil War general and author of the best-selling novel Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ.

Join the Gabfest discussion all week long at the Political Gabfest Facebook page and the Culture Gabfest Facebook page.

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):

Emily filed reports from this week’s Supreme Court hearings on  United States v. Windsor and Hollingsworth v. Perry. She also shared an up update with Stephen Colbert.

If the purpose of marriage is procreation then why allow infertile couples to marry? It builds support for “the marital norm,” argued a lawyer defending Prop 8 at the Hollingsworth v. Perry hearing. Slate’s Will Saletan writes that while this argument may offend liberals, it’s the gateway that could allow more conservatives to support marriage equality.

David references Andrew Sullivan’s landmark essay, from 1989, about why conservatives should support gay marriage.

David recommends Nate Silver’s survey of how public opinion about gay marriage is changing.

This American Life on why the number of Americans receiving disability benefits has doubled over the past 15 years,

reported by Planet Money's Chana Joffe-Walt.

CULTURE GABFEST (Click here for this week’s individual episode at Slate):

Los Angeles Times reporter Harriet Ryan on HBO’s Phil Spector.

Troy Patterson for Slate on Phil Spector.

Dana Stevens’ Slate review of Spring Breakers.

The movies of writer/director Harmony Korine.

The rapper RiFF Raff.

Spring Breakers’ costume designer Heidi Bivens on selecting wardrobe for the movie.

John Swansburg on “The Passion of Lew Wallace” for Slate.

The 1880 book Ben Hur: A Tale of the Christ, by Lew Wallace, and its 1959 film adaptation Ben-Hur.


June’s pick: The British soap opera Coronation Street, which has been on the air for more than 50 years (and is the best TV show in the history of the world) and is now available on Hulu.

John’s pick: James Salter’s forthcoming novel All That Is.

Dana’s pick: The 2009 documentary The Agony and the Ecstasy of Phil Spector, available in nine parts on YouTube.

End Music: “Spanish Harlem” by Ben E. King, co-written by Phil Spector.

Hosted by:

Emily Bazelon, John Dickerson, Stephen Metcalf, David Plotz, Dana Stevens and Julia Turner

Comments [1]

L from New York

Regarding this and other discussions or reports that I had heard on NPR programs about the fact that a majority of people are getting disability benefits; there has been discussion about the fact that for a lot of people receiving disability benefits, it involves intentionally not
finding work since they might get less money by working than by staying jobless and receiving disability benefits. For other people it involves applying for disability benefits for a child who is not doing well in school and claiming that that child is "learning disabled" and then afterward making sure that the child does not progress in school because it could mean no-longer qualifying for disability benefits.

This issue is not new. It is several decades old. You could go to a library and find an August 1994 issue of Reader's Digest and turn to page 105 and find an excellent article on the matter written by Randy Fitzgerald called "America's Shocking Disability Scam."
You can also try the link below for some more insignt on the matter.

The fact is that though Disability benefits were created as a way to help people in need, it has turned out like a lot of other welfare programs, people abuse the system and use it as a way of mooching money from the government and/or taxpayers often for their entire lifetimes.
Though on Gabfest, the issue was discussed intelligently and with consideration of the fact that people are inadvertently encouraged to stay poor and undereducated, what was not mentioned was the fact that it is not merely a matter of people "being trapped" because they are not given better programs that would help them improve their lives by getting job skills and going to school and eventually finding good-paying jobs, there are actually situations in which people don't care to improve themselves or get job skills or get educated. For some people, disability benefits are a way to remain drug addicted, or alcohol addicted. In fact it is likely that the reason why most people are on disability is beause it is a way out of finding a job; and another works as another system of welfare.

Apr. 07 2013 01:00 PM

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