Slate Political Gabfest

The How to Debate a Drunk Person Edition

Friday, July 31, 2015

Live from Sixth & I Historic Synagogue in Washington, D.C., Emily Bazelon, John Dickerson, and David Plotz discuss the upcoming Republican primary debate on Fox News, the New York magazine cover story about the many rape and assault allegations against entertainer Bill Cosby, and the indomitable rise of Uber. Slate's Political Gabfest is sponsored by ZipRecruiter. With ZipRecruiter, you can post your job to over 100 job sites with a single click and an interface that's easy to use. Right now, you can try ZipRecruiter for free! Go to And by Blue Apron, the new service that delivers all the ingredients you need to make incredible meals at home. Discover a better way to cook.  Visit to get your first two meals free. Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at Twitter: @SlateGabfest Facebook: Email: Show notes at


99% Invisible

54- The Colour of Money (R)

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

United States paper currency is so ubiquitous that to really look at its graphic design with fresh eyes requires some deliberate and focused attention. Pull a greenback out from your wallet (or look at a picture online) and really take … Continue reading


Slate Culture Gabfest

"How Could You?" Edition

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Stephen Metcalf, Julia Turner, and Dana Stevens discuss the Cosby scandal with Grantland writer Wesley Morris, the legacy of director Mike Nichols, and the cultural things the Gabbers are thankful for this year.


Slate Political Gabfest

The Political Gabfest: The "Are You on Hillary's Hit List?" Edition

Friday, February 14, 2014

Slate's Political Gabfest, featuring David Plotz, John Dickerson, Emily Bazelon, and Planet Money co-founder Adam Davidson. This week: The Clintons, the vanishing middle class, and AOL chief Tim Armstrong's "distressed babies" comment. Show notes at


The Brian Lehrer Show

Credit Checks on Job Applicants

Monday, December 03, 2012

Brooklyn City Councilman (D-39) Brad Lander talks about a proposal he's co-sponsoring to ban the use of credit checks during hiring in New York City. Plus,Emmett Pinkston talks about how his credit score disqualified him for a job with the Transportation Security Administration two years ago.

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Listen to Lucy

Don’t aim for the top unless you feel lucky

Monday, June 25, 2012

We can study Bill Gates all we like but we’re not going to end up where he is, says the FT's Lucy Kellaway


Transportation Nation

Leaders to Negotiators: Make One Last Push on Transportation Bill

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Congressional leaders told negotiators involved in faltering transportation bill talks to bear down and make an agreement.

That was the message transmitted by lawmakers emerging from a meeting at Speaker John Boehner's Capitol offices on Tuesday afternoon. Chief GOP negotiator Rep. John Mica (R-Fla.) said Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) told lawmakers to "redouble our efforts" to try and reach an agreement by the end of this week.

Mica suggested negotiations are entering a final, critical stage. Other lawmakers have suggested that a six-month extension of current surface transportation policy will have to be drafted to prevent highway programs from shutting down June 30, when federal authority to spend money from the Highway Trust Fund expires.

"We're going to take it hour by hour," Mica said.

Mica said Boxer had offered new Senate proposals in the talks. But a House GOP leadership aide suggested Democrats have been unwilling to move far off of policy positions contained in the Senate bill, which passed in March with 74 votes.

Follow Todd Zwillich on Twitter @toddzwillich


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Listen to Lucy

A dose of dullness is good for business

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Being boring is no barrier to great leadership, says the FT's Lucy Kellaway


Slate Culture Gabfest

Slate: The Culture Gabfest, Totally Gruesome Edition

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Jason Zinoman’s guide to fixing modern horror, the film industry’s approach to online piracy, and the debate over antidepressants on this week’s Culture Gabfest podcast.


Transportation Nation

Democrats Chase the Transpo Spending Unicorn

Thursday, June 30, 2011

President Barack Obama listens to a question during a press conference in the East Room of the White House. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

(Washington DC) Democrats are holding onto the dream.

The partisan politics that swirl around the much-maligned $787 billion stimulus has all but erased any chance of new transportation infrastructure spending, at least until the economy improves.

But listen to top Democrats—including President Barack Obama—over the last couple of days, and you wouldn’t know that both the Republican party, as well as much of the public, has lost their appetite for such spending.

With talks over raising the federal debt limit and reigning in the deficit at a standstill, Obama took to the White House East Room Wednesday afternoon to push back on what he sees as Republican intransigence. The GOP is sticking to its guns: no tax increases of any kind can be part of a deal on the debt limit.

Obama had plenty to say about that. But he also said that new job spending—you could call it stimulus—should be part of the deal as a way to goose the still-flagging economy.

“I think it’s important for us to look at rebuilding our transportation infrastructure in this country.  That could put people back to work right now -- construction workers back to work right now.  And it would get done work that America needs to get done.  We used to have the best roads, the best bridges, the best airports.  We don’t anymore.  And that’s not good for our long-term competitiveness,” the president said.

Obama seemed to suggest that the new spending could be folded in as part of a broader deal to cut the deficit. Such spending has not specifically come up in meetings with Republicans so far, according to aides on Capitol Hill.

But Democrats have enjoyed hammering the GOP lately for ignoring middle-class jobs at the expense of the wealthy. It’s a reliable cudgel, to be sure. And Democrats are now promising that once a debt deal is behind them and all the painful cuts are made, they’ll return with an aggressive jobs plan chock full of transportation wishes.

Witness Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) on Thursday morning in Washington. Schumer gave a politically charged speech castigating Republicans for trying to hamper Obama by blocking any measures that might help job growth in the short term.

Schumer said Democrats would soon launch a “Jobs First” agenda, designed to speed a drop in the unemployment rates and build long-term economic soundness. Of course, in this toxic atmosphere, it’s also designed to poll-test well with 2012 voters.

Schumer called for:

“A Highway Bill that will put people back to work building critical infrastructure that is necessary to help our economy compete, for example by making it easier to transport manufactured goods from their plant in Ohio to the port in Washington, or Los Angeles or New York.”

and also:

“A National Infrastructure Bank, which both labor and the Chamber of Commerce have strongly supported, and which would create a platform to leverage private sector investment for projects of national or regional significance.”

Of course neither of those items is new on the Democrats’ wish-list. But Obama and Schumer clearly think that pushing for them on the cusp of an election year will play well with prospective voters. For now, they’re clawing for traction against consistent GOP messaging that out-of-control spending is what got the nation into this debt conundrum to begin with.

Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY), the GOP leader, took to the Senate floor Thursday with this: “Who really thinks that the answer to a $1.6 trillion deficit is a second Stimulus, that the answer is more deficit spending? Where in the world did that idea come from?”

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Slate Culture Gabfest

Slate: The Culture Gabfest Daddy, Can I Keep This Direwolf? Edition

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

In this week's Culture Gabfest, our critics discuss Game of Thrones on HBO, Will Ferrell sends off Steve Carell on The Office, and new documentary Bill Cunningham New York.



9/11 Health Bill Up for Second Vote

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

The 9/11 Health Bill would provide compensation to sickened World Trade Center clean-up workers.



Obama Approves $600 Million for Border Security

Friday, August 13, 2010

The new border security bill will fund more agents and surveillance equipment along the border.


The Takeaway

Senate Moves Forward $26 Billion Spending Bill

Thursday, August 05, 2010

The Senate handed President Barack Obama a victory yesterday as they passed a test vote on a $26 billion spending bill. The bill combines $16 billion in Medicaid funding and $10 billion in layoff prevention. Takeaway Washington correspondent, Todd Zwillich, has the details.



On Grand Street, Politics Are Very Local

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Mayor Bloomberg has been redefining New York’s streets as places to walk and ride bicycles, not just drive. He’s turned Times Square into a pedestrian zone, introduced traffic calming measures and added 200 miles of bike lanes in the past three years. Some New Yorkers have balked at these changes. ...

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