Politics and Polls podcast

Politics and Polls

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How are Congress and the courts exercising their powers on the issue of voting rights? Julian Zelizer and Sam Wang are joined by Wendy Weiser, vice president for democracy at the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University, for a conversation about voting rights from the Texas State legislature to the U.S. Supreme Court.  Weiser has appeared on CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, PBS, and has written for The New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today, and others. Before joining the Brennan Center, Weiser was a senior attorney at NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund and a litigation associate at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison. 

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Politics and Polls Podcast Episodes

#245: The Continued Fight for Voting Rights (Wendy Weiser)

How are Congress and the courts exercising their powers on the issue of voting rights? Julian Zelizer and Sam Wang are joined by Wendy Weiser, vice president for democracy at the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University, for a conversation about voting rights from the Texas State legislature to the U.S. Supreme Court.  Weiser has appeared on CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, PBS, and has written for The New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today, and others. Before joining the Brennan Center, Weiser was a senior attorney at NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund and a litigation associate at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison. 

#244: Public Health Saved Your Life (Dr. Leana Wen)

New daily Covid-19 infections in the U.S. are reaching 100,000+, yet, not too long ago, that number was 11,000. With everyone asking ‘where do we go from here?’, Dr. Leana Wen joins Julian and Sam to consider the path through the pandemic and the future of public health. The trio preview Wen’s brand-new book, “Lifelines: A Doctor's Journey in the Fight for Public Health,” which chronicles public health’s successful innovations through the lens of Wen’s personal journey from young immigrant to Baltimore Health Commissioner. Throughout the pandemic, Wen’s expertise has been front-and-center in her contributing columns for The Washington Post and medical analyses on CNN. She is an emergency physician, visiting professor of health policy and management at George Washington University, and a nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution.

#243: In Plain Sight: Lady Bird Johnson (Julia Sweig)

Behind almost every U.S. President there has been a First Lady... but we don't always hear much about them. This week, author Julia Sweig joins Julian Zelizer and Sam Wang to discuss her book and podcast, “In Plain Sight,” which delves into the audio diaries of Lady Bird Johnson.  Julia Sweig is a New York Times bestselling author whose writing has appeared in the Washington Post, the Atlantic, the Nation, and more. She’s a senior research fellow at the Lyndon Baines Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas-Austin. Her most recent book, “Lady Bird Johnson: Hiding in Plain Sight,” was released in March 2021. Sweig is also the creator, host, and executive producer of In Plain Sight, a podcast developed with ABC Audio and Best Case Studios focused on the same topic. 

#242: Partisan Identity & Political Instability (Brendan Nyhan)

How are partisan identity and misinformation connected? Sam Wang is joined by Brendan Nyhan to discuss misinformation, partisan identity, and the stability of America's democratic norms. Nyhan is a professor in the Department of Government at Dartmouth College. He is a researcher on politics, polarization, and healthcare, with an emphasis on false beliefs. He’s also a contributor to the Upshot from The New York Times and the co-founder of Bright Line Watch, a group that monitors the health of American democracy.

#241: Vaccines, Critical Race Theory & More

What in the world is going on? Julian Zelizer and Sam Wang catch you up on some of the biggest discussions happening in politics today: messaging about vaccines and the ongoing controversy about critical race theory and school curriculums.  

#240: ‘Alligator Candy’ & the Strength of Community (David Kushner)

Julian Zelizer sits down with David Kushner to discuss his new podcast Alligator Candy, which is based on his memoir of the same name. The podcast tells the story of Kushner’s family and how the community came together after the disappearance of his brother.    Kushner is an acclaimed author and journalist who serves as a contributing editor of Rolling Stone and Outside. He has also written for publications including Vanity Fair, Wired, The New Yorker, New York Times Magazine, GQ, and more.

#239: Did Bill Barr Corrupt the DOJ? (Elie Honig)

How did Bill Barr alter the effectiveness of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) during his time as President Donald Trump's attorney general? Elie Honig joins Julian Zelizer and Sam Wang for a deep dive into the DOJ and a discussion of his new book, "Hatchet Man: How Bill Barr Broke the Prosecutor's Code and Corrupted the Justice Department,” released July 6.   Honig worked as a state and federal prosecutor for 14 years, trying cases including human trafficking and violent and organized crime. He’s now a CNN legal analyst, a writer for the online news outlet CAFE, and a special counsel for the firm of Lowenstein Sandler, LLP.

#238: The Truth is Out There...Somewhere (Adam Frank)

Is there life on other planets? Are UFOs evidence of such life? Astrophysicist Adam Frank joins Julian Zelizer and Sam Wang to discuss his research of technosignatures — signs of past or present use of technology on other planets — and the search for evidence of life outside Earth. Adam Frank is professor of physics and astronomy at the University of Rochester. He’s a regular contributor to NPR’s All Things Considered, and he occasionally writes for The New York Times. Last year, he and several of his colleagues were awarded a grant from NASA to fund the study of technosignatures.

#237: Nixon at War (Kurt Andersen)

President Richard M. Nixon is perhaps best known for the Watergate scandal and becoming the first U.S. president to resign. But how much more is there to that familiar narrative? Kurt Andersen joins Julian Zelizer to discuss his new podcast, Nixon at War, and the behind-the-scenes story of the downfall of America's 37th President.  Kurt Andersen is a New York Times bestselling author, journalist, and radio host. Currently he’s the host, writer, and co-producer of the new PRX podcast Nixon at War, a seven-episode series that tells the story of America’s 37th President.

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