The Perils Prison Reform, and the Vision of a Visually Impaired Artist
Play episode · 28 min

In the past few years, there has been a growing bipartisan demand to reduce the extraordinarily high rate of incarceration in the United States, on both moral and fiscal grounds. But some of the key reforms, according to some prison abolitionists, are actually expanding the “carceral web”—the means by which people are subjected to control by the corrections system. “Reform operates according to a logic of replacement,” the journalist Maya Schenwar tells Sarah Stillman. Drug courts and electronic monitoring are widely popular reforms that, Schenwar argues, only funnel people back into physical prisons, and may cause addicts further harm. Stillman spoke with Schenwar and Victoria Law, the authors of “Prison by Any Other Name: The Harmful Consequences of Popular Reforms.” Plus, Rodney Evans discusses his documentary film “Vision Portraits,” which has been streaming on PBS. It examines the creative processes of a writer, a dancer, and a photographer who are—like the filmmaker—visually impaired. 

Worldly
Worldly
Vox
France, Islam, and free speech
Jenn and Alex discuss the recent terror attacks in France that have occurred amid a national and international uproar about cartoons of the Prophet Muhammed and President Emmanuel Macron’s stance toward Islam in the country. They discuss what Macron’s push for an “Islam of France” really means, the complexities for Muslims to fully integrate into French society, and the ongoing debate about freedom of expression vs. respect for religion. They end by discussing the global response to what’s happening in France, especially the hypocrisy of certain Muslim leaders who are using a contentious issue to benefit themselves. References: Alex has two pieces about the situation in France. A McGill study shows the challenges Muslims have faced to fully integrate in France. A smart opinion piece in Politico argues Macron isn’t a hardliner against Islam. Marine Le Pen, Macron’s far-right challenger, is already calling what’s happening a “war.” Turkey’s leader is using this situation to distract from his economic problems at home. Hosts: Zack Beauchamp (@zackbeauchamp), senior correspondent, Vox Jennifer Williams (@jenn_ruth), senior foreign editor, Vox Alex Ward (@AlexWardVox), national security reporter, Vox   Consider contributing to Vox: If you value Worldly’s work, please consider making a contribution to Vox: bit.ly/givepodcasts   More to explore: Subscribe for free to Today, Explained, Vox’s daily podcast to help you understand the news, hosted by Sean Rameswaram.   About Vox: Vox is a news network that helps you cut through the noise and understand what's really driving the events in the headlines.   Follow Us: Vox.com  Newsletter: Vox Sentences  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
50 min
How to Save a Planet
How to Save a Planet
Gimlet
Presenting: Drilled
Decades ago, the oil company Exxon made a decision that drastically changed our country’s response to climate change. At the time, the company’s scientists were warning about global warming and Exxon was investing in the research and development of renewable energy technologies. But instead of going down the path of pursuing renewables, a small group of powerful people decided to double down on fossil fuels. Today, we’re sharing the story of this inflection point, as told on the first season of the podcast Drilled. If you like what you hear, find Drilled in your favorite podcast app, or at drillednews.com. Want more?  Read this article in Scientific American: Exxon Knew about Climate Change almost 40 years ago, and see more reporting on the topic on Twitter with the hashtag #ExxonKnew  Listen to the rest of the first season of Drilled. Also, check out the current season of Drilled. In the latest season, reporter and host Amy Westervelt is telling the story of a decades-long case between Chevron and an Indigenous group in Ecuador. It's a wild story with a lot of twists and turns that ultimately highlights just how far oil companies are willing to go to avoid accountability. Our podcast now has a patron saint Allow us to introduce you to Eunice Newton Foote, the scientist who discovered that adding carbon dioxide to the atmosphere would cause planetary warming. And she discovered this in 1856!! Check out this paper she published 164 years ago. She tried to warn us! #VoteClimate And lastly, the election ends in just a few days. Besides voting, you can still get involved at a local level. We recommend checking out Lead Locally — an organization whose mission is electing community leaders who are dedicated to stopping big fossil fuel projects & protecting our climate. They have info on the slate of local candidates they are supporting this election and you can even sign up to phone or text bank for them.
40 min
Trump, Inc.
Trump, Inc.
WNYC Studios
Trump, Inc.
Go to New York Magazine to read our list of insiders who profited off the Trump presidency. On April 30, 2018, nine top executives from T-Mobile checked in to the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C., with their names on a list of VIP arrivals. They landed in Washington at a critical moment: Just the day before, T-Mobile had announced plans for a merger with Sprint. To complete the deal, the company needed approval from the Justice Department, one block away on Pennsylvania Avenue. Hanging out in the lobby in his trademark hot-pink-and-black T-Mobile hoodie, then CEO John Legere was instantly recognizable to hotel guests. His company wasn’t just patronizing the president’s hotel. It was advertising that it was doing so. That evening, in a closed-door suite just off the hotel lobby, a small group of political donors got to have dinner with the president of the United States. The guests included a steel magnate, who complained to the president about rules limiting the number of hours a trucker could be on the road, and a property developer, who suggested holding the next summit with Kim Jong-un at a site he had built near Seoul. Also in the mix were two then-obscure businessmen, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman. They had secured an invite to the dinner after promising a $325,000 donation to a Trump-aligned super-PAC. Like the other guests, they came with an agenda. Parnas and Fruman wanted to build an energy business in Ukraine but felt the U.S. ambassador in Kiev, Marie Yovanovitch, stood in their way. Parnas fed the president a fabrication that was sure to get his attention: that Yovanovitch was an anti-Trumper. “She’s basically walking around telling everybody, ‘Wait, he’s going to get impeached,’ ” Parnas told the president. Trump was enraged. Parnas and Fruman and the T-Mobile executives were pulling the same lever that night. And they all got results. T-Mobile’s merger was later approved, and Ambassador Yovanovitch was abruptly removed from the U.S. Embassy in Kiev. Later, Parnas and Fruman were indicted on a -campaign-finance-violations charge (they had concealed the origins of their super-PAC donation) and were arrested with one-way tickets to Vienna in hand. (They have pleaded not guilty and face trial in 2021.) Trump claimed he did not know them. This is the Washington Trump has built these past four years, where people who patronize Trump businesses can expect preferential treatment, where a deputy secretary can oversee a bailout that benefits his family’s company, where administration officials fly in private jets paid for by the public — and where top government officials don’t bother to divest from industries whose policies they oversee. It started at the top, of course. Just nine days before his inauguration, Trump held his first news conference as president-elect. Presiding over a table with towering stacks of folders, Trump’s lawyer suggested there would be a “wall” between Trump’s business and his presidency, even though Trump himself made it quite clear that he would not be divesting. “I have a no-conflict situation because I’m president,” Trump said. “I could run the Trump Organization, great, great company, and I could run the company — the country,” he added. “I’d do a very, very good job, but I don’t want to do that.” Trump never separated himself from his company in any meaningful way. Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump and her husband, Jared Kushner, also didn’t fully divest from their business interests. The couple made tens of millions of dollars from an array of limited-liability companies while also serving in the White House. Trump’s Commerce secretary, Wilbur Ross, pledged to Congress that he would largely sell off his assets, then took dozens of meetings with executives to whose companies he had personal financial ties. Others did divest, but then proceeded to use their agency budgets as their personal piggy banks. Friends, donors, and hangers-on also thrived. Top GOP financier Elliott Broidy leveraged his fundraising into access, including a meeting in the Oval Office. Broidy attempted to use that access as a calling card with foreign officials from whom he sought security contracts. Like several other beneficiaries of Trump’s generosity, Broidy eventually found himself in legal trouble, pleading guilty to violating foreign-lobbying laws on behalf of Malaysian and Chinese clients. But many Trump affiliates benefited in ways that are perfectly legal. Attorney William S. Consovoy, who argued before an appeals court last fall that Trump could shoot someone on Fifth Avenue and be shielded from all consequences (the judges were unpersuaded), brought in $2 million from the RNC and Trump-campaign committees. Others sought the ultimate benefit: freedom. Roger Stone, who would not turn on Trump despite the threat of jail time, was one of many Trump loyalists and allies to receive clemency from the president. To be sure, a lot of people found ways to benefit from Trump’s time in office: journalists, progressive nonprofits, high earners — Trump donors or not. But Trump profiteers went far beyond what used to count as standard-issue Washington swampiness. New York partnered with WNYC’s Trump, Inc. podcast to identify 51 such insiders, whose unprecedented ability to gain from the Trump presidency will go down in history. Their schemes became ever more brazen these past four years, even as their goals shifted. The initial grifts tended to be strictly transactional on the model of the Trump Organization itself, through which the Trump name could be had by nearly anyone for the right price. Later on, not just money but power became the president’s currency. The quids became subtler: shielding Trump from legal consequences, investigating a political opponent, providing an intellectual rationale for understanding the presidency as Trump sees it — not as a civic duty but as a business. Read our full list of 51 Trump insiders (from Sheldon Adelson to Ryan Zinke) at New York Magazine. Sign up for email updates from Trump, Inc. to get the latest on our investigations.
36 min
The Ezra Klein Show
The Ezra Klein Show
Vox
Nate Silver on why 2020 isn't 2016
As you may have heard, there's a pretty important election coming up. That means it's time to bring back the one and only Nate Silver.  Silver, the founder and editor-in-chief of FiveThirtyEight, boasts one of the best election forecasting records of any analyst in the last 15 years. His forecasting models successfully predicted the outcomes in 49 of the 50 states in the 2008 US presidential election and all 50 states in 2012. And in 2016, Silver’s FiveThirtyEight gave Donald Trump a 28 percent chance of victory — a significantly higher percentage than virtually any other prominent analyst at the time. He knows what he’s talking about, and it shows in this conversation. We discuss:  What went wrong with the polls in 2016 — and whether pollsters today have corrected for those mistakes  Why a 2016-sized polling error in 2020 would still hand Joe Biden the election Why the 2020 race has been so incredibly steady despite a global pandemic, an economic crisis, and the biggest national protest movement in US history  The possibility of a Biden landslide   The not-so-small chance that Biden could win Texas and Georgia  The massive Republican advantage in the Senate, House, and Electoral College — and how that affects our national politics  Why the Senate would still advantage Republicans, even if Democrats added five blue states.  Whether the Bernie Sanders left took the wrong lessons from 2016  Why Biden’s unorthodox 2020 campaign strategy has been so successful  Whether Sanders would be doing just as well against Trump as Biden is doing  How a more generic, non-Trump Republican would be faring against Biden  Why Silver is generally optimistic that we will avoid an electoral crisis on November 3  And much more. References: “How FiveThirtyEight’s 2020 Presidential Forecast Works — And What’s Different Because Of COVID-19." Nate Silver, FiveThirtyEight "The Senate’s Rural Skew Makes It Very Hard For Democrats To Win The Supreme Court." Nate Silver, FiveThirtyEight Let the People Pick the President: The Case for Abolishing the Electoral College by Jesse Wegman "Toby Ord on existential risk, Donald Trump, and thinking in probabilities." The Ezra Klein Show "The Real Story of 2016" by Nate Silver Book recommendations: The Biggest Bluff by Maria Konnikova Superintelligence by Nick Bostrom The Precipice by Toby Ord   Credits: Producer/Audio engineer - Jeff Geld Researcher - Roge Karma Please consider making a contribution to Vox to support this show: bit.ly/givepodcasts Your support will help us keep having ambitious conversations about big ideas. New to the show? Want to check out Ezra’s favorite episodes? Check out the Ezra Klein Show beginner’s guide (http://bit.ly/EKSbeginhere) Want to contact the show? Reach out at ezrakleinshow@vox.com Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
1 hr 11 min
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