Jane Mayer and Evan Osnos on the Balance of Power at the Start of the Biden Administration
Play • 30 min

With Donald Trump rated the least popular President in the span of modern polling, President Biden might feel confident in claiming a mandate to advance his progressive agenda. Yet Democratic majorities in Congress are slim in the House of Representatives, and razor-thin in the Senate. That gives a small number of Democratic conservatives and moderate Republicans outsized influence over what legislation can pass. Senator Mitch McConnell, in a power-sharing arrangement with the Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, remains a force to be reckoned with. What will this balance of power mean for the new Administration? David Remnick poses this question to Jane Mayer, who has reported on McConnell’s tenure as a political operator, and to Evan Osnos, who covered Biden’s campaign and wrote a biography of the new President.

The Ezra Klein Show
The Ezra Klein Show
New York Times Opinion
How the Texas Crisis Could Become Everyone's Crisis
Last week, freezing temperatures overwhelmed the Texas power grid, setting off rolling blackouts that left millions without power during an intense winter storm. But this story is a lot bigger than Texas: Our world is built around a model of the climate from the 19th and 20th centuries. Global warming is going to crack that model apart, and with it, much of the physical and political infrastructure civilization relies on. At the same time, there’s good news on the climate front, too. The Biden administration has rejoined the Paris climate accords, pushed through a blitz of executive orders on the environment, and is planning a multitrillion-dollar climate bill. China has also set newly ambitious targets for decarbonization. Renewable energy is getting cheaper, faster, than almost anyone dared hope. And if you follow climate models, you know the most catastrophic outcomes have become less likely in recent years. I wanted to have a conversation about both the emergency in Texas, and the broader picture on climate. Leah Stokes is a political scientist at University of California, Santa Barbara, and author of the excellent book “Short Circuiting Policy,” which, among other things, explores Texas’ surprising history with renewables. David Wallace-Wells is an editor at large at New York magazine and author of “The Uninhabitable Earth,” one of the most sobering, disquieting portraits of our future — though he is, as you’ll hear in this discussion, getting a bit more optimistic. We discuss whether the Texas crisis is going to be the new normal worldwide, the harrowing implications of how Texas Republicans have responded, why liberals should be cheering on Elon Musk, the difficulties liberal states are having on climate policy, the obstacles to decarbonization, the horrifying truth of what “adapting” to climate change will actually entail, why air pollution alone is a public health crisis worth solving, whether nuclear energy is the answer, and much more. I learned so much getting to sit in on this conversation. You will, too. References “Migration towards Bangladesh coastlines projected to increase with sea level rise through 2100” by AR Bell, et al. “Inequity in consumption of goods and services adds to racial–ethnic disparities in air pollution exposure” by Christopher W. Tessum, et al. “Wildfire Exposure Increases Pro-Environment Voting within Democratic but Not Republican Areas” by Chad Hazlett and Matto Mildenberger “Prisoners of the Wrong Dilemma: Why Distributive Conflict, Not Collective Action, Characterizes the Politics of Climate Change” by Michaël Aklin and Matto Mildenberger Recommendations: Short Circuiting Policy by Leah Stokes The Lorax by Dr. Seuss Under a White Sky by Elizabeth Kolbert The Ministry for the Future by Kim Stanley Robinson The Ezra Klein Show is hiring an Associate Producer! Apply to work with us by clicking here or by visiting www.nytco.com/careers. Thoughts? Email us at ezrakleinshow@nytimes.com. New episodes every Tuesday and Friday. The Ezra Klein Show is produced by Roge Karma and Jeff Geld; fact-checking by Michelle Harris; original music by Isaac Jones; mixing by Jeff Geld.
1 hr 20 min
The Experiment
The Experiment
The Atlantic, WNYC Studios
The Sisterhood
At the start of the pandemic, Jollene Levid and her mother, Nora, found themselves glued to Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s nightly press conferences. In a press conference late last March, Garcetti announced a new milestone: the first health-care worker in Los Angeles County to die of the disease. “When I heard him say that, I realized that he was talking about Auntie Rosary,” Jollene Levid says, speaking about Rosary Castro-Olega, a 63-year-old nurse who came out of retirement to work in hospitals strained by the pandemic. Castro-Olega’s death helped inspire an online memorial called Kanlungan, which honors the lives of health-care workers of Filipino descent. This week on The Experiment, the story of why so many people—many of them women, many of them nurses—have left the Philippines to work in the American health-care system, and why they have been so disproportionately affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Be part of The Experiment. Use the hashtag #TheExperimentPodcast, or write to us at theexperiment@theatlantic.com. Listen and subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | Google Podcasts This episode was reported and produced by Tracie Hunte and Gabrielle Berbey, with editing by Julia Longoria and Katherine Wells. Fact-check by William Brennan and Stephanie Hayes. Sound design by David Herman. Music by Keyboard (“Small Island,” “My Atelier,” “Mu,” and “Ojima”), water feature (“a paradise,” “richard iii (duke of gloucester)”), Laurie Bird (“Detail Wash”), naran ratan (“Forevertime Journeys”), r mccarthy (“Home/Home”), and Parish Council (“New Apt.”) provided by Tasty Morsels. Additional music by APM (“Macho Theme”). Additional audio from C-SPAN, the Associated Press, and ABS-CBN News.
31 min
On the Media
On the Media
WNYC Studios
OTM Presents: La Brega
This week, OTM presents stories from a new series hosted by our own Alana Casanova-Burgess, called "La Brega." Hear what that term means, how it's used, and what it represents. Also, how one of the most famous homebuilding teams in American history tried to export American suburbanism to Puerto Rico... as a bulwark against Cuban communism. 1. Alana [@AlanaLlama] explores the full meaning(s) of la brega, which has different translations depending on who you ask. According to scholar and professor emeritus at Princeton, Arcadio Diaz Quiñonez, the closest English word is " to grapple." Alana also speaks to Cheo Santiago [@adoptaunhoyo], creator of "Adopta Un Hoyo" (Adopt a Pothole), which encourages people to paint around and photograph potholes to alert other drivers. Because the roads are rarely fixed properly, the challenges of potholes and what people do to get around them is a metaphorical and literal brega in Puerto Rico. Listen. 2. Next, Alana turns to the boom and bust of Levittown, a suburb that was founded on the idea of bringing the American middle-class lifestyle to Puerto Rico during a time of great change on the island. Alana (herself the granddaughter of an early Levittown resident) explores what the presence of a Levittown in Puerto Rico tells us about the promises of the American Dream in Puerto Rico. Listen. Created by a team of Puerto Rican journalists, producers, musicians, and artists from the island and diaspora, "La Brega" uses narrative storytelling and investigative journalism to reflect and reveal how la brega has defined so many aspects of life in Puerto Rico. All episodes are out now, and available in English and Spanish. Listen to the full series: Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | Google Podcasts Music in this series comes from Balún and ÌFÉ
50 min
The United States of Anxiety
The United States of Anxiety
WNYC Studios
Blackness (Un)interrupted
Our Future of Black History series concludes with conversations about self-expression. Because when you carry a collective history in your identity, it can be hard to find yourself. We reflect on the life, language and legacy of renowned writer Zora Neale Hurston with Bernice McFadden, a novelist and contributor to the new anthology, Four Hundred Souls: A Community History Of African America, 1619-2019. Producer Veralyn Williams then brings us a story about a deep division that continues to plague the Black community today, despite being a remnant of chattel slavery: colorism. Through a candid conversation with her sister who lives with vitiligo, she learns how one’s outlook on life and love of self changes when you’ve lived as both a lighter and darker-skinned woman. Companion listening for this episode: “The Origin Story of Black History Month” (02/01/2021) We’ve got complicated relationships with this annual celebration -- from joy to frustration. So to launch our Future of Black History series, we ask how it began and what it can be. “The ‘Beautiful Experiments’ Left Out of Black History” (02/08/2021) Cultural historian Saidiya Hartman introduces Kai to the young women whose radical lives were obscured by respectability politics, in the second installment of our Future of Black History series. “The United States of Anxiety” airs live on Sunday evenings at 6pm ET. The podcast episodes are lightly edited from our live broadcasts. To catch all the action, tune into the show on Sunday nights via the stream on WNYC.org/anxiety or tell your smart speakers to play WNYC.
51 min
Science Friday
Science Friday
Science Friday and WNYC Studios
Texas Storm, NASA Climate Advisor, Mars Sounds. Feb 26, 2021, Part 1
Does A Vaccine Help You If You’ve Already Had COVID-19? Vaccines doses have started to rollout and are getting into the arms of people. We know that if you already had COVID-19, you build up antibodies against the virus. So do the vaccines affect you if you’ve already had COVID-19? Science writer Roxanne Khamsi talks about recent studies showing that a single dose of vaccine could boost immunity for former COVID-19 patients. She also discusses a study that found over 140,000 viral species in the human gut and Elizabeth Ann, the first cloned black-footed ferret. The Aftermath Of Texas’ Winter Storm While power has been mostly restored, journalists report Texans are now facing water shortages, housing damage, and crop losses. Texas grocery store shelves have begun filling out again. But for the state’s agriculture industry, recovering from the winter storm will take time, and consumers are likely to feel it in their pockets. The historic freeze and power outages brought agriculture across the state to a halt. Dairy farmers were forced to dump gallons of unpasteurized milk for days as processing plants were left without power. Packing houses also shut down with machinery cut off from electricity and employees unable to make their shifts, said Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller. Meanwhile, the products on the market were quickly bought up by panicked Texans just before and after the storm. By Monday, Miller said he had seen the price of hamburgers go up to $8.50 a pound, and he expects prices to remain elevated as the food supply chain stabilizes. “It’s not going to be back to normal for at least six to eight weeks,” Miller said. “You’ll still see shortages of some stuff, and even though the shelves may be full, the prices will be high.” Read and listen to the full story in the State of Science series. Keeping An Eye On The Climate, From Space The climate is changing, and so is the U.S. government’s approach to it. The Biden White House has made the climate crisis a high priority, and has created several new positions focused on climate science. One of those new climate posts can be found at the space agency NASA. While rockets and Mars rovers may seem far removed from climate issues, NASA is actually the lead federal agency in climate observations, with a fleet of satellites tracking everything from sea temperature to CO2 levels to chlorophyll. Ira talks with Gavin Schmidt, who has recently been named in an acting role to be the senior climate advisor for NASA. He’s also director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York. They discuss upcoming climate-focused NASA programs, last week’s cold weather in Texas, and the challenge of making better decisions in an uncertain climate future.
47 min
Stay Tuned with Preet
Stay Tuned with Preet
CAFE
COVID Counselor (with Andy Slavitt)
Interview taped on Tuesday, February 23, 2021. On this week’s episode of Stay Tuned, “COVID Counselor,” Preet answers listener questions about New York Governor Cuomo’s alleged misreporting of COVID deaths in nursing homes, Congressman Bennie Thompson suit against Trump for his role in inciting the January 6th riot, and Attorney General nominee Merrick Garland’s Senate confirmation hearing. Then, Preet is joined by Andy Slavitt, the Biden Administration’s Senior Advisor to the COVID-19 Response Coordinator.  In the Stay Tuned bonus, Slavitt discusses the United State’s role in international COVID vaccine aid, and why the Trump administration didn’t buy enough vaccines for every American.  For show notes and a transcript of the episode, head to: https://cafe.com/stay-tuned/covid-counselor-with-andy-slavitt/ Listen to the first five episodes of Doing Justice, Preet’s new free six-part podcast based on his bestselling book of the same name. You can hear Preet’s incredible stories from his time as U.S. Attorney on Apple Podcasts (apple.co/doingjustice), Spotify (spoti.fi/3p9Xwja) or wherever you get your podcasts. To listen to Stay Tuned bonus content, become a member of CAFE Insider at: CAFE.com/Insider  Sign up to receive the CAFE Brief, a weekly newsletter featuring analysis by Elie Honig, and features by CAFE staff: CAFE.com/brief As always, tweet your questions to @PreetBharara with hashtag #askpreet, email us at staytuned@cafe.com, or call 669-247-7338 to leave a voicemail. Stay Tuned with Preet is produced by CAFE Studios.  Executive Producer: Tamara Sepper; Senior Editorial Producer: Adam Waller; Technical Director: David Tatasciore; Audio Producer: Matthew Billy; Editorial Producers: David Kurlander, Noa Azulai, Sam Ozer-Staton. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
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