Post Reports
Post Reports
Oct 27, 2020
Will your vote count?
25 min
What we can learn from a Supreme Court decision on mail-in ballots in Wisconsin. The states where most voters still can’t vote by mail. And why it’s easier to vote from space than from your own home.

Read more:


Forget the official deadlines: Experts and campaigns say it's now too late to vote by mail. The latest from Jacob Bogage.

Coronavirus cases are surging again. But in five states, most voters fearful of infection are not allowed to cast ballots by mail. Reporter Arelis Hernández describes the restrictions leaving tens of millions of people with the risky choice of voting in person or not voting at all. 

In 2020, casting a ballot from space may be easier than casting one on Earth. Editor Ruby Mellen explains how that could be.

Check out The Washington Post’s How to Vote guide for information on your state.

Subscribe to The Washington Post: https://postreports.com/offer

In a new three-part documentary, The Washington Post explores a failed response to the coronavirus pandemic that’s left 225,000 Americans dead, despite decades of preparation in Washington. Watch “America’s Pandemic” here: http://wapo.st/pandemic
The Ezra Klein Show
The Ezra Klein Show
Vox
The most important book I've read this year
If I could get policymakers, and citizens, everywhere to read just one book this year, it would be Kim Stanley Robinson’s The Ministry for the Future.  Best known for the Mars trilogy, Robinson is one of the greatest living science fiction writers. And in recent years, he's become the greatest writers of what people now call cli-fi — climate fiction. The name is a bit of a misnomer: Climate fiction is less fictitious speculation than an attempt to envision a near future that we are likely to inhabit. It’s an attempt to take our present — and thus the future we’re ensuring — more seriously than we currently do. Robinson’s new book does exactly that.  In The Ministry for the Future, Robinson imagines a world wracked by climate catastrophe. Some nations begin unilateral geoengineering. Eco-violence arises, as people begin to begin experience unchecked climate change as an act of war against them, and they respond in kind, using new technologies to hunt those they blame. Capitalism ruptures, changes, and is remade. Nations, and the relations between them, transform. Ultimately, humanity is successful, but it is a terrifying success — a success that involves making the kinds of choices that none of us want to even think about making.  This conversation with Robinson was fantastic. We discuss why the end of the world is easier to imagine than the end of capitalism; how changes to the biosphere will force humanity to rethink capitalism, borders, terrorism, and currency; the influence of eco-Marxism on Robinson’s thinking; how existing power relationships define the boundaries of what is considered violence; why science-fiction as a discipline is particularly suited to grapple with climate change; what a complete rethinking of the entire global economic system could look like; why Robinson thinks geoengineering needs to be on the table; the vastly underrated importance of the Paris Climate Agreement; and much more. References: "'There is no planet B': the best books to help us navigate the next 50 years" by Kim Stanley Robinson My conversation on geoengineering with Jane Flegal The Ezra Klein Show climate change series Book recommendations: Unsheltered by Barbara Kingsolver  The Arrest by Jonathan Lethem  Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead by Olga Tokarczuk 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 37 min
Trump, Inc.
Trump, Inc.
WNYC Studios
Midnight Regulations
This story was co-published with ProPublica. Sign up for email updates from Trump, Inc. to get the latest on our investigations. Six days after President Donald Trump lost his bid for reelection, the U.S. Department of Agriculture notified food safety groups that it was proposing a regulatory change to speed up chicken factory processing lines, a change that would allow companies to sell more birds. An earlier USDA effort had broken down on concerns that it could lead to more worker injuries and make it harder to stop germs like salmonella. Ordinarily, a change like this would take about two years to go through the cumbersome legal process of making new federal regulations. But the timing has alarmed food and worker safety advocates, who suspect the Trump administration wants to rush through this rule in its waning days. Even as Trump and his allies officially refuse to concede the Nov. 3 election, the White House and federal agencies are hurrying to finish dozens of regulatory changes before Joe Biden is inaugurated on Jan. 20. The rules range from long-simmering administration priorities to last-minute scrambles and affect everything from creature comforts like showerheads and clothes washers to life-or-death issues like federal executions and international refugees. They impact everyone from the most powerful, such as oil drillers, drugmakers and tech startups, to the most vulnerable, such as families on food stamps, transgender people in homeless shelters, migrant workers and endangered species. ProPublica is tracking those regulations as they move through the rule-making process. Every administration does some version of last-minute rule-making, known as midnight regulations, especially with a change in parties. It’s too soon to say how the Trump administration’s tally will stack up against predecessors. But these final weeks are solidifying conservative policy objectives that will make it harder for the Biden administration to advance its own agenda, according to people who track rules developed by federal agencies. “The bottom line is the Trump administration is trying to get things published in the Federal Register, leaving the next administration to sort out the mess,” said Matthew Kent, who tracks regulatory policy for left-leaning advocacy group Public Citizen. “There are some real roadblocks to Biden being able to wave a magic wand on these.” In some instances the Trump administration is using shortcuts to get more rules across the finish line, such as taking less time to accept and review public feedback. It’s a risky move. On the one hand, officials want to finalize rules so that the next administration won’t be able to change them without going through the process all over again. On the other, slapdash rules may contain errors, making them more vulnerable to getting struck down in court. The Trump administration is on pace to finalize 36 major rules in its final three months, similar to the 35 to 40 notched by the previous four presidents, according to Daniel Perez, a policy analyst at the George Washington University Regulatory Studies Center. In 2017, Republican lawmakers struck down more than a dozen Obama-era rules using a fast-track mechanism called the Congressional Review Act. That weapon may be less available for Democrats to overturn Trump’s midnight regulations if Republicans keep control of the Senate, which will be determined by two Georgia runoffs. Still, a few GOP defections could be enough to kill a rule with a simple majority. “This White House is not likely to be stopping things and saying on principle elections have consequences, let’s respect the voters’ decision and not rush things through to tie the next guys’ hands,” said Susan Dudley, who led the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs in the Office of Management and Budget at the end of the George W. Bush administration. “One concern is the rules are rushed so they didn’t have adequate analysis or public comment, and that’s what we’re seeing.” The Trump White House didn’t respond to requests for comment on which regulations it’s aiming to finish before Biden’s inauguration. The Biden transition team also didn’t respond to questions about which of Trump’s parting salvos the new president would prioritize undoing. Many of the last-minute changes would add to the heap of changes throughout the Trump administration to pare back Obama-era rules and loosen environmental and consumer protections, all in the name of shrinking the government’s role in the economy. “Our proposal today greatly furthers the Trump administration’s regulatory reform efforts, which together have already amounted to the most aggressive effort to reform federal regulations of any administration,” Brian Harrison, the chief of staff for the Department of Health and Human Services, said on a conference call with reporters the day after the election. Harrison was unveiling a new proposal to automatically purge regulations that are more than 10 years old unless the agency decides to keep them. For that proposal to become finalized before Jan. 20 would be an exceptionally fast turnaround. But Harrison left no doubt about that goal. “The reason we're doing this now is because,” he said, “we at the department are trying to go as fast as we can in hopes of finalizing the rule before the end of the first term.” Read Isaac Arnsdorf's full print story at ProPublica. Track more of the Trump administration's midnight regulations here.
18 min
Left, Right & Center
Left, Right & Center
KCRW
Politics of culture
2020 has been a difficult year. Keli Goff hosts this special episode of Left, Right & Center about how art gets us through tough times, and how it can move us politically too. You’ll hear from four creators and thinkers on the persuasive power of the arts and what pieces they’ve turned to for inspiration and comfort. You might walk away with a new favorite song or play. Stan Zimmerman wrote one of 2020’s favorite TV series: “The Golden Girls.” In April, Hulu viewers watched nearly 11 million hours of the show. Zimmerman talks about why the show was ahead of its time, and why so many shows are seeing a resurgence during a stressful year. Musician Nile Rodgers might be the reason some of your favorite songs exist. Rodgers is one of the most successful songwriters and musicians ever. He co-founded Chic, and he has producing and songwriting credits with David Bowie, Diana Ross, Duran Duran, Madonna, Diana Ross, Sister Sledge, Lady Gaga, Daft Punk, and more. He and Goff jam out to “We Are Family” (which he co-wrote) and talk about how certain songs have moved the world. Award-winning playwright Dominique Morisseau talks with Goff about the power of live performance (something we’re missing right now), why theater is still closed off to many people of color, the role of critics and the canon, “Hamilton,” and more. And to wrap it up, Goff talks with Rashad Robinson, president of the civil rights organization Color of Change. Rashad talks about the impacts of celebrity on social movements, the power of icons, and why Hollywood and the arts matter to those who dream of and work toward a more equitable future.
50 min
Political Gabfest
Political Gabfest
Slate Podcasts
Sabotage for Christmas
It's conundrum season! Pass along your most pressing conundrums here: www.slate.com/conundrum. Our annual Conundrum holiday show is coming soon. This week, Emily, David and John discuss the Trump Administration's efforts to hobble the Biden transition; ethical problems in vaccine distribution; and how to deal with the damage of the election fraud lie. Here are some notes and references from this week’s show: Alex Kalman for the Atlantic: “The Letters That Outgoing Presidents Wrote to Their Successors” John Dickerson for The Atlantic: “Why You Don’t Mess Around With Presidential Transitions” The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine: “A Framework for Equitable Allocation of Vaccine for the Novel Coronavirus” Kathryn Olivarius for The New York Times: “The Dangerous History of Immunoprivilege” Jeanna Smialek and Alan Rappeport for The New York Times: “Mnuchin Cites Principles in Clawing Back Fed Money. Democrats See Politics.” Kevin Roose, Mike Isaac, and Sheera Frenkel for The New York Times: “Roiled by Election, Facebook Struggles to Balance Civility and Growth” Colin Dickey for Medium: “How to Talk to a Conspiracy Theorist” To celebrate our 15th anniversary we'd love to know about your clever, politically themed, original cocktail! Please send us the details here: www.slate.com/cocktail Here are this week’s cocktail chatters:  John: W.E.B. Du Bois: Writings; The Vintage Book of Contemporary American Poetry  David: Death, Sex & Money: “51 Years Loving A Man Named Sissy”; David’s twitter thread pitch for remaking Love Actually every year. Emily and listener Barbara Torrey Workman @thethirdbarbara: Twitter thread by United Farm Workers @UFWupdates featuring farm workers at work harvesting the ingredients in favorite Thanksgiving recipes.  Slate Plus members get a bonus segment on the Gabfest each week, and access to special bonus episodes throughout the year. Sign up now to listen and support our show. For this week’s Slate Plus bonus segment David, Emily, and John discuss the elements of pre-pandemic Thanksgiving that they won’t miss this year and don't plan to reinstate next year. You can tweet suggestions, links, and questions to @SlateGabfest. Tweet us your cocktail chatter using #cocktailchatter. (Messages may be quoted by name unless the writer stipulates otherwise.)   The email address for the Political Gabfest is gabfest@slate.com. (Email may be quoted by name unless the writer stipulates otherwise.) Podcast production by Jocelyn Frank. Research and show notes by Bridgette Dunlap. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
1 hr 16 min
Sway
Sway
New York Times Opinion
In Hollywood, Women Are Seen as ‘a Risk’
Marielle Heller had her big acting break in “The Queens Gambit,” a chess drama that has already been viewed on Netflix by over 60 million households. But prior to her performance as Alma Wheatley, Ms. Heller was already a big name — off the screen. She directed award-winning films like 2019’s “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” and 2018’s “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” Female directors remain a minority in the U.S. film industry, and Ms. Heller has spent her career navigating what she describes as a male-dominated Hollywood “machine.” “I do think there’s a weird stigma where people probably think that female directors are a risk,” Ms. Heller says, explaining that people “watch a male director make one little indie that comes out of Sundance and they go, ‘I see potential in that kid.’ And then they watch a female director come out of Sundance and make one little indie and they go: ‘That was excellent. I’ll wait to see her next movie to see if she gets a job.’” In this episode of “Sway,” Ms. Heller and Kara Swisher discuss what it’s like to be “difficult” women, why Hollywood lets Tony Soprano get away with murder but worries that female characters are “unlikable,” and how Ms. Heller — despite all her directorial acclaim — still gets offered 30 to 40 percent less pay than men who do the same job. You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.
35 min
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