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#131: ‘Mass Human Caging’ Ft. Alec Karakatsanis
March 21, 2019 11:16 AM PDT
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There are unprecedented rates of incarceration in America today, with hundreds of thousands of people being jailed annually. How does the cash bail system contribute to those pending trial but unable to meet bail? And what are the rights of those who are incarcerated?

Alec Karakatsanis joins this episode to discuss what he calls “mass human caging” in America.

Karakatsanis is the founder and executive director of Civil Rights Corps, a non-profit organization dedicated to groundbreaking systemic litigation and advocacy challenging pervasive injustices in the American criminal legal system.

Karakatsanis visited Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs in late February 2019 as as part of its Christian A. Johnson Endeavor Foundation Leadership through Mentorship Program. He graduated from Yale College in 2005 with a degree in Ethics, Politics, & Economics and Harvard Law School in 2008, where he was a Supreme Court Chair of the Harvard Law Review.

Politics & Polls #130: 2020 Prospects
March 14, 2019 08:51 AM PDT
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The 2020 election is on the horizon. In this episode, Sam Wang and Julian Zelizer discuss prospects for the 2020 election, analyzing data-based and qualitative factors. The pair is particularly interested in the potential for a Joe Biden candidacy and consider the question of whether Biden would be the best candidate for the Democratic Party.

Wang and Zelizer also consider the implications of such a large Democratic field of candidates and the different characteristics required to run in the primary election as compared to the general election against President Donald Trump.

Politics & Polls #129: Civil Liberties Today with Anthony Romero
March 07, 2019 10:52 AM PST
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In this episode, Julian Zelizer discusses the threats posed to civil liberties since the 9/11 attacks with guest Anthony Romero, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union.

Romero argues that current threats to civil liberties are not a product of the Donald Trump presidency, but are instead a new data point on a larger path of expanded executive power in American government. He outlines efforts the ACLU has undertaken under his leadership to defend civil liberties and explains the rationale underlying the ACLU’s current opposition to Trump’s invocation of a national emergency on the southern border.

Romero received his undergraduate degree from Princeton University in 1987. He took the helm of the ACLU just a few days before the 9/11 attacks. Under his leadership, the ACLU has undertaken several initiatives including the Keep America Safe and Free Campaign, the ACLU’s national security project, which achieved many legal victories on the Patriot Act.

Politics & Polls #128: National Security in the Cyber Age
February 28, 2019 09:00 AM PST
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David Sanger, national security correspondent and senior writer for The New York Times, joins Sam Wang in this episode to discuss the growing cybersecurity threats facing the United States.

Sanger outlines how cyber warfare levels the playing field, allowing rich and poor countries alike to attack other nations, especially the United States. He also details several cyber attacks, including those undertaken by North Korea.

In Sanger’s 36-year reporting career for The Times, he has been on three teams that have won Pulitzer prizes, including one in 2017 for international reporting. He is also the author of several books, including his most recent one “The Perfect Weapon: War, Sabotage, and Fear in the Cyber Age.”

Politics & Polls #127: U.S. Security Threats with Asha Rangappa
February 21, 2019 02:02 PM PST
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Some media outlets are reporting that special counsel Robert Mueller may soon hand over a report regarding Russian interference in the 2016 election. Will this bring bad news for President Donald Trump and his administration?

Joining this episode to discuss the state of our intelligence institutions is Asha Rangappa, who recently penned a piece on the subject for the Washington Post. She discusses the impact of the ongoing tension between law enforcement and the president with Julian Zelizer and Sam Wang.

Rangappa is director of admissions and senior lecturer at Yale University's Jackson Institute for Global Affairs as well as a 1996 alumna of Princeton's Woodrow Wilson School.

Politics & Polls #126: Journalism in a Trump World with Mara Liasson
February 15, 2019 09:32 AM PST
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How has the state of journalism changed during President Donald Trump's tenure? Seasoned journalist Mara Liasson joins this episode to discuss what is and isn't working in the media realm as well as the trajectory of her own career at NPR.

Liasson is the national political correspondent for NPR. Her reports can be heard regularly on NPR's award-winning newsmagazines Morning Edition and All Things Considered. Liasson provides extensive coverage of politics and policy from Washington, DC — focusing on the White House and Congress — and also reports on political trends beyond the Beltway.

Politics & Polls #125: As a City on a Hill
February 07, 2019 07:49 AM PST
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Certain speeches and sermons linger in the minds of Americans, often becoming part of our national imagination and history.

One oft-quoted sermon that remains both provocative and timeless was given by John Winthrop in 1630 at New England’s founding. In his lay sermon, he warned his fellow Puritans about the power of exceptionalism, saying, “For we must consider that we shall be as a city upon a hill.”

Historian Daniel Rodgers unravels Winthrop’s words in a new book published by the Princeton University Press: “As a City on a Hill: The story of America’s Most Famous Lay Sermon,” which he discusses in this episode.

Daniel Rodgers is the Henry Charles Lea Professor of History, Emeritus, at Princeton University. His books include “Age of Fracture,” winner of the Bancroft Prize; “Atlantic Crossings”; “Contested Truths”; and “The Work Ethic in Industrial America.”

Politics & Polls #124: The Battle for America
January 31, 2019 08:17 AM PST
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Candidates have begun launching their 2020 presidential campaigns, prompting many to look a look back at Donald Trump’s presidential victory in 2016.

In this episode, Sam Wang interviews Michael Tesler, co-author of a compelling book about how the 2016 election was not just a battle for the White House, but for what America “should be.”

Tesler co-authored “Identity Crisis: The 2016 Presidential Campaign and the Battle for the Meaning of America Hardcover,” with John Sides and Lynn Vavreck. The book was published in October 2018 by Princeton University Press.

Tesler is associate professor of political science at the University of California, Irvine, and author of “Obama’s Race,” also published by the University of Chicago Press. He studies American politics, ethnicity and politics, and quantitative methods.

Politics & Polls #123: Shutdown Politics
January 24, 2019 09:52 AM PST
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The government shutdown is now in its 33rd day, with the Senate ready to vote today on proposals to reopen government. Both are expected to fail.
Julian Zelizer and Sam Wang discuss the implications of the shutdown in this episode.

Politics & Polls #122: American Global Leadership
January 24, 2019 09:28 AM PST
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Some say the United States is heading down a road toward isolationism. In this episode, Julian Zelizer and Sam Wang discuss the uncertain future of American global leadership with Ivo Daalder and James Lindsay. They are authors of a new book: “The Empty Thrown: America’s Abdication of Global Leadership.”

Daalder and Lindsay describe the key aspects of the rules-based international order the United States helped to create after the unprecedented destruction wrought by World War I and World War II. The guests analyze how this order has largely endured, despite periods of American foreign policy mistakes. They feel, however, that the persistence of this order is not assured under President Trump.

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