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#134: The Republican Party Ft. Jeff Flake
April 11, 2019 07:59 AM PDT
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Donald Trump’s presidency has raised serious questions about the future direction of the Republican Party. Former Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona has been among those to raise concerns about the party.

In this episode, Julian Zelizer and Sam Wang discuss the GOP with Flake, who outlines some of his divergences with the President’s views.

Flake, who was a U.S. Senator in Arizona from 2013 to 2019, expresses concern that the Republican party has seemed to abandon what it believes to be right in favor of what makes for an effective campaigning message. Flake further asserts his view that Republicans have failed to fully internalize what he believes to have been a ringing defeat during the midterm elections.

While in the Senate, Flake worked on the Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology, and Law and chaired the Africa Subcommittee of the Foreign Relations Committee. He previously served as the executive director of the Goldwater Institute and then spent six terms in the House of Representatives from 2001 to 2013. He is the author of The New York Times bestseller: “Conscious of a Conservative: A Rejection of Destructive Politics and a Return to Principle.”

#133: Women of Color in the Digital Space Ft. Kimberly Bryant
April 04, 2019 07:46 AM PDT
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The technology sector is an important part of the economy, yet there exists a dearth of women in the field — especially females of color.
Joining this episode to discuss breaking through these barriers is Kimberly Bryant, founder and CEO of Black Girls CODE, a non-profit organization dedicated to “changing the face of technology” by introducing girls of color (ages 7-17) to the field of technology and computer science.

Bryant’s organization will host a workshop for young girls who want to explore artificial intelligence this Saturday, April 6, in New York City.

Prior to starting Black Girls CODE, Bryant worked for over 20 years in the pharmaceutical and biotech industries as an engineering manager in a series of technical leadership roles for various Fortune 50 companies such as Genentech, Merck, and Pfizer.

Since 2011, Bryant has helped Black Girls CODE grow from a local grassroots initiative serving only the San Francisco Bay Area, to an international organization with fourteen chapters across the United States and in Johannesburg, South Africa. Black Girls CODE has currently reached over 7,000 students and continues to grow and thrive.

#132: The Mueller Report
March 28, 2019 11:01 AM PDT
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Special Counsel Robert Mueller released his report on Russia interference in the 2016 election this week, finding no collusion between President Donald Trump and Russia, but neither charging nor exonerating Trump on obstruction of justice.

Now, many Democratic leaders argue the report, which has not been made public, should be made available in its entirety to lawmakers and Congress.

In this episode, Sam Wang and Julian Zelizer discuss how the absence of this public report is shaping the overall narrative of the investigation and its results.

#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.”

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