Episodes
Why there’s no Mickey gag… and no Mickey ... The charmingly subversive Elon Musk ... The scarily destabilizing Elon Musk ... The New York subway shooter’s disturbingly familiar psychology ... The Ukraine War: armaments update ... Why Russians continue to back the war ... American missteps that may have led to war ... A few kind words about ‘Putin apologists’ ... The week in comets and meteors ...
Published 04/16/22
Where did Marianne get the confidence to run for president? ... What childhood travels taught Marianne about people ... How “A Course in Miracles” transformed Marianne’s life ... Can unconditional love save our species? ... Changing individual consciousness vs. changing policy ... Liberation through surrender ... Marianne: Think of yourself as one of civilization’s immune cells ... If you want change, get better at forgiveness ... What exactly would a “Department of Peace” do? ... Is...
Published 04/12/22
Mickey’s French election update ... What Macron and Biden (should) have learned re: Ukraine ... Bob’s brilliant idea for a Biden ceasefire proposal ... Bob vs. Anne Applebaum on negotiating with Russia ... How prolonging the war could make Putin more dangerous ... Will Elon Musk end Twitter’s reign of blue-check terror? ... Is AOC the 2024 candidate we’ve been waiting for? ... Bob comes to collect on his New Year’s covid prediction ... Disney’s “niche sexuality” promotion and other...
Published 04/09/22
Bob asks Joe: What are the chances this war goes nuclear? ... Joe lays out Russia’s and America’s nuclear arsenals ... What would make Putin roll the nuclear dice? ... Why atrocities in Bucha could make for a longer, bloodier war ... Joe: The US withdrawal from Cold War-era treaties led to the current nuclear arms race ... How US foreign policy laid the ground for Putin’s invasion ... Bob searches for silver linings. Joe sees a darkening cloud. ... Assessing the Biden administration’s...
Published 04/05/22
Mickey admits he was wrong about everything ... Four takes on the Chris Rock-Will Smith Oscars incident ... Bob: Biden shouldn’t be riffing about regime change ... The Russian redeployment in Ukraine ... Attack of the (alleged) ATV-riding Ukrainian techies ... Will Biden try to draw out the war or push for a deal? ... The roadblocks standing in the way of a peace deal in Ukraine ... Mickey: The press is going easy on Biden because the alternative is Kamala ... Will Mitt Romney make...
Published 04/02/22
Update: Nikita exits Russia ... How big and costly is the Russian exodus? ... The state of peace talks ... “Russian QAnon” and the landscape of lay opinion in Russia ... Lamenting the logic of great power competition in light of Ukraine ... Is Russian state media as tightly controlled as Westerners think? ... Is Putin's hold on power slipping? ... What remains of independent media in Russia? ... Nikita’s hopes (and fears) for the future of Russia ...
Published 03/29/22
The righteous indignation of the blue checkmarkless ... Is Russia preparing the ground for a peace deal? ... Why didn’t the US try to broker a deal earlier? ... How much restraint is Putin exercising? ... What shapes US public opinion on foreign policy? ... Reasons to think peace may not be near ... Mickey’s sympathy for Ginni Thomas ... Bob and Mickey do their best to get each other arrested ... The alleged tensions between Team Biden and Team Kamala ... Trump’s dimming...
Published 03/26/22
Kishore’s diplomatic career and recent book, Has China Won? ... Kishore: America is walking towards a cliff when it comes to handling China ... Is the US making a Chinese invasion of Taiwan more likely? ... China’s perception of the Uyghur situation ... How anti-China sentiment in America increases Chinese nationalism ... Diagnosing the degeneration of US-China relations since 2012 ... Bob: Has technology empowered the Chinese to petition their government? ... Good news! China has no...
Published 03/22/22
Mickey engineers an unholy Bob Wright-Michael McFaul chimera ... Is Putin losing or winning slowly? ... What China stands to gain and lose from war in Ukraine ... Bob: Biden’s approach to China seems to be driven by politics, not diplomacy ... Is Xi’s leadership on shaky ground? ... Bob: China is not seeking to impose its political system on the world ... Climate change as the tip of the apocalypse iceberg ... Is Zelenskyy the hero US media makes him out to be? ... How Biden’s Ukraine...
Published 03/19/22
Eli’s assessment of the Russo-Ukrainian War to date ... Is a negotiated end to the war in sight? ... Bob and Eli debate the implications of the leaked 2014 Victoria Nuland call ... Is the war in Russia’s interest? Or Putin’s? ... What options remain for more forceful intervention (that won’t lead to nuclear war)? ... Eli’s idea for a UN alternative sans Russia and (maybe) China ... Debating America's track record as keeper of the “rules-based order” ... Bob and Eli unite against the...
Published 03/16/22
Would Ukraine actually agree to cede the Donbas to Russia? ... Bob: Xi Jinping could end the war ... Is Putin using madman theory to his advantage, or is he actually going nuts? ... The pros and cons of regime change in Russia ... Is Ukraine becoming Syria? ... How George W. Bush helped alienate Putin from the West ... Russia’s new incentive to sabotage the Iran nuclear deal ... America’s curious policy on Ukraine and NATO ... Mickey: There’s no necessary link between populism and...
Published 03/12/22
Understanding the thought process that led Putin to invade Ukraine ... Could diplomacy have prevented the invasion? ... Imagining possible endings of the war – and what comes after ... Reviewing the events that drove the West and Putin’s Russia apart ... How Moscow viewed the 2014 Maidan Revolution in Ukraine ... Could a palace coup in Moscow reset US-Russia relations? ... Bob and Katrina worry that the planet can’t afford a second cold war ...
Published 03/09/22
Always be prepared (for nuclear fallout) ... Is Putin headed for the Baltics? ... Why is the Western media reporting so little about the Azov Battalion? ... Mickey: Zelenskyy should give up parts of the Donbas and Crimea ... Bob: I don’t think Putin will move on to the Baltics ... Trying to see Ukraine clearly from within the Western media bubble ... The political difficulties of ceding territory ... How Russia’s military measures up against the US ... The US’s decades-long...
Published 03/05/22
Steven’s book, Status and the Challenge of Rising Powers ... How concerns about status motivate Russia’s aggressive behavior ... Bob wonders if Putin’s decision to invade Ukraine was based on emotion ... Why Steven thinks Russia’s hostile reaction to NATO expansion was partly about status ... When does a nation's wounded pride translate into dangerous behavior? ... Seeing the rise of China as a bid for prestige and recognition ... Bob: Is the US driven by status considerations? ......
Published 02/28/22
Mickey converts to Bob-ism ... Reassessing the ‘Is Putin Crazy?’ question post-invasion ... Were we *too* understanding of Putin? ... Zelensky—to arm or not to arm? ... How will Americans grade Biden’s handling of Russia-Ukraine? ... Did Russiagate make it harder for Biden to negotiate with Putin? ... The parallels between Russia-Ukraine and the ‘99 Kosovo intervention ... Biden’s Supreme Court nominee ... Mickey denounces Trudeau’s “couch potato fascism” ... Why Bob is queasy about...
Published 02/26/22
The grim state of Ukraine and Russia today ... Nikita’s initial reactions to Putin’s Ukraine speech ... Is Putin getting weirder? Or is reality? Or both? ... How did Russians react to the 2014 Ukrainian Revolution? ... Russian views on NATO expansion and the color revolutions ... Nikita: Political life in Russia is (mostly) dead ... Are Putin’s actions savvy politicking or signs of madness? ... Has the West mismanaged the post-Cold War era? ...
Published 02/23/22
Mickey sparks up ... Mickey critiques the "Coalition of the Ascendant" ... Have Democratic positions on cultural issues turned toxic? ... Mike Pence’s defense of the RNC’s January 6 resolution ... Will the trucker protests go transnational? ... Bob: I don’t see Putin doing regime change in Ukraine ... Were defense contractors the prime mover of NATO expansion? ... Mickey: The great regreasing of the Biden Administration has begun ... Is Big Pharma funneling money to the CDC? ... Who...
Published 02/19/22
Ben, author of a new book on Christopher Hitchens, gives us a brief history of Hitch ... Bob: Hitchens's argument in God is not Great was...not great ... Where was Hitchens’s Marxist materialism when it came to religion? ... Assessing Hitchens’s intellectual contributions ... Was Hitchens an “honest” arguer? ... Why did Hitchens become a hawk? ... Hitchens in light of the Intellectual Dark Web ... Ben gives his closing argument for why Hitchens is still worth thinking about ...
Published 02/15/22
Inflation takes a toll on Mickey’s supply closet ... Reviewing Jeff Zucker’s “contributions” to American democracy ... Do any Trumpist elites actually want Trump to run for president again? ... Who constitutes Kamala’s base? ... What Biden needs to say about Ukraine and NATO ... How Google is helping people break the law ... Mickey: Trump taking documents to Mar-A-Lago isn’t a big deal ... Why aren’t more people getting their Covid booster? ... Why are Republicans so good at...
Published 02/12/22
How Bob and Tom wound up talking about the Russia-Ukraine crisis ... Tom says NATO should be willing to close its door to Ukrain ... The never ending “age of midgets” in US foreign policy making ... Tilting international relations in a positive direction ... Is Biden’s “democracy versus autocracy” framework counterproductive? ... Analyzing the nature of journalistic objectivity – and how to achieve it ... Bob and Tom agree we need non-zero thinking to solve global problems ...
Published 02/08/22
Did Jeff Zucker resign over business or pleasure? ... Bob: “The new Cold War almost became official today” ... A grand solution to the Ukraine crisis ... George Soros predicts the downfall of Xi Jinping ... Is the killing of ISIS’s leader really a big deal? ... Are we headed toward one metaverse or many? ... Joe Rogan for president? ... Mickey: It’s wrongheaded for the left to focus their animosity on the unvaccinated ... Is Democrats’ commitment to free speech softening? ... The...
Published 02/05/22
How anti-tribal thinking formed the core of Arnold’s “Fantasy Intellectual Teams" (FITs) draft ... Was the pre-internet intellectual era really so great? ... Arnold lays out the details of the Fantasy Intellectual Teams draft ... Grassroots vs. institutional anti-tribal strategies ... Is a social media rebuild possible? ... The challenges in taking FITs to the next level ... Bob and Arnold contrast their approaches to anti-tribalism ... How bad could things get if we can't beat...
Published 02/01/22
Hey hey, my my, Neil Young left Spotify ... Carrots and sticks in the Russia-Ukraine crisis ... What are Russia’s actual objectives in Ukraine? ... Bob: “I haven’t heard a single good argument for expanding NATO” ... Why nominating Kamala to the Supreme Court might actually be a good idea ... Are pundits overthinking Biden’s low approval rating? ... Is universal pre-K on the chopping block? ... Mickey adopts an unsettling new persona ... Parrot Room preview: A Doug Emhoff scandal?,...
Published 01/29/22
Does the Russia-Ukraine crisis justify the current sense of alarm? ... How concern for ethnic Russians in Ukraine shapes Moscow’s policy ... What the US and NATO can do to resolve the crisis diplomatically ... Can Europe help Biden by staging a diplomatic intervention? ... Russia’s next military steps if diplomacy fails ... Anatol estimates the odds of a Russian invasion of Ukraine ...
Published 01/25/22
Looking for signs of decline in Biden’s press conference ... Is the child tax credit what swing voters want? ... Two possible inflation fixes ... What’s on the table in U.S.-Russia negotiations over Ukraine? ... How well is Biden handling the Ukraine situation? ... Mickey: There’s a chance we'll avoid a Trump 2024 run ... Bob’s plan to convince Biden not to run ... Meat Loaf would do anything for love (but would he get vaxxed?) ... Bob: I get why white males are under fire ......
Published 01/22/22