Episode 270 · 2 months ago
What About the Toaster?
ABOUT THIS EPISODE
At the end of an especially busy week in pundit-world, Jonah sits down with us all to ruminate on some of the more noteworthy topics that may have flown by too quickly to actually wrap one’s brain around them. On the docket: The final debate, some useful counter-programming on the Biden email hullabaloo, getting (erm…) a “grip” on Jeffrey Toobin, and much more. Plus, Jonah has some more evergreen thoughts on the gradual defining down of conservatism, and what the G-File has meant to him after all these years.
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Episode 276 · 2 months ago
On this weekend’s Ruminant, Jonah asks why we have to make American politics even more difficult than they already are. Why is it that, in an election that reveals Americans’ contested preferences so obviously, that we have to continue to turn up the heat by piling on additional conspiracy theories about the rigging of the election? Maybe, as Jonah thinks, this simply reveals a series of “deeply unpatriotic commitments” among our political and commentariat classes. He makes his way to greener pastures by talking about our glorious canine companions, and by addressing some of the supposedly highfalutin concerns of those on the right looking to out-think the market in our populist moment.
Episode 275 · 2 months ago
At a moment where punditry can feel relatively grim – mostly due to the feeling of instability resulting from this endless election – Jonah wanted to have on someone who was capable of a different variety of punditry. Who fits the bill better for a political commentary of “pluckish optimism” than National Review’s Jim Geraghty, who displayed his infinite humility by choosing not to wear his brand new “Remnant 10-Timer” Championship Belt on the Zoom call? Jim gives his analysis regarding many of the questions that will remain for conservatives after the election is decided: Whither goes the GOP? (A “multi-ethnic, working class, populist party?) What is the correct story to tell about Latino voters and Trump? (And why is the mainstream media adopting the most racist interpretation of this situation rather than the most accurate?) And, most importantly, is Mar-a-Lago Trump’s Elba, or his St. Helena?
Episode 274 · 2 months ago
On this momentous day, in which the very nature of American politics may be defined anew for the foreseeable future, Jonah wanted to have on Razib Khan, director of science at Insitome, to talk about the most relevant, up-to-the-minute, topical subject so that, in this consciousness-shifting moment, we may be able to hold on for dear life and come up with a coherent worldview amidst the chaos. That subject, you ask? Dog genetics. How did Man’s Best Friend become such a highly variegated species – some big, some small, some smart, others dumb, and on and on with countless other variables? Razib fills us in on the state of research into canine development over the last 10,000 years, why the regional variations between lineages of dog are so distinct, and how the new frontiers of this genetic research seek to address “how these animals became what they are, and how they evolved alongside humans in response to environmental pressures.” We also get to hear Razib voice what may be the most controversial statement of our political era: “Wolves are smarter than dogs.” Tune in to hear Razib defend this heretical stance.
Episode 273 · 2 months ago
Seeing that there’s literally one story in the news right now (AN ELECTION IS HAPPENING SOON), Jonah decided to use his time on this weekend’s Ruminant to touch on some topics adjacent to the election, but also to incorporate some more evergreen topics into the mix. For example, there’s a discussion of the eternal return of the “get money out of politics” argument – and why Jonah thinks the argument is pointless in a world where the biggest benefit a candidate can get is a hysterical cycle of earned media – an unpopular defense of the slow, ungraceful politics of Mitch McConnell, equally unpopular opinions (at least in some quarters of the right) on the Biden scandal, and most importantly, why “your meatloaf is, like, 5,000 years old.”