The Argument Podcast

I’ve always been liberal in my political views and can’t ever imagine changing them. Over the years I’ve learned however that being liberal doesn’t imply always being right, much less perfect.

The devolution of political discussion in the 21st century has been devastating to our democracy. The polarization has divided the country to a point approaching the division of the late 60’s, all that is missing now are riots in the streets.

Every time I hear the statement “agree to disagree” I have a short-term visceral reaction because when discussion ends this way, it only makes certain nothing will ever get done. This kind of thinking is a copout. It relies on the pseudo-certainty that there is no way forward. I think it’s simply being intellectually lazy when you decide that it’s too hard to listen and consider something you don’t like. There is always a way to continue and you should because there’s a 50/50 chance you might come out on top. Even when you lose, you learn something new that you can use in the future.

The federal government has always had ups and downs, periods of cooperation and times so bad that we fought a civil war. In the end all we have is communication and it’s how we communicate that ultimately determines the quality of life in America.

Having lived through the Bush years and the elevation of the red/blue arguments that continued through the Obama years, I’ve finally had to admit that I was sick and tire of the same old shit day after day after day. There has to be a better way. I realized to break free of the insanity of repetition I had to try new things. One thing was to try reading some conservative viewpoints if only to find bits of information to reinforce my liberal conviction. I found surprisingly, conservatives often are not opposed to liberal ideas but rather the way they are implemented. I also found many conservatives are open to discussion, you see them all the time on cable news shows.

In addition to reading new things outside my comfort zone I started trying out new podcasts like “The Argument”. It’s a three person podcast with Michelle Goldberg as the liberal, Ross Douthat as the conservative and David Leonhardt as the left of center person who is right of Michelle and sees the value in some of the conservative polices that have worked. On the whole, I find the podcast does lean to the left but that is partially attributed to Douthat crossing over like Leonhardt, because he admits his Republican Party has gone to hell and he has no other choice.

I’ve been listening to this group for a while and there has never been a shouting match, no one has ever walked off the podcast and there’s never even been an unkind word. Rather than agree to disagree, each member of the pod listens completely to the others and at the worst agrees to consider the point for later discussion. The pod is not all politics as they will toss in some social/cultural tidbits and each pod ends with a suggestion from one of the trio of things you can do to feel better.

You can find the pod everywhere and if you’re interested just click the logo above to get to their website. I don’t know if it’s behind the NYT paywall, so if you’ve burned your month’s allotment for looks, here’s a link to the pod on iTunes.

53 thoughts on “The Argument Podcast

  1. Photographer Joshua McKerrow works for the Capital Gazette where last June five reporters were killed in a shotgun fueled rampage by a madman probably incited by trump’s too often spoken rant that journalists are the enemy of the people.

    Joshua took to Twitter to express his grief over the loss of a co-worker but to also reaffirm the press will not be silenced.

  2. ‘Macron’s arrogance unites us’ – on the barricades with France’s gilets jaunes
    aka The People United Cannot Be Defeated

    This grassroots citizens’ protest, which began as a spontaneous revolt against fuel tax rises last month, has morphed into an anti-government and anti-Macron movement and is now the young centrist president’s biggest crisis. The demonstrators say that Macron is an arrogant would-be monarch. He presents himself abroad, they say, as a progressive hero who can hold back the tide of nationalism, but at home he symbolises a distant political elite, stoking distrust and pushing people towards populism.

    One 24-year-old philosophy student said: “This feels like a historic moment in France. I’d liken it to the Arab spring – a kind of revolution that started online.”One 24-year-old philosophy student said: “This feels like a historic moment in France. I’d liken it to the Arab spring – a kind of revolution that started online.”

    Read more..

  3. Opinion
    How to Save the Web

    By the end of 2019, 50 percent of the world’s population will be using the internet, according to a recent report from the United Nations-affiliated Broadband Commission for Digital Development. At any other time in the web’s 30-year history, the collective response to this tipping point would likely have been: “Great! Now let’s get everyone else connected as quickly as possible.” But the world has changed. After years of the web being seen as a potential net force for good, such technological optimism has been eclipsed by fears that the web might be damaging our societies.

    Read more…


  4. I Served in Congress Longer Than Anyone. Here’s How to Fix It.
    Abolish the Senate and publicly fund elections.

    DEC 4, 2018
    John D. Dingell
    Represented Michigan in Congress for over 59 years

    In my six decades in public service, I’ve seen many changes in our nation and its institutions. Yet the most profound change I’ve witnessed is also the saddest. It is the complete collapse in respect for virtually every institution of government and an unprecedented cynicism about the nobility of public service itself.

    For some light reading…Read More

  5. @Cat Chew: Don’t worry, they’ve been replaced by a couple of rats.

    Glad you brought this up. Need to dig out my DVD collection, no wait, need to borrow it back from my granddaughters. 😉

  6. The bizarre allegations of ballot tampering in one of 2018’s closest House elections

    State officials refuse to certify the results of a US House race in North Carolina. It’s a wild story.

    Some specific irregularities were later revealed in sworn affidavits sent by Democratic attorneys to the state board. Multiple voters described an unidentified woman coming to voters’ houses and taking their absentee ballots. Some ballots were uncompleted; the woman promised to finish filling them out. In other affidavits, voters alleged that a local political operative was working for the Harris campaign on absentee ballots and that he would be paid a bonus if Harris beat McCready. This is also not the first time the operative, Leslie McCrae Dowless, Jr., has been linked to unusual allegations over absentee ballots.

    Furthermore, political scientists in the state have noted that the Ninth District had an unusually high number of mail-in absentee ballots requested but then not returned to be counted. Almost one in four of those requested absentee ballots were not returned in the Ninth, substantially higher in than any other North Carolina congressional district.

    As they continue to breakdown the numbers it becomes abundantly clear Republicans flagrantly tampered with absentee ballots in multiple ways. Meanwhile crickets from the NC GOP

    Read more..

  7. ‘Good for the world’? Facebook emails reveal what really drives the site

    Analysis: documents show internal discussions focused on exploiting developers’ hunger for user data to increase revenue

    The central mythos of Facebook is that what’s good for Facebook is good for the world. More sharing, more friends and more connection will “make the world more open and connected” and “bring the world closer together”, Mark Zuckerberg has argued, even as his company has been engulfed by scandal.

    But confidential emails, released Wednesday by the British Parliament, reveal the hardheaded business calculations that lurked beneath the feel-good image projected by Zuckerberg and Facebook.

    “That may be good for the world, but it’s not good for us,” Zuckerberg wrote in a 2012 email about the possibility that developers would build applications that used data about Facebook users and their friends, but not provide any data back to Facebook.

    Read me..

  8. Facebook discussed cashing in on user data, emails suggest
    Social network staff apparently conversed about removing data restrictions for big ad spenders

    Facebook staff in 2012 discussed selling access to user data to major advertisers, before ultimately deciding to restrict such access two years later, according to a tranche of internal emails released by the UK parliament.

    The internal emails were obtained by the House of Commons digital, culture, media and sport (DCMS) committee last month after they had been disclosed, under seal, by Facebook as part of a lawsuit against it by the American software developer, Six4Three.

    The emails are a selection, often with little or no context or continuity, showing Facebook staff, including the chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, discussing whether to trade access to user data for revenue, valuable trademarks or simple cash payments. The emails also cast new light on a number of other controversial practices at the social network:

    Read more..

  9. Opinion
    Trump Gets It All Wrong
    Beware of busloads of voters with phony mustaches.

    Midterm election update from the Department of Irony:

    Republicans have been warning us about the danger of voter fraud for ages. And now it does appear that a major congressional race was impacted by that very type of evil-doing. Feel free to chortle/snort/howl at the moon when I tell you the accused fraudsters are Republicans.

    The fictional version of voter fraud involves sinister characters — possibly illegal immigrants! — showing up at the polls repeatedly, perhaps disguising their nefarious intent by wearing different hats or an occasional false mustache.

    Read more..

  10. Stephen Colbert reveals the simple and sad reason why eulogies for George HW Bush sounded like attacks on Trump

    “As soon as you start praising someone’s honesty,” Colbert said, “you’re automatically throwing shade at Donald Trump. I mean, Obama made Trump seem like a bad president just by sitting next to him.”

    Read more..

  11. Click the G-20 link below (you may need to refresh to see it). For a Cybersecurity expert poor ol’ Rudy sure stepped into it this time.

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