Episode 34

Ginni Thomas Texts, End of Meat, Biden’s Putin Gaffe, Oscars Slap

Ravi, Cory, and Rikki start on Ginni Thomas’ conspiratorial texts before discussing Bill Gates’ proposal for rich nations to start eating meatless, Biden’s “regime change” gaffe, and the slap heard ‘round the world at the Oscars. 


Rikki goes through Ginni Thomas’ background in political activism and how it relates to the recently leaked texts between her and Trump’s Chief of Staff, Mark Meadows, around the 2020 election. [1:08]

Ravi argues that Clarence Thomas must recuse himself from any future cases dealing with January 6 and potentially Trump altogether. 

Cory turns to Bill Gates’ 100% synthetic meat proposal, which both Ravi and Rikki argue has merit, messenger aside. Ravi goes through the environmental impact of the meat industry and why it makes good policy sense to transition away from animals as a primary source of calories. Rikki focuses on the industry’s many ethical failings, arguing there is no cogent justification for simply ignoring how animals land on our plates. [8:06]

Cory moves on to Biden’s foreign policy gaffe suggesting regime change in Russia. We discuss why his blunder deserves all the criticism it’s getting, while also noting that – for the time being – it hasn’t derailed the tenuous progress toward peace in Ukraine. [17:34]

We wrap things up by jumping into the slap heard ‘round the world at Sunday’s Oscars, unpacking the Will Smith-Chris Rock incident and why our culture gravitates to these moments. [23:47]

Ginni Thomas texts reveal fears, motivation to overturn 2020 election (Washington Post, 3/26)
Is Ginni Thomas a Threat to the Supreme Court? (The New Yorker, 3/31)
Texts Show Ginni Thomas’s Embrace of Conspiracy Theories (NYT, 3/26)
Justice Thomas Ruled on Election Cases. Should His Wife’s Texts Have Stopped Him? (NYT, 3/25)
How Clarence Thomas’s recusal controversy compares to others (WaPo, 3/28)
It’s Barrett’s Call Which Cases She’d Sit Out: Recusal Explained (Bloomberg Law, 10/13/2020)
Bill Gates: Rich nations should shift entirely to synthetic beef (MIT Technology Review, 2/14/2021)
“We Are The Weather” by Jonathan Safran Foer
PETA on the beef industry
Bad Vegan Tells the True Story of ‘Vegan Bernie Madoff’ (Vulture, 3/15)
Pigs are as smart as dogs. Why do we eat one and love the other? (Vox, 9/23/2020)
“How To Avoid a Climate Disaster” by Bill Gates 
Biden’s ‘Regime Change’ Blunder (National Review, 3/28)
Biden says remark on Putin’s power was about ‘moral outrage’ (AP News, 3/28)
How Biden sparked a global uproar with nine ad-libbed words about Putin (WaPo, 3/26)
Did Biden’s Gaffe About Putin Contain a Kernel of Truth? (Intelligencer, 3/28)
The Oscar night feud between Chris Rock and Will Smith has history (LA Times, 3/28)
Will Smith apologizes to the Academy and fellow nominees during best actor speech (CNN, 3/28)
Four Opinion Writers on Will Smith’s Slap: ‘There Are No Heroes in This Story’ (NYT, 3/29)