Episode 66

Manchin Bill, Forward Party, Deshaun Watson, Monkeypox, A Tale of Two Erics

Ravi, Cory, and Rikki start with the Forward Party’s push to crash America’s two-party system before turning to the underwhelming punishment the NFL is handing down to Deshaun Watson. Then we revisit Will Smith and the Oscars slap, dive deep on Sen. Joe Manchin’s new budget bill, take stock of the Monkeypox outbreak, and marvel at Trump’s double ERIC endorsement in Missouri.   


Rikki gives a rundown of the Forward Party, its mission statement, and core issues it’s built itself around. Ravi explains the different litmus tests that will determine whether the party will sink or swim. Cory pushes back, airing his skepticism that this will be the third party to finally break through as a competitor to the Republican-Democratic duopoly.

The hosts discuss the NFL’s punishment for Deshaun Watson over dozens of sexual misconduct allegations. They touch on the hypocrisy, possible virtue-signaling, and backroom politics that played into the outcome.

The hosts use Will Smith’s apology for slapping Chris Rock as a lens to examine an inconsistency in who polite society is willing to forgive. 

Ravi, Cory, and Rikki break down Democrats’ sprawling Inflation Reduction Act, touching on a few of its key climate provisions before diving into how it could change the tax code. 

Rikki gives us an update on the concerning spread of Monkeypox as she and Ravi argue the incompetence of our bureaucracies continue to hold back our responses to crises.

The hosts have a good laugh as they talk about the hilariously noncommittal move from Trump to endorse both Erics running for Senate in Missouri. 

Finally, Ravi addresses a listener’s comment that adds some nuance to our coverage of Amazon acquiring One Medical.

Forward Party [01:02]

Former Republicans and Democrats form new third U.S. political party (Reuters, 07/27)
Most third parties have failed. Here’s why ours won’t. (The Washington Post, 07/27)
So You Want to Start a Third Party? (The Bulwark, 07/29)
Why Andrew Yang’s New Third Party is Bound to Fail (The New York TImes, 07/29)

Deshaun Watson Suspension [10:35]

Deshaun Watson suspended: What does it mean? And what’s next for the QB and the Cleveland Browns? (ESPN, 08/01)
What to Know About the Allegations Against Deshaun Watson (The New York Times, 08/01)
Deshaun Watson Suspension Reaction (The Ringer, 08/01)
Deshaun Watson contract, explained: Why a suspension won’t have much impact on Browns QB’s earnings with Cleveland (The Sporting News, 08/01)
EXPLAINER: Watson discipline didn’t require legal charges (AP, 08/01)

Will Smith Apology [16:15]

Will Smith Apology Vid (Will Smith YouTube Channel, 07/29)

Manchin Deal [21:04]

The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 Summary
Manchin and Schumer’s Astonishing Climate Deal (The Atlantic, 07/28)
Surprise Deal Would Be Most Ambitious Climate Action Undertaken by U.S. (The New York Times, 07/28)
How the Schumer-Manchin climate bill might impact you and change the U.S. (The Washington Post, 07/28)
What is reconciliation, and what can Democrats get done with it? (The Washington Post, 07/28)
Full Inflation Reduction Act of 2022
Inflation Reduction Act: Preliminary Estimates of Budgetary and Macroeconomics Effects (Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, 07/29)
Republicans argue Manchin and Schumer’s energy, health care deal will raise taxes, citing nonpartisan data (CNN, 07/31)

Monkeypox [35:44]

Monkeypox: Frequently Asked Questions (CDC)
Addressing myths about monkeypox: A look at symptoms, treatment and other common questions (USA Today, 07/27)
As Monkeypox Spread in New York, 300,000 Vaccine Doses Sat in Denmark (The New York Times, 07/25)
WHO recommends gay and bisexual men limit sexual partners to reduce the spread of monkeypox (CNBC, 07/27)
How Monkeypox Went From Containable to Crisis (The Daily, 08/01)

Eric/Eric Endorsement [42:40]

Inside the wild Bedminster lobbying spree that led to Trump’s double Missouri endorsement (Politico, 08/02)
Trump endorses ‘ERIC’ in Missouri primary, a name shared by rivals (The Washington Post, 08/01)

Voicemail [45:29]