Episode 68

Mar-a-Lago Raid, CPAC, Insulin, Masculinity

On today’s show, Ravi and Rikki discuss the FBI raid on Mar-a-Lago and some revealing moments from CPAC before moving on to what did and didn’t make it into Democrats’ final version of their new spending bill. Finally, the hosts end with a hefty debate on masculinity and American society’s heated discourse around it.


Rikki pumps the brakes on guessing what’s going on at Mar-a-Lago while Ravi lays out the potential scenarios at play following an FBI raid of Trump’s Florida residence.

Rikki and Ravi go through some telling moments from CPAC – including remarks from Viktor Orban, Matt Gaetz, Steve Bannon, and Donald Trump – as they unpack the state of conservatism through the lens of the conference.

Ravi and Rikki discuss the provisions left out of the Inflation Reduction Act, including a price cap on insulin and a partial fix for the carried interest tax loophole, as well as a major addition in their stead: a tax on stock buybacks.

The hosts end with a far-ranging discussion on the societal discourse around masculinity, contrasting narratives of toxicity and heroism, the political forces driving (or driven by) the debate, and whether there really is cause for concern when it comes to young men today.

Mar-A-Lago Raid  [00:50]

F.B.I. Searches Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Residence in Florida (The New York Times, 08/09)
Prosecutors Pursue Inquiry Into Trump’s Handling of Classified Material (The New York Times, 05/12)
The Morning Dispatch: The FBI Raids Trump’s Home (The Morning Dispatch, 08/09)

CPAC Recap [06:15]

Orban’s Opening CPAC Speech (Twitter, 08/05)
Marjorie Taylor Greene Defending Alex Jones (Twitter, 08/07)
Jan 6 Installation (Twitter, 08/05)
Gaetz and Bannon Denouncing McCarthy (Twitter, 08/06)
Trump Ranting About Purging The Government (Twitter, 08/06)
Trump’s Revenge (Axios, 07/23)
Trump Got Burned by a Major Mistake in His First Term. He Won’t Make It Again. (Slate, 07/27)
In a growing schism in the GOP, Matt Gaetz slammed Kevin McCarthy at CPAC: ‘He should not be the leader of the Republican conference (Insider, 08/08)
Marjorie Taylor Greene prayed over a convicted Capitol rioter who spent a day crying in a mock prison cell at CPAC (Insider, 08/06)
Viktor Orbán laid out his dark worldview to the American right — and they loved it (Vox, 08/05)
The Right’s Rising Authoritarian Ally (The Atlantic, 08/04)
The American Right Is Buying What Viktor Orban Is Selling (Common Sense, 08/07)
Anne Applebaum on Orban (Twitter, 08/04)

Insulin (Inflation Reduction Act) [16:33]

Democrats fail to overrule parliamentarian on insulin price cap as GOP votes no (The Hill, 08/07)
EXPLAINER: Why is insulin so expensive and difficult to cap? (ABC News, 08/05)
Estimated Budgetary Effects of the Improving Needed Safeguards for Users of Lifesaving Insulin Now Act, as Posted on the Website of Senator Shaheen on July 11, 2022 (version TAM22C90) (Congressional Budget Office, 07/14)
Senate Insulin Proposal to Increase Prescription Drug Costs (Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, 07/27)
Why Is There No Generic Insulin? (Healthline, 09/14/2021)
Schumer says Sinema left ‘no choice’ but to cut carried interest provision from tax and climate bill (CNBC, 08/05)
Stock buybacks have hit record levels this year but they’re about to get hit by taxes. These 10 companies have been the biggest buyers of their own shares in 2022. (Insider, 08/06)
A Stock Buyback Tax Is Added to the Inflation Bill. What That Means For Apple, Meta, and Microsoft. (Barron’s, 08/05)
Why Stock Buybacks Are Dangerous for the Economy (Harvard Business Review, 01/07/2020)

Toxic Masculinity [24:21]

Josh Hawley’s problem with masculinity (The Washington Post, 08/03)
‘It’s Become Increasingly Hard for Them to Feel Good About Themselves’ (The New York Times, 09/22/2021)
MEETING THE ENEMY A feminist comes to terms with the Men’s Rights movement | Cassie Jaye | TEDxMarin (YouTube, 10/18/2017)
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene: ‘Toxic Masculinity’ Should Be Top Military Requirement (Huffpost, 07/27)
Ben Shapiro: How Can Men Reclaim Masculinity? (YouTube, 05/02)
Gillette’s ‘We believe: the best men can be’ razors commercial takes on toxic masculinity (YouTube, 01/14/2019)
Tucker Carlson’s New Trailer is Very Manly (YouTube, 04/19)
Fact check: Testosterone levels have dropped in recent decades, but not by 50% (USA Today, 05/09)
The Trouble With Boys: Social Influences and the Gender Gap in Disruptive Behavior (Nber Working Paper Series, 10/2011)
Family Disadvantage and the Gender Gap in Behavioral and Educational Outcomes (American Economic Journal, 2019)