Sam and Emma host Daniel Nichanian, creator of What’s On The Ballot, to break down the trends he saw from last Tuesday’s elections, as well as some overlooked races and ballot measures. Moving beyond the top line races last week, such as the governor races in VA and NJ, Daniel walks Emma and Sam through referendums and smaller elections around key narratives, from the lasting effects of the War on Drugs, to America’s changing relationship with policing and criminal justice, and much more. They begin with the former, exploring how prosecutorial elections in Austin, Philly, and VA hinged on stepping back from going after drug possession charges, the legalization of Marijuana across Ohio, and Washington following in Oregon’s footsteps in decriminalizing drug possession. Next, they move to Kyrsten Sinema’s home state as they look at Tuscon voters giving a big ol’ thumbs up to a $15/hr minimum wage as the conversation shifts to how referendum can be used to build institutions and ideas that the legislative arena refuses to address. They also discuss votes around the funding and maintaining of the prison industrial complex, from Police budgets to the conditions of prisons, with Boston electing for participatory budgets, which have previously allowed Seattle to cut police funding, Austin voters wholeheartedly striking down a massive hike on their police budget, and a few Sheriff elections hinging on jail maintenance. They wrap up the interview by touching on election reform, noting specifically the failure of the NYS Democratic Party to boost their referendum, choosing instead to undermine India Walton’s candidacy as the winner of the Democratic primary for Mayor of Buffalo, before they look at the hinge of the Right’s culture war, discussing the lack of a red wave among school board elections countrywide. Emma and Sam also watch Pete Buttigieg’s astonishment at the Right not agreeing with his assessment of racism in infrastructure, and the MR team unpacks the legacy of segregation left behind by Robert Moses.
And in the Fun Half: Nomiki Konst helps Emma and Sam unpack the NYS referendum failures and how the state’s Democratic Party and its relationship (or lack thereof) with progressives were key. They also cover Peter Thiel’s “17-and-racist again” moment as he uses college protests from 25 years ago to explain why racism and misogyny are social constructs just like baseball. Tucker Carlson the charlatan weeds out all of the important historical facts from his segment on infrastructure, and Dennis Prager contrasts the stigmatization of unvaccinated with the lack of it with AIDS, just years after complaining about the DE-stigmatization of AIDS. Lastly, Axios gets hot and heavy with Josh Hawley, fantasizing about their ideal man, and Eric Bolling discusses the real way to get to Sesame Street – by following Marxist theory – plus, your IMs!
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