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Rank #29 in News Commentary category

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News Commentary

Make Me Smart with Kai and Molly

Updated about 2 months ago

Rank #29 in News Commentary category

News
News Commentary
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Hosted by Kai Ryssdal and Molly Wood, Make Me Smart With Kai & Molly is now a daily news podcast that breaks down the impact of COVID-19 on the economy and the most complex topics of the week. Together, we make sense of today. Because none of us is as smart as all of us.

Read more

Hosted by Kai Ryssdal and Molly Wood, Make Me Smart With Kai & Molly is now a daily news podcast that breaks down the impact of COVID-19 on the economy and the most complex topics of the week. Together, we make sense of today. Because none of us is as smart as all of us.

iTunes Ratings

3232 Ratings
Average Ratings
2857
172
66
52
85

Very listenable

By momzertumep - Jun 01 2020
Read more
I just got hooked on this podcast in the past week and have been binging it. It’s very smart and very human. I appreciate the rapport between Kai and Molly and the realness of what this current climate is and what it means for all of us. Keep up the good work.

Kai & Molly are the Best!

By Quicktricker - May 22 2020
Read more
I love the daily! I have been listening to Tuesdays from the beginning, so good!

iTunes Ratings

3232 Ratings
Average Ratings
2857
172
66
52
85

Very listenable

By momzertumep - Jun 01 2020
Read more
I just got hooked on this podcast in the past week and have been binging it. It’s very smart and very human. I appreciate the rapport between Kai and Molly and the realness of what this current climate is and what it means for all of us. Keep up the good work.

Kai & Molly are the Best!

By Quicktricker - May 22 2020
Read more
I love the daily! I have been listening to Tuesdays from the beginning, so good!

Best weekly hand curated episodes for learning

Cover image of Make Me Smart with Kai and Molly

Make Me Smart with Kai and Molly

Latest release on Jan 20, 2021

Best weekly hand curated episodes for learning

Read more

Hosted by Kai Ryssdal and Molly Wood, Make Me Smart With Kai & Molly is now a daily news podcast that breaks down the impact of COVID-19 on the economy and the most complex topics of the week. Together, we make sense of today. Because none of us is as smart as all of us.

For COVID-19 vaccines, “no one seems to think that we have a plan”

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President-elect Joe Biden says his administration will administer 100 million COVID-19 vaccines in his first 100 days in office. As of today, about 31 million vaccines have been distributed but only 12 million Americans have received the first dose. So what’s realistic? On today’s show, Johns Hopkins University health economist Dan Polsky gives us the lay of the land and tells us what needs to happen. Plus, a listener makes us smart about the 1954 shooting of the U.S. House of Representatives.

Jan 20 2021

31mins

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Wait, what happened to that vaccine stockpile??

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Given the state of the democracy right now, you’d be forgiven for taking your eye off the COVID-19 vaccine ball. Today, we’ll catch you up on how the rollout is going — or, uh, not going. Plus: what MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell was doing at the White House.

Here’s everything we talked about today:

Finally: We’re approaching our four-year anniversary of doing this show. On that very first episode, we heard from voters on both sides of the political aisle. And so, we want to hear from you again: What do you want people on the other side to know about you? Depending on your politics, feel free to define the “other side” however you like. Send us your answer — voice memo is best — at makemesmart@marketplace.org.

Jan 16 2021

21mins

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Let’s talk about accountability

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No, not for the president, but his supporters who filmed themselves charging into the Capitol and posted it online. Do they have a “right to be forgotten”? What about accountability for Facebook, where some of those extremists planned the Jan. 6 insurrection? And, oh yeah, what about for the officials at the helm when the water was poisonous in Flint, Michigan? We’re talking about all those stories today, plus Jerome Powell’s Zoom background and the Secret Service’s $3,000 toilet.

Here’s links to everything we talked about today:

Jan 15 2021

16mins

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Parler’s attempted comeback

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The right-wing social media app Parler has been banned by the major app stores and online hosting services over fears of more violence in the lead-up to President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration. Still, it’s looking like the company is trying to restart itself, and we have a listener wondering what’s next. We’ll talk about it on this Whadda Ya Wanna Know Wednesday. Also on the docket: savings rates, stagflation, and “Ted Lasso.”

Here’s everything we talked about today:

Jan 14 2021

19mins

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“Disinformation laundering” got us here

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Disinformation expert Nina Jankowicz says conspiracy theories like QAnon are like giant balls of lint, picking up everything in their path: baseless claims of voter fraud, 5G, Hunter Biden, anti-vaccination fiction … and last Wednesday that huge ball rolled straight from President Donald Trump’s rally to the Capitol, thanks in part to Trump’s allies in the media and Congress who legitimized it. So what now? Can we unring that bell? We’ll talk about it, and why Jankowicz says there’s reason to be optimistic.

Here’s everything we talked about today:

Jankowicz’s latest for Foreign Affairs: “The Day the Internet Came for Them

And her last appearance on Make Me Smart

Disinformation’s big win” from Axios

Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal Has Tested Positive for COVID” from The Cut

Republicans Weigh Trump Censure, Impeachment” from The Wall Street Journal

Fox News to Add Another Hour of Right-Wing Talk as Biden Takes Office” from The New York Times

Jan 13 2021

31mins

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“Hydra is still inside of SHIELD”

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That’s how Molly describes the lawmakers who still voted against certification of a free and fair election. That’s right: We’re back from our break and still assessing the fallout of last week’s insurrection, egged on by the president, at the Capitol building. On today’s show, we’ll talk about Trump’s few remaining supporters in Congress, the military people who were on the ground that day, the potential for further violence and how corporate America is reacting. Plus on Make Me Smile … more of the same.

Here’s everything we talked about today:

FBI memo warns law enforcement across U.S. of possible armed protests at 50 state capitols” from NBC News

Coca-Cola Suspends Political Donations After Capitol Violence” from Bloomberg

Officer resigns as Army investigates her involvement in Washington rally that led to U.S. Capitol riot” from CBS News

JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs join U.S. corporations halting political donations after Capitol riot” from CNBC

Molly has been searching “No fly list” on Twitter

And finally, this video.

Correction: This episode describes viral videos taken out of context. The videos do not necessarily depict people who are on a no fly list. Additionally, one of the videos appears to be recirculated from 2018.

Jan 12 2021

15mins

Play

Can Twitter end a presidency?

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We were planning to come back anyway, honestly. After pro-Trump insurrectionists broke into the Capitol, egged on by the president, we decided to cut short our holiday break. Then about five minutes before today’s taping, Twitter announced it was banning Donald Trump from his preferred platform. This whole week was a collision of the things we’ve talked about for years: disinformation radicalizing social media users, the offline consequences of online behavior, the peril of private companies acting as a check on a norm-shredding president. It’s been a huge week, and on today’s show, you’ll hear our raw reaction to it.

By the way, here’s the Twitter thread Kai mentioned today.

Thanks to everyone who joined us live on YouTube today! Subscribe to our channel so you don’t miss the next one.

Jan 09 2021

22mins

Play

A vote for the ERA was long overdue, but it might be too late (rerun)

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Hey smarties! We’re on a break for the holidays, so we’re revisiting some favorite episodes from 2020. We want to say a big thank you for being part of the Make Me Smart family this year — every voicemail, question and donation makes a huge difference. None of us is as smart as all of us, and we couldn’t do this show without you. There’s still time to donate here. Thanks, happy new year and we’ll be back soon!

Virginia became the 38th state to ratify the equal rights amendment to the constitution last week, giving the ERA the support it needs … about three decades after it expired. Many people, some 80% according to one poll, think the U.S. Constitution already includes equal protections for women’s rights, but it doesn’t. On today’s show, we’re going to look more at how we got to this point and what “equal rights” really means for the women’s movement and the economy overall. Here to guide us through is CUNY professor Julie Suk. Her book about the ERA, “We the Women: The Forgotten Mothers of the Equal Rights Amendment,” is out this summer.

Jan 05 2021

34mins

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Maybe Modern Monetary Theory is an answer to the COVID-19 economic crisis (rerun)

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Hey smarties! We’re on a break for the holidays, so we’re revisiting some favorite episodes from 2020. We want to say a big thank you for being part of the Make Me Smart family this year — every voicemail, question and donation makes a huge difference. None of us is as smart as all of us, and we couldn’t do this show without you. There’s still time to help us raise $500,000 for Marketplace before the end of the year! Donate here. Thanks, happy holidays and we’ll see you in the new year!

Does debt matter? For an individual, a household or even a generation, sure it does. But what about a nation? Modern Monetary Theory says no. To help us understand MMT and why it matters in this crisis is Stephanie Kelton. She’s a professor of economics and public policy at Stony Brook University, and she served as an adviser to Sen. Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign.

Here are links to what we talked about today:

The Economist Who Believes the Government Should Just Print More Money” in the New Yorker

Is modern monetary theory nutty or essential?” in The Economist

Stephanie Kelton: ‘They’re going to have massive deficits. And it’s fine’ ” in the Financial Times

Dr. Fauci says NFL season is feasible” in the L.A. Times

Twitter Will Allow Employees To Work At Home Forever” in BuzzFeed

Uber Technologies Makes Takeover Approach to Grubhub” in The Wall Street Journal

Dec 29 2020

41mins

Play

A higher ed crisis is a terrible thing to waste (rerun)

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Hey smarties! We’re on a break for the holidays, so we’re revisiting some favorite episodes from 2020. We want to say a big thank you for being part of the Make Me Smart family this year — every voicemail, question and donation makes a huge difference. None of us is as smart as all of us, and we couldn’t do this show without you. There’s still time to help us raise $500,000 for Marketplace before the end of the year! Donate here. Thanks, happy holidays and we’ll see you in the new year!

The rock walls, sushi bars and student center bowling alleys at colleges around the country will likely sit empty this fall. The spring semester has shown that online learning has significant limitations, said NYU marketing professor Scott Galloway, and welcoming back students and faculty is going to be like “Contagion 2.” But there’s also an opportunity here, he says, to increase budgets, cut costs and leverage technology to make higher education as accessible as it used to be.

Here’s a list of everything we talked about today:

Here’s a List of Colleges’ Plans for Reopening in the Fall” from the Chronicle of Higher Education

What the Shift to Virtual Learning Could Mean for the Future of Higher Ed” from Harvard Business Review

The Coming Disruption,” Galloway’s recent piece for New York magazine

Goldman Sachs says a national mask mandate could slash infections and save economy from a 5% hit” from CNBC

Is it safe to send kids back to school?” from MIT Technology Review

A Look Back On Shirley Chisholm’s Historic 1968 House Victory” from NPR

Finally, this painting by Rhonda Brown

Dec 22 2020

34mins

Play

See you next year!

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This is our last episode of the year! After nine months of daily episodes, we’re gonna take a short break. We can’t thank you enough for hanging with us every day, sending voicemails and questions, and chipping in to support us. This show doesn’t work without all of you. Before we go though, we have one more edition of “Economics on Tap” where we’ll talk about vaccine algorithms, media consolidation and, yes, Space Force.

Here’s links to everything we covered today:

Only Seven of Stanford’s First 5,000 Vaccines Were Designated for Medical Residents” from ProPublica

Biden’s Transition Team Protests Pentagon’s Halt in Briefings” from Bloomberg

From BuzzFeed to Axios, Digital Media Players Prepare for Deal Frenzy” from The Wall Street Journal

Pence announces Space Force members will be called ‘guardians’” from Politico

Thanks again everyone, and don’t forget to pick up a newly restocked KaiPA pint glass and help us hit our $500,000 goal. Once it hits midnight on New Year’s Eve they’re gone!

Dec 19 2020

15mins

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All the ICUs in Southern California are full

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In what feels like a flashback to New York in March, field hospitals are sprouting up around Southern California as the region hit an alarming milestone: ICU capacity at 0%. It’s a grim reminder that even with one approved COVID-19 vaccine and more on the way, we are still in the darkest days of this pandemic. We hope you’re staying home and staying safe for the holidays. But before we talk about that, Molly Wood will break down the latest about that huge, probably Russian hack into the U.S. government. Plus, your chance to implode President Donald Trump’s Atlantic City casino.

Here’s everything we talked about today:

More Hacking Attacks Found as Officials Warn of ‘Grave Risk’ to U.S. Government” from The New York Times

I Was the Homeland Security Adviser to Trump. We’re Being Hacked.” from The New York Times

Bar complaint filed against Trump attorneys in Arizona” from 12News

ICU availability in Southern California at 0% amid deluge of COVID-19 patients” from the Los Angeles Times

In New York City, snowfall tops all of last winter’s.” from The New York Times. Check out that photo!

Win a Chance to Destroy Trump’s Casino Like He Destroyed Our Country” from Rolling Stone

Here’s the link to that auction

In Historic Move, Biden To Pick Native American Rep. Haaland As Interior Secretary” from NPR

This beautiful, musical Christmas dispatch from Camp Davids

Make Me Smart is powered by listeners like you — become a Marketplace Investor today!

Dec 18 2020

17mins

Play

Eggnog by the gallon

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We’ve got some really memorable calls from listeners today, y’all. There’s the guy who’s staring down a huge milestone in his life, but can’t stop thinking about eggnog. There’s the listener who asked us to stop and reflect on this crazy year. And, of course, there’s a question about vaccines. We’ll talk about it all on this, our last Whadda Ya Wanna Know Wednesday of the year.

Here’s everything we talked about today:

Make Me Smart is powered by listeners like you — become a Marketplace Investor today!

Dec 17 2020

15mins

Play

The student loan system has “layers and layers of dysfunction”

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As President-elect Joe Biden mulls forgiving $10,000 in student loan debt — and leading Democrats and others on his left push for more — one of our listeners wants to know: What would that do to the economy, and is it even possible for the White House to do it on its own? To find out, we called University of Michigan public policy, education and economics professor Susan Dynarski. She helps us look beyond the obvious micro-economic benefits and inject some nuance into the conversation about what it actually takes to get out of this $1.6 million hole.

Here’s everything we talked about today:

Student Loan Cancellation Sets Up Clash Between Biden and the Left” from The New York Times

Would canceling $10,000 in student debt really help that much?” from Marketplace

An interactive map of debt in America

Americans want to cancel student loans — but not all of them” from Vox

The student loan trap” from Marketplace’s podcast “This Is Uncomfortable”

Google CEO delays office return to next September, but axes idea of permanent remote work” from CNBC

USPS ‘gridlocked’ as historic crush of holiday packages sparks delays” from The Washington Post

Is Louis DeJoy’s XPO Logistics divestiture a sham?” from Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington

Make Me Smart is powered by listeners like you — become a Marketplace Investor today!

Dec 16 2020

32mins

Play

This is a cyberattack worth paying attention to

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You’d be forgiven for missing it in the firehose of news, but let’s stop a second to talk about today’s drip, drip, drip about a likely Russian cyberattack against the Department of Homeland Security and other agencies. Ahead of tomorrow’s “Marketplace Tech” episode, Molly Wood will get us up to speed, and we’ll talk about the latest flap at Apple TV. But first: We’ll quickly run some of the big news stories of the day, including the first American COVID-19 vaccines and Attorney General Bill Barr’s ouster.

Here’s everything we talked about today:

Suspected Russian Hack Said to Have Gone Undetected for Months” from The Wall Street Journal

Apple TV Was Making a Show About Gawker. Then Tim Cook Found Out.” from The New York Times

Voting technology company sends legal notices to Fox News and other right-wing media outlets over ‘disinformation campaign’” from CNN

Finally, this mask PSA

“Make Me Smart” is powered by listeners like you — become a Marketplace Investor today!

Dec 15 2020

18mins

Play

The Supreme Court roasts Trump’s “legal marshmallow”

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We talked a bit yesterday about the lawsuit out of Texas, cosigned by a surprisingly huge number of Republicans, seeking to turnover the presidential election. Well today — during our taping, as a matter of fact — the Supreme Court took just a few paragraphs to shoot the case down. On today’s show, Kai and Molly react in real-time. Plus: What Facebook can learn from Microsoft’s antitrust case, where unused FSA money goes and a peek into Kai’s DMs.

Here’s everything we talked about today:

What can Facebook learn from the attempt to break up Microsoft?” from Marketplace Tech

What You Can Do to Protect Your Dependent-Care FSA Cash” from the Wall Street Journal

Let’s do the numbers on the certified election results

The Supreme Court Rejected Texas’s Last-Ditch Legal Challenge To Biden’s Win” from BuzzFeed News

Editorial: Don’t just deny Texas’ original action. Decimate it.” from SCOTUSblog

Facebook Announces Plan To Break Up U.S. Government Before It Becomes Too Powerful” from The Onion

And this video.

“Make Me Smart” is powered by listeners like you — become a Marketplace Investor today!

Dec 12 2020

24mins

Play

Make Me (and my dog) Smart

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Some very important research into dog cognition came across our desk today, and we can’t wait to tell you all about it. But before that, we’re still unpacking the implications of the new COVID-19 vaccine, and how race plays into anxiety around getting it. Oh, and the Republicans mobilizing to try and overturn the results of the presidential election. It’s hollowed-out-shell Thursday after all.

Here’s everything we’re talking about today:

Why did the U.S. turn down vaccine doses?” from the New York Times podcast “The Daily”

A C.D.C. official says she was ordered to destroy an email showing a Trump appointee interfering with a report’s publication.” from The New York Times

These remarks from Dr. Anthony Fauci

This important dog research

Minnesota’s Okee Dokee Brothers withdraw from all-white Grammy Awards list” from the Star Tribune

Make Me Smart is powered by listeners like you — become a Marketplace Investor today!

Dec 11 2020

14mins

Play

What’s better: real or fake Christmas trees?

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We’ve been talking a lot about coronavirus vaccines on the show lately, and for good reason. But it’s also the holiday season, so for this Whadda Ya Wanna Know Wednesday, we’re tackling a perennial question: What’s better for the environment, real or fake Christmas trees? Plus we’ll talk about solar power and bring in a ringer to talk about a certain logo Kai can’t stand. But first, yes, a little more about vaccines.

Here’s everything we talked about today:

A Vaccine Is Coming: Can Employers Require Employees to Take it?” from The National Law Review

Yes, your boss can fire you if you refuse to get a Covid vaccine” from CNBC

Pandemic Is Ray of Light for Solar Industry” from The Wall Street Journal

What’s greener: a real Christmas tree or a fake one?” from Marketplace

Christmas tree sales are booming as pandemic-weary Americans seek solace.” from The New York Times

Make Me Smart is powered by listeners like you — become a Marketplace Investor today!

Dec 10 2020

16mins

Play

How we got a COVID-19 vaccine so fast

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The United Kingdom administered its first COVID-19 vaccine today, a little less than a year from the first recorded cases. Back then, the effectiveness of this kind of vaccine was an open question. These new shots use messenger RNA to give the immune system an “instruction sheet” for fighting off COVID-19. This mRNA technology has been around for about a decade, but hasn’t been used successfully in a vaccine before now. On today’s show, biotech investor and author Safi Bahcall walks us through something like 150 years of pharmaceutical history and how mRNA will change vaccine development. Oh, and we’ll ask him why that Pfizer vaccine has to be kept so dang cold.

Here’s everything we talked about today (if these links don’t work, check out our episode page at makemesmart.org):

We had the vaccine the whole time” from New York Magazine

Bahcall’s interview about vaccine technology on “Marketplace Tech”

And his op-ed in The Wall Street Journal, “The Conference Call to Cure Covid-19.

A gamble pays off in ‘spectacular success’: How the leading coronavirus vaccines made it to the finish line” from The Washington Post

Low Prices for Vaccines Can Come at a Great Cost” from The New York Times

How much could Pfizer make from a COVID-19 vaccine?” from “Marketplace”

Uber Is Giving Self-Driving Car Project to a Start-Up” from The New York Times

Palantir Wins FDA Contract to Power Drug Review, Inspections” from Bloomberg

Coronavirus vaccines may be less effective for Black and Asian recipients, MIT study suggests” from The Week

Make Me Smart is powered by listeners like you — become a Marketplace Investor today!

Dec 09 2020

37mins

Play

Vaccine futures

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The New York Times is reporting (and the White House is denying) that the Trump administration passed on buying more doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine. We’ll give you the view from the 200 millionth place in line, where Kai and Molly are patiently waiting. Plus: the end of cash bail in Los Angeles, civil forfeiture on the rise and, uh, aliens.

Here’s everything we talked about today (if these links don’t work check out our episode page at makemesmart.org):

Trump administration officials passed when Pfizer offered in late summer to sell the U.S. more vaccine doses.” from The New York Times

White House denies report saying it passed when Pfizer offered additional vaccine doses” from MarketWatch

On first day as L.A. County D.A., George Gascón eliminates bail, remakes sentencing rules” from the LA Times

Trump Aims to Boost Vaccine Confidence at White House Summit” from Bloomberg

Our episode from 2017: “The police can just take your stuff

Former Israeli space security chief says aliens exist, humanity not ready” from The Jerusalem Post

“Make Me Smart” is powered by listeners like you — become a Marketplace Investor today!

Dec 08 2020

15mins

Play

iTunes Ratings

3232 Ratings
Average Ratings
2857
172
66
52
85

Very listenable

By momzertumep - Jun 01 2020
Read more
I just got hooked on this podcast in the past week and have been binging it. It’s very smart and very human. I appreciate the rapport between Kai and Molly and the realness of what this current climate is and what it means for all of us. Keep up the good work.

Kai & Molly are the Best!

By Quicktricker - May 22 2020
Read more
I love the daily! I have been listening to Tuesdays from the beginning, so good!