The Political Gabfest for Dec. 31, 2010.

Slate's weekly political roundtable.
Dec. 31 2010 7:15 AM

The Conundra Gabfest

Listen to Slate's review of the week in politics.


Become a fan of the Political Gabfest on Facebook. We post to the Facebook page throughout the week, so keep the conversation going by joining us there.

Listen to the Gabfest for Dec. 31 by clicking the arrow on the audio player below:

This episode of the Political Gabfest and a special " Insider Survey" for this podcast are brought to you by the new 2011 Hyundai Equus. Go to to learn more.

The Slate Political Gabfest is coming back to Washington, D.C., for a live show, and you're invited! We'll be at the Sixth & I Synagogue on Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2011, at 7:00 p.m. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit

On this week's Slate Political Gabfest, Emily Bazelon, John Dickerson, and David Plotz discuss some (mostly) nonpolitical conundrums that stump them in everyday life. Here's the list:

1) When can you say that you have been to a state?

2) Should you make a consciencious effort to limit your swearing? Is a filthy mouth really all that bad? Does profanity serve a purpose? Do you maintain a different set of standards for your kids?

3) In a nation that is increasingly polarized, is it more effective to align yourself with the side you believe is right, and work for its victory, or more effective to attempt to be a bridge between the two opposing sides?

4) Can you be an atheist if your life is not going well? David has abandoned belief in God but feels no sense of despair. Is this because he is a lucky person, and he and his loved ones are healthy and prosperous? Would he need solace in the divine if they weren't? Or can you live a life—even a life of sorrow and pain—without the solace of greater meaning or divinity?

For this week's cocktail chatter, David, Emily, and John shared their favorite moments from 2010:

David's moment was a trip he took with his son to a Korean spa in Virginia.

Emily's moment was the decision from California Judge Vaughn Walker that struck down Proposition 8. Seriously, she's that much of a legal nerd.

John's favorite moment was watching his son hit a grand slam during his Little League game.

The e-mail address for the Political Gabfest is (E-mail may be quoted by name unless the writer stipulates otherwise.)

Posted on Dec. 31 by John Griffith at 7:05 a.m.

Like Slate on Facebook. Follow the Gabfest on Twitter.

Slate Senior Editor Emily Bazelon, Chief Political Correspondent John Dickerson, and Editor David Plotz host the Gabfest weekly. 



Meet the New Bosses

How the Republicans would run the Senate.

The Government Is Giving Millions of Dollars in Electric-Car Subsidies to the Wrong Drivers

Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.

Cheez-Its. Ritz. Triscuits.

Why all cracker names sound alike.

Friends Was the Last Purely Pleasurable Sitcom

The Eye

This Whimsical Driverless Car Imagines Transportation in 2059

Medical Examiner

Did America Get Fat by Drinking Diet Soda?  

A high-profile study points the finger at artificial sweeteners.

The Afghan Town With a Legitimately Good Tourism Pitch

A Futurama Writer on How the Vietnam War Shaped the Series

  News & Politics
Sept. 21 2014 11:34 PM People’s Climate March in Photos Hundreds of thousands of marchers took to the streets of NYC in the largest climate rally in history.
Business Insider
Sept. 20 2014 6:30 AM The Man Making Bill Gates Richer
Sept. 22 2014 8:07 AM Why Haven’t the Philadelphia Eagles Ever Won a Super Bowl?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 4:58 PM Steubenville Gets the Lifetime Treatment (And a Cheerleader Erupts Into Flames)
  Slate Plus
Sept. 22 2014 8:08 AM Slate Voice: “Why Is So Much Honey Clover Honey?” Mike Vuolo shares the story of your honey.
Sept. 21 2014 9:00 PM Attractive People Being Funny While Doing Amusing and Sometimes Romantic Things Don’t dismiss it. Friends was a truly great show.
Future Tense
Sept. 22 2014 7:47 AM Predicting the Future for the U.S. Government The strange but satisfying work of creating the National Intelligence Council’s Global Trends report.
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 22 2014 5:30 AM MAVEN Arrives at Mars
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.