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. 



Forget Oculus Rift

This $25 cardboard box turns your phone into an incredibly fun virtual reality experience.

The Congressional Republican Digging Through Scientists’ Grant Proposals

Renée Zellweger’s New Face Is Too Real

Sleater-Kinney Was Once America’s Best Rock Band

Can it be again?

Whole Foods Is Desperate for Customers to Feel Warm and Fuzzy Again

The XX Factor

I’m 25. I Have $250.03.

My doctors want me to freeze my eggs.

The XX Factor
Oct. 20 2014 6:17 PM I’m 25. I Have $250.03. My doctors want me to freeze my eggs.

Smash and Grab

Will competitive Senate contests in Kansas and South Dakota lead to more late-breaking races in future elections?

George Tiller’s Murderer Threatens Another Abortion Provider, Claims Free Speech

These Companies in Japan Are More Than 1,000 Years Old

  News & Politics
The World
Oct. 21 2014 3:13 PM Why Countries Make Human Rights Pledges They Have No Intention of Honoring
Oct. 21 2014 5:57 PM Soda and Fries Have Lost Their Charm for Both Consumers and Investors
The Vault
Oct. 21 2014 2:23 PM A Data-Packed Map of American Immigration in 1903
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 21 2014 3:03 PM Renée Zellweger’s New Face Is Too Real
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Oct. 21 2014 1:02 PM Where Are Slate Plus Members From? This Weird Cartogram Explains. A weird-looking cartogram of Slate Plus memberships by state.
Brow Beat
Oct. 21 2014 1:47 PM The Best Way to Fry an Egg
Oct. 21 2014 5:38 PM Justified Paranoia Citizenfour offers a look into the mind of Edward Snowden.
  Health & Science
Climate Desk
Oct. 21 2014 11:53 AM Taking Research for Granted Texas Republican Lamar Smith continues his crusade against independence in science.
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.