To listen to the discussion, use the player below:
In a live taping of the Slate Political Gabfest that was co-hosted by WBUR and the Harvard Book Store in Cambridge, Mass., Emily Bazelon, John Dickerson, and David Plotz discuss the malleability of the “red line” President Obama defined for an intervention in Syria, and a possible ratcheting up of the surveillance state after the Boston Marathon bombings. They also debate whether New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's lap-band surgery is purely about improving his health, as he says, or whether presidential politics also played a role.
Here are links to some of the items mentioned during this week's show:
- Emily references John Mueller’s discussion, in Foreign Affairs, of how the use of chemical weapons in Syria could affect U.S. policy.
- Slate’s Farhad Manjoo made the case for installing more surveillance cameras after the Boston bombing.
- The New York Times reported on the FBI’s desire to overhaul wiretapping laws to make it easier to monitor internet communication.
- The Pew Center released polling showing that the Boston bombing had little impact on peoples’ views of Islam and violence.
- Some lap-band FAQs, via the Daily Beast.
- In 2011, Michael Kinsley argued that Chris Christie was too fat to be President.
- John says that around 40 percent of Americans are obese—the CDC puts the number at 35.7 percent.
John chatters about hot hands.
David chatters about Before Midnight.
Topic ideas for next week? You can tweet suggestions, links, and questions to @SlateGabfest. The email address for the Political Gabfest is firstname.lastname@example.org. (Email may be quoted by name unless the writer stipulates otherwise.)
Podcast production by Mike Vuolo and Andy Bowers. Links compiled by Jeff Friedrich.