Why Syria, Why Now? Also, Showdowns Loom in U.S. Politics, and Lessons Learned Over Summer Vacation.

Slate's weekly political roundtable.
Aug. 30 2013 12:13 PM

The Terrifying, Looming, Touching-the-Void Awfulness Gabfest

Listen to Slate's show about why Obama might bomb Syria. Also, the fall forecast for U.S. politics, and the lessons of summer vacation.

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To listen to the discussion, use the player below:

Live ‘Dear Prudence!’ Washington, D.C., Sept. 11, 7p.m. Join David as he questions Slate ‘Dear Prudence’ columnist Emily Yoffe about her most memorable letters. Tickets.

Live DoubleX Gabfest! Washington, D.C., Sept. 18, 7p.m. Tickets.

Live Culture Gabfest! Brooklyn, Sept. 24. Tickets.

This week’s Audible recommendation is A Little History of the World by E.H. Gombrich. Try Audible free for 30 days and get a free audiobook by visiting AudiblePodcast.com/Gabfest.

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On this week’s Slate Political Gabfest, Emily Bazelon, John Dickerson, and David Plotz discuss the President’s tentative plan to attack Syria in retaliation for the Assad government’s alleged use of chemical weapons. They also discuss the debt ceiling, immigration, and other challenges that confront Congress when it returns to Washington. Finally, they reflect on lessons learned during their summer vacations.

Here are some of the links and references mentioned during this week's show:

John chatters about Gavin Aung Than’s comic strip rendering of a 1990 Kenyon College commencement speech by Calvin and Hobbes cartoonist Bill Watterson.

Topic ideas for next week? You can tweet suggestions, links, and questions to @SlateGabfest. The email address for the Political Gabfest is gabfest@slate.com. (Email may be quoted by name unless the writer stipulates otherwise.)

Podcast production by Andy Bowers. Links compiled by Jeff Friedrich.

Emily Bazelon is a Slate senior editor and the Truman Capote Fellow at Yale Law School. She is the author of Sticks and Stones.

John Dickerson is Slate's chief political correspondent and author of On Her Trail. Read his series on the presidency and on risk.

David Plotz is Slate's editor at large. He's the author of The Genius Factory and Good Book.