Are Progressives the New Tea Party?

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Jan. 6 2014 2:03 PM

The Three Jews, Two-and-a-Half Opinions Gabfest

Listen to Slate's show about the minimum wage fight, the threat of violence in Sochi, and the campus politics of criticizing Israel.

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On this week’s Slate Political Gabfest, Emily Bazelon, David Plotz, and Will Saletan consider whether ballot measures to raise the minimum wage could help Democrats win in 2014, how the threat of terrorism at the Sochi Olympics could give Putin more power, and whether the Jewish campus group Hillel should host speakers who criticize Israel.

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

  • Democrats anxious about 2014 are pushing a minimum wage increase.
  • Two-thirds of Americans support raising the minimum wage, a recent ABC–Washington Post poll found.
  • Barry Schwartz writes that raising the minimum wage will also lead to better pay for non-minimum-wage jobs.
  • A study by the economists David Card and Alan Krueger found that a minimum wage increase in New Jersey did not increase unemployment.
  • The town of SeaTac raised its minimum wage to $15 an hour, but a county judge has ruled that the increase doesn't apply to airport workers (about three-quarters of those who would have been affected).
  • David called the tone of Bill de Blasio's inauguration "stunningly left-wing."
  • Security at the Sochi Olympics will be intense.
  • Some conspiracy theorists claim Vladimir Putin helped stage the 1999 Russian apartment bombings and then blamed them on terrorists to consolidate his power.
  • The national Hillel speaker policy bars speakers who "support boycott of, divestment from, or sanctions against the State of Israel," among other things. The Swarthmore College Hillel chapter has said it will no longer follow these guidelines.
  • Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu demands that Palestine recognize Israel as a Jewish state as an essential condition of a peace agreement.

Emily chatters about The Good Lord Bird by James McBride.

Will chatters about the Dallas Cowboys losing to the Philadelphia Eagles.

David chatters about a twist on the license plate game in which you win if the states you see have enough electoral votes to win a presidential election.

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 Mike Vuolo. Links compiled by Rebecca Cohen.

Emily Bazelon is a staff writer at the New York Times Magazine and the author of Sticks and Stones

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

Will Saletan writes about politics, science, technology, and other stuff for Slate. He’s the author of Bearing Right.

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