The Gabfest on Obama’s immigration executive actions, Republican intra-party fighting over the Export-Import Bank, and how the impacts of World War I resonate today.

Will the GOP Shut Down the Government Again?

Will the GOP Shut Down the Government Again?

Slate's weekly political roundtable.
Aug. 29 2014 12:28 PM

The “Gabfest to End All Gabfests” Edition

Listen to Slate’s show about the potential for another government shutdown, a bizarre faceoff over the Export-Import bank, and the World War I centennial.

The Political Gabfest has moved! Find new episodes here.


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. Or follow us @SlateGabfest!

To listen to the discussion, use the player below:


For this week’s Slate Plus bonus segment the Gabfesters discuss the controversy over “poor doors” in New York City. Slate Plus members get an ad-free version of this podcast with bonus segments. Visit and try it free for two weeks.

The inaugural Superfest West, a live crossover show featuring the Political Gabfest and the Culture Gabfest, will be held in San Francisco on Oct. 5. Get tickets here.

On this week’s Slate Political Gabfest, Emily Bazelon, John Dickerson, David Plotz , and special guest Dan Carlin, host of the Common Sense and Hardcore History podcasts, discuss the possibility of another government shutdown, the fight over the Export-Import Bank, and the lasting impact of World War I.

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

  • Eric Posner wrote that the executive branch has discretion to enforce or ignore laws, including those that dictate immigration and deportation.
  • This year, Congress failed to pass both an immigration reform bill and an emergency funding bill to address the child-migrant surge.
  • President Obama has deported at least 2 million people.
  • In 1986, President Reagan signed an immigration reform bill granting amnesty to citizens who entered the U.S. before 1982.
  • According to a new Gallup poll, Republicans believe that immigration is the most important issue facing our country.
  • In 2012, Boeing received 82.7 percent of the Export-Import Bank’s loan guarantees. The airplane manufacturer is engaged in a policy fight with Delta Air Lines, who claim that Ex-Im loans to foreign airlines put Delta at a competitive disadvantage.
  • Facing anti-trust lawsuits in the 90s, Microsoft lamented its competitors’ lobbying tactics. The company claimed that intense lobbying spurred the Department of Justice’s actions.
  • By some important measures, Sweden is one of the least corrupt nations in the world.
  • House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy broke with former Majority Leader Eric Cantor over Ex-Im, saying that he’d let the bank’s charter expire.
  • Zach Karabell wrote that the Export-Import bank is a model for other government entities that could stimulate the private sector with loans that don’t place great burdens on taxpayers.
  • One of World War I’s lasting impacts is the instability in the Middle East. After the war, British and French diplomats propped up local leaders and drew new national boundaries that disregarded tribal and sectarian borders.
  • After the war, the U.S. asserted itself as a creditor nation.
  • It’s argued that Germany should not bear responsibility for all of the atrocities of World War I.

Emily chatters about her story in the New York Times Magazine and HB 2, Texas’s abortion law.

Dan chatters about the American public’s role in major foreign policy debates.

David chatters about Josh Barro’s story on reclining airline seats.

Topic ideas for next week? You can tweet suggestions, links, and questions to @SlateGabfest.

The email address for the Political Gabfest is (Email may be quoted by name unless the writer stipulates otherwise.)

Podcast production by Mike Vuolo. Links compiled by Max Tani.

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

Dan Carlin is a political commentator and host of the Common Sense and Hardcore History podcasts.

John Dickerson is a co-anchor of CBS This Morning, co-host of the Slate Political Gabfest, host of the Whistlestop podcast, and author of Whistlestop and On Her Trail.

David Plotz is the CEO of Atlas Obscura and host of the Slate Political Gabfest.