RDI Newsletter Podcast
Double the Budget of Every Congressional Office

Double the Budget of Every Congressional Office

December 8, 2021

Narration: Writing and Policy Associate James Lewis

Here's what you need to know about democracy this week:

  • Double the Budget of Every Congressional Office

As the problems in congress grow in complexity congressional offices have shrunk. The under-funding of congressional offices is creating a crisis in expertise in our legislature, which lobbyists have been happy to fill.

  • Twitter's Dictator Problem

Last week, the co-founder and CEO of Twitter, Jack Dorsey, announced that he was stepping down from his role and is soon to leave the company altogether. While Twitter tries to determine how it can better coexist with American democracy, it has an even more convoluted arrangement to sort out with authoritarian governments around the world.

Can the Greens help Germany grow a backbone?

Can the Greens help Germany grow a backbone?

December 2, 2021

Narration: Writing & Policy Associate James Lewis

Here's what you need to know about democracy this week:

  • Can the Greens help Germany grow a backbone?

As Angela Merkel steps down from her role as Chancellor of Germany, a new coalition government is coming in. While most attention is focused on the new chancellor, Olaf Scholz, the appointment of Annalena Baerbock of the Green Party to Foreign Minister might make the biggest difference to European security.

  • Why are so many candidates in Latin America extremists?

November featured a whirlwind of elections across Latin America, and in most cases there were popular extremist candidates whose interest in radical change seemed greater than their faith in democracy. Is democracy failing to improve people’s lives??

 

Was Trump too moderate?

Was Trump too moderate?

November 18, 2021

Narration: James Lewis

Here's what you need to know about democracy this week

  • Was Trump too moderate?

Glenn Youngkin’s victory in Virginia seemed to suggest that toning down Trump’s style without repudiating him could keep his base happy while winning over moderates and reclaiming the suburbs for Republicans. But what if you ran a campaign that was even more extreme than Trump’s?

  • Are helpless people the perfect weapon?

Refugees mostly from Middle Eastern countries are gathering on the border between Belarus and EU countries. Is this dictators’ new plot to undermine democracies?

What‘s worse than voter suppression?

What‘s worse than voter suppression?

September 30, 2021

Narration: James Lewis

Here's what you need to know about democracy this week

  • What's worse than voter suppression?

New voting laws have garnered a lot of attention this past year as forms of “voter suppression.” Though they may be serious, another class of restrictions poses the greater threat to American democracy.

  • El Salvador's Millennial Dictator

A young, self-declared dictator is exchanging state money for bitcoin, posting memes on Instagram, and marching troops through Congress when he doesn’t get his way. Is this what a Millennial dictatorship looks like?

Are the feds subsidizing vaccine hesitancy?

Are the feds subsidizing vaccine hesitancy?

September 22, 2021

Narration: James Lewis

Here's what you need to know about democracy this week

  • Are the feds subsidizing vaccine hesitancy?

$2,100 payments are flowing from the federal government to anybody who wants them and no, we don't mean a fourth round of stimulus payments.

  • How to actually steal an election

Russia has just concluded the spectacle the government calls elections, and Putin has proven again that he and his party will stop at nothing to maintain their grip on power.

Why did California even have a recall?

Why did California even have a recall?

September 16, 2021

Narration: James Lewis

Here's what you need to know about democracy this week

  • Why did California even have a recall?

Gavin Newsom's recall is over and nothing's changed. Why on earth did this even happen?

Democracy Dies in Boredom

Democracy Dies in Boredom

September 9, 2021

Narration: James Lewis

Here's what you need to know about democracy this week

  • Democracy Dies in Boredom

Protesters clashed in Portland on August 22nd while police officers stood idly by. Is this what the end of American democracy looks like?

Learning to Live With the Taliban

Learning to Live With the Taliban

September 2, 2021

Narration:  James Lewis

Here's what you need to know about democracy this week

  • Learning to live with the Taliban

The Taliban control Afghanistan for the moment, and the humanitarian crisis is likely just beginning. How are countries managing diplomatic relations with the terrorist group, and what could the failure to help the Afghan people mean?

Who are the Sedition Hunters?

Who are the Sedition Hunters?

August 26, 2021

Narration: James Lewis

Here's what you need to know about democracy this week

  • Who are the Sedition Hunters?

A shadowy group of internet sleuths is using publicly-accessible information to identify participants in the Capitol Riot. But is the emerging technology that they’re taking advantage of too much power for private citizens?

  • Why is the IMF funding dictators?

Belarusian dictator Alexander Lukashenko has turned his country into a pariah state by crushing pro-democracy protests and hunting down dissidents. So why has the IMF just given him $1 billion with no strings attached?

 

Where’d All the White People Go?

Where’d All the White People Go?

August 19, 2021

Narration: James Lewis

Here's what you need to know about democracy this week

Where'd all the white people go?

  • Recently released data from the Census Bureau is driving headlines that the white population in America declined by 8.6% from 2010 to 2020. But is that actually true?

Can we solve gerrymandering?

  • Redistricting is beginning, and debates about gerrymandering are heating up. Initiatives like establishing independent districting committees promise to depoliticize the process, but would they really solve the problem?
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