Rewind millions of years and a dinosaur-killing asteroid is racing toward Earth at breakneck speed. But what exactly happened in the immediate aftermath of this event? Which species survived and which ones were met with instantaneous extinction? In a much-needed break from today’s partisan political climate, David and Sarah are joined by Steve Brusatte, a professor of paleontology and evolution at the University of Edinburgh, for some in-the-field expertise on the dinosaur age. “When the dinosaurs died,” Steve Brusatte explains on today’s podcast, “they died literally because a six-mile wide rock fell out of the sky, traveling faster than a speeding bullet.”

Fast forward to 2020, and paleontology is in high demand. “We’re in this golden age right now,” Brusatte tells David and Sarah. “There’s fifty-something new species of dinosaurs being found every single year.” But realistically speaking, most people have a limited knowledge base about dinosaurs. Was the Tyrannosaurus rex an intelligent dinosaur? Are pterodactyls birds? What are the personality traits that make a good paleontologist? Steve Brusatte has answers. Tune in for some fun facts about pinocchio dinosaurs, banana-sized T-rex teeth, and birds (which are dinosaurs, by the way). For all you Jurassic Park fans out there, you won’t want to miss this one (especially since Brusatte is now a science consultant for the series.)

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As our colleague Jonah Goldberg always says, the parties have never been weaker than they are right now. Democratic political strategist Joe Trippi joins Sarah and Steve today on The Dispatch Podcast to discuss how parties no longer have the power to push out irrelevant, personality driven candidates from the establishment. According to Trippi, this phenomenon is here to stay: “You’re going to have 20 or 30 people in both parties running from now on,” he tells Steve and Sarah. Political outsiders now see throwing their hat in the ring as a win-win situation, because “the worst thing that happens to you if you lose is you get a TV show or you can sell books.”

As we approach November 3rd, Joe Trippi believes that Trump allows Democrats to speak to both sides of the aisle, meaning unenthused progressives and politically homeless Republicans. Speaking for progressives, Trippi tells Sarah and Steve “He both inflames our base to turn out and he’s making it possible to reach Republican voters that we could never have hoped to reach.” Check out today’s podcast to hear Joe, Steve and Sarah discuss campaign mechanics, including the Biden veepstakes and both presidential candidates’ fundraising efforts.

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The D.C. Circuit has decided to hear the Michael Flynn debacle en banc. For the meantime, as Sarah reminds us on today’s episode, “Michael Flynn seems to be getting some extra justice that a lot of criminal defendants would be really happy to get.” If it goes back to the district court, would Trump pardon him? Our podcasters weigh in.

On Thursday morning, President Trump tweeted that we should consider delaying the election over mail in ballot concerns, which of course he can’t do without congressional approval. Based on data collected from states that regularly use mail-in voting in elections, election fraud isn’t a real concern. But it’s also worth noting that these states were able to plan for their elections years in advance, whereas the pandemic is forcing states into preparing for mail-in voting on a mass scale on very short notice. Are states ready for the legal discrepancies and inevitable ballot invalidations that will ensue? Beyond some election punditry, our podcast hosts also touch on the Supreme Court conference leaks to CNN legal analyst Joan Biskupic, the latest updates with DACA, and some hot takes on the importance of the bar exam.

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This morning, Trump told Jonathan Swan from Axios that he has never confronted Vladimir Putin about Russian bounties that were paid to the Taliban to kill American troops, partly because the president doesn’t believe it happened in the first place. But we know from several credible intelligence reports that the president was briefed on the Russian bounties months ago. On today’s episode, Steve reminds us, “It’s been weeks since this was first reported, it’s been months since this was first briefed, and the president of the United States is officially silent on the fact that Russians are trying to kill our troops in Afghanistan.”

In other news, a fledgling theory has taken hold among Trump’s staunchest acolytes: that the president is falling behind in the polls because cancel culture has made MAGA supporters afraid to publicly profess their support for the president. But are there enough SMAGA supporters to sufficiently account for Biden’s double digit lead in the polls? Jonah suggests that this “silent majority” rhetoric has simply become a coping mechanism for the GOP to keep Trump from losing his mind. Tune in to today’s episode to hear our Dispatch podcasters discuss the Burn It All Down Wars, Biden’s veepstakes, and what they’re all reading at the moment.

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Our esteemed podcast host Sarah Isgur launched her new Dispatch newsletter called “The Sweep” today, in which she broke down the effectiveness of the new presidential campaigns ads. Conclusion? Biden’s new ads are strategically boring to offset his opponent’s predictable unpredictability, whereas Trump’s play up the anarchy of the radical left. As Sarah reminds us, persuasion ads don’t work. This leaves candidates with two options: 1) Run up their existing base in enthusiasm and support, or 2) Get their opponent’s base not to vote.

Justice Roberts trended on Twitter Friday night after joining the four liberal justices in denying a Nevada church’s application for injunctive relief over coronavirus restrictions. Religious liberty lovers sounded the alarm for First Amendment violations. But our podcast hosts are less concerned about this case’s long-term effect on religious liberty case law, given the state’s interest in restricting mass gatherings will soon be subverted to transcendent religious liberty concerns once the pandemic subsides. As David says, “The real enemy is not Justice Roberts, the real enemy is the coronavirus.”

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Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan had some blunt criticism for the incumbent president of his own political party on the latest Dispatch Podcast, and all but ruled out supporting Donald Trump in November.

“This week the president said he was going to cut funding for testing,” said Hogan, in conversation with Sarah Isgur and Steve Hayes. “That was one of the dumbest things I’ve ever heard.” Hogan continued: “My biggest criticism was at the beginning the president didn’t take it seriously enough, and was downplaying the severity of the crisis.”

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A federal judge ordered the release of Trump’s former attorney Michael Cohen from prison on Thursday. On July 9, Cohen and his lawyer went into the U.S. Probation Office in Manhattan to transition from furlough to home confinement. But instead Cohen was arrested by three U.S. Marshals and brought back to prison. Why did this happen? David and Sarah explain.

Check out today’s episode to hear our podcasters discuss the presence of federal police in Portland, the defamation lawsuit against MSNBC host Joy Reid, and Trump’s latest executive order excluding illegal aliens from the 2020 census for apportionment purposes. David and Sarah wrap up the episode with a fiery debate over their favorite legal tv shows.

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During Tuesday’s press briefing, a reporter asked the president about Ghislaine Maxwell, a British socialite and confidante of Jeffrey Epstein who is facing charges for grooming and sexually abusing minors. When pressed on whether Maxwell will turn in other powerful people, the president said, “I just wish her well, frankly.” This took many by surprise, but as Steve reminds us in today’s episode, “it’s not as if this is the first time he has had kind words or well wishes for a moral bottom-dweller.”

Tuesday also saw a fiery showdown in the Republican House Freedom Caucus, when members bullied Liz Cheney for being insufficiently loyal to Donald Trump. In today’s episode, Sarah, Steve, Jonah, and David talk about how the biggest fault line in the conservative movement ultimately boils down to unswerving fealty to the president. Tune in to hear our podcast hosts also discuss the long-term relevance of the Lincoln Project, the Chinese government’s human rights abuses against the Uighur people, and end with a lighthearted discussion on their favorite concert memories.

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The 2019-2020 Supreme Court term was quite the spectacle: the court canceled its March and April argument sessions, held oral arguments by telephone for the first time in May, and stretched its opinion announcements into July for the first time in many years. The term was packed with several blockbuster cases and ended with an announcement from Justice Ginsburg about a pancreatic cancer recurrence. And in the haze of it all, many Americans are still puzzled by some of the rulings. Our podcast hosts are here to help.

Has the conservative legal movement failed? Will disputes over mail-in ballot counting turn November into a Bush vs. Gore 2.0? And the million-dollar question: What’s up with Chief Justice John Roberts? On today’s episode, David and Sarah are joined by SCOTUSblog’s Amy Howe to field some questions about recent cases and tie a bow on what became a rather unprecedented year for the justices. Tune in for an exclusive look into the origins of SCOTUS Blog and some punditry on the cases that are on the docket for next term.

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What is happening on the ground in Afghanistan and why are we still there? The Trump administration has closed five bases, reduced the number of American troops to 9,ooo, and signed a peace deal with the Taliban. But as Thomas Joscelyn points out in today’s podcast, the peace deal is really nothing more than a “pretext for justifying withdrawal.”

While the United States reckons with its military presence in the Middle East, other foreign threats are lurking behind the scenes. From the Russian bounties intelligence leak to recent cyberattacks on coronavirus vaccine-related targets on American soil, Russia is engaging in shadow wars against the United States. And as Thomas reminds us, China’s deep-seated anti-Americanism is also cause for concern. On this week’s foreign policy episode, Sarah, Steve, and Thomas dive into these issues and address Israel’s sabotage efforts in Iran, Trump’s reflexive isolationism and business-minded foreign affairs strategy, and the implications of a Biden presidency for American interests abroad.

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After a momentous term at the Supreme Court, what are we to make of it all? Josh Blackman, associate professor of law at the South Texas College of Law Houston, joins David and Sarah to help us all understand: Roberts’ role at the center of the Court, Gorsuch and textualism, and Kagan’s growing influence. David, Sarah, and Josh cover it all.

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Peter Navarro, director of the Office of Trade and Manufacturing Policy for the Trump administration, published a scathing hit piece against top epidemiologist Anthony Fauci in USA Today this morning. “Dr. Anthony Fauci has a good bedside manner with the public, but he has been wrong about everything I have interacted with him on,” Navarro writes. For months now, Fauci has bickered with White House officials and pleaded with reporters to not turn his interview sound bites into a personality contest between him and Donald Trump. Sarah, Steve, and David are joined by Andrew to discuss Navarro’s op-ed and why our public health crisis has become subsumed into the culture war.

On the topic of cancel culture, opinion columnist Bari Weiss resigned from the New York Times yesterday, citing the paper’s toxic culture and her editors’ acquiescence to persistent bullying from her colleagues. Many journalists in the Twitterverse came to her defense, but others pushed back, arguing that she was not really canceled, but simply unwilling to take criticism from her colleagues. After all, isn’t disagreement with one’s colleagues a perfect exercise of free speech? But as David points out, “If you are using your words not to debate a human being but to try to inflict pain on them in the hopes that they shut up, that’s different.” Sarah and the guys take on these questions and address the Trump administration’s aggressive stance on school reopenings, the Goya boycott, presidential election polls, and a very serious debate over French fries.

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With Joe Biden’s popularity rising in battleground states (according to several recent polls), Democratic lobbyists and party officials are urging the presidential candidate to try and win over purple and even conservative-leaning states like Georgia and Texas. But most of his advisors are urging a more conservative path, encouraging him to focus on states he knows he can win. David and Sarah discuss these opposing strategies and offer their insights on what a winning 2020 presidential campaign should keep in mind.

In today’s episode, they also discuss the president’s pardoning power, theological and constitutional arguments related to the death penalty, and Trump’s tweet about re-examining the tax-exempt status of academic institutions that “are about Radical Left Indoctrination, not Education.” They wrap the podcast by responding to a listener’s question about what to include in an intro philosophy course.

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The day after his son was born on October 2, 2009, Jake Tapper watched a news report about a team of 53 American troops who were relentlessly attacked by 400 Taliban insurgents at the Combat Outpost Keating in Afghanistan. “In the haze of it all, there was a moment where I was sitting there holding my son and watching this news report about eight other sons, taken from this earth,” he said. Inspired by this story of American valor, Tapper began researching the story and eventually published a book chronicling the events in 2012.

Fast forward eight years and his book, The Outpost, is now a movie. On today’s episode, Jake Tapper discusses the new blockbuster film with Sarah and Steve, and spends some time discussing the Taliban exit deal, the effectiveness of counterinsurgency abroad, and a sneak peak into the novel he’s working on.

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The Supreme Court wrapped up its term today with an opinion on what counts as American Indian tribal lands and two related cases about the president’s financial records.

In Gorsuch’s majority opinion in McGirt v. Oklahoma, the court found that Congress’ 19th century promise to give large swaths of Eastern Oklahoma to the Muscogee (Creek) tribe still stands. This means roughly half of Oklahoma—and most of Tulsa—is now an Indian reservation, and that tribal members are not subject to Oklahoma criminal law when they are on tribal lands.

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The Supreme Court has released two more religious liberty rulings into the world. Our Lady of Guadalupe School v. Morrissey Berru ended up being a blow to employment discrimination laws in favor of First Amendment religious liberty concerns. In Little Sisters of the Poor, the Court upheld a regulation allowing employers with religious objections to ignore the Affordable Care Act’s birth control mandate.

David and Sarah take a closer look at both cases, and on the battle between religious liberty and gay rights, David shares his theory on the emerging pattern from the Supreme Court.

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An open letter published by Harper’s, signed by 153 prominent names, warning against illiberal behavior received swift pushback online. Sarah, Steve, Jonah, and David discuss which socio-political issues of our time are within the scope of reasonable disagreement while also addressing why illiberalism has become such a global phenomenon.

Should schools reopen fully in the fall? Why has the fight over mask-wearing devolved into a culture war issue? Does Trump understand his own constituency? Sarah and the guys weigh in on these questions while also addressing Trump’s Mt. Rushmore speech, and the future of the GOP in a post-Trump era.

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As we near the end of another Supreme Court term, speculation abounds over a Court retirement. Would the resulting nomination battle be more or less contentious than the appointment of Justice Kavanaugh? David and Sarah answer this thought experiment while also touching on the implications this scenario would have on the 2020 election. They also break down rulings on robocalls and faithless electors.

When and how can you constitutionally defend yourself? The question comes after a gun-toting St. Louis couple made a show of force against Black Lives Matter protesters. On a more lighthearted note, David concludes the podcast by interviewing Sarah on her career path and what landed her at The Dispatch.

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Yascha Mounk, the founder of Persuasion, joins Sarah and David to discuss his new publication and the project of defending liberal democracy.

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The Supreme Court denies cert to an abortion case, grants cert to a case over Mueller’s secret evidence, and the Biden and Trump campaigns are lawyering up for 2020’s final act. David and Sarah have thoughts.

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