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Highlights and analysis of the California gubernatorial debate 9 MIN, 34 SEC

Democrat Gavin Newsom and Republican John Cox met today in what’s likely to be their only debate before the November election. The latest polls show Newsom with a comfortable 11-point lead over Cox, but that’s narrower than it was before.

Guests:
Phil Willon, Los Angeles Times (@LATimesWillon)

How will Justice Kavanaugh rule? 7 MIN, 54 SEC

Brett Kavanaugh is officially the newest U.S. Supreme Court Justice. He was sworn in over the weekend after more than a week of toxic partisan fighting, and he’s expected to sit for oral arguments starting Tuesday. With Kavanaugh seated, the court’s conservative majority is likely cemented for decades. The five right-leaning justices now have the power to shift federal policy on gun rights, abortion, immigration, and a slew of other issues to the right.

Guests:
Jessica Levinson, Loyola Law School (@LevinsonJessica)

Is the Supreme Court more politically ideological than ever before? 7 MIN, 38 SEC

Justice Elena Kagan told an audience at Princeton on Friday, “This is a really divided time. And part of the court’s strength, and part of the court’s legitimacy, depends on people not seeing the court in the way that people see the rest of the governing structures in this country now.” She emphasized the importance of the court being “above the fray” of politics. But now that Brett Kavanaugh is seated, how are we supposed to look at the Supreme Court? Is it more partisan than ever before?

Guests:
Neal Devins, College of William and Mary (@WMLawSchool)

More:
The hidden silver lining if Kavanaugh is confirmed

How a Russian spy and American spy worked on opposite sides of the Cold War, but became best friends 14 MIN, 33 SEC

In the television show “The Americans,” two deep-cover Soviet spies live as a married couple raising a family in the DC suburbs. This fictional story is based on a real Russian program called “The Illegals,” launched during the Cold War. In 2010, 10 spies from that program, who were living in America, were arrested. U.S. authorities swapped them for four spies held by the Russians. One was named Gennady Vasilenko. He had spied for the Soviets in Washington in the late 1970s and early 1980s. An American CIA agent, Jack Platt, had been tasked with getting close to Vasilenko. The CIA wanted to turn him and get him to work for the Americans. Platt failed to turn the Russian, but the two spies became lifelong friends.

Guests:
Eric Dezenhall, Dezenhall Resources

Best of Enemies

Eric Dezenhall

What exactly is in your LaCroix? 7 MIN, 53 SEC

The label on every LaCroix can lists two ingredients: “carbonated water,” and “natural flavors.” Now there’s a class-action suit against the company alleging that the natural flavors aren’t natural at all, and that LaCroix contains some potentially toxic chemicals, like one that’s used to kill cockroaches.

Guests:
Gwen Ihnat, Take Out
Neel V. Patel, science journalist

More:
The ‘all-natural’ label on your LaCroix is meaningless, but that doesn’t mean the seltzer is bad for you

CREDITS

Images of John Cox and Gavin Newsom at KCRW by Amy Ta and Christopher Ho.

Host:
Madeleine Brand

Producers:
Sarah Sweeney
Michell Eloy
Amy Ta
Christian Bordal
Quinn O'Toole
Yael Even Or
Alexandra Sif Tryggvadottir

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