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Lost Debate

The Branch

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Lost Debate is a weekly podcast from The Branch that brings you news, ideas, and arguments from around the political spectrum. We engage in the good-faith discussions that too much of our society and media miss. It's hosted by Ravi Gupta, a former Obama staffer turned school principal.
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India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi secured a third term in office earlier this month, but voters denied him an outright parliamentary majority after an election cycle dominated by concerns over the economy, environmental degradation, and corruption. In this special episode, Ravi speaks with Kapil Komireddi, author of the recent New Yorker piece, …
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The first presidential debate is around the corner. Ravi takes stock of the ways the Biden and Trump teams have approached debate preparation, explains how both camps have worked to shape the narrative leading up to the debate, and whether the candidates’ performance could impact the state of the election. He then turns to external forces in the el…
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President Biden and former President Trump have the highest share of “double haters” in at least three decades, with new data from Pew showing that a quarter of Americans hold unfavorable views of both men. Ravi discusses this after diving into the politics behind Biden’s latest executive action, which will offer new legal projections for undocumen…
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Hunter Biden was convicted on all three counts in his federal gun trial this week. Ravi takes stock of the verdict and President Biden’s response before diving into the secret recordings of Supreme Court Justices Alito and Roberts, the new partnership between OpenAI and Apple, why to pay attention to foreign political interference in Canada, and wh…
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Ravi dives into the news of the day, from the aftermath of the Trump verdict and Biden’s asylum ban at the US-Mexico border to what Mexico’s recent elections say about the rise of authoritarianism in the country. He then gives an update on Amanda Knox’s latest legal challenge and explains why more people should care about the lack of air conditioni…
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Ravi recently joined Tell Me About Your Father to discuss how his relationship with his parents has influenced everything from his career to how he approaches people with different opinions. To hear more, follow Tell Me About Your Father wherever you listen to podcasts. On this episode of Tell Me About Your Father, Matt Phillp talks with former Oba…
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Donald Trump has been found guilty on 34 felony counts in his New York hush money criminal trial. Ravi discusses what we know about the breaking news and what could happen next. Leave us a voicemail with your thoughts on the show! 321-200-0570 Follow The Branch on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thebranchmedia/ Follow The Branch on TikTok: htt…
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Ravi kicks off the show with breaking news, including updates on Donald Trump’s New York hush money trial, ex-OpenAI board member Helen Toner’s tell-all interview about Sam Altman’s short-lived firing, why the Texas elections have seen a wave of pro-school voucher candidates, and the latest drama in New York City’s casino permit fight. Ravi then we…
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Amanda Knox joins Ravi to discuss her riveting piece in The Atlantic, “What If He Actually Did It?” In the article, she writes about her support of Jens Söring, a man who spent 33 years in prison for a double homicide he insists he didn’t commit, and how she began to reexamine her advocacy for his innocence. Ravi and Amanda explore her emotional jo…
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Ravi breaks down what you need to know about the second controversial flag spotted outside one of Justice Alito's properties, the leaked OpenAI documents, and why a majority of Americans wrongly believe the U.S. is in a recession. Mayor Eric Adams wants to make New York City the “City of Yes.” Thesis Driven’s Brad Hargreaves joins Ravi to discuss t…
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Ravi kicks off the episode with a round-up of breaking news: from the latest in Donald Trump’s New York hush money trial to OpenAI's new model of GPT and the controversy surrounding Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito and his wife. Then, Eric Schlosser, author of "Fast Food Nation," joins the show to discuss his new documentary, "Food, Inc. 2." They…
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When a judge in India dies of a heart attack, his passing barely makes the news. But when his niece approaches a journalist two years later, she shares a different story: that the circumstances around Judge Brijgopal Loya’s death have made his family doubt the official story. From Crooked Media and The Branch, Killing Justice investigates how one m…
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Ravi welcomes Tyler Austin Harper and Brad Wilcox to the pod for a special episode on relationships. Ravi first talks with Tyler about polyamory, its portrayal in the media, and why a poly lifestyle has grown in popularity among affluent progressives. They also explore the decline of social institutions, generational attitudes toward relationships,…
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Ravi is joined by due process expert and lawyer Dan Schorr to discuss the history and evolution of Title IX and the potential repercussions of the Biden administration's recent proposed changes to its regulation of the federal civil rights law. They explore how the updates could impact due process rights and what this means for students and educati…
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Ravi welcomes Tangle's Isaac Saul back to the show to update listeners on the current state of the war in Gaza, including Israel's escalating attacks in Rafah and the proposed ceasefire deal. Ravi and Isaac then turn to college campuses in the U.S. to explore the complexities and potential unintended consequences of the ongoing campus protests. The…
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Kim Wehle joins the show to talk with Ravi about the latest in the Trump case in New York, including why Hope Hicks is such an integral part of the prosecution’s case and how her recent testimony could inform the eventual verdict. They then discuss the presidential pardon power, whether self-pardons are constitutional, and how Trump may attempt to …
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Ravi welcomes Amy Davidson Sorkin from The New Yorker to the show to explore the legal challenges of the various cases against Donald Trump, including the immunity case before the Supreme Court, and the potential consequences of a conviction before the election. They then turn to Joseph Fischer v. United States and discuss how the Supreme Court mig…
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Will Hamas accept Israel’s new ceasefire offer? Ravi weighs in on Israel’s proposal of a 40-day ceasefire in exchange for the release of 33 prisoners and whether it could lead to lasting peace in the region. He then updates listeners on the latest at Columbia University after student protestors took over Hamilton Hall Tuesday morning, why it’s impo…
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Ravi kicks off the show by tackling three of the week’s biggest breaking news stories: what TikTok’s future in the U.S. looks like after President Biden signed legislation that will ban or force a sale of the platform, the rationale behind the New York Court of Appeals’ decision to overturn Harvey Weinstein’s 2020 sex crimes conviction, and what to…
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Carmen Paun, global health reporter at Politico, joins Ravi to discuss the recent rollback of Oregon's drug decriminalization law, the impact of overdose prevention centers, and what everyone should know about the use of AI in healthcare. Leave us a voicemail with your thoughts on the show! 321-200-0570 Subscribe to our feed on Spotify: http://bitl…
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Ravi is joined by Ahmed Fouad Alkhatib, a U.S. citizen from Gaza and a Middle East political analyst, for a deep dive into the Israel-Palestine conflict. Ravi and Ahmed look at the historical context of the region, including the failures of previous peace attempts and the rise of Hamas, before turning to the present day, where they reflect on the p…
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Our series on the Unbiased History of Israel/Palestine has been nominated for a Webby in the “Best Limited Series” category! - VOTE HERE Voting is open until Thursday, April 18th In this episode, Ravi welcomes Matt Shechtman, a Long Angle partner and private equity expert. They dive into how private equity differs from venture capital and public co…
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Dr. Marshall Bolden, Chief Medical Officer at Mississippi's Vigilant Health, joins Ravi to discuss Vigilant Health’s innovative approach to revolutionizing medicine and improving patient care. They talk about why more health organizations should focus on changing patient behavior, using data for value-based healthcare, and building trust to empower…
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Ravi kicks off today's episode by taking a critical look at the case of Brian Dorsey, a prisoner in Missouri facing the death penalty. Missouri Governor Mike Parson denied Dorsey’s clemency request this week, despite over 70 correctional officers supporting the plea. Ravi discusses how the case highlights important questions about the country’s sen…
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In this episode, Ravi welcomes Noah Smith from Noahpinion. They kick off the show by discussing the economic, political, and cultural challenges of today’s immigration realities, covering topics from how immigrants impact U.S. wages to whether there are ties between immigration and rising crime rates. Will AI save us? Noah and Ravi debate the poten…
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As discourse around squatting reaches a tipping point, Stephen Kent returns to the pod to talk with Ravi about whether squatter incidents are growing, or if this is a manufactured phenomenon. The Economist recently published a comprehensive look at why young women are now more likely to identify as liberal and young men are more likely to identify …
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Ravi is joined by Brad Hargreaves, founder of Common and Thesis Driven, to discuss the recent ruling that would transform several guidelines set by the National Association of Realtors (NAR). They also explore the rise of the YIMBY (Yes In My Backyard) movement, how interest rates have affected the real estate market, and the importance of small mu…
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In this episode, Ravi speaks with Bradley Tusk, CEO and founder of Tusk Ventures, about Donald Trump’s inability to post the $454 million bond from his New York fraud case. After overwhelmingly passing the House, the TikTok divestiture legislation faces new challenges on its journey to the President's desk after Senators from both sides of the aisl…
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Ravi welcomes back Dr. Dhruv Khullar, a physician and assistant professor at Cornell and contributing writer at The New Yorker, to tackle recent trends in healthcare and longevity. They start by discussing how hospital and private equity acquisitions of physician practices have influenced healthcare costs and the quality of care, including the resu…
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Will Congress ban TikTok? Ravi and guest co-host Stephen Kent explore the platform’s data practices, censorship, and why its China-based parent company, ByteDance, could pose national security risks. They then examine Google AI’s “Gemini,” and how recent critiques of the tool’s biased portrayals of historical figures exemplify the challenges tech c…
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Now that the general election is set for a Biden v. Trump rematch, Ravi kicks off the show by running through the ten most important questions that will define the race. Then Ravi talks with Adam Harris of The Atlantic about his recent article, "Private Equity Has Its Eyes on the Child-Care Industry." They discuss why a corporate takeover of child …
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Ravi kicks off the show with an update on the latest legal developments in Trump world, including the Supreme Court's decision to overturn a Colorado court verdict that excluded Trump from the state's Republican presidential primary ballot. Former Congressman Carlos Curbelo then joins Ravi to discuss the evolving dynamics of Hispanic voters' allegi…
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School choice programs have expanded dramatically over the past several years, in part due to the creation of education savings accounts (ESA). The movement for ESAs has been spearheaded predominantly by Republicans and met with widespread skepticism from Democrats. But should Democrats support ESAs? Ravi joined Marcus Brandon, executive director o…
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A recent Gallup poll shows that immigration is now the most important issue for Americans. New York Times White House correspondent Michael Shear joins Ravi to explore the poll’s implications, including what it means for 2024 and how Biden has adjusted his policies in response to the ongoing migrant crisis. They also delve into the prospect of a ce…
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A New York judge ruled last week that Donald Trump must pay over $350 million in penalties for business fraud and banned him from running companies in the state for three years. Ravi explains where the case went wrong, from New York Attorney General Tish James’s motives in bringing the case to issues with the judgment itself. Is the end of the Hunt…
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Russian authorities have announced that the country's most prominent opposition leader, Alexei Navalny, has died while in prison. Navalny, one of Putin's most outspoken critics, had been jailed in some of Russia's most punishing prisons since 2021. Ravi reacts to the news and reflects on the legacy Navalny leaves behind. Leave us a voicemail with y…
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Should President Biden drop out of the 2024 race? Ravi addresses the growing skepticism over Biden’s ability to hold office for four more years and what he thinks the Democrats should do about it. Leave us a voicemail with your thoughts on the show! 321-200-0570 Subscribe to our feed on Spotify: http://bitly.ws/zC9K Subscribe to our Substack: https…
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Ravi interviews Benjamin Herold about his new book “Disillusioned: Five Families and the Unraveling of America’s Suburbs,” an important and eye-opening exploration of the history of suburban communities in the U.S. Ravi and Ben discuss why the magical thinking that fueled suburbia’s boom was always a ticking time bomb, and what it means for today’s…
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A federal appeals court ruled that Trump does not have presidential immunity in the January 6 case. This ruling sets the stage for a spring court date. Isaac Saul from Tangle joins Ravi to discuss what happens next, and if the Supreme Court will take up the case. On Sunday, Senate negotiators released the text of their $118 billion bill aimed at im…
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First, Ravi talks to Dr. Dhruv Khullar about Ozempic’s breakthrough and the potential impact it could have on medicine. They dive into the stigma and cost associated with the drug, as well as the long-term effects and potential price reduction. They also explore the rise of private sector full-body MRI scans and the pros and cons of this trend. Fin…
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New York Times columnist Pamela Paul joins Ravi to discuss her recent articles on the impact of cell phones on children and the role parents should play in setting rules and boundaries. She challenges the notion that cell phones provide safety and independence, explores the downsides of constant connectivity, examines the influence of technology co…
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Last week, President Biden announced the “Agenda for Student Achievement,” which includes the education issues he’s asked the government to prioritize in 2024. Ravi breaks down the plan, its focus on tackling chronic absenteeism, offering more tutoring services, and extending learning time, and shares how he’d advise the administration on the next …
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Who are the Houthis, and why did the US hit back after their multiple attacks on ships in the Red Sea? Ravi and guest host Isaac Saul discuss the Yemen-based group, how the Israel/Hamas war may have influenced the attacks, and whether it will drag the US into a bigger fight in the region. Last week, the Supreme Court heard arguments in Loper Bright…
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Ravi is joined by Zeke Faux from Bloomberg to discuss his new book, "Number Go Up." The book takes readers on a rollercoaster journey through the crypto world, covering everything from its shady beginnings and huge leap into the limelight to its dramatic crash. Leave us a voicemail with your thoughts on the show! 321-200-0570 Subscribe to our feed …
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Ravi speaks with Gabriel Debenedetti from New York Magazine about Trump's resounding victory in Iowa, the prospect of another Trump vs. Biden election, and Gabriel’s recent reporting on whether the Biden team should be more concerned about their odds in 2024. Ravi also speaks with writer and commentator Bridget Phetasy about the roots of the cultur…
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Guest co-host Todd Rose joins Ravi to discuss America’s collective illusions and how it has driven people into reflexive positions that may not map to their (or the rest of the country’s) privately held views. They tackle the Israel and Hamas war, the media’s role in driving polarization, the 2024 election, and a new study by the New York Times on …
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Should Trump be allowed to stay on the ballot? As the Supreme Court prepares to hear arguments on the former president’s eligibility due to his role in the January 6 insurrection, Ravi and guest co-host Isaac Saul discuss the legal and constitutional merits of the pending decision. The American public also has January 6 on its mind, with a new poll…
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Dozens of previously sealed court documents related to Jeffrey Epstein have become public. Ravi and guest co-host Bethany McLean discuss what we know so far about the new revelations. What really happened with Sam Altman being ousted and then returning to OpenAI? It remains unclear what made the board decide to act. Our hosts tackle the secrecy aro…
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Tim Alberta joins Ravi to discuss his new book, “The Power, the Glory, and the Kingdom." The book takes an in-depth, personal look at the birth and rise of America’s evangelical movement and explores how deceit, scandal, and fear have contributed to the wreckage it stands on today. Leave us a voicemail with your thoughts on the show! 321-200-0570 S…
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It’s Lost Debate’s last episode of 2023, and Ravi and Rikki take us through their Year in Review, from their favorite segments to the year’s best scandals. They then share their 2024 hot takes and predictions. Share your own by leaving us a voicemail! 321-200-0570 Subscribe to our Substack: https://thelostdebate.substack.com/ Follow The Branch on I…
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