What is your question?
Matt Bai is a political reporter and staff writer for the New York Times Magazine, Bai graduated from Tufts in 1990 and received a Masters from the Columbia School of Journalism in 1994. Bai began his reporting career at the Boston Globe's metro desk; he spent five years as a national correspondent for Newsweek before coming to the Times in 2002. Bai has covered all sorts of national news: everything from the Columbine shootings to John Glenn's last space voyage to Mike Bloomberg's mayoral campaign. In recent years, Bai has focused primarily on intra-Democratic Party politics. He is the author of The Argument: Billionaires, Bloggers, and the Battle to Remake Democratic Politics, an analysis of the progressive movement. Bai's work has also appeared in both the 2005 and 2006 editions of The Best American Political Writing. Matt covered the 2008 presidential race for the New York Times Magazine.
Matt Bai: I don’t do well with questions structured around “should”. I’m not good at telling people what I think they should do. I think every American should – you know who can, and not everyone can. But I think there are a lot of Americans in the position to ask themselves, “How can this moment make my life better? How can change improve my life?” We spend a lot of time worrying about change. We spend a lot of time fearful about what it’s gonna mean for our . . . for us or for our children; for our jobs; for our standing in the world as a country; for our cultures and our values, right? There’s so much anxiety around communities. And I think we’d be a sort of more forward looking, creative, happier country if people spent time thinking about how can change improve my life? How can it improve my job? How can it improve my family? How can the Internet, or technology, or you know . . . you know new social groups . . . Or you know how does all of this change going on . . . changing . . . The local economy is changing. The regional economy is changing. How can it, you know . . . How can it make things better? What can it do for my children that it didn’t do for me? And how can we get there? And then I think we start to have a conversation about politics that’s a lot more productive. Because then rather than being . . . rather than it being about preserving the past, we start to think about, okay, how do we take advantage of what’s happening?
Recorded on: 12/13/07
How can we embrace change?
In a breakthrough for nuclear fusion research, scientists at China's Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST) reactor have produced temperatures necessary for nuclear fusion on Earth.
- The EAST reactor was able to heat hydrogen to temperatures exceeding 100 million degrees Celsius.
- Nuclear fusion could someday provide the planet with a virtually limitless supply of clean energy.
- Still, scientists have many other obstacles to pass before fusion technology becomes a viable energy source.
Military recruits are supposed to be assessed to see whether they're fit for service. What happens when they're not?
- During the Vietnam War, Robert McNamara began a program called Project 100,000.
- The program brought over 300,000 men to Vietnam who failed to meet minimum criteria for military service, both physically and mentally.
- Project 100,000 recruits were killed in disproportionate numbers and fared worse after their military service than their civilian peers, making the program one of the biggest—and possibly cruelest—mistakes of the Vietnam War.
The 116th Congress is set to break records in term of diversity among its lawmakers, though those changes are coming almost entirely from Democrats.
- Women and nonwhite candidates made record gains in the 2018 midterms.
- In total, almost half of the newly elected Congressional representatives are not white men.
- Those changes come almost entirely from Democrats; Republican members-elect are all white men except for one woman.
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