DiscoverBuilding the Dream
Building the Dream
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Building the Dream

Author: Corbin Trent, Saikat Chakrabarti & Zack Exley

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In 2016, we attempted a political revolution. It didn't work, but we managed to recruit Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, beat the third most powerful Democrat, and introduce the Green New Deal. So now what do we do to build an America where everyone thrives?
56 Episodes
Yesterday our famously divided Senate passed a bill. Not just a bill to rename a post office but a bill that aims to help the US compete with China for world domination. We had the chance to sit down with Samuel Hammond of the Niskanen Center to discuss what exactly is in "The Endless Frontiers Act". We talk about where it hits the mark and where it misses. Spoiler alert, it mostly misses the mark. 
Saikat and I discuss recent inflation fears with New Consensus' Bob Hockett. 
The US Mask industry is struggling and some manufacturers are on the verge of going out of business. We talk about how the the Biden admin could prevent this and why they should. 
Zack and Corbin shoot the sh*t for a while. 
With the Covid-19 outbreak slowing down here at home our instincts may be to slow down.  But we aren't out of the woods yet. The virus rages on across much of the planet.  On this episode we talk about what a slowdown in  vaccine production would mean  to the US and the rest of the world We talk about the costs in lives, quality of life, and economic output. We make the case for not slowing down and instead going bigger. Zack gets specific when talking about people on the Biden team that could make the difference and how we might be able to encourage them to do so. Hope the audio isn't too bad....
Kim Stanley Robinson

Kim Stanley Robinson


We are back from a little break with a great interview. We had the chance to interview author, Kim Stanley Robinson about his new book "The Ministry for the Future". Robinson, discuss his process, how sci-fi has changed impacted our society and how he sees his own role in using fiction to impact our future. I hope you enjoy the episode. 
Just the masks, ma'am

Just the masks, ma'am


Should the Biden admin send masks to every American household? Are we getting ready for the next pandemic? We talk about this and more. 
China v USA

China v USA


Folks, this here is a fun and light hearted episode where I talk with Saikat and Zack about restarting America's economic engines and rebuilding our manufacturing capacity as a way to compete with China for global position. We also have a little fun looking deep into Thomas Friedman's soul vis-à-vis an editorial he recently published where he examines US/China relations. And as a bonus we also get a Friedman story from Zack (spoiler alert Friedman was mean). But wait there’s more, in the midst of it all we discuss ways that the Biden admin could use the upcoming infrastructure bill as a downpayment on a newAmerican century. Is a manufacturing renaissance a path to peace over the decades to come?
On this episode we chatted with Tommy Vietor, co-host of Pod Save America and former spokesperson for President Obama and the US National Security Council. We talked about building a stronger Democratic Party, how to best message our successes, foreign policy, and other lessons we've learned along the way. 
Braggin on Biden

Braggin on Biden


Corbin and Saikat give credit where credit is due. They talk about the wins in the Covid relief bill and what the Democrats are doing right.  There is a critique or two about the way the Democrats are communicating the package and their hesitancy to do the hard sale to the American people. 
We discuss, among other things, an idea for a reality show. It's kinda like AGT meets Nathan for You but instead of looking for entertainers we are looking for Senate candidates. Corbin is excited. Others (Saikat) are skeptical. Zack is just cynical.  Good ep. Enjoy?
Running for the Senate

Running for the Senate


How long must Missouri tolerate its oat milk latte-drinking, yoga pants-wearing, Ivy League elitist Senator, Josh Hawley? An announcement is made. Stories are told. Good episode.
We did an episode talking a bit about how Biden can lead right now. Today, Corbin and Zack delve a bit deeper and talk about how, exactly, Biden could be leading and why it's so incredibly important. Plus, we discuss a few ideas for what we can do to get the message across better. Subscribe to the newsletter at
We had to speak up. This is an emergency episode. We could no longer sit and watch the train wreck that is near continuous wasted messaging opportunities. From the rapidly declining covid cases and radically ramped up vaccinations numbers to the crisis in Texas Biden keeps missing moments for leadership. Moments to show the American people that electing Democrats is a good thing.  We get into the weeds about how they could do things a little differently and heap praise in the things they are doing great at. We also hock some cashew butter and rope sandals. Enjoy!
Is Biden going to blow it?

Is Biden going to blow it?


Zack and I talked about where we are now. How likely is it that Biden will make the most of hist first week post-impeachment?Will he take credit for Democrat’s early successes in fighting Covid? Will he offer a plan to move our economy forward? Zack and I talk about how Biden could capture this moment and lead the country away from Trumpism.
I spoke to award winning journalist Idrees Kahloon about how Covid has impacted the communities he covers.  We talk housing, food, and jobs and how Americans are handling the crisis. Idrees is the US policy correspondent at The Economist covering domestic politics and policy. Prior to that, he worked on The Economist‘s data journalism team. Enjoy the show. 
Our friends over at New Consensus recently released an op-ed in CNN with some ideas for how Biden can fix the vaccine bottlenecks now and ramp up vaccine manufacturing to inoculate everyone in America--and even the world. We spoke with Isaac Larkin, Demond Drummer, Robert Hockett, Amy Ramirez and Zack Exley (this time speaking on behalf of New Consensus) about how we can speed up vaccination, and why it could mean the difference between COVID-19 being history a year from now, and COVID-19 being something we deal with every year forever.Subscribe to the newsletter at
This week, we launched a campaign to primary Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema in 2024. In this episode we: discuss the new kind of politics we're dreaming of that can win in states like AZ and WV, the kind of leader that could win in those states, listen to some buttery-smooth ads that WV neighbor Corbin Trent has recorded, and talk about Joe Manchin’s chances of winning in 2024 if he is the Democrat running.Also, Saikat wants to know whether you think we should call our new brand of politics  "neo-Americanism," while Corbin is rooting for "industrial populism." You can vote on our Twitter feed: @buildingpod We hope you enjoy this episode!
Over the Christmas holiday one of my cousins was locked up for violating the terms of her probation. Due to the holiday's she is still there awaiting a bail hearing. Thought this time she hasn't been provided clean underwear or basic hygiene products. The way we treat people that are held in our "justice system" is terrible. In this episode I talk with Pulitzer Prize winner Tony Messenger about how much we exploit those we jail. We discuss the fees that land you in jail, the fees for being in jail, and the terrible conditions you face once you are in jail. 
Catherine Flowers knows her shit and she has committed herself to making sure we know it too. For years now, Catherine has taken on the herculean task of exposing the impacts of extreme poverty on the people of the United States. I had recently had the opportunity to sit down with her for a conversation. This episode is that conversation. Enjoy? 
Comments (1)

April Ezell

Hey. your listener here. I'm a couple days late and a dollar short, but I wanted to assure you, I know of Morristown TN. I'm right outside of it, right now (Talbott TN). Hi, Corbin, old friend. I enjoy y'alls podcast. Thanks for doing it.

Oct 24th
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