The Politics Guys

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Tired of liberals and conservatives screaming partisan talking points? We were, and so we created The Politics Guys as a sane and civil alternative. Each week, a liberal and a conservative talk *to*, not at each other, in an attempt to better understand the week in politics & policy. We're not about scoring cheap partisan points or preaching to the ideological choir. We reject the notion that people who see the world differently are either stupid or evil. Our mission is to promote a shared, evidence-based understanding of American politics and policy. We hope you'll join us.

The Politics Guys

    • Jan 1, 1970 LATEST EPISODE
    • infrequent NEW EPISODES
    • 49m AVG DURATION
    • 610 EPISODES

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    Latest episodes from The Politics Guys

    Tom LoBianco on Mike Pence

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 1, 1970 36:55

    Will talks with Tom LoBianco, author of Piety & Power : Mike Pence and the Taking of the White House. *Topics Will and Mr. LoBianco discuss include:* * The role of Mike Pence's faith in his politics * The process that led to Pence landing the Vice Presidency * The impact of Pence's wife Karen on his political career * The difficulties in transitioning from a news reporter to writing a biography *Listener support helps make The Politics Guys possible*. If you're interested in supporting the show, go to ( ) or ( ). Support this podcast at — Advertising Inquiries: Privacy & Opt-Out:

    Donald Trump: Threat to Democracy?

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 1, 1970 39:50

    Mike talks to journalist and researcher Dr. Sarah Kendzior about the threat posed by the Trump presidency, media elites & 'flyover country' and lots more! Dr. Kendzior is a columnist for Canada's Globe and Mail, and her work has has appeared in multiple national outlets in the U.S. including Politico, Slate, The Atlantic, and the New York Times. She's also the author of the best-selling essay collection, ‘The View from Flyover Country'. Dr. Kendzior has a PhD in anthropology, with her academic work focusing on the authoritarian states of the former Soviet Union and how the internet affects political mobilization, self-expression, and trust. She also maintains an always-fascinating Twitter account and was named one of “the 100 people you should be following on Twitter to make sense of global events” by Foreign Policy magazine. Be sure to check out for episode links & more. Support this podcast at — Advertising Inquiries: Privacy & Opt-Out:

    Syria, Impeachment, China-NBA, and the Supreme Court Term

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 1, 1970 52:19

    Will and Brian begin by discussing President Trump's decision to pull troops for Northern Syria and its potential impact on the Middle East and America's battle with ISIS. Will points out that even Trump's typical allies are openly questioning this decision—including Graham, McConnell, Netanyahu, and Saudi Arabia. Brian is concerned with the impact this could have on the Kurds—even projecting that ethnic cleansing could be the ultimate result of this decision. Will and Brian both posit that this could have electoral impacts—possibly even swaying some on their feelings toward the impeachment inquiry. Next, the Guys turn to examining the current state of the impeachment inquiry. Will notes that there still doesn't seem to be a smoking gun that makes it likely to him that Trump is removed from office. Brian agrees, noting that while he finds plenty of things Trump has done to be impeachable they read like an anthology. Will continues to question why if the Russia investigation was such a smoking gun for Democrats that they have completely abandoned that narrative in exchange for the Ukraine. He further wonders why Democrats aren't focusing their energies more toward the 2020 election. Brian also argues that awakening the Trump base and relying on polls today is problematic for Democrats. Brian and Will then turn to discussing the free speech and trade implications of the current National Basketball Association-China feud. Both believe the Rockets General Manager was well within his rights to tweet support for Hong Kong but should have realized it could lead to significant backlash. Given the current NBA revenue coming from Chinese partnerships, Will wonders how league owners will ultimately respond. Both Guys believe the NBA was wrong to not unequivocally back the right of the individual to send the tweet in the first place and wonder how the timing of this event will impact ongoing U.S.-China trade talks. Lastly, the Guys talk about the upcoming Supreme Court term. They focus on the Louisiana abortion case in this episode. Brian is concerned about diminishing rights for women. Will argues that regardless of what one feels about the issue of abortion, using assumptions of risk to justify limiting abortion is not a data-informed argument to make today. *Listener support helps make The Politics Guys possible*. If you're interested in supporting the show, go to ( ) or ( ). Support this podcast at — Advertising Inquiries: Privacy & Opt-Out:

    PG99: Trump Fires Comey, Sessions Gets Tough on Crime, Election Fraud

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 1, 1970 54:28

    This week's show starts out with President Trump's surprising and, some would say, far-too impulsive firing of FBI Director James Comey. Mike and Jay consider if this is Trump fearing that the FBI is getting too close to finding ties between his campaign and Russia, Trump simply being his erratic, 'act first and consider the consequences later' self, or possibly some combination of the two. After that, they talk about the recent move by Attorney General Jeff Sessions withdrawing former Obama AG Eric Holder's directive that gave federal prosecutors the ability to work around mandatory minimum sentences that many on the left and the right feel are expensive and ineffective. Then it's on to the Election Fraud Commission President Trump set up with a recent executive order. Mike and Jay talk about what the data tells us about election fraud, what a commission might lead to, and how to balance the integrity of the election system with concerns about voter suppression. What We're Reading This Week: Jay The Decline of the West. Oswald Spengler Mike The End of Alchemy: Money, Banking, and the Future of the Global Economy. Mervyn King Support this podcast at — Advertising Inquiries: Privacy & Opt-Out:

    Nick Tomboulides on Term Limits

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 1, 1970 30:13

    Trey talks with Nick Tomboulides, an Executive Director of U.S. Term Limits. Under his leadership, USTL launched the Term Limits Convention, a campaign to obtain a congressional term limits amendment via the state-directed convention. Nick also serves as a policy advisor with a national think tank and is on the board of directors for a local political caucus in Florida. *Topics Trey and Mr. Tomboulisdes discuss include:* * Why should Americans want term limits? * Why should citizens want a national convention as opposed to more traditional Constitutional amendment processes? * Should we be worried about a runaway convention? * Why not bypass state legislatures? * State term limits and their shortcomings * What to do if you want term limits *Listener support helps make The Politics Guys possible*. If you're interested in supporting the show, go to ( ) or ( ). Support this podcast at — Advertising Inquiries: Privacy & Opt-Out:

    Daniel Drezner Interview

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 1, 1970 36:38

    Mike talks with Dr. Daniel Drezner, a professor of international politics at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. Dr. Drezner is the author of multiple books, including Theories of International Politics and Zombies, The System Worked: How The World Stopped Another Great Depression, and most recently, The Ideas Industry: How Pessimists, Partisans, and Plutocrats are Transforming the Marketplace of Ideas. In this interview, Mike and Dr. Drezner discuss public intellectuals, thought leaders, TED Talks, self-promoting academics, why economists are more popular than political scientists, 'Trump vs. The Blob', North Korea, and lots more! Support this podcast at — Advertising Inquiries: Privacy & Opt-Out:

    Ukraine, Hunter & Joe Biden, Impeachment, Bernie's Heart, Warren's Rise

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 1, 1970 66:03

    This week, Mike and Kristin unpack the current hot topic of Ukraine/Trump/Biden and impeachment inquiries. Mike kicks things off with a detailed list of the facts. Both note that it's far too easy to tread into conjecture and opinion, which is why the conversation gets muddled. Mike and Kristin then dive into each of the points, discussing recent subpoenas and text messages, whether Trump's actions were politically motivated and/or definitively corrupt, Trump calling on Chinese government officials to investigate Biden's alleged corruption, America's long history of putting pressure on Ukrainian officials to investigate and end corruption, Rudy Giuliani's role in the matter, and how Hunter and Joe Biden play into all of this. Mike and Kristin each try to see things from the other's perspective, and both admit that bias is causing significant divide. Mike says that he has a hard time not seeing clear corruption, while Kristin says that she has difficulty seeing this as different from anything else Democrats have done. Both agree that investigating facts is important, and Kristin mentions that she felt the same way during the Mueller Investigation and will keep an open mind, but she will need evidence of quid pro quo in order to render a decision. They both predict that impeachment will move through the House and stall in the Senate with a successful Motion to Dismiss. Next, Mike and Kristin tackle Democratic campaign updates. From Bernie Sanders's heart attack, timing, and 3rd quarter fundraising reports, some candidates are emerging as winners or losers. Mike and Kristin discuss Biden's dip in popularity and fundraising issues. Mike says that he feels Biden is the candidate who has the experience and approach necessary to be a successful President. Kristin mentions that energy and personality need to be considered, and that the Democrats may be sacrificing Biden for impeachment headlines. Mike also notes that things may start to “thin out” after the next Democratic debate on October 15th – both will wait to see what happens in the aftermath. *Listener support helps make The Politics Guys possible*. If you're interested in supporting the show, go to ( ) or ( ). Support this podcast at — Advertising Inquiries: Privacy & Opt-Out:

    PG98: GOP Health Care 'Victory', Spending Bill, What We're Reading

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 1, 1970 53:02

    The Guys start out this week's show with a detailed look at the American Health Care Act, which the House of Representatives passed in a squeaker of a vote. Both Mike and Jay expect that the Senate will take up and pass some version of the AHCA, but that it's likely to be somewhat different from what the House approved. In their discussion of the bill, the Guys discuss where people get their insurance, what Obamacare did (or tried to do), and how the AHCA would change things. Next, it's a look at the bipartisan spending bill that Congress approved, with almost all of the opposition coming from Republicans. Mike and Jay talk about why so many Republicans were against it and whether or not conservatives are right to be worried about federal spending and debt levels. Finally, the Guys introduce a new segment to the show: What We're Reading. Every week, Mike and Jay will talk about an article, book, podcast episode, or documentary they've been reading, listening to, or watching, in an attempt to break away from the of-the-moment, 'instant analysis' of the news cycle. Support this podcast at — Advertising Inquiries: Privacy & Opt-Out:

    Bruce Ackerman on Revolutionary Constitutions

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 1, 1970 69:26

    Mike talks with Bruce Ackerman, Sterling Professor of Law and Political Science at Yale. Dr. Ackerman is one of the world's preeminent scholars in the area of comparative constitutional law, with his ideas having been the basis for constitutional reforms in multiple countries. He's the author of 19 books, the most recent of which is Revolutionary Constitutions: Charismatic Leadership and the Rule of Law ( ). Topics Mike and Dr. Ackerman discuss include: * how regime change happens * charismatic leaders and movements * if the US Supreme Court should look to other high courts for guidance * major constitutional revolutions in American history * FDR and the constitutional revolution that wasn't * Ronald Reagan and the strategy of transformative appointment * the anti-constitutionalism of Donald Trump * why the 2020 election is so critical *Bruce Ackerman* *on Twitter* ( ) *Listener support helps make The Politics Guys possible*. If you're interested in supporting the show, go to ( ) or ( ). Support this podcast at — Advertising Inquiries: Privacy & Opt-Out:

    James Fallows Interview

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 1, 1970 31:17

    Mike talks with James Fallows, a legendary figure in American journalism. Mr. Fallows was chief speechwriter for President Jimmy Carter, editor of US News & World Report, a program designer at Microsoft, and is currently a national correspondent for The Atlantic, a magazine he's written for since the late 1970s. His work there has won great acclaim, including a National Magazine Award. In addition to his journalism, Mr. Fallows is the founding chairman of New America, a think tank committed to renewing American politics, prosperity, and purpose, and the author of numerous books on subjects as diverse as the news media, travel, America's war in Iraq, and, most recently, two books on China: Postcards from Tomorrow and China Airborne. Support this podcast at — Advertising Inquiries: Privacy & Opt-Out:

    Ukraine, Impeachment, Weed, Inequality

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 1, 1970 58:09

    Trey and Ken are joined this week, in a Politics Guys first, by Mike! The three begin the episode discussing President Donald Trump's potential pressure on the Ukraine and the fallout of impeachment. Mike thinks the process must move forward as far as investigation is concerned otherwise presidents will simply assume they get a pass later in a term. He is hesitate, however, to remove a president who was selected by the people. Ken has less concern about deferring to the people, he argues the people also elected vice-president Pence and that the process must move forward. Trey takes a moment to explain this investigation is precisely why he, and other never-Trump individuals, were right from the beginning. After this story Mike bids farewell and Trey and Ken continue to the second story: the House passing a bill making it possible for banks to do business with companies dealing in weed. The fundamental problem, in which both agree, is that there is a split between states simply ignoring federal law and the untenable position these companies find themselves in as a result. The real difference is that Trey hopes for a more widespread legalization while Ken worries about the social ramifications of legalization. They then turn to the U.S. Census Bureau's report on income and equality. The major takeaways both hosts agree on: people are doing better on average, but income inequality is at its highest ever in the United States over the last 50 years. Where Trey and Ken deeply disagree is over whether this is bad or not. Trey argues that the tide of long standing economic developments is how much better off the average American is. If income inequality exists in such a circumstance so be it. Ken argues that it is wrong for individuals to have extreme wealth. He points to wealth taxes as a possible solution to this issue, primarily because those with extreme wealth will have an outsized impact on the political system. Trey counters that the political system can be rectified without resorting to depriving people of their property and that, at a moral level, to do so is wrong. Both respectfully disagree. *Listener support helps make The Politics Guys possible*. If you're interested in supporting the show, go to ( ) or ( ). Support this podcast at — Advertising Inquiries: Privacy & Opt-Out:

    PG97: 100 Days of Trump, Trump's Tax Plan

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 1, 1970 49:18

    This episode marks a return to our roots, with a focus on deeper analysis of what's most important, and less coverage of the ephemeral events that so often dominate the weekly news cycle. Mike and his fellow political scientist Trey - who's guest-hosting this week for Jay - start with a look at Donald Trump's first 100 days. They consider how '100 days' became such a big deal, what a president's first 100 days can tell us about the rest of his term, what it means to be a successful president (and how much of that is in the president's control), and how likely they think it is that Donald Trump will have a successful presidency. Next is their discussion of the Trump tax plan. Mike outlines the basics of the plan after which Mike and Trey talk about whether the plan would be good for the United States, what it would do the the national debt, and the political realities of enacting tax reform. This episode is sponsored by - where you can get big travel savings and a $100, $200, or even $300 Amazon gift card. Use our code BIZTRIP to get at least a $200 gift card when you book your first trip. Our second sponsor is Blue Apron. Great, fresh meals, delivered right to your door, ready in under 40 minutes, and less than $10 per person per meal. Politics Guys listeners can get their first three meals free and free shipping by going to Support this podcast at — Advertising Inquiries: Privacy & Opt-Out:

    Mike & Jay on Judicial Confirmation, Reforming the Court, and the Upcoming Term

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 1, 1970 53:40

    On September 20, Mike and Jay recorded a live show before a room full of attorneys at a Federal Bar Association Conference in Cleveland, Ohio. Given the audience, this episode focuses on judicial issues, including judicial filibusters, the demise of 'Blue Slips' in the Senate, President Trump's historic rate of judicial confirmations, Mike's Big Ideas for changing the Supreme Court, and highlights from the Court's upcoming term. *Listener support helps make The Politics Guys possible*. If you're interested in supporting the show, go to ( ) or ( ). Support this podcast at — Advertising Inquiries: Privacy & Opt-Out:

    Larry Sabato & Listener Mail

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 1, 1970 56:19

    First up is Mike's interview with political scientist Larry Sabato. Professor Sabato is the director of the University of Virginia's Center for Politics, which includes Sabato's Crystal Ball - the foremost election forecasting site in the United States. Professor Sabato is the author of many books, including ‘A More Perfect Constitution', ‘The Kennedy Half-Century' and, most recently he was the lead editor on ‘Trumped: The 2016 Election That Broke All The Rules'. He regularly appears on national news outlets such as Fox, CNN, and MSNBC offering invaluable insight and analysis of polls and elections. After that, Mike and Jay respond to listener mail. Episode Links: Follow Professor Sabato on Twitter @LarrySabato Sabato's Crystal Ball Decision Desk HQ CQ Almanac Almanac of American Politics Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections Daily Kos Elections Taegan Goddard's Political Wire The Bellwether: Why Ohio Picks the President. Kyle Kondik This episode is sponsored by Dollar Shave Club - the smarter choice. Politics Guys listeners can get their 1st month of the Executive Razor with a tube of Dr. Carver's Shave Butter for ONLY $5 dollars - with FREE shipping by going to Support this podcast at — Advertising Inquiries: Privacy & Opt-Out:

    Iran, O'Brien, Kavanaugh, and Congressional Hearings

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 1, 1970 50:53

    Will and Brian begin this week's episode discussing the drone attack on Saudi Arabian oil sites. Both argue that they would like to see definitive evidence of Iran's involvement. Brian believes we should take more diplomatic measures to attempt to improve relations while Will argues that it's time to launch concentrated, strategic air strikes if Iran truly is to blame. The conversation turned to potential electoral impacts of any action in the region and possible impacts on the American economy and consumer. They then turn to a related topic—the appointment of Robert O'Brien as National Security Advisor. Will and Brian both argue that the person in the role is largely irrelevant in the Trump Administration. However, thy do find the O'Brien appointment interesting given his views and approach compared to John Bolton, who on face value appeared to align well with Trump. Neither believes that this appointment will have any noticeable impact on American foreign policy. They then turn to The New York Times publication of additional allegations against Kavanaugh. Neither Will nor Brian believe Kavanaugh should be immune to continued scrutiny given what emerged from his confirmation hearing. Will though wonders about the idea of impeaching when he was just confirmed with much of this already being known. Brian, on the other hand, believes for the sake of morality and the Court that the scrutiny needs to continue. Both believe The Times will walk away relatively unscathed, although Will does question the credibility of reporting from the outlet. Lastly, the Guys discuss the Lewandowski testimony. Will finds Jerry Nadler's behavior as Chair appalling and questions why the hearing even occurred. With an Election coming up, he continues to argue that the better move for Democrats would be to focus on the party versus continuing to attempt to make something out of what is already widely known. Brian, on the other hand, believes Lewandowski was obstructing the hearing with his requests and wonders what the rationale behind the decision was. Both suggest the hearing is an encapsulation of everything Americans hate about politics today. *Listener support helps make The Politics Guys possible*. If you're interested in supporting the show, go to ( ) or ( ). Support this podcast at — Advertising Inquiries: Privacy & Opt-Out:

    PG96: Elections, Bill O'Reilly, Executive Orders, Ann Coulter

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 1, 1970 50:30

    This week's show starts with Mike and Jay talking about the 'not-quite' Democratic win in the special election in Georgia. Mike thinks it could be a (positive) sign of things to come for Democrats in Congress, but Jay isn't so sure. After that, the Guys talk about whether Fox was right to give Bill O'Reilly the boot, President Trump's executive orders on steel, the H-1B visa program, and Wall Street regulation, and whether Berkeley is trying to silence Ann Coulter. This show's co-sponsor is Dollar Shave Club. For a limited time, new members get their 1st month of the Executive Razor with a tube of their Dr. Carver's Shave Butter for ONLY $5 dollars - with FREE shipping. Join the club today at The other co-sponsor of the show is - the best new way to buy business travel. Every time you buy a trip at Upside, you save a ton of money AND they give you an Amazon gift card worth one hundred, two hundred, even three hundred dollars. Use our special promo code BIZTRIP to at least a two-hundred- dollar Amazon gift card when you book. Support this podcast at — Advertising Inquiries: Privacy & Opt-Out:

    Jen Schradie on How Digital Activism Favors Conservatives

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 1, 1970 51:20

    Mike talks with sociologist, author, and documentary filmmaker Jen Schradie. Dr. Schradie is an Assistant Professor at the Observatoire sociologique du changement at Sciences Po in Paris. Her research focuses on the empirical study of digital democracy, digital activism, and the digital divide. Her latest book is The Revolution That Wasn't: How Digital Activism Favors Conservatism ( ). Topics Mike & Dr. Schradie discuss include: * technological optimism, especially on the left * the activism gap between conservatives and liberals * the structural factors that help conservative activists * differences in conservative and liberal messaging * the importance of money, motivation, and message * narrowing the activism gap *Jen Schradie on Twitter* ( ) *Listener support helps make The Politics Guys possible*. If you're interested in supporting the show, go to ( ) or ( ). Support this podcast at — Advertising Inquiries: Privacy & Opt-Out:

    The Indivisible Guide - Being Heard in the Age of Trump

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 1, 1970 32:36

    Mike talks to Jeremy Haile, co-author of the Indivisible Guide - a practical guide to influencing Members of Congress, written by a team of former Congressional staffers. From 2008-2012, Jeremy served as a legislative aide to Rep. Lloyd Doggett along with Indivisible board members Ezra Levin and Sarah Dohl. Since then, Jeremy has worked in criminal justice reform advocacy at The Sentencing Project and as a public interest lawyer in San Francisco. A longtime activist, Jeremy's advocacy has appeared in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, and NPR's All Things Considered. His writing has appeared in such publications as The Marshall Project, The Nation, and The Hill. Jeremy has given talks to numerous audiences, including students at Harvard Law School and Princeton University. Jeremy's Recommended Reading (and Listening) - The Unwinding. George Packer - Evicted. Matthew Desmond - The New Jim Crow. Michelle Alexander - Pod Save America After we went off air, Jeremy also mentioned OurStates, which "connects communities to actionable information and tools to reject the Trump / GOP agenda in every state and protect communities from harm." Support this podcast at — Advertising Inquiries: Privacy & Opt-Out:

    Democratic Debate, Asylum Injunction, Bolton Out, NC Special Election, FDA & E-Cigarettes

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 1, 1970 56:46

    This week's show kicks off with Mike & Jay talking about the third Democratic presidential debate. They both see it as a continuing struggle between centrists, led by Biden, and the progressives, most prominently represented by Warren and Sanders. Neither Mike nor Jay expect any big changes in the relative standing of the candidates any time soon - at least not prior to the Iowa Caucuses. Mike laments Beto O'Rourke's comment on ‘taking your guns' and agrees with Sanders that Donald Trump is a very dangerous president. Jay counters that while Trump may be dangerous, the most dangerous leaders are those with far greater popularity than Trump has. Next, it's a look at the Supreme Court's lifting of an injunction against the Trump administration's asylum policy, a policy that denies asylum to almost all applicants who haven't first applied for asylum and been rejected by Mexico. Jay gets into why injunctions are granted (or not granted), and explains that the Court has not ruled on the merits of the case. Mike argues that, on the merits, the Trump administration's actions shouldn't stand, as they contravene legislative intent. Jay thinks Mike's argument is sound, though he's not ready to definitively support it without more information. After that, the Guys discuss John Bolton's dismissal as National Security Advisor. Mike says that if Bolton leaked information (which Bolton denies) President Trump was absolutely right to fire him. Mike also feels that Bolton exemplifies the sort of emotionally-driven, seat of the pants staffing decision that President Trump all too often makes. Jay is a little more sympathetic to Bolton - at least in terms of policy - and argues that a clear, strong voice like Bolton's can sometimes help focus an administration's approach. Following that is a discussion of the special election in North Carolina. While Mike is disappointed that the Democrats didn't pick up a seat, he thinks that the results suggest that centrist Democrats can run well even in very conservative districts. Jay is reluctant to draw any conclusions about special elections given how different they are from general elections, a point with which Mike largely agrees. Finally, Mike & Jay talk about the FDA's ban on most flavored e-cigarettes. Mike feels that it's a smart move and he'd like to see even stronger measures, such as the ban on e-cigarettes recently passed by the state of Michigan. Jay recognizes the authority of the FDA to institute the ban, but feels that restricting the personal choice of adults is almost always a concern. *Listener support helps make The Politics Guys possible*. If you're interested in supporting the show, go to ( ) or ( ). Support this podcast at — Advertising Inquiries: Privacy & Opt-Out:

    PG95: Trump's Foreign Policy, Dem House in 2018?, Healthcare Chicken, Is Trump Learning?

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 1, 1970 45:41

    This week, the Guys start out by looking at President Trump's foreign policy in a dangerous world. First it's Syria, where Assad's chemical attacks and the U.S. retaliatory missile strike has brought US / Russia relations to their lowest level in quite a while. Then it's North Korea, the unstable regime getting ready for it's sixth nuclear test. Can the U.S. exert enough pressure on China to deter a potential disaster in North Korea? After that, Mike and Jay turn to domestic policy - special elections that seem to bode well for Democrats (though November 2018 is a long way off) and whether President Trump is willing to sabotage Obamacare in order to force its repeal and replacement. And why are we seeing a return to this issue anyway, given that mere weeks ago, Speaker Paul Ryan said Obamacare would be the law of the land for the foreseeable future. Finally, the Guys discuss Steve Bannon's fall from grace and consider whether President Trump is evolving and learning on the job, or if instead he's a largely empty vessel, wholly incurious about policy details, into which any significantly smooth talker can pour his or her ideas. Support this podcast at — Advertising Inquiries: Privacy & Opt-Out:

    Libertarians for Booker, Campaign Promises, Ending Extremism, Cybersecurity, Policing

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 1, 1970 33:18

    In this listener mail show, Trey & Ken respond to questions on: * how a libertarian-conservative can like Cory Booker * the feasibility of penalizing candidates who break campaign promises * if there are alternatives to polarized parties * if hackers make using social media hard for government * whether the politics of policing effect African American communities *Listener support helps make The Politics Guys possible*. If you're interested in supporting the show, go to ( ) or ( ). Support this podcast at — Advertising Inquiries: Privacy & Opt-Out:

    Polling, The Selfie Vote, & Data Driven Government

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 1, 1970 45:41

    Mike talks to Republican pollster and political analyst Kristen Soltis Anderson. Ms. Anderson is co-founder of the research and analytics firm Echelon Insights, a contributor at ABC News, a Washington Examiner columnist, a regular guest on shows like Morning Joe, Fox News Sunday, and Real Time with Bill Maher, author of The Selfie Vote: Where Millennials Are Leading America (And How Republicans Can Keep Up), and the co-host of The Pollsters, a bipartisan weekly podcast. Support this podcast at — Advertising Inquiries: Privacy & Opt-Out:

    Climate Change Town Hall, Brexit Gets Messy (Again), Terrorist Watchlists, Republican Primaries

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 1, 1970 36:40

    Trey & Ken start the show by talking about the Democratic Climate Change Town Hall. Ken doesn't think the differences between the primary candidates matters. He just wants someone who thinks climate change is important, the details will come later. Trey is not convinced that the Democrats have any sound climate change policies. In his view their inability to focus on issues like nuclear power makes their plans impossible. Trey pushes Ken for a favorite, but Ken again just argues for any candidate that has climate change on the agenda. Next, Trey & Ken detour temporarily from American politics and discuss Brexit. The conversation centers on Prime Minister Boris Johnson's seeming inability to achieve a hard Brexit due to recent pushback. Trey is unsure, regardless of what happens in the United Kingdom, whether the European Union will want to have an indefinite, but never finished, delay of Brexit. Ken sees the likelihood of Brexit as low, although in his recent travels to Germany he recognizes that many Europeans see Brexit as inevitably eventually. Trey then discusses the unusual situation of elections in the United Kingdom since the Brexit process began. After that they turn to the recent federal court ruling on terrorist watchlists. The pair discuss what the summary judgement means and government's failure to have the case dismissed. Trey is skeptical that the FBI and Homeland Security will be willing to have the procedural protections in place necessary to satisfy the court. Ken believes the case will eventually end because government will meet the requirements of the court before the case actually proceeds. Both agree it is a win for civil liberties. The show ends with a conversation on Republican primaries and caucuses. A number of states have, or are in the process of, canceling their primaries. Trey talks about the history of parties canceling primaries / caucuses, but worries that this is part of a larger new American ethos toward efficiency over deliberation. Specifically he points to how many recent primary contests have been canceled. Ken is more sympathetic to parties choosing their own candidates independently. *Listener support helps make The Politics Guys possible*. If you're interested in supporting the show, go to ( ) or ( ). Support this podcast at — Advertising Inquiries: Privacy & Opt-Out:

    PG94: Syria, Gorsuch, Susan Rice, Devin Nunes, China

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 1, 1970 46:25

    This week, we have our very first sponsor - Blue Apron! To get three of their great meals for free as well as free shipping, go to It was a crazy week in foreign policy, and the guys start with the biggest of all the big stories - the missile strike on Syria authorized by President Trump in response to Syria using illegal chemical weapons on its own people. The move was a major departure both from policy under President Obama and President Trump's own prior statements on the wisdom of military involvement in Syria. Mike and Jay discuss whether the president made the right call and what this might mean for the future. Next, the Guys discuss the visit of Egyptian President / military strongman Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, who President Trump not only welcomed, but embraced. Mike sees this as a mistake, while Jay believe it's good diplomacy. After that is some domestic policy - the confirmation of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. Just as everyone predicted, Democrats filibustered his nomination, Republicans changed the rules to disallow filibusters of Supreme Court nominees, and Gorsuch was then confirmed on a largely party-line vote. Senators from both parties, as well as Mike and Jay, regret that things have come to this point, but the confirmation process is yet another example of how very polarized our politics has become. But wait - there's more! The Guys get into the latest developments in the Russia / Trump investigations, and then wrap things up by talking about the visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping. Support this podcast at — Advertising Inquiries: Privacy & Opt-Out:

    Reforming Democracy: Supreme Court Appointments

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 1, 1970 33:59

    Mike & Will kick off their ‘Reforming Democracy' book project with an overview of the book, topics they'll be covering, and a discussion of Mike's first proposed reform: changing the Supreme Court nomination process so that every president gets at least one nomination that the Senate has to vote on within six months. *Listener support helps make The Politics Guys possible*. If you're interested in supporting the show, go to ( ) or ( ). Support this podcast at — Advertising Inquiries: Privacy & Opt-Out:

    Politics and Policy in a Second Machine Age

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 1, 1970 29:47

    Mike talks to Professor Andrew McAfee, Co-Director of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Initiative on the Digital Economy and a Principal Research Scientist at MIT's Sloan School of Management. Professor McAfee's work has appeared in numerous academic and popular publications, including the Harvard Business Review, The Economist, the Wall Street Journal, and the New York Times. He is the author of a number of books, including The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies (co-authored with Erik Brynjolfsson). Support this podcast at — Advertising Inquiries: Privacy & Opt-Out:

    Opioids, Challenges to Trump, Democratic Presidential Race, Isakson Resigns, Intimidating Border Wall

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 1, 1970 60:33

    Mike & Trey kick off the show by talking about a big opioid verdict against Johnson & Johnson in Oklahoma as well as a pending mega-settlement between Purdue Pharma and nearly 2,000 litigants. They agree that opioid abuse has had disastrous and tragic consequences, but neither Mike nor Trey are convinced that the Johnson & Johnson verdict will hold up on appeal. Purdue Pharma, having already admitted wrongdoing in previous cases (including a settlement with Oklahoma) is altogether different they believe. Next, they discuss the 2020 presidential race, including a new Republican challenger to Donald Trump (one-term Illinois representative Joe Walsh), the Democrats who made the cut for the next debate, transparency of the Democratic debate rules, and who they see as the most likely - and most dangerous - general election opponent to President Trump. After that they turn to the resignation of Georgia Senator Johnny Isakson and what it means for 2020. They agree that it's good news for the Democrats, but Mike thinks the Republicans will still probably hold both seats, especially as Stacey Abrams has said she won't run (which Mike thinks might have something to do with her hopes of being Joe Biden's VP pick). The show ends with a discussion of the border wall - first, allegations that President Trump has promised pardons to those who break the law to get the wall built, followed by President Trump's keen interest in the aesthetics of the wall. Trey thinks that Trump probably did at least joke about pardons, and that it was either intuitively or strategically a smart move. Mike says that the focus on building a big, intimidating wall is largely empty symbolism, and characteristic of Donald Trump. *Listener support helps make The Politics Guys possible*. If you're interested in supporting the show, go to ( ) or ( ). Support this podcast at — Advertising Inquiries: Privacy & Opt-Out:

    PG93: Russia, Trump vs Freedom Caucus, GOP vs EPA, NATO Slackers

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 1, 1970 52:45

    This week, the Guys start out by looking at the latest news on the multiple Russia probes. The House investigation has slowed to a crawl amid claims from Democrats that Intelligence Committee chair Devin Nunes can't be trusted to conduct an impartial probe. The Senate investigation seems to be far more bipartisan to this point. Mike and Jay talk about why this is, along with what to make of former National Security Advisor Mike Flynn's willingness to testify - if he's given immunity. Then it's a look at what Mike calls the Republican 'circular firing squad' with President Trump calling out the House Freedom Caucus, and the Caucus and it's conservative supporters blasting right back at the president. Following an update on the Gorsuch confirmation process, the Guys get a chance to talk policy - why Republicans don't seem to like the EPA, what President Trump's new executive order on the environment means, and whether or not our NATO allies are pulling their weight. Support this podcast at — Advertising Inquiries: Privacy & Opt-Out:

    ‘Democrat' Party, Injunctions, Ranked-Choice Voting, Democracy, Presidential Candidate Priorities, Gun Control

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 1, 1970 44:20

    In this listener mail show, Mike & Jay respond to questions on: * calling the Democratic Party the ‘Democrat' Party * the conservatism of nationwide judicial injunctions * pros and cons of ranked-choice voting * how small-d democratic Mike and Jay really are * whether Jay tries to speak for the GOP or for himself on the show * what issues Democratic presidential candidates should focus on * why conservatives who want to ban abortions and drugs don't want to ban guns *Listener support helps make The Politics Guys possible*. If you're interested in supporting the show, go to ( ) or ( ). Support this podcast at — Advertising Inquiries: Privacy & Opt-Out:

    Brad DeLong Interview

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 1, 1970 38:35

    Mike talks to UC Berkeley economist Brad DeLong. Professor DeLong, who served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Clinton administration, blogs at 'Grasping Reality with All Tentacles' - one of the best economics blogs around. Topics they discuss include economic inequality, economic growth, why this is the best time ever to be poor (in the United States, at least), grifters and suckers, alien sinister forces, McDonalds, restaurant gift cards, how the best con artists are those who can con themselves, and lots more. Support this podcast at — Advertising Inquiries: Privacy & Opt-Out:

    Trump vs the Fed, ‘Disloyal' Jews, Flores Settlement, Buying Greenland, Planned Parenthood & Title X

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 1, 1970 48:49

    Jay and Mike kick off the show by discussing President Trump's tweets in response to Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell's comments at the Fed's annual Jackson Hole symposium. Jay says that the tweets, which led to an over 600 point drop in the stock market, take him close to a breaking point with President Trump. Mike points out that this is yet another indication that the presidency is not a job for amateurs and that Donald Trump is in over his head. Next, they discuss Trump's comments on the ‘disloyalty' of American Jews who vote for Democrats. Both Mike and Jay agree that this is an attempt by Trump to gain more Jewish support by painting the Democratic Party as anti-Israel. Mike says that while there are some Democrats who oppose Israel, they no more represent the bulk of the Democratic Party than right-wing extremists represent the Republican Party as a whole. Jay says that Trump's remarks were stupid, but not anti-Semitic. Mike isn't entirely sure about that, but suggests that Trump may be too self-involved to be anti-semitic. After that, the Guys talk about the Trump administration's attempt to dissolve the Flores Settlement, which puts a 20-day cap on the time that undocumented minors can be detained. Neither Mike nor Jay believe that the judge overseeing the settlement will allow this, and while they have their ideas on how to improve the broken immigration system, they agree that nothing significant can happen without congressional action, which neither sees coming any time soon. Next, Mike & Jay consider President Trump's suggestion that the U.S. buy Greenland from Denmark. Mike agrees with the Danish PM's view that Trump's idea was absurd, and points out that leasing would probably be a better idea. He also says that the president's inartful remarks make any potential deal that much more difficult. Jay is more open to the idea of buying Greenland, or at least the idea that an American president can openly discuss it. The show closes with a discussion of Planned Parenthood's decision to no longer receive Title X funding, due to a Trump administration regulation that disallows Title X recipients from referring patients to abortion providers. Mike doesn't think this is exactly a gag rule, but he argues that it's anti-speech and anti-choice, and hopes that the next administration reverses it. Jay feels that the state can reasonably restrict information about abortion because it's something a large number of Americans view as morally wrong. *Listener support helps make The Politics Guys possible*. If you're interested in supporting the show, go to ( ) or ( ). Support this podcast at — Advertising Inquiries: Privacy & Opt-Out:

    PG92: Obamacare Lives!, Gorsuch, Russia, Immigration

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 1, 1970 54:46

    This week, Mike and Jay start by taking a look at the first big legislative push of President Trump and House Republicans: The failed repeal and replace vote on Obamacare. They talk about what happened, why it happened, what it means for Obamacare, and the possible paths forward for Republicans. Then it's on to Judge Neil Gorsuch's Supreme Court confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Both the Guys agree that after 20 hours of testimony, we're exactly where everyone expected we'd be: Republicans united in support, Democrats united in opposition, and a Democratic filibuster - followed by a Republican rule change preventing Supreme Court nominee filibusters - to come. After that, the Guys review the latest developments in the Trump / Russia story, focusing on FBI Director James Comey's testimony to the House Intelligence Committee, as well as a questionable move by Devin Nunes, the Committee's chairperson. The focus then turns to immigration, with discussion of the new 'Muslim laptop ban' (as Jay calls it), the criminality of illegal vs legal residents, and the Department of Homeland Security's attempt to shame local jurisdictions that don't cooperate with immigrant detainment requests. Support this podcast at — Advertising Inquiries: Privacy & Opt-Out:

    Will and Brian Take Your Questions

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 1, 1970 36:27

    On this episode, Will and Brian respond to listener questions. Topics covered include: * The lack of ideas being publicly announced from the Left and its impact on American politics today * Allegations of racism against Republicans and how it feels different today * The impact of media coverage of the Mueller investigation on the impact of his report * How senate majority leaders obstruct the legislative process—and whether we should keep accepting it * The direction of the Democratic and Republican parties in America today *Listener support helps make The Politics Guys possible*. If you're interested in supporting the show, go to ( ) or ( ). Support this podcast at — Advertising Inquiries: Privacy & Opt-Out:

    Progress, Abortion, Liberals & Conservatives, Transgender Rights

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 1, 1970 45:36

    This week, Mike and Jay tackle a bunch of great listener questions, such as whether or not progress is always a good thing, if being transgendered is a choice, what our philosophical beliefs concerning abortion are, the best case for liberalism (made by Jay) and for conservatism (made by Mike), and lots more. Support this podcast at — Advertising Inquiries: Privacy & Opt-Out:

    Epstein, Israel, Hickenlooper and the Dems, New Immigration Rules, and the American Dream

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 1, 1970 62:21

    Will and Brian kickoff this week's episode by discussing the death of Jeffery Epstein, the fascination with Clinton conspiracy theories, and the potential need for prison reforms across the United States. Will posits that the Clintons seem to have really bad luck with their acquaintances and sudden deaths. He does, however, firmly believe Epstein's death shows a drastic need for both transparency in autopsies and some degree of prison reform. Brian doesn't buy the conspiracy argument, but he does believe the public fascination with conspiracies is telling of political society today. He also thinks prison reform is not likely in response despite the very public nature of problems today due to lack of attention for particular offenses. Next, they turn to discuss Netanyahu's decision to not allow Representatives Tlaib and Omar to enter Israel to visit the West Bank and Palestine. Will believe this is well within the nation's rights given the obvious goal of the two to use the trip as a means for further protests, directly questioning Israel's legitimacy. Brian points to the unusual actions of President Trump in suggesting they should not be permitted to enter and Netanyahu's response. He also brings up the pressures faced by the two for not agreeing to sign the statement saying their visit wasn't going to be politics. Will also points out how this decision could impact younger American Jews as they think about the nation of Israel. Next, they turn to discuss the decision by John Hickenlooper to resign from the Democratic nomination battle to run for Senate and Beto O'Rourke's defiance when asked to consider the same. Neither Will nor Brian believe either candidate had a chance of winning, but Will believes this may better reflect O'Rourke's Vice-Presidential aspirations. Brian discusses how Hickenlooper ran his campaign and failed to distinguish himself. Moreover, he believes O'Rourke is clearly living in a delusional world after plateauing during the Cruz debate. They also discuss Joe Biden's continual gaffes in recent weeks. Will believes this is tried and true Biden and will help him appear genuine. Brian, on the other hand, questions if this may be a reflection of Joe's age and ultimate ability to win a contested primary. Will and Brian then turn to discuss the Trump Administration's new immigration rules, which limit the ability for individuals to receive visas for mailing to meet income standards or for receiving public assistance. He believes tradition should not dictate future direction, and that the president is exercising his legal and constitutional rights to do this. Brian agrees that Trump is within his rights and aiming to develop a self-reliant American citizenry. He does believe, however, that the public charge is being misapplied in this case given the data on who uses which policies. Brian believe this is symptomatic of a larger concern, however: the demise of the American Dream. He is concerned about what the image of America is today to the world and how it will impact our short- and long-term futures. As he posits, why are the companies using these workers not being punished, as well? *Listener support helps make The Politics Guys possible*. If you're interested in supporting the show, go to ( ) or ( ). Support this podcast at — Advertising Inquiries: Privacy & Opt-Out:

    PG91: Budget, Healthcare, Travel Ban, Taxes, Wiretapping

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 1, 1970 49:01

    Mike and Jay lead off with a discussion of President Trump's first budget. The so-called 'skinny budget' (referring to any incoming president's first budget, which tends to be shorter on details than their later budget proposals) calles for big defense and security increases and correspondingly big cuts. Jay is hoping that it's simply another instance of Trump's negotiating style (start out extreme and then make a deal for what you actually wanted) but he's pleased that many programs will be required to justify their existence. Mike is less enthusiastic, and thinks that maybe it's defense spending that needs to be justified. They both agree that the United States has huge looming problems with mandatory spending (which accounts for over 70 percent of the federal budget) that aren't being addressed. After that, the Guys talk about the American Health Care Act that House Republicans are trying to get through Congress. This week's disastrous CBO score makes an already difficult legislative job for the GOP even harder, and neither Mike nor Jay expect the current version of the bill to be what ends up being enacted into law. Next is discussion of the federal court rulings against President Trump's revised travel ban. Mike thinks it's entirely likely that it runs afoul of the Constitution's prohibition against establishment of religion, while Jay disagrees, feeling that the courts should consider only what the order says, and not other remarks about Muslim bans previously made by Donald Trump and some of his top advisors. Following that, it's a look at the underwhelming revelations from two leaked pages of Donald Trump's 2005 tax return, the continuing story of the president's 'wiretapping' claims, and Mike and Jay's thoughts on the Federal Reserve's decision to raise interest rates. Support this podcast at — Advertising Inquiries: Privacy & Opt-Out:

    Jennifer Rauch on Why Slow Media is Satisfying, Sustainable, and Smart

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 1, 1970 52:04

    Mike talks with Jennifer Rauch, Professor of Journalism and Communication Studies at Long Island University Brooklyn. Dr. Rauch is an award-winning writer, educator and researcher whose work focuses on alternative media, media activism and popular culture. Her latest book is Slow Media: Why 'Slow' Is Satisfying, Sustainable, and Smart ( ). Topics Mike and Jennifer discuss include: * Neil Postman's Amusing Ourselves to Death ( ) * Jennifer's extended digital media retreat * the Slow Food movement's influence on slow media * the best slow journalism being produced today * whether slow media is elitist * liberal bias in slow media * why Luddites get a bad rap * the politics of time Check out Jennifer's Slow Media Blog ( ) Jennifer Rauch on Twitter ( ) *Listener support helps make The Politics Guys possible*. If you're interested in supporting the show, go to ( ) or ( ). Support this podcast at — Advertising Inquiries: Privacy & Opt-Out:

    Norman Ornstein Interview

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 1, 1970 37:54

    Mike talks with political scientist Norman Ornstein, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, contributing writer for The Atlantic, columnist for National Journal, and the author of many books on U.S. Politics, including It's Even Worse Than It Looks: How the American Constitutional System Collided With the New Politics of Extremism, coauthored with the Brookings Institution's Thomas Mann. Support this podcast at — Advertising Inquiries: Privacy & Opt-Out:

    Mass Shootings, China & Currency Manipulation, ICE Raid, Castro Tweets Trump Donors

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 1, 1970 63:21

    This week, Mike and Kristin discuss news of the tragic shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio. As the nation sinks deeper into political divide, what transpired was a conversation about white nationalism, whether political parties are “responsible” for hate and tragedy. Mike thinks President Trump should be held accountable for his ramped-up rhetoric, while Kristin says that both parties must take responsibility for violent language. Kristin and Mike both bring up points about mental health and gun control, as well as Red Flag laws and assault weapons bans. They agree that they aren't hopeful anything would transpire – but that we should work towards solutions. Next, they talk about the Treasury Department declaring China a currency manipulator. Mike thoroughly explains the terms and says that China may have manipulated currency in the past, but that recent devaluation of currency isn't manipulation. Kristin brings up the fact that all nations engage in currency devaluation, and mentions President Trump's increased tariffs on Chinese goods. Both Mike and Kristin maintain a “wait and see approach” – will the tariffs work to level the trade playing field, or will this declaration lead to a trade war? Time will tell. Mike and Kristin often find themselves discussing immigration law, and this week is no exception. After ICE officials raided seven plants in MS and arrested 680 undocumented workers, both agree that the system is broken. Mike remains skeptical that anything will be done, citing powerful business interests. He also argues that businesses are often put in positions where they are forced to hire undocumented workers, who are then mistreated and separated from their families. Kristin agrees and both say that there must be a middle ground, an easier pathway for obtaining work visas or citizenship. Kristin argues this would help everyone - the government could vet immigrants and account for them, and the workers would be kept with families and they would have recourse for payment disputes and unsafe working conditions. Finally, they move to the topic of Rep. Joaquin Castro's alleged “doxxing” of Trump donors and their businesses in his district. Was it an effort to be transparent, or was it “dog-whistling”? Mike thinks that Republican critics are being overly sensitive, and mentions that this information is public record and easily found. Kristin brings up motive and the fact that these donors and their employees are constituents, but Mike argues that the tweet won't affect businesses much. They discuss connections Castro made between the El Paso shooter and Trump donors. *Listener support helps make The Politics Guys possible*. If you're interested in supporting the show, go to ( ) or ( ). Support this podcast at — Advertising Inquiries: Privacy & Opt-Out:

    PG90: GOP Health Plan, Revised Travel Ban, Wikileaks & the CIA

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 1, 1970 44:19

    This week, Jay is joined by guest co-host Ken Katkin, a professor of law at Northern Kentucky University, who takes the place of Mike on the left. (But while Mike was off this week, he still couldn't resist inserting a few remarks at the very beginning of the show.) Jay and Ken start off with an in-depth policy discussion of the American Health Care Act, the Republican legislation to repeal and replace Obamacare. They drill down into the fundamentals of how health insurance works - or doesn't work - with Jay expressing far more confidence in a 'free market' solution than Ken. Next, they look at the Trump administration's 'new and improved' travel ban. While both Jay and Ken agree that courts should grant the executive a good amount of deference in this area, Ken feels that there's no rational basis for the ban, which he believes is a clear attempt to 'reverse engineer' an unconstitutional Muslim ban. Jay, though not entirely unsympathetic to these concerns, isn't exactly convinced. Finally, they consider the latest release from Wikileaks - a trove of documents concerning CIA hacking techniques. Both Jay and Ken conclude that Wikileaks is more hero than villain. The discussion turns to ties between Russia and the Trump campaign, with Ken arguing that the amount of evidence of involvement is overwhelming. He concludes that President Trump is, in effect, a Russian agent. Support this podcast at — Advertising Inquiries: Privacy & Opt-Out:

    David Hawkings and The Fulcrum

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 1, 1970 34:53

    Trey welcomes David Hawkings to the show to discuss his latest media project The Fulcrum. Topics discussed include: * What is the current fundamental problem or problems in the American system? * Why do we need a news outlet like The Fulcrum? * What makes The Fulcrum different? * The problems with Congress. * The problems with Congressional transparency. *Listener support helps make The Politics Guys possible*. If you're interested in supporting the show, go to ( ) or ( ). Support this podcast at — Advertising Inquiries: Privacy & Opt-Out:

    Interview with Crowdpac's Steve Hilton

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 1, 1970 36:37

    Mike talks with Steve Hilton, the founder of Crowdpac, which he created in 2014 in order to help reconnect regular people to politics by making it easier for everyone to learn about politicians, find and support candidates that match their beliefs, and even run for office. Prior to starting Crowdpac, Steve was a director of strategy for former UK Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron. In addition to running Crowdpac, Steve teaches at Stanford University's Institute of Design, is a commentator for Fox News, and is the author of More Human: Designing a World Where People Come First. Support this podcast at — Advertising Inquiries: Privacy & Opt-Out:

    The Democratic Debates, The Fed, Trade Wars Continued, the Director of National Intelligence

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 1, 1970 54:33

    Trey and Mike begin the show by discussing the Democratic primary debates. Mike outlines his rubric for picking the best candidate, listen to find out who, and then rank orders the options. Trey, an outsider to the party, argues that Democrats are not running strongly enough against a powerful presidency and are unfortunately embracing the trade policies of President Trump with better packaging. Next, they talk the federal interest rate cut, the first since 2008. Mike argues this is more of the same erratic behavior predictable of the Trump era and, further, limits the tools the Fed has to deal with a real crisis. Mike's economic data is found here. ( ) Trey suggests Powell is bowing to political pressure and that this is precisely the problem with the current Fed. He also doesn't understand how, even if you agree with Keynesianism the rate cut is a bad idea. After that, Trey and Mike move to the related topic of Chinese tariffs. Mike is in large agreement with the underlying goals of the Trump administration, but concerned that they are not using the best tools to get Chinese compliance on issues including intellectual property rights. Trey sees the consumer fallout as being a potential electoral question in the 2020 presidential election. The show closes by discussing the drama surrounding the exit of Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and the withdraw from consideration of Congressman John Ratcliffe. *Listener support helps make The Politics Guys possible*. If you're interested in supporting the show, go to ( ) or ( ). Support this podcast at — Advertising Inquiries: Privacy & Opt-Out:

    PG89: Trump's Speech, Russia & Sessions, Budget Plans, Anti-Semitism

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 1, 1970 58:12

    This week, Mike and Jay start by discussing President Trump's first address to a joint session of Congress. They both agree that it was the most presidential / least Trump-like speech he's yet given. Then things get a bit more disputatious than usual, when Mike strongly objects to President Trump's tweets about alleged illegal wiretapping of his organization by the Obama administration. Jay is deeply troubled that a president would tap the phones of a rival party's presidential nominee, while Mike argues the Obama administration would have been derelict in its duty had it not investigated a major party presidential nominee with potential ties to a rival and unfriendly power. Things cool down after that (Mike really did get pretty wound up for a while on the Russia thing) as they move on to discuss the first outlines of President Trump's budget and the wave of threats against Jewish Community Centers. Support this podcast at — Advertising Inquiries: Privacy & Opt-Out:

    The Voter Study Group's Report: On the Money

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 1, 1970 29:07

    Trey welcomes Lee Drutman, Vanessa Williamson and Felcia Wong to the show to discuss their latest report and study through the democracy fund voter study group ( ) : On the Money ( ). Topics discussed include: * why study voter's economic policy preferences * why Republicans do not share an economic policy position * the difference for people's individual policy preferences and their overall policy goals * the role of luck in economic policy views * the predictive power of economic policy views in American elections * Donald Trump and Republican economic policy views *Listener support helps make The Politics Guys possible*. If you're interested in supporting the show, go to ( ) or ( ). Support this podcast at — Advertising Inquiries: Privacy & Opt-Out:

    Lane Kenworthy Interview

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 1, 1970 43:41

    Mike talks to Lane Kenworthy, a Professor of Sociology at the University of California, San Diego. His research focuses on social policy, including poverty, inequality, mobility, and economic growth in the United States and other rich countries. Professor Kenworthy is the author of many academic articles and six books, including Social Democratic America and, most recently How Big Should Government Be?, co-authored with John Bakija, Peter Lindert, and Jeff Madrick. Support this podcast at — Advertising Inquiries: Privacy & Opt-Out:

    The Wall Returns!, Budget Deal, Mueller, Facebook Fine, California Cuts a Deal

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 1, 1970 63:08

    Mike and Jay kick off the show by looking at the Supreme Court's 5-4 decision allowing construction of a Mexico border wall to move forward pending litigation. The Court's five conservatives didn't rule on the substance of President Trump's action but indicated that the plaintiffs were unlikely to have standing to sue. Jay feels that the court got it right, though Mike is more inclined to side with the four liberals who dissented, arguing that once the wall is up, the harm that's been done cannot be undone and so building should be on hold until the matter is resolved. Next, they talk about the testimony of former special counsel Robert Mueller before Congress. It was certainly political theater, but Mike feels it was a worthwhile ‘Hail Mary' shot and bringing the often dry contents of the Mueller Report to life, even if it was unlikely to sway many people. Both Jay and Mike agree that Mueller's performance in this political theater wasn't very strong, though Jay still believes there will be both an impeachment inquiry and impeachment proceedings. Mike doesn't see that happening. After that, the Guys discuss a rare bit of bipartisanship - the two year budget and debt ceiling deal. Jay, like many fiscal conservatives, doesn't like the fact that it raises spending by nearly a third of a trillion dollars without providing any way to pay for it. Mike points out that not all deficit spending is bad, and that the U.S. is able to borrow at extremely low rates of interest - investing that money in things with a higher return is smart, though he admits that this doesn't happen nearly as often as it should. He also points out that we'd be in much better shape if not for the massive GOP tax cut. Following that is a look at the deal Facebook made with the FTC, agreeing to pay an unprecedented $5 billion fine as well as comply with a number of checks on its practices to better ensure user privacy. Mike wishes the deal had pushed Facebook more, but feels that on balance it may have been preferable to a long, drawn out legal battle with a highly uncertain conclusion. Jay agrees, though he's less conflicted about it than Mike, and more reluctant to call for action such as breaking up Facebook or other big tech companies. The show closes with a discussion of an emissions deal the state of California made with four auto manufacturers who together make up 30 percent of the US auto market. The car companies agreed to increased emissions standards that are lower than called for by Obama-era regulations, but higher than the freeze in standards the Trump administration is pushing for. Mike's a bigger supporter of higher emission standards than Jay, but they both agree that California has a legal right to set its own standards and that if the Trump administration wants to change that, they should do so through the legislative process, not via administrative fiat. *Listener support helps make The Politics Guys possible*. If you're interested in supporting the show, go to ( ) or ( ). Thanks to the great folks at Total Recorder ( ). (This isn't an ad, just appreciation for some help they recently gave us. Great recording software and excellent customer service.) Support this podcast at — Advertising Inquiries: Privacy & Opt-Out:

    PG88: CPAC, LGBTQ Rights, Kudos to POTUS, Mexico, Town Halls

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 1, 1970 57:00

    This week's episode starts with a look at the annual meeting of the Conservative Political Action Conference, headlined by President Trump himself. Mike and Jay take a look at the president's stridently anti-media rhetoric as well as discuss someone who wasn't there: conservative provocateur and former Breitbart senior editor Milo Yiannopoulos, who was disinvited after video surfaced suggesting that Yiannopoulos wasn't entirely against pedophilia in some circumstances. After that, the Guys discuss the recent Justice Department rollback of the Obama rule concerning the right of transgender students to use the bathroom corresponding to their gender identity. Mike sees it as a setback for LGBTQ civil rights, while Jay questions the extent to which this is a right in the first place, and argues that states should have greater say in their education policies - including bathroom access for students. Mike surprises himself by actually complimenting President Trump - for his choice of H. R. McMaster as his appointee to replace Michael Flynn as National Security Advisor. Both Mike and Jay agree that this was a great pick, though it remains to be seen how much President Trump will rely on McMaster's advice, as opposed to that of Steve Bannon and Jared Kushner. Then it's a look at the state of our immigration policy in light of the Trump administration's crackdown on immigration enforcement. Mike and Jay consider this in the broader context of our current relationship with Mexico, with Mike pointing out that while Mexico relies on the United States, the relationship works both ways, and that should President Trump decide to come down hard on Mexico, the Mexican government could take significant action of its own in response. Finally, the Guys turn to the Town Hall meeting protests that many Republican members of Congress met with during their 'week off'. Neither Mike nor Jay thinks that protests alone can make a huge difference, though Mike believes (hopes?) that his Democratic Party has learned the organizational lessons of the GOP, and will combine public protests with plenty of behind-the-scenes organizing. Support this podcast at — Advertising Inquiries: Privacy & Opt-Out:

    The Rise of Mayor Pete, the Democratic Debate, and the Role of Capitalism

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 1, 1970 36:20

    Will and Brian begin by discussing Mayor Peter as a Democratic candidate this week given his last quarter fundraising showing. While Will argues that Mayor Pete is an intriguing candidate—even for someone who leans right—he also suggests his polling numbers with African-American voters could be problematic in the primaries. Brian suggests Mayor Pete may be quick to collapse in the race given that other candidates—namely Biden—actually brought in more per day during the cycle. Further, Brian is not convinced he is ready for continued primetime pressure, which he didn't face in the first debate. Next, Will and Brian discuss the upcoming second Democratic debate. Both believe the field remains too large to allow for nuanced policy discussions. Having the debates over two nights, Will asserts, prevents voters from seeing interactions and discussions they may need to see to differentiate between candidates. Thus, donations will possibly split and general uncertainty will continue to rise to the surface. Brian worries about the longer-term impact given that all demographic data suggests Democrats should be looking to stronghold a long-term gain rather than in-fighting for the next two years. Lastly, Will and Brian discuss the role of capitalism in the United States today. This discussion was brought on by Abigail Disney's undercover trip to Disneyland and comments regarding Bob Iger's wages compared to the average worker at the park. Will advocates strongly for the system as it is today while Brian ponders whether it'd be possible to change the economic infrastructure of society even if we decided we wanted to. *Listener support helps make The Politics Guys possible*. If you're interested in supporting the show, go to ( ) or ( ). Support this podcast at — Advertising Inquiries: Privacy & Opt-Out:

    Jason Brennan Interview

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 1, 1970 39:53

    Mike talks to Jason Brennan, an Associate Professor of Strategy, Economics, Ethics, and Public Policy at Georgetown University. He's the author of a number of books, including The Ethics of Voting, Libertarianism: What Everyone Needs to Know, *Why Not Capitalism?, and, most recently Against Democracy. Support this podcast at — Advertising Inquiries: Privacy & Opt-Out:

    We Landed on the Moon, Trump Tweets, Contempt, and Conditions at the Border

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 1, 1970 56:48

    Will and Brian begin by discussing the 50th anniversary of the moon landing. Brian sees great value in space and exploration as a means to advance scientific knowledge and understanding. Even more importantly, he finds that interest in STEM can help motivate children to pursue careers that will continue to move the world forward. Will also sees value in space exploration but wants to remind everyone of the political push behind many early endeavors. Moreover, he also posits the good that could be done with the same budget money today to help citizens across the United States. Next, they move to a lengthy discussion around Trump's Tweets aimed at the Squad and fallout surrounding it. Brian argues the tweets are explicitly racist and problematic for democratic governance in the country. Will, on the other hand, believes that while the intention was clear, the message itself was not as direct as many are claiming. Both believe the move was quite strategic. Will posits that Trump used this to move the news media off of other areas while also forcing Speaker Pelosi to defend the Squad, consequently positioning the left as being more extreme than they currently are in reality. Both agree that this issue will continue to be discussed but will not lead to any noticeable shifts in public opinion and pushes for impeachment are wasted efforts today. Will and Brian then discuss the contempt charges brought against Attorney General Barr and Secretary Ross by the House over the citizenship Census question. Will points out that the entire debate is not about the actual question, since it has existed in some format for decades, but instead about how the information could and would be used. Brian believe the contempt charges are largely political theater but still send an important message regarding the current state of Congressional relations with the President. Lastly, they briefly discuss the testimony of Secretary McAleenan regarding border conditions today. Will begins by saying that Mike Pence's comments on the conditions got his attention more than anything else in the news recently given his political leanings and honest assessment. Moreover, Will worries that presidential candidates are using the border as a photo opp which undermines the plight of the individuals currently held there. Brian is concerned both with the conditions and the way that Americans are responding. Both wonder if McAleenan was suggesting to the House that this could all be solved if they were willing to more actively take other measures to curb immigration. *Listener support helps make The Politics Guys possible*. If you're interested in supporting the show, go to ( ) or ( ). Support this podcast at — Advertising Inquiries: Privacy & Opt-Out:

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