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The Politics Guys

Updated 3 days ago

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Politics
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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.

Read more

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.

iTunes Ratings

589 Ratings
Average Ratings
475
54
15
15
30

Informative and Fun!

By shsukzns - Sep 02 2019
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Love the variety of speakers and the content provided. Always a great listen.

Great podcast!

By nyvonne722daisy - Aug 24 2019
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I like that you’re not afraid to strongly disagree with each other, it’s refreshing

iTunes Ratings

589 Ratings
Average Ratings
475
54
15
15
30

Informative and Fun!

By shsukzns - Sep 02 2019
Read more
Love the variety of speakers and the content provided. Always a great listen.

Great podcast!

By nyvonne722daisy - Aug 24 2019
Read more
I like that you’re not afraid to strongly disagree with each other, it’s refreshing

Listen to:

Cover image of The Politics Guys

The Politics Guys

Updated 3 days ago

Read more

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.

PG 118: Trump's UN Speech, The Escalating Nomenclature of North Korea and the United States, Facebook and Drudge go Russian, and the Alabama Primary

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This week Trey explains how hurricane Irma had him evacuate the state of Florida and offer thanks to all the listeners who inquired about his family and home. Then Trey and Jay turn to politics and the week's biggest story: Trump's United Nations speech. Trey, despite himself, was a bit impressed, but Trey and Jay disagree over the bigger implications of the speech. Most pointedly, they debate whether the Republican Party has given up on classical liberalism as an economic policy. Next they move to the escalating war of words between Trump and Kim Jong-un. Jay argues that we cannot have another cold war future and Trey offers a bit of caution to the rhetoric. After that they tackle the news that Facebook was being used by Russians for advertising purposes during the election and that Matt Drudge consistently linked to Russian propaganda. Finally Trey and Jay turn to the Alabama primary and Trump's unique endorsement before explaining why they didn't talk health care. This week's sponsors: DaVinci: providing access to affordable office locations in every city. Book your space now and get one hour free for listeners at http://www.DaVinciMeeting.com/TPG Zip Recruiter: get quality candidates for your job posting. Listeners can use it for free by visiting http://www.ZipRecruiter.com/politicsguy

Sep 23 2017

59mins

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Ask The Politics Guys: What Do You Guys Read (and Watch)?

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This week’s Ask the Politics Guys question has come up a bunch of times from listeners. How do we keep up with political news, and what do we recommend for listeners trying to get a better big-picture understanding of American politics. (We’ll be posting links to all of the recommendations mentioned in this episode on … Continue reading "Ask The Politics Guys: What Do You Guys Read (and Watch)?"

Mar 16 2016

28mins

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PG55: Clinton’s Email, Trump’s Energy Policy, Obama’s Asian Trip, The TSA

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This week’s episode starts with a discussion of the State Department Inspector General’s report on Hillary Clinton’s use of a personal email server while she was Secretary of State. Both Mike and Jay agree that Clinton screwed up, though they don’t quite see eye-to-eye on how big (or how criminal) that screw-up was. Next, they … Continue reading "PG55: Clinton’s Email, Trump’s Energy Policy, Obama’s Asian Trip, The TSA"

May 29 2016

48mins

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Ask The Politics Guys: What to Expect from a Trump Presidency

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Mike and Jay take a look at what we might expect from a Trump presidency in a number of areas, including health care, immigration, economic regulation & tax policy, the Supreme Court, climate change, international relations, and infrastructure. They also discuss the survival of the Senate filibuster, corruption and transparency in a Trump administration, the … Continue reading "Ask The Politics Guys: What to Expect from a Trump Presidency"

Nov 16 2016

48mins

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PG42: Trump Up, Bush Out, Clinton Wins NV, The Post-Scalia Court, Apple vs. the Feds

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This week, The Politics Guys start by looking at Donald Trump’s (expected) big win in South Carolina, and Jeb Bush’s somewhat unexpected self-mercy-killing after a dismal showing. Next, they turn to the Democratic side, where Hillary Clinton beat out Bernie Sanders in Nevada’s caucus. The Guys look at the upcoming challenges for both sides – … Continue reading "PG42: Trump Up, Bush Out, Clinton Wins NV, The Post-Scalia Court, Apple vs. the Feds"

Feb 21 2016

40mins

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Kurt Schlichter Explains How Hillary Clinton is Evil & Listener Mail

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There was so much intense listener response to Mike's recent interview with Townhall.com columnist Kurt Schlichter, that Mike and Jay decided to devote the first part of this listener mail episode to addressing those responses and explaining why Mr. Schlicter was invited on the show. Mr. Schlichter himself appears in this episode, to explain what he meant when, in the interview, he repeatedly referred to Hillary Clinton as evil. After that, the Guys answer listener mail, including questions about climate change, reasons for opposition to normalizing relations with Cuba, and their thoughts on a Politics Guys 'Cheers' analogy. We hope you'll check out the sponsors of today's show: Dollar Shave Club, where new members get their 1st month of the Executive Razor with a tube of their Dr. Carver’s Shave Butter for ONLY $5 with FREE shipping. In your first month’s box, you get a weighty handle, a full cassette of four Executive cartridges and a tube of Shave Butter. You can only get this offer now by going to https://dollarshaveclub.com/tpg SeatGeek, where you can find the best seats at the best prices. Politics Guys listeners get $20 of their first purchase. Either download the app or go to https://seatgeek.com and enter promo code POLITICSGUY at checkout.

Jun 28 2017

51mins

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PG80: Russian Hacking, Questionable Trump Picks, Fed Rate Hike

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This week, Mike and Jay start out by talking more about Russian hacking: What we know, how it may have affected the election, Donald Trump’s response, and if the U.S. should retaliate. After that they look at the latest picks in Donald Trump’s administration, particularly the hard-liner he’s chosen as Ambassador to Israel. Finally, it’s … Continue reading "PG80: Russian Hacking, Questionable Trump Picks, Fed Rate Hike"

Dec 18 2016

51mins

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PG103: Comey Testifies, Trump's FBI Pick, The Kansas Experiment

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Mike and Jay start the show talking about the story that dominated the news this week: the testimony of former FBI Director James Comey. Neither of the Guys think that Comey dropped any bombshells, though Mike believes that this is still early days in an investigation that will go on for years and cripple the Trump administration. Jay thinks it might wrap up sooner than that, but that once again, Donald Trump's biggest obstacle seems to be Donald Trump. After that, they talk about Trump's pick for FBI Director. They agree that Christopher Wray is a sane and sensible choice (which is hardly a given in the Trump administration) but that the delay of nearly a month in naming a replacement for Comey is yet another example of how Donald Trump is in over his head. A story that didn't get the coverage it deserved this week was Kansas' experiment with radically lower taxes, and experiment the state legislature forced conservative governor Sam Brownback to abandon this week. Mike and Jay talk about what this might tell us about the effects of deep tax cuts and the impact it might have on similar proposals both in other states and at the national level. What Jay's Reading: Just Mercy, by Brian Stevenson What Mike's Reading: The Sixth Extinction, by Elizabeth Kolbert

Jun 11 2017

58mins

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Ask The Politics Guys: Disguised Socialism in the U.S.?

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This week’s Ask The Politics Guys question comes comes from Janet, in Silver City, NM. Dear Politics Guys, Are current social safety net programs a sort of disguised socialism? Are these programs consistent with capitalism?

Mar 02 2016

25mins

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PG138: Gun Laws, North Korea Sanctions, PA Gerrymandering, Mueller Charges

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The show opens with Mike and Jay discussing the aftermath of the tragic shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland Florida. Mike takes issue with the inflammatory rhetoric of NRA head Wayne LaPierre, and while Jay agrees, he points out that there are those on the left who are equally inflammatory. In terms of policy proposals, Mike points out how rare schools shootings are, the difficulty in making them even more rare, and the almost certain unintended consequences of any such effort. Jay agrees, though seems less skeptical of proposals to arm teachers than Mike clearly is. Next, the Guys discuss the latest round of U.S. sanctions against North Korea. They both agree that North Korea has taken advantage of previous administrations - of both parties - with Jay arguing that this sort of tough approach is called for, given that history. Mike appreciates the logic, but is concerned about possible consequences if the U.S. backs North Korea into a corner with no way out.  Then it's more on gerrymandering, in the wake of Pennsylvania's Democratic-majority supreme court drawing a Congressional map for the state after the Republican-controlled legislature and Democratic governor couldn't agree on their own map. While Mike and Jay believe that courts shouldn't draw Congressional maps, Mike believes it's an unfortunate last option when a court finds legislative maps to be in violation of a constitution (whether it's a state or the federal constitution).  Finally, Mike and Kay discuss the new indictments against former Trump campaign operatives Paul Manafort and Rick Gates. Jay doesn't see the link between these charges and collusion with the Russians in the 2018 elections, and while Mike agrees, he points out that these investigations typically take years, and that Mueller is likely building a case.  What Jay's Watching:  **** The Times of Harvey MilkWhat Mike's Reading: Who Needs Congressional Districts?   Here's the link to take the Stony Brook survey on the messages that political parties send to their members. (The researchers request that you don't post about the survey so as to not influence others who haven't yet taken it.)    Listener support helps make The Politics Guys possible. If you’re interested in supporting the show, go to politicsguys.com/support.

Feb 24 2018

57mins

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PG40: Iowa Review, NH Predictions, Drafting Women, Does Kasich want to ‘Tear Down The Wall’?

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This week’s Politics Guys starts off with reviews of Iowa picks from the last show. Jay and Mike more or less nailed it for their respective parties but they both missed on the other side, making for a very solid aggregate prediction. They pat themselves on the back a little and then talk about how … Continue reading "PG40: Iowa Review, NH Predictions, Drafting Women, Does Kasich want to ‘Tear Down The Wall’?"

Feb 07 2016

34mins

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PG139: Trump's Tariffs, Gun Policy, A New Cold War?, Hicks Quits

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This week's show starts with a discussion of the 'national security' tariffs President Trump announced he planned to impose on steel and aluminum. Mike and Jay are in agreement that the tariffs are a terrible idea and not at all related to national security. Jay points out that this is an issue where President Trump is getting more support from Democrats from his fellow Republicans, who were generally upset and dismayed at the announcement. The president further disturbed many in his own party this week by suggesting he was in favor of tougher gun laws than most Congressional Republican are likely to support. Mike makes the point that we've seen the president make similar statements on other issues - immigration most notably - and then fall back into GOP orthodoxy in the end. The Guys also look at a variety of other gun policy related developments that took place over the last week. Next is a discussion of Russian president Vladimir Putin's bellicose speech about the U.S. threat to global security and new weapons systems Russia has developed to thwart U.S. missile defenses. This comes shortly after NSA and U.S. Cyber Command chief Mike Rogers told the Senate Intelligence Committee that we're not doing enough to prevent Russian cyberattacks on our election systems. Finally, it's a look at what seems to be a West Wing in disarray, following the departure of Hope Hicks as communications director. Mike and Jay agree that the extremely high level of turnover - especially in the communications area - is yet another indication that Donald Trump is an impulsive person who hates being managed and bridles at the necessity of message discipline. What Jay's Reading : The Only Good Thing About Donald Trump Is All His Policies. Joseph Epstein. (WSJ. Unfortunately, it's behind a paywall and there's no non-paywall version of this article. But you really should check out Epstein's wonderful writing, which you can do without having to deal with a paywall at The Weekly Standard.)   What Mike's Reading The Fractured Republic. Yuval Levin   Republic, Lost: Version 2.0. Lawrence Lessig Listener support helps make The Politics Guys possible. If you’re interested in supporting the show, go to politicsguys.com/support.

Mar 03 2018

1hr 2mins

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PG 121: Trump and the Democrats on Dreamers and Healthcare, Harvey Weinstein’s Worst Kept Secret, The Boy Scouts Make A Change & A Presidential Library Without Books

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Trey and Jay start this week’s show by discussing Trump’s unilateral action to change the Affordable Health Care Act’s cost-sharing provisions. They talk about the actual changes and the policy implications of the action. This leads to a discussion of the demands Trump sent Congress if they want a deal on Dreamers. After that it’s a look at Harvey Weinstein’s sexual abuse allegations and the implications for politics. They get into a broader discussion on the implications for politicians on the source of donations. Such a question is particular relevant for Democrats right now, but was the same issue facing Republicans with Trump. Next up is the Boy Scouts seemingly surprising decision to open their doors completely to girls. Jay is enthusiastically supportive. Trey sees the business value but ponders the general trend in society to not have more narrow groups. Finally Trey and Jay discuss how former President Obama’s library will not actually house any documents. Instead, it will be a completely digital repository. They also discuss archiving documents that were originally digital and the challenges for future presidential libraries. ‘ We hope you’ll check out the sponsors of today’s show: Brooklinen. Politics Guys listeners get $20 off AND free shipping by using promo code tpg at http://www.Brooklinen.com Bombfell, where Politics Guys listeners get $25 dollars off their first purchase by going to http://www.bombfell.com/tpg ZipRecruiter. Politics Guys listeners can post jobs on ZipRecruiter for FREE. Just go to http://www.ZipRecruiter.com/politicsguy

Oct 14 2017

55mins

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PG84: Immigration Ban, NSC Reorg, Fake News, Border Walls, Jay’s Defenders

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Donald Trump has been busy issuing executive orders, with his move to ban immigration from a number of Muslim countries perhaps the most controversial. Mike and Jay look at this, as well as President Trump’s orders that froze government hiring, stopped foreign aid to groups providing abortion counseling, withdrew the US from the Trans Pacific … Continue reading "PG84: Immigration Ban, NSC Reorg, Fake News, Border Walls, Jay’s Defenders"

Jan 29 2017

52mins

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Harvard's Gary King on Gerrymandering, Big Data, & Chinese Social Media Use

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Mike talks to Harvard's Gary King, author or co-author of over 150 scholarly journal articles, 20 open-source software packages, eight books, and winner of more prizes, awards, and honors than you can shake a stick at. Dr. King is a fellow in eight honorary societies, including the National Academy of Sciences. He is unquestionably one of the preeminent political scientists of the last half century. His work encompasses a broad range of issues including demographic forecasting, legislative redistricting, Chinese government censorship & social media use, bias in Social Security Administration forecasts, analysis of ‘Big Data’, and numerous publications in the area of what statistics and modeling. Mike and Dr. King discuss gerrymandering, partisan symmetry, bias in Social Security predictions, how the Chinese government uses social media, and lots more. Follow Gary King on Twitter https://twitter.com/kinggary Dr. King's jaw-droppingly impressive page at Harvard https://gking.harvard.edu/ This show is sponsored by Brooklinen.com. Mike is super-picky about bedding, and he thinks Brooklinen's sheets are the best he's ever slept under. Brooklinen is so confident that you’ll love their sheets that they offer a risk-free 60-night satisfaction guarantee and a lifetime warranty on all of their sheets and comforters. Politics Guys listeners get $20 off AND free shipping by using promo code tpg at http://brooklinen.com.

Jul 12 2017

45mins

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PG109: Health Bill, Spicer Resigns, Sessions' Rough Week, Electoral Integrity

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This week, Mike and Jay open the show with their thoughts on Senator John McCain, who this week announced that he has a particularly aggressive form of brain cancer. Despite their occasional policy differences with Senator McCain, both of the Guys agree that McCain is a genuine American hero and wish him all the best as he fights his cancer. Next, it's a look at the confusing case of the Senate health bill, or bills actually, as there are at least four of them out there. Neither Mike nor Jay think any of them are likely to pass, and Mike questions how much of a legislative mastermind Majority Leader Mitch McConnell really is. They also discuss how President Trump might force the Obamacare exchanges into failure. After that it's a look at the shakeup in the White House communications operation, President Trump's lack of faith in Attorney General Jeff Sessions, whether Sessions talked with the Russians about policy matters during the campaign, and what to make of President Trump's electoral integrity commission, which held its first meeting this week. Mike's Recommendation This Week: My History Can Beat Up Your Politics (Podcast) http://bit.ly/2unfJzN Jay's Recommendation This Week: Charles Dickens Makes Me Want to Throw Up. David Mamet http://on.wsj.com/2undjAX Interested in supporting the show and getting even more Politics Guys content? Check out our Insiders program at https://www.patreon.com/politicsguys This week's show is sponsored by: Dollar Shave Club where new members get their 1st month of the Executive Razor with a tube of their Dr. Carver’s Shave Butter for ONLY $5 with free shipping by going to https://www.dollarshaveclub.com/TPG Ziprecruiter, where Politics Guys listeners can post jobs for FREE by going to https://www.ZipRecruiter.com/politicsguy

Jul 23 2017

55mins

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PG135: GOP vs FBI, State of the Union, Immigration, Infrastructure

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This week's show opens with Mike and Jay's discussion of the 'Nunes Memo', in which the GOP majority of the House Intelligence Committee suggests that the FBI obtained a FISA warrant to spy on Trump campaign associate Carter Page using highly questionable evidence. Jay believes that it's important for this information to come out, while Mike argues that the GOP was wrong to release what he believes to be partial and misleading information. Next is a look at President Trump's State of the Union address. Both Mike and Jay agree that the SOTU is painful and largely pointless political theater - after explaining why they move on to discuss the two major substantive policy proposals in the speech: a four-point immigration plan and an outline of an upcoming $1.5 trillion infrastructure proposal. What Jay's Reading: Polarization is an Old American Story. (Wall Street Journal - paywall)   What Mike's Reading: TV Gave Us the Modern State of the Union. Then It Killed It. (Politico)  We hope you'll check out the sponsors of today's show:Policygenius.com - the easy way to compare and buy life insurance online. SeatGeek - Politics Guys listeners get $20 off their first SeatGeek purchase. Just download the SeatGeek app and enter promo code POLITICSGUY Listener support helps make The Politics Guys possible. If you’re interested in supporting the show, go to politicsguys.com and click on the Patreon or PayPal link.

Feb 03 2018

57mins

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Mike & Jay on the 2018 Midterm Elections

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It’s all elections on this episode, starting with a look at the Congressional results. Mike and Jay talk about what they got right and where they went wrong in their predictions, and what they expect from the next Congress.

Then they turn to state level elections and a discussion of gains & losses in state legislatures and governorships, and what they might mean going forward.

Finally, the Guys talk about a number of key ballot issues: Medicaid expansion, victim’s rights laws, and changes to voting and redistricting. Jay also explains why he’s generally not a big fan of ballot initiatives, a position Mike understands and is even somewhat in agreement with. But ultimately, Mike argues that initiatives, while highly imperfect, are preferable to legislative gridlock (at least most of the time).

Listener support helps make The Politics Guys possible. If you’re interested in supporting the show, go to politicsguys.com/support.

Nov 10 2018

1hr 6mins

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Overturned Courts, Market-Based Healthcare, Affirmative Action, Political Correctness, Politicizing Weather

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This week, Mike and Jay respond to lister questions and comments: if the Ninth Circuit is really the most overturned appellate court (it depends on how you measure), whether we think market-based reforms can lower health care costs (sometimes), if there's ever a case to be made for affirmative action and political correctness (Mike is much more emphatically 'yes' on this than Jay is, as you might expect), whether or not Mike and Jay are wrong for not calling Donald Trump and Jeff Sessions racist (we don't think so), and why 'politicization' is such a dirty word when it comes to weather (Mike says it's not - or at least it shouldn't be, while Jay disagrees). In this episode, Jay recommends SCOTUSBlog (http://bit.ly/2yxjHc2), which Mike also likes and has used for many years. Empirical SCOTUS (http://bit.ly/2yxrmau) is another great site Jay recommends for data on the Supreme Court. We hope you'll consider checking out the sponsors of today's show, who with your help make it possible for us to keep on doing what we do: Brooklinen. Politics Guys listeners get $20 off AND free shipping by using promo code 'tpg' at http://www.Brooklinen.com Bombfell, where Politics Guys listeners get $25 dollars off their first purchase by going to http://www.bombfell.com/tpg ZipRecruiter. Politics Guys listeners can post jobs on ZipRecruiter for FREE. Just go to http://www.ZipRecruiter.com/politicsguy Listener support helps make The Politics Guys possible. If you’re interested in supporting the show, go to http://www.politicsguys.com and click on the Patreon link.

Oct 11 2017

55mins

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PG112: Charlottesville, North Korea, Opioid Emergency, Climate Report

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This week's show starts with the tragic events in Charlottesville, VA where there were multiple clashes between white nationalist protesters and counter-protesters, the most horrific by far being a young white man deliberately ramming his vehicle into the counter-protesters, resulting in one death and 19 injuries. President Trump condemned the violence, but made no specific mention of white nationalists or other hate groups by name, instead pointedly saying that there was violence 'on many sides'. Later on Saturday, the Justice Department announced that it would be starting a civil rights investigation into the the circumstances of the deadly car ramming. Next, it's a look at the situation between the United State and North Korea. As President Trump doubles down on his bellicose rhetoric in response to North Korea's typical semi-lunatic public pronouncements, Mike and Jay consider whether President Trump has a strategy and what options the US has. After that, the Guys discuss the opioid crisis, which President Trump has declared to be a national emergency, as well as a new draft climate report that government officials leaked to the media for fear that the Trump administration might downplay or possibly even bury their findings. We hope you'll check out the sponsors of this episode: Blue Bottle Coffee. Go to https://www.bluebottlecoffee.com/TPG for $10 off your first coffee subscription order. Casper. Politics Guys listeners get $50 dollars toward any mattress purchase by going to https://www.casper.com/tpg Dollar Shave Club, where new members get their 1st month of the Executive Razor with a tube of their Dr. Carver’s Shave Butter for ONLY $5 with FREE shipping by going to https://www.dollarshaveclub.com/TPG Listener support helps make The Politics Guys possible. If you’re interested in supporting the show, go to http://www.politicsguys.com and click on the Patreon link.

Aug 13 2017

51mins

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The Politics Guys & The Political Orphanage

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On this special crossover show, Mike talks with Andrew Heaton, host of The Political Orphanage podcast. They cover a lot of ground in a conversation that (very) loosely revolves around presidential power. Along the way, they discuss Caddyshack, Edmund Burke, impeachment, anonymous Senate conviction votes, a constitutional convention, Thomas Paine, why a Stormy Daniels based case would have been the most fitting impeachment for President Trump, national emergency powers, splitting up the presidency, expanding the Supreme Court, 'These United States' vs 'The United States', politics as the new religion, and lots more.

Andrew Heaton on Twitter

Be part of the discussion on the Politics Guys ‘BipartisanPolitics’ community on Reddit.

Listener support helps make The Politics Guys possible. If you’re interested in supporting the show, go to patreon.com/politicsguys or politicsguys.com/support.

Dec 04 2019

1hr 15mins

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Taliban Talks, Hong Kong, Navy Secretary Fired, CBD Crackdown

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Mike and Kristin start off talking about President Trump’s Thanksgiving trip to Afghanistan. The President served surprised service men and women Thanksgiving dinner at Bagram Air Force Base and made a rousing speech where he said that the U.S. and the Taliban have been involved in peace talks, which prompted discussions about whether the U.S. should remain in the region. 

Next, Mike and Kristin discussed President Trump’s signing of two bills aimed at supporting the protestors in Hong Kong. The first enforces sanctions on Chinese and Hong Kong officials who commit abuses of human rights and would subject Hong Kong to an annual review. The second prohibits exporting nonlethal munitions to the Hong Kong police. Of course, China is not happy about any of this and some critics say that this could damage ongoing trade talks between the U.S. and China.

The next topic involves the aftermath of the Gallagher court martialing, pardoning, and the Navy’s decision to not allow him to retain his SEAL status. The firing of Navy Secretary Richard Spencer made headlines this week. President Trump said that the decision was about Spencer’s leadership, and that it was a long time coming. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper told reporters that Spencer had gone behind his and others’ backs to broker a deal, displaying insubordination. Spencer hit back with a fiery op-ed in the Washington Post. 

Finally, with all of the interest in CBD products lately, it’s no wonder that the FDA made some headlines this week with its warnings about CBD. The FDA has decided to crack down on some companies selling the products, which brings about questions for Mike and Kristin regarding overreach, regulation in general, and the necessity to protect the public from false claims. 

Be part of the discussion on the Politics Guys ‘BipartisanPolitics’ community on Reddit.

Listener support helps make The Politics Guys possible. If you’re interested in supporting the show, go to patreon.com/politicsguys or politicsguys.com/support.

Nov 30 2019

57mins

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The Politics Guys & Democracy Works on Trump, Impeachment and the Future of Democracy

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Mike talks with Chris Beem and Michael Berkman from Penn State's McCourtney Institute for Democracy about their Democracy Works podcast and a whole bunch of other things including:

  • the fact that two of our last four, and three of our last nine presidents have gone through impeachment
  • the ‘best case’ outcome from this impeachment process
  • the potential fallout from straight party line impeachment voting
  • if Donald Trump is a unique case or a portent of presidents to come
  • strengthening our political institutions
  • whether we’re optimistic or pessimistic about the future of liberal democracy in the United States
  • and lots more!

The McCourtney Institute on Twitter

Be part of the discussion on the Politics Guys ‘BipartisanPolitics’ community on Reddit.

Listener support helps make The Politics Guys possible. If you’re interested in supporting the show, go to patreon.com/politicsguys or politicsguys.com/support.

Nov 27 2019

53mins

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Impeachment, The Democratic Debates, Government Funding, Trump Pardons, Netanyahu

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This week Trey and Ken start the show by jumping back into the ongoing topic of impeachment. Specifically the pair parse Fiona Hill and David Holmes’ testimony in light of President Trump’s Friday morning conversation on Fox & Friends. Ken thinks that, not only is impeachment the right thing to do, but that it will be an electoral winner for the Democratic Party. Trey argues that impeachment, when the Senate inevitably fails to convict, may result in better polling results for Trump. Ken deeply disagrees and thinks a trial in the Senate benefits Democrats, even if they ultimately lose, due to additional witnesses. Both agree that an impeachment will happen during the first week in December.

Next the pair turn to the Democratic Debates. Both Trey and Ken agree debate fatigue is settling in, in large part due to the format of the debate. Trey argues that little electorally meaningful comes from the debates at this point, accept for the perception of candidates afterwards. On this front he sees Biden as the big loser of the debate. Ken worries that too much time is spent on issues such as universal healthcare when this isn’t a true power of the president.

Trey and Ken then move to talk about the additional 60 day funding of government signed by President Trump after a last minute passage in the Senate. Ken argues that, baring a veto, government will only be funded in short term continuing resolutions, unless Trump vetos. Trey argues that there would be Republican votes to overcome a Trump veto to keep government open. Meanwhile both agree Democrats are unwilling to either fund additional border security or shut down government, thus continuing the need for short term spending resolutions.

Next the pair turn to Trump’s recent military pardons of Army 1st Lt. Clint Lorance, Army Maj. Mathew Golsteyn, and Special Warfare Operator Chief Edward Gallagher. Both are deeply disturbed by the pardons. Trey specifically, who has moral issues with the nature of much military power, worries that by pardoning individuals from the military it expands military power.

Finally Trey and Ken hit a continuing topic outside the united states: Israeli politics. Specifically the indictment of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on charges of bribery, fraud, and breach of trust. The pair discuss the historical ramifications of the indictment, the similarities to the impeachment of Trump, and finish the discussion on what happens next.

Black Friday Deal! Patreon supporters who either support The Politics Guys at the $5 per month level, or supporters who increase their monthly support to $5 will get their choice of either a Politics Guys mug or tote bag. These tote bags and mugs normally require a $10 a month support, but for this limited time only Black Friday deal (Nov 23 - 30) get it at the lower $5 per month level. Support now and secure your mug or tote!

Listener support helps make The Politics Guys possible. If you’re interested in supporting the show, go to patreon.com/politicsguys or politicsguys.com/support.

Nov 23 2019

54mins

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Strategic Voting, Hunter Biden, ‘President Pelosi’, Warren’s Roots

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In this episode, Mike and Jay respond to listener questions on the following topics:

  • Social Security
  • strategic voting in primary elections
  • Hunter Biden, Michael Cohen, and ‘soft corruption’
  • expertise in cabinet positions
  • Donald Trump and fiscal conservatives
  • Jay’s nightmare scenario - ‘President Pelosi’
  • bipartisan blame for the financial crisis
  • the value of Elizabeth Warren’s conservative past
  • a depressing present and hope for the future

Listener support helps make The Politics Guys possible. If you’re interested in supporting the show, go to patreon.com/politicsguys or politicsguys.com/support.

Nov 20 2019

44mins

Play

Impeachment, Deval Patrick, Sandy Hook Gun Lawsuit

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Mike, Jay, and Kristin open the show with a discussion of the first week of open hearings on the impeachment of President Trump. Mike argues that it’s clear that Trump ‘did it’ (or at least clear enough to require a vote for impeachment) but that it could be argued that what he did is not cause for removal. Jay and Kristin are less convinced by the evidence presented to this point. They all believe that the most likely outcome is straight party-line votes to impeach and convict, resulting in the acquittal of the president. Mike wishes it would be possible to hear from those closest to the president on this issue, specifically Mulvaney, Bolton, and Giuliani, but he doesn’t think that’s likely. Kristin and Jay would also like to hear from them, but even if they testified that the president attempted bribery, they’re not sure that would justify his removal from office.

Next, they discuss the entry of former Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick into the Democratic presidential nomination race, bringing the total number of candidates to 18. Everyone agrees that this is due to Joe Biden’s perceived weakness and the lack of a popular center-left candidate with strong minority support. Patrick faces daunting challenges, but he may be in a position to pick up significant black support should Biden’s campaign implode. Mike half wishes that Barack Obama had endorsed a candidate, but Jay points out that that would be very much going against past precedent, at least in cases where a vice-president isn’t immediately running to succeed the president, as would have happened had Biden run in 2016.

Finally, it’s a look at the Supreme Court’s decision to not take up a ruling by the Connecticut Supreme Court that allows families of the Sandy Hook mass shooting to sue the gunmaker who sold the weapon used in the massacre. While they all more or less agree that Supreme Court non-intervention was the right call, Mike goes further and argues against the special carve-out in federal law to protect gunmakers from lawsuits - at least until some counter-arguments from Jay make Mike waver a bit in his commitment to that position.

Listener support helps make The Politics Guys possible. If you’re interested in supporting the show, go to patreon.com/politicsguys or politicsguys.com/support.

Nov 16 2019

1hr 1min

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America, Compromised: Lawrence Lessig on Corruption in America

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Mike talks with Lawrence Lessig, the Roy L. Furman Professor of Law and Leadership at Harvard Law School. Professor Lessig co-founded Creative Commons in 2001 and is the author of numerous books, including Republic, Lost: Version 2.0 which he and Mike talked about on the podcast a few years ago (here’s a link to that interview). In this episode, they discuss about his recent book America, Compromised.

Topics covered include:

  • why the Mafia isn’t corrupt, but Congress is
  • raising the cost of corrupting Congress
  • giving American citizens Democracy Vouchers
  • why we should pay members of Congress a lot more
  • good people in the bad institution of Congress
  • corruption in the financial industry
  • why no financial institution heads were prosecuted in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis
  • corruption in political media
  • and lots more!

Lawrence Lessig on Twitter

Listener support helps make The Politics Guys possible. If you’re interested in supporting the show, go to patreon.com/politicsguys or politicsguys.com/support.

Nov 13 2019

58mins

Play

Impeachment, Election Results, and the State of the Democratic Field

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Having heard from our listeners, this week we have a special three-person edition of The Politics Guys with Will Miller, Michael Baranowski, and Jay Carson. The Guys start off the show with a lengthy discussion around current developments in the impeachment inquiry into President Trump. Much of the discussion focuses on the application of process and differences between an investigation and an impeachment inquiry. Mike posits that he believes what Trump has been accused of merits an impeachment inquiry and will merit removal from office if proven true beyond a reasonable doubt. Will and Jay both agree—in theory—that the allegations merit some form of investigation but are concerned about the rush to impeachment as opposed to formally looking into the allegations in a public venue first. Given all of the unusual variables in this case—the use of a personal attorney and having it all based on a whistleblower—it is even more difficult to determine what could happen next. All three note the need to have a process that can be trusted in place. Will continues to worry about what Jay terms a permanent impeachment campaign becoming a way of life in American politics while Mike argues that if the president isn’t behaving like Trump that shouldn’t be a future problem.

Next, the Guys turn to discussing Tuesday’s election results. Jay begins by pointing out that he has difficulty in putting much stock in the results of off-year elections with historically lower turnout. Will points to the statewide results in Virginia as continuing evidence of a shift of Democrats to affluent suburbs that can change elections—especially, as Jay notes, in new districts. Mike echoes this and rightly suggests the 2020 race may come down to whether Trump can turnout rural voters at a higher rate than Democrats can these new suburban voters. The Guys discuss Bevin’s loss in Kentucky but also acknowledge that for such a poor candidate, not even Trump’s support was likely to resonate, which is evidenced by Republican performance down-ballot. And even though the Republican was only able to carry Mississippi by 6 points (compared to 17 for Trump), it was one of the strongest Democratic challengers that could have been brought forward.

Lastly, Mike, Will and Jay discuss the state of the Democrats heading into 2020. First, Mike explains how Elizabeth Warren’s Medicare for all plan is a political document that even Democrats acknowledge has no chance of being enacted. He also questions the impact this has since it will be easy for Trump to denounce the plan in a general election if her own party is doing so already. Further, Mike pushes for Democrats to adopt a more centrist pitch that focuses on opportunity and growth. Will and Jay point out that despite progressives clamoring that they are so large in number, that Joe Biden—as a centrist candidate—is out-performing both Warren and Sanders in polls versus Trump in key battleground states. Will believes if progressives continue to speak louder than their numbers can support, they will only help Trump gain a second term. Lastly, Jay wonders about whose votes Michael Bloomberg might take when he enters the race while Mike points to the strangeness that the general election could be between two New York-based, party-switching, billionaires in their 70s with a history of sexual harassment allegations.

Before I start putting together our show host schedule for 2020, I wanted to get your thoughts on our hosts. I’ve put together a short survey for that purpose at the below link. It’s only a few questions, plus some comment boxes if you want to comment on your answers. We do this show for you, and so getting your responses to this will be extremely helpful. Thanks! 

Politics Guys Hosts - Listener Survey: http://bit.ly/2C9I3bK

Listener support helps make The Politics Guys possible. If you’re interested in supporting the show, go to patreon.com/politicsguys or politicsguys.com/support.

Nov 09 2019

1hr 4mins

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Scott Adams on how ‘Loserthink’ is Ruining America

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Mike talks with Scott Adams, creator of Dilbert, one of the most popular comic strips of all time. In recent years, Adams has become an important part of the political conversation through his commentary on Donald Trump as well as the bestselling book Win Bigly. He's got a new book out called Loserthink: How Untrained Brains Are Ruining America, which he and Mike discuss on the show.

Topics Mike & Scott discuss include:

  • Donald Trump as the ‘most psychologically capable leader we’ve ever had’
  • why people think like losers
  • the value of mockery
  • the loserthink surrounding climate science
  • why Adams watches both Fox and CNN (as painful as that may sound)
  • how and why to think like an engineer
  • the use of hyperbole and thinking like a leader
  • the ‘48 hour rule’ the ‘20 year rule’ and the ‘magic question’

Scott Adams on Twitter

Listener support helps make The Politics Guys possible. If you’re interested in supporting the show, go to patreon.com/politicsguys or politicsguys.com/support.

Nov 06 2019

58mins

Play

Impeachment Rules, Baghdadi Dead, Another Fed Rate Cut, Democratic Race

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The show kicks off with Mike & Jay discussing the House resolution on the impeachment inquiry of President Trump. Jay says that it partly addresses procedural fairness issues many Republicans have been raising, but that it’s still not fair enough to the president. Mike disagrees, arguing that the president will get every procedural protection he should - and then some - during a Senate trial. Things get a bit heated as Mike and Jay discuss whether there’s sufficient evidence to impeach the president and they come to differing conclusions as to what constitutes ‘high crimes and misdemeanors’.

Next, the Guys turn to the death of Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in a U.S. special forces raid. Jay loved the president’s comments about the raid, which he felt made for great political theater. Mike points out that the raid was made possible by intelligence help from the Kurds, and argues that we need a continued presence in the region to make these critical relationships possible. They both agree that this is good news for the fight against radical Islamic terrorism.

Then it’s a turn to some contradictory economic news - another good jobs report, wages exceeding inflation, and a record-setting economic expansion, but with overall growth down and businesses reluctant to spend. Both Mike and Jay believe the slowdown is due in no small part to President Trump’s trade war with China. Mike makes a case that the president might actually be working against his short term electoral interest by pushing the trade war, though Jay points out that that’s likely why Trump is pushing so hard for Fed rate cuts.

The show closes with a discussion of some important developments in the Democratic presidential nomination race - Beto O’Rourke pulling out, Kamala Harris cutting staff and going all-in on Iowa, and Elizabeth Warren releasing details on how she’d pay for her Medicare for All plan.

Listener support helps make The Politics Guys possible. If you’re interested in supporting the show, go to patreon.com/politicsguys or politicsguys.com/support.

Nov 02 2019

1hr 2mins

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Behind the Scenes in the Obama White House with Lawrence Jackson

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Mike talks with Lawrence Jackson, an official White House Photographer in the Obama administration. He's just released a beautiful book of photographs and stories about his time with the Obamas called Yes We Did: Photos and Behind-the-Scenes Stories Celebrating Our First African American President

Topics Mike & Lawrence discuss include:

  • what the Obamas are really like
  • being behind the scenes in the White House
  • the ultra-competitive nature of President Obama
  • the toll that being president takes on a person
  • the survey Jackson took of 300 former White House staffers
  • and lots more

Listener support helps make The Politics Guys possible. If you’re interested in supporting the show, go to patreon.com/politicsguys or politicsguys.com/support.

Oct 30 2019

33mins

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Deficit, Subpoenas, Trump’s Sixth Veto, Tulsi Gabbard

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Trey and Ken host this episode of the Politics Guys. The duo begins by talking about the increasing U.S. deficit. Trey explains the what the deficit and the national debt are. Then Trey gives some historic context before asking Ken his opinion on the rising deficit under President Trump. Ken argues that Democrats, as Keynesians, would better manage the budget without Republicans. His basic argument is that Republicans never pay for needed spending. Trey pushes back and asks, if that is the case, why Democrats have never stopped deficit spending when they held office. Trey suggests that the problem lies with Democrats spending policy and Republicans tax policy. He sees the compromises of the Clinton era as the solution forward.

Next they turn to the ongoing impeachment investigation and, more specifically, the recent subpoenas of high ranking Trump officials. They pair also discuss Lindsey Graham’s weak measure to ensure the House’s impeachment inquiry. They also get into the polling data on impeachment. Ken predicts that the House will vote on articles of impeachment by December.

They then discuss Trump’s relatively underreported sixth veto. Trump was once again forced to veto the House and the Senate ending his emergency declaration for the southern border. The pair speculate on what this means for Trump’s policy. Trey probs more deeply into the political communication side of the question and asks how it is Trump in some areas is able to stay quiet. Is this an indication of a more powerful media strategy?

Finally Trey and Ken talk Tulsi Gabbard and Hilary Clinton. In addition to discussing the current spat between the two Democrats, they ask what might have motivated Clinton’s comments. Unlike many Trey and Ken agree Clinton is not preparing to enter the race. Ken hypothesizes that Clinton sees Gabbard as another Jill Stein.

 Listener support helps make The Politics Guys possible. If you’re interested in supporting the show, go to patreon.com/politicsguys or politicsguys.com/support.

Oct 26 2019

51mins

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U.S. Congressman Thomas Massie on How Congress *Really* Works

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Mike talks with Rep. Thomas Massie, who represents Kentucky’s 4th Congressional District. Massie attended MIT, where he earned a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering and a Master’s in Mechanical Engineering. Prior to serving in Congress, he was an inventor, an entrepreneur, and Judge Executive of Lewis County, Kentucky. In Congress, he serves on the House Committee on Transportation & Infrastructure and the Committee on Oversight and Reform.

Topics Mike & Rep. Massie discuss include:

  • how members of Congress have to ‘buy’ seats on committees
  • why the minority party in the House is irrelevant
  • Congress’ abdication of responsibility
  • the political pressure to weaken Congress’ ability to do its job
  • why Rep. Massie would be in favor of repealing the 17th Amendment
  • what Rep. Massie would change about the House and the Senate
  • and lots more!

Follow Rep. Massie on Twitter

Listener support helps make The Politics Guys possible. If you’re interested in supporting the show, go to patreon.com/politicsguys or politicsguys.com/support.

Oct 23 2019

48mins

Play

Rep. Elijah Cummings, Turkey’s Invasion, Impeachment, Presidential Contest, Growing Senate GOP Opposition to Trump?

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This week’s show starts with a short tribute to U. S. Congressman Elijah Cummings, who died this week. Both Mike and Jay have positive things to say about Cummings, who was a great fighter for important causes.

Next, they turn to Turkey’s invasion of Syria and the cease fire deal in which Turkey got more or less everything they hoped for in exchange for token concessions. Mike believes this showed horrible judgement on the part of President Trump and that it makes the United States look weak and untrustworthy. Jay mostly agrees, but advances an argument that, if not supporting Trump’s actions, tries to put them in a different and more nuanced context- something he feels has been lacking in many media reports.

After that it’s an update on the impeachment inquiry. Mike defends the process and argues that Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney flat out admitted a political quid pro quo with Ukraine (just not the Biden / Burisma quid pro quo). Jay contends that while corrupt things may have happened, what Mulvaney admitted wasn’t technically a quid pro quo. He also argues that even if House investigators have good reason for closed-door hearings, this makes the investigation appear less legitimate to the public. 

Then it’s a look at the state of the Democratic presidential contest after the recent Ohio debate. Mike & Jay agree that Warren looks like a frontrunner right now (despite Biden still leading her in most polls), with Mike arguing that Pete Buttigieg is well positioned to break out of the pack and move into the top tier currently occupied by Biden, Warren, and Sanders.

The show closes with discussion of the Senate’s failure to override President Trump’s veto of legislation that would have nullified the president’s national emergency at the border with Mexico. This is the second time the Senate has failed to override the president’s veto of this measure, but this time there were 11 Republicans (19 percent of all Senate Republicans) who joined with Democrats in voting against President Trump. Jay thinks that there may be growing GOP congressional opposition to Trump, which comes at the worst possible time, given the ongoing impeachment inquiry.

Listener support helps make The Politics Guys possible. If you’re interested in supporting the show, go to patreon.com/politicsguys or politicsguys.com/support.

Oct 19 2019

55mins

Play

Tom LoBianco on Mike Pence

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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 patreon.com/politicsguys or politicsguys.com/support.

Oct 16 2019

36mins

Play

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

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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 patreon.com/politicsguys or politicsguys.com/support.

Oct 12 2019

52mins

Play

Nick Tomboulides on Term Limits

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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 patreon.com/politicsguys or politicsguys.com/support.

Oct 09 2019

18mins

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

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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 patreon.com/politicsguys or politicsguys.com/support.

Oct 05 2019

1hr 5mins

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Bruce Ackerman on Revolutionary Constitutions

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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 patreon.com/politicsguys or politicsguys.com/support.

Oct 02 2019

1hr 9mins

Play

Ukraine, Impeachment, Weed, Inequality

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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 patreon.com/politicsguys or politicsguys.com/support.

Sep 28 2019

58mins

Play