Ask The Politics Guys: Obama’s Legacy?

This week, Mike and Jay talk about the legacy of President Barack Obama. They discuss what presidential greatness means, whether ‘great’ presidents are something we should even hope for, Mike’s four-point criteria for measuring presidential success, Obama’s ‘Top 10’ achievements (according to Mike) and his biggest failures (according to Jay).

PG82: Farewells, Fake News, Russia Scandal?, Trump’s Ethics, Hearings, Obamacare

This week’s show starts off with Mike getting all misty-eyed about President Obama’s farewell speech. Unsurprisingly, Jay wasn’t quite so choked up. Mike contrasts what he sees as the grace and eloquence of the outgoing president with the decidedly different style of President-Elect Donald Trump, who recently held his first news conference since winning the election. Mike and Jay talk about Trump’s claim that CNN is fake news, his ethics plan, and his response to unverified allegations that his campaign may have been in collusion with the Russian government. Then it’s on to a look at Senate confirmation hearings of two of President-Elect Trump’s key cabinet nominees: Rex Tillerson and Jeff Sessions. Finally, the Guys talk about the Republicans ‘full speed ahead’ plan to repeal Obamacare, and the perils of trying to quickly replace it.

A National Popular Vote for President?

Mike interviews Pat Rosenstiel, from National Popular Vote, an organization working to ensure that the winner of the national popular vote for the presidency actually becomes president, something that hasn’t happened in two of the last five presidential elections. Mike and Pat discuss:

– how the system can be changed without a Constitutional amendment
– if this is a case of liberal sour-grapes
– how a national popular vote would affect campaigning
– whether NPV would make presidential election winners more legitimate
– the prospects for reform

PG81: Russian Hacking, Building the Wall, House Ethics, Repealing Obamacare

This week, Mike and Jay start off by talking about the intelligence community’s now-released report on Russian hacking, which concluded that not only did the Russians attempt to influence the presidential election, but that they favored Donald Trump. The report was met with bipartisan acceptance in Congress, and even the President-Elect admitted that the Russians played some role (though he added that it had no effect on the election – a disputable claim).

After that, the Guys talk about the ongoing Trump transition, including the latest Trump appointments, his call to have Congress initially fund the Mexico border wall, the kickoff of the 116th Congress – including a very sketchy move on ethics that the House overturned after public condemnation – how Obamacare is likely to be repealed and whether it will be replaced, and how the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (one of Mike’s favorite federal regulatory agencies) is making TransUnion and Equifax pay for defrauding consumers.

Martin Ford Interview

Mike talks with futurist and author Martin Ford. His most recent book is Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future, a New York Times bestseller and winner of the 2015 Financial Times and McKinsey Business Book of the Year Award. They discuss the Seven Deadly Economic Trends, what jobs are likely to be automated (and when), whether white collar jobs are at risk from automation, the jobs least likely to be automated in the near future, and more.

Links
Martin Ford’s Website
Martin Ford on twitter
RealClear Future

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

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 an analysis of what the Federal Reserve’s rate hike means, followed by listener mail.

Brendan Nyhan Interview

Mike interviews political scientist Brendan Nyhan, a professor in the Department of Government at Dartmouth College. His research on political misperceptions has been published in many of the top journals in the field. He’s also a contributor to ‘The Upshot‘ at the New York Times – one of Mike’s ‘must read’ sites.

Show Links
– Brendan Nyhan’s personal website
– Brendan Nyhan on twitter
Nuzzel – an incredibly useful twitter aggregator & organizer

PG79: Russian Election Influence, Cabinet Picks, Trump’s Tweets, Congress Works?

This week, the Guys start out by talking about ongoing controversies surrounding the 2016 presidential election. Now that Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein’s recount effort has mostly fizzled out, attention has focused on the Russians, who the CIA has concluded attempted to influence the election in favor of Donald Trump. Both Jay and Mike are concerned, but Mike feels that Jay is downplaying the importance of this. Next, they look at – believe it or not -major legislation passed by Congress, in one case, passed with huge bipartisan majorities. After that, it’s a discussion of Donald Trump’s latest cabinet picks, and how the media should cover Trump’s tweets.

Ask The Politics Guys: Election Questions

This week’s Ask The Politics Guys looks at two election-related questions. The first question – submitted by Alex, from Sandy, UT – is whether ranked-choice voting (sometimes called ‘instant runoff voting)) is a good idea.

The second question is whether the Electoral College – which will have made the popular vote loser the president in two of the last five elections – should be done away with.

PG78: Recounts, The Carrier Deal, More Trump Picks, OSU Terror Attack

This week, Mike and Jay start with a look at the three-state recount effort launched by Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein. The Clinton campaign has reluctantly become involved – reluctantly because they know that there’s essentially no way the recounts will change the result of the election. After that, they talk about Donald Trump’s deal to keep over 1,100 jobs at a Carrier plant in Indiana, look at how the Trump administration is filling out and what it might mean for policy, and talk about the latest incident of Islamic terrorism in the United States – a car & knife attack on the campus of Ohio State University.