PG19: Justice Scalia’s Really Bad Week

This week on The Politics Guys, it’s wall-to-wall Supreme Court. We start with the biggest decision of the Court’s term, and probably the biggest civil rights decision of the last half century: Obergefell v. Hodges, in which the Court ruled 5-4 that same-sex marriage is a Constitutionally-protected right. Next, we turn to the other huge decision of the week: King v. Burwell, in which a 6-3 Court more or less saved Obamacare.

Things we discuss:
– whether the Court ‘created’ any rights
– what fundamental rights are, in the first place
– why Mike is impressed with Justice Roberts
– if Justice Scalia is a hypocrite
– if Justice Scalia is George Costanza
– if Justice Scalia is unable to control himself
– what Justice Scalia gets right
– the decline of civility on the Court

PG18: Papal Encyclicals, Right-Wing Terrorism, The Confederate Flag, and Alexander Hamilton

This week, the Politics Guys begin by looking at Pope Francis’ papal encyclical on the environment. It turns out that Jay and Mike agree on everything about this issue ¬†except the fundamental premises underlying the pope’s reasoning. Next, they discuss the tragic events in Charleston, SC. Jay argues that the left has exploited the event for political gain, and while Mike doesn’t disagree, he points out that exploiting tragedies for political gain is one of the view truly bipartisan things in American politics. They both seem to think that it’s maybe not a good idea for South Carolina to proudly fly the Confederate flag, though Jay is a lot more skeptical of the relationship between that and right-wing terrorism than Mike is. The Confederate flag made another appearance in the news last week, when the Supreme Court ruled that Texas could refuse to approve a specialty plate featuring the flag. Jay and Mike discuss the ruling, including the unusual breakdown among the Justices, with the extremely conservative Justice Thomas joining the four liberal members of the Court in the majority. Finally, they express their joint outrage over plans to unceremoniously boot Alexander Hamilton off of the ten dollar bill.

PG17: Iraq, Trade Policy Bizarro World, Israel, Abortion, and Marco Rubio’s Boat

This week, the Politics Guys lead off by discussing troop increases in Iraq. Jay’s take is that the U.S. should ‘go big or go home’ while Mike feels that we should just go home. Next, they look at the strange world of trade policy, where President Obama’s best friends are John Boehner and Mitch McConnell. After that they turn to a Supreme Court ruling that seems to be about passports, but is actually about who gets to make foreign policy for the United States. Sticking with the courts, they discuss a recent circuit court ruling that will further restrict access to abortions to women in Texas. Finally, they talk about a recent New York Times feature article on Marco Rubio’s troubled personal finances, and why it probably helps the Rubio campaign more than it hurts it.

In this episode, we discuss:
– How much it costs to deploy troops overseas.
– Whether the Middle East is worth the trouble.
– Why Democrats abandoned President Obama on trade.
– Whether income inequality is even a real thing
– Whether the president or congress has the final word on foreign policy.
– the Texas legislature’s phony concern for women’s health and safety
Marco Rubio’s $80,000 boat (Jay thinks Rubio got totally ripped off).

PG16: Privacy, Security, a Presidential Cast of Thousands, and Lying Graduate Students

In this episode, the Politics Guys talk about security vs. privacy in the wake of the USA Freedom Act’s passage. Mike and Jay are split on the issue, but not nearly as much as Kentucky’s Senators are. They also check in on the massive 2016 presidential field, separating the contenders – Bush, Walker, Rubio, and Clinton – from the pretenders (aka everyone who’s hoping to use their run to line up a good book deal and/or a commentator gig on Fox News / MSNBC.) Finally, Mike tells Jay all about a scandal in political science and why it should matter¬†to people who aren’t political scientists.

In this episode, we discuss:
– Orwellian-sounding legislative titles.
– Rand Paul vs. Mitch McConnell on security.
– Why Jeb Bush hasn’t formally announced his candidacy (yet).
– What’s Rick Perry thinking?
– The Marine Corps: lots better than the Air Force.
– The Lincoln nobody’s heard of (Chafee).
– If Bernie Sanders is a real threat to Hillary Clinton.
– Why you can’t trust political science graduate students.
– Reasons to be skeptical of all social science research.