Mike talks to author, ABC News chief political analyst, and die-hard independent Matthew Dowd. Mr. Dowd has extensive experience in politics where he’s worked for candidates and officeholders on both sides of the aisle, including Democrats Dick Gephardt & Lloyd Bentsen and Republicans George W. Bush – on whose campaign he was chief strategist – and Arnold Schwarzenegger. He’s co-author of the bestselling book Applebees America and his latest book, which just came out this spring, is A New Way: Embracing The Paradox as we Lead and Serve. He’s also founded multiple companies, including ListenTo.us, a community of independent minded people sick and tired of gridlock and the lack of common-sense leadership and dedicated to putting the ‘united’ back in United States.
Follow Matthew Dowd on Twitter
This week, Mike is joined by Trey, filling in for Jay. They start the show with an overview of a tumultuous week for President Trump, featuring the president revealing classified information to Russia, allegations that Trump asked then FBI Director Comey to drop the investigation against Mike Flynn, and the appointment of former FBI Director Robert Mueller as a special counsel to head the investigation into potential ties between the Trump campaign and Russia.
Then, Mike and Trey take a look at Donald Trump’s first foreign trip as president, where he’ll be visiting the Middle East and Europe. They discuss why those countries were chosen and what, if anything, is likely to come out of the trip.
After that it’s a look at NAFTA, in the wake of the Trump administration formally notifying Congress that it will be renegotiating the treaty. Mike and Trey discuss whether NAFTA is really as bad as President Trump has said it is, who’s won and who’s lost under the agreement, and the strange political alliances it’s forged.
What Mike’s Reading
– GOP Senator Ben Sasse on NPR’s Morning Edition
– American Greatness
What Trey’s Reading
– James Madison: A Biography. Ralph Ketcham
– The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon. Brad Stone
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.
Follow Dr. Kendzior
– Twitter | her website
– Evan McMullan
– Rick Wilson
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
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!
Dr. Drezner’s Recommended Reading
– Realpolitik: A History. Jon Bew
– The Death of Expertise. Tom Nichols
– The Age of Anger. Pankaj Mishra
– From the Ruins of Empire. Pankaj Mishra
– The Perils of Privilege. Phoebe Maltz Bovy
This week’s show starts out 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 recently 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.
What We’re Reading Links
– Why the Reactionary Right Must be Taken Seriously. Andrew Sullivan
– The Challenge of our Disruptive Era (paywall). Senator Ben Sasse
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.