Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha on Politics, Lead, and the Flint Water Crisis

Mike talks to Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, director of the pediatrics residency at the Hurley Medical Center in Flint, Michigan, and an assistant professor at Michigan State University’s College of Human Medicine, where she heads the Hurley Children’s Hospital Public Health Initiative.

It was through Dr, Mona’s courageous and unflagging efforts that the public learned about the dangerous levels of lead in Flint’s drinking water. Her work has been recognized by numerous environmental groups, including the Michigan Environmental Council, the Children’s Environmental Health Network, and the Union of Concerned Sciences.  She’s the author of a recently released book on the Flint crisis, titled What The Eyes Don’t See: A Story of Crisis, Resistance, and Hope in an American City.

Follow Dr. Mona on Twitter

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Robert Sutter on US China Relations

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Mike talks to Dr. Robert Sutter, a Professor of International Affairs at the Elliott School of George Washington University. Dr. Sutter has worked both in government and in academia, including positions with the CIA, State Department, and Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He’s published 20 books, over 200 articles and several hundred government reports dealing with contemporary East Asian and Pacific countries and their relations with the United States. His most recent book is US-China Relations: Perilous Past, Uncertain Present.

Mike and Dr. Sutter discuss how China is like Prussia, China’s investment in Africa, the US / China trade deficit, China & North Korea, if the 21st century will be the ‘Chinese Century’, and lots more.

We’d really appreciate it if you could take the short, super-easy Politics Guys libsyn survey. Here’s the link: survey.libsyn.com/politicsguys

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Herbert Hoover – the most fascinating, under-appreciated man of the 20th century (Seriously!)

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Mike talks with journalist, editor, and publisher Kenneth Whyte, author of The Uncrowned King: The Sensational Rise of William Randolph Hearst  and most recently, Hoover: An Extraordinary Life in Extraordinary Times. If you think Herbert Hoover was a boring conservative presidential nonentity, you’re in for a pleasant surprise.

In this conversation, Mike and Ken discuss Hoover’s swashbuckling and sketchy business career, his amazing humanitarian efforts in World War I (it was a crime that he didn’t win a Nobel Peace Prize), how Hoover can amazingly lay claim to being the father of modern progressivism and modern conservatism, and lots more.

Kenneth Whyte on Twitter

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Ran Levi on Hacking, Cybersecurity, and Ransomware

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Mike talks with Ran Levi, author of Battle of Minds: The History of Computer Malware and host of the Malicious Life podcast, which explores the people and the stories behind the cyber security industry and its evolution.

Mike and Ran discuss Russian hacking into Democratic and Republican systems, potential hacking into state election systems, why paper ballots are a really good idea, the cybersecurity threat posed by Russia, North Korea, and terrorist organizations, the most common vulnerabilities and what governments aren’t doing to protect themselves, and more.

Ran Levi on Twitter

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Kurt Andersen on Fantasyland: How America Went Haywire

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Mike talks with journalist and best-selling author Kurt Andersen about his most recent book, Fantasyland: How America Went Haywire: A 500-Year History.

Mike and Kurt discuss America’s founding by ‘a nutty religious cult’, the long history of American pseudo-empiricism, the dynamic equilibrium between fantasists and realists that made American great, how the fantasists ended up in the driver’s seat, ways in which the 1960s empowered the modern right, Donald Trump as a 21st century P.T. Barnum, and lots more.

Kurt Andersen on Twitter.

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Sheila Tate on First Lady Nancy Reagan

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Mike talks with Sheila Tate, who served as press secretary to First Lady Nancy Reagan from 1981 to 1985. After leaving the White House staff, she co-founded the Washington D.C. public relations firm Powell Tate. She served as press secretary to George H. W. Bush during his successful campaign for the presidency in 1988, as well as for his transition. Sheila remained in close touch with Nancy Reagan after the Reagans returned to California, speaking with her often until Mrs. Reagan’s passing in 2016. Ms. Tate is the author of the recently released book The Lady in Red: An Intimate Portrait of Nancy Reagan.

Mike and Sheila discuss what First Ladies do, what Nancy Reagan was like, the role she played in the Reagan presidency, the ‘Just Say No’ anti-drug campaign, her ‘Dragon Lady’ reputation, what people most commonly get wrong about Nancy Reagan, and lots more.

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Economist Tyler Cowen on The Complacent Class

Mike talks with economist Tyler Cowen. In addition to being a professor of Economics at George Mason University, Dr. Cowen blogs at Marginal Revolution, hosts the ‘Conversations with Tyler‘ podcast, is a regular contributor at Bloomberg View, and is the author of a number of books, including The Great Stagnation, An Economist Gets Lunch, Average is Over  and The Complacent Class: The Self-Defeating Quest for the American Dream, which recently came out in paperback.

Mike and Tyler discuss how the United States got so complacent, the rise of segregation, monopolies and anti-trust regulation, ‘matching’ and inequality, why Americans don’t riot like they used to, Brazil as the best comparison country to the United States, Donald Trump’s ‘placebo presidency’, if the future belongs to China, and lots more.

Tyler Cowen on Twitter 

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Danielle McDonald on Barriers to Justice

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Mike talks to Dr. Danielle McDonald, a criminal justice professor at Northern Kentucky University about her book Race, Gender, Class, and Criminal Justice: Examining Barriers to Justice.

Mike and Danielle discuss racial profiling, the militarization of law enforcement, problems with public defenders, racial sentencing disparities, and capital punishment.

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Jacob Hacker on What We’ve Forgotten About Growth & Prosperity

Mike talks with Yale political scientist Jacob Hacker about his work on economic growth, insecurity, and inequality. Dr. Hacker’s books include The Great Risk Shift,Winner-Take-All Politics, and, most recently, American Amnesia: How the War on Government Led Us to Forget What Made America Prosper.

Mike and Dr. Hacker discuss what we’ve forgotten about shared economic growth, why the United States is lagging in so many areas where it once was a world leader, if we’re too nostalgic for a past that can’t be recreated, the effects technological change and globalization have had on American prosperity, how we can move to a positive-sum economic future, why Donald Trump is an unexpected opportunity for progressives, and lots more.

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Bryan Caplan on The Case Against Education

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Mike welcomes George Mason University economist Bryan Caplan back to the show to talk about his latest book, The Case Against Education: Why the Education System is a Waste of Time and Money.

In this episode, Mike and Dr. Caplan discuss the myths that people believe about the value of a college education, if college teaches people job-relevant skills (mostly no), if it teaches them ‘how to think’ (not as far as we can measure), if it’s an economically smart move for the student (not in as many cases as you might think), and if having a lot of well-educated people benefits society in any measurable way (I bet you can guess the answer at this point).

In spite of the depressing (at least to Mike) and impressive amount of data and analysis Dr. Caplan brings to bear, Mike makes a game attempt to salvage some meaning and value for his life’s work.

Follow Bryan Caplan on Twitter

Bryan Caplan’s previous Politics Guys appearance (where he and Mike discussed The Myth of the Rational Voter: Why Democracies Choose Bad Policies)

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