PG38: GOP Elites vs Trump & Cruz, Iran Prisoner Swap, Bernie Ascendent, The Water in Flint

This week, The Politics Guys start off by examining the choice GOP elites are making between Donald Trump and Ted Cruz. Neither of the two Republican frontrunners is loved (or even liked) by the party establishment, so it’s definitely a ‘pick your poison’ situation. Mike and Jay get into the why some Republicans are holding their noses and going with Trump, while others are very reluctantly supporting Cruz. Next, it’s a discussion of whether or not the US should negotiate with terrorists, or terrorism-sponsoring states, to bring home American prisoners. After that it’s back to domestic politics, where the Guys look at the reasons behind Bernie Sanders’ rise, and how Hillary Clinton and the media are reacting to it. Finally, Mike and Jay discuss what happened to the water in Flint, Michigan, and who’s to blame.

Ask The Politics Guys: Can a Social Liberal / Fiscal Conservative Win?

Our Ask The Politics Guys question for this week comes from Chris, in Austin Texas: Dear Politics Guys, I’m a fiscal conservative who leans left on most social issues. How likely is it that a candidate with views like mine could win a presidential election?

PG 37: Obama’s Big Speech, Iran ‘Hostages’, GOP Debate Madness, Bernie Closes the Gap, Union Free Riders

This week’s Politics Guys starts out with Mike and Jay talking about President Obama’s final State of the Union address. Neither of the guys have much use for SOTUs, and they also agree that President Obama has done a pretty bad job of helping heal partisan divides. (Though Mike gives the president a lot more credit for trying – at least at first – than Jay does.)

After that, the guys get into the Iran ‘hostage’ situation, which was resolved in under 24 hours. Jay thinks that what Iran did was wrong, whereas Mike argues that not only was Iran justified in seizing the two U.S. vessels, but that Iran has a right to be deeply suspicious of U.S. motives given our history in the Middle East.

Then it’s on to the sixth GOP debate, where even a pretense of lucid policy argument has been pretty much abandoned, followed by a discussion of why Bernie Sanders seems to be gaining ground on Hillary Clinton, and if it means that Bernie has a shot at the Democratic nomination.

Finally, Jay brings up a ‘right to work’ case involving public unions that the Supreme Court heard this week. Mike surprised Jay by actually coming out in favor of making union dues non-mandatory, though only if the people opting out negotiate their own salaries and benefits.

Ask The Politics Guys: Can government fix the student debt crisis?

Here’s the question Mike and Jay answer in this week’s Ask The Politics Guys: What can government do to deal with the student loan crisis in the United States?

PG36: Obama on Guns, Oregon Standoff, Good News on Jobs, North Korean Nukes, Rubio’s Booties

This week, Jay and Mike start out by talking about President Obama’s executive action on guns, which they both think amounts to very little. Next they look at the standoff in Oregon, which the Guys agree is unlawful but not domestic terrorism. After that, it’s some mostly good news on the economy, the implications of North Korea’s nuclear test, and Marco Rubio’s fabulous booties.

Ask The Politics Guys: Can Government Control Gun Violence?

In this episode of Ask The Politics Guys, Mike and Jay answer this question: What can the government do to decrease gun violence, especially all of the mass shootings we’ve been seeing?

PG35: Police Killings, GOP Field Narrows, 2015 in Review, Predictions for 2016, Transgender VA Clinics

This week, The Politics Guys start off by talking about the police killings in Cleveland and Chicago. Mike argues that the system sets up a basic conflict of interest and calls for independent prosecutors. Jay has more faith in the system than Mike but agrees that independent prosecutors might be a reasonable response, thought he points out that independent prosecutors might bias the system in other ways. Next, Mike and Jay take a quick look at the late and almost entirely unlamented presidential campaigns of Lindsay Graham and George Pataki, two GOP moderates who didn’t stand a chance of winning their party’s nomination. After that, it’s the 2015 year in review and predictions for 2016. Finally, Jay takes issue with the VA opening transgender clinics when there are so many more pressing problems for the beleaguered agency to address.

Ask The Politics Guys: Can Trump Win?

In the inaugural episode of Ask The Politics Guys, Mike and Jay answer this question: Why is it that even though Donald Trump is way ahead in the polls, almost all of the so-called experts say he doesn’t have much of a chance? And would it really be all that bad if he won?

PG34: Budget Bipartisanship, GOP Debate, The Fed, Big Pharma, Obama Doesn’t Drink His Own Urine, Bombing Fictional Cities

This week, the Politics Guys start off with something new and strange – bipartisanship breaking out in Congress. While neither Jay and Mike think this is the start of a trend, they’re glad that the U.S. has a budget for fiscal year 2016 (which started on October 1, 2015). Next, the Guys discuss the latest GOP debate (which neither of them thinks changed much of anything), the Federal Reserve’s move to raise interest rates, and why even though former Turing Pharmaceuticals CEO Martin Shkreli is a Big Giant Ass, the anger against him is misplaced. Finally, Mike and Jay talk about President Obama’s appearance on Running Wild with Bear Grylls as well as the 30 percent of Republicans who want to bomb the fictional city of Agrabah, from the Disney movie Aladdin.

PG33: Climate Accord, Obama vs Trump on Terror, The End of No Child Left Behind & (Possibly) College Affirmative Action

This week’s top story is the international climate agreement reached after two weeks of negotiations outside of Paris. Mike says that while it won’t prevent the catastrophic effects of climate change, it’s a step in the right direction. Jay feels that nothing will come of it, and that that’s probably a good thing. Next is a look at Obama’s response to the terror attack in San Bernardino (not much) compared to Trump’s response (mindless over-reaction – in other words, typical Trump). After that, Mike and Jay find themselves agreeing with almost everyone else that No Child Left Behind is best left behind, before turning to college affirmative action. Both of the Guys feel that diversity is a worthwhile goal, but they differ on how far colleges should go to achieve it.