Bad News for Mike’s Favorite Agency, Mendez Mistrial, Listener Mail

Subscribe:  iTunes | PocketCasts | Overcast | Stitcher | RSS


Mike and Jay open by discussing what, for Mike, was crushing news – Consumer Financial Protection Bureau head Rob Cordray announced that he would be stepping down. Mike points out that since its creation as part of the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform legislation, the semi-independent CFPB has been a strong advocate for consumers. He laments that this this will largely cease under Trump-appointed leadership. Jay, like most Republicans, believes that the agency is too independent, needlessly harms financial institutions for the sake of powerful Democratic interests, and needs to be reined in.

Next, they talk about the mistrial recently announced in the federal corruption trial of Democratic New Jersey Senator Robert Menendez. Had Menendez been convicted, outgoing governor Chris Christie may have been able to appoint a Republican to take Menendez’ place, giving the GOP another much-needed seat to bolster their slim Senate majority. Both Mike and Jay seem to believe Menendez is guilty of, at the very least, unethical behavior, but they point out that it’s incredibly difficult to demonstrate quid-pro-quo corruption (e.g. Wealthy ‘friend’: “Here’s $5,000 in exchange for which I want you to vote ‘no’ on that bill” Senator: “Okay, thanks for the $5,000. I’ll be sure to vote ‘no’.”) especially in the wake of a unanimous 2016 Supreme Court decision.

Then it’s listener mail. Jay responds to a someone who is very disappointed in Jay’s Machiavellian take on politics, Mike and Jay answer a listener who wants some solid evidence that minorities in the United States are being systematically disadvantaged, and Mike and Jay reply to a listener who wonders how to productively engage people like Mike’s friend (and Trump supporter) Joe.

Links:
Mike’s interview with campaign finance reform advocate and Harvard professor Lawrence Lessig.

Listener support helps make The Politics Guys possible. If you’re interested in supporting the show, go to politicsguys.com and click on the Patreon link.

PG126: Tax Bill Advances, Sexual Harassment

Subscribe:  iTunes | PocketCasts | Overcast | Stitcher | RSS


This week’s show opens with Mike and Jay taking a look at the current state of the Republican tax reform bills in both the House and the Senate. Mike points out – once again – that it’s a horrible idea to ram a huge, complex tax bill through only weeks after it was introduced, and that the measure is essentially a big tax cut for businesses and the rich that will be paid for by future generations of Americans. Jay believes that in the end the cuts will result in enough growth to make them worthwhile.

After that, the Guys turn to the recent wave of sexual harassment revelations, specifically more women coming forward to accuse Alabama Republican Roy Moore, who maintains his innocence, and Democratic Senator Al Franken, who has admitted his guilt. Mike also shares a personal story, in the hope that it might encourage others to speak out.

We hope you’ll check out the sponsor of today’s show:
Dollar Shave Club. Go to dollarshaveclub.com/TPG to get your first month of their best razor along with travel size versions of their shave butter, body cleanser, and butt wipes for just $5.

Listener support helps make The Politics Guys possible. If you’re interested in supporting the show, go to politicsguys.com and click on the Patreon link.

How Safe Is Your Food?

Subscribe:  iTunes | PocketCasts | Overcast | Stitcher | RSS


Mike talks with Dan Flynn, Editor in Chief of Food Safety News about the Food Safety Modernization Act, whether FDA inspections are tough enough, if regulations are unfair to smaller farms, and the state of food safety regulation in the Trump administration.

Food Safety News on Twitter

We hope you’ll check out the sponsor of today’s show:
Blue Bottle Coffee. Hurry to bluebottlecoffee.com/TPG for $10 off your first coffee subscription order.

Listener support helps make The Politics Guys possible. If you’re interested in supporting the show, go to politicsguys.com and click on the Patreon link.

PG125: The Great House and Senate Tax Plan Question, Elections in VA, NJ, and ME, Trump Visits Asia, and Roy Moore’s Denial

Subscribe:  iTunes | PocketCasts | Overcast | Stitcher | RSS

This week Trey and Jay start by taking on the Senate’s proposed tax plan. It differs from its House counterpart. Trey worries about the deficit and Jay focuses on growth.

Next they turn to the major Democratic wins in Virginia, New Jersey, and Maine. Both hosts agree that they are not necessarily representative of the country as a whole, but they do point to the Trump problem all Republicans now face: to Trump or not to Trump.

After the elections the hosts discuss Trump’s week in Asia. They note that the two big areas of concern were North Korea and trade policy.

Trey and Jay conclude by discussing the recent Washington Post story arguing that Roy Moore had inappropriate relationships with underage girls.

We hope you’ll check out today’s sponsor:
ZipRecruiter. Politics Guys listeners can post jobs on ZipRecruiter for FREE. Just go to ZipRecruiter.com/politicsguy

Trumpaversary

Subscribe:  iTunes | PocketCasts | Overcast | Stitcher | RSS


For the one-year anniversary of President Trump’s election, we brought back Mike’s friend Joe, who Mike talked to in the ‘A Trump Supporter Speaks‘ episode in October of 2016.

At the time, Mike thought it would be good to hear from an actual Trump supporter (as opposed to an ‘anyone buy Hillary’ Trump voter) to get a sense of how Donald Trump convinced so many people to follow him down a path that would surely lead the Republican Party to a crushing electoral defeat giving President Hillary Clinton House and filibuster-proof Senate majorities.

Obviously, things didn’t turn out that way. One year on, how does an intelligent, decent Trump supporter see the Trump presidency? In this interview you’ll find out. (And no – ‘intelligent, decent Trump supporter’ isn’t an oxymoron. Mike says that Joe is one of the smartest and most fundamentally decent people he knows.)

Listener support helps make The Politics Guys possible. If you’re interested in supporting the show, go to politicsguys.com and click on the Patreon link.

PG124: (A Lot) About the GOP Tax Plan, Muller Indictments, Terrorism in NYC, and the Powell Nomination

Subscribe:  iTunes | PocketCasts | Overcast | Stitcher | RSS


In this week’s extended episode Trey and Mike start off by discussing the GOP Tax Plan. They begin by analyzing the content of the plan. As to the policy itself, Trey is optimistic, but worried about the 1.5 trillion debt increase. Mike sees both positive and negative aspects to the bill, but overall sees the plan as problematic.

Then its time to talk Mueller’s indictments. Both see this as the first step to a larger set of indictments and both agree that critics of the president ought to moderate their joy. It is unlikely that this will bring down the Trump presidency.

Next it is a discussion of the Halloween ISIS terrorist attack in NYC. Trey stresses that we shouldn’t allow terrorist groups to wield fear to change us. He argues that while terrorist organizations are good at spreading fear, they aren’t as effective at carrying out plots as the media narrative would suggest.

Finally both Trey and Mike address Trump’s nomination of “Jay” Powell to be the next chair of the Federal Reserve, breaking a recent precedent by former presidents.

Mike’s Recommended Reading:

Ezra Klein Podcast

Trey’s Recommended Reading:

The Presidents Club by Nancy Gibbs and Michael Duffy

We hope you will check out the sponsor of today’s show:

Blue Apron. Check out this week’s menu and get $30 of your first meal — with free shipping — by going to blueapron.com/tpg

 

Americans for Financial Reform

Subscribe:  iTunes | PocketCasts | Overcast | Stitcher | RSS


Mike talks with Carter Dougherty, Communications Director of Americans for Financial Reform. They cover a lot of ground in their conversation, including:
– Congress overturning the CFPB’s arbitration rule
– the Equifax security breach
– the 2008 financial crisis & Dodd-Frank
– government bailouts
– prosecutors’ unwillingness to go after financial firms
– Wall Street’s influence in Washington

Americans for Financial Reform on Twitter

Listener support helps make The Politics Guys possible. If you’re interested in supporting the show, go to politicsguys.com and click on the Patreon link.

PG123: Opioid Emergency, CFPB Overruled, Jeff Flake, Tax Reform

Subscribe:  iTunes | PocketCasts | Overcast | Stitcher | RSS


This week, Mike and Jay start by talking about President Trump’s declaration of the opioid crisis as a public health emergency. Mike wonders about the timing of the announcement, which came out a week before the president’s opioid commission is scheduled to release its final report, and hopes that significant federal funding will soon follow. Jay thinks federal action may help at the margin, but is concerned about throwing money at the problem.

Then, Mike gets to talk about his favorite regulatory agency – the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) though this week he’s dismayed at the agency’s arbitration rule being overturned by Congress. Jay believes it was a wise move by Congress and the Guys get into a somewhat heated discussion over the merits of class action lawsuits vs arbitration.

After that, it’s a discussion of what Arizona Senator Jeff Flake’s decision to not seek election might mean for the Republican party. Flake’s announcement comes in the wake of another Senate Republican, Tennessee’s Bob Corker making a similar decision.

Finally, Mike and Jay discuss the state of tax reform. Mike’s inner idealist comes out and he makes an impassioned plea for some good faith attempts at working across the aisle. Jay argues that Republicans have to be more realistic.

We hope you’ll check out today’s sponsor:
ZipRecruiter. Politics Guys listeners can post jobs on ZipRecruiter for FREE. Just go to ZipRecruiter.com/politicsguy

Listener support helps make The Politics Guys possible. If you’re interested in supporting the show, go to politicsguys.com and click on the Patreon link.

MIT Professor Luis Perez-Breva on Innovation

Mike talks with Luis Perez-Breva, a successful serial innovator and director of the Innovation Teams Program at MIT. Dr. Perez-Breva holds degrees in Chemical Engineering, Physics, Business, and Artificial Intelligence. He’s an expert in the process of technology innovation, an entrepreneur, and the the author of Innovating: A Doer’s Manifesto for Starting from a Hunch, Prototyping Problems, Scaling Up, and Learning to Be Productively Wrong. (MIT Press 2017).

Mike and Dr. Perez-Breva discuss:
– whether or not innovation is lagging
– if we should be concerned about AI taking millions of jobs
– whether 21st century companies are failing at job creation
– how innovation works
– what government can do to help innovation
– what government does that hinders innovation
– if government itself needs to be innovated

Follow Luis Perez-Breva on Twitter

Listener support helps make The Politics Guys possible. If you’re interested in supporting the show, go to politicsguys.com and click on the Patreon link.

PG122: Healthcare, Budget Resolutions, Travel Ban 3.0, The Honest Ads Act

Subscribe:  iTunes | PocketCasts | Overcast | Stitcher | RSS


This week, Mike and Jay start by looking at the bipartisan Senate proposal to stabilize Obamacare markets in the wake of President Trump halting cost-sharing subsidies to insurers, as well as the clever way state insurance regulators are dealing with this major change to the Affordable Care Act.

After that, it’s a primer on budget resolutions: when they started, what they were intended for, and why they’re not almost meaningless … with one major exception. Mike argues that legislating through budget resolutions is a Very Bad Idea, and says that it would be better if the Senate dropped this facade along with the filibuster. Jay agrees, and also feels that the Senate tradition of Blue Slips – where home state Senators have an effective veto over federal judicial nominations in the state – also no longer makes sense, a position Mike holds as well.

Then it’s a look at the latest Trump travel ban, which has been blocked by two federal judges. Both Mike and Jay believe that while the travel ban is bad policy, it’s not unconstitutional and expect the Supreme Court to eventually uphold it.

Finally, the Guys look at the ‘Honest Ads Act’ a bipartisan (just barely) Senate proposal intended to make it much harder for foreign governments to use social media ads to influence U.S. elections.

Mike’s Recommended Reading:
The Drug Industry’s Triumph Over The DEA
American Rust. Philipp Meyer

Jay’s Recommended Reading:
The White-Minstrel Show. Kevin Williamson

We hope you’ll check out the sponsor of today’s show:
Blue Bottle Coffee. Sign up for a free trial of fresh, delicious Blue Bottle Coffee right now at bluebottlecoffee.com/TPG

Listener support helps make The Politics Guys possible. If you’re interested in supporting the show, go to politicsguys.com and click on the Patreon link.