PG32: Terrorism in California, Women in Combat, Agreement on Infrastructure, Climate Talks, and Trump’s Perfect Health

The top story this week is the mass shooting in San Bernardino, California, which is the worst terrorist attack on American soil since 9/11. Mike and Jay talk at the calls for more gun regulation, the decades-long decrease in gun violence, and why Congress has been keeping the CDC from studying gun-related deaths. Next is a discussion of the Pentagon’s move to allow women in all combat roles. Jay is skeptical of using the military for social engineering purposes, but both Mike and Jay agree that if women in combat roles don’t make the military less effective, women should be allowed to serve in any position for which they’re qualified. After that, the Guys look at the big bipartisan agreement on a $305 billion transportation bill, the Paris climate talks, ¬†Donald Trump’s perfect health – despite a horrible lifestyle, and¬†the lesson Jay’s daughter Emma learned about knowing your audience.

PG31: More Shootings, Guantanamo to Stay Open, Voting Felons, ‘Greedy’ Companies & the U.S. Tax Code, and FDR’s Bold Thanksgiving Move

This week starts off as it has too many times before – with discussion of yet another mass shooting, the latest tragedy being at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The Guys also talk about the recently passed defense authorization bill that keeps the Guantanamo Bay prison open and makes President Obama’s executive order banning ‘enhanced interrogation’ a law. (Meaning that if Donald Trump wants to torture prisoners there should he win the presidency, he’ll have to do it illegally – not that that would be much of a deterrent to him.) Mike and Jay also discuss Kentucky governor Steve Beshear’s executive order restoring voting rights to 140,000 nonviolent felons who have served their time, so-called greedy companies and the dysfunctional U.S. tax code, and the time FDR moved Thanksgiving and some Republicans went completely nuts in response.

PG30: Syrian Refugees, Fighting ISIS, Trump’s Latest Brainstorm, Frankenfish, Hillary’s Sense of Humor

This week, the Politics Guys lead off with the effort to halt the admission of Syrian refugees into the US. Both Jay and Mike believe that the US has a moral obligation to take in refugees and that the media has done its usual awful job explaining how the current process works. Donald Trump made news by suggesting that we should register all Muslims in the US, an idea that both Jay and Mike find not just stupid, but deeply offensive (in other words, typical Trump).The Guys also look at combating ISIS in the wake of calls from Jeb Bush and Hillary Clinton to increase our military presence in Syria. On the domestic front, Jay and Mike discuss the first GMO animal product approved for human consumption, a legislative race in Mississippi decided by drawing straws, and Hillary Clinton’s sense of humor (or lack thereof).

PG29: Paris Attacks, Immigration, More Debates, College Protests, Baby Hitler, and the Medal of Honor

This week, the Guys start things off by briefly commenting on the tragic terrorist attack in Paris – while it’s not directly an American politics story, it’s something that should deeply offend everyone who cares about Western Civilization. Next, they talk about why the federal courts are stopping President Obama from implementing his immigration reforms and the two big camps in the GOP on immigration (roughly, the Wing Nuts and the Not-So-Wing-Nutty). After that, Mike and Jay get into the week of student protests, particularly at the University of Missouri, before ending with Baby Hitler and, in honor of the Marine Corps Birthday and Veterans Day, a Medal of Honor awarded to a truly heroic Army Captain.

PG28: The Democrats’ Horrible Election, Ben Carson’s Tall Tales, Obama Rejects Keystone, and Papa Bush Slams Cheney & Rumsfeld

This week’s episode starts with a look at Tuesday’s elections, the latest in a series of disasters for the Democrats. Not only did Tea Party favorite Matt Bevin trounce Jack Conway to become Kentucky’s next governor, but Ohio voters decisively defeated a marijuana legalization measure. Mike and Jay survey the electoral landscape, where things look pretty bleak for the Democrats, especially at the state and local level. Next, the Guys talk about the increasing media scrutiny Ben Carson has been under and how much it matters, concluding that it really doesn’t matter much at all seeing as how Republicans are too smart to nominate a nut, regardless of what the polls say right now. Then they turn to domestic policy, where the big news was Obama’s rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline, despite analyses from Obama’s own State Department finding that it wouldn’t significantly contribute to climate change. Finally, they talk about the upcoming George H.W. Bush biography, in which the 91-year-old former president takes some well-deserved shots at Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld.

PG27: Budget Deals, GOP Debate, Speaker Ryan, Syria, and Runaway Blimps

This week’s lead story is the multi-year budget deal Congress sent to President Obama. Both Mike and Jay agree that it’s nice to talk about something Congress actually managed to do for a change. Next is the third GOP debate, which Mike hated – but then again, Mike hates all political debates. After that is a look at what the future might hold in store for newly elected House Speaker Paul Ryan, more on Syria (things still look pretty bad) and the Army’s runaway blimp.

PG26: Ryan Runs (Biden Doesn’t), Hillary Grilled, Bush Flounders, and the Special Bond between the US, Liberia, and Burma

This week’s podcast opens with Mike and Jay discussing Paul Ryan’s decision to run for Speaker of the House. Jay is a Ryan fan from way back, and even Mike respects Ryan – though he doesn’t agree with him on very much. Does this sort of inside-baseball thing matter to Real Americans? Jay thinks maybe not, but Mike disagrees, seeing it as one of those ‘boring but potentially important’ issues. Next, the Guys talk about Hillary Clinton’s testimony before the House Benghazi Committee. Jay feels that the Committee uncovered some important things about the attack on the US Embassy, and while Mike doesn’t disagree he argues that House Republicans focused far too much on trying to destroy Clinton, and not nearly enough on getting to the truth. After that, it’s presidential politics: Biden’s announcement that he won’t be running, the floundering Jeb Bush Campaign, and finally, Lincoln Chafee (who?) announcing that his delusional quest for the Democratic presidential nomination has finally, mercifully, come to an end.

PG25: No Afghan Pullout, Democrats Debate, Presidential Campaign Funding, Pot Legalization in Ohio, and Pork Returns to Federal Prisons

This week, the guys lead off with a discussion of President Obama’s announcement that he won’t be pulling all US troops out of Afghanistan, a reversal of earlier promises that all troops would be gone by the end of his presidency. Next, Mike and Jay turn to presidential politics, where they take a look at the essentially meaningless Democratic debate and the hugely meaningful candidate fundraising totals. After that, they turn to Ohio, where on November 3 voters may make it the fifth state to fully legalize marijuana. Finally, Mike talks about a new kind of political pork, and Jay wants everyone to take a look at Buddy – the Ohio marijuana legalization movement’s creepy mascot.

Mentioned in this episode:
The Case for Democracy. Natan Sharansky

PG24: The GOP Leadership Mess, Big Trade Deals, Hospital Bombings & the Limits of Airpower, and Inmate Debaters Stick it to Harvard

The battle for the House Speakership leads off this week’s Politics Guys. Jay thinks it’s a result of the GOP being a victim of its own electoral success and that the media is making much ado about very little. Mike agrees, more or less, but points out that changes in how campaigns are financed, as well as the rise of the Tea Party have given the far right more power than they used to have. The Guys then talk about the Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal. They’re both for it, and they both think that Hillary Clinton’s rejection of a deal she was a strong supporter of as Secretary of State is another example of her putting political expediency over principle. Next, they discuss the Doctors Without Borders hospital bombing, airstrikes in Syria, and why airpower alone won’t get you very far when fighting insurgents. Finally, Mike and Jay express their pleasure at the defeat Harvard’s debating team by a team of New York prison inmates.

PG23: Another Mass Shooting, Russia & Syria, The Pope and Kim Davis, Goat Sacrifices and the Invincible Sun God

The Politics Guys devote most of this week’s episode to the mass shooting in Oregon and what, if anything, can be done to decrease the insane number of gun deaths in the United States. They also look at the situation in Syria, where both Mike and Jay find themselves in the strange position of agreeing with Russian President Vladimir Putin, who told the UN that President Obama’s Syria policy has been a big fat failure. Along the way, Mike tries to explain the Middle East situation in under two minutes, with predictable results. In pope-related news, Jay points out that someone at the Vatican must have been listening to him when last week he suggested that Francis meet with Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis. Finally, Jay tells a tale of Florida libertarians, ritual goat sacrifice, and the Invincible Sun God.