PG113: Charlottesville (again), Bannon’s Out, and the Rise of Hope Hicks

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This week’s show starts by examining Trump’s ever changing statement on Charlottesville, VA. Trump would end up setting a more measured tone renouncing Neo-Nazi’s and other hate groups, but then on Tuesday Trump became combative with reporters and argued there are two sides to the story, specifically calling out the “alt-left.” The shift has seemingly shaken the White House as Trump goes off message again.

Next, we look specifically at the ever evolving White House. This week it is the exit of Bannon. Early Friday news broke that Bannon had mutually agreed to leave, but that afternoon it became clear that Trump had asked him to step down. By late Friday reports emerged that Bannon would be returning to Breitbart. We talk generally about the White House churn and, specifically, what a “freed” Bannon means both for the news cycle and the White House.

After that the Guys discuss Hope Hicks, the 28 year old interim communications director. We also respond to some listener mail.

Mike’s Recommended Reading:

Neustadt’s Presidential Power

Bloomberg on Neustadt

Trey’s Recommended reading:

David McCullough’s The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris

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Journalist & Environmental Activist Mark Lynas

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Mike talks with author, journalist, and environmental activist Mark Lynas. He’s a frequent speaker around the world on climate change, biotechnology and nuclear power, and was climate change advisor to the President of the Maldeeves from 2009 – 2011. In 2013 he was appointed a Visiting Fellow at Cornell University’s Office of International Programs, and now works with the Cornell Alliance for Science, which is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

His books include Six Degrees: Our Future on a Hotter Planet, winner of the 2008 Royal Society Science books prize, The God Species: Saving the Planet in the Age of Humans, and, most recently, Nuclear 2.0: Why a Green Future Needs Nuclear Power.

Mark’s Recommendations:
Pandora’s Promise (documentary)
Food Evolution (documentary)

Follow Mark on Twitter

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Brooklinen
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Court Appointed, a podcast where co-hosts Mike and Tommy educate and entertain while exploring where laws – and all things legal – have originated and how they currently apply.

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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.

PG112: Charlottesville, North Korea, Opioid Emergency, Climate Report

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This week’s show starts with the tragic events in Charlottesville, VA where there were multiple clashes between white nationalist protesters and counter-protesters, the most horrific by far being a young white man deliberately ramming his vehicle into the counter-protesters, resulting in one death and 19 injuries. President Trump condemned the violence, but made no specific mention of white nationalists or other hate groups by name, instead pointedly saying that there was violence ‘on many sides’. Later on Saturday, the Justice Department announced that it would be starting a civil rights investigation into the the circumstances of the deadly car ramming.

Next, it’s a look at the situation between the United State and North Korea. As President Trump doubles down on his bellicose rhetoric in response to North Korea’s typical semi-lunatic public pronouncements, Mike and Jay consider whether President Trump has a strategy and what options the US has.

After that, the Guys discuss the opioid crisis, which President Trump has declared to be a national emergency, as well as a new draft climate report that government officials leaked to the media for fear that the Trump administration might downplay or possibly even bury their findings.

Mike’s Recommended Reading:
The Political Abstract

Jay’s Recommended Reading:
The Liberal Crackup (WSJ – paywall)

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Defense Spending, Future Jobs, Overpaying for Health Care, Fossil Fuel Subsidies

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In this listener mail episode, Mike and Jay tackle a bunch of questions including whether we’re spending the right amount of money on the right things for national defense, how to deal with a future in which machines are doing so many of the things people currently do, news outlets and columnists we don’t agree with but respect and recommend, why Americans pay so much for health care when American healthcare outcomes seem to lag those of other rich countries, and why we’re subsidizing the fossil fuel industry.

We hope you’ll check out the sponsors of this episode:
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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.

PG111: Scaramucci Out & Kelly In, Immigration, Jobs, Senate Ignoring Trump

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Mike and Jay start this week with an analysis of the shakeup among President Trump’s top advisors. First it was Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci being fired 10 days after he was named to the position and before his first official day on the job. The man behind the firing was new White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, who many conservatives hope will bring some order and discipline to the White House. Mike and Jay wonder if this is possible, given that so much of the chaos seems to come from the president himself.

Next it’s a look at the major restructuring of immigration policy for which President Trump signaled his approval. Neither Jay nor Mike think the move is advisable, but it’s clearly near and dear to the hearts of nationalists like top Trump advisor Steve Bannon.

After that the Guys take a look at some good jobs news, which President Trump quickly took full credit for, even though the pace of job creation over his first six months in office is actually slightly behind job creation during President Obama’s last six months in office. The larger point though is that presidents tend to get (and take) way too much credit for good economic news, and get way too much blame when the economy isn’t performing well.

Finally, Jay and Mike consider some actions recently taken by the Senate, particularly a move to shore up Obamacare, and wonder whether the Senate might be moving on from President Trump.

This Week’s Recommendations:
MikeGlobal Dispatches (podcast)
JayStruggling Americans Once Sought Greener Pastures – Now They’re Stuck.

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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.

Former Colorado Governor Bill Ritter on The New Energy Economy

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Mike talks to Bill Ritter Jr., director of the Center for the New Energy Economy at Colorado State University. Prior to that he served as Governor of Colorado from 2007 to 2011.

During his term, Governor Ritter established Colorado as a national and international leader in renewable energy by building a New Energy Economy that’s creating thousands of new jobs and establishing hundreds of new companies. He also enacted an aggressive business-development and job-creation agenda focused on knowledge-based industries of the future like energy, aerospace, biosciences, and information technology.

Governor Ritter is also the author of Powering Forward: What Everyone Should Know About America’s Energy Revolution.

Governor Ritter Recommends
The Advanced Energy Legislation Tracker
Spot for Clean Energy
Sue Tierney – The Analysis Group
The Atlantic Magazine

Follow the Center for the New Energy Economy on Twitter

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PG110: The Senate Skinny Bill Fails, Scaramucci Unloads, & the Senate Russian Sanctions

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This week Trey and Jay team up to take on a fast moving week in the world of politics! We start with the McCain and company torpedoing the so-called skinny bill in the Senate. It looks like Republicans are having a tough time passing legislation and both Trey and Jay agree that with any other Republican president the legislation would have passed. Then we turn to the profanity laced Anthony Scaramucci interview and Twitter fallout. It seems like the Twitter stream of consciousness is the new normal in the Trump White House – as Matt Drudge put it: “Priebus Out, General In.” Finally we move to talking about how Mitt Romney was right about Russia and the Senate’s sanctions on Russia plus the Russian response.

Trey’s Recommendation This Week:
– This War of Mine (Video Game)

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This week’s show is sponsored by:
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Lawrence Lessig on Campaign Finance Reform

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Mike talks with Lawrence Lessig, the Roy L. Furman Professor of Law and Leadership at Harvard Law School. Prior to his time at Harvard, Professor Lessig clerked for not one, but two of Mike’s intellectual heroes: Judge Richard Posner and Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.

Professor Lessig is the author of numerous books on law, commerce, culture, and ideas. His latest, Republic, Lost, Version 2.0, is a revised and expanded version of Republic, Lost, which Mike says is the best introduction to, and analysis of, not only campaign finance, but the fundamental incentives that drive public policy in the United States.

Professor Lessig followed up on Republic, Lost with a major campaign to enact the reforms he believes to be vital to restoring American democracy, including launching a political action committee, giving a number of TED talks, and most notably, running for the Democratic Party’s nomination for president in 2016.

Professor Lessig Recommends
Fifty Shades of Green: High Finance, Political Money, and the U.S. Congress. Thomas Ferguson, Jie Chen, Paul Jorgensen

Citizens Divided: Campaign Finance Reform and the Constitution. Robert C. Post

Unlock Congress. Michael Golden

Follow Lawrence Lessig on Twitter

Interested in supporting the show and getting even more Politics Guys content? Check out our Insiders program at patreon.com/politicsguys

This week’s show is sponsored by:
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Casper, where Politics Guys listeners get $50 dollars toward any mattress purchase by visiting casper.com/tpg

PG109: Health Bill, Spicer Resigns, Sessions’ Rough Week, Electoral Integrity

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This week, Mike and Jay open the show with their thoughts on Senator John McCain, who this week announced that he has a particularly aggressive form of brain cancer. Despite their occasional policy differences with Senator McCain, both of the Guys agree that McCain is a genuine American hero and wish him all the best as he fights his cancer.

Next, it’s a look at the confusing case of the Senate health bill, or bills actually, as there are at least four of them out there. Neither Mike nor Jay think any of them are likely to pass, and Mike questions how much of a legislative mastermind Majority Leader Mitch McConnell really is. They also discuss how President Trump might force the Obamacare exchanges into failure.

After that it’s a look at the shakeup in the White House communications operation, President Trump’s lack of faith in Attorney General Jeff Sessions, whether Sessions talked with the Russians about policy matters during the campaign, and what to make of President Trump’s electoral integrity commission, which held its first meeting this week.

Mike’s Recommendation This Week:
– My History Can Beat Up Your Politics (Podcast)

Jay’s Recommendation This Week:
– Charles Dickens Makes Me Want to Throw Up. David Mamet

Interested in supporting the show and getting even more Politics Guys content? Check out our Insiders program at patreon.com/politicsguys

This week’s show is sponsored by:
Dollar Shave Club, where new members get their 1st month of the Executive Razor with a tube of their Dr. Carver’s Shave Butter for ONLY $5 with free shipping by going to dollarshaveclub.com/TPG

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Kenneth Rogoff on Eight Centuries of Financial Folly & The Curse of Cash

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Mike talks with Dr. Kenneth Rogoff, Professor of Economics and Thomas D. Cabot Professor of Public Policy at Harvard University. From 2001–2003, Dr. Rogoff was Chief Economist at the International Monetary Fund. He’s a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, serves on the Economic Advisory Panel of the New York Federal Reserve, and is a member of the National Academy of Sciences as well as the American Academy of Arts & Sciences.

Dr. Rogoff’s books include Foundations of International Macroeconomics, the standard graduate text in the field, This Time Is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly, and, most recently, The Curse of Cash: How Large-Denomination Bills Aid Crime & Tax Evasion and Constrain Monetary Policy, which just came out in an updated paperback edition.

In this interview, Mike and Dr. Rogoff discuss:
– commonalities in financial crises
– the challenges of analyzing eight centuries of financial data
– whether Dodd-Frank was a step in the right direction
– why stability is inherently destabilizing
– the inevitability of financial crises
– why there are so many $100 bills in circulation
– who benefits from large denomination bills
– recommendations for macroeconomic literacy
– and lots more!

Dr. Rogoff Recommends
Lords of Finance. Liaquat Ahamed
Economix. Michael Goodwin
The Economist

Follow Dr. Rogoff on Twitter
Dr. Rogoff’s Website

Interested in supporting the show and getting even more Politics Guys content? Check out our Insiders program.

Your support of our sponsors helps keep The Politics Guys going. The sponsors of this show are:

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