Ukraine War, Student Debt Forgiveness, Alabama IVF Ruling, Diversity Admissions

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Mike and May open with a discussion of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the latest US sanctions as the war reaches the two-year mark. May is unclear as to the US’s goals and argues that this is reflected in declining public support for Ukraine. Mike believes the lack of support breaks down more along partisan lines, with Democrats more supportive than Republicans, and that the US goal is clear – to prevent Russia from overrunning Ukraine and to send a strong message to our allies and adversaries around the world.

Next is a look at the Biden administration’s latest student loan debt forgiveness. Neither Mike nor May feel this is the best policy, but Mike sees it as one of the few economic relief levers the administration can pull without getting buy-in from congressional Republicans. They also consider student loan debt forgiveness in light of more fundamental problems with higher education costs.

Following that they get into the ruling by Alabama’s supreme court that a wrongful death suit can go forward against a person accused of destroying frozen embryos at an IVF facility. They agree that the court made the right call based on Alabama’s constitution and the state’s Wrongful Death of a Minor statute, and debate the larger implications of this ruling as well as what legislative action they expect to see in response.

They close by considering why the US Supreme Court declined to take up an appeal to an equal protection challenge to a Virginia high school’s admissions program, as well as how schools across the country can factor diversity into their admission decisions without having their programs invalidated by courts.

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Alexander Ward on Restoring American Foreign Policy

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Mike talks with Alexander Ward, a national security reporter at Politico and anchor of National Security Daily. He’s the author of the recently released book, The Internationalists: The Fight to Restore American Foreign Policy After Trump, which they discuss on this episode.

Topics Mike and Alexander Cover Include:
– why post-Trump foreign policy needed restoration
– comparing Biden and Trump’s Secretaries of State
– Biden’s withdrawal from Afghanistan
– meeting the rising threat from China
– Russia and the war in Ukraine
– Middle East policy
– North Korea
– climate change

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Trump’s Civil Judgment, Navalny’s Death, Trump’s NATO Remarks, Biden and Netanyahu

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In this packed episode, Trey and Ken start by discussing the breaking news of Donald Trump’s civil judgment of $354.9 million in a New York court. Ken believes it will be difficult for the case to be overturned on appeal due to the need for a bond and because of the nature of the defense.

Following that they move to the next breaking story: the death of Alexei Navalny in a Russian prison. Trey and Ken both agree there is no good response because in large part the normal responses are already engaged. Ken hopes this might push Republicans toward supporting a Ukraine aid package.

Next, the pair turn to Trump’s NATO remarks over the weekend. Trey argues that the comments are terrible, in part because they burn down reasonable arguments over NATO. Ken argues that even if the U.S. had to foot the bill entirely it would be in its best interests to do so.

After that, they turn to a constellation of issues regarding Israel, including the relationship between Biden and Netanyahu. Trey sees the increasingly hostile relationship as a combination of factors, including Israel’s move to eliminate Hamas in its entirety and domestic pressure on Biden’s left. Ken somewhat optimistically believes that Biden can help broker a more lasting peace while looking forward to a two-state solution.

They close with a look at the flipped Santos seat for the Democrats and what that means for Speaker Johnson and the Senate funding bills for Ukraine and Israel.

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Biden’s Cognitive State, Trump Insurrection and Immunity Cases

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Mike and Jay open with a discussion of Special Counsel Robert Hur’s report on President Biden’s handling of classified documents. Mike argues that Hur should have been more neutral in his wording, while Jay doesn’t see any significant problems with how Hur presented his findings. They also consider the broader issues of memory, verbal gaffes, and cognitive fitness.

Following that, they consider the oral arguments before the Supreme Court concerning Donald Trump’s eligibility to run for president. They expect either a unanimous or 8-1 decision allowing Trump to run and discuss the multiple reasons why this is the right call.

They close with a look at the D.C. Circuit’s ruling that Donald Trump isn’t immune from prosecution for any actions he took as President. Mike characterizes the argument by Trump as a long-shot aimed at delaying a potential guilty verdict until after the 2024 election. Jay doesn’t disagree and predicts the Supreme Court will hear an inevitable appeal from Trump. Mike hopes the high court doesn’t hear the case at all, letting the D.C. Circuit’s decision stand, and allowing Trump’s trial to move forward as expeditiously as possible.

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Mayorkas Impeachment, Social Media, Alabama Execution, Biden’s Judges

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Mike and Ken open the episode with a discussion of the move by House Republicans to impeach Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. They examine the articles of impeachment and agree that they’re not very convincing, and consider how the Senate might proceed if the House votes to impeach Mayorkas.

Next, they turn to the Senate Judiciary Committee’s hearings on online harm to children. While there’s a bipartisan consensus that more should be done to keep kids safe online, Ken points out the problems with simply eliminating legal protections for social media companies. Mike contends that much of the harm done to kids online is unlikely to be addressable through legislation.

After that is a discussion of capital punishment in the wake of Alabama’s first-in-the-nation use of the nitrogen hypoxia execution method, followed by a discussion of whether it’s time for the Senate to speed up judicial confirmations by ending the “Blue Slip” home-state Senator veto for district court judge nominations.

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Navarro Sentencing, Secret Courts, The Republican Party

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This week’s special bonus show is our right-wing hosts: Trey and Jay!

They start the show with a few items from last week: Peter Navarro’s Sentencing and the new secret data courts formed by executive order. Jay is pretty firm that Navarro is a political prosecution. Where Trey and Jay do agree is that Trump will have a hard time continuing to find real staff as he steps back from those who supported him when it becomes convenient.

Next, they discuss the new court designed to allow Europeans to protect their privacy in the United States. But the court’s docket is unknown, if they take cases are unknown, and even the process for EU citizens is not clear. This leads Trey to question what the real intention of this court is and to a conversation about the importance of data privacy.

Finally, Trey and Jay give their take on the past, present and future of the Republican Party. They have large agreement on its origins and transformation. But where Trey despairs that the party is not only no longer what it once was, nor a place he finds a home, Jay believes that after short-term pain there is a future for conservatives.

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New Hampshire, Abbott’s Order, Immigration Bill

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Trey and Jay open a special right-wing look at the week’s politics! Next week the left takes over with Mike and Ken.

Trey and Jay open the episode diving deeply into New Hampshire’s Republican primary. This includes a look at the voter turnout, demographic shifts, delegate count, and what the exit of DeSantis means for the race. Trey is hopeful of a Haley victory and sees her easily defeating Biden on the most recent polling data. Jay is like sure and more sure that the race is effectively over. They also discuss the influence the civil ruling against Trump in the amount of $83.3 million

Next, they discuss Texas Governor Abbott’s recent order declaring an invasion and therefore the “right” of Texas to ignore the U.S. Supreme Court and Federal law. Jay and Trey agree that there is no historical nor constitutional basis to the order, but Jay argues the use of the term invasion is a good one in a cultural context. Trey deeply disagrees and the two have a deep debate over the merits of different immigration policies. Trey believes in the easier free movement of people without much benefit to deep border policies, Jay sees the need for tougher regulation to crack down on fentanyl and crime.

They close the show with an update on the possibility of an immigration bill paired with Ukraine / Israel funding. Jay believes it is likely and that House Republicans will take a win if they can get it. Trey believes McConnell that Republicans don’t want a win until Trump is in office and that some House Republicans are no votes without question.

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Iowa Caucuses, Budget Deal, US and Houthis, Immigration and Ukraine

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Mike and May open the episode with a look at Donald Trump’s decisive victory in Iowa and what may lie ahead for Trump, Nikki Haley, and Ron DeSantis in New Hampshire. Mike seems to be holding out some hope that Haley can mount a long-shot challenge to Trump, but May believes the race is all but over at this point.

Next, they welcome political scientist Kimberly Weir for a discussion of the US response to Houthi attacks on shipping in the Red Sea. Kimberly discusses the factors influencing the Houthi’s actions, May evaluates the US response, and Mike offers his thoughts on the military difficulties facing the US in responding to Houthi attacks.

Following that, Mike and May turn to the continuing resolution the averted a government shutdown. Mike believes that Speaker Mike Johnson bowed to the political and numerical realities of the situation in passing the CR despite the opposition of nearly half of his caucus.

They close by evaluating the chances for legislation on immigration and Ukraine aid in 2024, which neither of them believes to be too likely.

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Black Grief, White Grievance, and the Politics of Loss

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Mike talks with Juliet Hooker, the Royce Family Professor of Teaching Excellence in Political Science at Brown University. Professor Hooker is a political theorist specializing in racial justice and has authored multiple books, the latest of which is Black Grief/White Grievance: The Politics of Loss, which is the topic of their discussion.

Topics Mike and Juliet Cover Include:
– the meaning of Black grief and white grievance
– justified and unjustified political loss
– why the context of a loss is important
– differing responses to political loss
– the baseline entitlement assumptions of whites in America
– the politics of refusal
– racism and the narrowing of the political imagination
– the ‘dominant official romantic narrative’ of the civil rights movement
– repairing vs salvaging American democracy
– reasons for optimism

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Is Israel Committing Genocide in Gaza?

In this special bonus segment, Mike is joined by political scientist and international relations expert Kimberly Weir (who also happens to be married to Mike) for a discussion of whether or not Israel is committing genocide in Gaza and why South Africa brought their genocide claim before the International Court of Justice.

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