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.
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
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.
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.