Senate Trial, Lev Parnas, USMCA, Warren v Sanders, iPhone Hacking

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This week Trey and Ken start by tackling the weeks biggest issue: the Senate trial of President Donald Trump. The biggest focus for the hosts is the ongoing question concerning witnesses. Ken is reluctant to make a prediction, but Trey suggests there will be witnesses.

This leads the pair to Lev Parnas and the peculiar nature of Trump witnesses. It also leads to speculation on Ken’s part about the differences between a political trial and a civil trial. Specifically how in a political trial witnesses do not have to necessarily be relevant.

After this Trey brings up the quick passage of the USMCA and reminds Ken this is one of the few times he was wrong. The trade deal passed with bipartisan support. The pair discuss the few holdouts, most specifically Senator Sanders. His refusal to support the deal was a weakness in Trey’s view.

The topic of Sanders led to the next item: the Democratic debates. Here the topic of the issue of sexism between Sanders and Warren was discussed. Trey also suggested Sanders is not the best representation of his party.

Finally Trey and Ken tackled the new push for backdoors in cellphones, specifically the iPhone from Attorney General Barr and President Trump.

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Free Music Archive Love the Government.

Richard Robb on Choice in Economics, Politics, and Life

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Mike talks with Richard Robb, a professor of professional practice in international and public affairs at Columbia University and CEO of the investment firm Christofferson, Robb & Company, which he co-founded in 2001. They discuss his recent book Willful: How We Choose What We Do.

After the interview, Kristin joins Mike for a conservative perspective.

Topics Richard and Mike cover include:

  • the rational choice paradigm
  • behavioral economics
  • purposeful, ‘for itself’ action
  • how and why we pick beliefs that appeal to us
  • the four-step process of belief formulation
  • Pareto efficiency and public policy
  • if policymakers have enough skin in the game
  • choosing over time
  • the critical need for authentic challenges with real stakes and uncertain outcomes

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Iran Confrontation, Senate Impeachment Trial, Three Years of Trump

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This week, Mike and Kristin take on the confrontation between the U.S. and Iran, discuss what our clear policy goals should be regarding Iran, and whether those goals are feasible. Both agree that heading into a full-fledged war is a terrible idea, but while Mike argues that Trump’s pulling out of the Iran nuclear deal was disastrous, Kristin brings up that nothing before or since Trump has worked to create a stable Iran without nuclear capability and that the process needs to be rethought entirely. Mike also unpacks the House vote to force the President to come to Congress for authorization for future military action, and Kristin weighs in on Rep. Matt Gaetz’s point that Congress should have “skin in the game” when it comes to conflict and war.

Next, Kristin and Mike discuss the latest in the Senate impeachment trial saga. For just over three weeks, the Articles of Impeachment have been stalled. Mike gives Speaker Nancy Pelosi credit for her “gamesmanship”, arguing that this was a strategy to compile more witnesses, obtain more documents, and so on. They disagree on whether potential testimony from Joe Biden was a factor in Speaker Pelosi’s delay. Kristin believes that the maneuver was more political than strategic, but agrees with Mike that a fast timeline or a quick motion to dismiss aren’t in good form – on principle and in terms of politics.

Finally, Mike reminisces over the past three years since Trump’s inauguration – what he’s learned, what has changed for him, and he presents some interesting ideas that are in line with a desire to curb executive power. Kristin and Mike discuss whether political bias plays a role in this desire to curb executive power (spoiler alert: they agree that it definitely does).

Today’s show is sponsored by SaneBox – email management for any inbox. For a free two-week trial and $25 credit, go to sanebox.com/politicsguys.

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Binyamin Appelbaum on The Economists’ Hour

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Mike talks with Binyamin Appelbaum, who writes about economics and business for the editorial page of the New York Times. From 2010 – 2019 he was a Washington correspondent for the Times, covering economic policy in the aftermath of the 2008 crisis. They discuss his recently released book: The Economists’ Hour.

After the interview, Jay joins Mike to provide a conservative perspective.

Topics Mike & Binyamin discuss include:

  • why markets are wonderful
  • Keynesianism, monetarism, and supply side economics
  • the massive influence of Milton Friedman
  • fine-tuning the economic machine
  • balancing unemployment and inflation
  • the shifting value of a human life
  • why we shouldn’t reinstate 20th century financial regulations
  • President Trump’s ‘turtle shell nationalism’
  • defending Alan Greenspan
  • and lots more!

Binyamin Appelbaum’s NYT Columns

Binyamin Appelbaum on Twitter

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Middle East Tensions, Democratic Race, Hopes & Predictions for 2020

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Mike & Jay open the show with a discussion of the escalating tensions between Iran, Iraq, and the United States in the aftermath of the U.S. killing of Iranian Quds Force commander Quasem Soleimani. Jay thinks that the Trump administration may have made the right move, but Mike is concerned that the blowback could be worse than any benefits from Soleimani’s death.

Next is a look at the Democratic presidential race, including Julian Castro’s exit from the race, whether Iowa and New Hampshire should be the first two contests, and the nearly $200 million that Michael Bloomberg has spent.

After that, Mike & Jay talk about their hopes and predictions for 2020, focusing on President Trump’s Senate trial, the Durham Report, China, Iran, and the 2020 elections.

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Trump Impeached, IG Report Aftermath, 2020 Budget, USMCA

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President Trump has been impeached but the odds are strongly against him being removed from office. Mike & Jay open the show talking about the impeachment vote, what happens next, and the potential electoral consequences.

After that, they discuss the aftermath of Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s findings on the FBI’s conduct of the ‘Crossfire Hurricane’ investigation, including Horowitz’s Senate testimony and the FISA court ordering the FBI to clean up its act.

Then it’s a look at the $1.4 trillion 2020 budget, which has something for everyone but which neither Mike nor Jay are entirely happy with, followed by the House of Representatives’ approval of the USMCA trade agreement (or, as Mike likes to call it ‘CAMUS’).

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The Politics Guys and Future Hindsight

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Mike talks with Mila Atmos, host of the Future Hindsight podcast. They discuss rights and responsibilities in a democracy, cynicism, adopting a cause, the 2020 Democratic presidential field, Joe Biden as the DNC’s chosen candidate, the impeachment of President Trump, how to make a difference, why Mila is hopeful, and lots more. After the interview, Trey joins Mike to provide a conservative perspective.

Update: Mila checked in after the episode dropped, and confessed to also being a Cory Booker fan. When she was in Iowa in November, a voter asked her who he should caucus for, and she emphatically replied, “Booker!”

Future Hindsight on Twitter

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IG Report, Articles of Impeachment, USMCA, Executive Orders on Jewish Identity, UK Elections

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This week Trey is joined by Ken and they begin the show by exploring the Justice Department’s inspector general, Michael Horowitz’s, report into the potentiality of a political bias by the FBI. Next the pair turn to the House Judiciary Committee’s party-line vote to move forward two articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump to the full house floor. Trey and Ken then discuss the United States-Mexico-Canada-Agreement which may replace NAFTA — both its provisions and the likelihood of passage. After that the pair turns to President Trump’s recent executive order attempting to crack down on discrimination against Jewish individuals, specifically on college campuses. Finally, as is their custom, Trey and Ken cross the pond and talk Boris Johnson’s big Conservative victory in the British Parliament.

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Jacob Hacker on The Great Risk Shift

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Mike talks with Yale political scientist Jacob Hacker about the newly revised version of his book The Great Risk Shift. After the discussion, Jay joins Mike for a discussion of Hacker’s key ideas.

In this interview, we discuss the rise in economic insecurity, declining social mobility in the US, the ‘old contract’ versus the ‘new contract’ between employers and workers, technological change & globalization, the waves and the tides of the economy, Medicare for all, reasons to be hopeful, and lots more.

Here’s Mike’s previous discussion with Dr. Hacker, on his book American Amnesia.

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Impeachment, Harris Out, Biden’s ‘No Malarkey’ Tour, Cutting SNAP

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This week Jay and Mike talk impeachment and the balance of power between the executive and legislative branches. For the fourth time in history the House is drafting articles of impeachment. But are the Democrats moving too quickly and does that make impeachment a tougher sell for the voting public?

Then the Guys talk about the state of the race for the Democratic nomination in the wake of Kamala Harris’s departure from the race.  Also, is a “No Malarkey” tour a stroke of marketing genius or terrible branding?

Finally, Jay plays Scrooge while Mike plays Santa in discussing proposed changes in the SNAP program and work requirements.

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