Infrastructure Passes With Build Back Better Delayed, Republican Electoral Gains

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Mike & Jay start off the show by discussing the flurry of last-minute activity that led to the eventual passage of the infrastructure bill, with House progressives (at least enough of them) agreeing to support it in exchange for a commitment from Democratic moderates that they’d support Build Back Better as long as the CBO cost analysis – due in the next few weeks – largely mirrors White House projections. Mike and Jay both support the infrastructure bill (Jay less enthusiastically than Mike) while Mike is more confident than Jay that Build Back Better will also head to President Biden’s desk in the near future.

After that they turn to Tuesday’s elections with a special focus on the Virginia gubernatorial election. Jay believes that Democrats erred in playing the race card in the governor’s race, and that things look good for Republicans in the next year’s midterm elections. Mike focuses more on structural factors which he believes will almost inevitably lead to Democrats losing control of one or both chambers after 2022, and Donald Trump being well positioned for another run at the presidency in 2024.

Mike Recommendation
Democracy in America. Alexis De Tocqueville

Jay’s Recommendation
Big White Ghetto. Kevin WIlliamson
“The Tuesday” Newsletter. Kevin Williamson

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Trump’s Opinion, DOJ Memo, Virginia Gubernatorial Race

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This week Trey and Ken tackle the Wall Street Journal’s opinion piece by Trump. Trey grapples with the rule by which to hold opinions in a liberal society while Ken thinks the WSJ should have contextualized the Trump piece. Next the pair discuss the DOJ Memo on potential violence at school board meetings and the subsequent grilling of Garland in Congress. This leads to a conversation on whether the distance between parents and school boards is a grassroots movement or astroturfing. Finally the pair talk Virginia gubernatorial politics and weigh in on what the race means for the 2022 midterms.

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Supreme Court Stay, Supreme Court Commission, Biden on Taiwan, Manchin’s (Lack of) Spending

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This week the Republican (Jay) and the RINO (Trey) take over the show. The pair start discussing the Supreme Court’s refusal to uphold the lower court stay on the Texas abortion ban. Next they discuss the political and ideology of the Supreme Court and the recently released draft findings of the Biden Supreme Court Commission. Next, they move to foreign policy and the recent war of words between Biden and Taiwan. The pair close the show with a discussion of Manchin’s threat to be willing to go with $0 of new federal spending.

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Eric Posner on How Antitrust Failed Workers

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Mike talks with Eric Posner, the Kirkland and Ellis Distinguished Service Professor of Law at the University of Chicago, about his latest book, How Antitrust Failed Workers. In this discussion, they cover:

– monopolies and monopsonies
– labor market concentration
– why there are so few labor-focused antitrust actions
– important differences between labor markets and product markets
– the use and abuse of non-compete and no poaching agreements
– how antitrust law can be used to help workers
– and lots more

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Texas Abortion Law, Jobs & Inflation, The Nobel Price & Minimum Wage Increases

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Mike & Jay open the show with a discussion of the 5th Circuit overturning a federal district court judge and allowing Texas’ abortion law to remain in effect. Neither Mike nor Jay believe the law is constitutional according to current precedents, but Texas’ clever crafting of the law has made it more difficult for federal courts to enjoin it. Jay wonders when there will be a high profile case with a non-state defendant, which would circumvent the “you can’t sue Texas because Texas isn’t directly enforcing the law” argument. Mike points out that even if the law is eventually overturned it will have achieved in part what many pro-life advocates hoped for — making it much more difficult for women to terminate their pregnancies, at least for a time.

Next is a look at a bunch of economic data on jobs, job switching, unemployment, and inflation. Mike sees the economic news as mixed, but believes that current inflationary pressures are temporary and that it’s a good thing that workers have greater leverage to demand higher pay. Jay is less optimistic about inflation in particular, and is more willing than Mike to attribute much of what we’re seeing to overly-generous government support. Mike admits that Jay will almost certainly end up right in his 2021 year end inflation prediction (Jay predicted around 5%, Mike thought it would be closer to the 2% range), but Mike then decides to make even more predictions – that the CPI will be under 4% by mid April of 2022 and under 3% by July of 2022. Jay thinks both numbers will be higher than that.

Finally, they consider the minimum wage in light of this year’s Nobel Prize in Economics going to economist David Card, who is most well known for his work on the minimum wage. Mike points to a considerable body of research suggesting that the conventional wisdom viewing minimum wage hikes are “job killers” is, if not entirely incorrect, at least somewhat overstated. Jay isn’t as convinced, and while he agrees that there probably should be a wage floor, the federal minimum wage shouldn’t be raised. 

Mike Recommendation
The Chair (Netflix)

Jay’s Recommendation
Jay’s amicus brief to the Ohio Supreme Court on unemployment insurance benefits. (Only 12 pages – totally worth checking out to witness Jay doing his “real job” thing.)

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Debt Agreement, Facebook Whistleblower, Abortion Injunction

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Trey & Mike open the show with the recently passed debt resolution keeping the government open until December 3. The two pick up where Mike & Jay left off last week on the topic of the debt ceiling and its historic origin. Further the two discuss predictions for what December may hold.

Next, they discuss the interconnected issues of Whistleblower Frances Haugen and the recent revelations about Facebook by the Wall Street Journal. Mike has a fairly pessimistic view of any change while Trey sees the possibility for reform in changes to privacy forcing business changes.

Finally, it’s time to talk about the recent Federal District Court injunction on Texas’ abortion ban. Both hosts agree the mechanism is flawed. Trey is more supportive of a broader conception of life and personhood, but Trey & Mike agree that Congress could take a larger role. In this topic they also discuss the forgotten potential importance of the 9th and 10th Amendments and Trey argues the nature of Constitutional Amendments made future one’s more difficult.

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Government Funding & Debt Ceiling, Biden’s Big Bills, Presidential Approval

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Mike & Jay open the show with a look at the last minute continuing resolution that keeps the government going until early December, as well as prospects for a default when the debt ceiling is reached on or around October 18. Mike agrees with Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen that the debt ceiling should be eliminated (or at least set at one quattuordecillion dollars), whereas Jay believes it’s a useful speed-bump that might help to provide some small measure of fiscal responsibility.

Next, they discuss the fate of two massive intertwined bills – the $1 trillion infrastructure bill and the $3.5 trillion budget resolution. Mike & Jay stick with their predictions that both will eventually pass, and while Jay sees this as a sign that the progressives are in charge of the House, Mike argues that progressives will end up with a whole lot less than they hoped for.

Finally, it’s an examination of presidential approval. With President Biden’s approval rating underwater, Donald Trump has been sounding and acting more and more like a 2024 presidential hopeful. While it’s a long way until the next presidential election, right now Trump is the Republican with the best odds according to Sports Betting Dime. After Trump, it’s Ron DeSantis, Nikki Haley, and Mike Pence. 

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Values, Cancel Culture, and The Politics Guys; COVID Vaccines; Immigration

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Today, on a very special Politics Guys,  Mike and Jay talk cancel culture, shared values, and why they started the show. Listen with the whole family. Then its the COVID update, and when is it OK for a political appointee to challenge “The Science”?  And the immigration mess — the Senate Parliamentarian reaches the conclusion that overhauling immigration policy is a policy change, and down in the west Texas town of Del Rio, 30,000 Haitian immigrants don’t have to go home, but they can’t stay here (or can they?)

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COVID, AUKUS, Freedom to Vote, Peril

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On this week’s show Trey is joined by Ken. The duo discuss COVID vaccine efficacy in light of last week’s disagreement between Kristin and Trey. The pair also talk AUKUS, the technology sharing agreement between the U.S., the U.K. and Australia. Finally, the two discuss the upcoming moderate Freedom to Vote Act and the excerpts from the upcoming book Peril.

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Biden Vaccine Mandates, DOJ Sues Texas over Abortion Law, 9/11 – 20 Years Later

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On this week’s show, Mike and Kristin are joined by Trey. They discuss the Biden Administration’s sweeping vaccine mandates as well as the DOJ suing Texas over its most recent abortion ban. Finally, the three hosts look back on 9/11 and 20 years of policy since – as well as the future of Afghanistan and the ramifications of Taliban leadership there.

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