PG77: Recount!, Trump Transition, Conflicts of Interest, Obama Clemency

Both Mike and Jay thought the 2016 presidential election was over, but that’s not so, at least according to Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein, who has raised over $5 million dollars for recounts in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania – three states that put Donald Trump over the top in the Electoral College, and states that he only won by a combined total of around 100,000 votes. The Guys see this as more or less a Green Party publicity stunt, and don’t expect the recounts to change the results, which is in line what election experts expect.

Of greater concern is the now well-documented Russian efforts to influence the presidential election – not through hacking voting systems (which would be incredibly difficult) but through creating and distributing a massive amount of ‘fake news’ through social media. This ‘news’ was almost all anti-Clinton, and while there’s no good way to measure the impact it had on the election, it certainly didn’t help her campaign.

Next, Mike and Jay talk about the Trump transition, focusing on his use of YouTube, in what Jay sees as an almost FDR-esque manner. Mike points out that Trump also seems to be putting together his cabinet in what one could call a Lincoln-esque, ‘Team of Rivals’ fashion. They also consider the possibilities for conflicts of interest and out and out corruption in a Trump administration.

Finally, they talk about the record number of sentences President Obama has commuted – almost all for non-violent drug crimes involving mandatory minimum sentences. Mike and Jay agree that the Obama administration has been largely moving in the right direction on this. Jay is somewhat optimistic that this will continue in a Jeff Sessions led Justice Department, while Mike has serious doubts about that.

4 thoughts on “PG77: Recount!, Trump Transition, Conflicts of Interest, Obama Clemency”

  1. I enjoy your show, though I think it’s fair to say Mike commands most of the air time. I am a Trump supporter and I followed his campaign fairly closely, though I didn’t expect him to win. I’m glad he did. Most of the analysis I’ve read and heard indicates that the democrats’ mistake was ignoring white, middle-class or working-class voters. I agree with that assessment, and disagree with the theory that “fake news” and the Russians had much to do with the outcome. On that note, I have to ask this pointed question: Could Mike have possibly been more condescending to “the vast majority of voters” who, presumably, voted for Donald Trump because they didn’t know enough to make an “informed” choice to vote for Hillary Clinton? It seems to me Mike is falling into the same trap that democrats fell into by denigrating Trump voters simply because they voted for him. Give us a little more credit, won’t you.

    1. Hi Joe – thanks for commenting! I certainly didn’t intend to be condescending to anyone, and if you could let me know the specific point (or points) where you felt I came off that way, I would sincerely appreciate it, so I could review what I said and see if I agree. (And, if so, so that I can think about how I might do a better job of avoiding that in the future.) I really mean this, because I don’t recall that I denigrated Trump voters in any way, and it’s important to me that I don’t unjustly denigrate anyone.

      I don’t think that ‘fake news’ necessarily had a lot to do with the outcome, and what I tried to convey was my belief that nobody really knows, but that it probably only mattered at the margins. What, in my view, was far more important was the candidate the Democrats nominated and the sort of campaign she ran. And even more important than that may have been economic and other so-called ‘fundamentals’ that had little to do with the candidates themselves. – Mike

      1. Mike: Thanks for the reply; I didn’t expect that, and I’m pleasantly surprised. I thought your comments concerning the possible (albeit minor, if any) Russian influence on the election, where you say that “the vast majority of Americans [who don’t subscribe to your show]’ may have been influenced by the “largely anti-Clinton” fake news, presumably promulgated by the Russians, implied that mainly Trump voters responded to those anti-Clinton stories and decided to vote for Hillary, instead. That was my take; I may be off base, and that may not have been your intent, but that is the way it came across to me.

        1. That makes sense. I didn’t mean to suggest that Trump voters were more susceptible to fake news than Clinton voters, but I can definitely see how it seemed like I was saying that. Thanks for pointing it out!

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