Syria, Impeachment, China-NBA, and the Supreme Court Term

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Will and Brian begin by discussing President Trump’s decision to pull troops for Northern Syria and its potential impact on the Middle East and America’s battle with ISIS. Will points out that even Trump’s typical allies are openly questioning this decision—including Graham, McConnell, Netanyahu, and Saudi Arabia. Brian is concerned with the impact this could have on the Kurds—even projecting that ethnic cleansing could be the ultimate result of this decision. Will and Brian both posit that this could have electoral impacts—possibly even swaying some on their feelings toward the impeachment inquiry.

Next, the Guys turn to examining the current state of the impeachment inquiry. Will notes that there still doesn’t seem to be a smoking gun that makes it likely to him that Trump is removed from office. Brian agrees, noting that while he finds plenty of things Trump has done to be impeachable they read like an anthology. Will continues to question why if the Russia investigation was such a smoking gun for Democrats that they have completely abandoned that narrative in exchange for the Ukraine. He further wonders why Democrats aren’t focusing their energies more toward the 2020 election. Brian also argues that awakening the Trump base and relying on polls today is problematic for Democrats.

Brian and Will then turn to discussing the free speech and trade implications of the current National Basketball Association-China feud. Both believe the Rockets General Manager was well within his rights to tweet support for Hong Kong but should have realized it could lead to significant backlash. Given the current NBA revenue coming from Chinese partnerships, Will wonders how league owners will ultimately respond. Both Guys believe the NBA was wrong to not unequivocally back the right of the individual to send the tweet in the first place and wonder how the timing of this event will impact ongoing U.S.-China trade talks.

Lastly, the Guys talk about the upcoming Supreme Court term. They focus on the Louisiana abortion case in this episode. Brian is concerned about diminishing rights for women. Will argues that regardless of what one feels about the issue of abortion, using assumptions of risk to justify limiting abortion is not a data-informed argument to make today.

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