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Episode: Cuban Twitter, Supreme Court McCutcheon case…and More

Apr. 10th, 2014 

     The AP recently revealed that the US gov’t, through foreign aid organization USAID, funded a secret Twitter-like program to stir political unrest in Cuba. We discuss the revelation and the details of the program. We also discuss the consequences these revelations of secret programs are having on national security and on the credibility of the US government.

The Supreme Court ruled last week that overall limits on campaign donations were unconstitutional. The Court, in its opinion, stated that it was not a legitimate objective of government to “level the playing field” for candidates. We discuss the decision and what the Court’s decision may mean for the future of campaign finance.

Time stamps for this episode:

Cuban Twitter 17:50

McCutcheon Case 44:09


Ft. Hood, Unemployment, Obamacare Meets its Goal…and More

Apr. 3rd, 2014

     Unemployment benefits expired for about 2.2 million people at the end of December 2013. Republicans and Democrats are currently debating whether to pass, and how to pay for, an extension of those benefits. We discuss why the current bill making its way through the Senate should pass. We then broaden the discussion out to why we, as a country, need to differentiate between good and bad types of spending, and between government spending and government investment.

Obamacare to the surprise of many has reached its goal of 7.1 million enrollees before the end of the enrollment period. The President spoke before a group of supporters from the Rose Garden this week where he made the announcement. We discuss the implications of the program meeting its enrollment goal and what major questions still remain unanswered about the law moving forward.

Time stamps for this episode:

Thoughts and prayers with the victims of the Ft. Hood shooting 0:00

Unemployment 11:55

Obamacare 32:28


NSA Spying, Hobby Lobby Case, and More…

Mar. 27th, 2014

    The Obama Administration has proposed changes to the NSA surveillance programs that aim to assuage the fears of most Americans. Under the proposal telephone companies would keep the information and the NSA, if need be, would have to obtain a court order in order to analyze specific phone records. It was also revealed this week that the NSA has been trying to hack the network of Huawei, the Chinese global telecomm giant, after years of accusing the company of doing the same thing to us. We discuss the week’s developments and discuss the broader context of Edward Snowden’s revelations and whether they have done more good or more harm to the US.

Arts and crafts company the Hobby Lobby, has sued the Federal Government over the mandate to provide contraceptives, and specifically abortifacients, to its employees required under the Obamacare law. The company’s owners assert that the requirements force it to compromise its religious beliefs. The case has gone all the way to the Supreme Court and oral arguments were heard in the case this week. We briefly discuss the elements of the case and why the Hobby Lobby owners have a strong chance of success.

Finally we update the situation in Europe where President Obama and several European Leaders met this week for a nuclear summit but where the talk was dominated by the situation in Ukraine. Russia has annexed the Crimea region of Ukraine and much of the discussion centered on how to discourage Vladimir Putin from attempting to take over any more of it. We discuss the details of the current state of affairs and why we may be entering the most dangerous part of the crisis.

Time stamps for this episode:

NSA 10:22

Hobby Lobby 40:37

Ukraine 51:34


Episode: Obamacare, 2014 Political Landscape

Mar. 20th, 2014

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     With only 2 weeks left to go in the open enrollment period in Obamacare all eyes are on whether the Obama administration is going to meet its goal of getting 6 million Americans enrolled in the law. In this episode we discuss the enrollment numbers for Obamacare for the month of February. We also discuss the details of a new survey that points out that the majority of Americans are still not aware of the subsidies that are available to help them bring down the cost of Obamacare, as well as another finding that shows that the majority of new enrollees in the health care law may have been previously insured.

We then broaden the discussion out to how Obamacare promises to be the main subject of the political debate heading into the midterm elections this November. We discuss the special election in Florida’s 13th Congressional District and how Obamacare played the deciding role in that race and what that might mean for the broader election in November.


Episode: Ukraine and CIA-Senate Spying

Mar. 13th, 2014

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     Russia’s occupation of Ukraine is in its 3rd week now and shows no signs of letting up. Indeed it looks as though Russia is taking steps to see to it that Crimea becomes a permanent member of Russia. In this episode we talk about the international reaction to the crisis in Ukraine, the history of Russian involvement with Ukraine and what the state of the crisis is today.

The Chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Diane Feinstein, accused the CIA this week of spying on its staffers. The controversy has touched off a war or words and accusations of impropriety on both sides. It has led to a Justice Department investigation. We discuss the details of the allegations and what brought it all about.

Time stamps for this episode:

Ukraine 7:48

CIA/Senate Spying Scandal 34:37


Episode: Climate Change Part II, Obamacare - Rebroadcast

Mar. 6th, 2014

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     Climate change is an ever growing part of our national conversation. In part 2 of a special 2-part series we discuss the intersection of politics and climate change. We discuss steps taken by the international community to address the issues associated with global warming. We also discuss steps taken on the domestic front to address the climate change issues as well as some of the hot button issues it has lead to such as the Keystone Pipeline.

We also discuss the Obama Administration’s latest decision to delay the employer mandate of Obamacare for another year. This is the second time the administration has decided to delay the employer mandate and we discuss why this second delay may be the one that causes the law to be undermined the most.

Time stamps for this episode:

Climate Change 8:30

Obamacare 57:00


Episode: Ukraine, Obama Budget, Chris Christie

Feb. 27th, 2014

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     Recent events in the Ukraine have led to a potential re-ignition of Cold War feuds between Western Europe and the US, and Russia. We discuss the recent events, what led up to them, and what the possible fallout between Russia and the West could be.

President Obama has offered a sneak peak at his budget which is due for official release next week. He has asked Congress to authorize the closing of tax loopholes in order to raise money for updating our aging infrastructure. We discuss the request, our infrastructure deficit, and the need for us to take a long term approach to tackling some of the biggest problems facing us today.

Finally we discuss the ongoing firestorm surrounding Gov. Chris Christie and the investigation into members of his administration closing down the George Washington Bridge for political revenge on democratic opponents. We discuss why it may be better for everyone involved to hold off on discussing the scandal further until the results of the ongoing investigations are known.

Time stamps for this episode:

Ukraine 14:51

Obama Budget 38:20

Chris Christie 54:22


Episode: Climate Change Part II, Obamacare

Feb. 20th, 2014

     Climate change is an ever growing part of our national conversation. In part 2 of a special 2-part series we discuss the intersection of politics and climate change. We discuss steps taken by the international community to address the issues associated with global warming. We also discuss steps taken on the domestic front to address the climate change issues as well as some of the hot button issues it has lead to such as the Keystone Pipeline.

We also discuss the Obama Administration’s latest decision to delay the employer mandate of Obamacare for another year. This is the second time the administration has decided to delay the employer mandate and we discuss why this second delay may be the one that causes the law to be undermined the most.

Time stamps for this episode:

Climate Change 8:30

Obamacare 57:00


Episode: Climate Change Part I and the Debt Ceiling

Feb. 13th, 2014

     Climate change is an ever growing part of our national conversation. In part 1 of a special 2-part series we discuss the main aspects of the debate. We define the terms of the debate, discuss the facts that each side of the debate presents, and explain why there is very rarely a set of facts on either side that goes unchallenged.

We also talk about the decision by House Republicans to raise the debt ceiling this week without asking the President and Congressional Democrats for anything in return. The so-called clean vote cleared the way for Republicans to make Obamacare and the debt the main issues for the midterm elections coming up in November but may have also earned John Boehner a growing challenge to his tenure as Speaker.

Time stamps for this episode:

Climate Change: 16:55

Debt Ceiling Vote 46:40


Episode: The Shrinking Middle Class, Latest CBO Report

Feb. 6th, 2014

     The US middle class has been shrinking for decades.  Income inequality has grown increasingly worse in the US over the last three decades.  Incomes of the top 1% have seen significant growth while median incomes continue to stagnate.

In this episode we discuss the squeezing of the middle class as it relates to two specific issues: the growing opportunity gap and this country and the decrease of quality manufacturing jobs to foreign countries. 

We also discuss a report that was just released by the CBO that outlines the dire state of the nation’s debt and deficit.  We discuss the bleak picture that the report paints of our growing debt problem and also talk about some updated estimates that the report has made on Obamacare.

Time stamps for this episode:
State of the Union: 14:00
CBO Report 38:38

The CBO report can be found by clicking here.


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