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New episodes every Thursday

The President’s Short Coattails

Nov. 19th, 2015

     Democrats have lost 76 seats in Congress and 15 seats in the Senate over the last two midterm elections. The news has been even worse further down the ballot. Since 2010 the Democratic Party has lost over 900 seats in state legislatures across the country. In this episode we discuss one of the more underreported aspects of the Obama Presidency: the weakened state the Democratic Party finds itself in as the president’s second term draws to a close.

We also discuss last week’s deadly attacks in Paris, their effects on the 2016 campaign and their implications going forward.

Keystone Ends, Carson Fibs and Jeb Fades

Nov. 12th, 2015

     After a nearly 7-year review period, the President has rejected the application for the KeystoneXL pipeline. The President found that the pipeline would not make a meaningful long-term contribution to our economy. But wasn’t most of what the President based that finding on known as much as 4 years ago?

Two candidates who have received increased scrutiny in the Presidential Campaign in recent weeks are Ben Carson and Jeb Bush. But for very different reasons. Carson’s scrutiny has come as the result of a rise to the top of the polls and is focused on apparent inconsistencies in his biographical story. Bush’s has come as he continues to underperform in the polls and is focused on whether his campaign is in danger of petering out. We discuss these stories and more and attempt to clarify what the real news is and what is sensationalism.

Syria and ISIS are Linked

Nov. 5th, 2015

The President recently announced that the U.S. would be deploying 50 Special Operations forces troops to Kurdish controlled territory in northern Syria. They will help Kurdish forces in their fight against ISIS. That is in addition to the roughly 3,050 U.S. forces that are currently in Iraq. The president likes to say that the US will not get involved in the Syrian Civil War nor will we commit to putting boots on the ground against either Syria or ISIS but have we been on our way to doing both for quite some time? We discuss in today’s episode.

Ryan Rises, Trump Tanks

Oct. 29th, 2015

     Representative Paul Ryan has been elected Speaker of the House. It capped off a couple of weeks of intense lobbying on the part of the Republican caucus to get him to take the job.

Donald Trump has been the leader of all the polls for the Republican nomination since the summer. But this week saw him fall from the top spot in polls in the important early primary state of Iowa as well as a few national polls.

In this episode we discuss the maneuvering that got Paul Ryan to agree to seek the Speakership and the state of the campaign for Donald Trump.

Flipping Without Flopping

Oct. 22nd, 2015

     Ideological consistency is one of the traits the American public values most in its elected leaders. What makes it especially significant is that oftentimes we value it more than we realize we do. Switching positions on matters of policy is one of the riskier propositions for candidates running for office. Is it possible to do it without suffering dire political consequences?

Hillary Clinton recently switches positions on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the KeystoneXL Pipeline. In this episode we discuss the recent switches and the odds that she survives them without significant damage to her campaign.

The House that Newt Built

Oct. 15th, 2015 

     Speaker of the House John Boehner announced his resignation a few weeks ago. Kevin McCarthy, was set to assume the Speakership but was forced to drop out of the race after he made controversial comments about Hillary Clinton and the House Select Committee set to up to look into the Benghazi tragedy.

McCarthy’s announcement set off chaos in the House where there is a vacancy in the Speaker’s chair that no one seems capable, or willing, to fill. How did we get to the point in our nation’s politics where the position second in line to the Presidency is a job no one wants? We discuss in today’s episode.

Time to Lead from the Front on Syria

Oct. 8th, 2015 

     Last week Russia launched military operations in Syria. It’s claimed that the strikes are meant to combat the advance the terrorist group ISIS. But the strikes were aimed at areas that are controlled by forces fighting against Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad in a bloody civil war. Bashar is a Russian ally.

In this episode we detail the history leading up to this point in the Syrian Civil War and discuss why it may be time for the Obama Administration to reevaluate its policy toward the conflict.

John Boehner’s Last Attempt

Oct. 1st, 2015 

     Speaker John Boehner announced last week that he would be resigning both as Speaker and from Congress at the end of October. His speakership had become a lightening rod in Congress between the conservative wing of his party and the establishment wing. Rather than subject his Caucus to what he thought would be a series of tough votes, he chose to resign. In this episode we review John Boehner’s career and discuss why the story of his speakership may be one of lost opportunity.

The Presidential Campaign Moves into the Live Stage

Sept. 24th, 2015 

There have been several big developments in the presidential campaign recently. Rick Perry dropped out, Carly Fiorina, on the strength of 2 solid debate performances, has shot up in the polls and Scott Walker, an early frontrunner, decided to suspend his campaign. In this episode we break down these developments and discuss how all the preparation in the world cannot fully prepare one for what a live campaign is like.

Joining the Circus

Sept. 17th, 2015 

     Last night the second Republican primary debate was held in Simi Valley, California. Early reports are that nearly 23 million people watched on television, making it the highest rated program in CNN’s history. The first Republican primary debate, televised by Fox in August, was watched by 24 million viewers, making it the most watched primary debate ever.

The high level of attention paid by the viewing public is seen as a positive by anyone who would like to see engagement in the national conversation rise. But will networks now begin to eschew a substantive debate format opting instead to instigate bickering between candidates in order to cash in on the ratings bonanza? We discuss in today’s episode.

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