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Khashoggi Killing, ‘Borrow and Spend’ Republicans, New Rule Targets Big Pharma

Mike and Jay open the show with discussion of the murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi by Saudi Arabian security personnel. Jay argues that while President Trump’s rhetoric has been typically Trumpian, in terms of substance his response has been measured and reasonable. Mike calls for strong action in response to the killing and argues that the Trump administration’s decision to go all in on friendship with the autocratic Saudi regime should be reconsidered. Then it’s a look...


Greg Lukianoff on the Coddling of the American Mind

Mike talks with Greg Lukianoff, attorney, New York Times best-selling author, and President and CEO of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE). He's the author of Unlearning Liberty: Campus Censorship and the End of American Debate, Freedom From Speech, and FIRE’s Guide to Free Speech on Campus. Most recently, he co-authored The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas Are Setting Up a Generation for Failure with Jonathan Haidt. Mike and Greg...


Trump's Op-Ed, Kavanaugh Apology, Midterms, Haley's Exit, Khashoggi's Murder

Trey Orndorff welcomes Alexandra Filindra from the University of Illinois at Chicago to The Politics Guys this week. The Politics Guys ask listeners to give us your comments and feedback on Alexandra and the show this week. First up Trey thanks listener Erik who caught a mistake last week. Trey said Justice Kennedy withdrew his support of Kavanaugh when he meant to say Stevens. Thanks Erik, we truly appreciate it! After the correction Trey and Alexandra get into the midterm question....


Sami Saydjari on Cyber-Threats

Mike talks with cybersecurity expert Sami Saydjari. He's been deeply involved in the fields for over three decades, working for organizations including the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), National Security Agency, and NASA, among others. He has published numerous papers, consulted national leaders on cybersecurity policy, and educated the public through interviews with national media including CNN, PBS, ABC, the New York Times, Financial Times, the Wall Street Journal, and...


Kavanaugh, Nafta 2.0, Hacks, Trump Money

This week Trey Orndorff and The Politics Guys is excited to introduce Athena King, a political scientist from Virginia State University. The Politics Guys asks that listeners listen to Athena and send us your feedback on what you think of the show. After introduction Trey and Athena again dress the newest developments concerning Brett Kavanaugh. Specifically the two discuss Kavanaugh’s Washington Post Op-Ed in defense of his hearings and the Friday cloture vote that opens the possibility of...


Onkar Ghate on The Enduring Appeal of Ayn Rand

Mike talks with Onkar Ghate, a senior fellow and chief philosophy officer at the Ayn Rand Institute. Dr. Ghate is the Institute’s resident expert on Objectivism and serves as its senior trainer and editor. He has taught philosophy for over ten years at the Institute’s Objectivist Academic Center. Dr. Ghate studied economics and philosophy at the University of Toronto and worked in the financial industry prior to joining the Ayn Rand Institute in 2000. He received his doctorate in philosophy...


Kavanaugh-Ford, the Budget, Jay Responds to His Critics, and a Trump Hypothetical

This week, Mike welcomes political scientist Will Miller back to the show. Will and Mike open by discussing the testimony of Christine Blasey Ford and Brett Kavanaugh Thursday before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Included is the perspective of Mike’s politically astute friend, Leah. While the Guys differ on whether Kavanaugh is the right person for the vacancy of the Court, they do agree on the credibility of Dr. Ford and her testimony. They also discuss what this means for future...


Kavanaugh Accusations, Trump Intel Release, Trade War, SCOTUS & Anonymous Donations

This week, Mike and Jay open the show with a look at the accusation of attempted rape leveled at Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh by Christine Blasey Ford. The Guys have a lot of differences of opinion on this issue, though they do agree on the importance of a process that is fair to both Professor Ford and Judge Kavanaugh. Next is a discussion of President Trump’s call to release intelligence related to the Russia investigation. Jay advances that argument that President Trump is lying...


Michele Gelfand on Rule Makers & Rule Breakers

Mike talks to University of Maryland cultural psychologist Michele Gelfand about her new book, Rule Makers, Rule Breakers: How Tight and Loose Cultures Wire the World. Topics Mike and Michele discuss include: the importance of culture in understanding politicswhy some cultures are 'tight' and others are 'loose'the advantages and disadvantages of tightness and loosenesstight culture support for 'loose' Donald Trumpthe geography of tightness and looseness in the United Statesthreat...


Woodward, Op-Eds, Cruz, Canada, and Manafort

Trey and Ken this week start off the show by looking at both the content and the fallout from Bob Woodward’s new book Fear. Both are fascinated with what it might mean for the organizational structure of the White House. Ken suggests that the drama of taking papers of the president’s desk is probably overplayed. Relatedly, Trey and Ken then look at the anonymous New York Times Op-Ed. In uncommon agreement, although for slightly different reasons, both Guys agree that the author should...


Larry Bartels on Democracy for Realists

Mike talks to Vanderbilt University political scientist Larry Bartels about his book (co-authored with Christopher Achen) Democracy for Realists: Why Elections Do Not Produce Responsive Government. Topics Mike and Larry discuss include: identity politicstribalismthe ‘folk theory’ of democracy and why it’s wronginattentive, uninformed, and irrational votersif the problem of ‘bad voters’ has been getting worse recentlyif polarization is really such a big dealthe potential problem of too much...


Kavanaugh Hearings, ‘Resistance’ Inside the White House, Arizona’s New (Old) Senator, Tech Threats

This week, Mike and Jay open the show with discussion of the Supreme Court confirmation hearings for Judge Brett Kavanaugh. They agree that the hearings are almost entirely political theater at this point and that everyone’s mind is made up. Mike argues that despite this, Democrats’ claim that they should be given sufficient time to review all of the potentially relevant documents relating to Kavanaugh’s career in public service is a good one. Jay is skeptical. Next is a look at leaked...


Do Never-Trumpers Skew the Numbers? and other questions answered

In this week of Ask the Politics Guys supporters ask Trey and Mike their most pressing questions. First they address the issue of if Trump’s support among Republicans is so high because never-Trump Republicans are leaving. Next the Guys turn to a question about how alternative voting methods might effect the number of parties that exist, they also address the seeming impersonal nature of voting in a proportional representation system. After that Trey and Mike respond to a more personal...


McCain’s Legacy, NAFTA, Google, and Printed Guns

Trey and Mike open this week looking at Senator John McCain’s legacy in the American political system. Whether you gave money to his campaign like Mike, or disagreed with his policies like Trey, both Guys agree that McCain was a honest Senator who worked tirelessly for his vision of a better United States. The question remains how the Senators of the future will — or can — carry on that legacy. Next Mike and Trey turn to NAFTA renegotiation. It appears that Mexico and the U.S. are close to...


Glen Weyl on Radical Markets: Uprooting Capitalism and Democracy for a Just Society

Mike talks with E. Glen Weyl, a Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research New York City, about his recent book with Eric Posner, Radical Markets: Uprooting Capitalism and Democracy for a Just Society. Mike and Glen discuss: why private property is a form of inefficient monopoly and how to fix itthe problem with ‘one person, one vote’ and a proposed alternativea radical alternative to our current immigration systemhow big institutional investors discourage innovation and growththe massive...


Manafort & Cohen, Kavanaugh Confirmation, Hunter Indictment, EPA & ‘Affordable Clean Energy’

Mike and Jay open the show with a discussion of President Trump’s very rough week. First was the conviction of former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort on eight counts of bank and tax fraud, followed by a plea deal between federal prosecutors and former Trump attorney Michael Cohen. The Guys discuss both the legal and political ramifications, as well as President Trump’s seeming inability to surround himself with ‘the best people’. Next is a look at Senate Democrat arguments for delaying...


Joshua Cohen on Donald Trump, Bernie Sanders, and Attention

Mike talks to novelist and essayist Joshua Cohen about his latest book, Attention: Dispatches from a Land of Distraction. In this talk, Mike and Joshua discuss: Donald Trump and the Fall of Atlantic CityWhat people who have worked with Donald Trump have to say about himEthnic whites and the Trump coalitionContrasting Donald Trump and Barack ObamaThe appeal of Bernie SandersDistraction and Attention Listener support helps make The Politics Guys possible. If you’re interested in supporting...


Behind the Scenes in the Obama (and Trump) White House with Beck Dorey-Stein (Politics Plus)

(There was a very short period in Mike’s life where he thought he could handle his teaching job, write a book, host The Politics Guys, and start a new podcast – Politics Plus. It soon became evident to Mike how insane trying to do all this at once was, and so he quickly shut down Politics Plus. But before he did, he’d posted four interviews – all of which he thinks are pretty good and are worth sharing with you as Politics Guys bonus episodes.) Mike talks with Beck Dorey-Stein, who worked...


Democratic Diversity, Pulling Security Clearances, Strzok Fired, Predator Priests, For-Profit Schools

Mike and Jay open the show with a look at the recent primary elections in Vermont, Connecticut, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Kansas. Mike is pleased to see his Democrats nominating diverse candidates, while Jay points out that while diversity is a good thing, being well-qualified, regardless of race, creed, or color is what’s most important. Next is a look at President Trump pulling former CIA Director John Brennan’s security clearance, with the administration planning more security clearance...


Libertarians, Medicare for All, GOP Racism, 3rd Parties, Obama Spying Scandal

In this listener comment episode Trey and Mike discuss: Listener Support helps make The Politics Guys possible. If you’re interested in supporting the show, go to