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No more exercising

Leo and Joe talk about the President Trump’s surprising decision to cancel military exercises after his summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (0:45) and how allies are taking the news (4:30). Then they talk about why the White House still hasn’t formally nominated its candidate to take over the top Veterans Affairs job (7:45). Finally, the pair discuss why the military hates Nike’s new logo but is OK with military-themed cologne (14:00).


No summer vacation

In this episode, Leo and Joe talk about the Senate’s cancellation of August break and what it might mean for defense policy on Capitol Hill (1:00). Then the guys discuss how the Defense Department got dragged into a trade war (5:30) and why burn pits are in congressional conversation again (10:45). Finally the pair discuss how Top Gun 2 is ruining Joe’s childhood memories (18:00).


F-35 is not a curse word

In this episode Leo and Joe welcome Defense News’ Val Insinna to talk about defense aviation issues, including the ongoing saga of the F-35 (1:00) and potential congressional fights over the JSTARS program (10:00). They also talk about issues with new Air Force tankers (14:30) and morale among military pilots. Finally, the trio talks about the coolest military flights they’ve taken (22:00).


North Korea confusion

Leo and Joe discuss what troops should take away from the drama surrounding on-again, off-again summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (0:45). They also discuss the 2019 military pay raise plan (5:00) and potential defense budget fights in the months ahead (8:45) before Joe gets nerdy about defense policy management and the sage grouse (12:30). Finally, the two end the episode with thoughts about Memorial Day and service member stories they have covered...


Why the US could never have another war 'authorization' again

Leo and Joe discuss the big VA and defense issues on Capitol Hill in recent weeks, including the inevitability of the annual defense authorization bill (1:30), the surprising passage of sweeping new veterans legislation (3:30), the hopelessness of the AUMF debate (5:30) and the never-ending fight over defense appropriations levels (8:45). Finally, the two discuss corporate sponsorship opportunities that the Pentagon should consider (11:30).


Micro episode: VA surprise!

Leo and Joe discuss the surprise announcement Friday of Robert Wilkie as the next VA Secretary nominee (0:30), Joe’s prediction weeks ago that Wilkie would be the pick (2:30) and what the confirmation process for the longtime bureaucrat may look like (4:30).


The defense policy all-nighter

Leo and Joe discuss the excitement of covering a 14-hour defense policy mark-up (0:30) including snacks handed out by lawmakers to the press on NDAA day. They also talk about proposals to cut civilian defense workers (4:00), nuclear strategy fights (8:00), Trump’s proposed military parade (10:30) and the sage grouse’s connection to military readiness (13:00). Finally, they wrap up with their own pitches for the script of Rambo 5 (17:00).


Aviation disasters and immigration

Leo and Joe welcome Military Times Pentagon Bureau Chief Tara Copp to discuss the latest military aviation tragedy (0:40) and why the Pentagon won’t talk openly about its growing aviation crisis (6:00). They also discuss Tara’s reporting on DOD immigration issues (8:45) and how both of those problems play into larger recruiting worries for the armed forces (11:40). Finally, the group discusses what the president’s proposed Space Force will mean for defense reporting (15:15).


Trump’s VA nominee implodes

Leo and Joe discuss what happened with the president’s pick to take over as the next VA secretary (0:45), what this means for the future of the nearly $200 billion department (5:10) and the potential legal fallout for White House physician Rear Adm. Ronny Jackson (7:50). They also cover Defense Secretary Jim Mattis’ recent comments on Syria (11:00) and end with possible roles for Kayne West in the Trump administration (15:20).


Non-stop NDAApalooza

This week, Leo and Joe discuss the upcoming debate over the annual defense authorization bill and why defense reporters will follow its public mark-up for 18 hours.


Political Fallout Shelter: Aftermath of the Syria attacks

Leo and Joe discuss the surprise weekend air strikes against Syrian military sites (:45) and the congressional reaction to President Donald Trump’s decision to use force in response to the Syrian government’s use of chemical weapons (3:00). They also discuss what limits have and haven’t been placed on executive branch war powers (6:30) and the possible impact of House Speaker Paul Ryan’s retirement announcement on Capitol Hill defense priorities (12:15). They end with a look at the...


Political Fallout Shelter: Border Security Surprises

WASHINGTON — In this week’s episode of Political Fallout Shelter, Leo and Joe preview Defense Secretary Jim Mattis’ upcoming visit to Congress to discuss the fiscal 2019 budget and a host of other issues he might rather ignore. They include President Donald Trump’s recent announcement to deploy military members to help secure the southern U.S. border, a move that Pentagon officials are still trying to walk back as less dramatic than the White House initially advertised. That work comes...


Political Fallout Shelter: VA Secretary Ouster edition

This week’s emergency episode of Political Fallout Shelter focuses on the sudden firing of VA Secretary David Shulkin and his controversial replacement. Marine Corps Times Managing Editor Andrea Scott joins Leo to discuss what the president did and didn’t say about Shulkin. The firing ends weeks of speculation about his job status and infighting within the massive VA bureaucracy. This is the second time in four years the nation’s top VA official has been forced out by scandal. Veterans...


Political Fallout Shelter: Hit by the Omnibus

In this week’s episode of Political Fallout Shelter, Leo and Joe talk about the last-minute panic surrounding the full year budget bill, including a presidential veto threat. The funding measure includes $700 billion for the military — a point which the White House has brought up over and over in recent days — and doesn’t include a massive veterans policy deal, which has upset a number of outside advocates. Also, Joe and Leo settle their bet from last week. It’s not quite the same money...


Political Fallout Shelter: Lack of BRAC?

In the inaugural episode of our new podcast, Military Times Deputy Editor Leo Shane III and Defense News Capitol Hill Bureau Chief Joe Gould introduce viewers to the stories behind the latest military happenings on Capitol Hill. Each week, they’ll bring an insider’s perspective on what the biggest headlines are, why the public should care, and what’s coming next. This week, that conversation focuses around the upcoming fiscal 2019 defense budget debate and the absence of a annual punching...