DecodeDC

DecodeDC

Australia

A reliable, honest and entertaining podcast about Washington D.C’s people, culture and politics.

Episodes

186: The skinny on Trump's skinny budget  

The President came out with his version of the budget - which he called a "skinny budget". While lots of people freaking out, we ask: what is a skinny budget, and does it really matter?

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185: A Warning Against Hyperpartisanship From 1796  

The warnings George Washington made in his farewell address — about hyperpartisanship, excessive debt, and foreign wars — have incredible resonance today, says John Avlon, the author of “Washington’s Farewell.” He speaks with Jimmy about what we can learn from the address and how its message was once appropriated by Nazis, in 1939. Plus: John reveals that President Washington had bad credit.

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184: Obamacare Trumpcare Healthcare 101  

What’s the individual mandate? Who’s in a high-risk pool? How do tax credits work in health care? With the debate over the future of health care in America raging, we go back to basics and explain some important concepts with the help of Sarah Kliff from Vox. Also in this episode, Jimmy reveals his age — and Sarah reveals which health care option tripped her up last year.

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183: Trump is at odds with the courts. Has a president ever defied them?  

President Donald Trump recently gave the federal courts the proverbial middle finger, lashing out on Twitter at a “so-called judge” who had ruled against him and promising “see you in court” after losing an appeal. Has this happened before or is this the new normal? This week: Donald Trump’s apparent disdain for the federal judiciary and whether there’s a precedent in history.

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182: I'm a reformed lobbyist. Ask me anything  

You asked and we answered. This week: what’s the difference between lobbying and bribery, a real example of a lobbyist buying their agenda into law (or failing to), and the best reform for the lobbying industry. Plus, Jimmy’s former salary.

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181: How cops can legally take your car, home, or cash  

When Tien Nguyen stopped at a rest area in Kansas, he didn't expect to have his car searched by the highway patrol - and when they took $40,000 he had in cash and sent him on his way, he was furious. But he was astounded when he learned that it was all completely legal. It's a practice called civil asset forfeiture, and in this week's episode, we hear about how Tie has to go to court to get his money back. We also talk to his lawyer, who wants the system changed completely, and we hear from someone who uses the practice all the time in his job.

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180: What the hell is a trade war?  

Everything you’ve always wanted to know about trade, trade deficits, tariffs, trade wars, courtesy of Felix Salmon of Slate Money. Plus, Felix explains which is better — a strong dollar or a weak one.

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179: A user's guide to 'alternative facts,' aka lies  

Imagine being lied to, repeatedly, for days on end, and what that does to your brain. Well, you may not have to imagine it—it seems like more and more “alternative facts” are coming out of Washington every day. In this episode, author Maria Konnikova tells us how repeated lies affect our brain, and Paul Singer of USA Today tells us how to deal with it.

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178: Hey Tea Party, meet your lefty cousins  

After this election, some on the left are feeling pretty powerless - but Angel Padilla isn't. He got together with 30 other former congressional staffers to put together a concrete guide on how to resist President Trump's policies, and they borrowed all their knowledge from an unlikely source--The Tea Party. It's called Indivisible, and in this episode, Jimmy gets to the bottom of how it might work.

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Bonus: When Trump said, 'America first,' what did you hear?  

In his inaugural address, President Donald J. Trump said America will be first. But what did people actually hear when he said that? DecodeDC was at the National Mall to ask inaugural attendees.

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177: What really happens at the inaugural  

The Constitution requires only one thing for a person to become President of the United States--reciting an oath. But the inauguration has become a sort of spectacle that requires months and months of detailed planning. On the latest episode we go behind the scenes to understand what it takes to pull off the peaceful transition of power.

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176: What should Trump do to resolve his conflicts of interest?  

Every day, there are more and more questions about conflicts of interest and president-elect Donald Trump--questions about how Trump will handle his businesses interests, the role of his family and the investments of his Cabinet nominees. To sort out the ethical issues facing the Trump White House, we sat down with Richard Painter, who teaches law at the University of Minnesota and worked in the White House as President George W. Bush’s chief ethics lawyer from 2005-2007.

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175: It's almost moving day at the White House  

January 20th is Inauguration Day. It’s also moving day at the White House. Jimmy talks with Anita McBride, who was part of three presidential transitions, and with presidential historian Jeffrey Engel about when transitions don't go so smoothly.

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174: That moment when Americans choose ignorance over money  

When it comes to American politics, many people will choose to give up money, rather than listen to the other side. That's the result of a new study by Canadian professor Jeremy Frimer, at the University of Winnipeg. On the latest DecodeDC podcast, Jimmy talks to Jeremy about a phenomenon he calls 'motivated ignorance,' and why Americans are choosing to remain, well, ignorant.

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173: You have no idea how much food you're wasting  

As you sit down for giant family meals this holiday season, here's something to keep in mind--every year about 40% of America's food goes uneaten. On the latest DecodeDC podcast, Jimmy chats with Dana Gunders, a leading expert on food waste, about who's to blame (hint: you) and the limits on what the government can and can't do about it.

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172: PolitiFact's Lie of the Year is a lie that keeps on giving  

When it came time for PolitiFact to chose the “Lie of the Year,” for this bonkers year, editors had plenty to work with. On the latest podcast, Jimmy chats with PolitiFact‘s Angie Drobnic Holan about 2016's biggest political whopper, and what it was like being a fact-checker during an election when facts didn't seem to matter.

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171: Trump's job promise — 24,999,900 to go  

President-elect Trump is trying to make good on a big campaign promise--bring back manufacturing jobs to the U.S. The Carrier deal announced last week seems like a good start. But a jobs program that boils down to a POTUS making deals with companies could have big economic ramifications. On the latest podcast, Jimmy talks with Adam Davidson, a writer for the New Yorker and former co-host of NPR's Planet Money podcast. Adam explains why President Trump won't be able to create 25 million jobs, any why the jobs crisis is much bigger than any one president.

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170: Can Trump live up to populist voters' expectations?  

Donald Trump’s attacks on elites and us-versus-them rhetoric are classic populist themes. But what happens when populists actually take office, and suddenly joins the ruling class? John Judis, author of "The Populist Explosion,” helps us define populism and explains why Trump may not be able to live up to voters’ expectations.

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Revisiting Big Sugar's Secret Playbook  

Heading into Turkey Day, we at DecodeDC are thankful for you, our listeners, so we're going to spare your ears this week from another episode about electoral politics. Instead we're rebroadcasting one of our favorite shows about a different political topic--the politics of sugar. We hope you'll be able to use what you learn from this episode as fodder around the dinner table to change the topic of conversation when one of your family members starts talking about the election.

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169: What can President Trump do Day 1?  

When Donald Trump is sworn in as President of the United States on January 20, 2017, the clock starts ticking on his political agenda. Trump's goals for his first 100 days in office include repealing and replacing Obamacare, deporting criminal undocumented immigrants and banning people from terror-prone countries from entering the U.S. Can he really do all these things? On the latest DecodeDC podcast we try to answer that question, and figure out what President Trump can do on his own and what he'll need help with.

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