• 01:03:14

    Tax Cuts, Mugabe and Zimbabwe, and the Opioid Crisis

    · Pantsuit Politics | Two women, a conservative and liberal, talk news & politics. No shouting. No insults. Plenty of nuance.

    The opioid epidemic impacts all of us in increasingly significant ways. Today, we’re discussing the impact of President Trump’s decision to declare this a public health emergency.  It's Thanksgiving, and we're so grateful to everyone who makes Pantsuit Politics possible. We couldn't do the podcast without the support of our patrons, our advertising agency, and our sponsors. Thanks to today's sponsors: BeFrugal.com and ModCloth. If you're interested in advertising on Pantsuit Politics, please reach out to Midroll. We're also so excited to launch our new podcast, The Nuanced Life, this week. Thank you for helping us out by listening, rating, subscribing, and reviewing it on the Apple Podcast Player! If you'd like Pantsuit Politics to speak at your university, business, or organization, please let Beth know.  We begin with an update on Republican efforts to cut some people's and companies' taxes. Some of the provisions in the Senate bill are truly mind-boggling.  Next, we discuss the recent military coup in Zimbabwe. We talk about Robert Mugabe's rise to power, the World Health Organization's decision to revoke his appointment as a global health ambassador, the events leading up to the coup--including a military official's trip to China, and his response to being placed under house arrest. The US Senate Foreign Relations Committee seems uneasy about how power might transition in this nation.  To compliment the other side, Sarah compliments Senator Lisa Murkowski for her insistence on a healthcare stabilization plan in relation to the tax cut bill. Beth appreciates Brian Baird, who is joining forces with a former state GOP chair in Washington state to back independent centrist candidates for office.  Our focus topic today is the opioid epidemic. On October 26, President Trump declared a public health emergency around this crisis. We discuss the difference between a public health emergency and a national disaster and what a path forward might involve in trying to combat this epidemic.  Recommended resources:  http://www.esquire.com/news-politics/a12775932/sackler-family-oxycontin/ http://www.rollingstone.com/culture/features/medical-marijuana-could-help-end-opioid-addiction-epidemic-w473798 https://www.theverge.com/2015/11/11/9700446/ibogaine-treatment-opiate-addiction-psychedelic-drug https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/oct/31/opioid-epidemic-dea-official-congress-big-pharma http://edition.cnn.com/2017/10/26/politics/donald-trump-opioid-epidemic/index.html https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/oct/16/trump-us-opioid-crisis-national-emergency https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2017/10/26/exclusive-trump-declare-public-health-emergency-opioid-crisis-partial-measure-figh/796797001/ http://wbaa.org/post/opioid-crisis-public-health-emergency-vs-national-emergency#stream/0 http://www.who.int/hac/about/definitions/en/ https://www.cnbc.com/2017/10/26/trump-declares-the-opioid-epidemic-a-public-health-emergency-.html https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2017/11/05/opioid-addiction-crisis-trump-needs-put-his-money-where-his-mouth-is-connor-goddard-column/824794001/ https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2017/11/why-cant-addicts-just-quit/545552/ Finally, as always, we discuss what's on our minds outside of politics. Sarah is getting ready for Christmas, and we discuss the famous Marney Thanksgiving letter. 

  • 00:25:34

    James Hartman

    · The Campaign Coach | Politics | Get Elected | Winning Local Elections

    James Hartman is an at-large member of the St. Tammany Republican Parish executive committee in Louisiana, and president and CEO of James Hartman and Associates, a political consultancy that has helped candidates win elections in nine states, Europe, and even Africa. James’ career in politics has involved roles with the media, as a legislative staffer, a campaign staffer, and political consultant before opening his own firm from being a reporter, to a legislative staffer, to a consultant, to running his own consultancy. Craig: It's my pleasure to have with me today James Hartman, at large member of the St. Tammany Republican Parish Executive Committee in Louisiana, and president and CEO of James Hartman and Associates. While we've spent a lot of time on this podcast talking with elected officials, James is a political consultant that I've had the great opportunity to get to know. He's helped candidates win elections in 9 states, in Europe, and even in Africa. He's grown his career in politics from being a reporter, to a legislative staffer, to a consultant, to running his own consultancy. He's absolutely seen it all, and I really can't wait to dig into his story. James, welcome, and thank you for being here with us. James: No problem. Thanks for the interest. Craig: James, how you've grown your career in politics is kind of fascinating to me, as it’s almost identical track to mine – starting in the media, then working on campaigns, and then ultimately becoming a political consultant, yourself. Do us a favor and take that intro I gave you and kind of fill in the lines and tell us a little bit more about yourself, your experience, and how you've gotten to where you are today. James: After college, I spent two years as a reporter at a small newspaper and a radio station, and then I was asked almost simultaneously by two different politicians to come work for them. One actually said he would rather me answer questions for him, than ask questions of him. The job of those two that I took first was as a press secretary, which these days we generally call communications director, in a US Senate race here in Louisiana. That candidate was unfortunately not successful, and then I went back to the other person who had asked me to work for him, who had been elected. He asked me to come handle his communications for his government office, which I did for nine years. During that time, I focused a lot on public affairs, public speaking, and of course, a ton of media appearances, again, answering questions for him instead of asking them of him as a reporter. After Hurricane Katrina, life kind of turned upside down, and I was ready for a change. I became a disaster recovery consultant for a while, and in 2007, 9 years ago, I went back into state politics again as a communications director in a governor's race. During that campaign, actually, is when I started my company and began taking on clients on the side. In nine years, we've gone from 3 clients, essentially, that first summer we formed, to having about 30 to 40 active clients at any given point right now. While we do primarily political work and at all levels, I like to say we've done everything from justice of the peace to prime minister which is true. We also do a little nonprofit work and we handle some commercial advertising and promotions as well. We're kind of diversified. But the politics is our bread and butter. Craig: That's a great line – “from justice of the peace to prime minister.” I've been on your website and I've seen the array of logos of candidates that you've been able to help. Take us back to the very beginning before you even got into media and then politics. What sparked your interest? What had you going down this path? James: I grew up right outside of Washington DC, and the news was something that was always on in our house, which was before the age of cable so it was only on for a couple of hours a day. It was also the only broadcasting we were allowed to keep on the television while we had our family dinner. My parents were news junkies as were my grandparents, and of course being in the nation's capitol, the most powerful city in the world, where what is local news is also national and international. By the time I was nine years old I was reading the Washington Post. I was aware of cabinets, secretaries, and other things, what they did. My father was a federal employee at a fairly high level, and the interest in not just politics but in public policy started in me very young. Of course, my parents also instilled in us the utter importance of voting. I remember my mother taking me to vote every election she could when I was a very small child. That's something that I think just put it into me when I was very young, the importance of not just the politics of it, but the public policy that results. That's something that we kind of do in tandem at my firm, because many of our clients we help win their elections, and then they keep us on to assist with the policy side. Some of our candidates that are our clients were already elected before they hired us, and we assist them with both PR and with the policy analysis, and the decision making processes. Craig: We are wholehearted believers that the authenticity of a candidate comes directly from their purpose for running for office in the first place. As you talk about winning an election, but then what are you going to do with election once you get into office? The fact that you make that a key part of the campaign process is absolutely critical. Take us back to that first election. You've been asked, you're in the first election, what did you learn? What challenges did you face, what surprises did you come up against, and how did that first election that you ran shape where you've gone from there? James: The first campaign I did professionally was 20 years ago when I was press secretary in a US Senate race. Of course I learned a whole great deal about the operations of a large scale campaign, what professional positions are involved, what sort of volunteerism is required on the outside, and all the elements of it. The volunteer coordinating, the policy research, the PR and media relations, the strategy, the polling, etc. One of the biggest challenges we've had in that race, to be quite candid with you, was the consultants who had been hired to work with us I found to be very disengaged and not terribly interested in good policy as much as they were interested in their winning bonus. Twenty years later, doing what they do, I take a very different approach to it. I'm not just a hired gun. I'm very much in tuned to who my candidates are as people. I have a rule, that I won't work for you if I wouldn't vote for you. Craig: Right. Absolutely. James: Obviously I can't vote for all my clients, because I can't vote in Europe or Nigeria, but I'm very selective. I interview my potential candidates, those clients, just as much as they interview me. I'll be honest, an unfortunate situation, but in a couple of cases I have walked away from clients in the middle of the campaign when they did or said something that completely changed my, to be candid, my willingness to vote for them. There are certain lines that I will not cross. Craig: We’re talking about a senate race 20 years ago, and candidates that you're running today – different styles of campaigning, different media, different technology available, different attitudes of voters. Talk a little bit about how campaigning from your perspective has changed over the last 20 years. James: Oh gosh. My very first campaign working as press secretary we were still using a FAX machine to distribute press releases, and it took hours to get something out to the media all over the state. These days, of course, it's the touch of a button. There are many different ways to reach people now, through social media. The traditional news media has become an electronic outlet as well, so what you used to do strategically, putting out a press release at a certain time of day so it would be in tomorrow's paper, you now expect to be on that newspaper's website within an hour or so. It's out faster. Certainly there are those changes. There are always demographic shifts and every election is unique. Every campaign has the same basic elements as you know, but you're dealing with different populations and different areas of concern. Even here in Louisiana, some of the campaigns I worked in at the state legislative level, cross Parish lines. The concerns of people in one Parish might be very different from the concerns of the people just across the Parish line. You have to deal with your messaging, and your decision making, and policy development from that perspective as well. Craig: Because you've run an array of campaigns of all sizes, a lot of the folks listening to this podcast they're going to be folks thinking of running for the first time, or have made the decision and are engaged in their first campaign. What do you see a difference in what they may see happening in a presidential race as they are looking for ideas as to how campaign the presidential race, or a senatorial race, or something that's being carried out on television in front of everybody, versus them running a local campaign? James: With local races you have the opportunity for much more direct voter contact which is, of course, crucial. As the size of the electorate and in particular the office becomes larger, it becomes increasingly difficult to have that direct sort of contact, and you rely more on broadcasting in particular, computer outreach, social media, etc. and less on the direct hand-to-hand contact. Despite those differences it ultimately comes down to the same element. You want to have a better message than your opponent, delivered better than your opponent, in a more timely manner, and a more professional appearance than your opponent. That's the level of service we provide to candidates of all levels. Craig: That's a great takeaway, as you're watching larger campaigns unfold. Throughout your career has there been, relative to your campaigns or your business of running campaigns, has there been a mistake that you've made that you significantly learned from, and implemented changes as a result of? James: Nothing comes to mind, which is not to say I haven't made mistakes, I'm sure I have, but I don't think there's anything that leaps out to me that says this was a turning point in how I run my company or my campaign. You learn something from every race. I think the biggest thing, the mistake I might have made a couple of times, is not vetting my clients well enough to start with. I would say I've never lost a race when I had three things: The time I needed, the money I needed, and a candidate who did what I told them to do. I've won races with only two of those elements, but when I've had all three I've never lost. There have been times when I didn't properly vet perhaps the candidate's fund-raising capability, or the candidate’s commitment to actually doing the work required, or the candidate’s willingness to hire a professional and then listen. There are a whole lot of people who run for office, and will hire the best, and then only tell the best how to do their job. It's like going to a car mechanic and telling them what's wrong or going to the doctor and telling them what to prescribe. When you hire a pro, listen to the pro. Craig: You can create the greatest campaign plan in the world, but if the candidate's not willing or unable, to implement it, it doesn't have the effect that you envisioned at the beginning. What's your biggest challenge now? James: I think the challenge, which is probably a double-edged sword, is simply ambition. Being a business owner, I'm constantly recruiting clients and keeping myself not in the public eye, but in the political eye. Our business has grown by word of mouth, and by winning elections. I win elections people don't expect us to win. People ask the candidate how he won, and he or she will point them to me. It's that constant ... You know, when you're in business you eat what you kill, so recruiting candidates and looking forward to the next cycle is never something you can stop doing. Craig: Takes a tremendous amount of time to build those networks. James: Right, and fortunately I've been in the right places at the right times. I've had a good staff. I have an excellent staff, and we've worked hard and have a good win rate. The clients tend to come to us, but then I, fortunately again, have a great staff, and the way we pretty much structure things I deal with the client, and my staff handles implementation of what has to be done. That's a model I've learned from some of the best in this business, too. I don't worry about paying the bills or checking the mail, or even invoicing clients. I'm just out and about. Sometimes I'm only in my office 4 or 5 hours a week, because I'm out and about dealing with those 35 clients that we have in all areas. Craig: That's a great place to be. You have candidates coming to you all the time, and whether they are going to engage you or not, they at least inquire of you. Talking directly to our listeners here who are considering running for office, what's a piece of advice that you would give them as they are trying to make that decision. James: Any consultant, well first of all, I can only speak for myself in this regard, because I do some things on business levels differently than others in this field. Most significantly for me is that my fee schedule is based on the size of the office and the relevant power of the office. I actually had a client a year ago that I reached out to and said, "Hey, you have a tough challenge ahead, I would like to work with you. I'd like to help you," and his first response was, "I can't afford you." I just looked at him and said, "Yes, you can." And he said, "Why?" This is how I structure my fees and such. What I would tell potential candidates is one, if you can, find a reputable consultant, no matter what size office you're running for, find one, but always ask about hidden costs. There are other people in my business who have very low monthly fees, but then nickel and dime clients to death, whereas I have it set up in the opposite direction. I have very mid-range flat fees, and then my clients don't pay for things like website updates, or additional press releases, or graphic design, or things like that. Where some other consultants charge much less on a monthly retainer, but then charge a whole lot to do what actually has to be done. I've had people come to me who in the past have hired consultants like that. I've even had clients who still have consultants like that, but hire me or engage me and my firm as well to get better bang for their buck. That's what I would encourage people to do. Don't think you can't afford it. Find somebody you can afford, if there's somebody available, and once again I have to do a shameless plug, I work all over. No matter where you are, and no matter how big the office, you can call us, and we'll be willing to work something out. Always look for hidden costs. Craig: That's great. From my experience, too, it's so great for the candidates to have that certainty, because when you're running a local election, especially on a limited budget and the costs are changing on you, and you're trying to make your plans for September and October and right before Election Day, you can't have that uncertainty. You've had some success, you've won campaigns, you've built a business around it, what factors, what is it about you that you attribute that success to? James: Wow. Again, I think surrounding myself with a good staff. I think choosing good clients, and I think really doing, really engaging with my candidate. I don't just do this for a paycheck. I have to sleep at night, I have a conscience. I don't want to help somebody completely unworthy get elected simply because he or she can write the check. I'd rather work for a candidate who pays less, but his heart is in true public service. I think that certainly has a good deal to do with it. You treat people like you want to be treated. I think we interface well with people, and we're very organic in our approach. Again, all of it has to come back to my staff and how the company is structured. To have somebody who specializes in ad placement, somebody who specializes in graphics and web, and somebody who specializes simply in operations, and getting it done. The vice president of my company is actually someone I hired away from John Boehner three years ago. He's young and brilliant, he keeps things moving for us. Craig: That's great. I also tell my clients that politics is definitely a people business, and surrounding yourself with the right people is an absolute key. We like to talk about inspiration. We talked about what got you into politics in the first place, but is there a book or two that you've read that has impacted your political career? James: Oh gosh. Probably more than one or two. I wouldn't even know where to start with that. My degree is in sociology, so I've read quite a bit of academic tomes on group behavior, which is what politics really comes down to – group behavior, and predicting it, and controlling it, influencing it. I know I'm going to kick myself when we're done, but off the top of my head any one or two books would be hard to identify. For pure reading pleasure I really about a year ago actually on the plane on the way back from Nigeria, I read the first volume of House of Cards, which was really interesting. I'm sorry, you kind of stumped me with that question. I wasn't expecting it. Craig: You're sociology point is critical, because when we think about books like the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People and others like that, this is what you're doing. A lot of those kind of get attributed to sales. Salespeople read them and teach them in sales courses, but this in many ways when you're in politics, this is what you're doing. You're selling ideas, you're selling yourself. It's not a point that is definitely lost. Let's talk about every day. You run your own company, you're working with dozens of clients. What do you read on a daily basis to make sure you have an idea of what's going on in the world? James: I read multiple news sources every day, all day, every day. Obviously I read the local press in whatever jurisdiction I'm working in at that time, but then I also, of course, read the multitude of sources for the area where I live so that I know what's going on here, which is of course, for many of our clients to date. I read the Prague Daily Monitor, I read the Nigerian News Desk, I read the Times Israel, the CNN discuss, the Economist Desk, probably the best thing in the world for me to read, is The Economist. I look at it online every day. Reasons. Reasons website, and Reasons Magazine. Very, very insightful, and being from a Libertarian bent, so the diversity of perspectives. I think what I always challenge myself to do – actually I don't have to challenge myself – I just do it. I challenge other people to seek out news sources that are not ones that they are not necessarily going to agree with, because you have to expose yourself to a diversity of perspectives and opinions to understand your own and to be able to better articulate your own. For me, I think that I'm absolutely addicted to reading news. Craig: What a great point at the end there, that's one of the biggest challenges for candidates getting their word out is that largely people have decided where they want to get news from and how they get their news, and it's not the same as it used to be, where you say your message and you can broadcast it out there. It's very easy for people to close the door on you at this point. What is next for you and for your company? James: We're just going to keep doing what we do. In a nutshell. I like to say we help good people do good things, and I just want to keep doing more of that at all levels. I would love to do some international work again. I've done, as we mentioned, some in Europe and some in Africa as part of a team through one of the best political consultants in the world, if not arguably the best. I'd love to do some more of that. The bigger a footprint we can acquire the happier I am. It's funny a little, perhaps self-deprecating humor, a few years ago someone in an anonymous online news forum, referred to me based on some races that I was working at the time. This person wrote, again anonymously, "Hartman is a cancer on St. Tammany Parish." I never respond in these forums or anything like that, but I actually got my dander up, and I wanted to reply, "Excuse me, I'm a cancer on a much bigger area than St. Tammany Parish. Don't underestimate.” Craig: That's great. James: Obviously I don't think of myself or my company as a malignancy, but I would like to just continue growing our footprint. I don't want to just make a living, I want to make a difference, and the more people we can help through good politics and good public policy, the happier I'll be when I meet my maker. Craig: That's fantastic, it really is. James, if our folks want to learn more about you where should I send them? James: My website is JamesHartman.net. J-A-M-E-S-H-A-R-T-M-A-N dot net, or they can pick up the phone and call me on my cell. 504-458-4600. We try to speak all over the place. We're happy to talk with anybody interested in running for office anywhere at any level. Craig: James, it's been really great, really great. I really appreciate you taking some time to talk with us today. I've enjoyed the chat, I've enjoyed your insights, definitely. It resonates with me because I feel the same exact way. We can all run campaigns, and we can win them, and we can make a business out of it, but you really want to be doing this to be getting good, worthwhile, forward thinking, positive candidates out there for voters to choose from. When you do that, it makes everything you're trying to accomplish better. I wish you the best of luck in everything you're doing for the future for political, for professional, personal. Definitely want to stay in touch with you. For our listeners you can connect with James and learn more about him at www.jameshartman.net. James, I appreciate it, thank you so much. James: Not a problem. Thank you Craig, I really enjoyed it.       Welcome to the Campaign Coach Podcast.  Craig Turner is a nationally recognized political consultant who has managed campaigns for two decades.  On the show, Craig interviews politicians and political experts to share how they get elected, stay elected, and make a difference… and you can too.  For a free copy of Craig’s new candidate’s guide, “How to Avoid the 7 Biggest Mistakes That Can Keep You From Getting Funded, Getting Votes... And Getting Elected” o to http://www.TheCampaignCoach.com  

  • 00:55:40

    Ep 44: Transformation & Self-Realization in Nicole Krauss' "Forest Dark"

    · Just the Right Book with Roxanne Coady

    Nicole Krauss is an award-winning, best-selling author, was on the New Yorker's list of "20 Under 40" and her latest novel Forest Dark, about the personal transformation of two seemingly disparate individuals, has been called "elegant, provocative and mesmerizing."  The History of Love author who Roxanne calls "provocatively philosophical, fiercely intelligent and poetic," came straight to Just the Right Book on the day of her debut to talk about her new book, which has been called "a brilliant novel" by Pulitzer Prize winning author, Phillip Roth.  Make sure to stay tuned after the interview with Nicole for a special installment of What's On the Front Table with Lissa Muscatine, one of the owners of the renowned Politics and Prose Bookstore in Washington, DC. Muscatine, a former speechwriter for Hillary Clinton also tells Roxanne about her recent interview with Clinton when the former Secretary of State kicked off her fifteen-city tour at Politics and Prose to promote her new book, What Happened. And only for Just the Right Book Podcast listeners, we are giving away a copy of Nicole's new book, Forest Dark. Visit our Facebook page at Facebook.com/bookpodcast and check out the post at the top with details on how to enter to win! Click here to watch Lissa Muscatine's interview with Hillary Clinton Books in this episode: Forest Dark by Nicole Krauss The History of Love by Nicole Krauss The Aleph-Bet Story Book by Deborah Pessin Trainwreck: The Women We Love to Hate, Mock, and Fear... and Why by Sady Doyle What Happened by Hillary Rodham Clinton Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie A Legacy of Spies by John Le Carre Glass Houses by Louise Penny  Al Franken, Giant of the State by Al Franken Commonwealth by Ann Patchett Lab Girl by Hope Jahren Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly  The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot 

  • 01:19:50

    Identity Politics

    · The British Academy

    Tuesday 12 April 2005, 6.00-7.30pm, followed by a complimentary drinks receptionThe British Academy, 10 Carlton House Terrace, London SW1Chairman: Professor Adam Kuper FBA, Brunel UniversityCulture and identity are now key words in political discourse. Identity politics are fostered by multiculturalists and feminists on the left and by nationalists on the right. This British Academy evening event reflected on the history, meaning and implications of this discourse and took the form of a panel discussion between Professor Anthony Appiah, Princeton University, Professor Adam Kuper, FBA, Brunel University, and Professor Anne Phillips FBA, London School of Economics and Political Science.All three speakers (an anthropologist, a philosopher and a political theorist) have published extensively on these topics. Professor Adam Kuper's Culture: The Anthropologists' Account was published by Harvard University Press in 1999. Professor Anthony Appiah’s The Ethics of Identity was published by Princeton University Press in the autumn of 2004. Two recent papers by Professor Phillips are: 'Recognition and the Struggle for Political Voice'. In Recognition Struggles and Social Movements: Contested Identities, Cambridge University Press, 2003 and 'When Culture Means Gender: Issues of Cultural Defence in the English Courts', Modern Law Review 66, 2003. She is currently working on a textbook on identity politics for Blackwell.Position statementsProfessor Kwame Anthony AppiahI think that identity--in the sense of race, gender, sexual orientation, nationality, religion i.e. the big social identities--is an inescapable feature of modern life and that therefore it would be pointless to be against it. I think too that it's inevitable that people should bring the things they care about to bear in thinking about politics and so I think it's equally pointless to be against identity politics in that sense. But I also think that identity can be mobilized in extremely unhelpful ways in political life--as when people vote for politicians because they share their religion or ethnicity rather than agree with their policies--so that there's obviously the possibility of a bad identity politics. Why vote for a fellow Catholic because he agrees with you about abortion or gay marriage (which he isn't going to be able to do much about) if he has economic and foreign policies you deplore. Or, for that matter, for an anti-feminist woman on feminist principle?Professor Anne Phillips, FBA, London School of Economics and Political ScienceIdentity politics was, in my view, an important way of breaking the previous hegemony of nation and class. It provided a language for those who defined themselves - and were defined by others - according to identities such as gender, 'race', sexuality, ethnicity, and made it possible for them to articulate new equality claims. It is also potentially a straitjacket. It can give a false unity to these identity groups; encourage a destructive politics of authenticity; and encourage people to turn in on their identity grievances, rather than looking outwards to wider concerns. But with all the criticism of identity politics, we cannot, in my view, simply go back to where we were before. I'm interested in the issues primarily in relation to feminism - where do we go with feminist politics, once we've deconstructed notions of 'women'? and in relation to multiculturalism - what kind of multiculturalism is possible once we abandon totalising notions of 'culture'?

  • Predictions: Will we stick to the Liberal plan now the UK will Brexit stage left and has Labor costed itself out of a victory? | Tuesday 28 June 2016

    · Pidgin Politics

    Pidgin Politics is back for the final week of the election campaign! As we enter that final week Margo, Paula and Wes unpack the Coalition “rally” that saw the party finally launch its official campaign - just six days from the actual polling day in an 8 week campaign. There were policies on offer, but the intrigue for many was the elephant in the room - Tony Abbott - and the new slogan that seems to have emerged post-Brexit chaos: “stick to the plan”. We stay on Brexit to discuss what impact we think the referendum in the UK - and its subsequent resignations, recriminations, calls for Irish unity and Scottish freedom - will have on our own upcoming vote. Is it a good thing for the incumbents or will the future the Labor party is putting forward look like a good alternative to the similar conservative/liberal infighting that seems to typify the Turnbull leadership? The Labor party released their costings on Sunday, which saw a projection for higher deficits in the short-term but projections that somehow surplus will still be reached within the same period as the Coalition government. Polices targeting so-called “junk” private health insurance that only covers people for public hospital coverage and putting a cap on the amount individuals can claim on managing their taxes were also announced, but is this the silver bullet Labor needs to kill the argument put forward by the Coalition that it will never be capable of good economic management. Finally, with the election finally within our sights, we put forward our own predictions for how we imagine the polls might play out and give our forecasts for the future upper and lower houses. You’ll have to listen to hear how we see the chips falling. Remember to follow @pidginpolitics on twitter so you can respond to our call-out for questions each week. And subscribe to us on iTunes or Stitcher to get the podcast fresh in your listening stream every week.

  • 01:35:09

    The Egyptian Revolution of 2011: Civil Resistance and Power Politics

    · The British Academy

    Tuesday 11 October 2011, 6.00pm-7.30pmVenue: The British Academy, 10-11 Carlton House Terrace, London SW1Y 5AHPanel Discussion organised in partnership with the Oxford University Research Project on Civil Resistance and Power Politics.On 17 December 2010 a vegetable-seller set fire to himself in the Tunisian town of Sidi Bouzid after police had harassed him. This incident triggered a series of demonstrations, first locally, then across Tunisia and then in other Arab countries. Within two months, the movements had resulted in the departure from office of President Zine al-Abidine Ben-Ali of Tunisia and President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt. Elsewhere, they led to different outcomes, including armed conflicts and external interventions. In all, power politics as well as popular demonstrations played a key role.This meeting will focus on the Egyptian revolution, exploring the range of factors contributing to change. It marks the publication by Oxford University Press of the paperback edition of Civil Resistance and Power Politics: The Experience of Non-violent Action from Gandhi to the Present, edited by Sir Adam Roberts and Timothy Garton Ash, with a new foreword on the Arab Spring.About the speakersProfessor Charles Tripp – Professor of Politics at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London and a specialist in Middle East affairs. He is the author of Islam and the Moral Economy: the Challenge of Capitalism (2006) and is presently working on a study of the politics of resistance in the Middle East.Dr Omar Ashour is a Lecturer in Middle East Politics and Director of the MA in Middle East Studies Programme at the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies, University of Exeter. He is author of The De-Radicalization of Jihadists: Transforming Armed Islamist Movements. Dr Ashour is also a democracy activist who is involved in the revolution. He has just returned from Egypt and Libya.Chair: Sir Adam Roberts - President of the British Academy and Emeritus Professor of International Relations, University of Oxford, and co-editor of Civil Resistance and Power Politics: The Experience of Non-Violent Action from Gandhi to the Present (2009).

  • 00:48:24

    David Axelrod On The President, Hillary Clinton, & Why He's Still A Believer After 40 Years in Politics

    · Kickass News

    David Axelrod joins me on the show from Politicon in Los Angeles.  In his 40 year career in politics, he has advised over 150 Democrat campaigns.  He's the campaign wizard behind President Barack Obama's victories in 2008 and 2012 and he served in the White House as Senior Advisor to the President.  Today he's founder and director of the Institute of Politics at the University of Chicago and he now has his own podcast called The Axe Files.   On the podcast, he talks about his very first campaign, his early days covering notorious Chicago politics for the Tribune, his 23 year friendship with Barack Obama, and his love of the political process. We also discuss the healthcare act and the president’s relationship with Israel.  Plus he reveals why he almost sat out the 2008 election, why he shaved his mustache and at least one reason why he says Donald Trump isn’t so bad.   If you enjoy this episode, be sure to subscribe to David's new political podcast The Axe Files on iTunes.  You can also purchase his fascinating and insightful autobiography BELIEVER: MY FORTY YEARS IN POLITICS on Amazon.   And if you're a young person looking at colleges and considering a career in politics, consider the Institute of Politics at the University of Chicago.  David Axelrod is the founder and director of the Institute.  Face it, whether you're a Republican, a Democrat, or an Independent, if you're aspiring to a career in politics, you'd be hard pressed to find a better teacher than David Axelrod!  Click here to learn more.   For more information, visit www.KickAssPolitics.com, and if you enjoyed the show and would like to help keep us on the air, then please help us reach our fall fundraising goal by donating at www.gofundme.com/kickasspolitics. Also, we’d appreciate it if you would take our listener survey to give us an idea of who our audience is and what you want.

  • 00:36:50

    Truth’s Table’s Classroom: Respectability Politics Reimagined

    · Truth's Table

    From time to time, the women of Truth’s Table will invite our listeners to learn about our respective ministries, gifts, and work. In this episode,  Ekemini posits that Black Lives Matter activists have rejected respectability politics based on a fundamental misunderstanding of the politics of respectability construct. Furthermore, she interacts with Dr. Evelyn Higginbotham's politics of respectability construct as detailed in her book Righteous Discontent. In doing so, she re-appropriates the term by understanding its original meaning and the context that gave rise to this strategy of resistance. Building on Dr. Higginbotham’s construct, she reimagines respectability politics by providing a new construct entitled respectability politics reimagined, which de-centers moralism in the formal sense and centers the Imago Dei in Black people. Get your notebooks out and pick a sturdy desk as Ekemini teaches us about Respectability Politics Reimagined.Hosts:Michelle Higgins (twitter.com/AfroRising)Christina Edmondson (twitter.com/DrCEdmondson)Ekemini Uwan (twitter.com/sista_theology)Producer:Joshua Heath (twitter.com/J_DotMusic4) Executive Producer: Beau York (twitter.com/TheRealBeauYork)Special Thanks To:RAAN - www.RAANetwork.org (twitter.com/RAANetwork)Podastery - www.podastery.com (twitter.com/Podastery)

  • 00:26:03

    Modern Manhood: Elliott Tanti and Michael Vecchio Pt 1/Men and Women in Politics

    · GRadio.ca

    I started listening to The Highlevel Showdown, a local politics show with two guys, Elliott Tanti and Michael Vecchio, from opposite sides of the political view talk about what the heck is going on in the world of politics. Now, lucky for me they also were curious about questions of manhood, and questions in how masculinity works in politics as much as I did. Even more lucky for me, they were curious about their own masculinity, and how their lives intertwined as immigrants, first generation Canadians (like they are), and most importantly as long time friends.Now because I had a lot to ask of them and the conversation was flowing I decided to split this into two parts. The first part you’ll hear right now is Elliott, Michael, and myself talking about what was going on with the intersection of politics and masculinity which involves, yep, Donald Trump. But we also talk local politics and specifically the struggles that women have to get into politics, be heard, and the harassment they face.Check all episodes of the podcast at modernmanhood.org

  • 00:34:58

    The Briefcase: Comey, Flynn, & Mueller

    · Pantsuit Politics | Two women, a conservative and liberal, talk news & politics. No shouting. No insults. Plenty of nuance.

    It's been another whirlwind week!  MEMBERSHIP DRIVE Pantsuit Politics takes time and energy to produce and that's why we're asking for your help and support. By pleading your monthly support for Pantsuit Politics, you make it possible to produce additional content, improve our offerings, and host events. Check out our Patreon page to see how you can support our show and get loads of additional content! SPONSORS: Aaptiv What do you get when an app that Sarah is obsessed with becomes a sponsor of the show? Aaptiv - a fitness app that provides audio workouts guided by a trainer synched with the perfect playlist and fully customizable by workout type, machine, duration, and intensity. Aaptiv is are offering our listeners a free 30 day trial. Go to https://aaptiv.com, sign up for a monthly subscription, and enter promo code PANTSUIT. WNYC On the Media: When our phones are our very own, tailor-made media universes, and our social media feeds are seeded with opinions and lies, how can we possibly find common ground? Thankfully, there is one way to maintain a level of frankness and transparency in your media. Listen to On the Media, WNYC’s weekly investigation into how the media shapes our world view. While maintaining the civility and fairness that are the hallmarks of public radio, the team at On the Media tackles sticky issues and untangles this era’s most intractable questions.  Brooke Gladstone and Bob Garfield are your hosts on a search for the truth in a 24-hour news cycle. Catch them on their weekly podcast, On the Media, on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Stitcher, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts! We catch up on the news since our Tuesday episode:  On Tuesday morning, the President tweeted that he had properly shared information with Russian officials in order to pressure them to join the fight against ISIS.  We then learned that Israel was the source of information shared with Russia. That's complicated, but we didn't have time to think about how complicated because... The New York Times reported that James Comey kept contemporaneous memos of conversations with President Trump, and that one of those memos details the President asking Comey to back off Michael Flynn.  Meanwhile, the President met with the Turkish president, and protestors were attacked outside the Turkish embassy.  Also, a subpoena was issued for financial records related to a loan Paul Manafort took out right after leaving the Trump campaign.  Representative Jason Chaffetz demanded to see all the Comey memos.  Members of Congress started openly discussing impeachment, and, of course, many Trump supporters say this is all the media crying wolf.  AND, Rod Rosenstein appointed Robert Mueller to serve as special counsel on the Russia investigation. We also share listener feedback from Brett and Kerri.  Hi Beth and Sarah,   I’m writing to draw your attention to two items that actually managed to make me feel a bit more optimistic about politics than I have been recently.    First, I don’t know if either of you had a chance to see the town hall CNN hosted with Bernie Sanders and John Kasich.  Most of the thing was taken up with discussion about the recent Trump/Comey/Russia stuff, but the last 20 minutes or so were pretty powerful and more philosophical about the direction of the nation, particularly with respect to division and polarization.  These are two men who are certainly not perfect, and with whom I would disagree about various things (and who themselves disagree about many things), but their interactions at that town hall gave me a bit of renewed hope that a higher, more thought provoking, and generally more respectful discourse between different perspectives is absolutely possible when you recognize that the person opposite you is a human being with good intentions.    Second, I was struck by the reporting about Emmanuel Macron selecting a member of a rival party to be France’s Prime Minister.  I found that move to be incredibly refreshing, and a signal that his message about leading a centrist, inclusive government wasn’t just campaign talk, but an actual strategy he intended to pursue.  I hope the arrangement works, because our country could certainly do well to see examples of people from various perspectives and ideologies working together in good faith.  A truly centrist government feels like it’s a long way from a practical reality in the United States, but that sort of movement has to start somewhere.    Being concerned about the breakdown of our national identity and discourse at the hands of partisanship, I found these two stories encouraging.    Regards, Brett   I appreciate your show.  I wanted to comment on the thought, briefly mentioned on your latest episode, that none of what we're learning about Trump was not evident during the election.  That may be true, BUT no one in the establishment thought he was actually going to be elected (not even Trump himself thought he was going to win).  The election itself demonstrated over and over again that the Republican establishment is out of touch with its base (for better and worse), so for them to not really get what was going to happen after he was elected is really not a surprise. Very few people within the party backed Trump enthusiastically at any point during the campaign, really.   I think most established Republicans did fear what might happen were he elected, which is why they didn't support him.  Of course, now they see an opportunity to push their agenda forward and seem willing to publicly tolerate almost anything.  Which is apparently true of their base, regardless. Sincerely, Kerri   

  • 00:36:00

    The Briefcase: What the Comey!?!

    · Pantsuit Politics | Two women, a conservative and liberal, talk news & politics. No shouting. No insults. Plenty of nuance.

    We struggle maintaining our nuance in the face of Sally Yate's testimony and (most impactful) President Trump's firing of FBI Director James Comey.  MEMBERSHIP DRIVE Pantsuit Politics takes time and energy to produce and that's why we're asking for your help and support. By pleading your monthly support for Pantsuit Politics, you make it possible to produce additional content, improve our offerings, and host events. Check out our Patreon page to see how you can support our show and get loads of additional content! SPONSORS: Aaptiv What do you get when an app that Sarah is obsessed with becomes a sponsor of the show? Aaptiv - a fitness app that provides audio workouts guided by a trainer synched with the perfect playlist and fully customizable by workout type, machine, duration, and intensity. Aaptiv is are offering our listeners a free 30 day trial. Go to https://aaptiv.com, sign up for a monthly subscription, and enter promo code PANTSUIT. Leave us a review on iTunes by clicking here! Subscribe to Episodes: iTunes | Android Subscribe to our weekly email and get a free Pantsuit Primer audiobook! Follow Us: Instagram | Twitter | Facebook We discuss the takeaways from Sally Yates's testimony before Congress, including the fact that President Obama warned Donald Trump not to hire Michael Flynn. As we now know, Donald Trump did hire, then fire Michael Fynn - as well as Sally Yates - and most shockingly FBI Director James Comey. Before Comey was fired there were additional subpoenas issued for Michael Flynn's associates from the US Attorney's office in Virginia and since then the Senate has subpoenaed Micheal Flynn himself. We discuss Trump's letter, Session's letter, and Rosenstein's memo. We also express exasperation at the White House's handling of the process and aftermath of the firing, including the entirely bizarre moment with Spicer and the bushes. In attempt to figure out what's really behind the firing, we look back at Comey's March 20th testimony as well as the role of intimidation and other's perspectives on this. 'Like the horse head in the bed': Ex-intel officer says Trump fired Comey to 'send a message' to FBI We mention a great New Yorker article we will discuss in depth at another time and the role of hubris in this crisis.  Then, we talk about next steps and whether a special prosecutor or independent commission is the right path forward. 

  • 01:18:14

    The Briefcase: Focus on Foreign Policy

    · Pantsuit Politics | Two women, a conservative and liberal, talk news & politics. No shouting. No insults. Plenty of nuance.

    Sarah returns to Pantsuit Politics on Tuesday's episode. For today's Briefcase, we have a special episode focused primarily on foreign policy. We're delighted to have Kerry Boyd Anderson on the podcast. Kerry is a political risk consultant with more than 14 years experience as a professional analyst of international security issues and Middle East political and business risks. She started her own company a year ago and is also a contributor to Gulf News in Dubai. She was previously a Deputy Director for Advisory services with Oxford Analytica.  Kerry joins Beth for a discussion of the humanitarian, military, and political crisis unfolding in Syria.  Then Dante, our Chief Creative Officer, takes a spin in Sarah's chair to discuss the news of the week and listener feedback. Beth and Dante talk about President Trump's comments throughout the week, Ambassador Nikki Haley's comments at the United Nations, and the White House's potentially shifting position on Syria. We then discuss North Korea's test missiles and Rex Tillerson's strange response.   Finally, we turn to the confirmation hearings for Judge Neil Gorsuch and discuss the Democratic and Republican positions with respect to the Supreme Court.  We received great feedback this week and will save most of it for next week, but we had to address Sandy's question:  I have yet to have an experience with regulations that was not literally "job creating" for me and/or rigor/responsibility-instigating.  I cannot really trace back an example where a regulation has forced a company to make significant cuts or go under.  (I do, however, know of companies in the Chemical Engineering realm have utilized tax breaks intended for cleaner energy...but only did so in loop-hole/ethically questionable way...but maybe that's a different topic).  Perhaps if I played out a scenario where the presence of regulations did make companies paralyzed (e.g. God forbid, if Honda leaked tons of antifreeze into storm water, knew about it, didn't report it ever, and then somehow owed a sum that would take them out), it feels like at that point such irresponsibility would have to be quite consequential.   And I guess that's my question:  Why does this "anti-regulation" rhetoric exist?  Does it have any grounds?  Is it just a rallying cry?  Some attempt to beef up some stocks or something?   Once I stopped and thought about it in my own life experiences and realized it didn't match my life experiences, I got confused & concerned. Thoughts? Love you ladies! As always, we so appreciate the support of our listeners!   

  • 01:05:23

    Repeal and Replace: The American Health Care Act

    · Pantsuit Politics | Two women, a conservative and liberal, talk news & politics. No shouting. No insults. Plenty of nuance.

    Republicans have been saying "repeal and replace" for seven years. Today, we're talking about their proposal, the American Health Care Act, to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.  The Pearls (our quick discussions at important  stories of the week)  Attorney General Jeff Sessions requested the resignation of 46 United States Attorneys this week. Though it is not unprecedented for new administrations to transition personnel in the Department of Justice, the Trump administration's approach seemed unnecessarily graceless. The U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Preet Bharara, was especially taken aback by the Trump administration's move, refused to resign, and was ultimately fired. We also discussed two thought-provoking pieces on how we take in information. A recent study concluded that Breitbart dominated right-wing media during the 2016 election, creating an ecosystem of thought that altered the broader media agenda. We discuss our thoughts on Breitbart as a nationalist and populist outlet, rather than a conservative one, and on what we see as asymmetric polarization. In connection with exiting the echo chamber, Sarah recommended PolitEcho and Escape Your Bubble.  The second piece is a fascinating experiment in gender roles. An NYU professor recreated parts of the debates between Trump and Clinton using a woman actor to play Trump and a male actor to play Clinton. Aside from the gender swap, the language, gestures, and tones of voice exactly mimicked Trump and Clinton during the debates. The results surprised the NYU audiences, and we were surprised by our reactions. As always, we took a moment to compliment the other party. Beth complimented Congresswoman Debbie Dingell for her measured comments on health care reform. Sarah complimented Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner for his willingness to hold town halls and address constituent concerns.  The Suit (our closer look at a single topic):  Following the November 2016 elections, Beth said that Republicans would have to step up and actually govern now because having an undivided government means there are no excuses. The American Health Care Act is Republicans' first real shot at actually governing, and we're not impressed.  First, we discuss the strategy of beginning the legislative agenda with health care when immigration or tax reform seem like more logical choices that would set the stage for health care reform. We also discuss the rushed, secretive process to create the bill and the hypocrisy in pushing the bill through the committee process without a CBO score. Republicans are also failing to build bipartisan consensus and instead trying to push the bill through with a simple majority in the Senate through the budget reconciliation process. As a result, House Speaker Paul Ryan says the bill is the first of three phases, and the bill can deal only with matters related to the budget under the Byrd Rule.  The ACHA replaces the individual mandate under the Affordable Care Act with a 30% penalty for failing to maintain continuous coverage. We think the effectiveness of this provision is dubious at best.  Additionally, the ACHA creates a tax credit system based on age for purchasing insurance, and it takes dramatic steps to change the Medicaid system.  We think the bill largely helps the upper middle class and the wealthy through expanding the use of health savings accounts and repealing a number of taxes, such as the net investment tax, that the ACA imposed.  Fundamentally, the ACHA does not tackle the hardest questions about health insurance -- namely, how to lower the cost of health care, how to provide coverage for working adults who cannot afford health insurance, and how to provide affordable care to the sickest Americans. Beth feels strongly that employer-sponsored health care contributes to these problems and that Republicans should work to transition health care away from employer-sponsored plans to make lasting and sustainable progress. She references the work of Avik Roy on health care. Sarah also favors getting employers out of health care because of her views on reproductive rights. We discuss competition, market-driven options, and a single payer system as alternatives. Because the ACHA fundamentally doesn't address the hardest questions to promote lasting change in health care, we give it a C-/D, which mirrors comments from David Brooks and John Kasich.  The Heels (what we're thinking about outside of politics)  Sarah is stoked about Paducah's new float center -- Revive Paducah. Beth can't stop thinking about her visit to Glenn O. Swing Elementary School in Covington, Kentucky, which is using innovation in teaching and supporting students to shatter the myth that poor kids can't learn.

  • 01:04:36

    124 Politics in Role-playing Games

    · Gaming and BS RPG Podcast

    The politics in gaming, the politics ooo feeling good. We touch on law, but tie it into politics and that doesn’t make any sense. Politics is full of intrigue, plotting and scheming. We hit it at a high level, of course. Random Encounter Patron Pure Mongrel comments on G+ Jim Fitzpatrick comments on G+ Crimfan... The post 124 Politics in Role-playing Games appeared first on Gaming and BS RPG Podcast.

  • 00:32:19

    Kim Bracey

    · The Campaign Coach | Politics | Get Elected | Winning Local Elections

    On November 3, 2009, Kim was elected the first African-American mayor of the City of York and was sworn in as York's 24th mayor in January 2010. In 2013, Mayor Bracey was successful in her bid for re-election and is now in the middle of her second term, representing 43,000 residents and overseeing a budget of $98 million. Kim is a US Force veteran, serving our country over a decade and earning the National Defense Service Medal and the Air Force Good Conduct Medal. In her role as mayor, Kim has championed a number of successful community initiatives such as Job One Citywide Customer Service, Zero Tolerance for Blight, Community Policing and Mentor York. She is also the founding President of the York Chapter of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, a 30-year-old national organization whose mission is to develop leaders to rebuild their communities.   Craig: I am very pleased to have with me my guest today, Mayor Kim Bracey. Mayor of York, Pennsylvania. On November 3rd 2009, Kim was elected the first African-American mayor of the City of York and was sworn in as York's 24th mayor in January 2010. In 2013, Mayor Bracey was successful in her bid for re-election and is now in the middle of her second term as mayor, where she represents 43,000 residents and oversees a budget of $98 million. Kim is a US Force veteran, serving our country for over a decade and earning the National Defense Service Medal and the Air Force Good Conduct Medal. In her role as mayor, Kim has championed a number of successful community initiatives such as Job One Citywide Customer Service, Zero Tolerance for Blight, Community Policing and Mentor York. She is also the founding President of the York Chapter of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, a 30-year-old national organization whose mission is to develop leaders to rebuild their communities. Mayor welcome, thank you so much for being here with us. Kim Bracey: Thank you. I'm honored to be here with you. Craig: Mayor, I'm extremely excited to get into this interview and I'm looking forward to digging into something I intentionally didn't mention in your bio because I want you to talk about it. Which is how your work in under-served communities in York built the foundation for your eventual election as mayor. Would you just do us the favor of filling in between the lines in my intro for our listeners? Tell us a little bit more about yourself and your experience in government and politics. Kim Bracey: You've already mentioned I am a native Yorker. That's what we call ourselves. I think that added a lot of credibility to my candidacy and campaign and ultimate win. I worked in the community, somewhat impoverished. It fell on some hard times. It's about 68 blocks of an area of our city, the south-east end of the city. There was a couple of the strong anchors in that area. We had our major hospital there, one of our major colleges, as well as a social service agency known to many in that area. It was a lot of forethought and wisdom around the table, and they came up with a need for somewhat of a grassroots community action, organizing agency that should be in place. To help people understand their role and taking back their neighborhoods. Getting rid of the blight. Becoming more accountable and responsible. Taking on leadership roles in that area. After my return from the Air Force, I came back home – a place that I actually said I would never come back to. Here I am. I got involved with this organization and I ended up as the Executive Director as well. It was probably was my first foray into community organizing… As a coined phrase these days, thanks to President Obama. There were many of us on the ground encouraging residents of the area to take back their neighborhood. Again, ridden with crime and dilapidated buildings. The negative elements and societal ills you often see in an urban community. That was my first community work, as an adult. As a native Yorker, I did a number of community service projects here. As a young person, I worked as a candy-striper at our hospital. We don't even say that term anymore. I then thought I wanted to be a nurse. I'm in this nice little uniform and I had the hat that I had to wear and everything, so I went to school to be a nurse. I knew I wanted to help people and be involved, if you will. When we got to that semester where we were doing some blood work, I knew it wasn't for me. "Okay, social working. I'll do that instead.” That's how I ended up really working with people. The South George Street Community Partnership was my introduction to community organizing and working. Rolling up my sleeves and working with AmeriCorps members and folks from all walks of life, to transform an area of the city. At that time the mayor, my predecessor, served on the board of the organization. He saw the work I was doing and he named me as his Community Development Director. I guess he figured, "You could do this in 68 blocks of the city. We need you all over the city.” So, I was a member of his Cabinet. I won't say overnight, but at the time I wasn't thinking about politics or what it meant to be a Cabinet member of a city. So then I'm in politics all of a sudden. All I wanted to do is make my home, my community, the best that it can be. I had the respect of many in the neighborhoods in some of the work that I did, and their willingness to roll up their sleeves alongside of me. When the mayor indicated that after his second term he wasn't going to run again, I thought, "We did a lot of work here together. What do you mean? What does that mean for your Cabinet Members?" You have to think about that, I think, in politics, that you do become a part of the administration. The next administration likely won't keep you. They have their folks that they believe can and do the job, or do it better in some cases. After he said he wasn't going to run again, and lots of family consultation and key advisors and lots of prayer, I decided to put my hat in the ring to run for mayor. In college, I was a member of the Black Student Union. We lobbied for federal aid – financial aid. We did some organizing on campus, but nothing, no formal political science was in my background or anything that I wanted to do. I got into politics in an unorthodox way I would say. That's how it started for me. Craig: What's interesting in the whole story that you just told and your path to becoming mayor is that there's one way to interpret it if you're in your first term as mayor. There's another way to interpret it if you're in your second term as mayor. In your second term, it wasn't a surprise if you were elected. It was your leadership that got you there. Let me ask about that first campaign. How did you launch your first campaign? One of the perspectives that I want to look at, because a lot of our listeners thinking about running for office are naturally in many cases looking at a town board or a village trustee seat. A legislative seat rather than the executive. Your first campaign was for the executive for a 43,000-resident city. Can you talk about how you approached that? Kim Bracey: I did leave out one other piece here and I'm sorry about that Craig. I did take the opportunity to run for City Council, while serving as the Executive Director of South George Street Community Partnership. Our city counselors are at large, but I felt the need to have our voices heard from the southeast end of the city and tried. I lost by 7 votes. It was legislative side of government, where the executives ran the legislative side in York, which has the strong mayor format as well too. This is an executive position that I hold now. The legislators help write the law, and the administration has to enforce it. Losing that seat by 7 votes, yeah I remember it. But it didn't fit my personality, anyways. Fast-forward to running for office of mayor. Again, having worked in the former mayor's administration, I knew some of the nuts and bolts. I was his Community Development Director for 6 years. I served as acting mayor in his absence on a couple of occasions, but you still don't know what’s going on until you're sitting in this chair. As you've mentioned, the support of the residents and the leadership that I was able to demonstrate really was the voice that was missing here in York at the time. I don't take all credit for this either. I had a tremendous team of grassroots supporters that we did it from the ground. It was a groundswell of folks. We were riding on, and I will say this again because it was our first election, riding on President's Obama's win, and the high that the nation, in my opinion, was on because of him. I would be, if elected, the first African-American to serve in a city that's seen it's share of racial strife and issues. Right here in the heart of central Pennsylvania. There were a lot of stars aligned for this to work so well, too. The opportunity has to be something any would-be candidate and hopeful winner should look at. The timing has to be right. People always say, "Well you never know about the timing. It's never right,” but in politics I believe it is. You have to look at the numbers too. We are a majority Democratic city, as most third-class cities in Pennsylvania are. For a Republican to try to win in this city and this climate, they likely wouldn't. On the flip side of that though, our county is predominantly Republican. Often times we see Democrats switch parties to win. More of a county-wide seat, sort of rural offices within a county because of those demographics. I think those kinds of things are very important when folks are thinking about running for either a state office or a local executive office. Again, I like being able to get things done. I'm fortunate to have a great state representative, as well as a relationship with our current governor. The second term that I'm in, and I'm fast forwarding and then I'll go back, is feeling pretty good. We're doing some things right now that are only happening, again, because the stars are aligned. To start off with the campaign, a lot of it began in my living room. Then at the time, my husband and I decided we better rent some space, because we had so many supporters and volunteers. People just knocking on the door wanting to be a part of it. It was refreshing. It was an open and honest campaign that embraced any and every one. I know that got us over the hump. We won every ward that we have in the city. Here I am, for the first term. Then the second term I had a challenge. We can talk about that whenever you're ready. I don't know if you have any other questions about that first term, run. Craig: I do actually. That's a great story about working out of your living room and how refreshing it had to be to have people coming to support you. I hope that all of our listeners that are running for office experience the same kind of love when they're running. You were involved in the city and you even had a position of leadership in the city, but all of a sudden as a candidate you were the person. So what, as you started running for mayor, what surprised you when you got out there during your campaign? Kim Bracey: As you, and many of you listeners probably already know as well, too, I ended up having to resign from the Cabinet. We looked at that on the calendar and how the mayor could work without me for a number of months or whatever. But because of the funding and the fact of the matter is that York is a small city and everything that I do now, as mayor. I go to the grocery store and people don't think the mayor eats. Well, she does. She has to buy things. I'm still the mayor. I don't believe, we didn't want to chance anything that looked bad or was bad as Community Development Director campaigning for mayor. I stepped away from the Cabinet all together, number one. Two surprises then were, "Okay, so you just abandoned your job to do this work. What happens?" Some of the response from concerned citizens became a little louder. While we had a great group of supporters. There were those that weren't quite ready for the change. I think I was even wearing dreadlocks at the time. Everything in central Pennsylvania were shifting a bit. Unfortunately, there were some things hurled our way that were racial. Ugly words and against women. That was a surprise. I had been in the Air Force. Really? I come home, and my hometown, this is how we're still at it at the 21st century? It was surprising of a community perhaps not fully ready to embrace the change that was happening. I had been living in a world where I'm assisting in helping with issues that came forward. Getting things done. Now you're going to run for the highest office in the city, I think came with a different sort of twist for some people. Craig: That kind of stuff blows your mind, too. Kim Bracey: It does. Of course when it gets personal you have to make sure the ground rules are really set and reiterated if need be. Family's off limits. That sort of thing. Craig: You've talked about your re-election campaign. Let's fast forward to that. Let's talk a little bit about how that was different than your initial campaign, and some of the tactics and strategies that played into that. Kim Bracey: We knew what worked the first time out. Our campaign strategist was immediately engaged again to… Oh, I didn't indicate that. Yeah. Limited knowledge on how this stuff is run, so you've got raise some money. I needed to pay for someone to help me develop this strategy through my words, through my eyes and what I wanted to accomplish. While it is a small city, it was a necessity. I was running against several people the first time around. The second time around, with the campaign strategist engaged, next thing you know we have an opponent who happens to be the sitting President for City Counsel. Who happens to be an African-American woman. Did we have some shifting in the community? It concerned so many – that there's a division going on, that we're not as unified to really create change. There were lots of concerns from many in the community about this. I had the same support. In the business community, the grassroots folks. We really didn't let up any momentum, none. We had carried out our first four years with energy and passion. We kept that up through the campaign as well, too. We went back to what we knew well. Knocking on doors, and sitting in people's living rooms having coffee chats. That's what were calling them. My mom arranged those. We had family members still engaged. It was still a fun experience. We won all but one ward this time. That's been a little bit interesting as well, too. That was the ward where my opponent lived. Craig: You touched on something I want to revisit. You said that there were concerns in the community about the unity and the ability to get things done. One of the things that we run into a lot at the local level is the game of politics. You look at elections as a contest and a game, but really there are things happening in the election that have impacts in government. People forget that when it's all about mail pieces, and attacking, and radio ads, and things. There are things to consider as you’re saying things. Can you talk a little about how that re-election campaign affected your role as mayor, and your ability to get things done during that time? Kim Bracey: To your point, many thought everything we were doing was an election piece or a way to be out there. "She's using our taxpayer time to get her message out.” The record definitely proved that was not the case, but it was something that was thrown out, number one. Two, again, the person was a formidable opponent if you will, as the City Counsel's sitting President. Both sides of government have to work in the City of York to get things done. Here you have these two people who are also running against each other, that are still trying to move the city along in a positive way. There was a natural strain. First of all, we're women. We're not going to fake it, okay? Two, again, it's a small town and somebody wants my job. What is that about? There's a human person behind these political figures, as much as we try to keep our face straight and the persona that we have this all together. These are human beings here. She and I ended up having to sit and talk and realized that, "Okay, we're doing what we have to do here. At the end of the day this is about what's best for the City of York, and we at least still have to work together and move this along.” It was very awkward. Bigger picture, folks wanted to make sure the temperament in the community, the city, was going to be cordial. We have had our share of crazy, if you will. City Counsel meetings and things happening in our communit,y just like every other community. No one wanted that sort of rank or behaviors to be prevalent again in the City of York. There's much to be done and there's a lot of great things happening. Let's keep that happening. Craig: It's very easy to lose sight of the reason that you're actually running for office, because you're running for office. It really is incumbent on the candidates to help people maintain that focus. Let me switch to forward thinking. I'm going to ask two questions and you can answer them in either order that you want. For our listeners that are kicking off their campaigns or thinking of running, maybe they haven't even committed to anything yet, is there a mistake that you might've made along that way that you were able to learn something from? The second question would be, is there a piece of advice that you would offer to those candidates? Kim Bracey: It's probably the same. One in the same. The mistake is not listening as intently or as closely as you possibly can. The advice is to listen. As best as you can to everything. It's only 11:00 here, yet. We still have a good day yet to get a couple of good mistakes in, and they happen every day. Case to support that, I had a meeting recently and we were trying to develop a list of folks who we can seek money from for a city project. It was a new member to this table, sitting with us, and she was one of the people I said, "Well what about that lady. Has anyone ever reached out to her yet?" And they pointed and said, "Mayor, she's sitting right next to you.” I heard her name, listened to it when I walked into the room, but I didn't. I just wanted to get in this meeting and start developing the list. You have to pay attention to the smallest details. That's probably the main advice. You've got to make sure this is something that you can lift. As mayor, where you're the Chief Executive Officer and not some form of counsel mayor, you're in this 24 hours a day in many cases. You're probably the most recognizable face in the area, in the county. Folks come up to you all the time, your family has to be prepared for that. You've got to have thick skin, and in my case, a strong face connection. I know that's not politically correct, but you have to be grounded in something. Craig: On the topic of listening, in these days listening is a monumental task. There's people talking, there's social media, there's news, there's all different ways to get and give information. How do you stay in the know on the pulse of what your community is? Kim Bracey: That's interesting, because one of the things I had active while in the campaign mode was a Facebook account. While mayor, I do not. Our city has one, and there's active engagement there. If there's a professional social media account for me, it's Twitter. I do stay engaged with the US Conference of Mayors, of which I am a member, and other professional organizations that way. Obviously, I see and hear everything else on Twitter as well, too. I have a Director of Community Relations and I have Town Hall meeting every quarter, in some part of the city. I'm out doing the things that mayors would do. That would come to a surprise, I'm sure, to your listeners. It's about everything from, in our schools reading to our kids, having open dialogue with them. To, at the market with the vendors listening to their concerns of how they're struggling to keep their stands afloat, if you will. You have to be there for the people, even on the days where you're like, "Oh, I just need a break.” There usually isn't a break, but I try to be as engaged as possible with our constituents and be on the founding board as well. Craig: Let me take you again to forward thinking again. What's on the horizon for you? You entered office with a very specific, I don't want to say a mission, but a theme that included some missions. You've been able to have some success in getting some programs started. As mayor, and maybe a candidate for maybe a third term, what are you plans going forward? Kim Bracey: Many people want to know that answer. I'm still trying to determine my next direction. There are no term limits here in our city and I could run again. We have a lot of great things happening right now and it seems a little awkward to not want to finish that, and I do. I'm still trying to determine that. There's definitely more that I would like to do as well, too. I can't say I have any desire to hold any other office, state seat, or anything like that. I am committed to my hometown and making it the best that it can be. Probably would do this before I would seek any other sort of office. We have, as you indicated, I don't see any number, but some key things that we've worked on since I've been in the office, that I still want to see followed through. It has a lot to do with the blight and the appearance of our city. Even the poverty rate. We want to keep creating job opportunities for people. Introducing folks to new concepts. Opportunities that will assist them to have a better life. There's a lot of reuse that we're looking at with some of the buildings that we've determined to be blight. Then some land use that we're looking at instilling with some great housing too. I'm having fun. I'm enjoying what we're doing right now. That's key, too. It is not always about the next election. It seldom is for me. I've got to enjoy what I'm doing to really, in my opinion, make an impact. To do it where people are also the benefactors. That's as forward as I want to go at this time, Craig, with it. I think about the people that I am responsible to. Not only the taxpayers and constituents, but I have a Cabinet of great people who make me look good with the tremendous work that they do. Much like my predecessor, when he said he wasn't going to run again, he gave us a good little bit of notice and folks had a chance to adjust their lives. I want to make sure they are in this conversation should we decide to go a different direction. Craig: That's a perfect answer. That's like that first re-election, as far as being able to get things done as such a vote of confidence, that you can move forward. You can tell, just by the way you talk about the initiatives that you're engaged in, the enthusiasm that you have. The voters are lucky to have you. Kim Bracey: Thank you. Craig: Mayor, where can anyone listening to this podcast find out more information about you or about York? Kim Bracey: We do have a website in the City of York, it is yorkcity.org. My bio, previous speeches, things I've been engaged in and accomplished are located there as well. I indicated I'm on Twitter. It'd be a year in about 2 weeks. I did it my last State of the City, as of last April and I'm still there, @mayorbracey. See what we're doing and those sorts of things. Or, better yet, relocate to the City of York and buy a home and then I'll be your mayor. Craig: That's the best answer yet. Kim Bracey: I really appreciate this time, Craig. Craig: Mayor, thank you so much for joining us today. I really enjoyed talking with you. I appreciate you taking some time to spend with us. I wish you the best of luck in all your political, personal endeavors going forward. I'm going to stay in touch. As soon as I sign off here, I'm going to go on Twitter and follow you. Remember you can learn more about mayor Bracey. Connect with her on the York, Pennsylvania website which is www.yorkcity.org, or @mayorbracey on Twitter. Mayor thank you again so much. Kim Bracey: You're welcome. Thank you, Craig.  

  • 01:04:28

    The State of the Union Address 2016

    · State of the Union with Jake Tapper

    President Obama's 2016 State of the Union Address Mr. Speaker, Mr. Vice President, Members of Congress, my fellow Americans: Tonight marks the eighth year I've come here to report on the State of the Union. And for this final one, I'm going to try to make it shorter. I know some of you are antsy to get back to Iowa. I also understand that because it's an election season, expectations for what we'll achieve this year are low. Still, Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the constructive approach you and the other leaders took at the end of last year to pass a budget and make tax cuts permanent for working families. So I hope we can work together this year on bipartisan priorities like criminal justice reform, and helping people who are battling prescription drug abuse. We just might surprise the cynics again. But tonight, I want to go easy on the traditional list of proposals for the year ahead. Don't worry, I've got plenty, from helping students learn to write computer code to personalizing medical treatments for patients. And I'll keep pushing for progress on the work that still needs doing. Fixing a broken immigration system. Protecting our kids from gun violence. Equal pay for equal work, paid leave, raising the minimum wage. All these things still matter to hardworking families; they are still the right thing to do; and I will not let up until they get done. But for my final address to this chamber, I don't want to talk just about the next year. I want to focus on the next five years, ten years, and beyond. I want to focus on our future. We live in a time of extraordinary change - change that's reshaping the way we live, the way we work, our planet and our place in the world. It's change that promises amazing medical breakthroughs, but also economic disruptions that strain working families. It promises education for girls in the most remote villages, but also connects terrorists plotting an ocean away. It's change that can broaden opportunity, or widen inequality. And whether we like it or not, the pace of this change will only accelerate. America has been through big changes before - wars and depression, the influx of immigrants, workers fighting for a fair deal, and movements to expand civil rights. Each time, there have been those who told us to fear the future; who claimed we could slam the brakes on change, promising to restore past glory if we just got some group or idea that was threatening America under control. And each time, we overcame those fears. We did not, in the words of Lincoln, adhere to the "dogmas of the quiet past." Instead we thought anew, and acted anew. We made change work for us, always extending America's promise outward, to the next frontier, to more and more people. And because we did - because we saw opportunity where others saw only peril - we emerged stronger and better than before. What was true then can be true now. Our unique strengths as a nation - our optimism and work ethic, our spirit of discovery and innovation, our diversity and commitment to the rule of law - these things give us everything we need to ensure prosperity and security for generations to come. In fact, it's that spirit that made the progress of these past seven years possible. It's how we recovered from the worst economic crisis in generations. It's how we reformed our health care system, and reinvented our energy sector; how we delivered more care and benefits to our troops and veterans, and how we secured the freedom in every state to marry the person we love. But such progress is not inevitable. It is the result of choices we make together. And we face such choices right now. Will we respond to the changes of our time with fear, turning inward as a nation, and turning against each other as a people? Or will we face the future with confidence in who we are, what we stand for, and the incredible things we can do together? So let's talk about the future, and four big questions that we as a country have to answer - regardless of who the next President is, or who controls the next Congress. First, how do we give everyone a fair shot at opportunity and security in this new economy? Second, how do we make technology work for us, and not against us - especially when it comes to solving urgent challenges like climate change? Third, how do we keep America safe and lead the world without becoming its policeman? And finally, how can we make our politics reflect what's best in us, and not what's worst? Let me start with the economy, and a basic fact: the United States of America, right now, has the strongest, most durable economy in the world. We're in the middle of the longest streak of private-sector job creation in history. More than 14 million new jobs; the strongest two years of job growth since the '90s; an unemployment rate cut in half. Our auto industry just had its best year ever. Manufacturing has created nearly 900,000 new jobs in the past six years. And we've done all this while cutting our deficits by almost three-quarters. Anyone claiming that America's economy is in decline is peddling fiction. What is true - and the reason that a lot of Americans feel anxious - is that the economy has been changing in profound ways, changes that started long before the Great Recession hit and haven't let up. Today, technology doesn't just replace jobs on the assembly line, but any job where work can be automated. Companies in a global economy can locate anywhere, and face tougher competition. As a result, workers have less leverage for a raise. Companies have less loyalty to their communities. And more and more wealth and income is concentrated at the very top. All these trends have squeezed workers, even when they have jobs; even when the economy is growing. It's made it harder for a hardworking family to pull itself out of poverty, harder for young people to start on their careers, and tougher for workers to retire when they want to. And although none of these trends are unique to America, they do offend our uniquely American belief that everybody who works hard should get a fair shot. For the past seven years, our goal has been a growing economy that works better for everybody. We've made progress. But we need to make more. And despite all the political arguments we've had these past few years, there are some areas where Americans broadly agree. We agree that real opportunity requires every American to get the education and training they need to land a good-paying job. The bipartisan reform of No Child Left Behind was an important start, and together, we've increased early childhood education, lifted high school graduation rates to new highs, and boosted graduates in fields like engineering. In the coming years, we should build on that progress, by providing Pre-K for all, offering every student the hands-on computer science and math classes that make them job-ready on day one, and we should recruit and support more great teachers for our kids. And we have to make college affordable for every American. Because no hardworking student should be stuck in the red. We've already reduced student loan payments to ten percent of a borrower's income. Now, we've actually got to cut the cost of college. Providing two years of community college at no cost for every responsible student is one of the best ways to do that, and I'm going to keep fighting to get that started this year. Of course, a great education isn't all we need in this new economy. We also need benefits and protections that provide a basic measure of security. After all, it's not much of a stretch to say that some of the only people in America who are going to work the same job, in the same place, with a health and retirement package, for 30 years, are sitting in this chamber. For everyone else, especially folks in their forties and fifties, saving for retirement or bouncing back from job loss has gotten a lot tougher. Americans understand that at some point in their careers, they may have to retool and retrain. But they shouldn't lose what they've already worked so hard to build. That's why Social Security and Medicare are more important than ever; we shouldn't weaken them, we should strengthen them. And for Americans short of retirement, basic benefits should be just as mobile as everything else is today. That's what the Affordable Care Act is all about. It's about filling the gaps in employer-based care so that when we lose a job, or go back to school, or start that new business, we'll still have coverage. Nearly eighteen million have gained coverage so far. Health care inflation has slowed. And our businesses have created jobs every single month since it became law. Now, I'm guessing we won't agree on health care anytime soon. But there should be other ways both parties can improve economic security. Say a hardworking American loses his job - we shouldn't just make sure he can get unemployment insurance; we should make sure that program encourages him to retrain for a business that's ready to hire him. If that new job doesn't pay as much, there should be a system of wage insurance in place so that he can still pay his bills. And even if he's going from job to job, he should still be able to save for retirement and take his savings with him. That's the way we make the new economy work better for everyone. The 2016 race, Obama's legacy, congressional gridlock - get the most important political news delivered to your inbox. By subscribing, you agree to our privacy policy. Enter email address Subscribe I also know Speaker Ryan has talked about his interest in tackling poverty. America is about giving everybody willing to work a hand up, and I'd welcome a serious discussion about strategies we can all support, like expanding tax cuts for low-income workers without kids. But there are other areas where it's been more difficult to find agreement over the last seven years - namely what role the government should play in making sure the system's not rigged in favor of the wealthiest and biggest corporations. And here, the American people have a choice to make. I believe a thriving private sector is the lifeblood of our economy. I think there are outdated regulations that need to be changed, and there's red tape that needs to be cut. But after years of record corporate profits, working families won't get more opportunity or bigger paychecks by letting big banks or big oil or hedge funds make their own rules at the expense of everyone else; or by allowing attacks on collective bargaining to go unanswered. Food Stamp recipients didn't cause the financial crisis; recklessness on Wall Street did. Immigrants aren't the reason wages haven't gone up enough; those decisions are made in the boardrooms that too often put quarterly earnings over long-term returns. It's sure not the average family watching tonight that avoids paying taxes through offshore accounts. In this new economy, workers and start-ups and small businesses need more of a voice, not less. The rules should work for them. And this year I plan to lift up the many businesses who've figured out that doing right by their workers ends up being good for their shareholders, their customers, and their communities, so that we can spread those best practices across America. In fact, many of our best corporate citizens are also our most creative. This brings me to the second big question we have to answer as a country: how do we reignite that spirit of innovation to meet our biggest challenges? Sixty years ago, when the Russians beat us into space, we didn't deny Sputnik was up there. We didn't argue about the science, or shrink our research and development budget. We built a space program almost overnight, and twelve years later, we were walking on the moon. That spirit of discovery is in our DNA. We're Thomas Edison and the Wright Brothers and George Washington Carver. We're Grace Hopper and Katherine Johnson and Sally Ride. We're every immigrant and entrepreneur from Boston to Austin to Silicon Valley racing to shape a better world. And over the past seven years, we've nurtured that spirit. We've protected an open internet, and taken bold new steps to get more students and low-income Americans online. We've launched next-generation manufacturing hubs, and online tools that give an entrepreneur everything he or she needs to start a business in a single day. But we can do so much more. Last year, Vice President Biden said that with a new moonshot, America can cure cancer. Last month, he worked with this Congress to give scientists at the National Institutes of Health the strongest resources they've had in over a decade. Tonight, I'm announcing a new national effort to get it done. And because he's gone to the mat for all of us, on so many issues over the past forty years, I'm putting Joe in charge of Mission Control. For the loved ones we've all lost, for the family we can still save, let's make America the country that cures cancer once and for all. Medical research is critical. We need the same level of commitment when it comes to developing clean energy sources. Look, if anybody still wants to dispute the science around climate change, have at it. You'll be pretty lonely, because you'll be debating our military, most of America's business leaders, the majority of the American people, almost the entire scientific community, and 200 nations around the world who agree it's a problem and intend to solve it. But even if the planet wasn't at stake; even if 2014 wasn't the warmest year on record - until 2015 turned out even hotter - why would we want to pass up the chance for American businesses to produce and sell the energy of the future? Seven years ago, we made the single biggest investment in clean energy in our history. Here are the results. In fields from Iowa to Texas, wind power is now cheaper than dirtier, conventional power. On rooftops from Arizona to New York, solar is saving Americans tens of millions of dollars a year on their energy bills, and employs more Americans than coal - in jobs that pay better than average. We're taking steps to give homeowners the freedom to generate and store their own energy - something environmentalists and Tea Partiers have teamed up to support. Meanwhile, we've cut our imports of foreign oil by nearly sixty percent, and cut carbon pollution more than any other country on Earth. Gas under two bucks a gallon ain't bad, either. Now we've got to accelerate the transition away from dirty energy. Rather than subsidize the past, we should invest in the future - especially in communities that rely on fossil fuels. That's why I'm going to push to change the way we manage our oil and coal resources, so that they better reflect the costs they impose on taxpayers and our planet. That way, we put money back into those communities and put tens of thousands of Americans to work building a 21st century transportation system. None of this will happen overnight, and yes, there are plenty of entrenched interests who want to protect the status quo. But the jobs we'll create, the money we'll save, and the planet we'll preserve - that's the kind of future our kids and grandkids deserve. Climate change is just one of many issues where our security is linked to the rest of the world. And that's why the third big question we have to answer is how to keep America safe and strong without either isolating ourselves or trying to nation-build everywhere there's a problem. I told you earlier all the talk of America's economic decline is political hot air. Well, so is all the rhetoric you hear about our enemies getting stronger and America getting weaker. The United States of America is the most powerful nation on Earth. Period. It's not even close. We spend more on our military than the next eight nations combined. Our troops are the finest fighting force in the history of the world. No nation dares to attack us or our allies because they know that's the path to ruin. Surveys show our standing around the world is higher than when I was elected to this office, and when it comes to every important international issue, people of the world do not look to Beijing or Moscow to lead - they call us. As someone who begins every day with an intelligence briefing, I know this is a dangerous time. But that's not because of diminished American strength or some looming superpower. In today's world, we're threatened less by evil empires and more by failing states. The Middle East is going through a transformation that will play out for a generation, rooted in conflicts that date back millennia. Economic headwinds blow from a Chinese economy in transition. Even as their economy contracts, Russia is pouring resources to prop up Ukraine and Syria - states they see slipping away from their orbit. And the international system we built after World War II is now struggling to keep pace with this new reality. It's up to us to help remake that system. And that means we have to set priorities. Priority number one is protecting the American people and going after terrorist networks. Both al Qaeda and now ISIL pose a direct threat to our people, because in today's world, even a handful of terrorists who place no value on human life, including their own, can do a lot of damage. They use the Internet to poison the minds of individuals inside our country; they undermine our allies. But as we focus on destroying ISIL, over-the-top claims that this is World War III just play into their hands. Masses of fighters on the back of pickup trucks and twisted souls plotting in apartments or garages pose an enormous danger to civilians and must be stopped. But they do not threaten our national existence. That's the story ISIL wants to tell; that's the kind of propaganda they use to recruit. We don't need to build them up to show that we're serious, nor do we need to push away vital allies in this fight by echoing the lie that ISIL is representative of one of the world's largest religions. We just need to call them what they are - killers and fanatics who have to be rooted out, hunted down, and destroyed. That's exactly what we are doing. For more than a year, America has led a coalition of more than 60 countries to cut off ISIL's financing, disrupt their plots, stop the flow of terrorist fighters, and stamp out their vicious ideology. With nearly 10,000 air strikes, we are taking out their leadership, their oil, their training camps, and their weapons. We are training, arming, and supporting forces who are steadily reclaiming territory in Iraq and Syria. If this Congress is serious about winning this war, and wants to send a message to our troops and the world, you should finally authorize the use of military force against ISIL. Take a vote. But the American people should know that with or without Congressional action, ISIL will learn the same lessons as terrorists before them. If you doubt America's commitment - or mine - to see that justice is done, ask Osama bin Laden. Ask the leader of al Qaeda in Yemen, who was taken out last year, or the perpetrator of the Benghazi attacks, who sits in a prison cell. When you come after Americans, we go after you. It may take time, but we have long memories, and our reach has no limit. Our foreign policy must be focused on the threat from ISIL and al Qaeda, but it can't stop there. For even without ISIL, instability will continue for decades in many parts of the world - in the Middle East, in Afghanistan and Pakistan, in parts of Central America, Africa and Asia. Some of these places may become safe havens for new terrorist networks; others will fall victim to ethnic conflict, or famine, feeding the next wave of refugees. The world will look to us to help solve these problems, and our answer needs to be more than tough talk or calls to carpet bomb civilians. That may work as a TV sound bite, but it doesn't pass muster on the world stage. We also can't try to take over and rebuild every country that falls into crisis. That's not leadership; that's a recipe for quagmire, spilling American blood and treasure that ultimately weakens us. It's the lesson of Vietnam, of Iraq - and we should have learned it by now. Fortunately, there's a smarter approach, a patient and disciplined strategy that uses every element of our national power. It says America will always act, alone if necessary, to protect our people and our allies; but on issues of global concern, we will mobilize the world to work with us, and make sure other countries pull their own weight. That's our approach to conflicts like Syria, where we're partnering with local forces and leading international efforts to help that broken society pursue a lasting peace. That's why we built a global coalition, with sanctions and principled diplomacy, to prevent a nuclear-armed Iran. As we speak, Iran has rolled back its nuclear program, shipped out its uranium stockpile, and the world has avoided another war. That's how we stopped the spread of Ebola in West Africa. Our military, our doctors, and our development workers set up the platform that allowed other countries to join us in stamping out that epidemic. That's how we forged a Trans-Pacific Partnership to open markets, protect workers and the environment, and advance American leadership in Asia. It cuts 18,000 taxes on products Made in America, and supports more good jobs. With TPP, China doesn't set the rules in that region, we do. You want to show our strength in this century? Approve this agreement. Give us the tools to enforce it. Fifty years of isolating Cuba had failed to promote democracy, setting us back in Latin America. That's why we restored diplomatic relations, opened the door to travel and commerce, and positioned ourselves to improve the lives of the Cuban people. You want to consolidate our leadership and credibility in the hemisphere? Recognize that the Cold War is over. Lift the embargo. American leadership in the 21st century is not a choice between ignoring the rest of the world - except when we kill terrorists; or occupying and rebuilding whatever society is unraveling. Leadership means a wise application of military power, and rallying the world behind causes that are right. It means seeing our foreign assistance as part of our national security, not charity. When we lead nearly 200 nations to the most ambitious agreement in history to fight climate change - that helps vulnerable countries, but it also protects our children. When we help Ukraine defend its democracy, or Colombia resolve a decades-long war, that strengthens the international order we depend upon. When we help African countries feed their people and care for the sick, that prevents the next pandemic from reaching our shores. Right now, we are on track to end the scourge of HIV/AIDS, and we have the capacity to accomplish the same thing with malaria - something I'll be pushing this Congress to fund this year. That's strength. That's leadership. And that kind of leadership depends on the power of our example. That is why I will keep working to shut down the prison at Guantanamo: it's expensive, it's unnecessary, and it only serves as a recruitment brochure for our enemies. That's why we need to reject any politics that targets people because of race or religion. This isn't a matter of political correctness. It's a matter of understanding what makes us strong. The world respects us not just for our arsenal; it respects us for our diversity and our openness and the way we respect every faith. His Holiness, Pope Francis, told this body from the very spot I stand tonight that "to imitate the hatred and violence of tyrants and murderers is the best way to take their place." When politicians insult Muslims, when a mosque is vandalized, or a kid bullied, that doesn't make us safer. That's not telling it like it is. It's just wrong. It diminishes us in the eyes of the world. It makes it harder to achieve our goals. And it betrays who we are as a country. "We the People." Our Constitution begins with those three simple words, words we've come to recognize mean all the people, not just some; words that insist we rise and fall together. That brings me to the fourth, and maybe the most important thing I want to say tonight. The future we want - opportunity and security for our families; a rising standard of living and a sustainable, peaceful planet for our kids - all that is within our reach. But it will only happen if we work together. It will only happen if we can have rational, constructive debates. It will only happen if we fix our politics. A better politics doesn't mean we have to agree on everything. This is a big country, with different regions and attitudes and interests. That's one of our strengths, too. Our Founders distributed power between states and branches of government, and expected us to argue, just as they did, over the size and shape of government, over commerce and foreign relations, over the meaning of liberty and the imperatives of security. But democracy does require basic bonds of trust between its citizens. It doesn't work if we think the people who disagree with us are all motivated by malice, or that our political opponents are unpatriotic. Democracy grinds to a halt without a willingness to compromise; or when even basic facts are contested, and we listen only to those who agree with us. Our public life withers when only the most extreme voices get attention. Most of all, democracy breaks down when the average person feels their voice doesn't matter; that the system is rigged in favor of the rich or the powerful or some narrow interest. Too many Americans feel that way right now. It's one of the few regrets of my presidency - that the rancor and suspicion between the parties has gotten worse instead of better. There's no doubt a president with the gifts of Lincoln or Roosevelt might have better bridged the divide, and I guarantee I'll keep trying to be better so long as I hold this office. But, my fellow Americans, this cannot be my task - or any President's - alone. There are a whole lot of folks in this chamber who would like to see more cooperation, a more elevated debate in Washington, but feel trapped by the demands of getting elected. I know; you've told me. And if we want a better politics, it's not enough to just change a Congressman or a Senator or even a President; we have to change the system to reflect our better selves. We have to end the practice of drawing our congressional districts so that politicians can pick their voters, and not the other way around. We have to reduce the influence of money in our politics, so that a handful of families and hidden interests can't bankroll our elections - and if our existing approach to campaign finance can't pass muster in the courts, we need to work together to find a real solution. We've got to make voting easier, not harder, and modernize it for the way we live now. And over the course of this year, I intend to travel the country to push for reforms that do. But I can't do these things on my own. Changes in our political process - in not just who gets elected but how they get elected - that will only happen when the American people demand it. It will depend on you. That's what's meant by a government of, by, and for the people. What I'm asking for is hard. It's easier to be cynical; to accept that change isn't possible, and politics is hopeless, and to believe that our voices and actions don't matter. But if we give up now, then we forsake a better future. Those with money and power will gain greater control over the decisions that could send a young soldier to war, or allow another economic disaster, or roll back the equal rights and voting rights that generations of Americans have fought, even died, to secure. As frustration grows, there will be voices urging us to fall back into tribes, to scapegoat fellow citizens who don't look like us, or pray like us, or vote like we do, or share the same background. We can't afford to go down that path. It won't deliver the economy we want, or the security we want, but most of all, it contradicts everything that makes us the envy of the world. So, my fellow Americans, whatever you may believe, whether you prefer one party or no party, our collective future depends on your willingness to uphold your obligations as a citizen. To vote. To speak out. To stand up for others, especially the weak, especially the vulnerable, knowing that each of us is only here because somebody, somewhere, stood up for us. To stay active in our public life so it reflects the goodness and decency and optimism that I see in the American people every single day. It won't be easy. Our brand of democracy is hard. But I can promise that a year from now, when I no longer hold this office, I'll be right there with you as a citizen - inspired by those voices of fairness and vision, of grit and good humor and kindness that have helped America travel so far. Voices that help us see ourselves not first and foremost as black or white or Asian or Latino, not as gay or straight, immigrant or native born; not as Democrats or Republicans, but as Americans first, bound by a common creed. Voices Dr. King believed would have the final word - voices of unarmed truth and unconditional love. They're out there, those voices. They don't get a lot of attention, nor do they seek it, but they are busy doing the work this country needs doing. I see them everywhere I travel in this incredible country of ours. I see you. I know you're there. You're the reason why I have such incredible confidence in our future. Because I see your quiet, sturdy citizenship all the time. I see it in the worker on the assembly line who clocked extra shifts to keep his company open, and the boss who pays him higher wages to keep him on board. I see it in the Dreamer who stays up late to finish her science project, and the teacher who comes in early because he knows she might someday cure a disease. I see it in the American who served his time, and dreams of starting over - and the business owner who gives him that second chance. The protester determined to prove that justice matters, and the young cop walking the beat, treating everybody with respect, doing the brave, quiet work of keeping us safe. I see it in the soldier who gives almost everything to save his brothers, the nurse who tends to him 'til he can run a marathon, and the community that lines up to cheer him on. It's the son who finds the courage to come out as who he is, and the father whose love for that son overrides everything he's been taught. I see it in the elderly woman who will wait in line to cast her vote as long as she has to; the new citizen who casts his for the first time; the volunteers at the polls who believe every vote should count, because each of them in different ways know how much that precious right is worth. That's the America I know. That's the country we love. Clear-eyed. Big-hearted. Optimistic that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word. That's what makes me so hopeful about our future. Because of you. I believe in you. That's why I stand here confident that the State of our Union is strong. Thank you, God bless you, and God bless the United States of America.

  • Show 1379 Two Interviews of Thomas Sowell of his new book Wealth, Poverty, and Politics: An International Perspective

    · American Conservative University Podcast

    Show 1379 Two Interviews of Thomas Sowell of his new book Wealth, Poverty, and Politics: An International Perspective Segment 1 is from the Tom Woods Show episode 528 Sowell on Inequality, and Why Equality Is an Impossible Goal  Today I discuss some fantastic material from Thomas Sowell’s new book Wealth, Poverty, and Politics: An International Perspective. Plus, responses to my discussion with Matt Zwolinski on whether libertarians should favor a basic income guarantee.  Book Discussed Wealth, Poverty, and Politics: An International Perspective, by Thomas Sowell Subscribe to the Tom Woods Show:https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/t... http://www.TomWoods.com/528 http://www.SupportingListeners.com http://www.RonPaulHomeschool.com http://www.TomWoodsHomeschool.com http://www.LibertyClassroom.com   Segment 2- Malzberg | Thomas Sowell on his book "Wealth, Poverty, and Politics: An International Perspective” Senior Fellow, Hoover Institution, and Author of "Wealth, Poverty and Politics" joins Steve to discuss his latest book: "Wealth, Poverty, and Politics: An International Perspective” and more. See: tsowell.com

  • 00:54:18

    Can Lawrence Lessig Win The Presidency AND Get Money Out Of Politics? (Interview w/ Cenk Uygur)

    · TYT Interviews

    Harvard Law Professor and longtime political activist Lawrence Lessig wants to win the presidency of the United States to accomplish one critical objective: ending the corrupting influence of money on politics. With that done, he says he’ll step down and let someone else take over the Oval Office. It’s a radical notion, the single-issue presidential candidacy, but as he points out, only a radical solution can wrest back control of our democracy from the monied interests who have steadily come to dominate American political life. In this exclusive interview, Lessig and The Young Turks’ Cenk Uygur discuss:- The Kickstarter campaign that will decide whether Lessig officially runs for president.- Why, even if one of them were to become president, Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton have no hope of eliminating money from politics.- Why the American people would get behind a one-issue candidacy to get money out of politics.- Why the Democratic party is as guilty as Republicans for the current corrupt system.- Whether Donald Trump’s candidacy is helpful or harmful to the cause of money in politics.- The Three Prongs of Political Corruption that a Citizen Equality Act would deal with.- Whether he would govern as president on other issues while trying to pass the Citizen Equality Act.- How the fight against money in politics is the Civil Rights issue of our time, and that now is when the American people need to come together in shared sacrifice to take back democracy.Find out more about Lawrence Lessig here: http://www.lessig.orgDonate to the Lawrence Lessig for President Kickstarter here: https://lessigforpresident.comFollow him on Twitter: @LessigHelp Cenk pass an amendment to get money out of politics: www.wolf-pac.comFollow Cenk on Twitter: @CenkUygurLike this interview? Enough that you want to throw a little Bitcoin our way? Great! Do it here: https://www.coinbase.com/TYT

  • 01:12:23

    504: Professor David Campbell on Politics, Religion and Mormonism

    · Mormon Stories - LDS

    In this episode of Mormon Stories, J. Nelson-Seawright interviews David Campbell, Professor of Political Science at the University of Notre Dame and the founding director of the Rooney Center for the Study of American Democracy, about his celebrated research on religion and politics in America. Professor Campbell argues that the current partisan environment, in which religious people mostly support the Republican Party and less religious people the Democratic Party, is a recent development --- and he explains how this pattern can help explain America's recent rise in irreligiosity.Campbell also discusses his work on Mormonism and politics. He explains his research about how Mormon identity is different in American context: stronger, more collective, more integrated, and with stricter boundaries. He discusses implications for how Mormonism interacts with politics, and also for the identity and religious options of liberal and disaffected Mormons.

  • Episode 004 – Technology and Politics

    · Exponent

    Are the recent debates on net neutrality, the protests of Google buses, even SOPA a sign of things to come? Building on Ben’s article The Net Neutrality Wake-up Call Ben and James discuss the intersection of technology and politics. Why do people in technology tend to dislike politics? Is net neutrality really that important and understanding open loop unbundling The tech industry and creative destruction: is it good for society when companies go out of business? The impact of money on politics Why tech and politics are on a collision course What we can do to effect change on an … Continue reading Episode 004 – Technology and Politics