Our American Discourse, Ep. 34: The Eternal Struggle for Power on Capitol Hill

Power is up for grabs in Washington. A controversial President, an unpopular Congress, and a midterm election all make 2018 a battleground for political control. Who will win? How will they do it? And what role do you play? This is story of the most consequential game ever played, and it’s told by one of the leading Congressional experts of our time.

In this episode, Jeffrey A. Jenkins teaches us the strategy of legislative power: who has it, how they get it, what they do with it, and why we should care.

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Our American Discourse, Ep. 28: Who Do Politicians Really Represent and Does the Electorate Notice?

With Donald Trump’s approval ratings at record lows, it’s worth asking how much this one number matters…and whether the people who approve really are better represented by him than the people who don’t. If our politicians really do represent some Americans better than others, it calls into question the very foundational ideals of our representative democracy.

In this episode, Brian Newman uncovers who’s represented, who’s not, and how it affects their view of government.

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Autopsy of a Failed Health Insurance Experiment: Did It Die of Natural Causes, or Was It Murdered?

It was just another week for the Trump administration. A senior official resigned after admitting to major ethics violations, the President insulted millions of innocent brown-skinned Americans on Twitter, and quietly—so quietly that almost no one noticed—the Department of Health and Human Services pulled another Jenga block out of the teetering tower that is the Affordable Care Act. Fortunately, it did not fall.

But it did become more expensive. And in that understated tragedy, we find our mystery: Was that HHS’s intent all along?

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Our American Discourse, Ep. 15: Sports and Racial Justice in America

To some, it represents the highest ideals of our society. To others, it is a symbol of unfulfilled potential at best, outright oppression at worst. Are we referring to the American flag? Or to American sports? This debate is about more than one athlete or one gesture. It is about an institution, a system of competition, dominance, and deeply ingrained beliefs. In this episode, we examine this balance of power—and the protestors who are trying to change it.

In front of a live audience at USC, Prof. Jody David Armour interviews ESPN writer Jason Reid about Colin Kaepernick, political activism, and being black in America.

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Regarding “Greatness”: A Baby Boomer’s Lament

The following is a beautiful essay written by my friend Susan Chase. I think it brilliantly captures the moment were living in and the danger of not standing up to the forces of evil a lesson we seem to have taken for granted from generations past. Susan has spent a lifetime working to leave the world a better place for the next generation as a mother, as a therapist, as a teacher, as a performing artist, writer, and director. I believe, as she once did, in the greatness of America. I would like to think we still have what it takes to embody that greatness as she remembers her fathers generation doing. But. Only if we heed her warning…

 

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