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Politics & Polls #139: The Mueller Report Book Club Ft. Quinta Jurecic
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May 16, 2019 07:45 AM PDT
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Last week, former White House Counsel Don McGahn — a key figure in Volume II of the Mueller Report — reportedly was instructed by the Trump administration not to comply with a subpoena from House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler for documents and testimony related to the Committee’s obstruction of justice investigation.

Continuing our Mueller Report book club, journalist Quinta Jurecic joins Julian Zelizer and Sam Wang to give listeners a roadmap to Volume II. They examine the elements comprising obstruction of justice, instances of the President’s conduct Mueller weighed against the criminal statutes (including previous orders he gave McGahn), and why Mueller felt barred by existing Justice Department policy from indicting Trump — yet explicitly states the report does not exonerate him.

Jurecic is the managing editor of Lawfare and a contributing writer to The Atlantic. She writes about politics, legal issues, and the rule of law. She previously served as an editorial writer for The Washington Post and as Lawfare's associate editor.

#138: The Mueller Report "Book Club" Ft. Marcy Wheeler
Clean
May 09, 2019 08:48 AM PDT
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Hundreds of former federal prosecutors asserted in a recent statement that, were Donald Trump not the President, he would have been charged with obstruction of justice based on findings contained in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s (Class of 1966) report. As the aftermath of the report continues to unfold, what should Americans retain and understand from the document itself? In part one of a three-episode series, independent journalist Marcy Wheeler joins Professors Julian Zelizer and Sam Wang in a deep-dive look at Volume I — which examines whether there was conspiracy or coordination between Trump’s associates and the Russian government on its election interference efforts, and describes in detail activities not deemed criminal but likely to be considered political graft. Marcy Wheeler writes about national security and civil liberties at her eponymous blog, emptywheel. She also publishes at outlets including Motherboard, the New Republic, and Al Jazeera, and appears frequently on television and radio. Blogging full-time since 2007, Wheeler was declared an internet human rights hero by Access Now. She serves on the advisory committee for the House Fourth Amendment Caucus and as a senior fellow at GWU’s Center for Cyber & Homeland Security. She holds a Ph.D. in comparative literature from the University of Michigan.

#137: Era of Ignition Ft. Amber Tamblyn
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May 02, 2019 10:09 AM PDT
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Has feminism changed in in recent years, particularly with the #MeToo movement and presidential elections as the backdrop? A new book by author and actress Amber Tamblyn explores "coming of age in a time of rage,” showing how self-reflection can lead to personal upheaval and, ultimately, positive change.

Tamblyn discusses her book, “Era of Ignition,” in this episode with co-host Julian Zelizer. She discussed the book during an April 23 visit to the Princeton University campus.

Tamblyn is known for her work on "General Hospital," "Joan of Arcadia," "Two and a Half Men" and "The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants." In June 2018 Tamblyn released her first novel "Any Man." "Era of Ignition" is her second book, published by Penguin Random House.

#136: The Politics of the Mueller Report
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April 25, 2019 07:55 AM PDT
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A redacted version of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report was released April 18, giving politicians time since to respond to its findings.

In this episode, Julian Zelizer and Sam Wang discuss the politics of navigating the report, particularly for the Democratic Party. The pair discuss some of the various reactions of several leading primary candidates, especially Sen. Elizabeth Warren. Zelizer also makes the case for why embarking on impeachment proceedings in 2019 might not yield the same consequences as the Republican-led effort in the 1990s.

#135: Reproductive Rights Ft. Cecile Richards
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April 18, 2019 07:35 AM PDT
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Reproductive rights have been a contentious issue for decades and have come into particular focus during the Trump presidency.

In this episode, Julian Zelizer discusses possible future for reproductive rights in the United States with Cecile Richards, former president of Planned Parenthood.

In their conversation, they talk about the Trump administration’s efforts to restrict reproductive rights in the legislature and in the judiciary. Richards discusses state-led efforts to limit reproductive rights and the wide-ranging implications of the Kavanaugh confirmation. She also explains several of the interconnections among reproductive rights, women’s rights, health care rights, and more.

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Richards is a national leader for womens rights and social and economic justice. She was the president of Planned Parenthood for twelve years and previously served as the deputy chief of staff for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Richards is also the author of The New York Times’ bestseller “Make Trouble: Stand Up, Speak Out, and Find the Courage to Lead.”

#134: The Republican Party Ft. Jeff Flake
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April 11, 2019 07:59 AM PDT
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Donald Trump’s presidency has raised serious questions about the future direction of the Republican Party. Former Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona has been among those to raise concerns about the party.

In this episode, Julian Zelizer and Sam Wang discuss the GOP with Flake, who outlines some of his divergences with the President’s views.

Flake, who was a U.S. Senator in Arizona from 2013 to 2019, expresses concern that the Republican party has seemed to abandon what it believes to be right in favor of what makes for an effective campaigning message. Flake further asserts his view that Republicans have failed to fully internalize what he believes to have been a ringing defeat during the midterm elections.

While in the Senate, Flake worked on the Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology, and Law and chaired the Africa Subcommittee of the Foreign Relations Committee. He previously served as the executive director of the Goldwater Institute and then spent six terms in the House of Representatives from 2001 to 2013. He is the author of The New York Times bestseller: “Conscious of a Conservative: A Rejection of Destructive Politics and a Return to Principle.”

#133: Women of Color in the Digital Space Ft. Kimberly Bryant
Clean
April 04, 2019 07:46 AM PDT
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The technology sector is an important part of the economy, yet there exists a dearth of women in the field — especially females of color.
Joining this episode to discuss breaking through these barriers is Kimberly Bryant, founder and CEO of Black Girls CODE, a non-profit organization dedicated to “changing the face of technology” by introducing girls of color (ages 7-17) to the field of technology and computer science.

Bryant’s organization will host a workshop for young girls who want to explore artificial intelligence this Saturday, April 6, in New York City.

Prior to starting Black Girls CODE, Bryant worked for over 20 years in the pharmaceutical and biotech industries as an engineering manager in a series of technical leadership roles for various Fortune 50 companies such as Genentech, Merck, and Pfizer.

Since 2011, Bryant has helped Black Girls CODE grow from a local grassroots initiative serving only the San Francisco Bay Area, to an international organization with fourteen chapters across the United States and in Johannesburg, South Africa. Black Girls CODE has currently reached over 7,000 students and continues to grow and thrive.

#132: The Mueller Report
Clean
March 28, 2019 11:01 AM PDT
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Special Counsel Robert Mueller released his report on Russia interference in the 2016 election this week, finding no collusion between President Donald Trump and Russia, but neither charging nor exonerating Trump on obstruction of justice.

Now, many Democratic leaders argue the report, which has not been made public, should be made available in its entirety to lawmakers and Congress.

In this episode, Sam Wang and Julian Zelizer discuss how the absence of this public report is shaping the overall narrative of the investigation and its results.

#131: ‘Mass Human Caging’ Ft. Alec Karakatsanis
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March 21, 2019 11:16 AM PDT
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There are unprecedented rates of incarceration in America today, with hundreds of thousands of people being jailed annually. How does the cash bail system contribute to those pending trial but unable to meet bail? And what are the rights of those who are incarcerated?

Alec Karakatsanis joins this episode to discuss what he calls “mass human caging” in America.

Karakatsanis is the founder and executive director of Civil Rights Corps, a non-profit organization dedicated to groundbreaking systemic litigation and advocacy challenging pervasive injustices in the American criminal legal system.

Karakatsanis visited Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs in late February 2019 as as part of its Christian A. Johnson Endeavor Foundation Leadership through Mentorship Program. He graduated from Yale College in 2005 with a degree in Ethics, Politics, & Economics and Harvard Law School in 2008, where he was a Supreme Court Chair of the Harvard Law Review.

Politics & Polls #130: 2020 Prospects
Clean
March 14, 2019 08:51 AM PDT
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The 2020 election is on the horizon. In this episode, Sam Wang and Julian Zelizer discuss prospects for the 2020 election, analyzing data-based and qualitative factors. The pair is particularly interested in the potential for a Joe Biden candidacy and consider the question of whether Biden would be the best candidate for the Democratic Party.

Wang and Zelizer also consider the implications of such a large Democratic field of candidates and the different characteristics required to run in the primary election as compared to the general election against President Donald Trump.

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