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Pantsuit Politics

For anyone discouraged by our current political discourse, Sarah Stewart Holland and Beth Silvers bring a nuanced and grace-filled perspective to discussions about politics and news.
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Now displaying: April, 2017
Apr 28, 2017

With Sarah in New Orleans and Beth in D.C., the sound in this episode isn't ideal, but we hope the substance is worth it. First, we talk about Beth's experience at Vox Conversations before moving into a lightening round conversation about the news of the week: 

Michael Flynn's acceptance of payments from foreign governments

The White House's release of a tax reform memo

Efforts to resuscitate health care reform in the House

President Obama's lucrative speaking gig

A federal judge enjoining President Trump's executive order on sanctuary cities

Our Friday feedback comes directly from our listeners who attended dinner in DC. 

Thanks for bearing with us through the audio! We'll be back on Tuesday with better sound and a robust discussion of the issues. 

Apr 25, 2017

Today, we discuss the post-mortem looks at the Clinton campaign, along with Trump's first hundred days in office, the French election, and the looming deadline for funding the government. 

The Pearls

We're close to the end of the first hundred days of the Trump presidency, and it's becoming clear that President Trump has accomplished some, but certainly not all of the items on his Contract with the American Voter. While the 100 day marker is relatively artificial, it has become a flashpoint in journalism and analysis, and we think there's some merit to starting strong. 

The French voted over the weekend, with moderate Emmanuel Macron and nationalist Marine Le Pen emerging as the top two candidates. They'll face off in June. Le Pen is widely seen as an extremist, and most French politicians are quickly lining up to support Macron

Congress has until April 28 to pass a continuing resolution for funding the government. The Trump administration has made funding contentious by taking a hard line on its priorities. The administration is sharply focused on funding a border wall and increasing military spending. 

Sarah extended her compliment for the other party this week to Representative Jamie Comer (and then added kudos for Joni Ernst following remarks critical of President Trump for spending so much time away from the White House). Beth complimented Dick Durbin for his nuanced take on Democratic candidates' positions on reproductive rights. 

The Suit

We discussed the conversation emerging from Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton's Doomed Campaign by Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes. We think the focus should be less on campaign infighting and drama and more on what we can learn going forward

The Heels

Beth shares a little about her sister, Kimberly's, wedding, and we talk more about Sarah's house hunt. 

Apr 25, 2017

In today's Briefcase, we discuss elections in Georgia, Turkey, and the U.K., along with listener feedback. 

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.

Harry & David Whether she’s a wine aficionado, a chocolate lover, or a fruit fanatic, Harry & David has something Mom’s guaranteed to love. UP TO 30% off select Mother’s Day items is an amazing deal, but it expires Friday. Harry & David is part of the 1-800 Flowers family of brands and the company we trust with Mom’s special day. Get up to 30% off select Mother’s Day favorites NOW! Just go to http://harryanddavid.com, click the radio icon and enter code PANTSUIT. 

CREDO Moblie What if you could make the world a little bit better every time you used your cell phone? Well, it turns out you can, thanks to CREDO Mobile. Because, whenever you use a CREDO product or service, you generate critical donations for progressive causes and vital activism work – at no extra cost to you. With over $150,000 donated every month to nonprofits like Planned Parenthood and the ACLU, CREDO truly does give you the power to make positive social change every day. Not to mention, they offer coverage on the nation’s largest and most dependable 4G LTE network, and you can easily transfer over with your existing number. So, if you want a better world for all of us, AND a better way to stay connected to it, you want CREDO mobile.  And, right now, CREDO has a special deal for our listeners. Go to CREDOMobile.COM/pantsuit and get 2 smartphones FREE plus 50% off unlimited talk and text.  Or call 1-866-689-0099.  It’s time your phone company represented your value​​​​​​​
 
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The state of Georgia held a special election to replace Rep. Tom Price (now the Secretary of Health and Human Services). Democrats invested heavily in 30-year-old Jon Ossoff. In a crowded field and a district that Price carried by 23 points, Ossoff did well but failed to cross the 50% threshold required to win the seat. He and Republican Karen Handel will face off in a June election. 

Turkey held a referendum to diminish the parliamentary system and strengthen the president’s powers. The referendum measure eliminates the prime minister and places all of the prime minister’s powers in the president, gives the president more ability to make laws through decrees and more power over the judiciary, and potentially extends the president's term. President Recep Tayip Erdogan campaigned hard for this referendum which passed by a very narrow margin. He argued that threats to Turkey’s security require him to have broad power to protect the country. Opposition parties claim that there was foul play in the election and called for annulment of the referendum. The Turkish election board rejected the appeals. The change doesn’t go into effect until 2019, after an election that Erdogan is expected to win. (It’s also expected that he will hold this election earlier). This referendum is broadly seen as a move toward authoritarianism.  

Last month, Prime Minister Theresa May triggered a two-year process for withdrawing from the EU — meaning a March 2019 deadline. The process is going to be complicated, and Theresa May says that the UK needs to move past elections so that everyone isn’t campaigning just as the negotiations with the EU reach a fever pitch. She said she wouldn’t do this on many occasions, but she has reversed course. The election is now scheduled for June 8.  Commentators believe that she’s trying to strengthen her support in Parliament to have a stronger position in negotiations with the EU.

We also discussed Megan's feedback on our North Korea discussion (sign up for our emails to read Megan's full message and see her recommendations for further exploration of North Korea) and Kerry's feedback about Smart Power

Apr 18, 2017

Today, we're discussing the most difficult problem facing the Trump administration: what to do about North Korea. 

SPONSOR: 

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.

CREDO

• Whenever you use a CREDO product or service, you generate critical donations for progressive causes and vital activism work – at no extra cost to you. If you want a better world for all of us, AND a better way to stay connected to it, you want CREDO mobile. Go to CREDOMobile.COM/pantsuit and get 2 smartphones FREE plus 50% off unlimited talk and text.

 
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Show Notes

First, in the Pearls, we discuss a new law repealing an Obama-era rule on funding for Planned Parenthood. Sarah recommends this documentary on abortion. We also talk about the Trump administration's decision not to make White House visitor logs public. For our compliments to the other side, Sarah compliments Republican governors in blue states (Massachusetts, Vermont, Maryland), who tend to be enormously popular and effective. Beth was impressed by a profile of Governor Dannell Malloy of Connecticut. 

In The Suit, we discuss North Korea. We recorded this episode prior to North Korea's failed missile test, but the question remains--how should the Trump administration respond to North Korea's weapons program? So far, the Trump administration has talked tough on North Korea. It's clear that President Trump is learning on the job with respect to North Korea, and some commentators worry that praise of his military action in Syria will move him toward a more aggressive stance. Context on North Korea matters greatly-- what's the regime thinking? What role does cyberwarfare play? And what are the ramifications for our relationship with China

In the Heels, Sarah discussed a blog post from Jen Hatmaker that caused quite a stir on our Facebook page, and Beth talked about her obsession with NPR's podcast How I Built This. 

 

Apr 17, 2017

Spend 20 minutes with Beth preparing for Tuesday's episode with some North Korean geography, history, and facts about the current state and its leader, Kim Jong-un. 

Recommended Resources: 

North Korea's Nuclear Program

Fast Facts on North Korea 

The Official Website of North Korea 

Understanding Kim Jong-un

Trump Inherits a Secret Cyberwar Against North Korea 

Apr 14, 2017

We tackle Glenn Greenwald's The Spoils of War: Trump Lavished With Media and Bipartisan Praise For Bombing Syria point by point as well as tackle listener feedback on environmental regulations and the need for love not fear.

SPONSOR: 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!
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Apr 12, 2017

Sarah discusses the Pantsuit Politics Book Club March pick - J.D. Vance's memoir Hillbilly Elegy with Jean, a stay-at-home mom from Central New York who was unimpressed with the best seller.  

 
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Show Notes

 

Jean's beginning thoughts on J.D. Vance and Hillbilly Elegy

"He is a bad source for what he is trying to get you to understand about these people. He is intrinsically different and always was because while the people he was talking about had the fuck it mentality, he didn't. he wanted out and knew it. he used the military as many often do to pull himself out. something that any of the others could do but dont because theyve already given up. like the bird that doesnt leave the cage when the doors open. He cant understand his own people and maybe thats why he comes off as judgy, because hes trying to tell a story from a mold he doesnt fit.
My degree is in Psych, I have a deep rooted desire to understand why people think the way they do. I expected him to be a first hand source to aid in that understanding, but hes not. He is the outsider looking in at his own people because of that intrinsic difference between his drive and their lack of it, which means even he doesnt understand why they do and think the way they do. 

We also discussed:

Arlie Russell Hochschild Strangers in their own Land

S*town podcast

Morgan Spurlock's 30 Days

James Frey's A Million Little Pieces 

The Pantsuit Politics Book Club will be reading The Crisis of the Middle-Class Constitution: Why Economic Inequality Threatens Our Republic by Ganesh Sitaraman.

Apr 11, 2017

Today, in the pearls, we have a Kentucky theme—we’re going to talk a little about President Trump’s actions on coal and the Washington Post’s scathing editorial about Mitch McConnell. Then in the Suit we discuss the military strike in Syria, and in the Heels, we’ll discuss what’s on our minds outside of politics this week.  

SPONSOR: 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

Show Notes

We acknowledge the horrendous attacks in Sweden and Egypt.

Sweden mourns 4 killed, 15 wounded in Stockholm truck attack

Palm Sunday bombings kill dozens at churches in Egypt

In our Kentucky-themed Pearls, we discuss Trump's recent actions on coal and the Saturday Night Live skit targeting Trump's Kentucky supporters.

Trump moves toward relief from water rule that threatens coal

Trump signs law rolling back disclosure rule for energy and mining

We also discuss the Washington Post’s scathing editorial about Mitch McConnell.

We both compliment Senators from the other side who criticized the party line with regards to the recent rule change.

In the Suit, we respond to our listener Katie's concerns that "'peace through strength' is getting more and more antiquated with every generation."

We also share our previous views on Syria we both shared on Sarah's blog before the podcast began.

Sarah: A mother's thoughts on Syria

Beth: 

In the Heels, Beth gives Sarah the ultimate compliment and Sarah shares her thoughts on her recent trip to Dollywood. 

 

Apr 6, 2017

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! 

 

Apr 4, 2017

We are delighted to be jointly hosting a discussion of global citizenship with Tsh Oxenreider, founder of The Art of Simple, The Simple Show, and author of Organized Simplicity: The Clutter-Free Approach to Intentional Living, Notes from a Blue Bike: The Art of Living Intentionally in a Chaotic World, and At Home in the World: Reflections on Belonging While Wandering the Globe. 

With Tsh, we discuss what we've learned about podcasting, news, raising children who care about the world around them. We talk about how the world is actually getting better all the time, and we discuss Tsh's travels with her husband and three children. 

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