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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: November, 2017
Nov 28, 2017
The tsunami of sexual harassment and assault allegations continues and is causing cultural and political reflection. Today we continue our ongoing discussion of politics, partisanship, and the #metoo movement. 
 
Thank you for everyone supporting our work on Patreon. We also appreciate our sponsors for today's podcast: Credible.com, Away, and ThirdLove. We hope you'll check out our new podcast, The Nuanced Life. 
 
Congress has a very long to-do list through the end of the year. It's important to keep in mind that in addition to plans for tax cuts, Congress needs to fund the government before year-end and deal with DACA. 
 
The attack on a mosque in the Sinai peninsula this weekend was the deadliest in modern Egypt's history. This region is under assault from ISIS and highlights the complexity of the war on terror and the deficiencies in our understanding of Islam and Africa. 
 
Richard Cordray's resignation as head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has sparked a Marbury vs. Madison style showdown over the authority to name a replacement. We worry about the long-term consequences of more Trump administration personnel drama. 
 
The FCC has announced plans to re-classify broadband services as information services, which could effectively end net neutrality. We describe the debate over net neutrality and discuss our interest in having Congress step in to make long-term decisions about the internet's future. 
 
In our main segment we talk about the #MeToo movement and the difficult cultural inflection point that we're living. Drawing on Rebecca Traister's commentary, we talk about reckoning with figures like Bill Clinton and Joe Biden while confronting the reality of the Trump presidency and the avalanche of stories that cross generations and industries. 
 
We end the show, as always, by talking about what's on our minds outside of politics. Beth notes that The Nuanced Life listeners think she's the progressive in our duo. Sarah is excited about the next royal wedding
Nov 24, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving! We are taking a pause from politics this week and sharing the first episode of The Nuanced Life, our new podcast focused on bringing the principles we've learned through our political dialogue to non-political topics. 

Thanks so much to our patrons, who make Pantsuit Politics and The Nuanced Life possible. To support our work, please visit our Patreon page. 

Thanks to ModCloth for sponsoring today's episode. 

We hope that you'll enjoy The Nuanced Life enough to subscribe, rate, and review it. You can find The Nuanced Life on the web, Instagram, and Facebook.

Nov 21, 2017

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

Nov 17, 2017
Somehow, we’re still debating the Alabama senate race to fill Jeff Sessions’s seat. We’re here with additional thoughts on Doug Jones, Roy Moore, and tax cuts, plus a later-recorded segment on Al Franken and George Bush...because 2017.
 
Thanks so much to everyone supporting our work on Patreon. If you'd like to bring some nuance to your neighborhood in 2018, please reach out to beth@pantsuitpoliticsshow.com. We also appreciate ModCloth's sponsorship of today's podcast. Please stick around for the post-roll and help us by completing this quick survey
 
We begin by talking about Doug Jones, Roy Moore's Democratic opponent. We share what we know about his background and policy positions. 
 
Although we hate the circumstances, we're encouraged by a bicameral, bipartisan effort to reform the process of dealing with sexual harassment in Congress. More transparency and accountability are clearly needed. 
 
Republicans continue to try to find ways to keep their tax cuts within the $1.5 trillion reconciliation box. Although there are some good things in this bill, we think the plan is mostly absurd and that tax policy and healthcare policy should be set through regular order. We discuss feedback on tax policy from listeners Peggy and Lou. 
 
After we recorded, we learned about the Al Franken and George H.W. Bush sexual harassment stories. We recorded an extra block to provide our thoughts. 
 
 
 
 
 
Nov 14, 2017

You know things have gone terribly wrong when we're having a national conversation about whether a 14-year-old girl consented to a relationship with a man in his thirties. We discuss the responses to Roy Moore, the President's presence in Asia, and the process and substance of the Republican tax cut plan. 

Thanks so much to everyone supporting our work on Patreon and to today's sponsors: ModCloth, The Flex Company, and VirtueLabs. We are scheduling speaking events for 2018. Please email Beth for more information. 

We take a minute to extend our thoughts and prayers to everyone impacted by the terrible earthquake in Iran and Iraq

The Washington Post story on Roy Moore has prompted some truly outrageous reactions. We try to unpack the partisanship and tribalism at the root of these reactions as well as what all of this says about voters' shifting standards of conduct for political figures and communities of faith.  Beth wishes we could take a look at Roy Moore's conduct on its own instead of trying to connect it to our personal political perspectives. 

Sarah shares her perspective on stories that Sutherland Springs, Texas, is relying on faith to help cope with the devastating mass shooting that killed so many loved ones in the community. She draws on her experience from the shooting at Heath High School in 1997

We also discuss President Trump's trip to Asia, during which he complimented China's President, neglected to discuss human rights and democracy, and took Vladimir Putin at his word regarding Russian election attacks. 

To compliment the other side, Sarah appreciates Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin's approach to sexual harassment in the Kentucky state legislature. Beth is excited about California legislator Sabrina Cervantes

We discuss Republican efforts to cut taxes. Beth has major concerns about the budget process. Sarah thinks this is a particularly disastrous application of trickle-down economics. Although it's being sold as a middle class tax cut, the Joint Committee on Taxation says that some people in the middle class (who don't particularly feel wealthy) will see a tax increase. We talk about how we need to rethink tax policy in light of changes in heath care and technology

Finally, as always, we talk about what's on our minds outside of politics. Sarah is settled into her new home and is catching up on HBO's The Deuce. Beth is thinking about a human behavior study mentioned in an article about how we should start school later in the morning. 

 

Nov 12, 2017

We kick off a series on the U.S. Constitution by talking about the structure of Articles I-VI. This is a very basic review that reminds us of the intricate balance between state and federal responsibilities the framers envisioned. On Tuesday's episode, we'll be talking about tax reform, so we spend some time on a specific power granted to Congress -- the power of the purse. 

Recommended resources: 

Budget Basics from National Priorities 

Congressional Research Service's Intro to Appropriations

Stan Colander in Forbes: The GOP Has Murdered the Federal Budget 

 

Nov 10, 2017

A democratic wave on Tuesday signals that America might not be feeling great again. We discuss the election, listener feedback, and some fascinating articles on today’s episode. 

Thanks to everyone supporting our work on Patreon. And thanks to the sponsors of today's podcast: ModCloth and The Flex Company

We talk about the Virginia gubernatorial race, the election of Danica Roem, and other Democratic victories on Tuesday

Next, at listener Eva's recommendation, we discuss Peter Beinart's article, "Republican Is Not a Synonym for Racist."  

We also, at listener Lisa's recommendation, discuss Conor Friedersdorf's "Four Defenses of Trump's Dissembling on Russia." 

Listener Karla left beautiful feedback on our website about our discussion of Sutherland Springs that we share.  

Finally, at listener Debbie's recommendation, we talk about Erica Komisar's new book on motherhood and "The Politicization of Motherhood." 

 

 

Nov 7, 2017

The weekend's headlines painted an incredibly depressing picture. In the wake of these events, we're realizing that America needs a serious conversation about what kind of country we want to be. 

Thanks so much to our listeners who support us via Patreon. And thanks to today's sponsors: Crane & Canopy, ThirdLove, The Flex Company, and ModCloth

We discuss the horrific shooting in a Sutherland Springs, Texas, church and ask how we can move past talking points on gun violence. Do we want to live in a country where church-goers carry weapons? Do we want to feel safe at concerts and in public venues? When we say this about "mental health," what do we mean? 

We also discuss reporting about Wilbur Ross's financial ties to Russia. 

Finally, we talk about what's on our minds outside of politics. Sarah is ready to move, and Beth is thinking about a beautiful New York Times piece on platonic relationships

 

 

 

Nov 3, 2017

Pantsuit Politics is two years old! We celebrate, reflect, and discuss the week's news. We are so excited about our new book coming next year and our new podcast The Nuanced Life - coming soon!

Thanks so much to all of you who financially support Pantsuit Politics. If you'd like to support our work, please visit our Patreon page. This month we're giving a shout-out to our international patrons! 

We also were so excited to be named in The Guardian's Best podcasts of 2017!

Thanks to ModCloth and The Flex Company for sponsoring today's episode. 

We are heartbroken about the deadly attack in New York this week. We discuss the President's response, a merit-based immigration system, and the Islamic State. 

We also talk about Facebook and Twitter making an appearance during Senate hearings and the interference in our 2016 election - as well as this article Why Is the U.S. So Susceptible to Social-Media Distortion?. We discuss Donna Brazile's Politico article about the DNC and the role of Obama (or absence of a role) in the Democratic Party.

We respond to a listener's question about a friend who is changing her positions because of a new relationship (with an assist from Roxane Gay's fantastic article about women's friendships). 

Finally, we reflect on the past two years and on the future of Pantsuit Politics. 

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