HLC-126 The Plot to Scapegoat Trump...

Welcome to another special European edition – this is getting to be habit-forming, isn’t it? – of the Harvard Lunch Club Political Podcast. It’s the “Plot to Scapegoat Trump” edition of the show with our European Co-host (complete with Irish accent) William Campbell. On William’s forthcoming “Challenging Opinions” podcast he interviews writer Daniel Kovalik whose recent book “The Plot to Scapegoat Putin” is gathering notice (and whose title we ignominiously purloined for this podcast). Kovalik’s thesis is that American’s are fixating on Putin as an all-powerful demon when in fact he is just an oligarchic dictator of a broken country with the GDP of Spain.  Mike (that’s me) argues that the American left’s obsession with Russia has, in fact, little or nothing to do with Russia. That obsession has of course uncovered actual facts about Putin and Russia and cybercrime, etc. But the whole motive to start that investigation is based in an effort to salve the wounds of electoral defeat to Donald Trump. Check it out! And while you’re checking things out, please give us a review on iTunes or drop a comment over on Ricochet! Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadSubscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android |...

HLC-125 Those Damned Old People...

Welcome to the Harvard Lunch Club Political Podcast for June 13, 2017 – it’s the Those Damned Old People edition of the show. We set out clearly and distinctly, at the top of the show, to delineate clearly our topics. and then we just talk about James Comey and the failing battle against the deep state. We do, after all, talk about TrumpCare. Question number one in that context is: does the folderol of the Russian collusion theater actually make a difference on the progress – or lack thereof – of Trump’s legislative agenda? Seems like Paul Ryan thinks that even if the White House burns down the folks on Capitol Hill will continue moving forward (though no doubt at their glacial pace). To wit, it looks like, all of a sudden, certain liberal outlets (e.g. Josh Marshall’s Talking Points Memo) are getting frantic that Obamacare is actually about to be repealed and replaced. I have no idea if this is the good repeal and replace or the dreaded Obamacare light repeal and replace or something in between. But I am not particular. Any repeal and replace will make me happy – just a question of degree. We say we’re going to talk about a recent article on reflections on the Vietnam era and the imperative for a national service program…which sounds like a title of one of those symposiums that your alma mater puts on when you come back for reunion weekend. which is appropriate, because the guy who wrote the article is being prompted by his Harvard 1967 reunion. But hell, we don’t even get to it – so why am I babbling on here? Anyhooo…we have, as always, our shower thoughts and our hidden gem for...

HLC-124 The Corbyn-Might Maneuver...

Welcome to this special, Corbyn-Might Maneuver edition of the Harvard Lunch Club Political Podcast with our British-Irish-U.K. correspondent William Campbell coming to us (naturally) from Berlin to give us the lowdown on the shocking outcome of the British Parliamentary elections. William is staying up until three in the morning just so we can podcast the news before anyone else! And here is our scoop: Britain is a bloody mess! The Tories failed miserably. But Labor didn’t win either. So what does *that* mean?!? Do they call another election? Can Jeremy Corbyn actually become Prime Minister? Is the Brit’s answer to Bernie Sanders ready for the job? Or will the task fall to Theresa May after she crawls on her knees to the Scots or the kooky Evangelical right? William will break it down for us. And, as if enough wasn’t going on already, we preview the upcoming French elections where the darling Manny Macron looks like Napoleon these days as left and right traditional parties collapse. Check it out. And, need I say, if you like the podcast drop us a couple bucks for a cup of coffee and give us eighteen stars on iTunes! Cheerio! Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadSubscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android |...

HLC-123 Southern Fried Terrorism...

Welcome to the Harvard Lunch Club Political Podcast for June 6, 2017, it’s episode 123, the Southern Fried Terror edition of the podcast coming to you this week (or so it may sound) from the moon! Todd is in Farmington Connecticut, Mike is in Palo Alto, we are recording the podcast on a Dictaphone Steampunk Victorian Recording machine. You can *hear* the history! Our topics this week are the reaction of Theresa May to the terror attacks in London and related thoughts. As the people of Britain ask: “what concretely are you going to *do*???” May answers (unbelievably) we’re going to spy on the internet…and we are going to have uncomfortable conversations. Look, uncomfortable conversations are fine and all…but how about simply rounding up the 3000 or so top terror suspects in the U.K. and either expelling them or locking them up? Topic number two, we veer away from our proposed topic of Bill Maher and Kathy Griffin to talk about Trump’s withdrawal (not a moment too soon) from the Paris Accords. Oh, bliss. The wounded animal screams of the armageddon profiteers are music to our ears. We will have, as always, our shower thoughts (re-enter Bill and Kathy) and our hidden gem for the week is the Lou Reed classic, Sweet Jane. If you like the podcast, please drop us a couple bucks for a coffee, won’t ye mate? Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadSubscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android |...

HLC-122 Pagophobia

Welcome to the Harvard Lunch Club Political Podcast for May 30, 2017 it’s the “Pagophobia” edition of the podcast, brought to you by ZipRecruiter and SimpliSafe. This week, we focus first on the only really important issue going on right now, which is the imminent breakout of nuclear war. It’s a hard topic to be flip about (though we do our best). Two articles frame the discussion. First, a piece discussing a speech by an investor named George Friedman, founder of Geopolitical Futures, claiming that war with Kim Jong Un is essentially inevitable. Saying that North Korea appears to have “offered the US no alternative” to a clash, Friedman goes on to say: There is no other power that can conceivably — and I include the Chinese in this — take effective military action against the North Koreans to stop a nuclear program. That means it’s either the US [takes action] or North Korea has a nuclear weapon. A second interesting piece is by “venture capitalist and political scientist” Eric Li, who argues that Trump may have found the one escape from an inevitable war with north Korea, namely, the decoupling of the contradictory demands of regime change and denuclearization. My prediction: before the summer is out, Trump goes to Congress to request permission for military action. Our Second topic is Pagophobia. According to phobiasource.com: Pagophobia is an intense, irrational fear of ICE The pagophobic individual could fear injuring themselves by slipping on ice… At its most extreme, the individual suffering with Pagophobia may refuse to leave their house when ICE is observed outside. Pagophobia derives from the Greek phrase “paggos”, that means ice and “phobos” which means fear. Pagophobia is caused by a traumatic event sooner or later...