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Matters of Policy & Politics

100 EpisodesProduced by Hoover InstitutionWebsite

Matters of Policy & Politics is a Hoover Institution podcast devoted to matters of governance and balance of power at home and abroad. It is hosted by Hoover fellow Bill Whalen.

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Matters Of Policy & Politics: Eye on the Prize: John Cochrane on Monetary Policy, the Fed’s Evolution, and Career Achievements | Bill Whalen and John Cochrane | Hoover Institution

May 19th, 2023


What are we to make of the debt-ceiling drama in Washington and why is there a need for the Federal Reserve to engage in greater self-examination? John Cochrane, the Hoover Institution’s Rose Marie and Jack Anderson …

Matters Of Policy & Politics: California Update: What’s a Stay-at-Home Governor To Do? | Bill Whalen, Lee Ohanian, and Jonathan Movroydis | Hoover Institution

May 5th, 2023


San Francisco’s fentanyl “crackdown” begins; California’s budget drama heats up inside the State Capitol; and Governor Gavin Newsom’s ongoing …

Matters Of Policy & Politics: Africa’s Future: The Great Powers’ “Second Scramble” for Influence and Leverage | Bill Whalen and Thomas Henriksen | Hoover Institution

April 28th, 2023


At the dawn of the 20th Century, control of the African continent centered around European colonial desires – national pride, natural resources, and …

Matters Of Policy & Politics: Did He Act Alone? Kevin Hassett on the Death of Curiosity, and the Birth of Economic Policy | Bill Whalen And Kevin Hassett | Hoover Institution

April 21st, 2023


One economist believes that what is lacking in America today is too little in the way of intellectual curiosity. Kevin Hassett, a Hoover Institution distinguished visiting fellow and past chair of the White House …

2024’s Elephant Parade: Who Plays the Trump Card? | Bill Whalen and Ben Ginsberg | Hoover Institution

April 14th, 2023


Should he formalize his candidacy, South Carolina Senator Tim Scott would be the fifth Republican looking to unseat President Biden in 2024. How many …

A California Update: San Francisco’s “Doom Loop,” Newsom’s Wanderlust, Harris’ Bad Luck | Lee Ohanian, Bill Whalen, Jonathan Movroydis | Hoover Institution

April 7th, 2023


A lurid homicide in an upscale neighborhood underscores San Francisco’s various crises. Meanwhile, California governor Gavin Newsom tours America’s red states – begging the question of his interest in his day job. …

As the World Turns: Macron’s China “Sweet Tooth”; Politics or Realpolitik for Biden? | Bill Whalen and Russell Berman | Hoover Institution

April 5th, 2023


Amidst his country’s turmoil over pension reform, French president Emmanuel Macron courts Chinese president Xi Jinping, while Israel and the US are at odds over the Israel’s proposed judicial reform. Hoover senior …

Campaign 2024: Waiting for Kohoutek, What’s Behind Door Number 3 | Bill Whalen, Dave Brady, and Doug Rivers | Hoover Institution

March 28th, 2023


Donald Trump’s legal woes aren’t the only unknowns as the 2024 election cycle begins. There’s a question of the identity of today’s GOP; a Democratic …

California High-Speed Rail: More “Loco” Than “Motion” | Bill Whalen and Lee Ohanian | Hoover Institution

March 10th, 2023


Why has California governor Gavin Newsom taken to denouncing Walgreens’ drug policy (hint: abortion-pill availability) and what should happen with …

Chicago’s Mayor Gets Schooled | Bill Whalen and Michael Hartney | Hoover Institution

March 3rd, 2023


A Chicago mayoral primary fueled by the issue of crime ends up with the incumbent’s ouster and an April runoff between two Democrats with opposing …

A Year After Putin’s Invasion: What is Next for Eastern Europe? | Bill Whalen and Tomasz Blusiewicz | Hoover Institution

February 24th, 2023


As Russia’s “special military operation” in Ukraine passes its one-year milestone, what are the prospects of hostilities spreading across the European continent? Tomasz Blusiewicz, a Hoover Institution research fellow …

The Supreme Court: Student Loan Debt and “Hiding Elephants in Mouseholes” | Bill Whalen and Michael McConnell | Hoover Institution

February 16th, 2023


The 2023 Supreme Court docket includes weighing the constitutionality of President Biden’s student loan debt-forgiveness plan, state legislatures’ …

Vengeance, Virtue and “Who We Are” | Bill Whalen and Zachary Shore | Hoover Institution

February 10th, 2023


A look back at wartime moral dilemmas confronting America’s “greatest generation” – dropping atomic bombs, interning Japanese-Americans, whether to …

No Home Court Advantage in Atherton | Lee Ohanian, Bill Whalen, Jonathan Movroydis | Hoover Institution

February 3rd, 2023


Can California governor Gavin Newsom play a role in the congressional debate over an assault weapons ban and what is the feasibility of reparations …

How ‘Bout Them Cowboys? | Lee Ohanian, Bill Whalen, Jonathan Movroydis | Hoover Institution

January 21st, 2023


The aftermath of California’s devastating winter storms begs the questions: can state government clean up efficiently and effectively; and will …

Make a Run for the Border | Lee Ohanian, Bill Whalen, Jonathan Movroydis | Hoover Institution

December 16th, 2022


Why did California governor Gavin Newsom slip across the US-Mexico border and how can anyone explain the Golden State’s exorbitant gasoline prices? …

UC Campus Strikes – And Striking a Blow Against Big Oil? | Lee Ohanian, Bill Whalen, and Jonathan Movroydis | Hoover Institution

December 2nd, 2022


What’s the story behind the student-workers’ strike at UC campuses across California, and what changes in homeless policy will a pair of mayors-elect …

Saints, Sinners, and Salvageables: Turduckens and How to Discuss Politics This Holiday Season | Ben Ginsberg and Bill Whalen | Hoover Institution

November 22nd, 2022


November provides two political hurdles for many an American: a contentious election, followed by a heated conversation around the Thanksgiving …

Saints, Sinners, and Salvageables: Grading Election Integrity | Ben Ginsberg and Bill Whalen | Hoover Institution

November 15th, 2022


After 2020’s contentious election, how well did America’s latest experiment in democracy fare? Ben Ginsberg, the Hoover Institution’s Volker …

The “Wave” That Wasn’t: What Data Says About Midterm Results | David Brady, Douglas Rivers, and Bill Whalen | Hoover Institution

November 15th, 2022


Why didn’t the anticipated “red wave” appear and what do last week’s results suggest about political polarization and the path moving forward for …

Should California Hire Tom & Gisele’s Attorneys? | Lee Ohanian and Bill Whalen | Hoover Institution

November 12th, 2022


California’s election returns slowly trickle in (no surprise there), with the Golden State being the wildcard in terms of control of the U.S. House …

Matters of Policy & Politics: A Midterm Preview | David Brady, Douglas Rivers, and Bill Whalen | Hoover Institution

November 3rd, 2022


A potentially good night for Republicans, whom to blame on the Democratic side should the party lose control of half, if not all, of Congress, plus …

Saints, Sinners, and Salvageables: Your Election Night Roadmap | Ben Ginsberg and Bill Whalen | Hoover Institution

November 1st, 2022


What to watch for in the midterm election returns—and the chances that the battle for Congress goes into overtime thanks to runoffs, slow vote counts, and legal challenges. Hoover Institution visiting fellow Ben …

Saints, Sinners, and Salvageables: The State of the Election, the Saliency of Election Denial

October 25th, 2022


As polls show the economy and crime toping the charts of voter concerns (with abortion as a wild card), what about the hangover from the 2020 …

Matters Of Policy & Politics: No Bullet Train, No Test Scores, No Debates . . . But Plenty of Jane Fonda | Hoover Institution

October 22nd, 2022


California’s high-speed rail project grows ever more quizzical, the Golden State’s housing market slumps, and Sacramento’s Educrats seem in no rush …

Saints, Sinners and Salvageables: Tackling the Crisis of Confidence in Elections | Ben Ginsberg | Hoover Institution

October 18th, 2022


How to remove distrust and negative partisanship – the politics of maximum fear and maximum blame – from America’s voting population? Hoover …

Dr. Jay Bhattacharya: Is COVID Done . . . Or Is the Public Done with COVID? | Hoover Institution

October 12th, 2022


President Biden’s assertion that the pandemic has ended notwithstanding, a new COVID wave seems likely during the holiday season. Dr. Jay …

Saints, Sinners, and Salvageables: Election Safeguards—Stopping the Starting of Steals

October 11th, 2022


What to do about the public’s eroding faith in elections and a lack of confidence in ballot tallies? Hoover Institution visiting fellow Ben Ginsberg, a preeminent authority on election law, interviews Neal Kelley, …

Saints, Sinners, and Salvageables: “The Big Truth” vs. “The “Big Lie”

October 4th, 2022


With polls showing alarming pluralities of voters not believing in the legitimacy of the last national election, how can we set the record straight …

“Game Show Gavin”

September 30th, 2022


Big-money initiative wars over wealth taxes and online gaming dominate California’s airwaves; the Golden State’s plan for electric vehicles travels …

Saints, Sinners, and Salvageables: Rainbows, Unicorns, and Common-Sense Election Administration

September 27th, 2022


How do elections officials prepare for midterm and presidential votes, and what improvements can be made to states’ voting systems? Hoover Institution visiting fellow Ben Ginsberg, a preeminent authority on election …

Saints, Sinners, and Salvageables: O Ye of Little Faith (in Elections)

September 20th, 2022


In battleground states across the nation, disinformation and partisan accusations have fed a growing lack of public confidence in America’s democratic process. Hoover Institution visiting fellow Ben Ginsberg, a …

Taiwan’s Outlook: Independence, Unification or Status Quo?

September 20th, 2022


The “Fourth Taiwan Strait Crisis” raises unsettling questions as to the future of that island nation, including Beijing’s ambitions and America’s …

Ruling Newark With An “Iron” . . . Boxing Glove

September 14th, 2022


How to reinvest in and reinvigorate Newark, New Jersey, a city stricken by chronic poverty, unemployment and lack of investment capital? Hoover veteran fellow “Iron Mike” Steadman, a former Marine infantry officer, …

Saints, Sinners, and Salvageables: And If an Election Denier Gets Elected . . . ?

September 13th, 2022


An irony in states across America: candidates seeking to become chief election officers who campaign and rail against the integrity of the democratic process. Hoover Institution visiting fellow Ben Ginsberg, a …

“Cut From A Cloth That Has Long Been Discontinued”

September 12th, 2022


Over the next few days, London will be filled to the brim with mourners paying their respects to the late Queen Elizabeth II; billions around the world will watch her state funeral. Historian and Hoover visiting fellow …

“Our Greatest Strategic Regret In Afghanistan Is Yet To Come”

September 10th, 2022


On the eve of the 9/11 anniversary, another event that went largely unnoticed outside the military community: Aug. 30 and the one-year anniversary of …

Saints, Sinners, and Salvageables: Denial Is a River In . . . American Elections

September 6th, 2022


Why is the right to vote important to a democracy? What legal protections should there be? How do we counter electoral refuseniks who won’t accept …

The FBI vs. Trump: “Raising The Volume to Level Ten – Or Eleven”

September 1st, 2022


As an FBI affidavit reveals details of what classified documents the FBI found in Donald Trump’s Palm Beach residence, the question is: will the Justice Department take the unprecedented step of prosecuting a former …

Saints, Sinners And Salvageables: Ben Ginsberg On Voting Integrity

August 30th, 2022


What can be done to avoid a repeat of 2020 and a re-questioning of the legitimacy and validity of American elections? Attorney Ben Ginsberg, a Hoover Institution visiting fellow and preeminent authority on election law, …

“Look For The Union Label”

August 26th, 2022


An online retail giant chooses not to expand in California, and Newsom’s change of heart regarding safe injection sites generates further …

Troubled Waters: Admiral Gary Roughead on the U.S.-China Naval Rivalry

August 20th, 2022


Are Chinese and American forces on a collision course in the South China Sea? Admiral Roughead, the Hoover Institution’s Robert and Marion Oster …

Warming Up To Climate Policy

August 16th, 2022


Congress allocates $370 billion to address climate change while philanthropists offer billions more under the guise of environmental stewardship. Bjorn Lomborg, a Hoover Institution visiting fellow and environmental …

Where There’s Smoke…

August 10th, 2022


As a result of California’s “wildfire season” now a year-long occurrence there is widespread difficulty in finding insurance, unsustainable pressure …

What “Is” Is: John Cochrane On Recessions, Inflation, The Fed, Debt and “Green Pork”

August 3rd, 2022


Are we in a recession, what are the roots of the present inflationary spiral, what’s valid criticism of Federal Reserve policy and federal spending …

The Return Of AB 5: Will California Keep On Truckin’?

July 29th, 2022


Will a California state law that’s survived a legal challenge now force the state’s independent truckers to unionize? Hoover senior fellow Lee …

All About The Benjamins

July 12th, 2022


California governor Gavin Newsom vacations in Montana despite his public feuds with other such red states and a California law banning official travel by state employees. Hoover senior fellow Lee Ohanian and …

Post-Dobbs, Still A “Baked” Election?

July 1st, 2022


The Supreme Court’s recent rulings on abortion, guns, and other contentious social issues further complicates an already opaque political landscape. …

A Conservative Judicial Renaissance?

June 28th, 2022


The Supreme Court offers landmark decisions concerning abortion, Second Amendment rights, and public prayer at school activities. John Yoo, a Hoover …

San Francisco, Homelessness Reform and Gasoline Rebates – All Running On Empty?

June 24th, 2022


San Francisco’s economy is a shell of its former self. California throws money at its homeless problem with mixed results, and Gavin Newsom resides …

Kevin Hassett – An Economic Primer

June 23rd, 2022


Inflation continues to rage as a recession nears, a market downturn erodes investments and savings, and the Biden White House struggles to find …

Slavery Reparations, Primary Repercussions

June 10th, 2022


Primary night in California yielded damning results for San Francisco’s now-recalled district attorney and the question of whether a law-and-order …

Matters Of Policy & Politics: Screen Time, But No Time For Lincoln

May 26th, 2022


Sacramento’s legislative deadline brings bad news for California’s affordable housing crunch (no new development on community-owned golf courses) and …

Meanwhile, Back in the Middle East . . .

May 20th, 2022


While the war in Ukraine continues to make front-page news, a historically troubled region of the world offers its usual array of intrigue and …

What May Come From The “May Revise”

May 13th, 2022


California’s Democratic governor questions his party’s willingness to engage in culture wars, the Golden State seeks to attract businesses offended …

Exit Sussexes, Enter AOC?

April 29th, 2022


California’s new math standards don’t add up, Twitter’s San Francisco days may be numbered if Elon Musk has his way, and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex may be royally tired of California. Hoover senior fellow Lee …

Goodbye, Mask Mandate . . . Now What?

April 19th, 2022


Does a Florida judge’s decision to strike down the federal mandate for wearing masks mark a shift from pandemic to endemic thinking? Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, a Hoover senior fellow, a Stanford University professor of …

Sacramento’s Economic Illiteracy

April 12th, 2022


A legislative maneuver turning a tax break into a tax hike, coupled with a proposed one-day reduction in California’s work-week, begs the question of economic knowledge in Sacramento. Hoover senior fellow Lee Ohanian …

The State Of Political Journalism

April 6th, 2022


A major newspaper editorializes remorse over not covering the Hunter Biden laptop story when it first emerged soon before the November 2020 election – big news, little news, no real news at all? Carl Cannon, Real Clear …

The Undereducated Generation?

April 1st, 2022


The COVID pandemic struck universities in various ways – a shift to online learning, declining enrollments, plus changes in standardized testing and …

Mixed Cyber Signals?

March 30th, 2022


Despite President Biden’s warning a week ago, a Russian-related cyberattack on American interests has yet to occur. Jacquelyn Schneider, a Hoover …

Sacramento’s Rebate Debate

March 25th, 2022


California governor Gavin Newsom and Democratic lawmakers differ on how to spend the state’s budget surplus – Newsom favors $400 vouchers for …

Whither The Biden Bounce?

March 22nd, 2022


One month into Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, does polling show a “rally ‘round the flag’” effect in America and President Biden enjoying a higher …

The Hornet’s Nest Over The Door

March 11th, 2022


California’s governor delivered an 18-minute State of the State oration notable for its many omissions, including underperforming public schools and …

Did Europe Take The Red Pill?

March 11th, 2022


Has the war in Ukraine and a reliance upon Russian fossil fuels prompted western European nations to reconsider their respective energy strategies? Bjorn Lomborg, a Hoover visiting fellow and environmental researcher, …

Ukraine’s George Washington – Or Martyr

March 3rd, 2022


Russia’s invasion of Ukraine begs questions of flawed military strategy, bad geostrategic gambits, plus how information true and false flows amidst a …

“Nothing Is Over Until We Decide It Is”

February 25th, 2022


Gas prices soar in California, San Francisco voters lash out at three members of the county’s Board of Education, and a gubernatorially-declared …

Schools Are “The Other”

February 18th, 2022


Only two months into 2022 and already a turbulent year for K-12 education: voters recalled three members of San Francisco’s Board of Education; …

Headbangers’ Ball

February 11th, 2022


Each year, California lawmakers fail to implement single-payer healthcare and curb homelessness – 2022 being no exception to the rule. Hoover senior …

The Problem Was Not The President

February 8th, 2022


This past weekend marked Ronald Reagan’s 111th birthday. Peter Robinson, the Hoover Institution’s Murdoch Distinguished Policy Fellow and a Reagan …

Immigrant Superpower

February 3rd, 2022


On the back-burner in an otherwise ambitious first year of the Biden presidency: a dramatic overhaul of America’s immigration policies, a new pathway …

The California Bowl

January 28th, 2022


A state assembly committee advances a single-payer healthcare scheme without debate, California’s public employees unions dodge a political bullet, …

The Biden Presidency After Year One

January 20th, 2022


On the one-year anniversary of President Biden’s inauguration, his administration’s struggles seem to lend truth to the adage: campaigning is easy, …

Single Payer, Multiple Headaches?

January 14th, 2022


A big news week in Sacramento includes Governor Newsom unveiling a record $286 billion budget proposal and a Democratic lawmaker offering a massive tax increase to cover the cost of a statewide single-player healthcare …

The Supreme Court Weighs In On Vaccine Mandates

January 8th, 2022


An unusually long Supreme Court hearing (three hours in all) regarding two Biden Administration vaccine mandates raises thorny questions regarding federalism, states’ rights, and balance of power between the three …

The Future Of The Republican Party – A Report

December 17th, 2021


What issues resonate with today’s Republicans? How has the party morphed since the rise of Ronald Reagan? What is Donald Trump’s influence upon next year’s GOP primaries and beyond? David Brady and Douglas Rivers, …

Smash And Grab . . .Tax and Spend

December 11th, 2021


A pandemic, a recall election, a year-end crime wave and the question of how to invest a revenue windfall next year. Hoover senior fellow Lee Ohanian …

Niall Ferguson (Still) Giving Thanks

November 23rd, 2021


As a celebrated historian and prolific columnist, Niall Ferguson has plenty for which to be grateful. Ferguson, the Hoover Institution’s Milbank …

Fuzzy Math & Turkey Brine

November 20th, 2021


“Diversity math,” the changing fortunes of Gavin Newsom and Kamala Harris, a record revenue surplus in Sacramento, plus dubious outlooks for public pensions and high-speed rail. Hoover senior fellow Lee Ohanian and …

Inflation, The Fed And “Zero Dollars”

November 17th, 2021


In a few days, the Congressional Budget Office will either back or buck President Biden’s claim that the Build Back Better plan – aka, “human …

Running Up The Score

November 3rd, 2021


Never mind Virginia’s gubernatorial vote: California has its own education-related controversy in the form of a new diversity math curriculum. Hoover …

Veteran Fellows

October 22nd, 2021


As a younger generation of veterans transition from military service, how will they impact America’s communities? Jacquelyn Schneider, a Hoover …

Yes, Virginia, There Is . . . An Election

October 21st, 2021


Does an off-year gubernatorial race in the Old Dominion constitute a preview of next year’s midterm election? David Brady and Douglas Rivers, Hoover …

The Little Dutch Boy

October 14th, 2021


California’s bill-signing session concludes with hundreds of new state laws – many long on woke symbolism. Hoover senior fellow Lee Ohanian and …

Matters Of Policy & Politics: Will The Conservative Majority Hold?

October 6th, 2021


As public and private-sector employees struggle with COVID vaccine mandates, the Supreme Court returns to in-person arguments, and Donald Trump seeks an end to his Twitter suspension. John Yoo, a Hoover Institution …

Home Depot?

October 1st, 2021


California Governor Gavin Newsom signs legislation meant to ease California’s housing crisis, but is it sensible – will it make homes in the Golden …

School Re-Openings – Following The Political Science

September 30th, 2021


A new school year is underway, but what has the past year taught us about the political and policy clout of America’s teachers’ unions? Michael …

Matters Of Policy & Politics: A Recall Recap

September 16th, 2021


The election results are in and California’s governor has survived an attempt to recall him from office. Hoover senior fellow Lee Ohanian (the …

Business (Hostility) As Usual?

September 9th, 2021


A new study shows companies are leaving California at double the rate of the past three years due to taxes, over-regulation, and a high cost of …

Who Calls Whom The President Calls Upon?

August 31st, 2021


An admission at a recent press conference that his staff pre-determines the order of reporters’ questions points to an odd facet of the Biden presidency: behind-the-scenes choreography on public display. Debra Saunders, …

America After The Trump Presidency

August 26th, 2021


Donald Trump’s gone (from office) but not forgotten as many of the elements that contributed to his political ascent – immigration, overseas …

“The Slow Drift Back”

August 16th, 2021


Taliban forces take control of Kabul and the visuals coming out of Afghanistan – Americans hastily evacuated, US-friendly Afghans desperate to join …

Curb Your Enthusiasm

August 14th, 2021


As California’s gubernatorial recall election approaches, will Democrats rally behind their embattled governor or will Republicans continue to enjoy …

Delta (Variant) For Dummies

August 6th, 2021


A new COVID variant raises complicated health-policy questions: should masking be mandated and proof of vaccination required to enter indoor spaces? …

A Recall Horse Race?

July 31st, 2021


With polls showing Californians almost evenly divided on whether to recall Gavin Newsom, just how concerned should California’s governor be? Hoover …

Naval Gazing

July 21st, 2021


The U.S. Navy’s latest budget request, coupled with Chinese naval expansion, raises questions concerning America’s ability to project strength and respond to crises across the Pacific Rim. Admiral Gary Roughead, former …

Garbage Time In California?

July 10th, 2021


With only a week remaining for candidates to enter the race, California’s Sept. 14 recall election continues to take shape. Hoover senior fellow Lee …

Entitled To What?

July 7th, 2021


President Biden’s American Families Plan would take Washington in a new direction: expanding entitlements deep into the nation’s middle class. Daniel …

Philadelphia Freedom

July 2nd, 2021


For some Americans, July 4th has a special meaning. Lt. Gen H.R. McMaster, the Hoover Institution’s Fouad and Michelle Ajami Senior Fellow, revisits …

The Post-Heart Attack Governor

June 28th, 2021


Should he survive a recall election later this year, would California Governor Gavin Newsom preside more cautiously, having survived the political …

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