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Matt Mackowiak's Mack On Politics

Smart political talk every week from Austin, Texas political consultant Matt Mackowiak, who has served in senior roles for two U.S. Senators and the Bush administration.
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Now displaying: May, 2017
May 26, 2017

We talked to Karen Elliott House, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who served as Publisher of The Wall Street Journal and has spent 39 years reporting on the Middle East. We focused our discussion on Saudi Arabia, with President Trump beginning his first foreign trip there at the beginning of this week. We discussed the historic arms deal, the threat from Iran, the state of the Royal Family, and Saudi Arabia’s position in the region, as well as examined what the Trump administration can realistically accomplish there over the next few years. We finished with some informed speculation about the future of the Saudi royal family.

May 22, 2017

Alan Dershowitz, professor emeritus of Harvard Law School, famed defense lawyer and the author 35 books, joined me for a detailed discussion of the FBI investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election. We began with his views on President Trump’s terrorism speech in Riyadh and then preview his visit to Jerusalem, before pivoting to a through discussion of how a Special Counsel works, whether the allegations against Trump and his campaign are even criminal according to statute, how damaging the leaks have been, what “collusion” means, whether a 9/11-style Commission would be a better approach, and discuss Obstruction of Justice and the Pardon Power of the President.

May 12, 2017

For our 25th episode, we dive into President Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey.

We begin with former U.S. Department of Justice chief spokesman Matthew Miller, a Security and Justice analyst for NBC News, with his overall take on the firing, how he would feel if he were a White House communications aide and why the White House was surprised at the blowback, whether he believe a Special Counsel is needed and how that would happen, where he thinks the Russia investigation stands and where it is headed, and then we discussed his view of Comey and potential FBI Director replacements.

Next, we talked to Politico “Playbook” co-author Anna Palmer, live from California, where she just interviewed House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy. We explored the political dynamics at play on this story, within the White House and on Capitol Hill, and consider what this all means for Trump’s legislative agenda and the 2018 midterm elections.

May 10, 2017

For our 24th episode, we dig deep into the world of Fox News with New York Magazine’s Gabriel Sherman, the author of “The Loudest Voice in the Room,” a biography of Roger Ailes that is being developed into a series for Showtime. We talked with Gabe about how he became an expert on Fox News, whether Ailes would have contained the fallout in the past year had he still been there, how the Murdochs are running the network currently, whether their bid for Sky News has changed how Fox News responds to crises, whether stars like Shep Smith, Sean Hannity, Bret Baier and Chris Wallace are rising or falling under new management, whether another conservative cable network could truly challenge Fox News, and where this story goes from here.

May 7, 2017

In the 23rd episode, we talked to author Garrett Graff, whose new book, “Raven Rock: The Story of the U.S. Government’s Secret Plan to Save Itself–While the Rest of Us Die” has received strong praise in reviews in The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Politico and Vice. It is a spellbinding and fascinating account how the doomsday plan that the federal government has developed to ensure that government operations continue during and after a mass casualty event. You simply will not believe how thorough and far-reaching the government’s plans are.

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