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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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Matt Mackowiak's Mack On Politics
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Now displaying: Page 2
May 28, 2019

Dan Abrams is our guest for the 137th episode.

He wears many hats, hosting the Dan Abrams show on SirusXM, hosting #LivePD on the A&E Network and serving as chief legal analyst for ABC News.

He is also the co-author of the new bestseller, “Theodore Roosevelt for the Defense”, which chronicles a fascinating ‘trial of the century’ forgotten by history.

In this conversation, we explore why he wrote the book, how defamation worked at the time of the trial, what he learned about Teddy Roosevelt, how the boss system of politics of the time was central to the trial, whether current defamation laws need to be changed, what he makes of the Trump administration’s legal battle with Congress, whether today’s justice system is fair, how criminal justice reform will improve sentencing, and whether today’s perception of policing is accurate.

May 24, 2019

The resignation of British prime minister Theresa May is the subject of episode 136.

Our guest is an old friend, Richard Allen Greene, deputy news editor for CNN, who joins us from London.

In this episode we discuss May’s resignation, the process for choosing a new prime minister, the field of candidates, how candidates determine their strategy, and how Brexit forced May’s resignation and where it goes from here.

May 14, 2019

Rising star U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) is our guest for the 135th episode.

He is the author of a new book, “Sacred Duty: A Soldier’s Tour of Arlington National Cemetery”.

In this conversation, we explore why he wrote this book, how he describes the sacred mission of 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment, otherwise known as the “Old Guard”, how the author conducted interviews while serving in the Senate, how Arlington has changed in recent years, what he believes is the state of the U.S. military and how our guest views current military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

May 9, 2019

The migrant crisis on the southern border is our topic for the 134th episode.

Our guest is Steve Hecht, an American who has lived in Guatemala for more than 40 years. He joins us from the capital city.

In this conversation, we discuss what he thinks Americans don’t understand about the migrant crisis, the reality of Mexico’s southern border with Guatemala, the state of the Guatemalan economy, the upcoming Guatemalan presidential election, how children are being used by economic migrants, what Trump should be doing, whether foreign aid matters, and why he has chosen to live there all this time.

Apr 29, 2019

U.S. Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) is our guest for the 133rd episode.

He has just written a new book, “Our Lost Declaration”, which highlights the importance of the Declaration of Independence.

In this conversation, we explore why he wrote the book, why storytelling matters, whether he considers tyranny a real threat in today’s climate, how he defines the term ‘deep state’, whether Congress should seize back some of its Constitutional power, and what the legislative outlook is in the U.S. Senate.

Apr 25, 2019

Faith in American life is the subject of the 132nd episode.

Our guest is Chris Scalia, son of the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia and co-editor of a new book, “On Faith: Lessons from an American Believer”.

In this conservation, we examine why they wanted to release this book with Justice Scalia’s spoken and written words on this subject, what he believed about religious liberty and the separation of church and state, what he might have thought about expanding the Supreme Court, whether a religious test should be applied to nominated judges, how his own faith journey changed over time, how his father’s jurisprudential influence endures and what his father might make of today’s court.

Apr 22, 2019

Career prosecutor Jim Trusty is our guest for the 131st episode.

He served in senior roles at the Department of Justice and was an Assistant U.S. Attorney in Maryland.

In this conversation, we explore his impressions of the Mueller Report, whether the obstruction examples are serious, whether obstruction requires an underlying crime, whether a sitting President can be indicted, what the criminal referrals mean, what he makes of the entire Mueller inquiry and what he wants to know about the origin of the counterintelligence operation.

Apr 19, 2019

Dissecting the Mueller Report is the subject of episode 130.

Our guest is David Harsanyi, a syndicated columnist and senior editor at The Federalist.

In this conversation, we explore his first impressions of the report, whether the obstruction angle has merit, how concerned Trump should be about 12 unknown criminal referrals, why the collusion angle evaporated, how much Russian meddling matters, the role Attorney General Barr has played, whether Mueller should testify, what we hope to learn from the DOJ IG report on the origins of the counterintelligence investigation and how the media has covered this story.

Apr 12, 2019

2020 politics is the subject of the 129th episode.

Our guest is Josh Holmes, former Chief of Staff to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and president of Cavalry, LLC.

In this conversation, we begin by sizing up the Democratic field of presidential candidates, then discuss the relative strength of Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris and Pete Buttigieg, Trump’s political position for reelection, discuss the importance of the GOP launching a small dollar donor online platform, and analyze the state of the modern day Republican and Democratic parties.

Apr 5, 2019

The life and legacy of former First Lady Barbara Bush is the subject of episode 128.

Our returning guest is Susan Page, Washington Bureau Chief for USA Today and author of the new bestseller, ‘The Matriarch: Barbara Bush and the Making of an American Dynasty”.

In this conversation, we explore Page’s writing process and how she secured the subject’s unprecedented participation. We then explore how the loss of Robin Bush at age 3 shaped the rest of their lives, how Barbara went through some mental health issues in the 1970s, how Bush 41’s political career began, how the Reagan-Bush alliance formed, how dysfunctional the Nancy Reagan-Barbara Bush relationship was , how they dealt with rumors of infidelity, how the political careers of George W. Bush and Jeb Bush developed, how Barbara Bush viewed Donald Trump and the modern Republican Party, and whether she was content with the family and legacy she built at the end of her life.

Mar 29, 2019

The Mueller Report is the subject of the 127th episode.

Our returning guest is Chuck Ross, reporter for The Daily Caller, whose reporting was validated by Attorney General William Barr’s letter to Congress summarizing the Mueller Report.

In this conversation, we examine what Ross thought Mueller would reveal, what we still don’t know, how the outcome could affect several people ensnared by the Special Counsel, whether Russia colluded with Hillary’s campaign on the dossier, what legal concerns remain for Trump, and what he wants to see in the full Mueller Report.

Mar 18, 2019

Bestselling author Arthur Brooks is our guest for the 126th episode.

He has served as President of the American Enterprise Institute for the past ten years and will leave that post in June.

His new book is “Love Your Enemies: How Decent People Can Save America from our Culture of Contempt”.

In this conversation, we discuss whether ‘loving your enemies’ comes naturally, whether tribalism is the cause of contempt rising, whether the profit motive in media companies drives us further apart, what role Twitter is playing in this, how capitalism and socialism view the concept of ‘earned success’, whether the conservative movement still values ideas, how he views his tenure at AEI and what he has planned for his next chapter.

Mar 11, 2019

This is a story you must hear.

For the 125th episode, we talked to Luke Rosiak, investigative reporter for The Daily Caller and author of the new book, “Obstruction of Justice: How the Deep State Risked National Security to Protect the Democrats”.

This is not a book about the Mueller investigation or Russia.

It’s a book about a Pakistani IT consultant who worked for more than 40 Democratic members of Congress who was indicted for bank fraud, theft and a host of other crimes, but was then curiously given immunity from prosecution for no apparent reason.

This jaw-dropping account will make you wonder about many of our institutions.

Mar 8, 2019

The crisis in Venezuela is the subject of episode 124.

We spoke to Rice University’s Mark Jones about where things stand currently, whether Maduro’s grip on power is weakening, how US policy is affecting his regime, how Cuba and Colombia are involved, whether a US military option is on the table, how this may end, and how Gaido could serve as a unifying figure.

 

Feb 28, 2019

Our 123rd episode comes to you from Washington, DC.

In this special conversation, we interviewed two freshmen U.S. Senators, Mike Braun (R-IN) and Rick Scott (R-FL).

We explored the legislative outlook for the U.S. Senate and limited opportunities for bipartisan accomplishments, the collapsing situation in Venezuela, the Green New Deal, federal deficits and spending, the state of the agricultural industry and trade negotiations, China, North Korea and the state of the American economy.

Feb 18, 2019

For the 122nd episode, we zero in on the real story on the southern border.

Our guest is Brandon Darby, who has been covering the border for eight years as Managing Director of Breitbart Texas.

In this conversation, we examine the question of whether the U.S. has operational control, how the cartels operate, how asylum seekers are profit centers for the cartels, what the drug trade has changed, whether Mexico is a true partner, and what he makes of the recent budget deal and the national emergency declaration.

Feb 18, 2019

For the 122nd episode, we zero in on the real story on the southern border.

Our guest is Brandon Darby, who has been covering the border for eight years as Managing Director of Breitbart Texas.

In this conversation, we examine the question of whether the U.S. has operational control, how the cartels operate, how asylum seekers are profit centers for the cartels, what the drug trade has changed, whether Mexico is a true partner, and what he makes of the recent budget deal and the national emergency declaration.

Feb 11, 2019

Social justice is the subject of the 121st episode.

Noah Rothman, Associate Editor of Commentary Magazine, is the author of the new bestseller, “Unjust: Social Justice and the Unmaking of America”, a thoughtful critique of the social justice movement.

In this conversation, we examine why he wrote the book, the concepts of ‘white privilege’, excessive policing, campus culture and Occupy Wall Street, race-based Affirmative Action, abortion and school choice, and the motivations of Social Justice.

Feb 5, 2019

For the 120th episode, we go deep inside the Trump White House.

Our guest is Cliff Sims, former Special Assistant to the President and author of the national bestseller, “Team of Vipers: My 500 Extraordinary Days Inside the Trump White House”.

In this conversation, we talk about how he came to join the Trump campaign, how they weathered the Access Hollywood tape, what Election Night was like, what his considerations were when he was asked to join the White House, how it operated like a team of vipers with rival power centers and constant leaks, what Donald Trump is really like behind closed doors, what one thing would make his presidency more successful, and whether he thinks he traded private White House conversations as part of his book.

Jan 30, 2019

In the 119th episode, we spoke with MSNBC national political correspondent Steve Kornacki, author of the new book, “The Red and the Blue: The 1990s and the Birth of Political Tribalism.”

In this conversation we examine the political intensity of the 1990s, Bush 41 breaking his ‘no new taxes’ pledge, comparisons between 1992 and 2020, the independent candidacy of Ross Perot, the leadership of Newt Gingrich, how Perot’s bid differs from a potential independent bid by Howard Schultz, and whether Trump is a populist billionaire. 

Finally, we look forward to the 2020 presidential election.

Jan 22, 2019

North Korea is the subject of the 118th episode.

Our guest is Victor Cha, who withdrew from consideration to be U.S. Ambassador to South Korea in the Trump administration, and is currently Korea Chair at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). He formerly served on the National Security Council staff.

In this conversation, we preview the upcoming 2nd Trump-Kim Summit, how China plays a crucial role, whether North Korea has made a meaningful denuclearization commitment, how sequencing matters, whether their secret weapons programs have been growing, where the negotiations currently stand, the issue of human rights, the intel challenge that North Korea presents, what message our guest would have for President Trump, and what a successful summit looks like.

Finally, we delve into what life in North Korea is really like – especially compared to South Korea.

Jan 18, 2019

Energy is the subject of episode 117.

John Tintera has 30 years of experience in the oil and gas industry, as a geologist, regulator, and now as the President of the Texas Alliance of Energy Producers.

In this conversation we discuss the current strength of the U.S. oil and gas industry, where Texas fits in, how oil prices affect production, the role of state and federal regulation, how tariffs and infrastructure impact both the industry and the communities, and how expanding LNG exports from the U.S. are a game changer.

Jan 11, 2019

In the 116th episode, we check in with AB Stoddard, Associate Editor and Columnist for Real Clear Politics.

In this conversation, we discuss the partial government shutdown and potential ways it may end, the Mueller inquiry and where it may be headed, how the new Democratic House majority is shaping up, and what the 2020 Democratic presidential primary looks like.

Jan 4, 2019

The economy is the subject of the 115th episode.

In this conversation we are joined by Steve Forbes, Chairman and Editor-in-Chief of Forbes Media.

We discuss the current state of the economy, how he thinks the tax cut law is working, whether new trade deals will pass and other new trades deal will be negotiated, what he makes of the current Federal Reserve, whether he thinks inflation is a real concern for the U.S. in 2019, what he makes of U.S. policy with China, how he believes President Trump should deal with Congress and how and why he believes the partial government shutdown will end.

Dec 28, 2018

For our final episode of 2018, we take a trip around the world with Washington Examiner columnist Tom Rogan to explore the most pressing foreign policy issues facing the U.S.

In this conversation, we discuss the withdrawal from Syria and its effect on Russia, Iran and the Kurds, the state of the House of Saud, the upcoming Israeli election, the whether the U.S. should remain in Afghanistan.

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