WhattheHELLis Going On?



WhattheHELL is this?

The American Enterprise Institute’s Danielle Pletka and Marc Thiessen address the questions we’re all asking in their podcast, “What the Hell Is Going On?” In conversational, informative and irreverent episodes, Pletka and Thiessen interview policymakers and experts, asking tough, probing questions about the most important foreign and domestic policy challenges facing America today.

whothe HELL is Dany?

Danielle Pletka

is a distinguished senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. Until 2020, Pletka was the senior vice president for foreign and defense policy studies at AEI. A former senior professional staff member on the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, she writes regularly on national security matters with a special focus on U.S. foreign policy and the Middle East.

Written work

Dany is a contributor, coeditor, and coauthor of several books. She is the coeditor of “Dissent and Reform in the Arab World: Empowering Democrats” (2008), the coauthor of “Containing and Deterring a Nuclear Iran” (2011), and the coauthor of “Iranian influence in the Levant, Egypt, Iraq, and Afghanistan” (2012). She contributed the chapter “America in Decline” to the 2016 edited volume, “Debating the Obama Presidency.”


A regular guest on television, Dany appears frequently on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” Her broadcast appearances also include CBS News, CNN, C-Span, and MSNBC. She is also a frequent contributor to mainstream outlets, and has been published in The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and The Atlantic, among other outlets.

whothe HELL is Marc?

Marc A. Thiessen

is a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, a Fox News contributor, and a columnist at The Washington Post, where he writes twice a week on politics, foreign affairs, and domestic policy. He served as a member of the White House senior staff under President George W. Bush, where he was chief speechwriter to the president.


Marc served as a member of the White House senior staff under President George W. Bush, where he was chief speechwriter to the president and lead writer on two State of the Union addresses. Before that, Marc served as chief speechwriter to Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. His inside account of the CIA’s terrorist interrogation program, “Courting Disaster,” was a top-ten New York Times bestseller.


Marc is a Fox News contributor and appears several times a week on programs including “The Story with Marth McCallum” and “Special Report with Bret Baier.” At AEI, Marc studies and writes about American presidential leadership, US foreign and defense policy issues, and contributes frequently to the AEIdeas blog.

HowtheHELL do I listen?

President Biden’s sudden withdrawal from the 2024 election may have come as a surprise, but his endorsement of Vice President Kamala Harris and the Democratic Party’s coalescing around the VP to be at the top of their ticket is not. The party of identity politics is now taking a huge gamble with an untested and […]

Following the assassination attempt on Donald Trump’s life in Pennsylvania, the former president is moving full steam ahead with his campaign as the Republican National Convention kicks off in Milwaukee. Trump started the convention Monday off with a bang, announcing his VP choice, Senator J.D. Vance (R-OH) – a controversial decision that promises handwringing around […]

In today’s WTH Extra! episode, Dany and Marc discuss Marc’s latest Washington Post column, How Trump Can Make NATO Great Again. While in office, President Trump pushed allies to meet their NATO commitments, leaving the alliance militarily stronger than it had been since the Cold War. But with a myriad of new threats facing the […]

On June 4, Wall Street Journal reporters Annie Linskey and Siobhan Hughes broke the groundbreaking story Behind Closed Doors, Biden Shows Signs of Slipping. In response, Democrats and the media alike called it a “hit piece” against Biden designed to get Trump re-elected. But when Biden appeared on stage against Trump in their first presidential […]

In a spate of end-of-term decisions, the Supreme Court released its decision on the question of presidential immunity, ruling that the president has broad protections from criminal prosecution for “official acts,” a presumption of immunity for likely official acts, and zero immunity for private acts. Does this now mean that the U.S. now has a […]

In today’s WTH Extra! episode, Dany and Marc discuss Dany’s recent substack, Joe Won’t Go. Will President Biden take the advice of panicked liberal pundits, politicians, and advisors and drop off the top of the Democratic ticket? Long story short: No. And notwithstanding the flurry of unwanted advice the White House is receiving, it really […]

The numbers are in, and it’s clear that Americans of all political stripes – Democrats, independents, and both MAGA and non-MAGA Republicans – want America to be engaged and leading on the world stage. The Reagan Institute’s new summer survey shows that the vast majority of Americans want a strong military; support defending NATO allies; […]

In this new WTH Extra! series, Dany and Marc discuss Marc’s recent Washington Post column, Biden’s Latest Attack on Trump is Wildly Inaccurate. Is Trump really the isolationist his detractors make him out to be? Or is he the second coming of Charles Lindbergh some of his supporters hope for? Turns out, the isolationists who […]

Georgia’s parliament in Tbilisi recently overrode a presidential veto on a “foreign agents” law that sparked an uproar domestically and from the country’s Western allies. Critics decried the legislation—which requires any organization receiving more than 20% of its funding from foreign sources to register as an “agent of foreign influence”—as yet another element in the […]

This past weekend, Israeli special forces rescued four hostages Hamas kidnapped on October 7 and held in Gaza’s Jabalia refugee camp. Israelis were ecstatic about the news. Meanwhile, Israel’s usual detractors in the West accused Israel of war crimes for harming “civilians” during the operation, apparently forgetting that Hamas chose to embed hostages within Gaza’s […]

Last week, Donald Trump became the first former U.S. president to be convicted of a felony after a New York State court found him guilty on 34 counts of concealing hush money payments to “influence the 2016 election.” Despite the precedent-breaking nature of the case, the stench of politics was strong: Manhattan District Attorney Alvin […]

Following a year of record-high antisemitic attacks and incidents on college campuses, students, professors, and administrators need to be held to account. But fighting hate speech in academia while upholding freedom of speech is a tricky line to balance. That’s why Reps. Mike Lawler (R-NY) and Ritchie Torres (D-NY) are introducing the COLUMBIA Act – […]

This week, International Criminal Court prosecutor Karim A.A. Khan, K.C., announced on CNN that he will seek arrest warrants for Israel’s democratically elected Prime Minister and Defense Minister, as well as three members of Hamas leadership because of “crimes against humanity” related to October 7 and the subsequent Israel-Hamas war. Israel is not a party […]

President Biden is pushing through climate regulations at record speed as his administration, activists, and international organizations warn of an impending climate disaster absent drastic policy changes. But as the US pauses exports of liquefied natural gas and attempts to spend over a trillion dollars on climate initiatives, few stop to ask the question, “Is […]

Former president Donald Trump is on trial in New York over hush money payments made before the 2016 election. The only problem? Hush money payments as part of non-disclosure agreements are not illegal. New York State prosecutor Alvin Bragg alleges that by improperly filing the payments in Trump’s business records he was trying to conceal […]

Self-proclaimed “anti-Israel” and “anti-war” protests have gripped college campuses ever since Hamas’ brutal terrorist attack killed, injured, and took hostage thousands of Israeli civilians on October 7. However, in recent weeks, protesters have begun taking siege to universities across the country, setting up 77 “encampments” on quads, vandalizing property, barricading themselves in buildings, and physically […]

President Joe Biden is one of the least popular presidents in the history of presidential polling. Former President Donald Trump faces 91 charges across four criminal cases. Despite their woes and the overwhelming desire of the American people to vote “none of the above,” President Biden and former President Trump will still face off for […]

Last weekend, for the first time since the founding of the Islamic Republic in 1979, Iran launched a direct attack on Israel from Iranian territory. In total, some 170 drones, 120 surface-to-surface ballistic missiles, and more than 30 cruise missiles targeted Israel, with most coming from Iran, and some from Iranian proxies in Iraq and […]

Joe Biden and the Democratic Party love labeling Donald Trump and his MAGA followers as the greatest threat to American democracy. So why are Democratic-aligned Super PACs funding self-declared MAGA candidates in GOP primaries? In a recent article for the Wall Street Journal, Barton Swaim explains that there are two reasons: The strategy has (so […]

In the wake of Hamas’s October 7 attack on Israel, Joe Biden stood by America’s closest Middle Eastern partner, providing diplomatic cover and military aid. Recently, however, the Biden administration has become increasingly critical of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Israeli operations in Gaza. In March, Biden refused to veto a United Nations Security […]

According to President Biden, his stewardship of the economy – which he has dubbed “Bidenomics” – should be praised as the best America has ever seen. Unemployment is down and jobs are up. So why exactly are Americans giving such poor ratings to Bidenomics? Perhaps it’s because Biden’s $1.9 trillion economic stimulus package unleashed the […]

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, students, parents, and teachers were told they have to stay home from school in order to stop the spread of disease. Anyone who questioned that advice was labeled a conspiracy theorist who does not “trust the science.” Now, the public is waking up to the real effects of “long COVID” — […]

Following the terrorist attacks of October 7th, Harvard University was among several elite bastions of higher education to show its true colors – moral relativism, raw antisemitism on campus, and poor leadership. Harvard, like other elite institutions, has and will continue to suffer reputational damage for its response. And indeed, the rot of higher ed […]

Super Tuesday wrapped up as predicted, with Trump sweeping the GOP win and Haley dropping out. Barring a meteorite, this means we are locked into a Trump-Biden rematch. But the newest Harvard-Harris CAPS poll reveals an America that is not as certain as primary voting behavior suggests – overwhelmingly, they profess a desire for a […]

Two years ago, at the start of the war in Ukraine, $300 billion in Russian assets were frozen in Western banks. The assumption behind Western economic pressure on Russia was that sanctions and seizures of oligarchs’ funds would have a chilling effect on both Russia’s economy and the pursuit of the war in Ukraine. They […]

Since Russia invaded Ukraine exactly two years ago, Yaroslav Trofimov has been covering the war on the ground. His newest book, Our Enemies Will Vanish: The Russian Invasion and Ukraine’s War of Independence, is a stunning account of the lead-up to the war and how Ukraine has consistently upended the conventional wisdom about its prospects […]

Alexei Navalny was allowed one book in his Siberian prison. He chose Fear No Evil by former Soviet dissident Natan Sharansky, who joins us for an important conversation today to speak about his correspondence with Navalny and his own experience in a Siberian forced labor camp. Why did Navalny return to Moscow, and to certain […]

The Department of Justice released a report that Joe Biden willfully retained classified documents – but can’t be tried because – long story short – he is non compos mentis. The Dems are outraged. Is it justified? On the other side of the aisle, Trump is facing 14th Amendment charges to keep him off the […]

Media outlets have just begun to report on the rot of the United Nations Relief Works Agency – but the issue goes much farther back than October 7th, and the consequences will extend long past today. The top lines are that the Western-funded UN agency taught antisemitic propaganda in Palestinian territories for years; funded Hamas […]

America seems to be on a locked path towards a Trump-Biden rematch in 2024. But is this what people want? The polls say no. And is this really our only option? No Labels, the organization looking at presenting a third-party candidate, agrees. Decried (mostly by Democrats, for now) as a spoiler, No Labels leadership believes […]

Trump won the New Hampshire primaries, but Nikki Haley is staying in the race. We had a lot of questions for our guest on what this might mean for the next few weeks of primary voting, what this might mean for a potential third party candidate down the line, and yes, what this might mean […]

The 2024 Iowa caucuses have come and gone, with the key takeaways some freezing temperatures, low turnout, and a Trump slam dunk. 15 percent of eligible Iowans gave 51% of the vote to the former president. Of course, that also means that about half voted for somebody other than Trump. Most disappointed was Nikki Haley, […]

Generation Z is now entering the workforce, and free speech levels have never been so low in America. Coincidence? We think not. Legions of Gen Zers are bringing the totalitarian ideas they were spoon-fed in university — CRT, DEI, and other Neo-Marxist ideas — into the American mainstream. As a result, we are at a […]

2023 was not a year of shining achievements for the Biden administration. But along with the bad, there were achievements worth celebrating. So this year, Marc continues his tradition with the top ten best and worst things Biden did in 2023. Among the best relate to China – the replicator initiative, restrictions on Chinese advanced […]

Nearly three months into the Israel-Hamas war, we’re back with Elliott Abrams for an update on what the hell is going on, and more importantly, where to go from here. The military objectives – what Israel must do in order to secure its people – are one level, but as the conflict continues, there are […]

In 2002, Ruy Teixeira co-authored The Emerging Democratic Majority. Now, two decades later, his new book is out – Where Have All the Democrats Gone? So what happened to the Democratic Party in those intervening years? A couple of major factors stand out. First, the Democrats have bled working-class voters – once the party’s base. […]

The best-kept secret about aid to Ukraine? 90% of the money the US allocates for military aid is spent here at home. The money goes right to American defense companies that employ American workers to produce the weapons systems that Ukraine is using to fight Russia. Not only that: the money is revitalizing decayed production […]

Since the events of October 7, the Chinese Communist Party has been spreading virulent antisemitic memes in the U.S. via its favorite information warfare tool: Tik Tok. We have had episodes on Tik Tok before, but the urgency of this issue has reached a fever pitch, culminating with the celebration of Osama bin Laden’s “Letter […]

Why is the United Nations siding with Hamas in its war on Israel? An exaggeration? Nope. The examples are endless. The United Nations Relief Works Agency (UNRWA), devoted to the question of Palestinian refugees in name, but de facto a front for Hamas; leadership on the UN Security Council and Human Rights Council from China […]

What do Critical Race Theory and antisemitism have in common? A lot, actually, from the roots of each movement, to the ideology, to the way they are weaponized by the left today. The overarching philosophy linking these movements together is a Manichean ordering of peoples into groups of oppressed or oppressor – usually, but not […]

It is unclear whether Iran chose the exact date and time of the Hamas attacks, but the detail is irrelevant. The Islamic Republic of Iran has funded, coordinated, trained, and armed Hamas and other proxies for years. Should Israel not definitively succeed in eliminating Hamas, Iran will learn a critical lesson: its strategy works. What […]

There are Charlottesvilles happening every day in America. This time, they’re everywhere, driven by an explosion of antisemitism. And these Charlottesvilles are happening at Harvard, Columbia, and Stanford among other elite havens of academe. This is not the alt-right, fringe antisemitism of years past. The modern version has taken on the flavor of the leftist […]

It has been over 20 days since the House of Representatives ousted, and then successively failed to re-elect, a speaker of the House. The dysfunction could not be coming at a worse time: war in Europe, war in the Middle East, rising danger in the Pacific. Budgets are not getting passed, much less additional aid […]

On October 7th, Israel suffered the worst attack it has experienced in its history at the hands of the terrorist group Hamas. 900 casualties in Israel, including at least 11 American citizens – not to mention around 150 hostages taken by Hamas, most back to the Gaza Strip where they will be held as bargaining […]

The monstrosity of Hamas’ attack on Israel is hard to fathom. This podcast, with Times of Israel reporter Haviv Gur, shares some insight into developments on the ground in Israel, tragedies that Israelis are experiencing real-time, and analysis of the political, religious, and military aspects of the conflict. He also gives us a glimpse into […]

Congress narrowly averted a government shutdown last week when it passed a continuing resolution – a stop-gap spending bill that finances the government for a little over a month. What does this really mean? It means that we are spending at previous levels of government while important investment bills for the future are frozen, hamstringing […]

Gallup, Pew, and other reputable polling institutes have been lock-step in reporting the precipitous decline of American trust in the country’s institutions over the past few years. Every survey examining public faith in our institutions to do what is right, to provide for the common good, or to simply function at all has hit rock […]

The projected Biden-Trump rematch is not merely depressing, it is causing policymakers on the left and the right to abandon good sense. The result? A double-whammy Biden impeachment and Trump constitutional crisis as the country heads into the election season. Is it correct that election officials can disqualify Trump based on the 14th Amendment? Was […]

In a post-Dobbs political landscape, abortion policy has become the great divider. But disagreements over abortion cannot stifle much-needed conversations about what can be done to support American women, mothers, fathers, and children. To nobody’s surprise, WTH co-host Marc is a conservative. His colleague at the Washington Post Alyssa Rosenberg, is liberal. Together, they undertook […]

This summer, several articles aired in mainstream media outlets citing unnamed individuals from the Pentagon, and criticizing the speed and tactics of the Ukrainian counteroffensive. These critiques appear to at once reflect a poor understanding of the military goals and capabilities of the Ukrainian counteroffensive, and also bolster the growing anti-Ukraine, pro-isolationism cohort in America. […]

It may not come as a surprise that in much of the developed world, money spent is not necessarily money used well. We have done podcasts on the ideological and political dangers of bad development policy, but the dollar-to-donuts, real practical bent of the conversation is just as important. Because at the end of the […]

Little known fact: the intelligence war between the East and the West started long before 1945. And not only that; it did not end with the collapse of the Soviet Union in the 90s either. Indeed, this silent conflict has been lurking in the background of virtually every major historical event since 1917. The intelligence […]

The What the Hell crew continues our summer reading series! Our next pick is The Peacemaker: Ronald Reagan, the Cold War, and the World on the Brink. The Peacemaker’s focus is Ronald Reagan’s foreign policy, adding to previous research with recently declassified national security documents. But just as importantly, the history presented reminds us why […]

This August, the What the Hell crew brings you a summer reading series! Our first pick is Chip War, a book the NYT hailed as a cross between Mission Impossible and the China Syndrome. Nominally, this is the story of the semiconductor industry, but it is really a forecast of modern grand strategy, great power […]

With the incessant politicization of real foreign policy issues, sometimes it is helpful to go back to the numbers. And in this case, the numbers are detached from the reality that anti-Ukraine Republicans are trying to sell. In fact, a new summer survey from the Reagan Institute finds that a 76% supermajority of Americans, including […]

One of America’s greatest engines of growth is fossil fuels – cheap, reliable energy that jumpstarted the industrial revolution and paved the way for the security and prosperity we enjoy today. Others will not be so lucky. Many African countries lack energy security and are reliant upon foreign aid and international organizations that impose environmentally […]

Last week at the NATO summit in Lithuania, the world watched as Ukraine was denied an actionable plan for membership in the alliance. It was almost a rinse and repeat from 2008, when Ukraine and Georgia pushed for membership, and were offered a similarly passive statement – save for one major exception: today, Ukraine is […]

Yevgeny Prigozhin, head of the private military company Wagner Group, staged a rebellion against Putin’s regime in Russia on June 24th. For a brief moment, the Wagner forces took over Rostov-on-Don, and came within 125 miles of Moscow before coming under heavy fire by the Russian military, and turning back. Putin struck a deal with […]

The Supreme Court went out with a bang in 2023 – before heading off to recess, SCOTUS struck down affirmative action, ruled Biden’s loan forgiveness grab unconstitutional, and prioritized the First Amendment in a creative design case. Each of these cases (save for KBJ’s recusal on the affirmative action vote) was decided 6-3: the conservative […]

If you thought the Trump indictment capped the pattern of White House prosecutions, well, you’d be wrong (though see the WTH joint op-ed on how to end the prosecutorial death loop). Now, Hunter Biden has been indicted on misdemeanor charges of tax evasion – news that was decried as a “sweetheart deal.” But a former […]

The dictators of the nanny state are waging war on things that work. Daily appliances that make life manageable (your gas stoves, your AC, your lawn equipment) are increasingly under assault, with dubious climate/equity rationales. But the effects on climate are negligible, and the myriad electric substitutions don’t just have environmental costs of their own, […]

When the Founders conceived the U.S. Constitution, they were under the assumption that the head of state in America would be guided by honor – that an impeachment would virtually never be necessary, that the shame of the prospect would force the accused to step down from office. That model of leadership with integrity is […]

Over the past 15 months, Ukrainians have surpassed expectations in their response to the Russian invasion, showing valor and resilience. But more than a year into the fighting, many of those who advocate for aid to Ukraine still do so as a matter of idealism. Voters should know that it is also in the United […]

Last week saw two more entrants into what is already a crowded Republican primary field: Senator Tim Scott (R-S.C.) and Governor Ron DeSantis (R-FL) are officially in the running. Polling suggests that DeSantis is the only real challenger to Donald Trump, but the party base can only hope that his glitchy Twitter announcement doesn’t belie […]

After four years of work, the Durham Report the origins of the Trump-Russia investigation was released last week. And notwithstanding the objections of the New York Times and other partisans, the report was revelatory: the probable cause for opening the Russia collusion investigation was so flimsy that internal investigators had serious doubts and the Brits […]

It’s a tale as old as time… where will our next trillion come from to feed our hungry coffers? We jest, but only a little: Negotiations on raising the debt limit are ongoing, marking, ahem, dozens of times this has happened under both Democrats and Republicans. Neither party has been able to summon the wherewithal […]

This Thursday, the COVID-era immigration policy Title 42 will expire. Initiated by the Trump administration, it allowed for the expulsion of migrants at the border under a public health directive. It lifts as numbers of encounters at the border continue to skyrocket – instances grew from 646,822 in 2020 to 2,766 in 2022, and have […]

Not only is DEI hiring creating bureaucracy bloat in higher education country-wide, it is beginning to fundamentally alter our institutions. One place where the erosion of excellence is already apparent? Our legal institutions – just last year, 12 Federal Judges boycotted hiring clerks from Yale Law School (some of the crème de la crème of […]

The Ukrainians are running out of munitions and the war is predicted to endure past 2023; China is debuting new missiles that have the ability to penetrate US defenses; Egypt Is toying with supporting Russia in attacking Ukraine; ISIS is evolving. These are just a handful of the revelations from the viral Discord leaks, a […]

The priorities that have traditionally shaped American national character – patriotism, religious faith, family, community involvement – are no longer as important to most Americans. The Wall Street Journal reported this trend in a viral poll, but the sentiment is believable even without the stark statistics. This poll was conducted in 1989, 2019, and now […]

The conflict in Ukraine has revealed what conventional war looks like in this day and age. It has also made clear just how extensively the US defense industrial base has atrophied in the post-Cold War era. We are struggling to keep pace with arming Ukraine, even when drawing from stockpiles that have not been replenished […]

It’s spring break, and your kids might have more time on their hands… so we are revisiting one of our best and increasingly relevant episodes. Over a third of Americans spend hours every day on an app that directly feeds their data to the Chinese government. TikTok, owned by Chinese parent company Bytedance, is constantly […]

The wheel, the printing press, the steam engine, and… ChatGPT? A Luddite you may be, but there is no escaping the world’s newest technological revolution: personal artificial intelligence. It is easy to list the net-negatives of another tech medium designed to further decrease the already dwindling human-to-human interactions in our life – the atomization of […]

The 2024 presidential nominee field is starting to take shape, with headlines pointing to a Biden-Trump replay. But are those really the only likely options? Actually, no. Two-thirds of polled Republicans want someone other than Trump, but who can continue Trump’s policies. This means energy independence, a conservative court, cutting taxes, hawkish China policy, a […]

Before Friday, Silicon Valley Bank was the sixteenth largest bank in America. Now it bears the standard of being the second largest bank failure in US history, only upstaged by the 2008 financial crisis. As the initial shock – both to the market and to news headlines – is wearing off, some things are clear: […]

More than three years later, we are still investigating the origins of the deadliest pandemic in recent history. The DOE and FBI have given credence to the explanation that the virus originated in a Chinese government lab in Wuhan – so why don’t lab leak theorists feel vindicated? Because, as our guest alleges, this is […]

Canada’s euthanasia protocol – not merely doctor assisted suicide, but specifically euthanasia – is among the most expansive in the world. The euthanasia program, called Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD) was enacted in 2016 and was, at its inception, already broad: in 2021 it accounted for 3.3% of all deaths in Canada, which is over […]

This week marks the first anniversary of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The anniversary comes on the heels of the Chinese spy balloon debacle. Think these are unrelated issues? Not so – as General Jack Keane explains in this masterclass of logical statesmanship and responsible deterrence, victory in Ukraine is not only in America’s interest […]

Parents are increasingly losing ownership of the right to their child’s education. Americans saw the effects from widespread school closures over Covid (nearly two decades of educational progress wiped out), and continue to see educational systems that promote partisan agendas, all leaving parents little recourse to choose where and how their child is educated. Not […]

The Biden Administration has been “too little too late” in countering Russia, and is increasingly playing by the same rules with the Chinese Communist Party. The latest national security spectacle played out over a full week before the White House ordered the shoot down of the Chinese spy balloon that floated from the tip of […]

Next month will mark a year since the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine has continued. The Russian military has proven to be disorganized and surprisingly inept, President Zelensky by contrast has shown incredible resolve and organization, and the West is by and large committed to a Ukrainian victory. So why is that victory, nearly a […]

The race for Speaker of the House underscored the 2022 midterm narrative: the Republican Party is increasingly divided, and unable to consolidate power long enough to effect positive change. Now Speaker Kevin McCarthy was held hostage by a powerful “Knucklehead Caucus” (our guest’s moniker for the Never Kevinites) until its leader Matt Gaetz simply “ran […]

This is the third incident of document-gate in as many election cycles: Hillary Clinton with her “home brew” internet server, Trump with Mar-a-Lago, and now Biden with classified documents stored in his Washington D.C. think tank and his (locked!) garage. It is, to use Biden’s own characterization of Trump’s document scandal, “irresponsible,” to an almost […]

The 118th Congress has arrived, and after 15 grueling voting sessions, we finally have a Speaker of the House: Kevin McCarthy. This is the first time an election for speaker went to multiple ballots since 1923, and that is not the only element of the history-making chaos. To secure the gavel, McCarthy agreed to lower […]

What the hell happened in 2022? Joe Biden is midway through his presidency, and he has delivered both good and bad policy. The bad may outweigh the good … record inflation, growing divisions among Americans, skyrocketing gas prices, an unconstitutional grab for trillions to forgive student loans, and the list continues. But his presidency has […]

We’re familiar with the story: the storming of the Capitol nearly two years ago, Donald J. Trump’s attempt to “stop the steal,” the legal mess that ensued. But our institutions held. And Vice President Mike Pence followed through with his Constitutional duty, and certified the Biden victory in 2020. The former VP joins us on […]

Kanye West, Nick Fuentes, and Donald Trump meet for dinner… and discuss what, exactly? Indeed, what does a white supremacist have in common with Kanye?? Yep, hatred for the Jewish people. The spike in antisemitism seen today can be explained away – bad economy, covid, whatever – but the sad truth is that Jew-hatred has […]

Xi Jinping’s long-lasting, draconian zero-Covid policy has resulted in the largest protests in China in more than 30 years. Tens of thousands of demonstrators are testing the government’s “perfect” police state by actively calling for an end to Xi’s regime, breaking through China’s firewall to spread protest messaging, and calling into question the very legitimacy […]

Over a third of Americans spend hours every day on an app that directly feeds their data to the Chinese government. TikTok, owned by Chinese parent company Bytedance, is constantly collecting reams of data on its users, from GPS to keystrokes to outer-app monitoring, and even encrypted data that might be useful someday. But aren’t […]

The disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan. A lack of strategy to face China. Indifference in the face of Iranian protests. In-fighting over the correct policy to support Ukraine. Is it any wonder that the American people are wondering about the efficacy and longevity of America’s power? A hard look at American history suggests that the reasons […]

The 2022 midterms came as a shock to Ds and Rs alike: the Democrats did better than expected, and the Republicans did worse. Much worse. Last week, covered the reasons behind the Red Fail. But what about Democrats? The left ran a shrewd, if cynical, anti-MAGA campaign, and capitalized on weak GOP candidates. But it […]

In the months leading up to the 2022 midterm elections, the Republican party projected a red wave of GOP wins across the nation. And the odds were good: Biden has delivered the worst inflation in 40 years, the worst collapse of real wages in four decades, the worst murder rate since 1996, and that’s not […]

On September 13th, 22 year-old Mahsa Amini was arrested and subsequently murdered in custody by Iran’s so-called morality police. Her abuse at the hands of the Islamic Republic regime sparked the nation’s biggest uprising since the 2009 Green Revolutions. Over a month later, the chants of “Women, life liberty” have continued, but so has the […]

The last four months have been, by any measure, incredibly tumultuous for UK leadership. Former Prime Minister Boris Johnson was ousted and replaced by Liz Truss, a new monarch took the throne, then Truss resigned from leadership in record time after plunging the UK economy into disarray… and this week Rishi Sunak was sworn in […]

A few weeks ago, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán gave a keynote address at the U.S. Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). Given Orban’s tight relationship with Putin and his aggressive brand of Euro-xenophobia, many American liberals and conservatives alike were shocked. But Orban’s speech at CPAC — and CPAC’s own meeting in Hungary — is […]

Putin is incurring major losses on the battlefield. The strategic and symbolic Kerch Bridge connecting mainland Russia to Crimea was hit a few hours after Putin turned 70; Russian citizens are increasingly unhappy with their leadership; the Ukrainian counter-offensive is resilient and capitalizing on Russia’s many military vulnerabilities. Putin has ramped up threats of nuclear […]

We’re just shy of a month out from the 2022 midterm elections, a race that promises the GOP at least a leading edge in the House, if not a tsunami. And perhaps even a Senate win. But there remain critical unknowns: What will happen with the cohort of Trump-endorsed nominees, none of whom seem the […]

Conventional wisdom describes China as a rising power, and it was. No more: China’s economy is slowing, it is headed into a demographic catastrophe of its own design, it has a brittle and totalitarian political system, and it feels encircled by its neighbors. Our guests Hal Brands and Michael Beckley, authors of the new book Danger Zone: The Coming Conflict with […]

Late last month, Ukraine launched a counteroffensive against Russian forces in Eastern Ukraine, taking back substantial territory. Incredibly, in the face of reputedly superior Russian forces, the Ukrainian military now enjoys the upper hand with respect to available personnel, equipment, command, and motivation. The tide has turned largely in Ukraine’s favor… so why is the […]

Today we discuss the passing of one of modern history’s most beloved and well-known leaders: Queen Elizabeth II. With her departure comes the end of the second Elizabethan era, one that weathered world war and domestic tumult with a brand of political neutrality rarely seen on the world stage today. Much is to be discussed […]

We return from our hiatus to discuss Biden’s trillion-dollar student loan forgiveness plan. Even for those with little background in economics, this is clearly a case of the inverse Robin Hood: a regressive act that takes from the poor and gives to the much less poor. Not to mention, the plan is an assault on […]

Back to the Iran Deal… ICYMI our podcast with David Albright on what Iran is really up to… Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh was assassinated in Tehran last week, eliminating the country’s leading nuclear expert and the head of its program. Iranian officials have blamed Israel for Fakhrizadeh’s killing, vowing retaliation for the targeted attack. […]

One year later, a WTH throwback to an outstanding pod recorded in the wake of the disastrous withdrawal… Almost 20 years after the U.S. invaded Afghanistan in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, the Taliban are back in control of the country. After President Biden’s decision to depart Afghanistan regardless of conditions on the ground, […]

We break our hiatus briefly today, because this is important. News leaked that Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi planned to travel to Taiwan this month, and it caused an uproar as as the public battled online about whether her trip would provoke China. Leadership hasn’t handled this well: Xi Jinping threatened military action and […]

Just 7% of Americans today report having a great deal of trust in the media. A majority of the public believes that the media is more concerned with supporting an ideological or political position than informing them. The press is free, but bias has seeped into every corner. And the lack of an objective press […]

This summer is predicted to hold the worst blackouts that America has seen in recent memory – stories of individuals dying from heat grace the headlines of the same news outlets that report John Kerry’s statement that the US will be coal-free in 8 short years. Indeed, the logical inconsistency in the argument pushed by […]

Last week, in the aftermath of both Party and Pinchergate – not to speak of sky-high inflation and higher taxes – Boris Johnson resigned as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. For many, the writing has been on the wall for months: small ethical problems snowballing because of mismanagement and lies; large economic problems fostered […]

Today’s episode with Dan Yergin explores America’s shift away from fossil fuels, looking at the very real domestic and geopolitical implications of shuttering coal plants and transitioning to green energy. Pivoting away from U.S. energy independence has not made the country energy progressive; rather, it has set Americans up for reliance on adversarial energy sources, […]

Is the news out of Ukraine as bad as it sounds?  Russia may not be able to hold out as long as Putin believes, but the Ukrainian military desperately requires longer-range missiles to beat back the offensive in Luhansk. Ukraine’s putative allies are failing to “flood the zone,” and do not seem to realize that a frozen conflict is a strategic […]

Today’s episode is an exploration of the core question gripping our country in the weeks following the Uvalde shooting: how can we prevent such attacks in the future? A terrible pattern repeats again in the recent Uvalde case: a teenager exhibits disturbing behavior before he commits a gun-related crime. With no criminal record, what should have been “tell-tale” signs the shooter […]

WTH Is Going On with the Baby Formula Shortage?
How Government Created This Crisis

Danielle Pletka, Marc A. Thiessen, Annie Gasparro, Jesse Newman

This is America – how can we have a shortage of baby formula? That’s the question many parents are asking as they face bare Soviet-style store shelves. In a country with ample means, how did America arrive at what is essentially a food shortage? How did three main domestic baby formula companies come to control 98% […]

Do Russians really support Vladimir Putin’s aggression and war crimes in Ukraine? On the weekend of April 1st, Western media shared photos and videos of a brutal massacre in Bucha, Ukraine. The gruesome reports prompted a fresh wave of outrage over Russian war crimes. This week saw the first Ukrainian war crimes trial that ended in […]

More guns, less butter? Today, average Americans are looking at historic levels of inflation, economic contraction, and rising gas prices, soon to merit the term stagflation—and that’s not all. People are leaving their jobs en masse, the average consumer is cutting costs to keep up with personal budget deficits, and meanwhile, the Biden administration has […]

Last week we saw the first leak in Supreme Court history – a draft opinion that reversed the landmark Roe v Wade ruling of 1973 and shot the topic of abortion back into the headlines. Former Supreme Court clerk John Yoo joins Dany and Marc again to discuss the legal implications of overturning Roe v Wade, the reasoning behind the leak, and the […]

Nuclear saber-rattling, threats to expand the war, and $33 billion in new aid: General Jack Keane joins Marc and Dany to discuss the direction of the war in Ukraine. Putin’s efforts have shifted from Kyiv to the self-declared Donetsk and Luhansk regions, and it’s still not going well. Meanwhile, on the home front, Biden has […]

Is good old American flag waving patriotism dead, only to be replaced with chauvinistic nationalism, or worse, anti-Americanism? Perhaps thinking of national pride as something rooted in the Constitution, the Bill of Rights and the U.S.’ proud history is too 20thcentury; maybe it is no longer working? Indeed, in a country in which history and […]

The American Right is at a crossroads. Donald Trump’s presidency continues to divide and challenge the conservative movement both intellectually and politically. What is the future of a principles-first movement in the era of America-First populism? Issues like immigration, the international rules-based order, partisan media, and rising military threats place countervailing pressures on a conservative […]

Amid the death and destruction from Russia’s invasion of his country, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky surprised many when he pronounced last month that his “life today is wonderful.” How can Zelensky—whose war-torn homeland is experiencing increasingly intense fighting and growing civilian casualties—be so optimistic despite the dire circumstances? Is it possible for everyday people to […]

Outrage over Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine intensified this weekend as horrific reports of Russian war crimes emerged and shocked the world. In what Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky described as “genocide,” more than 400 civilians were found dead in the northern Ukrainian town of Bucha after it was seized back from Russian forces—with […]

Despite predictions of a swift victory for Russian President Vladimir Putin, Ukrainian forces continue to inspire the world as they hold their ground and thwart Russian invasion forces. Since the launch of its attack on Ukraine in February, the Russian military has faced heavy resistance and a growing number of casualties—NATO estimates that up to […]

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine has brought horror and misery to millions and challenged the US-led international order to an extent unseen since the Cold War. As NATO struggles to mount an effective response to Russia’s aggression, a growing alliance of dictatorships led by Putin and China’s Xi Jinping is attempting to shape […]

This past week, plans to bolster Ukraine’s military defenses with MiG fighter jets were derailed when President Biden refused to permit the transfer of the fighters to Ukraine. With the White House and NATO also rejecting a “no-fly zone” over Ukraine, the war’s civilian toll continues to rise. As the war drags, a growing number […]

As Russia continues its bloody invasion of Ukraine, the United States and its NATO allies have responded by levying wide-ranging sanctions against Moscow as well as providing Kyiv with humanitarian, security, and economic assistance. However, according to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, the aid has been largely insufficient in helping turn back the almost two-week-long Russian […]

As Russia’s violent assault on Ukraine enters its second week, causalities on both sides have been climbing, and many of Ukraine’s largest cities remain under siege. Despite Russian combat operations initially facing severe setbacks as a result of a determined Ukrainian resistance, the Russian offensive has been gaining ground in recent days, with Russian troops […]

As Moscow intensifies its assault on Ukraine, the United States and its Western allies have responded to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s aggression by waging a financial war and imposing a barrage of sanctions designed to cripple Russia’s economy. The measures, which have increased in severity in the days since the Russian invasion, caused the ruble […]

This week, Russian President Vladimir Putin officially recognized the independence of the Moscow-backed breakaway Ukrainian regions of Donetsk and Luhansk and ordered Russian troops to enter the Donbas. After what President Biden (ultimately) called the “beginning of a Russian invasion,” Russia’s blatant violation of Ukrainian national sovereignty has triggered a wave of sanctions from both […]

In late January, a group of truckers calling themselves the “Freedom Convoy” traveled to the Canadian capital of Ottawa to protest Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s cross-border vaccine mandates. However, what started as a modest protest has since mushroomed into a broader movement opposed to Trudeau, vaccine mandates, and draconian Covid restrictions. With over $7.8 million […]

As the Olympics continue in Communist China alongside Beijing’s continued genocide against the Uighurs, all too few have been willing to call out the tyrants and abusers. Democratic freedoms are under assault from Xinjiang to Ankara to Tehran to Moscow. But the powerful have been strangely reticent. Enes Kanter Freedom, a human rights advocate and […]

In 2020, the United States marked a grim milestone as it experienced its largest-ever single-year homicide spike on record. As murders continued to climb in 2021, 12 major US cities broke their annual homicide records, with many other urban areas suffering near-record high violence. Rafael Mangual joined Marc and Dany to discuss the impact and […]

In what is arguably the most serious crisis in Eastern Europe since the end of the Cold War, Russia has positioned more than 100,000 troops along Ukraine’s border and has sparked fears of an invasion. With tensions at a high, the US and its allies have warned the Kremlin that any invasion will be met […]

Following President Biden’s fiery Atlanta voting rights speech last week, it seems that the administration is keen to bring the issue of voting reform to the forefront of its legislative agenda with an accompanying change in the Senate filibuster rules. With debate over two voting rights bills—the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis […]

For the past two years, American children have had their lives upended as schools across the country transitioned to remote learning and introduced harsh measures to help curb the spread of COVID-19. As a result, most students have fallen far behind in school, and many children and teenagers are experiencing grave mental health problems. With districts across the country now navigating the Omicron surge, students and parents are worried that educators will again shut their doors and return online.

This week, the United States will mark one year since the disgraceful and violent Capitol insurrection of January 6, 2020. The culmination of Trump’s ‘Big Lie’ surrounding the 2020 presidential election, last year’s Capitol riots marked a focal point in America’s political polarization and may have brought the country closer to a constitutional crisis than we previously believed.

Despite President Biden’s vow to leave no man behind, when the last American plane departed Kabul in August, hundreds of American citizens and thousands of our Afghan allies were left stranded and at the mercy of the Taliban. In the face of government inaction, a group of US veterans formed Project Exodus Relief, a non-partisan volunteer effort dedicated to bringing Afghan special forces out.

First detected last month in South Africa, the new Omicron strain of the coronavirus has been designated a “variant of concern” by both the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control. Dozens of countries have detected Omicron infections, and in the United States, at least 16 states have reported cases. While scientists are still in the early stages of researching the new variant, early reports suggest that while Omicron may have greater transmissibility than other variants due to its unique set of mutations, it causes less severe symptoms than other forms of the virus.

On Wednesday, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health, a landmark case centered on a 2018 Mississippi law that bans most abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy. The legal battle is the most consequential test of abortion rights in decades, and the outcome will have direct implications on the fate of the court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, which legalized abortion, and its 1992 ruling in Planned Parenthood v. Casey that reaffirmed and amended Roe.

One of our greatest hits…. Originally broadcast on June 23, 2021.

The national conversation about race is making its way through the US education system. Seemingly overnight, debates about whether to teach children critical race theory have taken hold of state legislatures and school board meetings across the country. But what exactly is critical race theory and why is it so controversial?

Critical race theory has transformed from a once-obscure academic concept to an issue at the forefront of America’s political discourse. In the wake of Glenn Youngkin’s victory in Virginia, many have viewed his opposition to critical race theory and his concerns surrounding the teaching of race in schools as a significant factor in his success in this month’s election. With the 2022 midterms fast approaching, critical race theory is set to be a hot-button issue as the Republicans attempt to take back control of congress.

This past August, we learned that China tested a nuclear-capable hypersonic missile that circled the globe before streaking towards its target. This advanced weapons capability surprised many in the US intelligence community and has sparked both questions and concerns surrounding the true extent of China’s military modernization.

In this week’s Virginia governor’s race, Republican Glenn Youngkin defeated former Governor Terry McAuliffe in a state that President Biden won by 10 points in 2020. In New Jersey, a state Biden won by 16 points, Democratic Governor Phil Murphy only defeated his Republican challenger by a razor-thin margin. What do these elections tell us about the current state of our politics and the upcoming 2022 midterm elections?

Despite the Biden administration heralding the pull-out from Afghanistan as a “success,” America’s tumultuous retreat has sparked outrage and shame both in the United States as well as abroad. Following the suicide bombing at Hamid Karzai International Airport that killed 13 US service members and close to 170 Afghan civilians, Five For Fighting’s John Ondrasik decided to turn his frustration into a song to protest the American withdrawal.

From October 31 to November 12, representatives and diplomats from some 200 countries, as well as business executives, activists, researchers, industry leaders, and celebrities, will convene in Glasgow, Scotland, for the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26). If history is any indication, negotiations will be driven by apocalyptic climate rhetoric and unrealistic climate goals. Countries will over promise and under deliver.

According to the US Department of Labor, there were a near-record 10.4 million job openings in August. Costs are spiking, supply chains are broken, and Congress wants to spend more money to fix the problem.

With rising speculation that former President Donald Trump will seek the 2024 GOP nomination and make a run for the White House, many on the left and in the media see another Trump presidency as a harbinger of a constitutional crisis on a scale unmatched since the Civil War. However, if the past five years have taught us anything, it is that Trump and his supporters are not the sole authors of our political mess.

At the start of 2021, four prominent voices on the political left created the popular Substack ‘The Liberal Patriot.’ Motivated by what they saw as a gap in analyses on US politics and foreign policy, John Halpin, Ruy Teixeira, Peter Juul, and Brian Katulis seek to use their publication to promote a new liberal nationalism on the center-left and a more open-minded and inclusive approach to thinking about political and social issues.

Since the United States recorded its first Covid-19 related fatality in February 2020, over half a million Americans have died from the virus, and an estimated 43 million total cases have been reported in the country. How was America so unprepared for this pandemic? And how can we ensure that we are prepared for the next public health disaster?

Following the United States’ chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan, there is much debate about how America’s exit will impact its reputation on the world stage and whether rivals such as China and Russia will benefit. While President Biden has justified the withdrawal decision on the grounds of refocusing American strategic priorities around the globe, other countries […]

While an estimated 120,000 Americans, NATO allied citizens, and Afghan allies were evacuated from Afghanistan during the US military withdrawal, many Afghans who worked directly with the US were left behind as the last American planes departed Kabul on August 31. According to a State Department official, a majority of special immigrant visa applicants were not evacuated and still remain in Afghanistan, putting them at additional risk for Taliban retribution. In the absence of the US government, ad hoc groups of veterans, journalists and activists have taken it upon themselves to help rescue both US citizens and our Afghan partners from Afghanistan.

It has been 20 years since the attacks of September 11, 2001, took the lives of nearly 3,000 innocent people and shook America to its core. While much has changed in the two decades since that tragic day, Americans have not forgotten those who perished, as well as the survivors, victims’ families, and the first responders whose lives were irreversibly changed in an instant.

On Tuesday, the United States ended its evacuation mission in Kabul, marking the conclusion of two decades of the American military mission in Afghanistan. Since mass evacuations began on August 14, both Americans and NATO allies have criticized President Biden for what they view as a catastrophic execution of an already flawed decision to withdraw. Following last Thursday’s suicide bombing at the Hamid Karzai International Airport that resulted in the death of 13 US service members and more than 200 Afghan civilians, it is has become ever more clear that Biden’s withdrawal was little short of a disaster.

Almost 20 years after the U.S. invaded Afghanistan in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, the Taliban are back in control of the country. After President Biden’s decision to depart Afghanistan regardless of conditions on the ground, and the withdrawal of U.S. intelligence and air support to the Afghan army, the Taliban rapidly advanced, culminating in the collapse of the Afghan government.

For many vaccinated Americans the pandemic is all but over, but the political struggle over COVID-19 continues. At the same time, the new and highly contagious delta variant has many calling for a return to mask mandates first implemented at the height of the pandemic.

Over the past five years, more than 130 US government personnel have been impacted by a strange neurological condition known as “Havana Syndrome,” causing chronic headaches, memory problems, loss of stability and other brain injuries. First identified in Havana, Cuba, in 2016 and largely overlooked by the US government, evidence increasingly suggests that Havana Syndrome may be the result of targeted attacks by Moscow.

The people of Cuba are rising up against their government and calling for freedom and basic rights. Enabled by new access to social media, protestors are demanding liberty after decades of political and economic abuses exacerbated by the weight of the pandemic. Will the Cuban people finally throw off their dictators?

Inflation is taking off across the country, with prices up 5% in May compared with a year ago and the US recording its highest rate since 2008. Everything costs more, and many Americans are worried about whether inflation is simply a temporary, post-COVID phenomenon, or a sign of deeper economic issues.

Twenty years after 9/11, the US withdrawal from Afghanistan is moving faster than expected, and so is the Taliban’s takeover. The Taliban have already taken more than 50 of the country’s 400 districts since May, with the US intelligence community predicting that the Afghan government could fall within six months of Biden’s withdrawal.

The national conversation about race is making its way through the US education system. Seemingly overnight, debates about whether to teach children critical race theory have taken hold of state legislatures and school board meetings across the country. But what exactly is critical race theory and why is it so controversial?

President Joe Biden returned from his first overseas trip this week, wrapping up the festivities with a summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Talking tough on Putin ahead of the meeting, the Biden administration advertised a hard-hitting discussion about the countries’ relationship and Russian misdeeds.

Demographers have sounded the alarm on global depopulation, predicting that in the latter half of the 21st century, global population will enter sustained decline for the first time in history. American fertility rates are dropping and China’s population is predicted to fall from 1.4 billion to 730 million by the end of the century.

Biden administration officials and European diplomats have been negotiating an American reentry into Obama’s 2015 nuclear deal, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, in Vienna in recent weeks. As talks continue, some American allies and experts have expressed concern at the pace of the president’s attempts to revive the deal.

After labeling the Wuhan lab leak theory a conspiracy, the mainstream media and prominent scientists – even Dr. Fauci – are beginning to take the Covid origin story seriously. To further investigate the hypothesis, Rep. Mike Gallagher has asked the Biden administration to declassify the intelligence surrounding research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

The latest round of fighting between Israel and Palestinian terrorist organization Hamas has grown increasingly violent in recent days, with Iranian-backed Hamas firing thousands of rockets at Israel, and Israel responding in turn. How will the conflict play out? And should the United States be taking a more proactive role?

Prominent politicians and the media have long stated that the science behind climate change is settled. However, in his new book “Unsettled: What Climate Science Tells Us, What It Doesn’t, and Why It Matters,” Obama administration scientist Dr. Steve Koonin dispels a number of misleading claims surrounding the climate change debate.

After months of promising to “follow the science,” the Biden administration has only slightly loosened Covid restrictions for vaccinated Americans. Many schools remain closed, vaccinated people must still wear masks, and a return to normal feels far away.

What did President Joe Biden say during his joint address to Congress? Has he lived up to his promises of bipartisanship during his first 100 days in office? And what administration priorities will Congress debate next?

Is a major war with China inevitable? How can the United States prepare for the changing nature of conflict? In their new book, Admiral James Stavridis and Elliot Ackerman warn of a cataclysmic war between the US and China in the South China Sea. “2034: A Novel of the Next World War” also explores America’s weaknesses and the growing role of technology in future armed conflict.

President Biden recently announced that he plans to withdraw all US troops from Afghanistan by September 11, 2021. The decision has sparked accusations of “surrender,” and fears that Biden is repeating the Iraq withdrawal mistake again — a decision that led to the establishment of ISIS’s caliphate in Iraq.

After being lauded for refusing to overturn Georgia’s presidential election results, Gov. Brian Kemp is facing criticism from the same quarters over the state’s new voting law. Democrats claim that the legislation makes it more difficult for minorities to vote, while Republicans argue it ensures election integrity.

The International Olympic Committee awarded the 2022 Winter Olympics to Beijing, providing the Chinese Communist Party both an economic and diplomatic platform to further the party line while ignoring its abuses against the Uighurs, Covid cover-up, and brutal crackdown on Hong Kong protesters.

As America approaches herd immunity, many public health experts continue to support pessimistic guidelines about life after the vaccine. Consistent with his officials’ messaging, President Biden said in his address to the nation that there is a “good chance” that “small groups will be able to get together” by July 4th.

The Putin regime recently arrested Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny after his return to the country post-poisoning. Demonstrators in Russia continue to protest Navalny’s arrest and the Kremlin’s crackdown in the lead up to the country’s September parliamentary election.

One year ago this week, the World Health Organization declared Covid-19 a pandemic. The spread of the virus and its impact on Americans’ lives has alerted the country, Democrats and Republicans alike, to the danger of the Chinese Communist Party and the importance of America’s China policy.

Construction of the Nord Stream 2, a pipeline that runs gas from Russia to Germany while bypassing Ukraine, halted on the threat of sanctions from the Trump administration, but resumed almost immediately upon President Biden’s arrival at the White House. While Biden has called the pipeline a “bad deal,” his administration has thus far refused to impose new sanctions on companies involved.

As we near the one year anniversary of Covid school closures, many continue to advocate for remote learning, ignoring the science that says in-person learning is safe and the adverse impact it is having on students’ education, mental health, and the achievement gap.

The Biden administration has embraced a number of new Middle East policies since entering office, including halting US support for the war in Yemen and announcing its intent to rework the Iran nuclear deal. But following four years of President Trump, Biden faces a vastly different region than when he left office in 2016.

The debate over whether it is constitutional to impeach a president after he leaves office continues to rage in legal circles. With the second Trump impeachment trial set to begin today, lawmakers find themselves contending with the legality, precedent, and practicality of the case.

The “abolish the filibuster” movement among Democrats has been set back by opposition from two key senators. As a result, opponents of minority rights in the US Senate have turned their attention to the Byrd Rule, an arcane, but vitally important pillar of Senate procedure that prevents non-tax, non-spending provisions from being tacked onto must pass budget reconciliation. Too complicated? Well, without the Byrd Rule, the filibuster won’t be needed, and passing into law D.C. statehood, a $15 dollar minimum wage, and Supreme Court packing will require only 50 votes.

Russia’s hack of software management system SolarWinds has caused many in Washington to sound the alarm. How were Russian operatives able to evade detection, and what does their intrusion mean for the future of American national security?

President-elect Joe Biden will enter office today during one of the most chaotic periods of American history. With a raging pandemic, record unemployment numbers, and a recent assault against lawmakers in the Capitol, his administration will face a number of challenges in its first days in office.

House Democrats introduced articles of impeachment against Donald Trump this week, making him — probably — the first president in US history to be impeached twice. The Speaker threatened to move forward with impeachment if Vice President Pence does not remove Trump under the 25th Amendment.

As Congress prepared to certify Joe Biden’s presidential victory, a mob of pro-Trump protesters stormed the Capitol, demanding justice in pursuit of President Trump’s baseless claims of election fraud. The breach followed Trump’s “Save America” rally, in which he encouraged protesters to march to the Capitol to “take back our country.”

Despite losing the 2020 popular vote, President Trump nearly won a second term by capturing enough Electoral College votes to remain in the White House. This year’s close results, combined with Clinton’s Electoral College loss in 2016, have led many to demand an end to the centuries-old body.

Will the Biden administration hold the tough Trump line on Beijing? Will the world hold China responsible for the Covid pandemic? And how does this all factor into Xi Jinping’s global ambitions?

Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh was assassinated in Tehran last week, eliminating the country’s leading nuclear expert and the head of its program. Iranian officials have blamed Israel for Fakhrizadeh’s killing, vowing retaliation for the targeted attack.

Pfizer and Moderna recently announced that their coronavirus vaccines are both safe and highly effective, shattering the previous record for developing a vaccine for a novel virus. While this news is promising, Americans are also approaching the worst phase of the pandemic as we enter the winter with a record number of cases.

President Trump recently announced that he plans to pull 2,500 US troops from Iraq and Afghanistan before he leaves office. While he has faced backlash for the scale of the drawdown, reports suggest Trump was originally hoping to withdraw all American forces by mid-January. What does this mean for US national security and for the region?

Two weeks after the election, President Trump has still not conceded victory to former Vice President Joe Biden. While the media has called the election for Biden, Trump has mounted several legal challenges, requesting recounts or hoping to toss votes in a number of key states.

Who’s going to be the next President of the United States? What went wrong with the 2020 polls? How should we interpret the election results? And what might a Biden presidency, or second Trump term look like?

We have less than a week until Election Day. Who wins? When? Does President Donald Trump have a path to victory, or is Joe Biden already the clear winner? What do early voting numbers really mean? Who is voting for whom?

Just weeks before the election, polls show President Trump trailing former Vice President Biden by a substantial margin. However, 2016 polls predicated a significant Clinton victory, failing to account for a number of Trump voters who turned up on election day. Does Trump still have a chance? Or is this election a runaway for Biden?

What’s going on in the White House? Three weeks out from the 2020 election, has President Trump fully recovered from COVID? Does he have a strategy beyond his base? What would a second term hold?

With the presidential election less than a month away, how worried should Americans be about foreign interference? Is there any truth behind accusations of politicization at the Justice Department? And will John Durham’s report on the origins of the Russia collusion investigation be complete before the election?

WTH is going on with peace in the Middle East II?
Ambassadors of UAE and Bahrain on their new peace with Israel

Danielle Pletka, Marc A. Thiessen, Yousef Al Otaiba, and Shaikh Abdullah bin Rashid bin Abdullah Al Khalifa

In part 2 of Dany and Marc’s podcasts on the new Middle East peace, Emirati ambassador to the US Yousef Al Otaiba and Bahraini ambassador Shaikh Abdullah bin Rashid bin Abdullah Al Khalifa joined the show to talk about the Abraham Accords, the Palestinian cause, Iran and much more. Are more agreements ahead? Will Iran and Salafi jihadis target these ground-breaking Gulf leaders? What does peace with Israel mean?

Earlier this month, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain made history by normalizing relations with Israel. The Trump administration has since suggested that additional Arab countries are considering following suit.

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s court vacancy has already caused quite a stir in Washington, with Republicans arguing that President Trump should immediately fill the vacancy and Democrats countering (with arguments lifted from 2016) that the choice should fall to the next president given the closeness of the election. With just over a month until the polls, what will happen?

After supporting and using the filibuster for years, Joe Biden announced in July that, if elected president, he would support eliminating the legislative maneuver. As more Senate Democrats come out in support of abolishing the filibuster, what could this mean for American democracy?

How did the United States become the world’s top oil producer? What will the upcoming presidential election mean for US energy dominance? How will COVID impact global energy consumption moving forward? And when will self-driving cars become the norm?

With less than two months until the 2020 presidential election, the Trump and Biden campaigns are working tirelessly to convince undecided voters to choose their candidate. But with ongoing racial unrest, the coronavirus, and increasingly radical political agendas, what’s really at stake in this year’s election?

On May 15, President Trump announced Operation Warp Speed, an unprecedented effort to develop a coronavirus vaccine as quickly as possible. With a number of vaccines already in Phase 3 clinical trials, the administration is hoping for results by January 2021.

The Supreme Court recently ruled against the Trump administration’s attempt to abolish DACA, the Obama-era program protecting DREAMers from deportation. However, the Court’s opinion may have unforeseen consequences for the Constitution and balance of powers.

Following the killing of George Floyd and subsequent protests, Sen. Tim Scott introduced the JUSTICE Act, which aimed to address police abuses and systemic issues affecting at risk communities. Despite Republicans’ offer to allow votes on as many amendments as Democrats wanted, Senate Democrats voted to block the bill.

During an Oval Office interview with Marc last week, President Trump acknowledged for the first time that, in 2018, he authorized a covert cyberattack against Russia’s Internet Research Agency, the troll farm that spearheaded Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and was doing the same in the 2018 midterm elections.

The New York Times reported that the Russian government was paying Taliban fighters to kill American soldiers in Afghanistan. As the story unfolded, questions about the veracity of the intelligence, Putin’s motives, and the Trump administration’s knowledge of the incident muddied the waters.

Protesters are tearing down statues across America in the wake of George Floyd’s killing and ongoing Black Lives Matter demonstrations. While some statues, such as those dedicated to Confederate soldiers, deserve reconsideration, statues of Union general Ulysses S. Grant, President Abraham Lincoln, and founding father George Washington have also come under fire.

The May US jobs report blockbuster was a shock to many who expected more bad news. But there’s additional data that shows positive signs, indicating that the economy might rebound from the coronavirus lockdown faster than initially expected.

Is the United States going to defund the police? As protests against the murder of George Floyd continued this week, demonstrators took to the streets to demand that politicians address systemic racism by defunding America’s police forces.

What should Congress be doing to push back on China in the wake of the coronavirus? And what will the pandemic, widespread protests for racial equality, and growing political polarization mean for 2020 elections?

Edward Snowden leaked thousands of classified NSA documents to three journalists in 2013, exposing innumerable national security secrets, including information about a surveillance program with the ability to track metadata from calls within the United States.

The United States was overwhelmed by protests this week, as thousands took to the streets to demonstrate against the unjust killing of George Floyd. Unfortunately, some protests turned violent, with organized groups such as Antifa exploiting outrage over racism and police brutality to sow further unrest.

How does the Trump administration plan to counter China’s growing aggression? Following Beijing’s announcement that it would impose a new national security law threatening Hong Kong’s freedom, the administration said it would begin the process of rolling back America’s special relationship with the city.

The Justice Department recently dropped its charges against Michael Flynn, President Trump’s former national security advisor. The decision has reignited the debate over Flynn’s alleged collusion with the Russian government, the Obama administration’s role, and whether, in light of new evidence, Flynn has been exonerated.

Is democracy in decline? Despite historic protests in Hong Kong, Lebanon, Chile, and more, Freedom House found that 2019 was the 14th consecutive year of decline in global freedom. What explains this trend? And what hope does democracy have moving forward?

There were 158,000 “deaths of despair” in the US in 2018. Think of it as three fully loaded Boeing 737 MAX jets falling out of the sky every day for a year. In their new book, “Deaths of Despair and the Future of Capitalism,” Anne Case and Angus Deaton talk about the other epidemic decimating American communities, now exacerbated by the coronavirus.

A congressional China task force lost its Democratic members earlier this year. But the GOP is sticking with the House China task force. It’s designed to set priorities, coordinate legislation, and reorient Congress’s approach toward Beijing in the wake of the coronavirus.

The international community has recognized Juan Guaidó as the legitimate president of Venezuela for over a year, yet Nicolás Maduro’s regime remains in power in Caracas. Last week, a group of ex-Venezuelan soldiers and American mercenaries tried to oust Maduro, only to be quickly defeated by forces loyal to the regime.

Last year, protests dominated Hong Kong after Beijing introduced a controversial extradition bill that would allow citizens to face trial in mainland China. Since then, millions of protesters have taken to the streets to demonstrate against Xi Jinping’s Chinese Communist Party.

As Americans began the coronavirus quarantine in mid-March, alarming social media posts and widely circulated texts warned of military-imposed lockdowns and travel bans within the US. New reports suggest that Chinese agents may have played a role in propagating those messages to deliberately sow discord throughout the country.

As states debate whether and how to reopen in the midst of the coronavirus outbreak, local and federal officials are starting to realize that we may have to reopen without reaching the public health milestones outlined by medical professionals.

The coronavirus has cost the US thousands of lives and trillions of dollars. As it becomes increasingly apparent that the Chinese government’s negligence exacerbated the virus’ spread, legal scholars, politicians, and citizens alike have questioned whether America should hold Beijing financially liable.

When the coronavirus first surfaced, conventional wisdom and the Chinese government suggested it emerged from a wet market in Wuhan. However, newly uncovered State Department cables give credence to the theory that the virus may have leaked from a research facility just down the road.

Weeks into the coronavirus lockdown, it’s still nearly impossible to find toilet paper at local stores. Americans are getting desperate, and everyone’s asking the same question: When will the hoarding stop?

Taiwan, an island just 81 miles off the coast of China, should have seen the second-largest outbreak of coronavirus in the world. Yet, despite lies from Beijing and exclusion from the World Health Organization, Taiwan has emerged as a model for pandemic management. How did Taiwan do it?

As the coronavirus continues to disrupt everyday life in the US, many have questioned whether American officials should have seen the virus coming. Is it possible that, as with 9/11, experts’ strategic warnings were overlooked until it was too late?

Millions of Americans have filed for unemployment benefits as the timeline of the coronavirus lockdown remains unclear. In light of rising economic uncertainty, Congress authorized a $2 trillion relief bill, including $350 billion to support small- and mid-sized businesses. But will that be enough?

With the world on coronavirus lockdown, there’s one question on everyone’s mind: When will things go back to normal? As US cities start to hit peak COVID numbers, states must prepare for a gradual recovery while also looking toward preventing the next pandemic.

After a six-week delay from when the US had its first coronavirus case, America is finally starting to catch up to South Korea’s testing capacity. What went wrong inside the FDA, and why was our government so far behind?

The Senate just passed a $2 trillion coronavirus relief bill, the largest economic rescue package in US history. Will it be enough to save the economy from collapse? And what will the bailout package mean for the US deficit in the longterm?

The US economy continued to plummet this week as the country remained on lockdown because of the coronavirus. With businesses closing and workers being laid off, what will the virus mean for 2020 and President Trump’s re-election prospects?

As businesses and schools across the country close because of the coronavirus, Americans are starting to realize just how economically dependent we are on China. With a vast majority of our essential and generic drugs running through the country, it’s time for Americans to reevaluate the US-China trade relationship.

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), enacted in 1978 as part of the Watergate reforms, oversees and approves surveillance warrants against foreign spies and terrorists in the US. The secretive FISA Court bypasses normal warrant requirements and allows the government to conduct surveillance using classified information.

In 1986, Soviet leaders deliberately lied to the world about the nuclear disaster at Chernobyl. Putting millions at risk, the government prioritized regime stability over a public health emergency. As the death toll from the coronavirus continues to rise, we likewise see authoritarian systems suppressing information, ultimately facilitating the disease’s spread.

In their new bestselling book, “A Very Stable Genius: Donald J. Trump’s Testing of America,” Pulitzer Prize winning authors Carol Leonnig and Philip Rucker provide detailed reporting on President Donald Trump’s character, his leadership, and his personal and political style.

After visiting Moscow in 1988, Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders praised the Soviet system and established a sister city relationship with his hometown of Burlington, Vermont. Throughout his time in office, Sanders regularly hobnobbed with and supported Communist, anti-American and anti-Israel leaders.

The UK recently announced that it would allow the Chinese telecom company Huawei to build portions of its new 5G network. The British decision shocked many US government officials, including President Trump, who had been advising against Huawei’s involvement due to national security concerns.

Last night, President Donald Trump delivered his third State of the Union address, touching on his administration’s foreign policy and domestic successes. Making history as the first speech delivered by a president who is about to be acquitted in an impeachment trial, Democrats responded contemptuously with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi ending the night by publicly tearing up a copy of Trump’s speech.

Chinese officials have confirmed thousands of cases of the coronavirus as foreign governments continue to evacuate their citizens from the city of Wuhan, thought to be the disease’s point of origin. With multiple cases identified in America and stock prices plummeting, how worried should we be about the virus’s spread?

The Washington Post recently published the Afghanistan Papers, drawing parallels to the Vietnam War’s Pentagon Papers. Throughout the report, the Post alleges that the Bush, Obama, and Trump administrations all lied to the public about America’s progress in the war in Afghanistan.

In a major rebuke to China, Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen won a landslide victory in the country’s presidential election. Despite trailing in the polls mere months ago, record numbers came out to support Tsai in an effort to save the country’s democracy from becoming a second Hong Kong.

Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani was killed by a US air strike in Baghdad last week, escalating tensions in the region and sparking an Iranian strike on two military bases in Iraq. Following the attack, President Trump announced new economic sanctions and said that America would no longer tolerate Iran’s campaign of terror.

Despite various domestic and foreign policy achievements, President Trump made a number of grave mistakes in 2019. He asked the president of Ukraine to investigate Hunter Biden, used his emergency authority to circumvent Congress on the border wall, invited the Taliban to Camp David, and gave Turkey a greenlight to invade Syria and attack our Kurdish allies.

In his third year in office, President Donald Trump continued to deliver an extraordinary list of both domestic and foreign policy accomplishments. He delivered for the forgotten Americans, got NATO allies to cough up more money, stood with the people of Hong Kong, and ordered the operation that killed Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

What does the Trump administration see as the largest foreign policy priority for the upcoming year? Secretary of State Mike Pompeo joined Dany and Marc to discuss national security challenges – and the Trump administration’s successes.

Last Thursday, Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party dominated the UK elections, earning a critical victory that will finally pave the way for Brexit. Breaking through the impermeable “Red Wall,” Johnson’s party emerged with 365 parliamentary seats—the largest Conservative win since 1987.

In 2018, US-backed forces in Syria annihilated a Russian platoon of mercenaries, killing hundreds after the Kremlin-supported private army tried to take an American position in Deir al-Zour. The Russian government denied knowledge of the shadowy group, which has been spotted sowing discord in Ukraine, Libya, and the Central African Republic, among other countries.

Iran is currently experiencing its deadliest political unrest since the Islamic Revolution 40 years ago. The regime in Tehran has already killed hundreds of civilians and arrested 7,000 people as anti-government protesters take to the streets to demonstrate against corruption and the country’s faltering economy.

The former President of Poland and founding Chairman of Solidarity Lech Walesa joined the podcast to discuss his experience with anti-government protests and offer advice to the people of Hong Kong. Promising to stand with demonstrators, Walesa states that he would be willing to go to Hong Kong and fight for the democratic ideals that […]

World leaders gathered in Germany last week to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of the Soviet Union. But three decades after that momentous occasion, we are once again seeing the rise of socialism, a system of governance that put people in chains both politically and economically. […]

November 4th marked the 40-year anniversary of the Iranian hostage crisis, when a group of Iranian students seized the US Embassy in Tehran and held 52 Americans captive for 444 days. Four decades later, has the Islamic Republic of Iran changed its ways? And what role does the hostage nightmare continue to play in US-Iran relations?

Over the weekend, President Trump announced that the leader of ISIS, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, was killed during a raid by US commandos in Syria’s Idlib province. And while Baghdadi’s death is a clear victory in the war on terror, eliminating the leader of ISIS will not eliminate the threat nor defeat the larger Salafi-jihadi movement. […]

WTH is going on with quid pro quos?
This for…what?

Danielle Pletka, Marc A. Thiessen, Lester Munson

Everyone in Washington set their hair on fire following White House acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney’s apparent admission of a quid pro quo for his assistance to Ukraine in his news conference last week. But are quid pro quos really that bad? (Depends on the quo.) Has the US government used them before? And shouldn’t foreign aid always be dependent on getting something that’s good for America in return?

President Trump recently withdrew US forces from northeastern Syria, greenlighting a Turkish offensive against Washington’s erstwhile Kurdish allies. Trump’s decision surprised many in Washington, including members of his own administration, who point out that pulling American troops not only undermines US alliance credibility, helps Russia, ISIS, and Iran, but also leaves the Kurds, a group that has been integral to the fight against ISIS, out to dry.

What the hell is going on with impeachment? Is President Trump about to be removed from office? Or will this backfire on the Democrats? As the impeachment inquiry drags on, new questions about Trump’s conversations with foreign leaders, the Bidens’ involvement in Ukraine, and the future of American politics continue to emerge.

Dany and Marc interviewed Congressman Michael Waltz to hear his unique perspective on the collapse of the US-Taliban talks, how the US can succeed in Afghanistan, and what Congress and the president are getting wrong about America’s fight in the region.

What the hell is going on in cyberspace? Could the United States defend itself from a Russian, Chinese, or Iranian cyberattack? As the world becomes increasingly dependent on technology, the US faces new cyber threats that could have catastrophic consequences for the global economy and US national security.

Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi rebels claimed responsibility for strikes against two of Saudi Arabia’s largest oil facilities on September 14, but the US has said there is no evidence the attacks came from Yemen, instead blaming Iran. So who’s really responsible? And should the US respond?

As the Trump administration and Taliban officials wrap up negotiations, many fear that a US withdrawal could return Afghanistan to the terrorist safe haven it was before the 9/11 attacks. General David Petraeus joined the show to discuss his time in the region and the importance of keeping troops on the ground.

Antisemitism is on the rise both in the US and abroad. What explains this renewed phenomenon? Dany and Marc interviewed the director of the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum to discuss the rise of antisemitism today and the importance of remembering those who lost their lives in the Holocaust.

US Special Representative for Venezuela Elliott Abrams joined Dany and Marc to explain the Trump administration’s strategy in Venezuela. The three also discuss how the country got to where it is today, the Chinese, Iranian, and Russian roles in the conflict, and the likelihood for success in the Norwegian-led negotiations.

WTH is going on in Hong Kong?
Is this the next Tiananmen?

Danielle Pletka, Marc A. Thiessen, Gordon Chang

How long will Beijing tolerate democratic rumblings from Hong Kong without a major crackdown? Could this be the next Tiananmen? Hong Kong expert Gordon Chang joined Dany and Marc to explain what’s going on.

What’s going on with the US-China trade war? And how is China’s manipulation of the global trading system hurting working-class Americans? Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) joins the show to discuss.

WTH is going on in the world?
With General Jack Keane

Danielle Pletka, Marc A. Thiessen, General Jack Keane

Numerous news outlets reported that President Trump called off a military strike on Iran because he saw General Jack Keane point out on television that it was possible that the country’s strike was a fluke. On this episode of the show, Gen. Keane discusses recent Iranian provocations and US cyber strategy.

What the hell is going on with Mexico? After threatening to impose tariffs, President Trump recently announced that he and the Mexican government reached an agreement to avert a US-Mexico trade war. On this episode, AEI’s Roger Noriega reviews the details of the new immigration deal.

What the hell is going on in North Korea? AEI’s Nicholas Eberstadt discusses what might happen to someone who falls out of favor with the North Korean regime, the future of US–North Korea nuclear talks, and the likelihood of North Korean denuclearization.

WTH is going on in Iran?
Is the US headed for war?

Danielle Pletka, Marc A. Thiessen, Frederick W. Kagan

What the hell is going on in Iran? Fred Kagan joined the podcast to discuss current US-Iran tensions and recent attacks on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman.

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