Year: 2016

From CNN:

President Barack Obama sits down with David Axelrod to discuss their shared history together, how President Obama managed to stay grounded during turbulent moments of his childhood and adolescence, why the Obama presidency struggled to overcome the partisan politics in Washington, and what’s in store for the President when he leaves office on January 20th.

Listen to the entire Axe Files episode here.

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From CNN:

Eli Attie, writer for The West Wing and former political speechwriter, talks with David Axelrod about how he went from being a speechwriter to writing television scripts for one of the most notable shows on American politics, his recollection of being in the room on election night when Al Gore rescinded his concession to George W. Bush, and how the fictionalized version of the political speechwriter is often at odds with reality.

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From The Atlantic:

Monday’s horrors—the attack on a Christmas market in Berlin and the assassination of a Russian diplomat in Ankara—offer a natural experiment. Since they occurred during the brief window every four or eight years in which America has both a president and a president-elect, they provoked two sets of statements, one from the outgoing administration and another from its soon-to-be successor. The differences are revealing.

The first difference, unsurprisingly, is that the Obama administration exercised caution. It said the Berlin atrocity “appears to have been a terrorist attack.” Team Trump, by contrast, simply called it a “horrifying terror attack.” The White House avoided speculation about the Turkish assassin’s motive. Team Trump, by contrast, called him a “radical Islamic terrorist.”

Read the rest of Peter‘s column here.

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From CNN:

Tammy Duckworth, the U.S. Senator-elect from Illinois, talks with David Axelrod about her childhood in Southeast Asia, the harrowing day in Iraq when the helicopter she was co-piloting came under attack, her concerns with Donald Trump’s reliance on the military to fill Cabinet posts, and what she hopes to accomplish in the U.S. Senate.

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From CNN:

Denis McDonough, the White House Chief of Staff, talks with David Axelrod about how growing up in a house with ten brothers and sisters was good preparation for life, why he thinks it would prove difficult for the next administration to undo aspects of President Obama’s domestic policies, and the greatest disappointments from his White House tenure.

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From The Atlantic:

Glenn beck looks like the dad in a Disney movie. He’s earnest, geeky, pink, and slightly bulbous. His idea of salty language is bullcrap.

The atmosphere at Beck’s Mercury Studios, outside Dallas, is similarly soothing, provided you ignore the references to genocide and civilizational collapse. In October, when most commentators considered a Donald Trump presidency a remote possibility, I followed audience members onto the set of The Glenn Beck Program, which airs on Beck’s website, theblaze.com. On the way, we passed through a life-size replica of the Oval Office as it might look if inhabited by a President Beck, complete with a portrait of Ronald Reagan and a large Norman Rockwell print of a Boy Scout.

Read Peter‘s entire column here.

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From The Washington Post:

A joke among journalists is that we are taught to count: “one, two, trend.” But at this point, I think it’s fair to say that we are witnessing a populist trend around the world. The real question is, what is fueling its extraordinary rise?

Almost a month after Donald Trump’s election, Europeans went to the polls, with mixed results. Italians voted against everything — the establishment, the European Union and, by extension, their centrist, reform-minded prime minister, Matteo Renzi. Austrian voters, by contrast, rejected far-right candidate Norbert Hofer. But it was still startling that his Freedom Party — whose first leader was a former Nazi minister and SS member — received 46 percent of the national vote. Over the past few years, almost everywhere in Europe — including France, the Netherlands and Germany — right-wing populist parties have gained ground.

Read Fareed‘s entire column here.

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From The Atlantic:

On the heels of President-elect Donald Trump’s meeting this Monday with environmentalist and former vice president Al Gore, 97 percent of the world’s scientists might have breathed (just a little) easier. Here was a signal—however tentative—that the incoming president was at least interested in hearing the views of those who consider climate change to be a looming threat, and who would prefer the United States do something about it. The meeting, as my colleague Robinson Meyer writes, was arranged by the first daughter, Ivanka Trump. Presumably, it is part of a reported effort to make climate change “one of her signature issues” in a bid to win over “liberals disgusted and depressed with the tone and tenor of the new leader of the free world.”

It is worth noting that not only liberals are concerned with climate change: According to Gallup, 40 percent of Republicans and 64 percent of independents are “worried a great or fair deal” about it, an increase of nine points since the question was asked last year. And then there’s the rest of the world, where not only is the existence of climate change broadly agreed upon, but is seen as a something that must be combatted—which is why nearly the entire planet signed on to the Paris climate-change accords earlier this year. To be clear: Ivanka Trump’s potential “outreach” on the subject would be as much international diplomacy as it would be an olive branch to distressed Democrats and concerned Republicans.

Read the rest of Alex‘s column here.

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From TIME:

No foreign policy question loomed larger during the bitter presidential campaign than U.S. relations with Russia. Hillary Clinton painted Russian President Vladimir Putin as an aggressive autocrat who threatens U.S. national security, while Donald Trump treated him as a strong and decisive leader with whom Washington could do business. Putin, a Soviet man from head to toe, has always chafed at what he sees as U.S. post–Cold War triumphalism. He has never welcomed claims by Americans that the U.S. is an indispensable and exceptional nation with a responsibility to promote Western values everywhere, including across Russia’s neighborhood and inside Russia itself. Putin likes Trump in part because he believes that the new President has no interest in asserting that privilege.

Read the rest of Ian‘s column here.

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From The Ringer:

Jon Favreau, Jon Lovett, and Tommy Vietor discuss Trump’s budding relationship with China (0:40), Al Gore’s meeting with Ivanka on climate change (16:20), and efforts to repeal Obamacare (23:57). Then they call Ana Marie Cox of MTV to talk about “access journalism” (34:50) and her article “HUD Games” (52:23).

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From Vox:

Patrick Collison is the 28-year-old CEO of Stripe, the online payments company that was just valued at $9 billion. Haven’t heard of Stripe? You’ve probably used it. Last year, 40 percent of people who bought something online used Stripe’s payment systems. The company has become an integral part of the internet’s financial plumbing.

And Collison has become one of Silicon Valley’s leading lights — he made the cover of Forbes last year, where one venture capitalist described him as “the LeBron James of entrepreneurs.” Collison is also one of the few people I’ve met who is a genuine polymath. He seems to know everything about everything, and his recall — particularly his ability to live-footnote his own comments — is something to behold.

We talk about how he and his brother conceived of, and launched, Stripe, and then we go much deeper. Among the topics we discussed:

-Why there was a market opportunity for Stripe in a world that had PayPal
-Why people are often wrong when they look at a market and think an incumbent has dominated it
-What he thinks is untrue about the stereotypes of how Silicon Valley handles regulation
-How we might be able to tell whether a buildup of regulations are preventing new companies from emerging
-Why jobs like home healthcare and childcare are becoming tension points in our national immigration discussion
-The difference in the way politicians and tech leaders approach problem-solving
-How he tries to shape culture within his company to help it become, in his words, more like itself
-What he admires about CEOs like Jeff Bezos and Jim Simons
-The culture of “rationalist” bloggers, and why he reads them-How we underestimate the importance of the Enlightenment period

Enjoy!

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From The Atlantic:

The campaign never ended, and maybe it never will.

So there was Donald Trump a few days ago, doing what he had always done—the thing he knew how to do—the thing that got him here and made him president-elect: standing on a stage, surrounded by the people who couldn’t get enough of him, letting them have what they wanted.

Trump was here, he told them, to say thank you to the people of Ohio. “We won the state by almost 10 points, which they say is totally unheard of!” he said. And then, just as he had during the campaign, he couldn’t resist taking aim at one of his critics, the Ohio governor, John Kasich, who opposed Trump throughout the election and voted for John McCain for president instead.

Read Molly’s entire column here.

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