158 episodes

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 policy and security challenges facing the world today.

What the Hell Is Going On The AEI Podcast Channel

    • News
    • 4.4 • 447 Ratings

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 policy and security challenges facing the world today.

    WTH Is Going On In Post-Roe America? Robby George on How We Can Have A Respectful Compassionate Debate on Abortion

    WTH Is Going On In Post-Roe America? Robby George on How We Can Have A Respectful Compassionate Debate on Abortion

    Many Americans celebrated the end of Roe vs Wade. Others are deeply angered and worried. The question of abortion is not a simple one, and merits thoughtful discourse and kindness rather than hysteria or trimphalism. Any discussion also requires a real look at the facts; what is the legal basis of this ruling? Where does the pro-life movement stand? What does pro-choice Americans really want? In this episode we try to provide a model for how to approach the conversations ahead with Robby George, one of our nation’s most respected political philosophers.
    Robert George is the sixth McCormick professor of jurisprudence and the director of the James Madison program in American Ideals and Institutions at Princeton University. He is a past winner of the American Enterprise Institute's Irving Kristol Award.
    https://www.aei.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/Robby-George-Transcript-Final.docx (Download the transcript here.)

    • 1 hr 10 min
    WTH Is Inflation Getting Worse? Michael Strain on Who Is Responsible and How To Fix It

    WTH Is Inflation Getting Worse? Michael Strain on Who Is Responsible and How To Fix It

    Since our episode on inflation with Glenn Hubbard last month, his dire predictions about a likely recession have gathered steam. And though we’re not yet officially in a recession, Americans’ economic pain is only growing: New record average high gas prices in June, likely rolling blackouts, shocking inflation at the supermarket and now the cost of money has skyrocketed too. Meanwhile, here in Washington, the President continues to go on vacation every weekend, deny that inflation is his fault, and push a mindless spending agenda. How did the Fed, White House economists, and mainstream professional forecasters get it so wrong? And perhaps more importantly, what should be done going forward?
    These questions and more on today’s episode with Michael Strain. Strain is the Director of Economic Studies at the American Enterprise Institute.
    Download the transcript https://www.aei.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/Mike-Strain-Final-Transcript.docx (here).

    • 49 min
    WTH is Biden Letting Russia Win in Eastern Ukraine? Ukrainians Are Running out of Ammo and Losing Ground

    WTH is Biden Letting Russia Win in Eastern Ukraine? Ukrainians Are Running out of Ammo and Losing Ground

    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 pause for the Russians, not the end of the game. Domestic politics and news headlines alike reflect a desire to move on, yet Ukraine is at a critical inflection point in Severodonetsk, the last significant Ukrainian prepared defensive position within Luhansk Oblast. How do we ensure that we don't look back at this moment years from now, only to conclude that delays in aiding Ukraine helped the Russian offensive gain a critical strategic advantage?

    These questions and more in today's conversation with George Barros. Barros is a geospatial analyst on the Russia and Ukraine portfolio at the Institute for the Study of War (ISW). Check out ISW's daily interactive map linked on the transcript, which he helps each week to update.
    Download the transcript https://www.aei.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/George-Barros-Transcript-Final.docx (here).

    • 53 min
    WTH Do We Do About Guns? National Review's Jim Geraghty Talks Assault Weapons, Reform and Enforcement

    WTH Do We Do About Guns? National Review's Jim Geraghty Talks Assault Weapons, Reform and Enforcement

    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 was a danger? Jim Geraghty suggests that tougher background checks are not the answer, or at least not the whole answer. In addition, with straw buyers (think grandmothers) purchasing firearms for their teenage grandsons—not to mention the fact that the Pentagon puts more guns in the hands of young adults than anyone else in this country— raising the age restriction may not cut it. It may not even pass legal muster. The challenge isn’t simple, but there are solutions. Marc and Dany explore creative options that could move us forward, and learn why efforts to ban certain kinds of weapons might not with National Review’s Jim Geraghty.
    Jim Geraghty is the Senior Political Correspondent of National Review. He writes their Morning Jolt newsletter, and hosts the Three Martini Lunch podcast.
    https://www.aei.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/Jim-Geraghty-Transcript-Final.docx (Download the transcript here.)

    • 1 hr 1 min
    WTH Is Going On with the Baby Formula Shortage? How Government Created This Crisis

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

    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% of their market? Parent or not, this issue has implications for everyone—it is a case study that involves government regulations, supply chain, monopolies under the guise of capitalism, and barriers to free trade. Or, as one of the podcast’s guests notes, “a perfect storm.”
    Marc and Dany explore this puzzling situation with guests Annie Gasparro and Jesse Newman, Wall Street Journal reporters covering the scandal. Gasparro is a food reporter with the WSJ Chicago bureau and writes about packaged food companies and consumer tastes. Newman is also a food reporter with the WSJ corporate bureau, covering farmers, ranchers, and food companies.
    https://www.aei.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/Newman-Gasparro-Transcript-Final-1.docx (Download the transcript here.)

    • 49 min
    WTH Do So Many Russians Support Putin? Ian Garner on Russian Propaganda and the War in Ukraine

    WTH Do So Many Russians Support Putin? Ian Garner on Russian Propaganda and the War in Ukraine

    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 confession and conviction for a Russian soldier. But Russians in government and outside continue to insist that the Bucha massacre is “fake,” or “Western agenda-setting.” More troubling still are broad Russian civilian calls to annihilate the “sub-human” Ukrainians.
    Marc and Dany explore this disturbing trend with Ian Garner on today’s episode. Garner is a historian and a translator of Russian war propaganda. His first book, Stalingrad Lives: Stories of Combat and Survival, was published in 2022.
    https://www.aei.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/Ian-Garner-Transcript-Final.docx (Download the transcript here. )

    • 43 min

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5
447 Ratings

447 Ratings

stretchkeen ,

Gun violence debate

Excellent debate, very informative!
Your show is much better when You two don’t agree.

calyypso2 ,

I learn a lot

I most recently listened to Post-Roe podcast: Dany and Marc’s discussion was great, but the guest, Robby George, was underwhelming. For example, when asked how to get pro-choice opponents onside, he simply asserted that life begins at conception. He also stated that Christians and Jews have the same views on abortion, which is not true at all! And, he made mostly religious arguments, which would have no traction with many pro-choice supporters. I gave up on this episode about halfway through. However the podcast series is overall very informative. Pletka and Thiessen often disagree, which leads to good dialogue and additional insights. And Dany, I am always on your side! Looking forward to future episodes -

mylesXmendoza ,

AEI

All of AEI’s content is great, but this rises above the rest. Exceptional content and personalities!

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