66 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 American Enterprise Institute

    • Politics
    • 4.6, 238 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 with a COVID vaccine? Operation Warp Speed director Dr. Slaoui on the coronavirus endgame

    WTH is going on with a COVID vaccine? Operation Warp Speed director Dr. Slaoui on the coronavirus endgame

    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.







    Dr. Moncef Slaoui, the director of Operation Warp Speed, joined Dany and Marc to explain how the US is working with the public and private sector to accelerate vaccine development at a speed never before seen. He also discusses the likely efficacy, timeline, and distribution challenges of a future vaccine.







    Dr. Slaoui, chief advisor of Operation Warp Speed, is a venture capitalist and, formerly, Chairman of Global Research and Development and Chairman of Global Vaccines at GlaxoSmithKline, where he led the development of five major novel vaccines.







    Download the transcript here.

    • 50 min
    WTH is going on with the Supreme Court? John Yoo on the DACA decision and the dangerous implications for executive power

    WTH is going on with the Supreme Court? John Yoo on the DACA decision and the dangerous implications for executive power

    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.







    John Yoo joined the show to explain why the SCOTUS ruling creates a dangerous precedent for executive power. He also discusses Chief Justice John Roberts’ voting record, President Trump’s defense of the Constitution, and what’s at stake in the 2020 election.







    John Yoo is a Professor of Law at the University of California, Berkeley, and a visiting scholar at AEI. He served as a deputy assistant attorney general in the Office of the Legal Counsel of the US Department of Justice, where he worked on constitutional and national security matters, as General Counsel of the US Senate Committee on the Judiciary, and as a law clerk to Justice Clarence Thomas.







    Download the transcript here.

    • 46 min
    WTH is going on with the chaos in American cities? Sen. Tim Scott on the politicization of violence and racial unrest

    WTH is going on with the chaos in American cities? Sen. Tim Scott on the politicization of violence and racial unrest

    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.







    Sen. Scott joined Dany and Marc to discuss the JUSTICE Act and partisan delays in meaningful police reform. The three also talk about Sen. Scott’s conversation on race with President Trump and the challenge of growing violence in America’s cities.







    Sen. Scott was first elected to Charleston County Council, to the South Carolina State House, and the US House of Representatives. In January 2013, he was sworn in as a US Senator from South Carolina, and was re-elected in January 2017.







    Download the transcript here.

    • 35 min
    WTH is going on with Trump’s cyberattack on Russia? Discussing Marc’s interview with the President

    WTH is going on with Trump’s cyberattack on Russia? Discussing Marc’s interview with the President

    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.







    Ellen Nakashima, the reporter who first broke the story, joined the show to walk us through the details of the cyberattack and America’s offensive cyber capabilities. They also debrief on Marc’s interview and discuss Trump’s stance toward Russia and the likelihood for interference in the 2020 presidential election.







    Ellen Nakashima is a national security reporter for The Washington Post. She covers cybersecurity counterterrorism and intelligence issues. She has probed Russia’s efforts to influence the outcome of the 2016 presidential election, work which led her and her colleagues to win a Pulitzer Prize in 2018.







    Download the transcript here.

    • 43 min
    WTH is going on with Russians paying to kill US soldiers? Is Putin paying the Taliban to kill American servicemen?

    WTH is going on with Russians paying to kill US soldiers? Is Putin paying the Taliban to kill American servicemen?

    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.







    Fred Kagan joined the show to explain how the Russian government is using Afghanistan and other conflict zones to undermine American leadership abroad. He also discusses the validity of the intelligence and how the US should respond, if the reporting is true.







    Fred Kagan, author of the 2007 report “Choosing Victory: A Plan for Success in Iraq,” is one of the intellectual architects of the successful “surge” strategy in Iraq. He is the director of AEI’s Critical Threats Project and a former professor of military history at the US Military Academy at West Point.







    Download the transcript here.

    • 42 min
    WTH do we do about cancel culture? Debating Confederate statues, law and the new mob rules

    WTH do we do about cancel culture? Debating Confederate statues, law and the new mob rules

    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.







    Jonathan Horn, Robert E. Lee’s biographer, joined Dany and Marc to talk about the current backlash against American statues and how to draw the line when considering which statues to keep. They also discuss ‘cancel culture’ and the dangerous practice of judging history retroactively.







    Jonathan Horn is an author and former White House presidential speechwriter for President George W. Bush. His Robert E. Lee biography, The Man Who Would Not Be Washington, was a Washington Post bestseller. He is also the author of Washington’s End, the forgotten story of the final years of America’s Founding Father.







    Download the transcript here.

    • 42 min

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5
238 Ratings

238 Ratings

paper plot ,

All

Very insightful information! Love this podcast!

SF M ,

Thoughtful and Fun

Each time I spend time with the WTH hosts, I am able to reaffirm that I am not going off the deep end, yet. They grapple with the complex issues of today. While coming from the opposite sides of the political house, even in disagreement, they can find common ground or agree to disagree using reason and humor. If you want name calling, screaming and a WWE approach to current issues this won’t be your cuppa. If you want thoughtful discussion with humor around the stuff that is making us wild today this podcast is for you.

angelpingz ,

SCOTUS

How is it that these Rinos keep on voting to destroy our Republic?
I’ve heard nothing on why or how these lazy Reps/Dems that just go along to get along!
We the people are tired of all this political nonsense! We’re paying all of U to do as we ask, not as we do. Time for a “serve & pay” congress and term limits and you’re done ✅ NO MORE LIFETIME PAYING TO CONGRESS & SENATE!! That would shake things up a tad!! And keep refreshing our Govt!
Talk about milking the tax payers?!

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