Omicron Variant, Oil Reserve Release, Arbery Verdict, Biden’s Fed Nominations, Tucker Carlson’s “Patriot Purge”

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Mike and Jay start off this week’s show with late-breaking news about the emergence of the Omicron COVID variant. Jay brings up the inherent non-political nature of viruses, whereas Mike argues that responses to viruses are inherently political, and that the US and other wealthy countries can and should be doing more.

Next, they discuss President Biden’s release of 50 million barrels of oil from the US Strategic Petroleum Reserve in coordination with oil reserve releases in other countries. They agree that this move is both political and largely symbolic. Jay believes the administration should make it less difficult to extract fossil fuels, while Mike focuses more on what he believes to be the significant negative climate ramifications of fossil fuels.

Then it’s a look at the verdict in the Ahmaud Arbery case. Mike & Jay both support the jury’s verdict, and agree that there may be widespread issues with favoritism and even corruption in local law enforcement. But they differ on hate crime laws, which Mike supports and Jay believes to be unnecessary.

After that they give two cheers to President Biden’s nomination of Jerome Powell to continue chairing the Federal Reserve and of Lael Brainard to serve as vice chair. Mike is more supportive of the nominations than Jay, largely because Jay takes issue with the Fed’s reluctance to taper asset purchases and raise interest rates. They both agree that while Fed independence may rankle presidents and members of both parties in Congress, it’s a good thing.

Next is a discussion of Fox News host Tucker Carlson’s “Patriot Purge” video. They both see it as egregiously misleading propaganda and lament that some valid points about federal power are buried beneath a mountain of hyperbole and atrocious logic. Mike sees the video as further proof that even if Donald Trump fades from the scene, toxic Trumpism isn’t going away anytime soon and, if anything, may be gaining power. Jay is more hopeful and points out that when similar films were made by Michael Moore, he was praised - Mike agrees, but feels that it’s a false equivalence.

They end the show with listener questions on whether Joe Biden is more like Jimmy Carter or Gerald Ford and why The Politics Guys listeners skew left.

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