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Beyond Politics

Beyond Politics

By Matt Robison and Paul Hodes
Paul Hodes is a former New Hampshire Congressman and National Co-Chair of Barack Obama's 2008 campaign. Matt Robison is a former senior congressional staffer and campaign manager. They host "Beyond Politics," a show that goes beyond the usual week-to-week news and political chatter, and examines the deeper issues driving American politics through interviews with senior insiders from government, universities, and political campaigns.
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Could the “Moneyball Effect” Actually Save American Politics?

Beyond Politics

Bigger Economic Trouble Sign: Omicron, or Weak Black Friday?
Markets have been spooked by Omicron news in recent days.  And Black Friday/Cyber Monday sales are down year-on-year.  So which of these is a bigger concern, or are either of them really a bad sign at all?  Also, Dorsey is OUT at Twitter, Amazon is taking over the shipping market, and what can we learn for business from the Patriots? Chris Hill of Motley Fool Money weighs in. Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash
December 1, 2021
Soul of a Democrat: Seven Core Ideals To Get the Party Back to What It is Supposed to Be
In 2016 the Democratic Party lost control of every branch of government. Countless explanations and excuses have been offered, and despite an anti-Trump backlash in 2018 and eking out the Presidency in 2020, Democrats have been on a continued downward slide down ballot. And now, facing the midterms, their prospects don’t exactly look rosy. The news media is full of doom and gloom, the President’s popularity is underwater despite some massive successes, and Republican voter suppression efforts look likely to keep them with the upper hand into the future. So what’s the answer? Our guest, Tom Reston has one. His book Soul of a Democrat: The Seven Core Ideals That Made Our Party — and Our Country — Great, focuses on the root ideas of the Democratic Party and how to start from the foundation of what the party is supposed to be about. He argues that Democrats need a coherent, blunt set of American ideals and in this book, he provides one.
November 30, 2021
Harvard Economist Jeffrey Frankel: The Real Deal on Inflation
By most measures, the economy is doing great. The country's economic output is way past where it was before the pandemic. In October alone, the country created 531,000 jobs and set a record for the number of people leaving their jobs, which is a sign the people see a hot job market and want to take advantage of it.  Unemployment is way down, wages are way up, and the average American has 50% more their checking account today than they did just two years ago. Not to mention that businesses are also happy and flush with cash: consumer spending is surging while the stock market was up 7% in October, capping off a strong year. BUT...Inflation. It's on everybody's minds.  It was up 6.2% in October, and that has made Americans feel like the economy is terrible. 68% of Americans told Gallup in October that they thought the economy is getting worse, while the University of Michigan consumer sentiment survey finds that Republicans feel worse about the economy than at the height if the Great Recession. So, how is the economy doing? What’s real, what’s perception, or is perception what creates economic reality? Harvard Kennedy School professor Jeffrey Frankel is the James W. Harpel Professor of Capital Formation and Growth at the Harvard Kennedy School, and most important, he graduated from the best undergraduate college in America – Swarthmore College.  He joins the show to explain the real story on inflation, including the sneaky link between vaccination and bringing inflation down.
November 22, 2021
Republican Infighting and Threats; Also, Overturning America's Gerontocracy
Matt joins legendary West Virginia radio host Howard Monroe on his show to talk about his Alternet article describing the government's massive bias toward the old over the young, and why it needs to end. Then, a discussion about Republican infighting and growing threats of violence, what it means, and why it's happening.
November 18, 2021
What People Say About the Economy is Totally Different Than How They Behave
Chris Hill of Motley Fool Money explains what to make of the very different things people are saying about the state of the economy / their personal finances, and how they are actually acting. Right now, Americans tell pollsters that the economy is bad and that they are worried. But they are spending, seeking new job opportunities, and investing like things are great. So what does that mean, and what do businesses, investors, and analysts do when those things diverge?
November 17, 2021
The Dems' Fix-It Comms Guy on How to Fix It
Josh Schwerin is a communications veteran among Democrats, and it sure seems like they need one right now. A former press secretary for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, he served as the National Spokesman for Hillary Clinton in 2016, and as the Senior Strategist and Director of Communications for Priorities USA, the biggest Democratic outside advocacy group and political action committee, where he played a big role in figuring out how to spend $153 million in advertising in the 2020 political cycle, and what to say with all that money. He’s also a veteran of the Terry McAulliffe political operation, which makes him the perfect person to talk about where we are now, and what Democrats need to do in the coming year.
November 15, 2021
Can Joe Biden (or any President) Use the Bully Pulpit to Move Public Opinion?
The degree to which President Biden can sell his agenda to the American public maybe the single most important factor in driving the politics of the coming years.  Many analysts have compared President Joe Biden's legislative plans for America to the Great Society program of President Lyndon Johnson -- widely regarded as the most ambitious set of social investments in American history. With the passage of the bipartisan infrastructure bill and Joe Biden's signature social investment program, the Build Back Better agenda, waiting in the on-deck circle, it appears the President Biden is on track to make that comparison very real. But will the public end up supporting these achievements, and will they reward Democrats politically for them? After all, don't parties in power use their position, especially the position of the President, to sell their ideas to the public and then reap the rewards by touting their achievements? The answer is no. In fact, we may be thinking about how this works all wrong. Dr. George Edwards is Distinguished Professor and the Jordan Chair in Presidential Studies at Texas A & M University, and he has analyzed hundreds of public opinion polls.  He finds that actually, Presidents are usually unsuccessful at wielding the so-called bully pulpit.  They are frequently unable to move public opinion at all.
November 11, 2021
VA and NJ: No Big Deal?
Matt appears on The Watchdog with Howard Monroe to run through what actually happened in the elections last week and whether it was really all that surprising. Also, what will it take to win in 2022, how much will passing BBB matter, and Weird Al Yankovic!
November 9, 2021
A Top Dem Advisor on Last Week's Rough Elections, and Whether Dems Can Recover
Adnaan Muslim is one of the most sought-after campaign consultants in America. A top counselor to Senators like Elizabeth Warren and Raphael Warnock and Boston mayor-elect Michelle Wu, Adnaan joins the show to explain what happened last Tuesday, how Dems can fight the CRT and education messaging from Republicans, what the path to a fighting chance in 2022 looks like, and what his favorite Elizabeth Warren stories are. 
November 8, 2021
Meta, Microsoft, and Movies: The Weird, Messy Stuff Happening in Business Right Now
Chris Hill of Motley Fool Money, the #1 stock investing radio show in America, returns from a summer break spent dominating the airwaves on his own show to talk about the biggest moves and most puzzling questions in the business world.  What's driving the Meta shift?   Why on Earth is Microsoft back on top? And has anyone figured out the new Hollywood model? Plus, wing-chef robots????
November 5, 2021
Today, we’re going to take you on a journey down into some of the most insidious, infuriating, and un-American skulduggery that has gone on in this country. And then, we’re going to talk about how we’ve started to turn the tide, and how maybe, maybe we can finish the job. Our guide on this trip is David Daley. His journalism has appeared in the New Yorker, the Atlantic, Slate, the Washington Post, and New York magazine. He is a senior fellow at FairVote, the former editor of Salon, and the author of two recent books, one that takes us on the journey down, the other that takes us on the journey back: Ratf**ked and Unrigged. This is the explosive account of how Republican legislators and political operatives fundamentally rigged our American democracy through redistricting, and how a vibrant political movement that is rising in the wake of his and other reporters’ revelations might provide a blueprint for what must be done to keep American democracy afloat.
November 4, 2021
How does taxing the ultra-rich actually work?
I do a regular show with financial advisor Mike Morton about personal financial planning.  Today, he and I got into a bit more of a politics, policy, and tax discussion around the idea that we could tax the ultra-rich to pay for social investments. It's a conversation about practical politics, how hard t is to come up with a rational tax policy, and how the ultra rich avoid our best efforts to get them to pay their fair share. 
November 2, 2021
The Problem We Never Talk About that Might Be Bigger Than Trump
Far more than the high-profile antics of politicians like Marjorie Taylor Greene or Jim Jordan—and yes, even bigger than Donald Trump’s "Big Lie”—our guest today says that it is anonymous, often corrupt politicians in statehouses across the country who pose the greatest dangers to American democracy. Our old friend David Pepper is the former Chairman of the Ohio Democratic Party. Born and raised in Cincinnati, he’s served in city and county offices, run statewide in Ohio, and has a law degree from Yale. But he’s also an accomplished author of works that are eerily prescient about American politics. He's written Laboratories of Autocracy, a chilling new account of just how bad things have gotten at the state level, and what we can do to fix it. 
November 1, 2021
Could the “Moneyball Effect” Actually Save American Politics?
The way we run political campaigns has changed drastically in the last two decades. Today, political campaigns spend three times more money and leverage far more sophisticated data and media tools, paired with an unnerving amount of information on voters. But those extraordinary powers have mostly been used not to have a more nuanced, persuasive public conversation, but to stoke outrage and election turnout. It is possible to argue that way we run campaigns has been a huge factor in how angry, divided, and dysfunctional our country has become. Today, guest Michael Cohen – author of Modern Political Campaigns – argues that a “Moneyball”-like search for smarter ways to win might actually drag American politics back away from the extremes and toward a more reasonable center.  He also explains how the role of political parties has changed, what is working and not working in campaigns today, and whether things like yard signs are ever helpful to winning.
October 28, 2021
Will America Tear Apart in the Next Three Years?
Matt talks about his recent Newsweek op-ed with West Virginia radio host Howard Monroe of The Watchdog.  Will Trump run in 2024 (yes!), if he does are there any good outcomes (no!), and if the threat to America is so big, is there anything that can be done about it right now (yes!)
October 26, 2021
The Man Behind Build Back Better and the American Rescue Plan
Congressman John Yarmuth has served as Chairman of the House Budget Committee since 2019, and was one of the key architects of the $1.9  American Rescue Plan that is lifting 5 million American children out of poverty, saving millions from losing their homes, and saving lives every day by getting people vaccines. He's also the hidden force behind trying to wrangle Democrats together on Build Back Better.  In this fascinating interview before his retirement from Congress next year, Chairman Yarmuth shares what it was like trying to herd cats between moderates and progressives in the negotiations over the Build Back Better bill, what Mitch McConnell is really like, and what the unseen physical demands of being a member of Congress are. 
October 25, 2021
A New Analysis of Democrats' "Way to Win"
Do Democrats actually have a chance to hold on to their majorities in the US House and Senate in the midterm elections in 2022? History is not on their side. Since 1946, the average number of seats in the US House of Representative lost by the president's party in the midterm elections is 46. Projections by our recent guest David Shor show that in 2022, if Senate Democrats somehow manage to beat Republicans by a stunning four percentage points they’d only have about a 50-50 chance of holding onto the majority. If they win only 51 percent of the vote, they’ll likely lose a seat — and the Senate. But our guest today says the Democrats can give themselves a fighting chance by employing the right strategy and focusing on the right places. Colleen Loper is the Senior Director of Political Strategy at Way to Win, an organization founded after the 2016 election to channel more funding from Democratic donors into organizations and campaigns that focus on voters of color.  They’ve raised $165 million to do just that, and they recently posted an in-depth study called How 2020 Shapes 2022. Colleen breaks down where the best opportunities for Democrats lie, and also shares insights from her time as a Texas-based strategist on whether Democrats can finally win a major race in the Lone Star State.
October 21, 2021
David Shor: An Interview With Today's Most Provocative Democratic Political Expert [re-release]
In recent weeks, there's been one person driving the discussion in Democratic circles: David Shor.  Big profiles in the New York Times and Politico have further elevated this rising political star, along with his stark warning that if Democrats think they're sitting pretty for the coming years having beaten back the forces of Trump in 2020, they're deluding themselves.  Three months ago, we interviewed David on this show, and today, we bring you a re-release of that terrific episode, in which David explained his argument, his evidence, and his interpretation of what we're seeing around us.  The discussion included this summary from David of his outlook: "We actually aren't winning the war of ideas as much as we think...and the Republican Party is more popular relative to the Democratic Party than people think.  The Democratic Party brand and agenda has shifted a lot in the last four to five years, and it's gone  in a direction that a lot of voters aren't comfortable with.  People can easily overestimate how much support there is for the Democratic Party." Check out the whole show for more from this fascinating interview.  Shor is a data scientist who consults with progressive groups around the country and is one of the most trusted and  widely respected voices on what’s actually happening with the American electorate. He's the Head of Data Science at OpenLabs R&D, and previously was the director of Political Data Science at Civis Analytics, overseeing a research and development program that  interviewed millions of people for hundreds of individual campaigns and electoral organizations.
October 18, 2021
He called out the core problem with Facebook a year ago
One year ago today, political scientist EJ Fagan published an article called "End the Algorithm" on Tech Policy Press in which he identified the basic problem with Facebook: that it is powered by machine learning algorithms which favor outrageous, inflammatory, and degrading content.  Now, new revelations from Facebook product manager-turned-whistle-blower Frances Haugen have rocked the company, drawn the attention of the world, and completely confirmed everything that Professor Fagan wrote. The algorithm --  which feeds Facebook's basic business model built around maximizing engagement from users -- is a one-way ticket to warping our brains and shaking the foundations of democracy. Dr. Fagan joins us to discuss what we have learned, how deep the problem goes, and whether anything can be done to fix it. 
October 14, 2021
Is Woke Media *Really* Killing Democracy (and Democrats)?
Is something fundamentally wrong with American journalism? On the right, we know that there’s all of the “fake news” propaganda: Fox, the New York Post, and right-wing radio. But on the left, a growing number of experts believe that something has also gone badly off track. Our guest today says that what’s happened is that mainstream news is not liberal anymore; it’s woke: propagating radical ideas that were fringe as recently as a decade ago. So is this actually real? And how big a problem is it? BATYA UNGAR-SARGON is the deputy opinion editor of Newsweek. Before that, she was the opinion editor of the Forward, the largest Jewish media outlet in America. She has written for the New York Times, the Washington Post, Foreign Policy, Newsweek, the New York Review of Books Daily, and other publications. She has appeared numerous times on MSNBC, NBC, the Brian Lehrer Show, NPR, and at other media outlets. She holds a PhD from the University of California, Berkeley. Her new book is Bad News: How Woke Media Is Undermining Democracy.
October 11, 2021
How the Media is Totally Screwing Up on the Biden Agenda (And How Dems Are Letting Them)
Author Magdi Semrau recently wrote an article for The Editorial Board arguing that the media is badly misleading the public on Joe Biden's "Build Back Better" plan, and explaining some of the massive political consequences that we could see.  And the Democrats have not only let it happen, they've actively seeded their own problems.  Magdi joins the show to walk us through a major media distortion happening right before our eyes, and what Democrats can do to salvage the situation.
October 7, 2021
Inside the most closely watched race in America -- and what it can tell us about politics in 2021
Every four years, political analysts obsess about the Virginia governor's race, the first and usually closest big election after we elect a President.  This year, the race is balanced on a knife's edge. Operatives around the country will be poring over data in the coming weeks to understand what is happening, what's working, what's not working, and where the 2022 midterms could be headed.  One of the very top experts on the state is Mark Bergman, a political consultant who has worked around the country but has his deepest roots in Virginia.  He explains how the pros are watching the race, what it could turn on, how to judge which way it's going in the next month, and why the results are such a good barometer for politics in America. We also cover why Ralph Northam survived the photo scandal, how to navigate a media firestorm, and why things have gotten so much harder for campaigns in the last ten years. 
October 4, 2021
Inside D-Day in Congress
All paths have led to this day. The Biden agenda. Infrastructure.  Child Care. Health Care. Funding for our entire government. Our entire country's credit.  The biggest issues have all converged in Congress today, and everything is hanging by a thread.  Our Senate insider, former Chuck Schumer right-hand man on policy and legislation Ryan McConaghy, walks us through the standoff...what are people thinking, what are people doing, and where all of this could be going. 
September 30, 2021
On the Front Lines of Democracy with Maine's Secretary of State
Shenna Bellows is Secretary of State of the State of Maine, the very first woman to hold that position, and she joins us on Beyond Politics during a crisis of American democracy.  Two-thirds of Republican voters say in surveys but they don't believe the 2020 election was legitimate. We have seen 350+ bills introduced in legislatures around the country over the past year that in one way or another restrict access to voting. And new Pew Research Center survey finds that a depressingly low number of Americans, only 57%, say voting is “a fundamental right for every adult U.S. citizen and should not be restricted in any way.” 42% now say that “voting is a privilege that comes with responsibilities and can be limited if adult U.S. citizens don’t meet some requirements.”  It’s not going too far to say that in 2020, Secretaries of State like Republican Brad Raffensberger of Georgia were part of the very thin line of courage and integrity that saved American democracy. So we ask Secretary of State Bellows about her efforts to protect the right to vote, how Maine's groundbreaking ranked-choice voting system works, and what we can do to get people to reaffirm their faith in our basic system of government.
September 27, 2021
What Mary Trump Has to Say About the Horror Movie Ending We Are Living Through
Cliff Schecter just hosted Donald Trump's niece and clinical psychologist Mary Trump on the Unpresidented Podcast to talk about the roots of his psychopathology.  Cliff joins Matt to discuss the biggest takeaways from that interview, and how they relate to recent revelations about the Trump plot to overthrow our democratic system and stay in power.
September 23, 2021
Science Editor Alison McCook on the End of Our Covid Summer
Alison McCook is a veteran science journalist for Reuters, Scientific American, Discover, Nature, Science, and Retraction Watch, as well as a regular columnist for the Philadelphia Inquirer.  She takes us inside the winding science and public health road that we've taken on Covid in recent months, explains where science and public communication have gotten out of sync, and looks ahead at where we might be going next. 
September 20, 2021
Fresh, Smart, Different: Politics in Plain English from "The Editorial Board"
John Stoehr is the Editor of "The Editorial Board," a newsletter about politics in plain English for normal people, democracy and the common good. We talk about some of the fresh takes and insightful analysis that has appeared on its pages recently, especially around authoritarianism, lawlessness, the media, and how political discourse has gone off the rails. John is a former visiting professor of public policy at Wesleyan University; a fellow at the Yale Journalism Initiative; a contributing writer for the Washington Monthly; a contributing editor for Religion Dispatches; a columnist for Public Seminar; and senior editor at Alternet.
September 16, 2021
The Weird Inside Story of the California Recall
Kathleen Ronayne is a highly respected, veteran Associate Press reporter who covers California and national politics.  So she was the perfect guest to explain some of the wild backstory that got us to tomorrow's California recall, and to preview what national political operatives and experienced analysts will be watching for in the coming days.  Why is this a thing anyway? Could Larry Elder really win with 20% of the vote?  Is Gavin Newsome going to coast to safety? And what would it really mean if the governor is recalled? 
September 13, 2021
New Polling Showing Trouble for Biden and the Democrats
In recent weeks, Afghanistan, the Delta surge, Hurricane Ida, and mixed economic news have changed what’s on voters' minds, and driven new and more negative perceptions of elected leaders and policies in the U.S. Joe Biden is significantly down, as are views of the Democratic Party and the state of the country overall. One of the very best polls in New Hampshire or around the country tracking these views comes from the Saint Anselm College Survey Center. The Executive Director of the New Hampshire Institute of Politics at Saint Anselm is Neil Levesque...he oversees this poll, and he joins us to discuss what it says about the current state of politics in America. 
September 6, 2021
Mars, Venus, and Beyond: The Fascinating Science Happening Right Now
There's so much in the news these days -- much of it depressing -- that it's hard to pick our heads up and see what else is going on. It turns out that there's a lot, especially if you pick your head all the way up and look out to other worlds and some of the most exciting frontiers in science. Today, we talk about all of these fascinating developments with "The SKYGUY."  John Gianforte is an Astronomer and Director of the University of New Hampshire (UNH) Observatory.  He is also a Science Writer, and Adjunct Faculty member at Granite State College, in New Hampshire. Photo by NASA on Unsplash
August 31, 2021
One of America's Top Afghanistan Experts on What Happened, And What Happens Next
We’ve all been focused on the news out of Afghanistan in recent weeks, and the story there needs almost no introduction. Today we wanted to talk about the situation, how we got here, and where we’re going in the future. There is no one better to help us understand all of this that Sean Carberry. Sean is an award-winning writer, editor, and foreign policy and national security expert with more than 20 years of experience in government and journalism.  From 2018 through February 2021, Mr. Carberry served in the Department of Defense Office of Inspector General as managing editor of the Lead Inspector General quarterly reports to Congress on overseas contingency operations, which included public and classified reports on operations in Afghanistan. From June 2012 through December 2014, he was NPR’s Kabul Correspondent. He covered the ongoing war, the 2014 Afghan presidential election, and daily life in the country until NPR closed the Kabul bureau in December 2014.  Photo by Andre Klimke on Unsplash
August 30, 2021
A Turning Point on Abortion in America
In recent months, there have been some potentially landmark developments on abortion. It could well be that the middle of 2021 will mark an historic turning point on an issue that has been one of the cultural hot buttons in America for decades. On May 17, the US Supreme Court agreed to hear Jackson Women’s Health Organization v. Dobbs. The case deals with Mississippi’s law banning abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy. This marks the first time that the Court will rule on the constitutionality of a pre-viability abortion ban since Roe v. Wade.  The case also features a novel conservative legal argument that the writers of the 14th Amendment, which is foundational to the Roe decision, would have considered “persons” to include “unborn children” and that fetuses are “persons” from the time of conception. The other development is a new Texas law that creates an end run around the federal courts and Supreme Court rulings, by creating an avenue for individuals to sue people connected with providing abortions in civil court…making what one analyst called a market for abortion vigilantism. That analyst is one of the sharpest-eyed commentators on law and legal history around, and she’s with us today.  Mia Brett has a PhD in history and specializes in American legal history. She’s a freelance writer, educator, and a contributor to The Editorial Board.
August 26, 2021
What High Tech Innovation is Doing to Our Economy, Society, and Politics
The last 10 years have seen a breathtaking pace of technological innovation in every area of our economy and society. These days, anyone on Earth with access to a mobile phone or laptop computer and the connection to the Internet can access almost the entire sum total of human knowledge with the click of a button. American high-tech companies are creating a whole new industries along with millions of jobs and millions of dollars. At the same time, all of this new innovation brings complicated questions about privacy, security, economic balance, and government regulation. One of America’s undisputed leaders in navigating all of these issues is Rob Atkinson. He’s the founder and President of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF), recognized as the world’s top think tank for science and technology policy.  The New Republic has named Rob of the “three most important thinkers about innovation.” He’s the author of many books, a leader on countless government boards and councils, he’s testified numerous times before the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, and he appears frequently on news and public affairs programs on BBC, CNBC, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, NPR, and NBC Nightly News.
August 23, 2021
The Epic Fall of Andrew Cuomo, and What it Means
The saga of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo in some ways looks like what journalists call a man bites dog story: something that happens so often that it almost escapes our attention. It does seem hardly new that awful behavior and sexual harassment by a male politician comes to light and ends a once-lofty career. But there’s a lot going on under the surface in this story, both in this particular case and in the trajectory of how we deal with issues like this among American politicians. Lindsay Beyerstein is an award-winning investigative journalist who has covered the Cuomo saga in depth. She covers legal affairs, health care and politics for The Editorial Board, and is also an award-winning documentary filmmaker and a judge for the Sidney Hillman Foundation.  She joins the show to dissect what we can take away from the Cuomo story.
August 19, 2021
Inside the Stunning Revolution in American Attitudes and Law on Same-Sex Marriage
In 2004, the Pew Research Center poll found that Americans opposed same-sex marriage 60% to 31%. But a series of legal rulings, cultural shifts, prominent gay figures in entertainment becoming wildly popular, and growing advocacy changed the entire tenor of the debate. By 2019, Pew polling on that same question of what we now call marriage equality had totally flipped: 61% supported same-sex marriage, while 31% opposed it.  This represented the most rapid and profound change in American attitudes on any social issue since we had any measurements. So how did it happen?  Our guest today is Sasha Issenberg. He’s one of the most insightful and widely-read journalists in America, especially when it comes to dissecting what’s happening behind the curtain in American politics. He’s the author of The Engagement: America’s Quarter Century Struggle Over Same Sex Marriage, a fascinating look behind the scenes of both sides in the marriage equality fight. He’s here to tell us the inside story of what really happened.
August 16, 2021
A Bold Idea for Breaching the Conservative Fortress in the Judiciary
Republicans have been flat-out winning the battle for the judiciary -- the “shadow war” in the fight for control of America’s government. We all know about the Supreme Court, but underneath the Supreme Court there are 13 courts of appeals, and below them 94 district courts.  Most of the time, it is those lower courts that have the final word on questions of federal law. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor once said they are “where policy is made.” Donald Trump substantially shifted the calculus of those courts. By the time he left office, he had appointed about one quarter of the total judges, and at ultra-important appellate level, Trump had shifted Republican-appointed judges from holding 40% of the seats to an outright majority at 54%. Trump also flipped 3 of those 13 courts to Republican-appointed majorities, meaning that 7 of the 13 Courts of Appeals are now controlled by jurists picked by Republicans.  Our guest today, calls this a "conservative fortress" in the federal judiciary. But he’s devised a smart, constitutional method for scaling that fortress…and it’s not court packing or term limits, or probably anything you’ve heard before. Chris Sprigman is the Murray and Kathleen Bring Professor of Law at the NYU School of Law, the author of numerous articles in law reviews and other scholarly publications, and he’s here to tell us all about it.
August 12, 2021
He Was the Chief Justice of the New Hampshire Supreme Court. One Night, His Son Attacked Him.
One night, New Hampshire Supreme Court Chief Justice Justice Broderick awoke to find himself in the ICU.  He had been attacked by his son. The story made national news.  But it was only after the cameras left that the real story begins. Since that day, Justice Broderick has been on a journey of discovery and leadership on mental health in America. He’s working to improve understanding and awareness of mental illness in order to get rid of some of the myths, encourage discussion and treatment, and begin to change the unfair and shameful culture that surrounds mental health in America. Today on Beyond Politics, a remarkable story of health, struggle, recovery, and hope, and a look at the reality of one of America's greatest and least understood challenges. 
August 9, 2021
Insights from Bernie Sanders' and John Lewis' Right Hand Woman
Michaeleen Crowell was Chief of Staff to US Senator Bernard Sanders for 5 years. She was Senior Advisor to the Bernie 2016 presidential campaign.  She built the social media empire that Senator Sanders uses to reach 25 million people each week. As if this wasn’t enough, she was Legislative Director for civil rights icon John Lewis before that.  Michaeleen joins the show to talk about how Bernie Sanders became a masterful inside player; how to pass bills in today's divided Washington; what Republicans are saying behind the scenes in the Senate; what working for John Lewis was really like; what she learned playing Hillary Clinton in the 2016 Sanders campaign prep debates; and what the future of the progressive movement looks like. 
August 5, 2021
"Swing voters don't share our values. If they did, they would be liberals." Democratic data guru David Shor on Dems' growing peril.
Democratic data expert David Shor has a stark warning:t if Democrats think they're sitting pretty, they're deluding themselves. "We actually aren't winning the war of ideas as much as we think...and the Republican Party is more popular relative to the Democratic Party than people think.  The Democratic Party brand and agenda has shifted a lot in the last four to five years, and it's gone in a direction that a lot of voters aren't comfortable with.  People can easily overestimate how much support there is for the Democratic Party." Check out the whole show for more from this fascinating interview.  Shor is a data scientist who consults with progressive groups around the country and is one of the most trusted and widely respected voices on what’s actually happening with the American electorate. He's the Head of Data Science at OpenLabs R&D, and previously was the director of Political Data Science at Civis Analytics, overseeing a research and development program that interviewed millions of people for hundreds of individual campaigns and electoral organizations. Photo by Marvin Esteve on Unsplash
August 2, 2021
The President of the Most Important Business Group in New England
In the 1992 presidential race, the Clinton campaign famously came up with what they called a haiku to summarize what they wanted to make everything about. The economy, stupid…change vs. more of the same…and don’t forget health care. 30 years later, that’s also a really good summary of where we find ourselves as a country – and as a region, since we’re broadcast out of New England. Over the last year we’ve seen breathtaking change in our politics and our daily lives. The number one issue on our minds is the economy, and our worries about are far from stupid. And of course, we can’t forget health care…our health is front and center in our lives. Helping to navigate all of these concerns, and connect our businesses, cities, educational institutions and nonprofits with our government…in New England that job falls to the New England Council.  The New England Council is the nation’s oldest regional business organization. But it’s not just business, its an alliance of businesses, academic and health institutions, and public and private organizations throughout New England formed to promote economic growth and a high quality of life in the New England region. The President and Chief Executive Officer of The New England Council, Jim Brett, is with us to talk about the economy, change, health care…and everything else going on in New England and Beyond.
July 26, 2021
The Smart (and fun) Way to Understand the Ridiculously Big Numbers in Government
The numbers we hear about in government and politics are often so big that they lose all meaning.  This is a big deal -- we are after all in a democracy, and if we can't understand what we're even talking about in budgets and programs, it's hard to make smart decisions. That's why Cornell University Professor Steven Strogatz and his student Aiyanna Green wrote a New York Times op-ed explaining a smarter way to think about big numbers. Ms. Green is an undergraduate majoring in policy analysis and management in the College of Human Ecology at Cornell University, and she joins us to explain. Photo by Roman Mager on Unsplash
July 22, 2021
The best-reviewed young adult book of the summer
Victor Piniero is the author of Time Villains, an Amazon Best Book of the Month in July 2021. Kirkus Reviews, in a STARRED review says “Piñeiro scores with this tale of friendship, magic, and adventure.…Magnificent.”  Victor joins the show to talk about the book and give advice to other aspiring writers about how to get going and write their dream novel. 
July 15, 2021
Amazon is in our Brains. Is that...bad?
Today we tackle Amazon, Amazon prime, and the many ways both obvious and unseen that Amazon has wormed its way into everything we do.  For many of us, Amazon is just a part of our daily lives. What we buy, what we watch, and what we say… Much of it runs through Amazon‘s computers and marketplaces. And from there of course, it is incorporated into Amazons algorithms, its data, it’s artificial intelligence. In a very real way, Amazon is inside our brains.  So what does that mean? How much control does Amazon really have over the American economy and over the choices we make as individuals? And is it time to take some more aggressive action place some limits on an entity that has really no precedent in human history? Our guess is Dr. Emily West, an associate professor of communication at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She’s the coeditor of The Routledge Companion to Advertising and Promotional Culture, and the author of the forthcoming book "Buy Now: How Amazon Branded Convenience and Normalized Monopoly."
July 8, 2021
Is Everything that Runs on Electricity Bad for Us? The Science Says "Probably"...
What if I told you that there is clear, convincing, peer reviewed, and widely accepted research showing that things in the world around us that run on electric power could be hurting us in ways that we don’t even fully understand? It’s true.  My uncle Dr. Martin Blank -- professor at Columbia University -- was for decades one of the world-leading scientists when it came to the effect of the radiation that comes from all of the things that run on electric power on the cells in our body. After he died, his son (my cousin) decided to carry on his work. He joins the show today to describe the science -- both what we know and what we don't know -- and to offer some practical, common sense (and mostly free) solutions for mitigating risks.  He also hosts the Healthier Tech Podcast, a show about how best to live in balance with our increasing reliance on tech.  Listeners who want to learn more and get free information on the science and what they can do can visit
July 1, 2021
Is There Anything Democrats Can Do Now to Save Democracy? We asked US Senator Sheldon Whitehouse.
With the death of the For the People Act - and Republicans passing more voting laws at the state level aimed that independent analysts say gives them a partisan advantage or could even allow Trump-style factions to overturn election results - we ask Rhode Island Senator Sheldon Whitehouse what on Earth Democrats can do to ensure fair elections with equal access for everyone. Also, Senator Whitehouse weighs in on the Manchin compromise, what one thing he would persuade Republicans on (if he could only choose one thing), and just how worried he is about the state of the Senate and our country. 
June 28, 2021
Is the public turning on Biden and the Democrats?
The Executive Director of the New Hampshire Institute of Politics at Saint Anselm's, Neil Levesque, breaks down the results of their latest survey, which chock full of tantalizing insights on why President Biden's approval rating -- and the strength of congressional Democrats -- is falling.  Also, what does each party need to do to get their mojo back for the next election?
June 22, 2021
Before AOC, There Was Crowley. Lessons from One of the Savviest Dems Around.
Three years ago, when a little-known primary challenger pulled off a surprise win over a congressional veteran in New York, it made national political news. That upstart -- Alexandria Ocasio Cortez -- eventually became well-known for her outspoken embrace of the label “Socialist,” her big Twitter following, and as the star of countless Republican political ads that painted her as the “scary” face of Democratic politics. But what about that veteran congressman? He’s the one that insiders have heard of…because he was, and still is, a huge player inside the Democratic Party…as influential and well-connected as any Democrat in the country, and with the ear of Congressional leadership. Now a Senior Policy Advisor at Squire Patton Boggs, Joe Crowley represented the people of New York's 14th congressional district, including his hometown of Woodside, Queens, in the US Congress for nearly 20 years. There is no one in America with better insights into politics, Congress, the Democratic party, Springsteen, and where to get the best pizza in New York City.
June 21, 2021
On the Front Lines Defending and Advancing Science in America
The covid pandemic has shown us all just how much we rely on science and scientists, just how important the advance of science research can be to our health and our way of life…and also, just how easily the public’s understanding of science can become confused…with real consequences. In recent years, federal support for science has flattened, major science topics have become politicized, and we’ve seen explosion of misinformation, conspiracy theory, and mistrust of scientific expertise, which is slowing down our recovery from the pandemic and making it harder to find solutions for our long-term challenges like global warming. Our guest today is one of our national leaders in trying to navigate us through all of these challenges. Dr. Sudip Parikh is the chief executive officer of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and executive publisher of the Science family of journals. 
June 14, 2021
Right wing extremism, Manchin says no to democracy reform, and media bias in the covid lab leak theory
Excerpts from Matt Robison's recent interviews with West Virginia broadcaster Howard Monroe on some of the most controversial topics in the news
June 10, 2021
Donald McNeil - former Lead Covid Reporter for the New York Times - on the Wuhan Lab Leak Theory
In recent weeks, there’s been an abrupt and significant change in the way scientists, political leaders, and the media have talked about the origins of the Covid pandemic. There was once consensus that the virus had come from an animal, but new questions have emerged, and by May 26, even President Biden had called for a new, full, and transparent investigation into whether the virus actually emerged from a lab in Wuhan China. The sudden change has led to questions about the interaction of science and politics, how the media covers science, and how scientists communicate what they think they know. Throughout most of the pandemic, for millions of readers and podcast listeners in the US and around the world, Donald G. McNeil Jr. has been one of the most trusted, thoughtful, and clear explainers on the science of the coronavirus and public health measures to control it. He was the lead reporter on the Covid-19 pandemic for the New York Times and his May 17 article in Medium titled “How I Learned to Stop Worrying And Love the Lab-Leak Theory” is widely credited with helping to catalyze this re-examination of where the virus came from.
June 7, 2021
UFOs: Can We Explain the Navy Videos Seen on 60 Minutes?
Is there an explanation for the Navy UFO videos, as seen on 60 Minutes? We take a serious, respectful, rational approach in this discussion among former Congressman Paul Hodes, former congressional staffer Matt Robison, and top expert in UFO video analysis, Mick West -- featuring a careful breakdown of the videos and Hodes' own experience.   If you like this kind of lively discussion of current events, subscribe to the Beyond Politics podcast with Paul Hodes and Matt Robison on Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts.
May 31, 2021
Why Aren't Democrats Winning More? Lessons from Carville, Begala, and Schecter
A fascinating discussion with Cliff Schecter - one of President Biden's key campaign consultants and host of the UnPresidented Podcast - about his interviews with Paul Begala and James Carville and the fundamental question confronting the Democratic Party: given all of Donald Trump's insanity, why aren't Democrats winning more? And is there anything they can do about it?
May 25, 2021
How hyper-partisanship has warped our brains
In the days after the violent, seditious attack on Congress on January 6, the American people were briefly aghast and outraged. But barely a week later, Republican voter identification with Trump had “rebounded to pre-election levels." Nowadays, even the most searing national events get sucked down a partisan rabbit hole…and last week, Republican leadership came out against any commission on looking into January 6. Our guest is an expert in political behavior and psychology and how we form political opinions.  We talk about how much the age of hyper-partisanship has changed our understanding of events and reality itself. Alexander G. Theodoridis is an associate professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, he helps to direct the UMass poll, and his work has been featured by the New York Times, Washington Post, Scientific American, Time, CNN, The Hindu, The Economist and many other media outlets.
May 24, 2021
Why Don't Content/Platform Mergers Work More Often?
The big AT&T/Discovery deal is creating a behemoth (CNN, HBO, TLC, Food Network, TNT, TBS, etc.) streaming service. But will it work?  And why don't these combinations work more often?
May 19, 2021
Wait, is the System Actually Working? Why Congress is a Lot More Effective than you Think
There's a perception that Congress is totally gridlocked, and that the parties do nothing but bicker. But our expert guest says that maybe we're all being a little too negative, because actually, Congress gets more done while you're not looking than you'd think. And despite the historic problems we've seen recently (think insurrection), the system is kind of holding together. Frances Lee is a Professor of Politics and Public Affairs, and the Associate Chair of the Department of Politics at Princeton University.  Photo by Syed F Hashemi on Unsplash
May 17, 2021
Talking with Legendary Broadcaster Howard Monroe About Fixing American Politics
Matt was a guest on West Virginia radio legend Howard Monroe's morning show, talking about how we got into such a divided place in American politics and what some solutions would look like
May 12, 2021
Why Was the April Jobs Report So Weak? (Hint: think "She-Cession")
Last week's news that the economy added just 266,000 jobs when many economists were expecting closer to 1 million made for a lot of head-scratching. Republicans say that excessive Covid relief benefits are creating a disincentive for people to come back to work. Democrats say that recovery is a long road and that if anything, the anemic jobs numbers show that the economy needs an additional boost. So, what’s really going on? To find out, you have to look at who has gone back to work, who hasn’t, and why they haven’t. Our guest Diane Lim is an economist who over the course of a distinguished 30 year career has worked in the federal government, nonprofit and academic sectors. She writes the EconomistMom blog and has served as an advisory board member of the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy at the University of Virginia.
May 10, 2021
Will African American Voters Continue to Turn Out for Democrats in 2022?
In 2020, one thing was clear: as goes African American voters, so goes the Democratic Party.  And as goes the Democratic Party, so goes the balance of power in America.  Understanding the evolving views and priorities of Black Americans -- and what drives their enthusiasm to vote -- will be critical if Democrats are to have any chance in the 2022 midterms (and beyond).  The authors of a new report on African American voter priorities in 2021 -- Promises Made Must Be Promises Kept -- join the show to explain their findings. 
May 6, 2021
The Way Back From Trump's America: A Conversation with PoliticusUSA Editor-in-Chief Sarah Jones
We’ve got something a little different for you: a conversation between Beyond Politics host Matt Robison and PoliticusUSA Editor-in-Chief Sarah Jones, available as a podcast, a video, and an excerpt on PoliticusUSA. Matt and Sarah are both fascinated by the same question: how did we get to this pretty awful place in American politics and society…and how do we get out of it? In other words, what is way back from Trump’s America?
May 4, 2021
Are you over-"Sharenting"?
Apple's decision this week to clamp down on how apps to track your behavior and movements online has reignited a debate about privacy and the information we share, both willingly and unwittingly, in the digital age.  What is often overlooked is just how much we make decisions, sometimes without even realizing it, about how much information we share about our kids. This is a deep, fraught, and complicated topic that too many of us have not really thought about. One of the world leading experts on it is Leah Plunkett, the author of "Sharenthood: why we should think before we talk about our kids online," and an very accomplished legal scholar with positions at the University of New Hampshire School of Law and the Berkman Klein center for Internet and Society at Harvard University. She makes the case that there are many consequences to every piece of information we share--some we know about, and some that go in unknown and disturbing directions
April 30, 2021
Apple Strikes Back
What does Apple's big privacy release mean for Facebook's business and the broader "free" economy?  Also, the hottest investment opportunity paint?
April 29, 2021
Did Biden Make the Right Call on Afghanistan?
Sean Carberry, the former Kabul correspondent for NPR and the lead on Department of Defense Inspector General reports on Afghanistan, walks through what has happened in Afghanistan, whether the US could have done anything differently, and ultimately whether President Biden made the right decision to withdraw US troops once and for all. 
April 26, 2021
The Senate: Are Things Beginning to Work (Maybe)?
The Senate is a mess.  All legislative roads lead there, and usually it’s a dead end. When Presidents take executive action, it’s usually to work around the Senate. It’s the site of national catharsis over judges. And when something actually does get passed, it’s major news. But now, things might...just might... be changing. Democrats have used special senate "reconciliation" rules to pass the massive American Rescue Plan. More bills like that may be on the way. And there's a possibility of striking deals with a group of 10 Republican senators to pass actual bipartisan bills on important issues in American society. Its never been been more valuable to understand the dynamics of the Senate, the people, the rules, and the politics. Ryan McConaghy is one of the country’s absolute top notch experts on the Senate, and he joins the show to break down the prospects for legislation, progress, and making things work in Congress. Photo by Matthew Bornhorst on Unsplash
April 22, 2021
Thinking Beyond the Great Re-opening
As more signs emerge of an impending surge in the economy, Chris and Matt explore how we can think about what those signs are telling us about investing and business in the near term, and also how to think beyond them to what the longer term future looks like.  Photo by Tomasz Frankowski on Unsplash
April 21, 2021
Covid Vaccines and the J&J Pause: A Leading Scientist Weighs In
The big news on Covid last week was the decision by the CDC and FDA to call for a nationwide halt to delivering the Johnson & Johnson vaccine while they investigate a rare blood-clotting disorder. Our guest, Dr. Angela Rasmussen, is a virologist and one of the most well-known and oft-quoted scientists on Covid vaccines.  She has written for Forbes, Foreign Affairs, Slate, the Guardian, and Leapsmag, and appeared many times in media outlets including the New York Times (including an op-ed last week), the Washington Post, National Public Radio, ABC, NBC, CNN, CBC, and BBC.  And last week, she appeared in a really good explanatory article on the Johnson and Johnson vaccine by Katherine Wu in The Atlantic. So we invited her to walk us all through what we need to know about the J&J pause and the fight against Covid in general. 
April 19, 2021
Boiling Down the DC Statehood Argument (Hint: It's All Politics)
Matt joins legendary West Virginia radio host Howard Monroe on his morning show to discuss the arguments around statehood for Washington D.C., why the arguments against should remind you of "My Cousin Vinny," and what the real holdup is. Also, what the government should actually do to keep people from migrating out of rural states. 
April 16, 2021
What Does Snacking Data Tell Us About the Economy?
And other tantalizing bread crumbs for investors from Chris Hill of Motley Fool Money. Photo by Georgia Vagim on Unsplash
April 14, 2021
Top Operative Pia Carusone on the Evolution of the Gun Issue
Pia Carusone is the managing director at SKDKnickerbocker (SKDK), a top national communications and political consulting firm. She was Chief of Staff for Congresswoman Gabby Giffords during 2011 shooting that left six dead and injured Congresswoman Giffords and 12 others. Carusone helped to start Giffords’ organization that advocates for solutions to prevent gun violence, and later served as the Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs at the Department of Homeland Security. She talks about how Americans views on gun safety and gun violence have changed in the last two decades, how gun safety advocates are making slow progress, and what the future of the issue might look like. We also touch on Democratic messaging and whiskey, and Pia's role in creating both... Photo by Roman Poberezhnik on Unsplash
April 12, 2021
A Monkey's Head, Metaphysics, and the Cold War
Today, we've got a wild story for you. It’s definitely Beyond Politics...but trust us on this one, it'll make you think. Our guest Dr. Brandy Schillace is the Editor-in-Chief for BMJ’s Medical Humanities Journal and the author of MR. HUMBLE AND DR. BUTCHER: A Monkey’s Head, the Pope’s Neuroscientist, and the Quest to Transplant the Soul, which the New York Times called “delightfully macabre.” A fascinating look at what makes whether we could ever move ourselves to another body.  Photo by Syed Ahmad on Unsplash
April 9, 2021
Why Joe Manchin, Chuck Schumer, and Joe Biden Are Smiling
Matt joins legendary West Virginia radio host Howard Monroe on his morning show to discuss the Georgia voting law jockeying, why the Dems' legislative strategy shifted this week, why Joe Manchin is even more in the catbird seat, and what Mary Poppins has to do with passing laws in Congress.
April 8, 2021
Is the Whole Stock Market Under Threat?
Chris Hill, the host of Motley Fool Money, the #1 stock investing radio show in America, discusses the Atlantic article arguing that the growth of index funds could be changing everything: the way companies behave, people invest, and the whole market operates.  Also, why is good economic news in the Great Reopening a mix bag for many companies?  And what can Godzilla teach us about the entertainment industry right now?
April 7, 2021
Is Polling Broken, and if So, Are We Fixing It?
2020 was not a great year for pollsters, at least the ones who release their work to the public: in the final three weeks of the election, national surveys of the presidential race were wrong by an average of more than six points, the same as 2016. Is something fundamentally wrong here? And what do we do if there’s problem with one of the major tools we use to understand public opinion and guide election campaigns in our democracy? Recently, the think tank Third Way convened a panel of top experts to address this question. That panel was presented mostly to political insiders…but one of those top experts joins us to bring the discussion to our listeners. Angie Kuefler is Senior Vice President of Research at the Global Strategy Group. She has done extensive political research for local, state, and federal candidates, including many members of congress, governors, and issue advocacy campaigns.
April 5, 2021
The Hidden Force Driving America Into Different Political Realities
In the 1970s, conservatives began to believe that the places where people in government got their information - their basic facts -- were inherently liberal. They didn’t like the answers they were hearing from universities, scientists, and research groups on what government should do…what policies we should follow. So some of them decided that they needed a whole different regime of knowledge and analysis – a different way of looking at the world – that would justify the policies that they wanted to see. They started new institutions – led by the Heritage Foundation – that would be the vanguard of a new, conservative ecosystem of ideas all aimed at explicitly justifying conservative policy. Eventually, as these institutions grew more successful, liberals followed suit. Today, we live a world of deep polarization. Our two political tribes don’t seem to agree on anything, and nowadays, they sometimes can’t even agree on what is reality is.  Can we trace it, or at least a big part of it, back to this moment when the fundamental way each party came to view reality began to be so consciously engineered?  EJ Fagan, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Illinois at Chicago, traces these threads back to explain how we got here.
April 1, 2021
Why Do Republicans Say No Even to the Stuff They Like?
Building the stuff we rely on in America -- roads, broadband, the electric grid -- is something that both parties say is important.  Donald Trump pushed a giant investment in it for years. So why were Republicans dead set against the Biden Administration's infrastructure plan even before it was released?   Also, is the media full of it these days, why vaccine passports won't work in America, and what to make of Deborah Birx and other Trump administration health officials sudden finger-pointing campaign on Covid.  Photo by Denys Nevozhai on Unsplash
March 31, 2021
What's the Epicenter of American Politics?
Would the answer "Appalachia" surprise you? Maybe...but consider that the senior-most Republican leader in America is from Kentucky, while the Democrat who wields the most power in the Senate is Joe Manchin of West Virginia.  They come from a region that is often misunderstood...and too often looked down on.  But Appalachian issues are American issues -- and the priorities of Appalachian leaders echo throughout our country.  Today, we welcome the hosts of the outstanding podcast Appodlachia onto the show to share some insights into the region's politics, economy, and lessons for America.  Check it out, and subscribe to their show (and ours!) if you want more of their great content.
March 29, 2021
Social Security: Benefits from Covid Rescue; Debating the TRUST Act
Dan Adcock of the National Committee to Protect Social Security and Medicare explains what's the Covid Rescue bill for Social Security recipients.  Also, why his organization opposes the TRUST act -- a bill that would try to address shortfalls in Social Security funding. For the opposing view on that, check out Bob Bixby of the Concord Coalition in the Great Ideas podcast.
March 25, 2021
Are Dems Stealing a House Seat, and Has Biden Become a Wild-Eyed Progressive?
Also, more incidents of shocking gun violence in America, what does a media ratings plunge mean, and is Donald Trump launching his Republican vendetta campaign?
March 24, 2021
Ending Cannibis Crime & Why Outer Space Matters with Congressman Ed Perlmutter
Federal law forces a lot of marijuana-related businesses that are legal int heir home states to operate in piles of cash.  The problem: that can lead to a pile of crime. Congressman Ed Perlmutter joins the show to explain how his new bill would help fix that problem.  And why does space matter? As a member of the congressional committee that oversees US Space policy, Congressman Perlmutter explains what's in it for all of us.
March 22, 2021
From the Great Ideas Podcast: Norm Ornstein on How to Fix the Filibuster
This episode posted in the Great Ideas Podcast earlier this week, and it's gotten such a reaction that we wanted to make it available in this feed as well for anyone who hasn't subscribed to both (but please do!!).   Many experts argue that the modern filibuster has ruined Congress: it allows a small minority to run roughshod over the majority, and stops important things that the American people need and want. Others say that even with its flaws, getting rid of the filibuster could be dangerous and even destructive.  Norman Ornstein is one of the nation's leading experts on American government.  He explains what's going on and more important, how we might make it better without causing a Congressional meltdown.
March 19, 2021
What can be done about immigration?
A roundtable discussion on what's happening and what can be done next.  Also, can we fix the filibuster without breaking the congress, and is democracy reform a big federal takeover or a desperately needed fix to protect people's rights?
March 16, 2021
Ending Political Gerrymandering with NDRC Executive Director John Bisognano
In 2010, Republicans rode a midterm wave to gain overwhelming control of drawing districts for state houses and Congress.  The result? Just in 2012, 1.4 million more Americans voted for Democrats for Congress, but Republicans still won a 33-seat majority.  In fact, the Center for American Progress estimates that an average of 59 politicians -- more than enough to determine the majority -- were elected to Congress each term simply because the lines were drawn in their favor. Former Attorney General of the United States Eric Holder created The National Democratic Redistricting Committee to fix that problem and support fair districts in America.  Its Executive Director John Bisognano joins us to explain what they're doing and how they hope to achieve fair representation for Americans.  Photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash
March 15, 2021
Will Dems win the battle to define the Covid rescue bill?
Joe Biden and the Democrats won the war over the $1.9 trillion Covid rescue bill...but can they win the peace? In 2009, President Obama and the Democrats fumbled the rollout of their stimulus bill. So can Dems avoid making the same mistake twice? there a filibuster tweak deal on the horizon; convincing people to get vaccines; and what should Congress tackle next?
March 9, 2021
Saving American Democracy: How Young Leaders Are Taking Charge
Young Americans think politics is broken.  Now, some former aides to Senator Bernie Sanders have launched a new group aimed at getting young people excited about fixing it.  They think they can get millennials and Gen Zers of all political persuasions fired up, including people on the right. Two of these impressive young leaders - Shana Gallagher and Joseline Garcia - join us to explain why this work is so important to their generation and to all of us, and how they're going to pull it off.
March 8, 2021
Facebook, Apple, and the battle for the future
There's a titanic battle brewing over the future of the Internet, social media, and tech.  It's Facebook vs. Apple: two behemoths with very different visions of privacy, who their customers are, what they're selling, and what the rules should be.  Business and investing expert Chris Hill walks us through the fight that could define the future of media, commerce, and technology.  These discussions normally appear in our Capitol Close Up podcast, so please check that out and subscribe for more fascinating discussions like this. 
March 3, 2021
Everything you thought about organic food is wrong
Harvard Associate Robert Paarlberg takes on everything we thought we knew about organic and locally-grown food.  Think it's better for health, the climate, the environment, low-income communities, and feeding a hungry world?  Not so fast! An unbiased look at the much more nuanced truth about farming, eating, and helping the planet, based on Dr. Paarlberg's new book: “Resetting the Table: Straight Talk about the Food We Grow and Eat.” 
March 1, 2021
Will Trump Be the Next Speaker of the House?
It's not as far-fetched as you might think.  Also, an epic failure from Ted Cruz's staff, lessons in bad crisis management from Andrew Cuomo, and how to make everyone stop hating the media so much.
February 23, 2021
Diane Foley: Helping Americans Held Hostage
At least 44 Americans are being held hostage or wrongfully detained abroad today. A few years ago, American freelance conflict journalist Jim Foley was one of them. After his public execution, his mother Diane Foley founded the James W. Foley Legacy Foundation. Diane joins us to discuss the Foundation's critical work to advocate for the safety of Americans held abroad, and especially to promote the safety of journalists.  We explore difficult questions, like how do we protect Americans from being kidnapped, what should the US government do when they are, and what can listeners do to help?
February 22, 2021
Sarah Jones of PoliticusUSA: why we need great ideas
Matt Robison sits down with Sarah Jones, the Editor-in-Chief of, to talk about how the Great Ideas show came about, why they both feel it is so important to explore serious, positive ideas for change, how the show and website are planning to collaborate, and why it's so important to hear constructive ideas from across the ideological spectrum -- even the ones you don't agree with. Great Ideas is available on Apple, Spotify, Google, Anchor, Breaker, PocketCasts, RadioPublic, and Stitcher. Excerpts from the first show available on PoliticusUSA.
February 19, 2021
Great Ideas Podcast Trailer
We are so excited to announce a new show, broadcast on WKXL in New Hampshire, and launched as a podcast this week. It's called "Great Ideas." We all know that America faces challenges. But we’ve also got smart people who spend every day coming up with great ideas for how to meet those challenges. That's what this show is all about. Washington's top policy experts from across the ideological spectrum – the people that our leaders listen to – explaining how an issue or a policy really works, and then sharing their newest, most innovative ideas for making it work better. No shouting. No crossfire. Just ideas. Check out this one minute trailer, and then please subscribe to hear fresh episodes wherever you get your podcasts. Great Ideas is available on Apple, Spotify, Google, Anchor, Breaker, PocketCasts, RadioPublic, and Stitcher.
February 19, 2021
Balance of Power Roundtable: Lincoln Project con job, Schools, and Marijuana
The roundtable tackles whether the Lincoln Project was all a con, should we re-open schools now, if the San Francisco school board vote to remove Abraham Lincoln's name from a school is a sign of the woke Left losing its mind, if its time for a change in federal marijuana policy, and whether a "low hanging fruit" approach is right on immigration. 
February 17, 2021
John Tierney of Council for a Livable World on Peace and Security
With so much focus on our domestic problems, it’s easy to lose sight of the very serious challenges, conflicts, and threats that face us around the world: an Iran that could be within weeks of having the materials to make a nuclear bomb, an aggressive and nuclear-armed Russia, ongoing and tragic warfare in Yemen, and deep tensions in the strait of Taiwan involving nuclear-armed China which also wields the largest military in the world. Our guest John Tierney is the Executive Director at Council for a Livable World, a leading NGO focused on peace and security. He lays out smart approaches for how America can better navigate a hostile, dangerous world to reduce nuclear weapons, promote dialogue, and achieve greater peace and security.
February 15, 2021
Congressman Peter Welch: Saving Democracy from Russia, Extremists, and Social Media
Senior Congressional Democratic leader and Intelligence Committee member Peter Welch describes efforts to fight extremists in America and the forces -- foreign and domestic -- that support them.  He also describes what practical climate legislation could accomplish for the American economy.  Then, Paul and Matt break down what it would take to really reform social media and protect American democracy from bots, trolls, foreign manipulations, and misinformation.
February 8, 2021
The Balance of Power Roundtable
Former Congressman Paul Hodes, columnist/radio host Alicia Preston, and former congressional staffer/political analyst Matt Robison break down the politics and policy of Covid rescue negotiations, Republican infighting, and Jewish space lasers from the left, right, and center. 
February 3, 2021
Chris Hill: Gamestop and Investing in Age of Social Media
Chris Hill is the host of Motley Fool Money, the #1 stock investing radio show in America.  He joins us to walk through the deeper implications of the Gamestop saga: what does the social media age of investing really mean for the market, investors, the economy, and businesses?  Is this democracy in action, or a social media flash mob run amok? Should the government do something? And how should regular investors think about all of this?
February 1, 2021
Congressman John Sarbanes on the Most Important Bill in Congress
Congressman John Sarbanes authored the For the People Act, the single most important piece of legislation in Congress. Democrats have made it their very first bill introduced in both the House and Senate for a good reason: it might just save American democracy. What it does and why it's so critical, with Congressman Sarbanes, Paul, and Matt.
January 25, 2021
What will the market do, and what should YOU do?
A one-two punch of investing insight this week. First, Chris Hill, host of Motley Fool Money, breaks down the big stock market runup, a make or beak 6 months for Hollywood, and what Coke& Pepsi marketing strategies tell us. Then, personal financial advisor Mike Morton gives a primer on investing strategy: how to think about a portfolio, and what to put in it.
January 19, 2021
The Roundtable: Executive Orders, Rescue Plans, & the Post-Trump World
Republican political analyst Alicia Preston, two-term Democratic Congressman Paul Hodes, and center-left political analyst Matt Robison break down Biden's rescue plan, his flurry of executive orders, and how Republicans plan to move strategically away from Donald Trump (and whether they even can).
January 19, 2021
The Wrap Monica Ciolfi
New Hampshire attorney and reproductive rights advocate Monica Ciolfi joins The Wrap with Paul Hodes
January 13, 2021
An Eyewitness Under the Dome
Veteran journalist Jamie Steihm was there in the House Chamber when the attack took place on January 6. She shares her first-hand account of what really happened.
January 13, 2021
Politics Roundtable: What Do We Do Now?
Alicia Preston, Matt Robison, and Paul Hodes debate the 25th amendment, impeachment, and where the parties go from here.
January 12, 2021
Law Professor Lawrence Douglas: How Do We Get Him Out Safely?
Lawrence Douglas, a constitutional scholar and author of "Will He Go" - a comprehensive study of how the 2020 election could melt down - joins us now that the meltdown has happened to explain impeachment, pardons, the 25th amendment, and how to safely usher Donald Trump out of office.
January 11, 2021
Georgia and the new Democratic Senate Majority
Yesterday, we recorded two special episodes about Democrats' Senate wins in Georgia. As we were preparing to release them, the news of the violent intrusion into the Capitol complex broke, and we just released an emergency episode focusing on that horrifying attack. But here are the two earlier, important discussions of the implications of the Democratic takeover of the US Senate with Democratic consultant and podcast host Cliff Schecter, followed by noted author and political analyst Joshua Holland.
January 7, 2021
Insurrection in the Capitol
Yesterday, we recorded special episodes about the big news of Democrats' Senate wins in Georgia. As we were preparing to release them as podcasts, the news of the violent intrusion into the Capitol complex broke. So today, we recorded this new, emergency episode focusing on that horrifying attack. We will release it back to back with the episodes about Democrats winning the Senate majority to give a full analysis of these historic, unprecedented 24 hours for America.
January 7, 2021
Sarah Jones: What will Everyone Do After Trump?
PoliticusUSA Editor In Chief Sarah Jones walks through how media, Democrats, and Republicans will each adapt after Trump leaves office. Can any of them quit their Trump addiction, or will he be the center of American political gravity for everyone in the years ahead?
January 5, 2021
Political Scientist Brendan Nyhan: Can Anyone Even Agree on Facts Anymore?
Dartmouth Professor Brendan Nyhan is a leading expert on something that we all take for granted, but is getting trickier and trickier these days: facts. We dive into why such deep misconceptions of basic facts are growing, what they mean for our political system, and whether anything can be done to stop them.
January 4, 2021
The Big 2020 Business Wrap Show
Business and investing expert Chris Hill joins for a double episode chock full of insights on a wild year for the economy. Is Dominoes a tech company now? What was the secret that some restaurants realized could help them survive? Did Nike win the year? The answers to these and a lot more of your burning 2020 investment questions inside...
December 30, 2020
End of 2020 Awards
2020 has been...a bummer. Paul and Matt end the year on a high note by handing out end of year awards...who was the Democrats' MVP? The Republicans'? The best piece of public opinion research? The most interesting news item you missed? And who won the year?
December 28, 2020
Sarah Ovaska on voter access, Elle Meyers on Trump administration political interference
Sarah Ovaska, Associate Editor of Cardinal and Pine, reports on voter access: how did it really go in razor-thin North Carolina which has been mired in voting and redistricting controversy. Then Courier congressional reporter Elle Meyers explains what went down with Betsy DeVos and her call for the Department of Education to "resist" the Biden administration, and details how Ivanka Trump interfered with the CDC.
December 24, 2020
The Roundtable: Covid Relief, AOC Goes Down in Flames, and Trump Insanity
Veteran conservative political analyst Alicia Preston joins the panel to break down Congress' Covid relief plan, what Alexandria Ocasio Cortez's big loss means, and what is up with Donald Trump turning into a political ghost.
December 22, 2020
Congressman Steve Cohen on Trump vs. the Constitution
Congressman Steve Cohen is in charge of the committee in congress that is supposed to stand up for the Constitution. He reacts to President Trump's desperation moves in his final days, explains how to work with Republicans who are still backing Trump, and shares how he plans to keep our country from ending up in this lawless position again.
December 21, 2020
Chris Hill of Motley Fool Money on IPOs, Streaming Wars, and Sports Betting
What's up with AirBnB and UberEats IPOs...overheated or the right long-term play? The white hot streaming wars get even hotter. And why is Draft Kings doing so well?
December 18, 2020
The Long Term View with Joshua Holland
Veteran writer and progressive political analyst Joshua Holland explains the potential for lasting damage from the Trump political legacy, talks through how to fix voting in America, and dives deep into the intra-party divide among Democrats.
December 16, 2020
What Will 2021 Look Like in Congress
Veteran Senate insider Ryan McConaghy gives a look ahead at what razor-thin Senate and House majorities mean for 2021...will anything get done? And if so, what? Paul shares what it's like behind the scenes among House Democrats under Nancy Pelosi.
December 14, 2020
Chris Hill of Motley Fool Money: The Business Outlook
In a new "Off the Record" recurring feature, I talk with Chris Hill, the host of Motley Fool money, the #1 business and investing podcast. Chris and I look at the longer term prospects for industries that are struggling right now - retail, restaurants, and movies theaters: who will make it, who will keep struggling, and what surprising innovations could keep them afloat.
December 9, 2020
Lanae Erickson on What We Learned from the 2020 Election
Top politics expert Lanae Erickson runs down the lessons learned from the 2020 election, what the data tells each party about messages and policies that resonated with voters, and what Democrats should do to navigate the months ahead.
December 8, 2020
Sarah Jones on Rural Voters and Democrats' Message
PoliticusUSA Editor Sarah Jones shares reporting on how the election played in the Rust Belt and how Democrats can sharpen their appeal.
December 5, 2020
Ken Cail on broadcasting, Biden, and the Celtics
Legendary radio personality and new WKXL host Ken Cail joins the show to talk about his career in broadcasting, the politics of the Biden transition and post-election legal fights, and Celtics basketball as the free agency period comes to a close.
November 27, 2020
Elle Meyers on Kids and COVID19
Courier Reporter Elle Meyers details her article on the recent findings about kids and Covid. Then, Paul and Matt discuss the melt down between the left and the center in the Democratic Party.
November 20, 2020
Peter Emerson gives inside scoop on the Biden transition
Democratic insider Peter Emerson joins the show to give listeners the inside scoop on the Biden transition. Then, WKXL commentator Chris Ryan joins Paul and Matt to discuss Trump’s future, how he can overcome his looming legal and financial difficulties, and whether his political movement can get transferred to one of his kids in 2024.
November 13, 2020
Cliff Schecter on Democrats after split decision election and future of Trumpism
Pundit, best-selling author and Democratic strategist Cliff Schecter joins the show to walk through the election results, unpack what they mean, and explore what the long-term challenges are for Democrats after a split decision election on the future of Trumpism in America.
November 6, 2020
Off The Record 10/29/20
New Hampshire Democratic Party Chairman Ray Buckley gives the inside scoop on what is likely to happen on Election Day in races up and down the ballot, and what an expert would be looking for on Election Night for clues on who’s going to win.
October 30, 2020
Off The Record 10/23/20
Paul and Matt examine what social media platforms are doing to combat foreign disinformation with Kaili Lambe, senior advocacy leader for Mozilla, and then take a closer look at why Trump voters stick with him even when they don’t like him. Plus new polls, Rudy Giuliani in trouble, and why is Barack Obama finally losing his cool?
October 23, 2020
Off The Record 10/16/20
Democratic candidate for New Hampshire governor Dan Feltes tells listeners what it was like to be a legal aid lawyer helping veterans get their benefits, the lessons he learned for politics from being the long snapper on his high school football team, and his plan to bring affordable healthcare and better education to New Hampshire.
October 16, 2020
Off The Record 10/9/20
Paul and Matt describe how to fix our awful presidential debates, take a close look at recent polls to figure out whether Trump can still win, and give an insider view on what it’s like to be in a neck and neck race with four weeks to go before Election Day.
October 9, 2020
Off The Record 10/2/20
Paul and Matt dive deep on strategy for the 2020 election with Josh Schwerin, Senior Strategist and Director of Communications for Priorities USA, the biggest Democratic outside advocacy group and political action committee, and one of the key leaders in the drive to elect Joe Biden and Democrats up and down the ticket this November.
October 2, 2020
Off The Record 9/25/20
Jon Jennings has had an incredible career in every level of a government — A former assistant attorney general, White House staffers, congressional candidate, senate staffer, and now the city manager of Portland Maine. He was also an assistant coach for the Boston Celtics during the 1980s glory years. John joins the show to talk about how to have an impact at every level of government and to share some behind the scenes stories from the Celtics.
September 25, 2020
Biden's Lead Pollster John Anzalone
John Anzalone, the lead pollster for the Biden campaign, joins the show to talk about where the race stands with seven weeks to go, what Biden needs to do to win, and what numbers people should really pay attention to down the stretch.
September 18, 2020
Off The Record 9/11/20
Guest Valerie Martin of Silversmith Strategies, skilled veteran campaign operative and media advisor, talks about how to create ads that win races, the advantages of female leadership in campaigns, and how to handle winning (and losing) in the ultra competitive campaign landscape. More on Silversmith Strategies at
September 11, 2020
Jim Papa: What Staffers Really Do Behind the Scenes
Paul and Matt interview Jim Papa, one of the most experienced staffers in Democratic politics. Jim gives a behind-the-scenes look at what it's like to help new members of congress to do their jobs and win their re-election campaigns, explains what it was like working for President Obama and Rahm Emanuel, and shares some of the best insider stories from his own new podcast "Staffer."
September 4, 2020
Off The Record 8/28/20
Paul Hodes and Matt Robison speak with James Pindell of the Boston Globe then talk the latest in news and politics.
August 28, 2020
Off The Record 8/21/20
Paul Hodes and Matt Robison talk with Lanae Erickson of Third Way. Learn more about her at
August 21, 2020
Off The Record 8/14/20
Paul and Matt talk with Democratic policy strategist Ryan Mcconaghy
August 14, 2020
Off The Record 8/7/20
Paul and Matt talk with Lawrence Douglas, James J. Grosfeld Professor of Law, Jurisprudence and Social Thought at Amherst College in Amherst, Massachusetts
August 7, 2020
Off The Record 7/31/20
Paul and Matt talk with Cliff Schecter, author of "The Real McCain: Why Conservatives Don't Trust Him and Why Independents Shouldn't," previously worked with Everytown for Gun Safety, and host of the podcast Unprecedented
July 31, 2020
Off The Record 7/24/20
The latest in news and politics with Paul Hodes and Matt Robison
July 24, 2020
Off The Record 7/17/20
Paul and Matt talk with Nicholas Reich, Associate Professor of Biostatistics at the University of Massachusetts, more from him at
July 17, 2020
Off The Record 7/10/20
Paul and Matt talk with David Pepper, author and Chairman of the Ohio Democratic Party
July 10, 2020
Off The Record 7/3/20
Paul and Matt talk with Congressman Steve Cohen on the investigation into possible impeachment of US Attorney General William Barr.
July 3, 2020
Off The Record 6/26/20
The latest in politics, COVID19, and presidential race with Paul Hodes and Matt Robison
June 26, 2020
Off The Record 6/19/20
Paul and Matt talk with Max Richtman of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare and Chase Hagaman of The Concord Coalition.
June 19, 2020
Off The Record 6/12/20
Latest in news and politics with Paul Hodes and Matt Robison, of
June 11, 2020
Off The Record 6/4/20
Paul and Matt speak with author of "The Anger Gap," Davin L. Phoenix
June 5, 2020
Off The Record 5/29/20
The latest in news and politics with Paul Hodes and Matt Robison
May 29, 2020
Off The Record 5/22/20
Paul and Matt talk possible VP picks for Biden, take listener questions, and much more.
May 22, 2020
Off The Record 5/15/20
Paul and Matt speak with political writer Jason Zengerle
May 15, 2020
Off The Record 5/8/20
Paul Hodes and Matt Robison catch up with NH Executive Councilor Andru Volinsky and NH State Senator Dan Feltes.
May 8, 2020
Off The Record 5/1/20
The latest in news and politics with Paul and Matt!
May 1, 2020
Off The Record 4/24/20
Paul and Matt speak with Justin Levitt of Loyola Law School
April 24, 2020
Off The Record 4/17/20
Paul Hodes and Matt Robison talk politics, news, and the economy
April 17, 2020
Off The Record 4/10/20
Paul and Matt talk with Dan Adcock of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare and discuss the latest political news surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.
April 10, 2020
Off The Record 4/3/20
Paul and Matt talk with Ted Johnson, of the Brennan Center for Justice, about race and American politics
April 3, 2020
Off The Record 3/27/20
Paul and Matt talk with political behavior expert Rachel Bitecofer
March 27, 2020
Off The Record 3/20/20
The latest in news and politics with Paul Hodes and Matt Robison
March 22, 2020
Off The Record 3/13/20
Paul Hodes and Matt Robison, of, talk the impact of coronavirus and the latest political news
March 15, 2020
Off The Record 3/6/20
Paul and Matt Robison, of, talk politics and the impact of the coronavirus
March 8, 2020
Off The Record 2/28/20
Paul talks politics with Matt Robison of
March 1, 2020
Off The Record 2/14/20
Paul talks politics with Matt Robison of
February 19, 2020
Off The Record 2/7/20
Paul speaks with Vicky Sandin, Director of Community Players of Concord's upcoming show "The Odd Couple." Get their dates at
February 9, 2020
Off The Record 1/24/20
Paul talks politics with Matt Robison of
January 26, 2020
Off The Record 1/10/20
Paul talks politics with Matt Robison of
January 11, 2020
Off The Record 2019 Holiday Show
Paul is joined by his wife, Peggo Horstmann Hodes, for the annual holiday edition of Off the Record!
December 28, 2019
Off The Record 12/13/19
Paul is joined by Dan Weeks to discuss energy and the environment
December 15, 2019
Off The Record 11/22/19
Paul is joined by Matt Robison of
November 23, 2019
Off The Record 11/15/19
Paul speaks with Vince Davis, Community Players of Concord's director of the upcoming show Sweet Charity.
November 16, 2019
Off The Record 11/8/19
Paul speaks with Leah Plunkett, author of the new book "Sharenthood: Why We Should Think Before We Talk about Our Kids Online" and Professor at UNH Franklin Pierce School of Law
November 10, 2019
Off The Record 10/25/19
Paul and Matt Robison, of, talk the latest in politics
October 26, 2019
Off The Record 10/18/19
Paul is joined by Chase Hagaman of The Concord Coalition
October 19, 2019
Off The Record 10/11/19
Paul speaks with Matt Robison of
October 16, 2019
Off The Record 10/4/19
Paul is joined by Matt Robison of
October 5, 2019
Off The Record 9/27/19
Paul speaks with Stuart Shapiro
October 1, 2019
Off The Record 9/20/19
Asheville, North Carolina's River Whyless joins Paul for this week's Off the Record
September 22, 2019
Off The Record 9/13/19
Paul is joined by Matt Robison of
September 15, 2019
Off The Record 8/30/19
Paul speaks with Mary Kuechenmeister of the Story Preservation Initiative,
August 31, 2019
Off The Record 8/16/19
Chris Ryan and Paul Hodes talk politics and the presidency
August 17, 2019
Off The Record 8/2/19
Matt Robison of returns to the show
August 4, 2019
Off The Record 7/26/19
Paul speaks with Miriam Carter, Executive Director of the League of NH Craftsmen
July 28, 2019
Off The Record 7/12/19
Paul talks with Matt Robison of
July 13, 2019
Off the Record 7/5/19
Paul takes listeners behind the scenes of a Presidential debate
July 9, 2019
Off The Record 6/14/19
Paul speaks with Matt Robison of
June 15, 2019
Off The Record 5/31/19
Paul speaks with Marc McElroy, he is a musician, recording studio owner, engineer, and entrepreneur.
June 4, 2019
Off the Record 5/17/19
Paul talks with WKXL's Chris Ryan
May 19, 2019
Off The Record 5/10/19
Paul speaks with guitarist Jon Bresler
May 11, 2019
Off The Record 5/4/19
Paul is joined by Matt Robison who runs
May 4, 2019
Off The Record 4/26/19
Paul is joined by Stuart-Sinclair Weeks and Richard Kotlarz of The Center for American Studies at Concord
April 27, 2019
Off the Record 4/19/19
Paul speaks to Steve and Kim Lajoie of the Concord Community Players
April 20, 2019
Off The Record 4/12/19
Paul speaks with Jason Rosenstock of Thorn Run Partners
April 14, 2019
Off The Record 4/5/19
Paul is joined by Byron Champlin, At-Large Councilor for the City of Concord, NH.
April 7, 2019
Off The Record 3/29/19
Paul is joined by Matt Robison who runs
March 31, 2019
Off The Record 3/22/19
Paul is joined by his wife, Peggo Horstmann Hodes. More available from her at
March 23, 2019
Off The Record 3/15/19
Paul is joined by Max Richtman, J.D., President/CEO of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare. More about them at
March 16, 2019
Off the Record 3/8/19
Paul speaks with Matt Robinson, an astute political observer, author and blogger of; A More Perfect Union Forum. Digging deep into three things democrats should not do.
March 8, 2019
Off The Record 2/22/19
Paul speaks with Chase Hagaman, Regional Director for the Concord Coalition
February 23, 2019
Off The Record 2/8/19
Paul speaks with Former US Senator Gordon Humphrey
February 9, 2019
Off The Record 2/1/19
Paul is joined by Rob Werner, New Hampshire State Director at League of Conservation Voters.
February 2, 2019
Off The Record 1/25/19
Paul talks to Byron Champlin who is running for City Councilor at Large for Concord, NH
January 27, 2019
Off The Record 1/18/19
Peter Emerson calls into the show from DC to give Paul a lay of the land in the midst of the government shutdown.
January 20, 2019
Off The Record 1/11/19
Paul is joined by Matt Robison who runs
January 12, 2019
Off The Record 1/4/19
Paul speaks with Jason Rosenstock of Thorn Run Partners
January 5, 2019
2018 Off The Record Holiday Special
Paul and Peggo give you a special Christmas edition of Off the Record!
December 22, 2018
Off The Record 12/14/18
Paul is joined by Ted Blachly of the Guild of NH Woodworkers
December 15, 2018
Off The Record 12/7/18
Paul is joined by Robert A. Baines
December 14, 2018
Off The Record 11 - 30 - 18
Paul speaks with Colin Van Ostern, who is running for Secretary of State for New Hampshire
December 2, 2018
Off The Record 11/16/18
Paul speaks with Dana Chasin, Founder of 20/20 Vision.
November 17, 2018
Off The Record 11/9/18
Paul is joined by Jon Bresler and Peter Emerson to talk this week's election.
November 10, 2018
Off The Record 11/2/18
Paul is joined by Dr. Katrina Lantos Swett, President of the Lantos Foundation
November 3, 2018
Off The Record 10/26/18
Paul is joined by Bill Christie of Shaheen & Gordon, P.A. to discuss New Hampshire's new voting law, SB3
October 27, 2018
Off The Record 10/19/18
Paul is joined by Joe Gleason, Assistant Executive Director of the Capitol Center for the Arts
October 20, 2018
Off The Record 10/12/18
Paul speaks with Jason Rosenstock of Thorn Run Partners
October 14, 2018
Off The Record 10/5/18
Paul and Chris talk the conclusion to the Kavanaugh appointment to the US Supreme Court, then Paul talks with Nicole Gregg, Festival Director of the New Hampshire Film Festival
October 11, 2018
Off the Record 9/28/18
Paul talks the Kavanaugh hearings then is joined by Andrew Periale, internationally acclaimed puppeteer, magazine editor, actor, and educator from Strafford, NH.
September 29, 2018
Off The Record 9/21/18
Paul is joined by Chase Hagaman, of the Concord Coalition, and Weston Wamp, of Fix Politics Now.
September 25, 2018
Off The Record 9/14/18
Paul and Chris talk the primary results, then Paul sits down with New Hampshire musician Mary Fagan. Get more from Mary at
September 15, 2018
Miriam Carter of League of NH Craftsmen on Off The Record
Paul is joined by Miriam Carter, Executive Director of the League of New Hampshire Craftsmen.
September 8, 2018
Remembering John McCain on Off the Record
Paul and Chris reflect on the career of Senator John McCain, then plays the last two interviews Chris did with the late senator.
September 1, 2018
Off The Record 8/17/18
Paul talks the latest news and has a discussion with Jason Rosenstock of Thorn Run Partners
August 18, 2018
Off The Record 8/3/18
Chase Hagaman, Northeast Regional Director of the Concord Coalition, talks with Paul about the economy, national debt and Trumps approach to fiscal responsibility. Get more from Chase on WKXL's Facing the Future,
August 5, 2018
Off The Record 7/20/18
Paul Hodes, away in Columbus, OH, calls into the show to discuss the conference he is attending of Democrats considering the upcoming election and Chris Ryan interviews Senator Maggie Hassan in Washington, DC.
July 27, 2018
Off the Record 7/13/18
Paul Hodes and Chris Ryan discuss the many political stories from this past week, then Paul sits down with Senator Jeff Merkley (D-Oregon)
July 14, 2018
Off The Record 4/6/18
With a special Independence Day episode, Paul Hodes discusses Donald Hall and reads some of the work from the recently passed Poet Laureate.
July 8, 2018
Off The Record 6/29/18
On this episode of Off the Record, Paul discusses last week's NH Democratic Party's convention with Chris Ryan, then speaks to Former U.S. Ambassador George Bruno.
June 30, 2018
Off The Record 6/23/18
Paul has returned from his trip in Italy, catching up with the latest in politics with Chris Ryan. Then an interview with Mark Connolly, former Deputy Secretary of State and Director of New Hampshire Bureau of Securities Regulation.
June 24, 2018
Off The Record 6/8/18
Paul sits down with Chris Pappas, candidate for New Hampshire's first congressional district.
June 10, 2018
Off The Record 6/1/18
Paul talks with Mark MacKenzie (D) who is running for the US Congressional seat for New Hampshire's first district.
June 4, 2018
Off The Record 5/25/18
Paul and Chris talk presidential hopeful US Senator Jeff Merkley (D-Oregon), then Paul speaks with Luke Bonner, Executive Director of the Rock On Foundation, about the upcoming Rock On Fest.
May 27, 2018
Off The Record 5/18/18
John Rauh of Open Democracy joins Paul to discuss campaign finance reform and public financing for elections, learn more about Open Democracy at
May 20, 2018
Off The Record 5/11/18
Broadcasting from The Birches at Concord! Paul and Chris talk the latest in politics, then Paul speaks with Chuck Crush, Executive Director of The Birches at Concord
May 20, 2018
Off The Record 4/27/18
This week's episode of Off the Record with Paul Hodes features Betty Lent of The Community Players of Concord, NH. She is directing their presentation of Shakespeare in Hollywood, which will take place May 4, 5, and 6 at the Concord City Auditorium. Get your tickets at
April 29, 2018
Off The Record 4/20/18
This week's featured guest was Peggo Horstmann Hodes, Director of the Concord Community Music School's Songweavers, which is New Hampshire’s original women’s community chorus. Learn more about the program at
April 22, 2018
Off The Record 4/13/18
Paul and Chris discuss the latest craziness coming from the White House, then an interview with Ginnie Lupi, Director of the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts. Learn more about the council's work at
April 14, 2018
Off The Record 4/6/18
Former Congressman Paul Hodes discusses the latest in politics and is joined by former NH state Executive Councilor Colin Van Ostern who is running for Secretary of State.
April 7, 2018
Off The Record 3/16/18
Former Congressman Paul Hodes discusses the latest in politics and is joined by State Senator Dan Feltes (D-Concord)!
April 7, 2018