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WSJ Opinion: Potomac Watch

The Wall Street Journal

News, Society & Culture

42.5K Ratings

Overview

From the award-winning opinion pages of The Wall Street Journal, Paul Gigot, Kim Strassel, Bill McGurn and Kyle Peterson discuss the latest from Washington. Get critical perspective and the analysis you need on developments from the nation’s capital. Join them every weekday. Send your feedback to [email protected]

392 Episodes

The Supreme Court, Gun Rights, and a 'Credible Threat'

The Justices uphold a law that prohibits gun possession by people who are subject to certain restraining orders for domestic violence, with an 8-1 majority in U.S. v. Rahimi saying that this does not infringe the Second Amendment. Plus, the High Court rules on a tax case, Moore v. U.S., that critics say could open the door to a progressive wealth tax on unrealized gains. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 21 June 2024

Joe Biden’s ‘Convicted Criminal’ Strategy to Defeat Donald Trump

As the first presidential debate nears, the Biden campaign spends $50 million on an ad calling Donald Trump a convicted criminal. Is it working? A new poll shows Biden in the lead for the first time in months, and how will that influence the debate strategy for both candidates? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 20 June 2024

Joe Biden’s Path to Citizenship for Undocumented Spouses of U.S. Citizens

The president takes executive action to offer legal status to 500,000 people who entered the country illegally but married U.S. citizens. How much does Biden's order weaken deterrence for future migrants, is it vulnerable to legal challenge as an abuse of discretion, and does such "pen and phone" governance make real immigration legislation less likely, by letting Congress off the hook? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 19 June 2024

Tax-Free Tips? Monumental Tariffs? Trump Ponders Both

Donald Trump's recent musings on tax policy include proposals to exempt tips, impose huge tariffs to replace the current income tax, and cut the corporate tax rate to 20%, from today's 21%. What of this is good tax policy, versus a political effort to win swing voters, and how does it compare with Joe Biden's ideas, including his recent proposal to raise the corporate rate to 28%? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 18 June 2024

The Supreme Court Becomes a Political Target

As the Supreme Court term nears its end, Paul Gigot interviews Manhattan Institute scholar and author Ilya Shapiro about the rulings so far and the cases still pending, including immunity for Donald Trump. Plus, Joe Biden and the Democrats start to run against the current Court in the election. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 17 June 2024

The Supreme Court on Mifepristone, Starbucks, and Bump Stocks

Democrats strangely refuse to declare victory, after the Justices unanimously reject a challenge to the FDA's regulation of the abortion pill mifepristone. Plus, the High Court sides with Starbucks in a dispute over the legal standard for NLRB injunctions, and it rules that the ATF cannot ban rifle "bump stocks" by redefining the law so that they qualify as machine guns. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 14 June 2024

Does the Populist Voter Revolt in Europe Portend the Same for U.S.?

Parties of the right made major gains in elections for the European Parliament, especially in France and Italy. What's behind the surge for the right and the losses for the green left? Plus, the leaders of the G-7 meet in Italy, though all but Italy's Giorgia Meloni may be political lame ducks. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 13 June 2024

The Secret Recording of Justice Samuel Alito

Posing as conservative fan at a Washington event, an activist audiotapes conversations with Justice Alito and his wife, as well as Chief Justice John Roberts. Their remarks on flags and U.S. polarization have been presented in the media as shocking, but are they really? Plus, the High Court rulings coming soon include big cases on Trump's immunity, guns, Jan. 6 and more. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 12 June 2024

Hunter Biden Is Found Guilty of Gun Crimes

After only three hours of deliberating, a federal jury in Delaware convicts Hunter Biden of three felony counts for buying and possessing a handgun while he was a drug addict in 2018. Does Hunter have a shot at appealing under the Second Amendment and the Supreme Court's precedent in Bruen? Plus, Joe Biden says he will respect the outcome and won't issue a pardon. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 11 June 2024

Has the Trump Guilty Verdict Changed the 2024 Presidential Race?

Has Donald Trump’s felony conviction changed the minds of any potential voters? And is painting his opponent as a felon going to help Joe Biden? Paul Gigot speaks to Democratic pollster Doug Schoen about why the contest is still going to be about the issues, including the southern border and foreign policy, and the risks for both candidates in this month's presidential debate. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 10 June 2024

A United Auto Workers Strike at... the University of California?

The school system sues UAW Local 4811, which represents 48,000 graduate teaching assistants and other workers, for striking on behalf of pro-Palestine campus protesters. At the same time, the UAW recently lost an election at Mercedes-Benz in Alabama. Should unions, and Democrats, be worried about this kind of divide between hard hats and progressive activists? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 7 June 2024

Joe Biden Pitches His Peace Plan for Israel and Hamas

Joe Biden unveiled his plan for a cease-fire for Israel’s war in Gaza, but Hamas has refused to accept it so far. Will the president be able to get both sides to come to an agreement in time for Election Day? Plus, Hezbollah continues to attack villages in northern Israel and the International Atomic Energy Agency censures Iran for not cooperating with its inspectors. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 6 June 2024

Joe Biden's Executive Order at the Border

The president's new policy will supposedly block asylum claimants who cross the southern border when the average number of daily encounters is 2,500 or more. But will migrants simply go to ports of entry, are legal challenges likely, and will this be enough to satisfy voters in November that Biden is taking immigration seriously? Plus, listeners write in on Hunter Biden’s gun trial. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 5 June 2024

Hunter Biden’s Federal Gun Trial Begins

The prosecution and the defense make their opening arguments in the federal trial of Hunter Biden for buying and owning a gun while addicted to illegal drugs in 2018. No one is above the law, the feds tell the Delaware jury, but is this a case of selective prosecution, how has Joe Biden's Justice Department handled it, and is a presidential pardon likely in store for the First Son? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 4 June 2024

The Biden Administration Approves Limited Ukrainian Strikes Inside Russia

The White House made a policy adjustment by allowing Ukraine to use American weapons to attack targets inside Russia, but the plan still includes limitations on the use of the most effective U.S. weapons systems. Plus, a major political figure calls for an American rearmament as global threats to national security increase. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 3 June 2024

The Jury Finds Donald Trump Guilty. What Now?

The GOP's presidential candidate is convicted of 34 felonies in New York, for falsifying business records in connection with 2016 hush money to Stormy Daniels. Could Trump's defense team have done anything differently? How serious are his prospects for appeal? Has Joe Biden already said too much about the trial? And how is this verdict likely to affect the 2024 election? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 31 May 2024

Conservative Supreme Court Justices Fight Calls for Recusal

In a letter to two Senators, Justice Samuel Alito explained why he is obliged to hear cases related to Donald Trump under the Supreme Court's code of conduct. What's behind the campaign to tarnish the reputations of the conservative members of the Court? Plus, 14 pro-democracy activists are convicted by a Hong Kong court under trumped up national security charges. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 30 May 2024

Can Larry Hogan Save the Senate Filibuster in Maryland?

The former Republican governor of Maryland left office with sky-high approval, and if Larry Hogan can now win a Senate seat with a centrist pitch, it would upset expectations about party control after the 2024 elections. Plus, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott declares victory after the state's GOP primary runoffs, saying he has won enough votes in the Legislature to pass his school-choice plan. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 29 May 2024

Justice Alito's Majority Opinion on Racial Gerrymandering

In a 6-3 ruling, the Supreme Court upholds a U.S. House map in South Carolina that was challenged as a racial gerrymander, with an opinion by Justice Samuel Alito that also explains the high bar for future lawsuits to prove that a map was drawn using race. Plus, why is the EPA giving millions of dollars to a "climate justice" group with left-leaning views on capitalism and Palestine? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 28 May 2024

The World Court's Ruling on Israel / Justice Alito's Pine Tree Flag

The International Court of Justice, part of the United Nations, issues a ruling that seemingly tells Israel to halt its operations in Rafah. But will this ruling carry any weight, and what about the Oct. 7 hostages still held by Hamas? Plus, the latest alleged scandal at the Supreme Court is that Justice Samuel Alito's vacation home flew a historical flag that dates to the Revolutionary War. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 24 May 2024

Nikki Haley Says She's Voting for Donald Trump

After a primary season in which Donald Trump and NIkki Haley traded sharp barbs, Ms. Haley now states that she will be voting for the former President in November. Is she bidding to be a player in the veepstakes, or is it more about her future in the GOP? Plus, the witness list in Hunter Biden's felony gun trial comes to light, and Joe Biden appears to be using the U.S. Treasury as a way to secure votes. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 23 May 2024

Prosecutors Rest Their Case in Trump's Hush-Money Trial

After testimony by Michael Cohen and a brief defense by Donald Trump's legal team, the New York trial nears its conclusion, with closing arguments and jury deliberation expected next week. Has Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg proved his case and provided enough evidence to convict, particularly given that these 34 bookkeeping felonies also require a second crime? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 22 May 2024

Biden Says Trying to Arrest Israel's Leaders Is 'Outrageous'

The prosecutor of the International Criminal Court applies for war-crimes warrants against three Hamas leaders, as well as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his defense chief. Joe Biden condemns the ICC's move, saying there's no equivalence between Hamas and Israel. But does the U.S. have the tools to back up the President's words and hit back at the ICC? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 21 May 2024

Another Attack on Justice Samuel Alito from the Left

The New York Times reported that an inverted American flag briefly flown outside the house of Justice Samuel Alito suggests support for the ‘stop the steal’ movement led by Donald Trump, the latest hit in a campaign against the conservatives on the Supreme Court. But how does a dispute between neighbors translate into judicial recusal? Plus, a new report from the Harvard Jewish Alumni Alliance exposes the dangerous levels of antisemitism on the Ivy League campus. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 20 May 2024

The CFPB Wins 7-2 at the Supreme Court

Justice Clarence Thomas writes that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's power to draw its funding from the Federal Reserve doesn't violate the Constitution, a question that splits the Court's conservatives. Plus, Joe Biden invokes executive privilege to shield audio recordings of his interview with special counsel Robert Hur in the inquiry into his mishandling of classified files. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 17 May 2024

An Unusual Presidential Debate Calendar Fit for an Unusual Election

With requests for no audience members, hypothetical mic muting and a contest coming before the RNC and DNC nominating conventions, the debates between Donald Trump and Joe Biden are heading down an unprecedented road. So why did both candidates agree to such an unorthodox plan and bypass the traditional Commission on Presidential Debates? Plus, the Biden campaign faces the reality of trailing Donald Trump in five out of six battleground states. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 16 May 2024

The Climate Trade War / Trump and Biden Agree to Debate

Joe Biden raises tariffs on Chinese steel, solar cells and electric vehicles, but is this the right way to take on Beijing, or is the President using it as political cover for his green agenda? Plus, after weeks of Donald Trump demanding early presidential debates, Biden agrees to two of them, possibly starting as soon as next month, though he makes some interesting stipulations. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 15 May 2024

Michael Cohen Takes the Stand Against Donald Trump

The star witness in the New York hush-money trial finally testifies, saying Donald Trump's main concern about the Stormy Daniels story was how voters would react in the days before the 2016 election. But is Cohen a credible witness, and can he testify to the "second crime" that prosecutors need? Plus, voters go to the polls to pick Senate nominees in Maryland and West Virginia. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 14 May 2024

U.S.-Israel Tensions Rise Over Rafah

President Biden's threat to withhold weapons from Israel if it stages a large operation to clear Hamas from the city of Rafah in Gaza has shocked Israel and is causing a political backlash in the U.S., including among some Democrats. Will Israel go ahead anyway, and should it? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 13 May 2024

Donald Trump's Casting Call for Vice President

Tim Scott, Doug Burgum, J.D. Vance, Marco Rubio and more big names visited Mar-a-Lago recently for a Republican retreat, as Donald Trump fans speculation of whom he might name as his 2024 running mate. What would each bring to the ticket? Plus, one name falling in the veepstakes is Kristi Noem, after she tells a story in her new book about shooting her hunting dog. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 10 May 2024

Joe Biden Withholds Weapons From Israel During a War

The President reverses his policy that Hamas must be destroyed as he threatens Israel with an arms embargo if the Israeli Defense Forces enter Rafah in Gaza. Plus, House Speaker Mike Johnson defeats an effort to depose him. Is this the end of GOP dysfunction, or merely a pause? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 9 May 2024

Stormy Daniels Testifies at Donald Trump’s Hush-Money Trial

Taking the witness stand in New York, she offers a detailed account of their alleged tryst in 2006, but did prosecutors go too far in eliciting salacious details that are irrelevant to this case about business bookkeeping? Plus, Trump is found in contempt again for breaking the court's gag order, as Judge Juan Merchan insists he does not want to order jail time but will do so if needed. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 8 May 2024

Israel Moves On Rafah / Joe Biden's Antisemitism Speech

After crossing into Hamas's last bastion, Israeli troops take control of the Rafah border crossing with Egypt. Meantime, Hamas says it had accepted a cease-fire deal, but why was that deemed insufficient by Israel, and what is the status of negotiations for the return of hostages? Plus, Joe Biden condemns antisemitism in a Holocaust remembrance address, as campus protests continue. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 7 May 2024

Stephen Kotkin on the Present and Future of Russia and the West

What will become of Russia after Vladimir Putin, and what is the endgame for the war in Ukraine? Paul Gigot speaks with historian Stephen Kotkin about how the United States would handle Russia once a successor to Putin is in place, the role the Biden administration will continue to play as the war between Ukraine and Russia continues, and how much Russia is dependent on China in order to survive. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 6 May 2024

Inside the Donald Trump Trial Courtroom

The third week of Donald Trump’s hush-money trial in New York included testimony from his former aide Hope Hicks and audio tapes secretly made by Michael Cohen. What are the defense and the prosecution each doing, and what's the atmosphere inside the courtroom? Kyle Peterson shares his experience observing the proceedings and discusses what's yet to come. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 3 May 2024

Joe Biden Addresses the Violent Demonstrations on Campus

Joe Biden made remarks that acknowledged the right to protest peacefully, adding that there is no place for violence or the disruption of classes at college campuses. But is there a bigger issue of the radicalization of young people at play? Plus, Jerome Powell says he doesn’t see the ‘stag’ or the ‘flation’ when it comes to the economy. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 2 May 2024

Marjorie Taylor Greene's Speaker Plot / The NYPD Reclaims Columbia

A vote to oust House Speaker Mike Johnson is coming next week, Marjorie Taylor Greene promises. But will it backfire, now that Democrats say they'll help to table her motion? Plus, the New York Police Department takes back the Columbia University building that was occupied by anti-Israel protesters, with Mayor Eric Adams saying outside agitators had infiltrated the campus. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 1 May 2024

Protesters Occupy Columbia / Trump Held in Contempt

Anti-Israel protesters at Columbia University escalate by seizing an academic building in the middle of the night and barricading themselves inside. What should President Minouche Shafik do now, and where are the school's trustees in what has quickly turned into an institutional crisis for Columbia? Plus, New York Judge Juan Merchan holds Donald Trump in contempt and fines him $9,000 for violating a gag order by attacking the jury and witnesses in the New York hush-money trial. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 30 April 2024

Trump Goes After RFK Jr. While Joe Biden Roasts Trump

Donald Trump has increased his criticism of third-party presidential candidate RFK Jr. as a man of the left. Could the heir to the Kennedy name be a bigger threat to Trump than to Joe Biden? Plus, Biden says he's willing to debate Trump as he roasts the former President in front of a friendly press corps, and Trump tries to make peace with Ron DeSantis. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 29 April 2024

What the Donald Trump Jury Has Heard So Far

As the New York hush-money trial ends its first week of testimony, why are Alvin Bragg's prosecutors talking about "conspiracy" and "election fraud," considering Trump is charged with neither? Plus, the court hears testimony from former National Enquirer publisher David Pecker, and listeners weigh in on the widening anti-Israel protests on college campuses, including Columbia University. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 26 April 2024

The Supreme Court Weighs Immunity for Donald Trump and the Presidency

In Trump v. United States, the Justices consider if a President has absolute immunity from criminal prosecution, and what constitutes an official action as opposed to a personal one? The implications extend far beyond Trump's fate in 2024. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 25 April 2024

A Constitutional Right to Homeless Camps? The Supreme Court Considers

Grants Pass, Ore., wants to enforce a prohibition on public camping, but a lower court said no, citing the Eighth Amendment's ban on cruel and unusual punishment. What does the Constitution say, and don‘t cities have the right to keep their streets clean and safe? Plus, the Justices also hear a challenge by Starbucks to a power of the National Labor Relations Board. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 24 April 2024

Anti-Israel Protesters Occupy Columbia University

After New York police cleared an encampment on the Ivy League campus, arresting more than 100 people, the school says it will offer hybrid remote learning for the rest of the semester, while similar protests also engulf Yale, NYU, and other elite colleges. Why are university presidents apparently so reluctant to draw a hard line, especially considering the antisemitism on display? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 23 April 2024

Bipartisan Majorities Show Support for Beleaguered U.S. Allies

House Speaker Mike Johnson put his job on the line in seeking floor votes on bills to provide weapons for Israel, Ukraine and Taiwan. It paid off in victory, as bipartisan majorities united to pass the bills and defeat a rump group of GOP opponents. Will the same coalition be willing and able to save Mr. Johnson from a motion to vacate the Speaker's chair? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 22 April 2024

The Trump Jury and the New York Judge's Gag Order

The first week of Donald Trump's hush-money trial concludes with the seating of 12 jurors, while the former President fumes about a gag order by Judge Juan Merchan that bars him from criticizing jurors, witnesses and court staff. Plus, the Senate summarily dismisses the impeachment articles passed by the House against Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 19 April 2024

House Speaker Mike Johnson Puts His Job on the Line Over Ukraine Aid

Speaker Mike Johnson moves ahead with bills supporting Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan against their enemies. What's in the bills, what are their prospects for passing, and could they cost Johnson his job as a small group of Republicans threaten to move against him? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 18 April 2024

Can Jan. 6 Rioters Be Charged with Obstruction?

The Supreme Court hears an appeal from a former Pennsylvania cop, who says his conduct at the Capitol on Jan. 6 does not qualify as obstruction under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002. Prosecutors have charged more than 300 people using that law, but are they stretching it too far? Plus, the Justices rule that a local $23,420 permitting fee is covered by the Fifth Amendment’s Takings Clause. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 17 April 2024

Donald Trump’s Hush-Money Trial Begins

Jury selection starts in New York, as the former president faces 34 counts of falsifying business records, tied to a 2016 payment to Stormy Daniels. But has Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg brought a weak case, with potential legal avenues for appeal, given that to convict on these felonies he must prove that Trump intended to commit or conceal a second unrelated crime? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 16 April 2024

Will Israel Strike Back at Iran Despite Joe Biden's Opposition?

Paul Gigot interviews Mark Dubowitz, CEO of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, about Tehran's attack on Israel, whether it was really a 'win' for the Jewish state, how Israel is likely to respond, and whether U.S. policy toward Iran will finally change. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 15 April 2024

Democrats Want the IRS to Do Your Taxes

President Biden touts the IRS's new Direct File pilot program in 12 states, after Sen. Elizabeth Warren stuck it into the Inflation Reduction Act. But do Americans trust the agency to get it right? And if the complexity of the tax code is the reason that people turn to expert tax preparers, why isn't the answer just to simplify? Plus, the House passes a reauthorization of the Section 702 surveillance program, as FBI Director Christopher Wray warns about elevated threats to public safety. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcribed - Published: 12 April 2024

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