What The Hell Happened?
By Tyler Axness
What The Hell Happened?Feb 19, 2021
Lessons to be Learned from Texas
Millions of Texans were without power and water as their electrical grid failed. Instead of helping his residents, U.S. Senator Ted Cruz jumped on a plan to Cancun with his family. As you know, he got caught. Will the scandal stick?
Last week, the Senate acquitted former President Donald Trump. 57 Senators voted to convict Trump, falling short of the 67 vote threshold. He's not out of the legal troubles yet as multiple cases continue to mount.
President Biden continues his honeymoon period with a 62% approval rating. Congress is set the pass the very popular covid 19 relief bill next week. What will the next priority be for the administration.
Lastly, Rush Limbaugh passed away this week. He played a large part in why American political discourse is where we find it now.
Party Over Country For Senate Republicans
The second impeachment trial of former President Donald J. Trump is wrapping up. It is tough to find impartial jurors in the U.S. Senate. Reports that some GOP Senators skipped out on their jury duties are infuriating. North Dakota's Senator John Hoeven was among those too busy to hear Thursday's arguments according to those reports. Kevin Cramer declared this was, "the stupidest week in the U.S. Senate" before hearing the arguments. An embarrassing duo for a once proud legacy of U.S. Senators from North Dakota.
The Biden covid relief plan is supported by over 80% of Americans. Congress should pass this unifying plan as soon as possible. Guess where Hoeven and Cramer are on the idea.
These top stories and soo much more on "What the Hell Happened This Week!?"
The Week Populism Came to Wall Street
Hedge fund managers and Wall Street were exposed this week after a subreddit group pooled investments for GameStop, AMC, and a variety of other companies. The little guys took on Wall Street and won. For a moment anyway. Many of the applications that marketed themselves as means for the "average joe" to invest barred investors from buying and selling select stocks with their own money. Apparently, the rules are different for big hedge fund managers and those of us that work on main street. The episode outraged people on all sides of the political spectrum and was the first real "unifying" moment of 2021.
Congress is still maneuvering another covid 19 relief package. It seems more likely "reconciliation" will be used to get the proposal passed and signed by President Biden. With variants being discovered, it is a race against the clock for both people's health and the economy.
Lastly, the in-fighting in the GOP continues to take shape. More of Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene's past conspiracy theories and behaviors are coming to light. Will there be any accountability in Congress? Rep. Matt Gaetz flew to Wyoming to rally against Rep. Liz Cheney. Which course will lead the GOP?
Every Wednesday of 2021 has had a historic event. January 6th was the insurrection on Capitol Hill. January 13th was the second impeachment of President Donald Trump. January 20th was the inauguration of President Joe Biden. It has been bumpy, but democracy survived. For now.
A new administration doesn't mean old crisis are gone. The pandemic is raging in parts of the country. Biden wants $1.9 billion in another round of relief. To pass the proposal, Democrats are talking about "reconciliation" to get around Senate Republican obstruction. To prevent further obstruction, will the Senate filibuster be eliminated? After all, obstruction fuels extremism.
To prepare for the week ahead, recap what the hell happened last week with Tyler Axness and Jason Matthews.
Donald Trump's Place in History
Exactly one week following the attack on our nation's Capitol, President Donald Trump was impeached for the second time. He is the first President to be impeached twice. The Senate will take up the trial next week. Can they balance the trial with the important work laid out for President-elect Biden's first 100 days?
Law enforcement continues to investigate and arrest those who stormed the House and Senate with more to likely come. Will there be accountability for other elected officials involved with the insurrection? The corporate world has stood up by pulling back its campaign donations. Will censures and expulsion happen if evidence warrants?
Biden rolled out a $1.9 trillion covid relief package. It was met with praise from both Senator Bernie Sanders and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Will the $15 minimum wage increase derail its passage? Tyler Axness and Jason Matthews break down this week's moments on "What the Hell Happened This Week?"
One of Our Darkest Weeks
The attack on the U.S. Capitol on January 6th was one of the darkest days in American history. Tyler Axness and Jason Matthews talk about the attack, the years that built up to it, and what the fall out may be. Just 24 hours before the attack and certification of President-elect Joe Biden's win, two Democratic gains in the U.S. Senate were delivered by Georgia voters. What does the new Congressional makeup mean for policy in Washington? What does Joe Biden need to do in his first 100 days in office?
***Explicit language warning***
A Clear-Eyed Look Forward
Many are eager to put 2020 in the rearview mirror. The pandemic rages on and new variations of coronavirus are discovered, but there may be an end in sight with the vaccine. After months of failure, Congress finally passed another relief package to help struggling businesses and families.
At the same time, President Trump has surrounded himself with sycophants urging him to overturn the election he lost by 7 million votes. Some Republican leaders are even urging him to "cross the Rubicon." The election loss has been the only focus of Trump's while Americans die and Russia attacks us through cyber warfare. The ramifications of that hack are not yet fully understood.
How does the reaction from the "losing side" to the 2020 election compare to 2016? Will there be a struggle between conservativism and Trumpism? President-elect Biden's cabinet is his comfort zone. Will they be able to meet the challenges ahead? Will 2021 be any better than 2020 in American politics? Tyler Axness and Jason Matthews wrap up season one of "What the Hell Happened?"
Innocent People Don't Need Pardons
After taking Thanksgiving week off, Tyler Axness and Jason Matthews break down the past 2 weeks. It wasn't just turkeys receiving pardons from President Trump. Now we're hearing there may be "preemptive pardons." The pandemic is spiking, vaccines are coming, and there is a group of bipartisan senators looking to get a relief package out. Will this be the power group for the next two years? The far left is attacking potential cabinet picks from the Biden administration. Heidi Heitkamp has been their focus. We explain why the left wing's focus is misguided and simply idiotic.
Democracy on the Brink?
Though Trump's legal team isn't winning in court, they may be winning the war on truth. Press conferences full of half-truths and outright lies are being consumed by casual political observers and it is shaping their reality. It is increasingly harmful to our democracy and faith in our institutions. Tyler Axness and Jason Matthews discuss the dire situation and how American politics isn't just urban vs rural, but there are basically five political parties in our country.
The Extremes Have Taken Over
Following the election results, there is a lot of discussion on whether or not America is a "center-left" or a "center-right" nation. With a majority of Americans being somewhere in the center, why are the extremes on both the left and right controlling our politics? Tyler Axness and Jason Matthews discuss that and describe our our democracy is, "the frog in the pot."
The results continue to trickle in and Joe Biden is the President-elect. Senator Kamala Harris is the first woman Vice President-elect. Aside from reclaiming the White House, the "blue wave" many projected didn't materialize. It will be a difficult pitch to claim either side has a mandate. If anything, this election showed there are two different realities in this country and there isn't much of a connect between the two. How does Biden govern in this environment? Tyler Axness and Jason Matthews discuss the results and what happens from here.
Republicans Are More Worried About Votes being Counted Than Voter Fraud.
With all the last minute court challenges by Republicans and the Trump campaign across the country, it is obvious they aren't worried about voter fraud, they're worried about votes being counted. Will it impact the final days of the race? Tyler Axness and Jason Matthews break down what the hell happened this week before election day.
The Airing of Grievances Campaign
The final presidential debate is in the books. Rapid analysis indicates Trump was unable to move the needle enough for the final 12 days. That isn't to say Joe Biden didn't provide Republicans an opportunity to gain some momentum in certain states. Biden's remarks on transitioning away from oil subsidies might leave a mark in Senate races like Montana, Alaska, and Texas. Over 40 million votes have already been cast. Meanwhile, America had it's worse day in new confirmed covid19 cases since July. We also break down the wild week of Rudy Giuliani. Figure out "What the Hell Happened this Week" by listening to episode 15 of our podcast.
Republicans Have Been Playing with Court Numbers for Years
Amy Coney Barrett's SCOTUS hearing was a focal point of this week. She spoke of originalism and how she adheres to that philosophy. Tyler Axness and Jason Matthews explain what that really means. What SCOTUS reforms could be entertained if the current political polling holds through election day. By Monday, over 20 million Americans will have already voted. SURPRISE! we're talking about emails in October again. And who won the dueling town halls? Find out on this week's "What the Hell Happened this Week?!"
This is Pure Chaos!
We left you last week with the President confirming he was covid-19 positive. Since then, he went to the hospital, a joy ride, and is now back at the White House planning campaign-like rallies. A lot of confusion about the timeline and schedule of his infection remain unanswered. If you missed the Vice Presidential debate and awoke to everyone talking about a fly, you have your answer on whether or not it changes the race at all. Ultimately, the Senate races are the place to watch right now. Will the sexting scandal in North Carolina ruin the Democrat's chances of retaking the Senate? Oh, and perhaps the most troubling thing to happen.... there was a plot to kidnap a Governor in the United States of America. Find out "What the Hell Happened this Week" with Tyler Axness and Jason Matthews.
We Face Multiple National Security Risks
Today, the President of the United States tested positive for covid-19. The diagnosis leaves a lot of questions about the President's health and executive branch protocols. Couple this devastating news with the New York Times reporting on Donald Trump's tax returns including the amount of debt he will eventually owe, and think of the national security implications. We discuss that, the debate, and the economy in this week's "What the Hell Happened?!"
The Constitutional Crisis Before Us Needs Your Attention
The passing of Justice Ginsburg led this week's recap. The immediate politicization by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell set the tone for this week's podcast. Tyler is angry about the hypocrites currently sitting in the Senate. Jason takes on potential reforms to save our democracy. Pour a double for this week's "What the Hell Happened This Week?!" with Tyler Axness and Jason Matthews.
From 9/11/2001 to 9/11/2020 our Politics have Changed Dramatically
Our world changed nineteen years ago. Our politics, our unity, and our processes are all vastly different. Our response to events and tragedies from terrorist attacks to a health pandemic are discussed. The Atlantic article along with Bob Woodward revelations have made an impact on this race. Is Minnesota really in play? Also, the Senate was built for giants but isn't filled with them right now. Let's recap what the hell happened over the last two weeks.
Republican National Convention Recap
The four day Republican National Convention wrapped up last night. Did the President make the case for four more years? Do people really care that laws were broken and taxpayers funded a nationally televised campaign event? Jason Matthews and Tyler Axness give their take on the RNC from "flyover country."
Democratic National Convention Week
The DNC pulled off a hell of a convention this week given the circumstances. Steve Bannon is arrested by the USPS. The bipartisan Senate Intelligence Committee releases their findings on Russian interference. A Kanye West updated, and much more on "What the Hell Happened This Week?"
This Was a Bad Week For Democracy in America
President Trump admitted he is actively sabotaging the United State Postal Service to limit votes counted by mail. Republican Senators like North Dakota's John Hoeven sit in silence at the delivery slow-down threat to rural states. Joe Biden selects Senator Kamala Harris as his running mate. How does it impact the race? Congress goes on vacation without another round of covid-19 relief. Trump signs an executive order because Congress failed to do the job. Is it constitutional?
Is this the End of the NRA?
Will the lawsuit in New York be the end of the NRA? Veepstakes. Two candidates for President continue to have missteps. A lot happened this week. Jason Matthews and Tyler Axness break down the national events with a Midwest prospective. Listen to this week's "What the Hell Happened this Week?"
What the Hell Happened LAST Week?
Unidentified federal agents in Portland. Roger Stone. Senate race rankings. Mary Trump's book and much more happened last week. Political analyst Jason Matthews and commentator Tyler Axness recap the major news events of last week in the latest podcast of "What the Hell Happened?"
What the Hell Happened this Week?
The Supreme Court ruled 7-2 that President Trump must provide his financial information to a grand jury in New York. The same 7-2 ruled Congress does have oversight duty, but must narrow it's focus in subpoena power. To be blunt, SCOTUS said nobody is above the law. Not even a President. The pandemic has become more political. People are fighting over masks. Finally, Joe Biden released his economic plan.
Host Tyler Axness and Jason Matthews break down what the hell happened the week of July 6th.
Pandemic, Protests, and Polling
The President's response to the pandemic has hurt his chances of reelection. The lack of national leadership has prolonged the pandemic and moral is at an all-time low. People are wondering if Donald Trump even wants the job of President. Jason Matthews joins Tyler Axness to talk about how this crisis has impacted the President's term, the ongoing marches for justice, and what it means for the Presidential race.
Jason Matthews talks how the pandemic is impacting our politics
The coronovirus pandemic has changed our day-to-day life. Over 60,000 American lives lost and 30 million Americans unemployed in a matter of weeks. What does this mean for the 2020 election? What are some realities this crisis has revealed? What changes going forward?
Those are some of the topics Jason Matthews discusses during Happy Hour. Matthews, a political science instructor and consultant, has years of experience in politics and communications. Join us in the conversation over your favorite beverage.
This week, we highlight two North Dakota breweries.
Until next week, take care of yourselves. Cheers!