To celebrate the 4th of July holiday, we dipped into the Area 45 vault (June 26, 2018) for this conversation with Thomas Gilligan, the Hoover Institution’s Tad and Dianne Taube Director. He discusses the individual, economic, and political freedoms that are quintessentially American – and are at the core of the Hoover Institution’s mission of “ideas defining a free society.”

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Social unrest, policing reforms, coronavirus, stricken economies, homelessness, the federal-state-city balance of power, and on and on. San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer discusses these and other challenges facing both his and many of America’s great cities.

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Joe Biden has taken the lead, though polls differ on how commanding it is nationally and in “swing” states. President Trump struggles to regain his footing as the coronavirus and policing practices dominate the election-year narrative. David Brady and Douglas Rivers, Hoover Institution senior fellows and Stanford University political scientists, weigh the strengths and weaknesses of the November candidates.

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President Trump dislikes the media, but needs their cameras to earn re-election. The political press corps dislikes Trump, though he’s boosted ratings, subscriptions and Internet clicks. Tom Bevan, co-founder of Real Clear Politics and a Hoover Institution media fellow, discusses the dysfunctional Trump-media dynamic and reflects on a progressive bent in America’s newsrooms as well as Joe Biden’s media strategy moving forward.

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The last time federal troops were dispatched to quell urban unrest was in 1992, when Army and Marines forces entered Los Angeles. Then-Gov. Pete Wilson, the man who made that request, recalls the events that led to his action. He also discusses the future of policing and, on the 16th anniversary of the passing of Ronald Reagan, reflects on their overlapping paths that spanned nearly four decades.

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Should Washington come to the rescue of several of the nation’s largest states – California, Illinois, New York – currently experiencing budget shortfalls? David Henderson, a Hoover Institution research fellow and economist who studies state and federal budgeting, explains why such aid doesn’t qualify, in the purest sense, as disaster aid.

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Are free markets and property rights the keys to improving the lives of reservation-dwelling Native Americans? Terry Anderson, the Hoover Institution’s John and Jean De Nault Senior Fellow and head of Hoover’s Project on Renewing Indigenous Economies, discusses why federal policy hasn’t adapted to modern times on reservations.

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Does the sales pitch that brought the “Beverly Hillbillies” west – “California is the place you ought to be” – still apply? Lee Ohanian, a Hoover Institution senior fellow and a weekly contributor to Hoover’s “California On Your Mind” web channel, discusses the Golden State’s latest unemployment numbers and whether present-day Tesla Motors is in the same position as was Apple at the century’s start.

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Los Angeles County’s extended “shelter-at-home” order confuses the locals, California’s record budget deficit is formally unveiled, and Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk re-opens his Bay Area car factory – in defiance of local business restrictions – and threatens to move Tesla’s corporate headquarters to Nevada or Texas. Lee Ohanian, a Hoover Institution senior fellow and a weekly contributor to Hoover’s “California On Your Mind” web channel, breaks down a busy week in the Golden State.

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Over the past two months, the federal government has spent an unprecedented $2.6 trillion addressing the COVID-19 crisis, with another $3 trillion in new spending that is up for debate. Daniel Heil, a Hoover research fellow specializing in fiscal policy, explains the short- and long-term effects of “binge-spending” and why any serious conversation about fiscal and entitlement reform is years way at best.

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California’s current fiscal plight – a record $54.3 billion dollar budget deficit for this year and next – raises the question of how much the coronavirus is to blame. Lee Ohanian, a Hoover Institution senior fellow and a weekly contributor to Hoover’s “California On Your Mind” web channel, discusses the poor tax and fiscal choices that are partially responsible for the Golden State finding itself awash in red ink.

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California Gov. Gavin Newsom finds himself at odds with Orange County lawmakers over the opening and re-closing of Southern California beaches. Meanwhile, a “tsunami” approaches – in a ravaged economy and a wave of tax increases needed to prop up otherwise unsustainable state spending. Lee Ohanian, a Hoover Institution senior fellow, economist, and weekly contributor to Hoover’s “California On Your Mind” web channel, explains the size and shape of the tax tidal wave.

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Not a recession, but an emerging depression. Or so deems Lee Ohanian, a Hoover Institution senior fellow, economist, and weekly contributor to Hoover’s “California On Your Mind” web channel. When will California’s economy restart? Will an anticipated Green New Deal agenda pushed by Gov. Newsom’s economic recovery task force make matters worse?

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February’s announcement of a potential US withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2021 raises the question of the legacy of America’s military involvement in that region – a presence dating back to the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 attacks. Col. Joseph Felter, a Hoover Institution research fellow and Iraq and Afghanistan counterinsurgency veteran, reflects on lessons learned and what comes next in South and Southeast Asia.

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A global pandemic brings the world’s fifth-largest economy – which is California – to a crawl. But will it derail the Golden State’s progressive agenda? Lee Ohanian, a Hoover Institution senior fellow and contributor to Hoover’s “California On Your Mind” web channel, discusses how best to bring California’s economy back to life – and the opportunities (helping the gig economy) that Gov. Gavin Newsom may be ignoring.

 

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The first rule of the movie Fight Club: “you do not talk about fight club.” The first rule of “fight house,” aka the White House: you talk and leak and self-promote, even if it hurts the boss. White House historian Tevi Troy, author of Fight House: Rivalries In The White House, From Truman To Trump, explains what makes for feuds and turf struggles inside the Office of the President and what challenges Donald Trump and Joe Biden face in staffing a White House in 2021.

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That’s Vladimir as in Putin, the Russian president who intends to remain in power until at least the next decade’s end – and maybe as long as 2036 – now that Russia’s high court has deemed term limits inapplicable to his current rule. Hoover senior fellow and Russian historian Robert Service offers his thoughts on Putin’s grip on power, the role of oligarchs in maintaining that power, why Putin recently engaged in an oil price war with Saudi Arabia, as well as Putin’s regional and global ambitions.

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Yes, that would be the presidential race, which slowed to a crawl courtesy of the COVID-19 pandemic. David Brady and Doug Rivers, Hoover Institution senior fellows and Stanford political scientists, weigh in on the state of the race – discussing what polling suggests about Joe Biden’s campaign, President Trump’s handling of the health and economic crises, and the virus’ effect on voters’ attitudes.

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Should Washington’s reaction to the economic turmoil caused by the coronavirus pandemic include a stimulus package? John Cochrane, the Hoover Institution’s Jack and Rose-Marie Anderson Senior Fellow and author of the “Grumpy Economist” blog, discusses the do’s and don’ts of Washington’s economic response to the pandemic.

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Remember all those predictions that Bernie Sanders was the Democratic front-runner and socialism was in vogue? That no longer seems the case after resounding Joe Biden wins in South Carolina and Super Tuesday states. David Brady, Hoover senior fellow emeritus and Stanford political scientist, weighs in on the state of the race – why the ground suddenly shifted in Biden’s favor.

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