Jerusalem, Al Franken, and feedback

Photo Credit: antje whv Flickr via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: antje whv Flickr via Compfight cc

A quick ask! We need reviews for The Nuanced Life to help us get recognized by iTunes! So, if you're enjoying the show, stop on over and give us a review. 

We discuss President Trump declaring Jerusalem as the capitol of Israel, as well as the resignations of John Conyers and Al Franken. We talk about the concerns about false accusations in light of the #metoo movement and Jenny's awesome video she shared with us on consent.  We send our love to California and consider how often we offer sympathy and a "yes, but you choose..." along with it.

Thanks so much to ModCloth for sponsoring today's podcast. If you'd like to check out the Pantsuit Politics gift guide, visit our website, and if you'd like to support our work, please visit our Patreon page

In our feedback portion of the show, we reconsider the way we often talk about Baby Boomers in light of feedback from Juanita. We also discuss the wonderful feedback we received regarding the necessity of restraining children in special education settings. 

Michael Flynn, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, CVS and Aetna, and What Our Priorities Say About Our Care for Children


Michael Flynn has entered a guilty plea and is cooperating with the Mueller investigation, and the Senate took a big step toward tax cuts. With very few days left in the legislative year, we’re considering how our national priorities measure up to our professed love of children. 


Thanks to Crane & Canopy, Away, Zola, and ModCloth for sponsoring today's episode. Thanks as always to our patrons; if you would like to support Pantsuit Politics, please visit our Patreon page. We were thrilled to appear on KCRW's One Year Later with Jennifer Rubin this week and hope you'll check out that conversation along with our new podcast, The Nuanced Life

Michael Flynn entered a guilty plea to lying to the FBI. Legal experts seem to agree that this relatively minor offense must mean he has valuable information to offer to the Mueller investigation. They disagree about what, if anything, it means about criminal acts by other Trump transition team officials. 

The Senate passed a version of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. We discuss the process and meaning of the vote. Meanwhile, the government still needs to be funded.  And, CVS and Aetna have announced plans to merge. 

In our main segment, we talk about how our national priorities square with our expressed love for children through the prism of three topics: the funding of the Children's Health Insurance Program, the childcare tax credit, and a Politico investigation into reporting disciplinary restraint and isolation of special needs students

We end, as always, with what's on our minds outside of politics. Beth is confronting her transition to self-employment. Sarah is all settled into her new house and enjoying some down time. 



Cheers to Disequilibrium: Processing Matt Lauer, Garrison Keillor, and Donald Trump

Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images News / Getty Images

Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images News / Getty Images

Oscar Wilde said, “everything in the world is about sex except sex. Sex is about power.” Sex and power continue to dominate the headlines, and we’re still processing that along with our increasingly tenuous relationship with the truth. 

Thanks so much to ModCloth and VirtueLabs for sponsoring today's podcast. If you'd like to check out the Pantsuit Politics gift guide, visit our website, and if you'd like to support our work, please visit our Patreon page

In a wide-ranging discussion, we talk about the state of the news-- the revelations regarding Matt Lauer and Garrison Keillor, Republican efforts to cut taxes, North Korea, and the continued tweet-drowning presidency of Donald Trump. We also share listener feedback on our most recent #metoo conversation. 

Net Neutrality and #MeToo: Reckonings and Reflections


The tsunami of sexual harassment and assault allegations continues and is causing cultural and political reflection. Today we continue our ongoing discussion of politics, partisanship, and the #metoo movement. 


Thank you for everyone supporting our work on Patreon. We also appreciate our sponsors for today's podcast:, Away, and ThirdLove. We hope you'll check out our new podcast, The Nuanced Life. 

Congress has a very long to-do list through the end of the year. It's important to keep in mind that in addition to plans for tax cuts, Congress needs to fund the government before year-end and deal with DACA. 

The attack on a mosque in the Sinai peninsula this weekend was the deadliest in modern Egypt's history. This region is under assault from ISIS and highlights the complexity of the war on terror and the deficiencies in our understanding of Islam and Africa. 

Richard Cordray's resignation as head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has sparked a Marbury vs. Madison style showdown over the authority to name a replacement. We worry about the long-term consequences of more Trump administration personnel drama. 

The FCC has announced plans to re-classify broadband services as information services, which could effectively end net neutrality. We describe the debate over net neutrality and discuss our interest in having Congress step in to make long-term decisions about the internet's future. 

In our main segment we talk about the #MeToo movement and the difficult cultural inflection point that we're living. Drawing on Rebecca Traister's commentary, we talk about reckoning with figures like Bill Clinton and Joe Biden while confronting the reality of the Trump presidency and the avalanche of stories that cross generations and industries. 

We end the show, as always, by talking about what's on our minds outside of politics. Beth notes that The Nuanced Life listeners think she's the progressive in our duo. Sarah is excited about the next royal wedding

Happy Thanksgiving and Introduction to The Nuanced Life


Happy Thanksgiving! We are taking a pause from politics this week and sharing the first episode of The Nuanced Life, our new podcast focused on bringing the principles we've learned through our political dialogue to non-political topics. 





Thanks so much to our patrons, who make Pantsuit Politics and The Nuanced Life possible. To support our work, please visit our Patreon page. 

Thanks to ModCloth for sponsoring today's episode. 

We hope that you'll enjoy The Nuanced Life enough to subscribe, rate, and review it. You can find The Nuanced Life on the webInstagram, and Facebook.

Tax Cuts, Mugabe and Zimbabwe, and the Opioid Crisis


The opioid epidemic impacts all of us in increasingly significant ways. Today, we’re discussing the impact of President Trump’s decision to declare this a public health emergency. 

It's Thanksgiving, and we're so grateful to everyone who makes Pantsuit Politics possible. We couldn't do the podcast without the support of our patrons, our advertising agency, and our sponsors. Thanks to today's sponsors: and ModCloth. If you're interested in advertising on Pantsuit Politics, please reach out to Midroll. We're also so excited to launch our new podcast, The Nuanced Life, this week. Thank you for helping us out by listening, rating, subscribing, and reviewing it on the Apple Podcast Player! If you'd like Pantsuit Politics to speak at your university, business, or organization, please let Beth know. 

We begin with an update on Republican efforts to cut some people's and companies' taxes. Some of the provisions in the Senate bill are truly mind-boggling

Next, we discuss the recent military coup in Zimbabwe. We talk about Robert Mugabe's rise to power, the World Health Organization's decision to revoke his appointment as a global health ambassador, the events leading up to the coup--including a military official's trip to China, and his response to being placed under house arrest. The US Senate Foreign Relations Committee seems uneasy about how power might transition in this nation. 

To compliment the other side, Sarah compliments Senator Lisa Murkowski for her insistence on a healthcare stabilization plan in relation to the tax cut bill. Beth appreciates Brian Baird, who is joining forces with a former state GOP chair in Washington state to back independent centrist candidates for office. 

Our focus topic today is the opioid epidemic. On October 26, President Trump declared a public health emergency around this crisis. We discuss the difference between a public health emergency and a national disaster and what a path forward might involve in trying to combat this epidemic. 

Recommended resources:

Finally, as always, we discuss what's on our minds outside of politics. Sarah is getting ready for Christmas, and we discuss the famous Marney Thanksgiving letter

Roy Moore, Doug Jones, Tax Cuts, Al Franken, and George H.W. Bush

Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images News / Getty Images

Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images News / Getty Images

Somehow, we’re still debating the Alabama senate race to fill Jeff Sessions’s seat. We’re here with additional thoughts on Doug Jones, Roy Moore, and tax cuts, plus a later-recorded segment on Al Franken and George Bush...because 2017.


Thanks so much to everyone supporting our work on Patreon. If you'd like to bring some nuance to your neighborhood in 2018, please reach out to We also appreciate ModCloth's sponsorship of today's podcast. Please stick around for the post-roll and help us by completing this quick survey

We begin by talking about Doug Jones, Roy Moore's Democratic opponent. We share what we know about his background and policy positions. 

Although we hate the circumstances, we're encouraged by a bicameral, bipartisan effort to reform the process of dealing with sexual harassment in Congress. More transparency and accountability are clearly needed. 

Republicans continue to try to find ways to keep their tax cuts within the $1.5 trillion reconciliation box. Although there are some good things in this bill, we think the plan is mostly absurd and that tax policy and healthcare policy should be set through regular order. We discuss feedback on tax policy from listeners Peggy and Lou. 

After we recorded, we learned about the Al Franken and George H.W. Bush sexual harassment stories. We recorded an extra block to provide our thoughts. 






Roy Moore, Trump's Asia Trip, and Tax Cuts

Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images News / Getty Images

Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images News / Getty Images

You know things have gone terribly wrong when we're having a national conversation about whether a 14-year-old girl consented to a relationship with a man in his thirties. We discuss the responses to Roy Moore, the President's presence in Asia, and the process and substance of the Republican tax cut plan. 

Thanks so much to everyone supporting our work on Patreon and to today's sponsors: ModCloth, The Flex Company, and VirtueLabs. We are scheduling speaking events for 2018. Please email Beth for more information. 

We take a minute to extend our thoughts and prayers to everyone impacted by the terrible earthquake in Iran and Iraq

The Washington Post story on Roy Moore has prompted some truly outrageous reactions. We try to unpack the partisanship and tribalism at the root of these reactions as well as what all of this says about voters' shifting standards of conduct for political figures and communities of faith.  Beth wishes we could take a look at Roy Moore's conduct on its own instead of trying to connect it to our personal political perspectives. 

Sarah shares her perspective on stories that Sutherland Springs, Texas, is relying on faith to help cope with the devastating mass shooting that killed so many loved ones in the community. She draws on her experience from the shooting at Heath High School in 1997

We also discuss President Trump's trip to Asia, during which he complimented China's President, neglected to discuss human rights and democracy, and took Vladimir Putin at his word regarding Russian election attacks. 

To compliment the other side, Sarah appreciates Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin's approach to sexual harassment in the Kentucky state legislature. Beth is excited about California legislator Sabrina Cervantes

We discuss Republican efforts to cut taxes. Beth has major concerns about the budget process. Sarah thinks this is a particularly disastrous application of trickle-down economics. Although it's being sold as a middle class tax cut, the Joint Committee on Taxation says that some people in the middle class (who don't particularly feel wealthy) will see a tax increase. We talk about how we need to rethink tax policy in light of changes in heath care and technology

Finally, as always, we talk about what's on our minds outside of politics. Sarah is settled into her new home and is catching up on HBO's The Deuce. Beth is thinking about a human behavior study mentioned in an article about how we should start school later in the morning. 


Primer: The Constitution and Appropriations


We kick off a series on the U.S. Constitution by talking about the structure of Articles I-VI. 

This is a very basic review that reminds us of the intricate balance between state and federal responsibilities the framers envisioned. On Tuesday's episode, we'll be talking about tax reform, so we spend some time on a specific power granted to Congress -- the power of the purse. 

Recommended resources: 

Budget Basics from National Priorities

Congressional Research Service's Intro to Appropriations

Stan Colander in Forbes: The GOP Has Murdered the Federal Budget

A Democratic Wave, Accusations of Bigotry, and Research on Motherhood


A democratic wave on Tuesday signals that America might not be feeling great again. We discuss the election, listener feedback, and some fascinating articles on today’s episode. 

Thanks to everyone supporting our work on Patreon. And thanks to the sponsors of today's podcast: ModCloth and The Flex Company

We talk about the Virginia gubernatorial race, the election of Danica Roem, and other Democratic victories on Tuesday

Next, at listener Eva's recommendation, we discuss Peter Beinart's article, "Republican Is Not a Synonym for Racist."  

We also, at listener Lisa's recommendation, discuss Conor Friedersdorf's "Four Defenses of Trump's Dissembling on Russia." 

Listener Karla left beautiful feedback on our website about our discussion of Sutherland Springs that we share.  

Finally, at listener Debbie's recommendation, we talk about Erica Komisar's new book on motherhood and "The Politicization of Motherhood." 



Sutherland Springs, Wilbur Ross, and What Kind of Country We Want to Have


The weekend's headlines painted an incredibly depressing picture. In the wake of these events, we're realizing that America needs a serious conversation about what kind of country we want to be. 

Thanks so much to our listeners who support us via Patreon. And thanks to today's sponsors: Crane & Canopy, ThirdLove, The Flex Company, and ModCloth

We discuss the horrific shooting in a Sutherland Springs, Texas, church and ask how we can move past talking points on gun violence. Do we want to live in a country where church-goers carry weapons? Do we want to feel safe at concerts and in public venues? When we say this about "mental health," what do we mean? 

We also discuss reporting about Wilbur Ross's financial ties to Russia. 

Finally, we talk about what's on our minds outside of politics. Sarah is ready to move, and Beth is thinking about a beautiful New York Times piece on platonic relationships




Terrorism in New York City, Facebook and Twitter, Donna Brazile, and Our Second Birthday


Pantsuit Politics is two years old! We celebrate, reflect, and discuss the week's news. We are so excited about our new book coming next year and our new podcast The Nuanced Life - coming soon!

Thanks so much to all of you who financially support Pantsuit Politics. If you'd like to support our work, please visit our Patreon page. This month we're giving a shout-out to our international patrons! 

We also were so excited to be named in The Guardian's Best podcasts of 2017!

Thanks to ModCloth and The Flex Company for sponsoring today's episode. 

We are heartbroken about the deadly attack in New York this week. We discuss the President's response, a merit-based immigration system, and the Islamic State. 

We also talk about Facebook and Twitter making an appearance during Senate hearings and the interference in our 2016 election - as well as this article Why Is the U.S. So Susceptible to Social-Media Distortion?. We discuss Donna Brazile's Politico article about the DNC and the role of Obama (or absence of a role) in the Democratic Party.

We respond to a listener's question about a friend who is changing her positions because of a new relationship (with an assist from Roxane Gay's fantastic article about women's friendships). 

Finally, we reflect on the past two years and on the future of Pantsuit Politics. 

Robert Mueller Indicts Manafort and Gates and We Talk with Gretchen Carlson


Happy Halloween! Paul Manafort and Rick Gates surrendered to the FBI this week, and George Papadopoulos plead guilty to lying to the FBI. We discuss the news of the week and share our conversation with Gretchen Carlson about her book, Be Fierce

Thanks to Virtue Labs and ModCloth for sponsoring today's episode. You can also support Pantsuit Politics through our Patreon page

We review what we know so far about George Papadopoulos's guilty plea and the indictment issued against Paul Manafort and Rick Gates.

To compliment the other side, Sarah compliments John Boehner for his post-office reflection, and Beth compliments Senator Claire McCaskill for her willingness to be moderate. 

We had the privilege of talking with Gretchen Carlson during an event at the Taft law firm.  We share portions of her remarks and our discussion. 

Finally, we share what's on our minds outside of politics. Sarah's still moving and thinking about Halloween. Beth shares another tip on approaching others with a little more compassion. 

Mark Halperin, Jeff Flake, the Steele Dossier, and the Boy Scouts


Republican Senator Jeff Flake rebuked the tone of our politics on the Senate Floor this week. We discuss his remarks and the hard conversations we need to keep having to do real work in America. 

Thanks so much to ModCloth for sponsoring this episode. Here's Beth's favorite new piece. 

We begin by discussing the breaking news that five(+) women have described sexual harassment from Mark Halperin. We also talk about Senator Jeff Flake's speech on the Senate floor and the revolving doors of news related to the 2016 election

We end with listener feedback from Liz on the Boy Scouts of America and Janice on end-of-life care. 


Niger, Healthcare, Tax "Reform," and Sexual Harassment


We received an overwhelming amount of discussion from listeners about sexual harassment and assault. We've learned a lot and continue the conversation in today’s episode. 

Thank you to our sponsors for this episode: BaubleBar, Away, and ModCloth

To support Pantsuit Politics, please visit our Patreon page and rate, subscribe, and review the podcast on the Apple Podcast Player. 

We discuss the horrific ambush of US troops in Niger and try to provide some context to military engagement in western Africa. While details are still emerging about what took place, the President's team seems more engaged in a battle with Sgt. La David Johnson's family than in confronting the difficult intelligence and foreign policy questions implicated

Next, we turn to the legislature. We talk about the bipartisan work Senators Murray and Alexander are doing on healthcare and the wholly partisan approach Congressional Republicans are taking to tax cuts and the federal budget.  

For our compliments to the other party, Sarah compliments Former President George W. Bush for his recent remarks on civility in our discourse. Beth compliments Former President Jimmy Carter for his willingness to engage with North Korea in order to prevent escalating conflict. 

Because of the overwhelming feedback we received in response to our discussion of Mayim Bialik's New York Times editorial, we resume the discussion of sexual assault and harassment, sharing the lessons we have learned over the past week. We also share a message from a listener who came to understand after the fact that he engaged in non-consensual sex with a woman in college and offered up his learnings from that experience about what men must do to stop the violence. 

We end, as always, with what's on our minds outside of politics. Beth weighs in on personality types following Sarah's discussion with Anne Bogel, and Sarah is in the somewhat miserable process of trying to sell her house and move into a new one. 

The JCPOA (Iran Agreement), Mayim Bialik on Feminism and Weinstein, and Nuanced Relationships


On Capitol Hill, it feels like the gap between parties is increasingly wide. But across America, Republicans and Democrats build lives, homes, and families together every day. Today, we’re talking about how houses don’t have to be divided when you’re in a nuanced relationship. 

Thanks so much to the sponsors of today's episode: Crane & Canopy, ThirdLove, and ModCloth

We begin with a discussion on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (the "JCPOA") and President Trump's unwillingness to certify that this agreement on Iran continues to be in America's best interests. We talk about Congress's options in light of Trump's decision. 

As we continue to learn more from Harvey Weinstein's victims, we discuss Mayim Bialik's controversial New York Times editorial on being a feminist in Hollywood. 

To compliment the other side, Sarah praises Secretary Mattis for his mature and measured service in the Trump administration. Without knowing his politics, Beth compliments Cameron Gordon, a former NFL player in training to be a police officer. 

Many listeners responded to our call, started by Chelsea's email, to discuss being in relationships with people from the other side of the aisle. We loved hearing from and talking with so many people and take a few minutes to reflect on what nuanced relationships can teach America. 

We end, as always, by talking about what's on our minds outside of politics. Sarah is in the packing mode. Beth is unsubscribing from email lists that don't add to her life. 






LGBTQ+ Advocacy in the Trump Era


While Sarah enjoys some time with family, Beth covers listener feedback on Harvey Weinstein and Class Dojo and shares an interview with Alana Jochum, Executive Director of Equality Ohio. Alana discusses advocacy for both legal and lived equality, the challenges presented by the Trump administration, and how she works to change hearts and minds to create a more inclusive society.

Thanks so much to ModCloth for sponsoring today's podcast. To support Pantsuit Politics, please visit our Patreon page. 

Harvey Weinstein, Masculinity & Mass Shootings, and Facebook, Trump, and the Attention Economy


Russian agents bought Facebook ads targeted to voters in crucial swing states in last years elections, and the implications of the attention economy on our democracy go far beyond 2016. We focus on Facebook, Twitter, and the devices we use to distract ourselves from discomfort. 

Thanks so much to the sponsors for this episode: Baublebar, ModCloth, and Virtue Labs. 

We start today's podcast discussing an article on why mass shootings tend to be committed by men. We also talk about the Harvey Weinstein story and the bizarrely partisan reactions to that story. We note that the transactional nature of masculine energy seems to be taking shape in the spat that Donald Trump is having with Senator Bob Corker

To compliment the other party, Sarah commends Senator Dean Heller and other Republicans who have urged ATF to review standards on the sale of bump stocks. Beth compliments Senator Dianne Feinstein for her long-term service and work on gun safety measures. 

For our feature topic, we discuss why Facebook, Twitter, and Google are so effectively and perhaps unintentionally transforming our politics and brains. In our discussion, we cite the following resources: 

How Information Overload Robs Us of Our Creativity

Our Minds Can Be Hijacked

Mindful Resistance

The Attention Economy and the Demise of the Middle Ground

Pema Chodron on Dunzi

Realizd app

We end, as always, with what's on our minds outside of politics. Both of us are thinking about clearing space to make room for things that make us better. 







Guns, God, and the Culture Wars


The Las Vegas shooting seems to be fueling rather than calming the culture wars. We talk about how God and guns do not have to tear America apart. 

Thank you to ModCloth for sponsoring today's podcast. 

We discuss listener feedback, why gun sales spike after mass shootings, and how "thoughts and prayers" has become a cultural lightning rod. 

If you would like to help Las Vegas victims and their families, our listener Megan shared this link: