The Score: New Year, New Congress, Tech Regulations, 2018 Highlights

This week on The Score – A new year brings a new Congress, a government shutdown, and an unsteady White House. Silicon Valley wants regulation … or doesn’t want it. Which is it? We also have highlights from 2018.


No Predictions
Ken Hughes Miller Center Nixon Ken Hughes is a historian of the presidency (specializing in secret White House recordings) at the Miller Center for Public Affairs at the University of Virginia. As Nancy Pelosi gaveled in the House of Representatives on Thursday, I asked him what we might expect from Congress in 2019, what lessons we might learn from previous government shut downs, Donald Trump’s idiosyncratic views in defense of the 1979 Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, and what we should remember from the beginning of Richard Nixon’s administration, 50 years ago this month. That time period was covered in Hughes’ 2014 book, Chasing Shadows: The Nixon Tapes, the Chennault Affair, and the Origins of Watergate. We talked by telephone on Thursday.

Ken Hughes is also the author of Fatal Politics: The Nixon Tapes, the Vietnam War, and the Casualties of Reelection (2015). He can be found on Twitter as @FatalPolitics.

Politician Highlights
Last year, The Score featured interviews with a number of candidates for Congress in Virginia, as well as sitting Members of the House and Senate. I tried to ask each of them the same questions.

One question I posed was, what should be the direction of U.S. policy toward Africa, noting that China is investing billions of dollars there. In this series of excerpts from earlier interviews, we start with Senator Tim Kaine, a member of the Foreign Relations Committee. He’ll be followed by his rivals for office last year, Corey Stewart and Matt Waters. Then we’ll hear from Sixth District Congressman Bob Goodlatte and his successor, Ben Cline, as well as Cline’s opponent last year, Jennifer Lewis. (Those interviews took place at the Buena Vista Labor Day festival.) Then candidate Denver Riggleman, now representing Virginia’s Fifth District in Washington, and his opponent, journalist Leslie Cockburn. They were interviewed on separate occasions, following candidate debates at Madison County High School and Piedmont Virginia Community College.

Tech Regulations
On New Year’s Eve, I spoke to telecommunications attorney Drew Clark about regulations that affect the tech industry. He recently wrote about how Silicon Valley’s attempts to get more government oversight may backfire on the tech giants like Google and Facebook. I spoke to Drew by telephone after reading his recent policy paper for the Cato Institute called “Seeking Intervention Backfired on Silicon Valley.”

Drew Clark publishes and edits, described as “a Washington-based news organization building a community of interest around Smart Cities, Infrastructure, Broadband’s Impact and Rural Telecom.” Follow him on Twitter at @BroadbandCensus or @DrewClark.

2018 Author Highlights
Over the course of 2018, I had the opportunity to interview dozens of authors of new books on politics, history, science, and other topics. Here are some highlights, starting with Maryn McKenna on her book, Big Chicken: The Incredible Story of How Antibiotics Created Modern Agriculture and Changed the Way the World Eats and ending with Jamie Kirchick, author of The End of Europe: Dictators, Demagogues, and the Coming Dark Age, talking about Russian interference in Western democracies. In between were Doug Fine on industrial hemp; Keith Whittington on free speech on university campuses; William Hitchcock on Dwight Eisenhower; and former Congressman Jason Altmire on third parties in American politics.

Back to Africa
Karol BoudreauxSince we heard from politicians about Africa earlier in the show, I thought I’d go back in the archives to get the views of an economist. Karol Boudreaux spoke at the University of Virginia in November 2013, when I had this conversation with her. Note that she talks about the impact on cell phones in Africa, which brings us around to this week’s interview with Drew Clark about the tech industry. Boudreaux is author of the 2007 book, Paths to Property: Approaches to Institutional Change in International Development. She is on Twitter as @KarolBoudreaux.

Next week’s episode of The Score will feature an interview about the December 2016 employment report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which was released yesterday, with Mercatus Center economist Michael Farren. For a preview, check out his article asking, “What’s Bigger Than an Economic Boom?” on The Bridge.

Let me take this opportunity to wish you a happy new year and remind you to listen each week to the news, reviews, and interviews on The Score. Be sure to tell your friends where to find us, and feel free to talk back to us in the comments section, below.