The Score: Roger Stone, African Trade, Lavender Scare

This week on The Score – We have an exclusive interview with Roger Stone, one of the targets of the Mueller investigation. What does he have to say about politics and policy? We also talk with an expert on trade in Africa and a historian describes the “Lavender Scare.”

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Roger Stone Exclusive
Regular readers of the Bearing Drift web site know that last Saturday The Score previewed our exclusive interview with political consultant Roger Stone, a longtime friend of President Trump who has also been an informal advisor to the President for three decades or more. Stone is under indictment, facing trial later this year in federal court, over allegations stemming from the Mueller investigation about collusion and obstruction of justice. He’s not allowed to talk about that, but Roger Stone has plenty more to say about politics and public policy.

Roger Stone did nothing wrongTo begin this week’s regular episode of The Score, we have the first ten minutes or so of my interview with Roger Stone. Our conversation took place just a few hours before he appeared at the Paper Moon Southside, a “gentlemen’s club in Richmond which, strangely enough, according to my research, is registered as a non-profit corporation in Arkansas. (Any lawyers who would like to explain why a strip club in Virginia is incorporated as a non-profit in Arkansas, the comments section below is available to you.)

In our interview, Stone talks about the candidates for the 2020 Democratic party’s presidential nomination, including Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, and Pete Buttigieg. He argues that, if social media had existed in the early 1970s, Richard Nixon would not have been forced to resign as president. He says that, despite his admiration for the 37th president (it’s well-known that Stone has a tattoo of Richard Nixon on his back), he thinks launching the war on drugs was a major policy mistake, along with wage and price controls and closing the gold window. He also argues that, as a senator, Joe Biden deepened and worsened the war on drugs, leading to mass incarceration of people — especially minority group members — who were not violent.

The conclusion of the full 30-minute conversation with Roger Stone is in the second half of The Score. Stone is on Twitter as @RealRogerStone1.

African Trade
Alexander Hammond Young Voices BrexitSix out of the ten fastest growing economies in the world are in Africa, yet there are still obstacles to greater growth on that continent. I spoke to Alexander Hammond, a senior fellow at African Liberty about changes that are happening in Africa that could improve the prospects for economic expansion and reducing poverty.

Last week, Hammond published an article on this topic in The National Interest, in which he noted:

After the west African nation The Gambia ratified the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) in April, the twenty-two-nation threshold needed for the trade pact to come into effect has now been reached. This is great news for Africa, because not only will a continent-wide free-trade area boost the region’s economy, but the AfCFTA represents an important ideological shift away from the socialist tendencies that have haunted much of the continent since its independence.

Hammond has previously appeared on The Score to discuss Brexit. You can follow him on Twitter at @AlexanderHammo.

The Lavender Scare
The Lavender Scare David Johnson David Johnson is a professor of history at the University of South Florida. His 2004 book, The Lavender Scare: The Cold War Persecution of Gays and Lesbians in the Federal Government, has been turned into a documentary film that opens in theaters and premieres on public television next month. (PBS announced the date of Tuesday, June 18, but check your local listings).

The film, which I saw as a work in progress at the Virginia Film Festival in 2017, now features the voices of Cynthia Nixon, Zachary Quinto, T.R. Knight, and David Hyde-Pierce, in addition to being narrated by Glenn Close (who was the commencement speaker this weekend at the College of William & Mary, her alma mater).

In this excerpt from our telephone interview, he explains what the Lavender Scare was. On next week’s show, we will hear more from David Johnson about the Lavender Scare as well as about his most recent book, Buying Gay: How Physique Entrepreneurs Sparked a Movement, one of the latest books in a series called the Columbia Studies in the History of U.S. Capitalism. Be sure to listen next week for the rest of our conversation.

In the interest of full disclosure, I should note that David Johnson and I were contemporaries at Georgetown University and we took one class together. You can find him on Twitter as @GayHistoryProf.

More Roger Stone
If you’ve scrolled this far, I know you’ve been waiting to hear what more Roger Stone has to say about modern day politics, including his opinions about Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, and Michelle Obama. That’s right: He has predictions about Michelle Obama that may surprise you. (He thinks she will be the Democratic nominee for President in 2020.

In this segment, I ask him whether he and his partners (including Paul Manafort) changed the business of lobbying in Washington when they set up a “one-stop shop” almost four decades ago, spawning many imitators. Stone thinks not. He also explains the reasons for his visit to Richmond — his first time there since Mills Godwin was governor, he says; do the math — and is unapologetic about appearing in a strip club to read from his books and sell t-shirts, autographed rocks, and pose for selfies. The exotic dancers, he noted, would be in another room while he and Kristin Davis spoke to an audience of supporters (or curious and undecided people).

Stone's Rules by Roger StoneStone is the author or co-author of several books, including The Myth of Russian Collusion: The Inside Story of How Donald Trump REALLY Won (2019), Stone’s Rules: How to Win at Politics, Business, and Style (2018), The Bush Crime Family: The Inside Story of an American Dynasty (2017), The Clintons’ War on Women (2015) The Man Who Killed Kennedy: The Case Against LBJ (2014), and Nixon’s Secrets: The Rise, Fall, and Untold Truth about the President, Watergate, and the Pardon (2014).

As the titles of his books indicate, Stone is not afraid of hyperbole. He also features prominently in The Mueller Report, if you can read between the redacted lines.

I hope you enjoy my conversation with Roger Stone, which also includes its share of hyperbole as well as insights, candid opinion, and pathos.

Be sure to come back next week to hear the rest of my telephone interview with historian David Johnson as well as more news, reviews, and interviews.