This week, Mike and Kristin discuss news of the tragic shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio. As the nation sinks deeper into political divide, what transpired was a conversation about white nationalism, whether political parties are “responsible” for hate and tragedy. Mike thinks President Trump should be held accountable for his ramped-up rhetoric, while Kristin says that both parties must take responsibility for violent language. Kristin and Mike both bring up points about mental health and gun control, as well as Red Flag laws and assault weapons bans. They agree that they aren’t hopeful anything would transpire – but that we should work towards solutions.
Next, they talk about the Treasury Department declaring China a currency manipulator. Mike thoroughly explains the terms and says that China may have manipulated currency in the past, but that recent devaluation of currency isn’t manipulation. Kristin brings up the fact that all nations engage in currency devaluation, and mentions President Trump’s increased tariffs on Chinese goods. Both Mike and Kristin maintain a “wait and see approach” – will the tariffs work to level the trade playing field, or will this declaration lead to a trade war? Time will tell.
Mike and Kristin often find themselves discussing immigration law, and this week is no exception. After ICE officials raided seven plants in MS and arrested 680 undocumented workers, both agree that the system is broken. Mike remains skeptical that anything will be done, citing powerful business interests. He also argues that businesses are often put in positions where they are forced to hire undocumented workers, who are then mistreated and separated from their families. Kristin agrees and both say that there must be a middle ground, an easier pathway for obtaining work visas or citizenship. Kristin argues this would help everyone – the government could vet immigrants and account for them, and the workers would be kept with families and they would have recourse for payment disputes and unsafe working conditions.
Finally, they move to the topic of Rep. Joaquin Castro’s alleged “doxxing” of Trump donors and their businesses in his district. Was it an effort to be transparent, or was it “dog-whistling”? Mike thinks that Republican critics are being overly sensitive, and mentions that this information is public record and easily found. Kristin brings up motive and the fact that these donors and their employees are constituents, but Mike argues that the tweet won’t affect businesses much. They discuss connections Castro made between the El Paso shooter and Trump donors.