Epstein, Israel, Hickenlooper and the Dems, New Immigration Rules, and the American Dream

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Will and Brian kickoff this week’s episode by discussing the death of Jeffery Epstein, the fascination with Clinton conspiracy theories, and the potential need for prison reforms across the United States. Will posits that the Clintons seem to have really bad luck with their acquaintances and sudden deaths. He does, however, firmly believe Epstein’s death shows a drastic need for both transparency in autopsies and some degree of prison reform. Brian doesn’t buy the conspiracy argument, but he does believe the public fascination with conspiracies is telling of political society today. He also thinks prison reform is not likely in response despite the very public nature of problems today due to lack of attention for particular offenses.

Next, they turn to discuss Netanyahu’s decision to not allow Representatives Tlaib and Omar to enter Israel to visit the West Bank and Palestine. Will believe this is well within the nation’s rights given the obvious goal of the two to use the trip as a means for further protests, directly questioning Israel’s legitimacy. Brian points to the unusual actions of President Trump in suggesting they should not be permitted to enter and Netanyahu’s response. He also brings up the pressures faced by the two for not agreeing to sign the statement saying their visit wasn’t going to be politics. Will also points out how this decision could impact younger American Jews as they think about the nation of Israel.

Next, they turn to discuss the decision by John Hickenlooper to resign from the Democratic nomination battle to run for Senate and Beto O’Rourke’s defiance when asked to consider the same. Neither Will nor Brian believe either candidate had a chance of winning, but Will believes this may better reflect O’Rourke’s Vice-Presidential aspirations. Brian discusses how Hickenlooper ran his campaign and failed to distinguish himself. Moreover, he believes O’Rourke is clearly living in a delusional world after plateauing during the Cruz debate. They also discuss Joe Biden’s continual gaffes in recent weeks. Will believes this is tried and true Biden and will help him appear genuine. Brian, on the other hand, questions if this may be a reflection of Joe’s age and ultimate ability to win a contested primary.

Will and Brian then turn to discuss the Trump Administration’s new immigration rules, which limit the ability for individuals to receive visas for mailing to meet income standards or for receiving public assistance. He believes tradition should not dictate future direction, and that the president is exercising his legal and constitutional rights to do this. Brian agrees that Trump is within his rights and aiming to develop a self-reliant American citizenry. He does believe, however, that the public charge is being misapplied in this case given the data on who uses which policies. Brian believe this is symptomatic of a larger concern, however: the demise of the American Dream. He is concerned about what the image of America is today to the world and how it will impact our short- and long-term futures. As he posits, why are the companies using these workers not being punished, as well?

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