Government Shutdown, Mattis Resigns, Criminal Justice Reform, Obamacare Declared Unconstitutional

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Mike and Jay open their final show of 2018 with a discussion of the partial government shutdown caused by President Trump’s unwillingness to sign a spending bill that doesn’t include at least $5 billion in border wall funding. House Republicans obliged him, but there aren’t enough votes in the Senate and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is unlikely to heed Trump’s advice to abandon the filibuster to pass the bill over Democrats’ objections. Jay believes that this issue will ultimately be a winning one for Republicans because we need better border security. Mike argues that what we really need isn’t better security, but better immigration policy.

Next, the Guys talk about President Trump’s declaration of victory over ISIS in Syria and announcement that U.S. troops will be withdrawing. This was quickly followed by the resignation of Trump’s Secretary of Defense, James Mattis. Mike and Jay agree that this was a very bad move by Trump, and one that will benefit Russia. They also believe that the president’s continued erratic behavior will only make it more difficult to attract ‘the best people’ to top administration jobs.

After that, they turn to some good policy news – the passage of the ‘First Step Act’, a significant reform of the criminal justice system. Mike and Jay applaud the measure, with Mike noting that the US leads the world in incarceration and that with only 13 percent of all U.S. prisoners being held in federal prisons, much more still needs to be done.

The show closes with a discussion of the recent ruling declaring the entirety of Obamacare unconstitutional. Mike and Jay agree that the judge in this case almost certainly overstepped, though Jay believes that the mandate portion of the law is in fact unconstitutional and that this portion of the ruling will be upheld on appeal.

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