PG133: Immigration, Is Trump a Racist?, Medicaid, Surveillance Law

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Mike and Jay open the show with a discussion of everything that’s been happening on the immigration front this week, including the Trump administration’s decision to not extend temporary protected status to nearly 200,000 Salvadorians, a federal judge’s ruling that DACA must continue until the courts rule on it, and the potential immigration deal that blew up amid President Trump’s remarks about ‘shithole’ countries. Mike argues that President Trump is both a racist and an impediment to the Republican party. Jay agrees that Trump makes the job of Congressional Republicans much harder, but won’t go so far as to call the president a racist.

After that, it’s a look at the administration’s announcement that it will allow states to impose work requirements on Medicaid recipients. Mike says that this is the Trump version of Obama’s DACA – implementing a program that contravenes legislative intent. Further, he argues that the work requirements arise more out of states’ desire to save money (at the expense of the poorest and most vulnerable) than out of concern for the people who will be affected. Jay disagrees, arguing that there are significant differences between DACA and this, and that states are ultimately helping people by imposing a work requirement.

Next, Mike and Jay discuss the bipartisan House vote approving a six-year renewal of the NSA’s warrantless wiretapping authority. Mike says this is not only bad for civil liberties, but is yet another example of President Trump’s disturbing lack of policy knowledge and his equally disturbing ability to be influenced by the last person he hears. Jay agrees with Mike’s point about President Trump, but feels that the NSA program is important and that renewing it without significant changes was the right move.

What Mike’s Reading:
The Decline of Anti-Trumpism. David Brooks

What Jay’s Reading:
The Cold War: A World History. Odd Arne Westad

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