Texas Abortion Law, Debt Ceiling, Ukraine, Olympic Boycott, Racial Gerrymandering, The Future

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After a tribute (of sorts) to Bob Dole, Mike comes in hot on the Supreme Court’s decision on the Texas abortion case. That surprises Jay, who feels it’s a victory (of sorts) for abortion providers in Texas. Mike agrees with Chief Justice Roberts who, in his partial dissent, argues that “it is the role of the Supreme Court in our constitutional system that is at stake.”

Next, they discuss the debt ceiling deal that was reached this week, getting into the legislative politics of it all as well as patting themselves on the back for calling it correctly (not that it was all that difficult to conclude that in the end the United States government wouldn’t default on its debt). 

Following that they delve into US foreign policy, in a look at the Biden-Putin talks over Ukraine and the Biden administration’s announcement that US diplomats will be boycotting the 2022 Winter Olympic Games in Beijing. 

Then it’s a discussion of the merits of the Department of Justice’s lawsuit against Texas for alleged violations of the Voting Rights Act in creating their new congressional and state legislative districts. They agree that the VRA’s racial gerrymandering standards are awfully vague, but Mike believes they still serve a useful purpose, while Jay isn’t so convinced of that. 

After delving into the latest developments surrounding COVID, including a Senate vote to repeal the Biden administration’s workplace vaccine mandate, Mike & Jay look to the future, with their best and worst case predictions for 2022 and years beyond. Mike thinks Democrats have plenty of reasons to be concerned, and while Jay agrees he’s far more optimistic about the demise of authoritarian populism than Mike is.

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