Trade Wars, Trump-Kim Summit, Jobs Report, Arkansas Abortion Law, Trump’s Pardons

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This week, Mike and Jay start with a look at the Trump Administration’s announcement that it would be imposing hefty steel and aluminum tariffs on U.S. allies Mexico, Canada, and the European Union on ‘national security’ grounds. The administration is also considering a major tariff on imported cars (also ostensibly for national security). Both Mike and Jay think this protectionism is one of the worst things to come out of the Trump administration, though Jay is more hopeful that it’s more bluster from the president that won’t end up as set policy.

After that, they discuss the off-again, on-again summit between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jung Un. Mike says that President Trump is exactly the sort of person least suited to carry out the sort of careful, patient negotiations that could defuse the threat posed by North Korea. Jay feels that the president’s show of strength is the right approach for North Korea, though both he and Mike wish the president understood the importance of dealing with U.S. allies differently than he deals with adversaries.

Next is a look at the extremely good jobs report. Mike points out that while the U.S. is in the midst of the second longest expansion in modern history, wages are still somewhat stagnant and economic growth is far slower than it’s been at many points in the post World War II era. Both Jay and Mike agree that President Trump can’t claim responsibility for the expansion any more than President Obama could, and they lament the tendency of the media to overemphasize the importance of government when it comes to economic growth.

Then they turn to the Supreme Court’s decision to not hear a case involving an anti-abortion law from Arkansas. While Mike and Jay differ on the wisdom of abortion rights restrictions, they agree that the Court was correct on procedure. In the end, they expect Arkansas’ law to be overturned as unconstitutional, as the Court did with a similar Texas law in 2016.

Finally, the Guys discuss President Trump’s pardon of conservative provocateur Dinesh D’Souza, and whether the president is using his pardons to send a message to people Robert Mueller has indicted in his Russia investigation. Mike doubts it, believing that it’s simply President Trump being his impulsive self for the most part. Mike somewhat surprises Jay by favoring the president’s pardon of D’Souza, who Mike says is an awful person, but who was unfairly singled out by the Obama administration for prosecution. Jay points out that it’s the awful people who are most in need of protection – and sometimes pardons.

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What Mike’s Reading
Mind Control: Barbara Ehrenreich’s radical critique of wellness and self-improvement.

What Jay’s Reading
Worried About Incivility? Start With Yourself.

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