PG143: VA Shakeup, Census Concerns, Kim Jung Un Takes a Trip, Repeal the 2nd Amendment?, Russia Relations

Mar 31, 05:15 PM

Mike welcomes The 45th Podcast's Susan Simpson to the show, in Part II of The Politics Guys / The 45th Podcast host exchange. Mike and Susan open with a look at the shakeup at the VA, with Mike questioning the managerial qualifications of Ronny Jackson, President Trump's choice to take over for David Shulkin at the massive VA. Susan argues that no reasonable person would even want the VA job, and suggests that Jackson's fawning estimate of the president's health, along with a desire for power, are what may have made him Trump's pick.

Next it's discussion of the recent announcement by the Department of Commerce that the 2020 Census will have a questions about citizenship status. Both Mike and Susan are skeptical of the motives of the Justice Department, which requested the question be added. Mike hesitates to call the move racist, but points out that any likely political advantage from the move will be to the Republicans.

After that, Mike and Susan turn to a discussion of what North Korean leader Kim Jung Un's recent meeting with Chinese leader Xi Jinping, and his upcoming meetings with South Korea's Moon Jae-in and President Trump, might mean. Mike suggests that President Trump's tougher stance could be bearing fruit, though he concedes that even a Democratic administration would have almost certainly ratcheted up sanctions in response to the North's nuclear tests. Susan says there's no policy here but chaos, and is concerned that President Trump might lead us into an unnecessary armed conflict with North Korea.

Then it's a look at the March for our Lives and Justice Stevens recent call for repeal of the Second Amendment. Mike and Susan are both big supporters of the March and hope that it leads to significant change. They differ somewhat on Justice Stevens advocacy for a repeal of the Second Amendment. Mike feels it's a gift to the NRA and not necessary, as even the draconian gun regulations in Washington D.C. - far tougher than what most people are calling for - are possible without touching the Second Amendment. Susan doesn't entirely disagree, but argues that the Second Amendment can make reasonable gun laws more difficult to pass, and points out that even a repeal wouldn't make firearms illegal.

After that, they discuss the increasingly strained relations between Russia and the United States in the wake of tit-for-tat expulsions of diplomats and closing of consulates. Susan points out that despite this strong U.S. response - which she argues Trump was forced to make - we still haven't heard the president say anything negative about Vladimir Putin. She argues that's because Putin almost certainly has damaging information on Trump.

Show Notes
What Susan's Reading & Listening To:
Maryland appeals court decision in Adnan Syed case. Missing and Murdered (podcast)

What Mike's Listening To:
Philosophize This. Stephen West (podcast)

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