Week in Review, January 19

In this first edition of our Week in Review, Dante and I tackled a few topics that were on our minds this week. Below is a general summary of those topics discussed, along with a bit more editorializing on what we thought. This is not a verbatim transcript.

The first topic we addressed was the Democratic hopefuls for 2020. First, we tackled Cory Booker and his lackluster oratory, and then moved on to a brief look at Terry McAuliffe from Virginia. Then, we examined the pros and cons of #Oprah2020, including the possibility of her running as VP and the types of voters she might energize.

Next, we move to the topic du jour, the looming government shutdown. Before delving into the weeds on the actual shutdown, we called an audible and argued about whether Harry Reid or Chuck Schumer was a better Democratic Leader in the senate.

The big ticket item in the government funding debate is DACA, the policy that allows those who were brought into this country illegally as children to remain. Democrats are trying to force a solution to DACA in the spending measure, while Republicans are hoping to squeeze out money for some type of border wall or security. Republicans are claiming that Democrats are willing to let CHIP money disappear by not funding the government, although the program expired last September.

Dante mentioned that Democrats actually do have an appetite for border security, which is different than what certain senators like Tom Cotton would tell you. Finally, we discussed the optics of the shutdown, mentioning some new polling that elucidated where the public was on the whole issue. The numbers mentioned are here: 35% of respondents were in favor of a border wall, while 61% were opposed. 87% of respondents were in favor of DACA, while 11% were opposed. Finally, 48% of respondents blame the GOP and Trump for a shutdown and 28% would blame Democrats.

Finally, we discussed the new salacious story about Trump's private attorney creating an LLC to payoff an adult film star with whom he allegedly slept. In the month before the 2016 election, the company payed $130,000 to the actress, who has a nondisclosure agreement with the president. 

Regrettably, this quote about the president from the actress was left out of the conversation, but bears mentioning here: “You could see the television from the little dining room table and he was watching Shark Week and he was watching a special about the U.S.S. something and it sank and it was like the worst shark attack in history,” Daniels told In Touch. “He is obsessed with sharks. Terrified of sharks. He was like, ‘I donate to all these charities and I would never donate to any charity that helps sharks. I hope all the sharks die.’ He was like riveted. He was like obsessed. It’s so strange, I know.”

From that discussion, we moved to a consideration of how this revelation, and the apparent indifference with which it was met, affects the morality of political candidates in the future. That steered us toward the now-omnipresent intersection of religion and politics, and how that combination can denigrate both. That also tied into a thought about how our republican system of government generally allowed citizens to be indifferent about politics, and how the ubiquity of politics has led to more hyper-polarization.

Next week, we hope to have some varied political views and discuss new articles that writers have published on the site.

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