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*Feed Updating Issue

July 17th, 2014

Update: It turns out that there was glitch in the feed from our hosting company and a software conflict with our editor that was causing a problem with our feed. The issue has been about 80% resolved. While shows are now updating and episode descriptions are clear of any “jibberish” (aka HTML code), links within the episode descriptions will not be active for now. We anticipate that this will be cleared up within the next several days and all feeds will be functioning 100% properly once again by then. In the meantime if you would like to follow any links that are mentioned in the show please find them here on our website.

July 10th, 2014

      We apparently have been having problems with the show’s feed and it has caused our episodes in some apps to stop updating. We apologize for any inconvenience and are working hard to resolve the problem. We hope to have it resolved within the next few days. Please remember that you can always subscribe to us in iTunes or check out our website at www.itnshow.com to get the very latest information and updates about our episodes and show.


Immigration Reform is Dead - Rebroadcast

July 24th, 2014

     One year ago the US Senate passed a bill that would grant 11-12 million undocumented immigrants legal status and a pathway to citizenship to this country. The bill never made it out of the House and comprehensive immigration reform has stalled ever since. The defeat of Majority Leader Eric Cantor, who was pro reform, has doomed passage of any kind of a bill this year. President Obama has vowed to use executive authority to move reform forward, but a history of executive orders has created bad blood with House Republicans and an emerging crisis on the southern border is threatening to put any progress on this issue out of reach.

In this rebroadcast of an earlier episode we discuss the immigration debate, the emerging crisis on our southern border and pose the question, in 2014, what should America’s philosophy toward immigration be?

Time stamps for this episode:

Immigration 2:57


Going to Get Worse Before it Gets Better

July 21st, 2014

     The world is shocked over the tragic downing of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 over the skies of eastern Ukraine. Many world leaders have pleaded with Russian president Vladimir Putin to exert influence over Russian separatists operating in the region to bring hostilities with the central government in Kiev to an end. These please have gone largely ignored.

In this episode we explore the vital national security interest that Ukraine represents for Vladimir Putin and the Russian Federation, and discuss why a peaceful resolution to this conflict may be a ways off.

This episode is a bit of a milestone for In the News – our 100th episode. The show has changed a lot over the course of the last 100 episodes. I talk a little bit about the impetus for the show, the evolution of the show to this point and how I hope it will continue to grow going forward.

Time stamps for this episode:

Ukraine 0:00

A few words about our 100th Episode 52:58


Earmarks and Filling Potholes

July 17th, 2014

     Earmarks were once considered to be what greased the wheels of government. They have been done away with but is our political system more corrupt without them than it was with them?

The Highway Trust Fund is set to run dry this summer. The president sent a 4-year $302 billion proposal to Congress earlier this year but was deemed DOA by Congress. Instead, the House has approved a 1-year $10 billion bill that is paid for by so called “pension smoothing.”

What is pension smoothing and who decides what sources of funding are “workable” and what are “unworkable” when it comes to bills in Congress today? And have the elimination of earmarks made the funding gimmicks more common and the problem of money in government more insidious?

 


Lawsuits and Impeachment

July 14th, 2014

     Article II, Section 4, of the Constitution says “The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.” But what exactly are “high crimes and misdemeanors?” It’s believed that the Founding Fathers left the wording deliberately vague trusting subsequent generations to know impeachment-level offenses when they saw them.

Speaker of the House John Boehner recently announced that he is bringing a lawsuit against the president for his failure to “faithfully execute the laws of this country.” Specifically, by issuing too many executive orders. But is the lawsuit more about stemming the calls for impeachment than it is about executive orders? In this episode we discuss whether this president’s actions have risen to level of impeachment and whether the Founding Father’s trust in our judgment have proven misplaced.


Ukraine, Immigration and More

July 10th, 2014

     We apparently have been having problems with the show’s feed and it has caused our episodes in some apps to stop updating. We apologize for any inconvenience and are working hard to resolve the problem. We hope to have it resolved within the next few days. Please remember that you can always subscribe to us in iTunes or check out our website at www.itnshow.com to get the very latest information and updates about our episodes and show.

In this episode we discuss the continuing crisis on our southern border. The President has asked Congress for $3.7 billion to help address the issue. But will Republicans in Congress help the president solve a problem that they see him as largely responsible for? Will these children ultimately be sent back to their countries or will they be allowed to stay? We discuss these questions and the broader immigration debate.

Tensions in Ukraine had been rising between the central government in Kiev and pro-Russian separatists in the east. But the last week or so has seen an apparent change in calculation by Moscow. Pleas from separatists for military support have gone ignored by Moscow and the week was capped off by a phone call by President Putin to President Obama to wish him a happy 4th of July. In this episode we discuss the details of the change in tone by Moscow.

Time stamps for this episode:

Show Issues 0:00

Immigration 10:20

Ukraine 45:45


The Hobby Lobby Verdict and Freedom of Religion

July 7th, 2014

     Last week the Supreme Court found that for-profit corporations can be protected under the first amendment and religious freedom grounds. They ruled that a closely held corporation, Hobby Lobby Stores, can be exempted from the contraceptive coverage mandate under Obamacare. Many reproductive-rights advocates argued that the verdict infringes on the religious freedoms of Hobby Lobby’s employees. The question we pose in today’s episode is at what point does one person’s religious rights become oppressive to another’s?

We also discuss a new Pew Research pole that attempts to categorize the Americans into more groups than just liberal and conservative. I took the poll and discuss the results that place me into a group called the “Faith and Family Left.”

The Pew Research pole can be found by clicking here. Take a moment to take the poll and share the results with us on our Twitter and Facebook pages.


Immigration Reform is Dead

July 3rd, 2014

One year ago the US Senate passed a bill that would grant 11-12 million undocumented immigrants legal status and a pathway to citizenship to this country. The bill never made it out of the House and comprehensive immigration reform has stalled ever since. The defeat of Majority Leader Eric Cantor, who was pro reform, has doomed passage of any kind of a bill this year. President Obama has vowed to use executive authority to move reform forward, but a history of executive orders has created bad blood with House Republicans and an emerging crisis on the southern border is threatening to put any progress on this issue out of reach.

In this episode we discuss the immigration debate, the emerging crisis on our southern border and pose the question, in 2014, what should America’s philosophy toward immigration be?


Back to Iraq - Rebroadcast

June 30th, 2014

     The president has announced that a small group of military advisors will be heading back to Iraq to help that country stave off an incursion made by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS. He says however, that no combat troops are being sent. But how definitive is that statement? If the US is faced with the prospect of all the modest gains we have achieved over the last 12 years being undone, will troops be sent in then? In this rebroadcast of an earlier episode we take a look back at the Iraq war and discuss why the conflict in Iraq may not be completely behind us.


The 4th Amendment Goes Digital

June 26th, 2014

     The Supreme Court ruled unanimously this week that cell phones should be covered by the 4th Amendment and cannot be subject to unreasonable search and seizure. Chief Justice John Roberts in his decision wrote, “modern cell phones, which are now such a pervasive and insistent part of daily life that the proverbial visitor from Mars might conclude they were an important feature of human anatomy.”

But law enforcement officials have argued that searches of digital devices for information are similar to searches made by officers for contraband after making an arrest. If there are tools that will assist law enforcement in doing their jobs shouldn’t there some deference to that judgment? In this episode we debate both sides of a decision that has implications for everyone living in today’s modern society.


Iraq, Rand is Running

June 19th, 2014

     The current crisis in Iraq has seemingly put the US on a path where it will soon have to make a difficult choice: go back to Iraq or risk having everything we’ve done there so far go for nothing. Supporters of the war are assailing President Obama for his handling of the current crisis but the question remains; does the American public have the appetite for continued military activity in Iraq? In this episode we discuss the current crisis, what our options are and the fact that we may not have seen the last of combat operations in Iraq.

Senator Rand Paul, firebrand of Kentucky, has recently unveiled an initiative to reform drug sentencing laws that, he contends, disproportionately affects minority communities. That, along with recent attacks on the presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton as well fellow Republican, and neocon, Dick Cheney are the clearest indicators that Sen. Paul has his sights set on the White House in 2016.


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