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Washington, DC


Deciphering Washington’s language and procedure so you can focus on what matters.






203: What you should know about Trump's voter fraud commission

President Trump believes he would have won the popular vote -- if it weren't for the 3 million people that voted illegally. Even though there's no evidence to support his claim, he put together a commission to look into the issue, and their first meting is today. They've already been pretty active, asking for voter data from all 50 states. But what exactly is going on with this commission, and what can we expect?

Duration: 00:30:41

202: How the GOP wants to change Medicaid

Senate Republicans unveiled a health care plan that includes deep cuts in Medicaid. We explain what those changes are and how they will be felt by many of the 70 million Americans who rely on Medicaid for their healthcare.

Duration: 00:28:02

201: DC History 101 - Swamps and scandals, then and now

So you may have heard DC referred to as a swamp in the past few months. The thing is, that's not just a political slogan - it used to be an actual swamp. Historian JD Dickey is here to tell us about the secret history of Washington, D.C., and how those beginnings help explain a few things about politics today.

Duration: 00:28:04

200: Thousands of women are running for office. Guess why!

There are a lot of Dicks in office. But after the 2016 election, we're seeing thousands of women sign up to run for office - more than ever before. Clare Bresnahan runs a non-profit called She Should Run that helps women prepare for the unique challenges of being a woman candidate. She talks about how to tackle rampant sexism, double standards, and obsession over eyebrows.

Duration: 00:30:04

199: What you should know about the 5+ Trump-Russia investigations

There are so many investigators looking into Russian involvement in the 2016 campaign and the Trump Administration that it’s hard to keep track. That’s where friend of the show Victoria Bassetti of the Brennan Center comes in. She’s put together a guide, and walks Jimmy through everything you need to know.

Duration: 00:34:22

198: Your tweets can and will be used against you

President Trump says he uses Twitter so he can get an "honest and unfiltered message out”to the American people. But investigators and even foreign governments are poring over his Tweets. Politico’s Darren Samuelsohn explains why.

Duration: 00:25:37

197: The secret Senate filibuster you've never heard of

For years, individual Senators have enjoyed wide sway in blocking judicial nominees who come from their home states. But that may soon change, as Republicans in the Senate try to transform the judiciary under President Trump. Ed O’Keefe of the Washington Post explains all the ways this could show up in Americans’ every day lives.

Duration: 00:30:50

196: Constitutional crisis? Take a deep breath.

Law professor Keith Whittington says the term “constitutional crisis” gets thrown around way too much. He’s studied the topic, and he tells Jimmy we’re nowhere near one right now.

Duration: 00:25:48

195: Three moments that shaped how presidents and Congress wage war

Before David Barron was a federal judge, he was a lawyer helping President Obama wage war. He sheds light on the uneasy relationship between Presidents and Congress when it comes to military might, and reflects on his own role in a controversial drone strike.

Duration: 00:31:37

194: Drain the swamp! Is that even possible?

So how is Donald Trump is doing on his six promises to clean up corruption and limit special interests in Washington? And — maybe more importantly — what would happen if you really did pull the plug on the swamp of Washington? Our guests for this episode are Jenna Johnson of the Washington Post and Lee Drutman of New America.

Duration: 00:29:03

193: Politicians Playing Politics with Our Bridges and Roads

America’s crumbling and obsolete infrastructure is a $2 trillion problem. Everyone agrees it needs a fix. So why can’t politicians make it happen? It’s a failure of leadership, says Harvard’s Rosabeth Moss Kanter. She explains why, and we visit the Brent Spence Bridge between Ohio and Kentucky, a poster child for American political dysfunction over our roads and bridges.

Duration: 00:26:34

192: Why are we so polarized & can Trump fix it?

If you feel like we're getting more polarized every day, you're right. According to a report by the Cook Political Report, the political divide in America is growing--and as Amy Walter tells us, Trump might be just the type of guy who can change that.

Duration: 00:25:52

191: The four myths of Trump's wall

Is the U.S. border with the Mexico really an open border? Is all the talk of building a wall for real, or is it just a metaphorical wall? And who’s really crossing illegally? We separate fact from fiction with the help of Maria Hinojosa of Latino USA. Plus, Maria explains how cows can complicate things.

Duration: 00:26:29

190: Russia is using you to destroy democracy

Russians are using your own media echo chamber to undermine your confidence in democracy. So says Clint Watts, a former FBI agent who recently testified before Congress. We speak with him about why Russia is doing this, and why they’ve been more successful spreading their message on the right than on the left.

Duration: 00:29:17

189: What's the difference between Trump and Obama's immigration rules?

Since the election of Donald Trump, immigrants and their lawyers have been preparing for the worst. In part 2 of our series on the role some local police play in the enforcement of federal immigration laws, we spend time with the immigrant community in Frederick County Maryland, one place that’s been helping the feds since 2008. Minor offenders who were allowed to remain under the Obama administration are getting their papers together, avoiding the police and getting ready to be deported...

Duration: 00:26:52

188: Joking while Muslim in Trump's America

Negin Farsad is fighting stereotypes one joke at a time. A self-described social justice comedian, Farsad jokes about Islamophobia, race and bigotry - trying to make people laugh and talk about identity. “People can conceptually hate another group of people…people can conceptually hate Muslims” she tells Jimmy. “But when someone is put in front of their face its hard to hold onto that bigotry..” Negin says that the election of Donald Trump has made her work so much harder. She says she has...

Duration: 00:30:02

Episode 187: Whose job is it to enforce immigration law?

In the first of two episodes, we visit Frederick County Maryland where local law officers are working hand-in-hand with federal immigration officers to detain and deport undocumented immigrants in the community. Now President Trump wants to give them more authority and that makes the sheriff very happy.

Duration: 00:24:02

186: The skinny on Trump's skinny budget

The President came out with his version of the budget - which he called a "skinny budget" - last week, and everyone's either freaking out or really happy. But this week we ask: what is a skinny budget, and does it really matter?

Duration: 00:30:05

185: A Warning Against Hyperpartisanship From 1796

The warnings George Washington made in his farewell address — about hyperpartisanship, excessive debt, and foreign wars — have incredible resonance today, says John Avlon, the author of “Washington’s Farewell.” He speaks with Jimmy about what we can learn from the address and how its message was once appropriated by Nazis, in 1939. Plus: John reveals that President Washington had bad credit.

Duration: 00:34:29

184: Obamacare Trumpcare Healthcare 101

What’s the individual mandate? Who’s in a high-risk pool? How do tax credits work in health care? With the debate over the future of health care in America raging, we go back to basics and explain some important concepts with the help of Sarah Kliff from Vox. Also in this episode, Jimmy reveals his age — and Sarah reveals which health care option tripped her up last year.

Duration: 00:33:45

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