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DONALD TRUMP DOUBLING DOWN ON CALLS TO LET RUSSIA BOMB ISIS
Johnathan Hoenig: Nothing that we deal with Russia can be of help. We’re in bed now. We formed these coalitions with Russia, with Iran, with Saudi Arabia, these totalitarian states. Saudi Arabia is a state where you can get executed for being an atheist. So it’s almost like we’ve collectivized American self-defense, depending on Russia, depending on Saudi Arabia. If we wanted to defeat ISIS, we could do it in two days. We have the military fortitude, but instead we depend on all of these coalitions to degrade and ultimately destroy. So the big loser here is America because it destroys our pride and it destroys our self-esteem.
Michelle Fields: I think it’s very concerning to think that Putin is on our side. Putin is not interested in helping us. Putin is interested in expanding his military power and his influence in the region. Donald Trump is wrong. Russia is not trying to destroy ISIS. If you look at the very first strike that Russia made, it was actually in an area where our allies are. He’s not interested in destroying ISIS. He’s interested in making sure that Assad has power. That’s all it is, but he’s not on our side and I think it’s a very dangerous notion to think he is on our side and trying to go after ISIS because he isn’t.
Jessica Tarlov: It’s a great thought if we knew that Russia was actually going to go after ISIS. As Michelle said, they’ve targeted American backed rebels thus far. We haven’t seen any action in terms of combatting ISIS and we know that Russia likes it best when the world is upside down, when they’re creating the chaos and when the U.S. is on the back foot. I think we could have known that we were going to be moving towards this state of complete disarray when Putin illegally annexed Crimea last year and we all but ignored it. They have troops in the Ukraine, we ignore it because they say that they’re not there but the facts are there. We know that Russians are dying everyday across the border in Eastern Ukraine and we do nothing about it.
LAWMAKER SLAMS “TRY-NOTHING” CONGRESS; CALLS FOR 40-HOUR WORKWEEK
Jessica Tarlov: I can’t believe this is even a conversation. I think it’s 137 days that they worked last year, there’s a lot of talks about how many votes Marco Rubio has missed because he’s on the campaign trail, and even before that. I think they absolutely should. This is the reason that Congress has a 14 percent approval rating. This is the reason that 79 percent of Americans think that Congress is out of touch with them, and 52 percent think that they’re corrupt. I’m not saying that it’s going to fix it all, but when people are working two, three jobs and still not making ends meet, why can’t our congressman, we pay $174,000 per year work a 40-hour workweek?
Michelle Fields: I actually think that this is a terrible idea. I think that when you have members of Congress in office they actually do more harm than they do good. I think that we should return to what our founding fathers believed in which was a part-time Congress, where members of Congress are paid very little, they just work a few months out of the year, they can be called in for emergency sessions, but they are out, they have their own jobs, they work where ever they need to work and that’s where they get the bulk of their money, but they’re not insulated from the rest of Americans because that’s what’s happening, we have a bubble here in Washington where all of Congress is here, they don’t understand the struggles of the American people because they’re always here schmoozing, and hanging out with other members of Congress.
Johnathan Hoenig: I’ll quote Ronald Reagan, show me the executive who works long, hard hours, and I’ll show you a bad executive. The point isn’t to work a number of hours. It’s the ideas. It’s the ethicacy of the implementation that matters. Government worked a long time with Iran, we worked a long time, many hours on Obamacare but those were terrible ideas. It shows you the bankruptcy of the electorate. Half the people want term limits, and the other half want people longer in office. Again, it’s the ideas that have to change, not the number of hours for the elected officials.
JUSTICE DEPARMENT SET TO FREE 6,000 PRISONERS EARLY; LARGEST ONE-TIME RELEASE
Michelle Fields: I’m okay with releasing low level drug offenders, so long as they’re not huge drug dealers, or enforcers, but my concern is that we have Americans right now who do not have felonies, never committed a crime that are having trouble finding a job. I’m not sure how these people are going to blend back into society, when regular Americans can’t get a job. What are these people going to do?
Johnathan Hoenig: We should apologize to them. These are non-violent drug offenders, people who were rounded up in the ‘80s and ‘90s during that insane get tough on drugs war. We have destroyed these people’s lives; we destroyed their homes, many of them minorities by the way. Can’t both parties get behind the idea of decriminalizing these non-violent drug offenses? It would not only save us a lot of money and clear out the jails, but it would protect the individual rights of Americans who have the right to, in my opinion, smoke a little doobie on the weekends. It’s no one else’s business.
Jessica Tarlov: It will save a lot of money, and we know that a lot of these private companies are actually gaming the system to keep people in jail. I saw something that the biggest, private company in California has a 90 percent occupancy rate that’s mandatory like a hotel. But to Michelle’s point, which I think is a great one about employment afterwards, and Hillary Clinton has spoken about this recently, we have 60 percent long term unemployment for ex-cons. The RAND Corporation did an amazingly interesting study where they found that those prisoners who went to some sort of education program within prison were 43 percent more likely to not reoffend, and also 13 percent more likely to get a job. So while I understand the concern that there are Americans who have never done anything wrong that are out of work, we really do need to think about how we’re going to take this population and there are going to be more releases like this.