DecodeDC

DecodeDC

Australia

A reliable, honest and entertaining podcast about Washington D.C’s people, culture and politics.

Episodes

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 after living for years in the US.

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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 to take on all the same fights, “but now I have to do it with a lead jacket on.”

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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.

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186: The skinny on Trump's skinny budget  

The President came out with his version of the budget - which he called a "skinny budget". While lots of people freaking out, we ask: what is a skinny budget, and does it really matter?

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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.

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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.

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183: Trump is at odds with the courts. Has a president ever defied them?  

President Donald Trump recently gave the federal courts the proverbial middle finger, lashing out on Twitter at a “so-called judge” who had ruled against him and promising “see you in court” after losing an appeal. Has this happened before or is this the new normal? This week: Donald Trump’s apparent disdain for the federal judiciary and whether there’s a precedent in history.

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182: I'm a reformed lobbyist. Ask me anything  

You asked and we answered. This week: what’s the difference between lobbying and bribery, a real example of a lobbyist buying their agenda into law (or failing to), and the best reform for the lobbying industry. Plus, Jimmy’s former salary.

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181: How cops can legally take your car, home, or cash  

When Tien Nguyen stopped at a rest area in Kansas, he didn't expect to have his car searched by the highway patrol - and when they took $40,000 he had in cash and sent him on his way, he was furious. But he was astounded when he learned that it was all completely legal. It's a practice called civil asset forfeiture, and in this week's episode, we hear about how Tie has to go to court to get his money back. We also talk to his lawyer, who wants the system changed completely, and we hear from someone who uses the practice all the time in his job.

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180: What the hell is a trade war?  

Everything you’ve always wanted to know about trade, trade deficits, tariffs, trade wars, courtesy of Felix Salmon of Slate Money. Plus, Felix explains which is better — a strong dollar or a weak one.

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