April 18 - Obama's Immigration Reform Faces an Evenly Divided Supreme Court; Saudi Arabia's Boy King Doubles Down on Bad Decisions; Oil-Rich Venezuela is Becoming a Failed State

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Full Program


Part 1

We begin with arguments heard before the Supreme Court today over a federal judge in Texas’s blockage of President Obama’s executive actions to shield some 4.3 million undocumented immigrants from deportation known as DAPA and DACA. Nicholas Espiritu, a staff attorney with the National Immigration Law Center who was on the amicus brief before the Supreme Court in Texas v. United States and was in the Supreme Court today, joins us to discuss the possibility of a tie in the evenly divided court and whether the gridlock created by Republican obstruction in seating another justice to replace Scalia is also a factor in this case since the president was forced to act in response to congressional inaction on immigration reform which appears to be part of a Republican strategy of obstruction to create gridlock and paralysis in Washington.

Part 2

Then we examine the sudden reversal of Saudi Arabia on a pact to freeze oil production at the OPEC meeting in Doha which was ordered by the country’s de facto ruler the 30-year- old Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, upending a decades-long Saudi policy of having technocrats run the oil ministry not members of the ruling House of Saud. Youssef Ibrahim, a columnist and risk consultant focusing on the oil sector and the Persian Gulf, who served 18 years as senior regional Middle East correspondent for The New York Times and 6 years as Energy Editor of The Wall Street Journal, joins us to discuss how the “boy”, as he is referred to, is making all the Kingdom’s key decisions and is doubling down, even if his decisions have turned out to be bad.

Part 3

Then finally we get an update on Venezuela whose oil minister is blaming the U.S. for the Saudi OPEC decision that will have a devastating impact on Venezuela’s crumbling economy that has the oil-rich country in risk of becoming a failed state. Virginia Lopez the Senior Correspondent for Al Jazeera who covers Latin America and Venezuela, joins us to discuss the growing anarchy in one of the world’s deadliest countries where the poor make up most of the victims of a failed socialist “revolution” in which rhetoric can no longer mask reality.