If the Citizens United Case "opened the door" to big money in politics four years ago, this week's McCutcheon decision "will open a floodgate." That's according to dissenters on the US Supreme Court. But the majority calls it a victory for the First Amendment. We hear about the latest decision on campaign finance reform. Also, Secretary of State John Kerry says "it's reality check time" for US Middle East policy, and there's a prevailing belief that colleges are a lot harder to get into than they used to be. Is that a myth or a reality? Maybe it's both.
FROM THIS EPISODE
Secretary of State John Kerry said today his effort to make peace between Israel and the Palestinians may not be worth further effort. In Morocco, he told reporters he'll confer with President Obama before deciding whether to continue. Robert Danin is a veteran of the State Department and the National Security Council. He's now Senior Fellow for Middle East and Africa Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations.
By a vote of five to four, the US Supreme Court has taken another swipe at 40-year-old Watergate Era reforms designed to restrain the power of money in politics. An individual donor still can't give more than $2600 to a single candidate in a given election — but the total amount he or she can contribute is now unlimited. The majority says removing some limits on individual donors will strengthen democracy. The dissenters call that a threat to the very integrity of government. Political pros envision more money from mega-rich contributors as soon as this year's campaigns for Congress. Will that mean increased corruption, real or apparent? Will what's left of campaign reform survive the next challenge?
John Dunbar, Center for Public Integrity (@JohnDunbar14)
James Bopp, Bopp Law Firm
Tara Malloy, Campaign Legal Center (@CampaignLegal)
Kenneth Mayer, University of Wisconsin-Madison (@uwpolisci)
Center for Responsive Politics on McCutcheon v. FEC
McConnell v. FEC, SCOTUS on (2003)
McCutcheon v. FEC, SCOTUS on
Merit and amicus briefs in McCutheon v. FEC
Pelosi on McCutcheon v. FEC
Republican National Committee on McCutcheon v. FEC
All over the country, high school graduates are grinding their teeth over where to enroll in college. But what about getting those acceptance letters in the first place? If you didn't get higher SAT score this year or boast a better GPA than you did in the past, you wouldn't get into the same college. That's a widespread perception that calls for analysis, according to Jacoba Urist. She's a writer for the Atlantic and contributor to NBC News for health, education and business.
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Trump’s war on the FBI Donald Trump claims rogue FBI agents are part of a Deep State he accuses of “spying” on his presidential campaign. A former agent tells Warren the “the FBI doesn’t spy… it catches spies.” Shades of Watergate? Richard Nixon’s former White House lawyer, John Dean, says, “no way.”
Touching down in fly-over country Dodge City, Kansas and Erie, Pennsylvania may have something in common. That’s just one surprise in “Our Towns,” a new book by James and Deborah Fallows. The veteran Atlantic magazine correspondent and his scholarly wife spent two weeks in each of 25 different cities. Their search for America’s character provides anecdotes, comparisons and distinctions after a journey of 100,000 miles.
Teachers are battling back Teachers are mad as hell in several red states. They’re walking out over cuts in pay and reductions in classroom support. It’s a grass-roots rebellion from West Virginia to Kentucky and Arizona. Will it renew support for the value of public education in a changing economy?
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