FROM Dan Gerstein
Saturday's Shooting Rampage in Tucson Twenty-two year-old Jared Laughner was arraigned today in Phoenix, telling a federal judge he understood charges of murder and attempted murder. They stem, of course, from Saturday's deadly shootout in Tuscon. When proceedings resume in two weeks, they'll be handled by another federal judge who's not from Arizona. Doctors say it's good news that Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords ' condition has not changed since a bullet passed through her brain. She has been able to respond to simple commands.
Violence, Madness and Politics in Arizona In Washington today, federal charges were filed against Jared Lee Loughner stemming from Saturday's shooting rampage in Tucson. Meanwhile, members of Congress and their staffs gathered on the steps of the Capitol and observed a moment of silence in tribute to their wounded colleague, Democratic Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords . Business has been cancelled for the rest of this week. FBI Director Robert Mueller has taken charge of the investigation of Saturday's shooting . Yesterday, he talked about the increased availability of what he called inciteful speech, including hate speech. He said possible links to extremist groups would be a continuing focus. We discuss what led to the shooting rampage that killed six people, including US District Court Judge John Roll and 9-year old girl, Did vitriolic rhetoric play a role? Is a tragedy being used to make political points?
How Would the Candidates Fix This Financial Mess? The Fed rescued insurance giant AIG yesterday, but the stock markets took a dive anyway. Today, central banks in America, Europe and Asia promised $180 billion in hopes of calming financial jitters. We find out how the markets reacted. With the financial system on the ropes, Congress still plans to adjourn within the next two weeks without taking action. It turns out that major funders of both John McCain and Barack Obama are firms involved in the current financial crisis. Does McCain's political history undercut his call for more regulation? What about Obama's ties to Wall Street, including the former head of Fannie Mae? Note: The McCain campaign declined our invitation to participate in today's program.
The Race for President and the Politics of Change With Mitt Romney out and a fresh round of primaries coming up this weekend, the race for the White House has narrowed to three people: Republican John McCain and Democrats Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama . Will a new political dialogue emerge? Voters and candidates talk about change, but what kind of change is actually likely in the campaign ahead? Are voters inspired by messages of hope tired of the slash-and-burn style of campaigning that's marked recent elections? Will cynicism give way to civility in political discourse? How will shifting political alliances affect the way candidates shape their messages to voters?
The Trump agenda: where's the beef? President Trump says big things are happening. After celebrating a House bill on health care, he doesn’t yet have Senate agreement. With James Comey’s public testimony scheduled tomorrow, the President today tweeted his selection of a new FBI Director. Is the Chief Executive all style and no substance? Later, terror attacks in Iran and conflicting claims about who’s behind them.
Is the threat from Russia missing from the Russia meddling probe? There's much being made about the Trump administration's possible ties with Russia. But the bottom line is Russia's effort to influence American democracy. Do the President and his aides care enough to take action before voters go back to the polls?
Venezuela spirals into economic and political chaos Venezuela, a country whose potential for prosperity is unmatched, finds itself on the verge of civil war. What sustains the repressive government? With time running out, guest host León Krauze looks at what the international community can do to pull the country from the edge of collapse.
Janesville and the American Dream Janesville, Wisconsin is the hometown of Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan. But he couldn’t prevent the closing of the General Motors factory after 100 years. On this Memorial Day rebroadcast of To the Point, we hear what’s happened to what once was a model of American middle-class unity.