FROM Emily Wagster Pettus
A Stunner in Mississippi Just under 7000 votes edged six-term Republican Senator Thad Cochran over the line to victory in his closely watched race yesterday in Mississippi against a more conservative challenger, Chris McDaniel. Tea Party groups had targeted the veteran lawmaker as early as last year, hoping to take down a GOP fixture. House Majority leader Eric Cantor's shocking loss in Virginia two weeks ago added to the movement’s momentum. Money and resources poured into McDaniel’s campaign, which is partly why Cochran’s win comes as a shock to most politicos.
Will the Recession Push State Governments to Shut Down? The recession is wreaking havoc with state governments all over the country by vastly reducing the revenues they depend on from taxes on property, sales and income. Last night, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Connecticut , North Carolina , Ohio and California failed to pass balanced budgets by the start of the fiscal year.
Will the Recession Force State Government Shutdowns? States all over the country are losing revenue. Last night, North Carolina and five other states failed to resolve disputes over taxes and spending in time for the start of the new fiscal year. Without balanced budgets, Pennsylvania and Illinois face partial shutdowns; Connecticut and Ohio are barely limping along. California has run out of money, and the biggest state in the union plans to pay its bills with IOU’s starting tomorrow. Last night in Sacramento, Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger made a $24 billion shortfall $3 billion worse by blocking a stop-gap agreement with Democrats. What are the consequences for education, medical care and public health? Or is it a blessing in disguise if it forces fiscal responsibility on state capitols?
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.
Terrorism and tweets, hate speech and murder Just days before an election, Britain is coping with a rash of deadly terrorism, and Prime Minister Theresa May is on the defensive. And again today, President Trump has tweeted criticism of the Mayor of London. Later, a double murder in Portland, Oregon has revealed the ugly past of a supposedly “progressive” city. One immediate question: is “hate speech” protected by the First Amendment?
Human Rights in the era of Donald Trump President Trump’s UN Ambassador, Nikki Haley, said today the US might pull out of the United Nations’ Human Rights Council. Serious violators of human rights are members of the Council itself–and a US resignation could make things worse. Later on today’s show, now that he’s into his second term, comedian turned US Senator Al Franken is telling jokes again.
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.