FROM Hans von Spakovsky
Where Should Democracy Draw the Line? The Constitution requires that the boundaries of congressional districts be re-drawn every 10 years, according to the latest census. In 2010, Republicans won control of legislatures all over the country—and those GOP lawmakers then collectively increased their Party’s power in Congress. When President Obama re-visited the Illinois Capitol in Springfield this week, he said it’s time for a change. The President’s talking about what’s called Gerrymandering, a practice as old as the nation itself.
The War over Voter ID Heats Up In 16 states, Republican-dominated legislatures have tightened access to the polls. Pennsylvania has become the ninth to require Photo ID's. But the Obama Justice Department says these and other restrictions could deprive large numbers of citizens of their right to vote. We hear a heated debate: Are such restrictions designed to combat voter fraud or keep some Democrats away from the polls?
Republicans, Democrats and Voter ID In 16 states, Repubican-dominated legislatures have tightened access to the polls. Pennsylvania's become the ninth state to require voters to provide photo identification, and Virginia — another swing state — could be next. Republicans say they're trying to combat rampant fraud in the electoral process. But Democrats and the Obama Justice Department say there's little evidence of a problem. They insist that new voter ID laws are designed to make it harder for Democrats to cast their ballots, including minorities and especially Hispanics. We look at an issue as old as democracy. Could it be decisive in this year's presidential election?
Will New Voter ID Laws Protect the Polls or Suppress Turnout? Republicans now control legislatures in more than half the states and, in many they're passing laws requiring voters to bring state-issued photo-identification to the polls. Are they really trying to prevent voter fraud or keep supporters of Barack Obama away from the polls? Do Democrats have real proof that minorities, old people and college students can't produce state-issued picture ID's? We hear a debate that's raging in state legislatures across the country.
Election Fraud, Voter ID and Gerrymandering Red-State Republicans are enacting laws to require voters to identify themselves at the polls with picture-identification not everybody has access to. Democrats claim the GOP is trying to rig next year's elections by depriving minorities, old people and college students from exercising the right to vote. Republicans claim that voter fraud threatens the integrity of elections, while Democrats call that a myth. Does either side have persuasive evidence? Also, which party will benefit most from redrawing Congressional district boundaries?
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?
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?
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.
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.