FROM James Taranto
Presidential Politics and Family History Bill Clinton staked out the political center, appealing to undecided voters and even Republicans. Hillary’s going the other direction. Saturday, in the first major policy speech of her presidential campaign, Hillary Clinton talked about income inequality and education, saying GOP hopefuls "believe in yesterday." Can the former Secretary of State, US Senator and First Lady bring out the base of her own party, including blacks and Latinos? Also today, Republican Jeb Bush is formally declaring his candidacy -- with new branding that drops his last name. Can a Clinton or a Bush meet the challenge of voters who might be looking for something new?
Workers, Wages and Walker Republican Governor Scott Walker is ready to sign a law that allows workers to benefit from union negotiations without paying union dues. And his opposition to organized labor — both public and private -- has lifted him into the top tier of GOP candidates for president. Three years ago, Walker told reporters he would do "everything in his power" to prevent a so-called "Right to Work Law" from passing in his state. But last week in Washington he told a standing-room-only crowd the Conservative Political Action Conference, "Wisconsin will become the 25th state in America that allows workers the freedom to choose whether they want to work for a company and to be in a union or not."
The Republicans Are Ready to Win… Are They Ready to Govern? The Republican Party is even less popular with American voters than President Obama, but the GOP is poised to win back control of the Senate in next month’s elections. Of course, nothing is certain in politics, as the cliché goes, until the votes are in.
Can Corporations Be Patriots? Congress adjourned for the summer with tax reform still caught in political gridlock. Since then, President Obama has seized on a tax proposal once buried in his budget to attack a practice multi-national companies use to avoid paying taxes in the US; it’s called “corporate inversion.”
The Zimmerman Verdict and a Nation Divided Nobody doubts that George Zimmerman went out with a gun or that he used it to kill Trayvon Martin. But that wasn't enough for a jury conviction on second-degree murder or manslaughter charges, and Zimmerman has his gun back. On the streets of some American cities, there have been angry protests about race, politics and legal equality. Does Florida law favor gun-toting vigilantes? Did state prosecutors blow the case by over-charging and twisting facts? Will Zimmerman face future actions in civil courts?
Race, Justice and Public Perception The killing that started out as the "Trayvon Martin Case" is now reported as "the George Zimmerman trial." Zimmerman is the only living witness to the shooting death of Martin in Sanford, Florida early last year. He's admitted he pulled the trigger, but claims self defense. Despite months of punditry, issues of race and Florida's "stand your ground" law have hardly been mentioned in proceedings carried live on cable TV. With closing arguments ending today, we hear some dramatic excerpts and review the twists and turns of a case that has defied expectations. Beyond the courtroom and the fate of the defendant, what are the likely consequences if the verdict is "Guilty" or "Not?"
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.
Trump's new look at civil rights and global warming President Trump is reportedly ready to pull the US out of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. We look at the possible consequences. On the second half of the program, we hear about cuts in Obama-Era civil rights programs called for by the Trump Administration's first budget plan.
Trump's 'America First' goes missing abroad In the Middle East, President Trump is changing some policies of the Obama Administration—and reversing his own campaign attacks on Islam as a religion that "hates us." We hear about his visit to Saudi Arabia and what's at stake for the rest of his foreign excursion.
Who's to blame for the opioid crisis? Some of the lawyers who took on Big Tobacco are now going after Big Pharma. It’s all about the deadly epidemic of opioid use. Are the drug companies to blame? What about the users? Later, on today’s Talking Point: making sense of Britain’s upset election.