FROM Jeffrey Birnbaum
Record-Breaking Expenditure on Election Members of Congress have been investigated, prosecuted and sent to prison this year for converting special interest contributions into public policy. Nevertheless, there's more money in this year's mid-term election campaigns – perhaps as high as $3.1 billion -- than there was in the presidential races two years ago. New records are being set at the state level, too. Where does the money come from, where does it go, and what's the return on investment? Corporate America contributes to both parties, but it's difficult to establish a quid pro quo even when votes go their way. Can the corrupting influence of money be stamped out, or is it the cost of democracy, American style?
Will the Senate write a healthcare bill in secret? While Democrats and Republicans argue White House relations with Russia, another question is being decided behind closed doors: who gets help buying health insurance and who doesn't? We hear how the pros and cons are being shrouded in secrecy.
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.
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.
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.