FROM Steven Malanga
Are Republican Governors Union Busting? With state budgets facing massive shortfalls, several Republican Governors are demanding concessions from public employee unions. Some union officials accuse the Governors of playing politics with Democratic supporters. In Wisconsin, unions have agreed to pay more for healthcare and retirement, but not to give up their bargaining rights. The Senate's minority Democrats have left the state to prevent a vote in the legislature. In a recorded telephone call, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker appeared to confirm it's about more than the budget.
Are Republican Governors Union Busting? Republican Governors around the country are trying to solve state budget problems without raising taxes by weakening public-employee unions. They claim it's not a coordinated campaign, but union officials call it a scheme to undermine a key source of money and manpower for Democrats. In Wisconsin, unions have agreed to pay more for healthcare and retirement, but not to give up their bargaining rights. The Senate's minority Democrats have left the state to prevent a vote in the legislature. Last week, President Obama accused Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker of "an assault against unions," but the White House says it's not mobilizing its forces. We hear what's happening in several states and debate the politics. What do voters think about the pros and cons of union organization, public and private?
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.
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.
Ex-FBI Director Comey tells his side of the story Today, former FBI Director James Comey came close to calling the President who fired him a liar. The White House denied the claim and called it insulting, but Republican Senators did not challenge Comey’s truthfulness. Many questions remain: did the President try to obstruct a federal investigation? Later, we’ll go behind the “velvet rope” for a look at 5-Star health care for the richest Americans.