An attack film called Hillary: The Movie is at the heart of a case that could change the way political campaigns have been financed for more than 100 years. We hear about today's extraordinary session of the US Supreme Court, the first for the new Justice Sonia Sotomayor. Also, the capture of a New York Times Reporter illustrates the escalating danger in Afghanistan. On Reporter's Notebook, can the US afford NASA's plans to go back to the Moon and on to Mars? What about private enterprise?
FROM THIS EPISODE
There's evidence today that Afghanistan is getting more dangerous for reporters. A British commando raid has rescued Stephen Farrell of the New York Times, who was seized on Saturday. But one of the commandos was killed, along with an Afghan woman and Farrell's interpreter, Sultan Munadi. Bob Dietz is Asia Program Coordinator for the Committee to Protect Journalists.
Bob Dietz, Asia Program Coordinator, Committee to Protect Journalists
In 1907, trust-busting President Teddy Roosevelt persuaded Congress to ban corporations from contributing to political campaigns. Today, three weeks before its next session is scheduled to open -- with Justice Sonia Sotomayor on the bench for the first time, the US Supreme Court heard a case that could reverse more than 100 years of finance laws that now cover unions as well as corporations. Last year, the Federal Elections Commission banned the broadcast of the video Hillary: The Movie because it was funded by a corporation. Today's unusual meeting was called for arguments on whether the ban on corporate contributions violates the constitutional right to free speech. The ACLU and the National Rifle Association advocate letting them spend, in the interests of unlimited free speech. Democrat Russ Feingold and Republican John McCain warn that a flood of money will drown the voices of ordinary citizens.
Joan Biskupic, Reuters (@JoanBiskupic)
Bradley Smith, Center for Competitive Politics (@CommishSmith)
Rick Hasen, University of California, Irvine (@rickhasen)
Dave Levinthal, Center for Public Integrity (@davelevinthal)
NASA has big plans to send humans back to the Moon and Mars, but lacks the money to meet its goals, according to a blue-ribbon committee formed to advise President Obama. The President appointed former Lockheed Martin Chairman Norman Augustine to head the review of America's space program. His Human Space Flight Plans Committee has released its executive summary, which concludes that NASA is on an "unsustainable trajectory." Astronomer Jonathan McDowell is with the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.
More From To the Point
White House ‘Norms:’ Past and Present President Trump has famously violated traditional rules of presidential behavior. Now Barack Obama has broken the studied silence maintained by former presidents. He’s even attacked Trump by name. Warren explores the historical context and future implications with Tim Naftali, who once ran the Richard Nixon Library and Museum.
Climate Change and Big Money for New Technology California leads the nation in reducing greenhouse emissions, but Governor Jerry Brown concedes that’s just the beginning. Will his global conference on climate change make any difference? Not without trillions of dollars, which will have to come from private investors. We’ll hear about some exotic technologies attracting that kind of money.
The Supreme Court and the End of Judicial Restraint Senate confirmation for SCOTUS nominees has become a political circus. That’s because unelected judges have seized legislative powers--when Congress fails to take action. Ruth Bader Ginsburg says Roe v. Wade is bad constitutional law, even though she agrees with the outcome. Should abortion have been left to the voters? Will Brett Kavanaugh make a difference?
Fascism in Trump’s America Adolf Hitler admired Jim Crow laws, segregation and other historic departures from America’s highest ideals. That’s detailed in, “How Fascism Works: The Politics of Us Against Them.” Yale philosopher Jason Stanley says that President Trump is resurrecting ideas, rhetoric and practices from the past to divide Americans in the present.
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