Photo: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) walks from the Senate Chamber after eliminating the filibuster rule against Supreme Court nominees, on Capitol Hill in Washington, April 6, 2017. (Joshua Roberts/Reuters)
FROM THIS EPISODE
California Republican Devin Nunes has recused himself as Chair of the House Intelligence Committee while it investigates Russian interference in last year's election. He's also being investigated himself, by the Ethics Committee. Ali Watkins, national security reporter for BuzzFeed, says Nunes is being investigated for possible revelation of classified information.
In the Senate, minority party rights have been protected by requiring that some measures need 60 votes, instead of just 51, in order to pass. But over the years, both parties have eroded that rule — especially regarding judicial confirmations — and this week it’s happening again. Senate Democrats challenged Republicans to put up or shut up today by denying the 60 votes needed to confirm Neil Gorsuch to the US Supreme Court. Republican John McCain said, "Someday we will regret what we are about to do." But he still joined fellow Republicans in eliminating a protection for minority party rights in the Senate. Once again, a supposedly hallowed tradition is being abandoned in the interests of politics. What will approval of President Trump’s first appointment to the US Supreme Court mean in the long run for both political parties?
Senate Majority Leader McConnell on allowing an up-or-down vote on Gorsuch
Dennis on Democrats choosing path on Gorsuch that could change Washington
Jawando on five reasons to save the 60-vote threshold for SCOTUS nominees
Tobin on Democrats' filibuster foolhardiness
Politico on Trump's back channel to Justice Kennedy
Secret Service agents tidy-up President Trump's limousines
as they wait for him at Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Florida
Photo by Jonathan Ernst/Reuters
President Trump's summit meeting with China's President Xi Jinping starts today at Mar-a-Lago — Mr. Trump's ultra-luxurious club for members only, now being called "the Winter White House." It's a daily subject of extensive news coverage — and free publicity. That raises ethics questions and tarnishes the conduct of American diplomacy according to Robert Weissman. He's president of Public Citizen, the nonprofit government watchdog founded by Ralph Nader.
More From To the Point
Special: ‘Trump Baby’ flies over Big Ben… President Trump flies to Europe this week for meetings with NATO, the Queen and Russia’s President Putin. But the president won’t be the only Trump flying when he lands in the UK. An enormous, orange “Trump baby” balloon, complete with a diaper and cell phone is set to float just above the streets of London, for all to see. What else do British protestors have in store?
On the road to SCOTUS: Politics trumps the law Conservative Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s Senate confirmation looks highly likely, but crucial issues won’t go away. The Supreme Court may see cases involving abortion, health care and the limits of presidential power. Can Democrats use upcoming hearings to dramatize what’s at stake--before November’s elections?
Politics and ‘incivility’ One Democrat wants Trump aides confronted in public over separating immigrant families. But her party’s leaders call that “incivility.” The question is: does moderation accomplish real change -- or is it a smokescreen for the status quo? When it comes to achieving racial equality, what’s worked and what hasn’t?
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