Republicans took over Congress promising big change, but internal battles and refusals to compromise have made them historically unproductive. With public approval at 14%, is this Congress more dysfunctional than those of the past? Also, a British Panel finds Rupert Murdoch unfit to run News Corporation, and the largest fossil forest ever discovered is 300 million years old. Was it done in by climate change?
FROM THIS EPISODE
"Rupert Murdoch is not a fit person to exercise the stewardship of a major international company." That's the conclusion of a committee of Britain's parliament after months of investigation. But it's not unanimous. Andrew Edgecliffe-Johnson is Media Editor for the Financial Times.
Even some long-time Republicans are calling the current Congress the most dysfunctional since the Civil War. Public approval is 14 percent -- up from nine. What do Tea Party members have to do with it? Are they idealistic Mr. Smiths lost in Washington or another group of obedient servants to special interests? Are both parties helping plutocrats hijack the government, despite the priorities of most voters? How does this Congress compare to those of the past when it comes to addressing the urgent problems that face the American people?
Robert Draper, New York Times Magazine / National Geographic / GQ (@DraperRobert)
Heidi Przybyla, Bloomberg News (@HeidiPrzybyla)
Jacob Hacker, Yale University (@ISPSYale)
Gregory Wawro, Columbia University
Springfield Coal is a series of coal seams under southern Illinois, Kentucky and Indiana. Miners have known them for years and now, after all that digging, paleontologists are studying what's been left behind. They have to go down… and look up, because the largest fossilized forest ever discovered is on the roof of a massive coal mine. One scientist calls it "the closest thing you'll find to time travel." Bill DiMichele, curator of fossil plants at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, is one of those who discovered the 300-million-year-old forest.
Bill DiMichele, Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
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Kavanaugh Supreme Court Nomination Meets #MeToo Senate confirmation looked like a done deal, but gender politics are disrupting the process. Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s unblemished record is up against a woman’s lifetime of trauma--depending on who you believe. What are the options for Senate Republicans less than two months before this year’s elections?
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?
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