FROM Dan Gerstein
Saturday's Shooting Rampage in Tucson Twenty-two year-old Jared Laughner was arraigned today in Phoenix, telling a federal judge he understood charges of murder and attempted murder. They stem, of course, from Saturday's deadly shootout in Tuscon. When proceedings resume in two weeks, they'll be handled by another federal judge who's not from Arizona. Doctors say it's good news that Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords ' condition has not changed since a bullet passed through her brain. She has been able to respond to simple commands.
Violence, Madness and Politics in Arizona In Washington today, federal charges were filed against Jared Lee Loughner stemming from Saturday's shooting rampage in Tucson. Meanwhile, members of Congress and their staffs gathered on the steps of the Capitol and observed a moment of silence in tribute to their wounded colleague, Democratic Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords . Business has been cancelled for the rest of this week. FBI Director Robert Mueller has taken charge of the investigation of Saturday's shooting . Yesterday, he talked about the increased availability of what he called inciteful speech, including hate speech. He said possible links to extremist groups would be a continuing focus. We discuss what led to the shooting rampage that killed six people, including US District Court Judge John Roll and 9-year old girl, Did vitriolic rhetoric play a role? Is a tragedy being used to make political points?
How Would the Candidates Fix This Financial Mess? The Fed rescued insurance giant AIG yesterday, but the stock markets took a dive anyway. Today, central banks in America, Europe and Asia promised $180 billion in hopes of calming financial jitters. We find out how the markets reacted. With the financial system on the ropes, Congress still plans to adjourn within the next two weeks without taking action. It turns out that major funders of both John McCain and Barack Obama are firms involved in the current financial crisis. Does McCain's political history undercut his call for more regulation? What about Obama's ties to Wall Street, including the former head of Fannie Mae? Note: The McCain campaign declined our invitation to participate in today's program.
The Race for President and the Politics of Change With Mitt Romney out and a fresh round of primaries coming up this weekend, the race for the White House has narrowed to three people: Republican John McCain and Democrats Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama . Will a new political dialogue emerge? Voters and candidates talk about change, but what kind of change is actually likely in the campaign ahead? Are voters inspired by messages of hope tired of the slash-and-burn style of campaigning that's marked recent elections? Will cynicism give way to civility in political discourse? How will shifting political alliances affect the way candidates shape their messages to voters?
The longest US war: Will Trump send more troops to Afghanistan? The Trump White House is divided over the Pentagon's request for more troops in Afghanistan—where the US has been fighting for the past 16 years. Is there a formula -- either for "victory" or a political settlement? Is there an end in sight for America's longest war?
What is Trump's plan for Middle East peace? On his first foreign tour, President Trump has promised "peace" between Israel and the Palestinians. Are there any details for re-starting talks that have been stalled for the past three years?
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.
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.