FROM Patrick Marley
Collective Bargaining for Public Employees With a history of support for organized labor, Wisconsin was the first state with collective bargaining for public employees. But now, after three years of upheaval, Republican Governor Scott Walker has made it a bastion of opposition. The state Supreme Court has upheld Act 10, which all but eliminates collective bargaining with public sector unions. Patrick Marley is Statehouse Reporter for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Is There a War on Voting Rights? Democrats and Republicans know that every vote counts, especially in a divided nation. All over the country, Republicans in state capitols are passing laws to limit what they call rampant voter fraud. Democrats say the GOP has declared war on the rights of voters who want to re-elect Barack Obama. We hear about a dispute that's fundamental to American democracy.
Voter ID and the 'Battle Before the Battle' Republicans insist that voter fraud is so common it could change the results of elections or at least diminish confidence in the integrity of the process. But Democrats say the GOP is pushing voter-identification laws to keep students, the elderly and especially African Americans away from the polls. In 2008, those voters were crucial to electing Barack Obama. Last year (except for the elderly) they stayed home, and Republicans won big. We hear what's happening in state capitols all over the country. Do both parties try to use election laws to their own advantage?
Wisconsin and the Rights of Government Employees Wisconsin's public employee unions say they've agreed to Republican Governor Scott Walker's proposed increases in pension and healthcare contributions. But they're into the second week of protests over his demand that collective bargaining rights be limited.
Standoff Continues in Wisconsin In Madison, protesters packed the Capitol again today as Wisconsin's Governor refused to negotiate his controversial budget bill. Republican Scott Walker's plan is aimed at a $137 million shortfall. The state's public employee unions say they've agreed to Walker's proposed pay cuts and pension contributions, but are into the second week of protests over his demand that collective bargaining rights be limited. The minority Senate Democrats have left the state to prevent Republicans from enacting the Governor's proposal. President Obama's accused Walker of an "assault against unions," and minority Senate Democrats have left the state to prevent Republicans from changing the law. We get the latest's on a bitter dispute focused on government workers and the economy.
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?
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?
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.
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.