FROM Philip Bump
Another terror attack: The blame game and immigration Multiple bikes are crushed along a bike path in lower Manhattan in New York, October 31, 2017 Photo by Brendan McDermid/Reuters Eight people — six of them from out of the country -- were killed in yesterday's truck attack on a bike path near the World Trade Center. The attack by 29-year-old Green Card holder Sayfullo Saipov was the first deadly strike of its kind in New York City since September 11. Police say the suspect from Uzbekistan was "radicalized" in this country. President Trump, citing Fox News as his authority, blamed Democrats for yesterday's attack in New York. He tweeted that the killer entered the country under an immigration program supported by Chuck Schumer, the Senate Minority Leader, who represents New York State. Schumer replied by accusing the President of "politicizing and dividing America" at a time of tragedy.
Manafort indicted, adviser pleaded guilty for lying to FBI President Trump's former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, appeared in court today on charges including money laundering to evade taxes. The President tweeted it all happened "years ago," before Manafort joined his campaign. But Democrats speculate that Special Counsel Robert Mueller is pressuring Manafort to testify about Russian meddling in last year's campaign. Democrats are worried that the President might fire Robert Mueller. At today's White House briefing, Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders denied that. Also today, one of the President's foreign advisors pled guilty to lying to the FBI about efforts to set up a meeting with Russians and the Trump campaign about "dirt" on Hillary Clinton.
Trump doubles down on support for Confederate statues In today's string of morning Tweets, President Trump repeated his equation of the nation's founders with Confederate leaders. He said again that Washington and Jefferson were slave owners, and he mourned the loss of what he called "beautiful statues and monuments" to Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee. Is that good politics? Philip Bump of the Washington Post has looked at recent polls.
Is it worth granting immunity to get the truth? Former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn asked for immunity in exchange for his testimony. Does that mean -- as he said of others in the past -- that he must be guilty of something? We also look into the complicated ties between Russia and Donald Trump’s associates.
Does the President-elect want a divided White House? CNN reports that Donald Trump was surprised to learn he'll have to appoint an entirely new White House staff. There's passionate conflict over his choice of two top leaders. Where Trump sees unity, others see confusion and a recipe for continued internal conflict. Chief-of-Staff Reince Priebus is deeply tied to the Republican establishment. Chief Strategist Steve Bannon wants to shake it to its foundations. GOP critics — as well as Democrats -- are alarmed by Bannon's exploitation of misogyny, racism and anti-Semitism as head of Breitbart — the online "Alt-Right" news site. In the meantime, is Trump compromising on his "beautiful wall?"
Are Democrats United? The theme at the Democratic National Convention, which kicks off Monday , is “United Together.” But the reality so far has been anything but. The Wikileaks release of Democratic National Committee emails has reopened the wounds of Bernie Sanders supporters, forcing party Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz to resign her post. And now the Clinton campaign is blaming the Russian government as being the source of the leaked emails.
It's Not Democracy, It's the Rules Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders are outraged that the presidential nominating process turns out not to be an exercise in direct democracy, and many voters agree. But it's not and it never has been. Most of the time that doesn't matter because there's a clear front-runner before the nominating convention begins. But when there's a real contest, each campaign has to master complex rules that are different in all 50 states and for each political party. Is there any chance that widespread anger and frustration might lead to change before this year's conventions?
The Voting Wars: Who's Winning? Who's Losing? In North Carolina, it’s same-day registration; in Ohio it’s early voting; in Wisconsin and Texas, it’s Voter ID. In just 10 days, the US Supreme Court has intervened three times in voting wars between Democrats and Republicans. We’ll hear how court actions on Voter ID and other restrictions could make a big difference in Washington.
The Tradition behind the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade Balloons In 87 years of the annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade , bad weather's only grounded the giant balloons once -- in 1971. The giant balloons for tomorrow's parade have been crafted by 28 full-time workers at the Macy's Parade Studio in North Jersey and will be inflated tonight. The balloons that floated over the streets of New York City 80 years ago were nothing like these inflated billboards designed as commercials to be viewed by millions on TV. We hear more from Laura Petrecca, New York City Deputy Bureau Chief for USA Today , and Philip Bump, staff writer for TheWire.com .
Government Acknowledges Area 51, but Not Aliens For decades after World War II, reports of Unidentified Flying Objects were reported near "Area 51," 90 miles Northwest of Las Vegas in the Nevada Nuclear Test Site. The government even denied such a place existed, and legends were born. Now the mystery is over. All the secrecy surrounding Area 51 led to stories of UFO's and even large-headed, little gray space aliens being interrogated by scientists in white coats. It's not that interesting, but Area 51 has been an important place. Philip Bump is a writer for the Atlantic Wire .
What happens when America retreats from the world? Is President Trump taking his "America First" agenda to extremes, withdrawing the country from the international stage on trade and climate change, distancing America from its traditional allies across the Atlantic and even threatening to physically isolate the country through the building of a wall along its southern border? León Krauze guest hosts.
Will the Senate write a healthcare bill in secret? While Democrats and Republicans argue White House relations with Russia, another question is being decided behind closed doors: who gets help buying health insurance and who doesn't? We hear how the pros and cons are being shrouded in secrecy.
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.
Terrorism and tweets, hate speech and murder Just days before an election, Britain is coping with a rash of deadly terrorism, and Prime Minister Theresa May is on the defensive. And again today, President Trump has tweeted criticism of the Mayor of London. Later, a double murder in Portland, Oregon has revealed the ugly past of a supposedly “progressive” city. One immediate question: is “hate speech” protected by the First Amendment?