FROM Philip Bump
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 .
"Tough on crime" rhetoric sees a revival at Sessions' DOJ The pendulum swings between treatment-focused approaches to drug abuse and tough law enforcement. Now, after years of Obama-era "reforms," President Trump’s Attorney General, Jeff Sessions wants local police freed from federal restrictions to fight another "war on drugs."
Does 'hire American' mean fire a foreigner? US companies are allowed to hire employees from other countries with highly developed skills that can't be found here. President Trump says it's being abused as a way to find cheap foreign labor. We hear about the benefits—and the risks—of changing the H-1B program.