FROM Tom Fitton
E-Mail Gate: Is it Real or Politics as Usual? Hillary Clinton has joked about it, called it partisan and blamed it on turf wars between federal agencies, but questions about her use of private email as Secretary of State are not going away. Some intelligence officials say some messages should have been classified – two of them as Top Secret. The FBI is investigating a possible crime, and polls show serious damage to her credibility with the voters. Has Clinton’s damage-control effort backfired? Is the controversy creating an opening for Joe Biden to launch a campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination?
Will the Courts Decide Another Presidential Election? Twelve years after Bush versus Gore , there's still dispute about the US Supreme Court's split decision giving George W. Bush the presidency of the United States. Will the final decision be up to the courts this coming November? Republicans around the country have passed new election-law procedures aimed at what they insist is widespread "voter fraud." Democrats insist they're violating the voting rights of the poor and minorities. Some 32 legal challenges are now pending — 21 of them in swing states, including Ohio, Florida and Pennsylvania — any one of which has enough electoral votes to decide a close election.
Will the Courts Decide Another Presidential Election? Remember Bush versus Gore ? That was the Florida case that gave George W. Bush the presidency — on a split decision by the US Supreme Court. Republican fears about "voter fraud" and Democratic accusations of "voter suppression" could make this year's electoral outcome messier still. New rules for voting have been struck down in some crucial swing states, but upheld in others. Some 32 challenges are now pending -- 21 of them in swing states, including Ohio, Florida and Pennsylvania -- any one of which has enough electoral votes to decide a close election in November. We hear about Voter ID, early- and absentee-voting and the civil rights of the poor and minorities.
Can Tea Parties Brew Real Political Change? Some polls show hypothetical Tea Party candidates with more support than Democrats or Republicans, but the key word is “hypothetical.” As the Tea Party Convention begins today in Nashville, it's not clear that any candidate could get away with claiming “Tea Party” association. Republicans are trying to focus their anger, but tea-partiers lump both major parties into one, hated Establishment. Why have so many original organizers pulled out of this week's convention? Will Sarah Palin damage her image by appearing and taking a big fee? Will the convention define a political movement or dramatize differences that can't be resolved?
Record-Breaking Expenditure on Election Members of Congress have been investigated, prosecuted and sent to prison this year for converting special interest contributions into public policy. Nevertheless, there's more money in this year's mid-term election campaigns – perhaps as high as $3.1 billion -- than there was in the presidential races two years ago. New records are being set at the state level, too. Where does the money come from, where does it go, and what's the return on investment? Corporate America contributes to both parties, but it's difficult to establish a quid pro quo even when votes go their way. Can the corrupting influence of money be stamped out, or is it the cost of democracy, American style?
Can GOP Contain Latest Scandal, Retain Congressional Control? Mark Foley's lawyer says the former Congressman never abused any children, but explicit e-mails to teenage boys cost him his job. House Speaker Dennis Hastert says he wasn’t the only one who knew about Foley’s e-mails. Yesterday on Rush Limbaugh's radio show, Hastert said he was not to blame for waiting so long to take action. As the scandal escalates, can Hastert and other Republicans hold on to theirs? What's the likely fallout with Christian conservatives and other voters concerned about moral issues? Do the Democrats risk a backlash if they appear to politicize a sensitive issue? We get the latest on what they knew, when they knew and whether they took any action.
Trump plays scolder-in-chief with NATO allies At the opening of NATO’s dramatic new headquarters in Brussels today, President Trump acknowledged that Article 5 — promising that “an attack on one nation is an attack on all” -- has only been invoked one time: in the aftermath of September 11. But the President failed to provide what 27 other Alliance members have been waiting for: a re-commitment by America’s new leader to Article 5. Instead, they got a scolding.
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.