Insight with Beth Ruyak is taking a sabbatical for the month of March to do some behind the scenes renovations. We’ll be back on Tuesday, April 2 with all-new shows. In place of Insight this month we’re airing The Takeaway, a news and cultural show produced by WNYC. Let us know what you think of The Takeaway!
March 22, 2019
After all the drama in 2016, the Democratic National Committee has reformed the nomination process. Today on Politics with Amy Walter from The Takeaway, a look at the new rules and what impact they could have both intended and unintended.
Tom Perez was elected as chairman of the DNC in 2017. Perez's mission is to insure that 2020 isn’t a repeat of 2016. That doesn’t just mean winning, it means re-instilling faith in the system for Democrats. And the DNC has done a lot of work on this front. Amy Walter talks with chairman Perez about the reforms the DNC has undertaken.
Also: we look into the potential unintended consequence of the new superdelegate rule with Dave Wasserman from the Cook Political Report. Julia Azari, an associate professor of political science at Marquette University, gives us the rundown on the new and confusing debate rules. Jeff Link, a longtime Iowa Democratic strategist, explains what’s new for the first caucus state and the role that Iowa plays in the presidential nominating process. We also tackle the unwritten rules on money and fundraising with Maggie Severns of Politico and try to figure out what the role of the DNC actually is these days, and how it’s changed in the last 25 years with Jamal Simmons of HillTV.
Amy's Final Take:
When it comes to covering a primary, the media spends most of its time focused on candidates - their personalities, their policies, and their blunders. But, winning candidates spend a lot of their time focused on the unsexy stuff - how to leverage the rules to their advantage. For example, Barack Obama’s campaign in 2008 realized early on that the delegate rules meant that caucuses were going to win him a lot of delegates - even if they didn’t garner as much media attention as big primary states like Pennsylvania or Texas.
This year, Democrats have lots of new written and unwritten rules to figure out. How to raise lots of money without looking beholden to corportists and one percenters. How to get on the debate stage - and make the most of that opportunity. And, how to convince primary voters that they won the process fair and square. As we saw in 2016, winning the primary is only one part of the challenge for the nominee. He or she has to keep the party unified and inspired all through the general election too.
Read her latest Cook Political Report here.
March 21, 2019
Most Americans take access to water for granted.
Last week, an intense winter storm swept the Midwest. The floods that followed were the worst in 50 years. What can farmers do to protect themselves from extreme weather?
Last November, Floridians voted to give the right to vote back to felons who had served their sentences. But new bills threaten to disenfranchise almost half of of them again.
Peele tackles race, class, and psycho-doppelgangers from a parallel universe in his follow-up to "Get Out."
March 20, 2019
A disproportionately small number of black and Latino students were admitted to New York City’s most elite public high schools.
In apparent violation of rules on caring for and holding migrant children with special needs, 'secret' treatment centers were not disclosed, even to the minors’ attorneys.
Los Angeles Angels star outfielder, Mike Trout, is set to become the highest paid athlete in the history of American sports.
Curtis Flowers was convicted of murdering four people, and has been tried for that same crime 6 times. Did the D.A. unlawfully strike more prospective black jurors than white?
March 19, 2019
Voters will decide whether to add a train line from Atlanta to Gwinnett county, a suburban area northeast of the city. The referendum raises issues of race and access.
Young people have been leading protests against Algeria's ruling government for weeks. The longtime president has agreed not to run for a fifth term, but has canceled the elections.
Netflix decision to cancel "One Day at a Time" has been met with criticism and a renewed discussion of the lack of representation in film and television.
March 18, 2019
The victims range between three and 71-years-old, shedding a light at the horrors of the attack in New Zealand.
Last January, ICE paid over $6 million to get access to a privately maintained database of license plates, and the movements of the cars they’re registered to.
Deal or no deal? Or no no-deal?
What the now-disgraced founder of the defunct blood testing company Theranos teaches us about the the dark side of Silicon Valley.
March 15, 2019
Two things happened on the Hill this week. The most high profile of course came on Thursday when the Republican-controlled Senate voted with Democrats, in a rebuke of President Trump’s national emergency declaration for funding of the border wall.
But here’s something that might have gotten lost: The day before seven Republican senators voted along with Democrats to end U.S. support of the Saudi led war in Yemen.
What does this split tell us about President Trump’s relationship with Republicans in congress? Eliana Johnson is a White House Reporter for Politico. She’s been following this and is here to help us make sense of it all.
We also hear from former Massachusetts Governor Bill Weld who is considering a primary challenge to President Trump.
Henry Olsen, a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center and an opinion columnist at the Washington Post, thinks Governor Weld or any other ‘moderate’ Republican considering a challenge to President Trump is on a fool’s errand.
This month, Jay Inslee, the Democratic governor of Washington state, declared he is running for President, and climate change is his number one issue.
According to a recent Pew Research Survey, about 67 percent of Democrats see climate change as a top priority, but only 21 percent of Republicans feel that way. Amy asked Governor Inslee how he plans to bring the country together over an issue that only half of the country views as a priority.
Amy's Final Take:
Since that day in 2015 when he descended the golden escalator in Trump tower, people like me have wondered whether the GOP would split apart over Donald Trump. His populist, pro-tariff views would alienate business-friendly GOP types. His past support for abortion rights and his multiple divorces would scare off evangelical voters. And, his anti-immigration rhetoric went against the advice of establishment Republicans who warned that unless the GOP expanded its appeal beyond white voters, it would find itself in a demographic death-spiral. Yet, here we are - almost four years later - and the president is as popular with the GOP base as ever.
What keeps the GOP together? The president has given Republicans what they wanted - and avoided (for now) the things they worried about him doing. Many don’t like the steel and aluminum tariffs. But, back in 2016 he warned of imposing a 45 percent tariff on Chinese-made goods. Instead of unilaterally pulling out of NAFTA, as he once warned he’d do, he re-negotiated the trade deal. And, he’s not wavered on cultural or social issues that are important to evangelical voters. In other words, he’s giving most Republicans what they wanted.
Another unifying factor for the GOP: the 2020 democratic candidates. Even if you don’t like Trump, well, the potential Democratic nominee could be much, much worse. This is why the president is spending so much time and energy labeling Democrats as the party of socialism.
So, the GOP sticks with Trump because he’s giving them most of what they want, but also because the Democratic choice is unpalatable. We should stop asking if Trump is going to lose support from Republicans - he probably won’t. Instead, what we should be looking for is whether he can keep GOPers as motivated to turn out and vote. Trump had an enthusiasm advantage over Clinton in 2016. In 2018, it was Democrats who were more motivated. Let’s see what 2020 brings.
Read Amy's latest Cook Political report here.
March 14, 2019
California Governor Gavin Newsom announced a moratorium on executions in the state, which holds one quarter of the nation's death row inmates.
For years now, lethal injection has been a major point of contention in Ohio. And this month, executions in the state ground to a temporary halt.
Friday's Youth Climate Strike will see students from nearly 100 countries walk out of school to demand bold environmental action.
Marwan Hisham called for the end of the Assad regime. He could never have imagined what has transpired since.
March 13, 2019
The C.E.O. of Southwest Key, a private company that houses the plurality of migrant children in U.S. shelters, has resigned after facing scrutiny from a financial probe.
According to new data, the black stillbirth rate in Ohio is twice the white stillbirth rate.
Widespread power outages have escalated the tumultuous situation in Venezuela, where the U.S.-backed opposition has been attempting to overthrow President Nicolas Maduro since January.
A new FBI investigation takes cutthroat college admissions to a whole new level, but the 1% shelling out big bucks to get their kids into college is nothing new.
March 12, 2019
For all the leaning in, women still made 82 cents on the dollar in 2017. Women of color fared even worse.
After the biggest nuclear disaster since Chernobyl, Japan is continuing its clean-up of Fukushima. And it's getting a little assistance from an unlikely helper: robots.
"I Felt the System Was Raping Me All Over Again": Senator McSally Reveals Sexual Assault in the Military
March 11, 2019
Republican Senator Martha McSally from Arizona shared her story of assault in the military. Reports show things have not changed much since her rape by a superior officer.
As more high school students come out as trans, their experience as athletes can vary greatly depending on where they live.
President Trump rolled back an Obama-era measure that requires the military and CIA to publish data on drone strikes carried out in non-combat zones.