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The Exchange

Political Junkie Ken Rudin On Torture Report, Ferguson, & Run-off Elections


We're checking in with political junkie Ken Rudin about recent national political news, including the run-off election in Louisiana, fallout from Obama's immigration executive order, and the response to deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner.


  • Ken Rudin - host of The Political Junkie, a weekly radio show covering national, state, and local politics. He is an expert in U.S. politics and campaign history, and a former NPR political editor.


  • Obama's response to the protests over the Ferguson and Eric Garner grand jury decisions: "He of all people — the first black president of the United States — was in a position to testify to the sense of injustice that African-Americans feel in dealing with the police every day, the activists told him. During the unrest that began with a teenager’s shooting in Ferguson, Mo., they hoped for a strong response. Why was he holding back?"
  • The bid to elect Elizabeth Warren: "While MoveOn’s executive director, Ilya Sheyman, told Martin that the group’s draft-Warren effort isn’t about “any other candidate,” its desire for a progressive challenge to Hillary Clinton, who’s widely expected to mount a second White House bid, is the latest salvo in an ongoing war between the organization and Clinton’s orbit."
  • Heading off another federal shutdown: "House leaders are planning to introduce a stopgap bill to give the House and Senate a few more days to pass the final measure and avoid a government shutdown Thursday night. Extending current funding for a short period has happened before, but doing so this year will provide an embarrassing climax to one of the most fruitless congressional sessions in history."
  • Report shows that CIA struggled to justify torture: "The shifting explanation for Zubaydah's treatment, laid out in the 500-page summary of the Senate Intelligence Committee report made public Tuesday, provides an example of how the secret interrogation program from its inception became a self-justifying enterprise that slipped free of the constraints that top officials had promised would guide it."
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