tv CNN Newsroom With Fredricka Whitfield CNN September 2, 2018 1:00pm-2:00pm PDT
hello, everyone. thank you for being with us me on this sunday. final good-bye to senator john mccain and we saw the military honoring the late senator with this missing man formation flying over. these navy f-18 jets four of them and one peeling off in salute to a fallen pilot, and after a week of omourning for mccain's family and close inner circle friends are now or have been saying the last final good-byes s s at a private buri site. and he is going to be buried next to admiral chuck larson, his former classmate, and it is a pact they made years ago and a
true symbol of his roots. and his wife saying that chuck has the wingman back now. and chuck todd is the-- brian t were there and describe it for us. >> right, fredricka. talking to you on the air in anticipation of this and recapping the ceremony the four f-18 fighter jets flew right over my head. our team looked up above and i was watching it live on the air when they flew right above us, and wu of them peeled off. and usually, they peel off to the side, but this is, this pilot peeled off almost directly above and he made a cut straight up. it was a really powerful moment. this may been one of the easily most powerful symbols of the incredible wee symbolism that we have seen. there is something about the
flyover and you can't take your eyes off of it, and for the few seconds that you are witnessing it, you are moved by it. it is a wonderful sendoff and wonderful symbol for aviator and john mccain's family and those who knew him can appreciate pit most. you talked about the admiral chuck larson getting the wings at the pensacola naval station in the late '60s and they made a pact 20 years ago to be buried together. and the admiraled said to his wife i have gotten our burial place at the academy, and so john is going to be next to me, and so they arrange ed fd for t spouses as well. so it is a powerful moment here to have a final send off to the great pilot, senator and public servant. >> what an emotional finality. thank you, brian todd. >> president trump is going to get a second opportunity to make a lasting impact on the united
states supreme court when his nominee brett kavanaugh goes before the u.s. senate for confirmation hearings this the week. it is the second such showdown for a justice since the president has taken office. this is as the white house is saying that it is using executive privilege to hold back more than 100,000 pages of documents related to kavanaugh's time in george bush's ed administration. senate minority leader chuck schumer calls it a friday night document massacre in reference to watergate, and republicans are trying to go through his nomination without proper scrutiny. we go to boris sanchez for morep on the trump administration's reasons for blocking the documents. boris, what is the explanation? >> hey, there, fred, william burke who is overseeing the documents wrote a letter to
chuck gra chuck grassley of the senate judiciary committee why he chose to hold back 100,000 plus pages related the to judge kavanaugh, and the reason is constitutional privilege. he says that former president george w. bush who he worked for asked him to be as transparent as possible in the process, but the democrats do not feel it has happened. you have seen the tweet from senate minority leader chuck sh schumer there, and beyond that the deputy press secretary raj shah putting out the statement saying that there are not more transparency for more supreme court nominees of the 400,000-plus pages releesased a substantial. further, there are questions about where brett kavanaugh stands on a number of key hot button issues, and namely abortion and roe v. wade, something that has been said he would overturn.
and when asked where he stands on that earlier on "state of the union" speaking today na bash, this is what lindsey graham s d said. >> this is what i hope will happen is that if he has a question about the roe v. wade, he would listen to story, apply a test to overturn the precedent. precedent is important, but it is not invalid. and i would be interested to see citizens versus united is overturned, and so there is a process to overturn the precedent and he understands the process and applies it, and if it were up to me, the states would make the decisions and not the supreme court, but it is long held precedent of the court, and it is going to be challenged over time, and i hope he gives it a fair hearing. >> the confirmation hear forgs kavanaugh began tuesday and so far president trump has not weighed in on that, fred. >> thank you, boris sanchez, appreciate it. and with me now is cnn contributor and general council
for the election commission, larry noble. and very good to see you, and we will start off with the reminder of why this is an important supreme court nomination. and kavanaugh is replacing anthony kennedy who cast a swing vote on several major cases. talk to us about the level of importance of kavanaugh. >> this si important to the court, because justice kennedy was a swing vote on many of the issues including abortion, marriage equality and campaign finance cases, and really, what you are going to get here with kavanaugh is trump's opportunity to switch the court to a very conservative court, and to take the decisions that are 5-4 in the direction of upholding abortion rights and campaign finance laws, and switching it around. and you know, talking about precedent, when you are dealing with the supreme court is only as good as the supreme court says it is good. when you five justices who say we no longer want to the file the precedent, it is gone.
so it is disingenuous for people to say that he going to be looking at the cases very closely and follow precedent, because the expectation is that he is now the swing vote to undo much of what kennedy stood for and much of what the rest of the court stood for, so we will see if he is confirmed and i suspect that he will be, we will see some major changes in the supreme court jurisprudence. >> and kconfirmation hearings beginning tuesday and customarily the u.s. senate wants full transparency, but reportedly 100,000 documents that the white house refuses to release executive privilege and it is the protection of which they can do that, but at the same time, it is the urging of geor george w. bush's lawyer william burke who was encouraging this, and i'm quoting now from a new york times' article saying that the documents reflect deliberations and candid advice and confidentiality is critical
to anyt president's ability to carry out a core constitutional function. is this more r soso a protectio the prior administration as opposed to this white house feeling that it is protecting the candidate? >> well we don't know withoutt s seeing the documents, but in my suspicion, it is protecting the candida candidate. they should release them, and they are rushing it through, and the concern is what do these document documents show about the type of oadvice that he gave george w. bush and where he stands on the various issue, and while he was advising george w. bush, and there are a lot of important issues that came up before the court. so i think that the whole idea here is to try to rush it through as fast as possible. they obviously want to get it through before the election. and they are not only shortcutting the process, but depriving senators and the public from really a full vetting of kavanaugh. >> and so with the president or
at least people around him under investigation, this special counsel probe which has -- resulted in something like 39 indictments and some of them including guilty pleas, how much of that do you think or questions about those things will be, you know, peppered, you know, to kavanaugh? what is the expectation of how he can answer these questions without really understand mining decisions that may potentially come oral challenges that may o potentially come to the u.s. supreme court? >> right. the classic thing they do is that they will say that i am not going to make any statement about how i would rule on anything or discuss any open questions, but the problem with kavanaugh is that he has expressed a belief in writings and opinions in what you would call a strong executive branch and strong president si, and that the president has a lot of
authority, and even though he was involved with the impeach ment of clinton, h now said that he doesn't think that the president should be really s subject no the civil suit, and the president has a lot more authority than a lot of other people do, and he does not necessarily believe in the total checks and balances, and he does not believe in the independent agencies, and that is critical when you have a president under investigation, because if he believes that the president has this tremendous amount of authority to protect himself, and not subject to investigation, then what you are being removed in the supreme court is one of the checks on the president. if the supreme court rubber stamps what the president wants in terms of stopping or eliminating an investigation, then we have a serious problem. that is my major concern is that right now we have a congress not inclined to investigate the president, and if we have a supreme court that says that the department of justice can't investigatet the president, because it is either outside of the authority or the president can shut it down any time he wants, then the president is
going to go unchecked for a long time and leaving donald trump n unchecked is concerning. >> leaving any president unchecked, right? >> yes, any president unchecked is concerning, but at president by his own words said that he does not believe in the norms that the other presidents have followed. we have not had another president who has attacked his own department of justice, the fbi, the intelligence community the way that this president has, and so when you have a president who is attacking everything around him, you want to make sure that you is the other safeguards that the constitution provides in terms of checks and balance balances. >> larry noble, thank you. and president trump is prepared to hit the campaign trail this week. coming out swinging as we are inching closer for the mid-terms in november, but will his political endorsements pack as much of a punch this time around? we will discuss that coming up. ready for the picture?
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all right. president trump is heading to montanat for a campaign rally this thursday. the president is expected to give an update on the economic policies and promote republican kapd dates ahead of the midterms including gop candidate matt rose endale, and to join me to talk about this and other big political headlines is a alice stewart, republican strategist for ted cruz and also alex who is a democratic strategist. and so, looking for a more vulnerable candidates is jon tester, and so, alice, do the republicans have a chance here? >> itt is possible for republicans, and whether it is for governor or house or senate, it is a case bi ky case.
i have not said one size fits all, but if the economy is going strong and the republican enthusiasm is going, we will be in good shape, and the key is voter enthusiasm, and the midterms, it is all about getting the base out to vote, and recent poll is showing that 76% of hillary voters are committed and only 36% of trump voters. so we have to get them out there to get out the vote and if not, the democrats could be in charge. >> and this is big, because a new high point for the president's disapproval rating and with his almost daily attacks on the russian probe, 63 support the mueller probe, and how could this impact the
turnout for mt.t montana or oth places? >> well, the turnout is around the corner, and they will come out to support him. but the key is to get out the support him and get out to vote. i have travelled with him, and talked to the republican voters a & of them, the base, they are not phased by the russian investigation and not phased by the payouts by porn stars and other thing, and not what we are looking at here in atlanta. >> and what about him not being invited to john mccain's funeral, and might this be an area of where the supporters were conflicted? >> yes. and people are conflicted, because john mccain is a war hero and someone to be revere and honor and respected, and a good many republicans had
heartburn over it, but at the end of the day, it is about policies and jobs and economy, and as long as that is strong, the republicans are in good shape. >> and howard, you president trump, and you know, immediately taking to twitter on all of this saying that it was an accurate, and talk thing aing the polling ahead of the 2016 election, and they will never learn. he called it a suppressional poll. >> suppressional poll. so the credibility of american pollsters aside, and we saw and upset in florida, and obviously, donald trump was the beneficiary less than two years ago. so putting the polling aside, and the fact that he is only going to place where is he is already going to be getting a warm reception, and already can challenging the likely incumbent who is a democrat is telling you where he is welcome in this country, and more no the point, when you are acknowledging how the megaphone approach is drowning out the message, they should be shouting from the
rooftops, because they have put conservatives on the supreme court and passed a tax cut and has us thinking of everything but what that has been done. >> and what is the reason? >> there is nothing to be intimated from what he has done and there is not a playbook and he is flying by the seat of the pant, and thus far, it has worked. but now he has candidates up and down the ballot, and depending upon him to raise money, and the enthusiasm of the republican r party, i think that he is going to be finding himself in a tough spot. >> and alice, how perplexing is texas, because ted cruz and donald trump were a nemesis, and now he is going to texas to campaign i campaigning for ted cruz and you once worked for ted cruz camp and how does this come about? >> this is something where the president realizes or the republicans realize that he has popularity, and he can energize
people, and really connect with the base. it is valuable no the candidate who is not running for office and valuable to the republicans overall. look, i was in the midst of the back and forth with the president trump and senator cruz on the presidential campaign trail, but politics is hard. and when you are running in a high stakes very heated presidential campaign, all bets are off, and you will do anything and everything to the win, and that is -- >> not to sound like it is playground stuff, but the president started it, right? he started with the lying ted and then going after his wife, and placing blame and that ted cruz' dad had something to do with the assassination of jfk, and that is heavy and deep stuff, and for ted cruz to be embracing or seeing it as an attribute for the president to campaign for him, that is confusing. >> that is whether this debate is a challenge of a real one. the polling there says that the candidate is crash iing in and
point or two behind, and so looking at how close it is, and with two months the go, and it would have been a nail biter and would you have ever expected a nail biter. >> well, clear politics has ted up by 4 1/2 point, and here is the key thing, and the opponent has not been vetted or test ed by the media, and -- >> he is looking like the nice guy. >> i am sure he is a nice guy, and that being said, we know that he fled the scene of a dui in 1998 and a lot of other st y stories that are looking into the past, because he has not had the true vetting by the voters around and the more they learn about him, they are going to realize that he is not going to truly represent the value of texas which is strong on immigration and strong on reducing federal government regulations, and big on jobs and also the supreme court, and stx -- texas is a red state, and they won't go blue.
>> and campaigning can be dirty and politics dirty, and looking at a florida with the race-baiting and the robocalls or the republican nominee using the word monkey in reference no the democratic nominee, and hoy ugly or bad can the electorate respond to that ultimately? >> i have to say at this point that we have been able to put up 19 months of president trump with his megaphone on twitter to say whatever he wants with whomever he disagrees with, and s so i think that some of the voters are tuning it out, but certainly, florida is a multicultural melting pot of voters, and they know the dog whistles and what that means. >> and the midterm challenge. >> that is what it is, and thele challenge has been in florida for many years, and the same thing is true, and in texas, and one thing that is in question is the voters there to push the blue wave across the state, and they are both there. >> and the key is that florida has big races, and they will
have the senate race and the governor's race and there are a lot of good reasons for people of both sides of the aisle to come out the vote. the key is strong candidates. desantis is a good candidate and a bad mistake and he should not have used that word. >> should he a apologize. >> i think he should. he should say, i apologize and i truly don't feel that it is meant the way it is perceived. >> but is it beneficial to apologize. >> that is the question. >> that is the question, but i don't believe he meant it the way it was perceived, but the policies are right for florida. >> it is one tof the words that you just don't -- and that seems awfully intentional and that is the interpretation by most. alice and howard. thank you. another twist in the tale of the attorney general, but jeff
sessions, and the president's feud intensifies, who are the republicans going to side with ahead of the midterm elections? we will break it all down. ♪ but mania, such as unusual changes in your mood, activity or energy levels, can leave you on shaky ground. help take control by talking to your doctor. ask about vraylar. vraylar is approved for the acute treatment of manic or mixed episodes of bipolar i disorder in adults. clinical studies showed that vraylar reduced overall manic symptoms. vraylar should not be used in elderly patients with dementia due to increased risk of death or stroke. call your doctor about fever, stiff muscles, or confusion, which may mean a life-threatening reaction, or uncontrollable muscle movements, which may be permanent. side effects may not appear for several weeks. high cholesterol and weight gain; high blood sugar, which can lead to coma or death; decreased white blood cells, which can be fatal; dizziness upon standing; falls; seizures; impaired judgment; heat sensitivity; and trouble swallowing may occur.
are republicrepublican mems congress have been pleading with the president not to fire jeff sessions at least not yet, because they fear that the party could face potential fallout ahead of the elections. and he has stepped up the tweeting about how sessions has not served him well and not having control over the department of justice and saying
this in a recent interview. >> i would like to have jeff sessions do the his job, and if he did, i would be very happy, but the job entails two sides and not one side. >> and trump's criticism has been aimed at session's decision to recuse himself from the ru russian investigation and let me bring back cnn contributor larry nobles, and julian a cnn contribut contributor. so now, what is at stake, because reportedly papadopoulos and the last-minute appeal to try to get a reduced sentence and a filing that infer rs that sessions may have pernlged himself when it comes down to whole -- perjured himself when it comes down to the that meeting? >> well, no sh, and a lot of th republicans are not eager to do
this and going into the midterm, it is going to cause the kind of the firestorm that almost ensure s the blue wave that people are talking about, and it is also going to tie up po ten slal the supreme court nomination process which is really what republicans want to the focus on, and finally, back to mueller, the obstruction issue is front and center from what we are hearing, so this could play directly into that part of the investigation. so there is many reasons not to do it. i don't know if itt is going to stop president trump, but certainly, the rationals for not doing it are there. >> and already rlarry, they are talking about wrapping it up like giuliani was saying get it done by september, and is there a deadline or a rule or a custom that the special, you know, counsel would not make a decision or reveal anything to
potentially influence an election like the midterm? >> well, there is no rule. it is a custom, and it is a consideration of the department of justice so that when you are within 60 days of the election, you want to avoid do anything with the election, but it is not that you can't do something, and they have to weigh it. obviously, giuliani would love to have the investigation wrapped up as soon as possible and bring it to a close, and every defense attorney would love to say that the investigation of my client is going to end on such a date. it does not work that u way, and there is no such rule. >> and julian, there is not supposed to be a professed allegiance that the attorney general has for the president, but when you are hearing lindsey graham who months ago, he said that there would be holy hell to pay if the president were to get rid of a jeff session, and then he has revised the thinking that the two don't get along and so it is understandable if the president would do something after the election, and so what
is the message there that you would have a senator, such as a lindsey graham say something like that? does this help to empower the president? >> absolutely. it is the same message that most of the senate republicans have been sending the president throughout the presidency on all issue issues. they condemn him on the one hand for certain statements or threats, but then they kind of waiver and basically, they don't do much to show that they would stand firm if the president did something like trying to remove attorney general sessions. so i think that when you have someone like senator graham say that, it is going to get into his head and undercut the republican fears about the political consequences of firing sessions. ri, if you are sessions, what do you do with all of the swirling around you? >> well, you know, it is weird to defend sessions, because he has done things that are questionable. and as the papadopoulos statement showed real serious questi
questions with what he did with the russians and tacitly approved the idea of meeting with putin. so, i mean, if you are session right now, he wants to hold on the his job, and there is act l actually maybe a difference between him deciding to resign versus being forcing the president to fire him. because there is a vacancy act which allows the president to the replace somebody who resigns, but it is not clear that it allows the president to immediately replace somebody without senate approval if the person is fired. so this may come into fire, and if the relationship is that bad, he may force trump to fire him, and that is my guess, that he would force trump to fire him after the election, and agree it is after the election, because they don't want the political fallout from it right now. >> fascinating and continuing to be confusing, because lot of people are critical of jeff sessions, and now some of the same people are rallying, because, you know, of the sequence of the events that have been transpiring in the last year and a half and almost two now. all right.
go ahead. >> i would say quickly, fredricka, it is not that the people are defending jeff sessions, but trying to keep a wall up against trump going after mueller and rosenstein and it is not about jeff session, and if you could replace him with somebody who would take that job and look at it as justi justice, and then people would say, fine, lett sessions go. >> but it is the institutions that the people, and some have been trying to protect. larry noble, and julian zelitzer, thank you, and we will be right back. bundle and sav, but now it's time to find my dream abode. -right away, i could tell his priorities were a little unorthodox. -keep going. stop. a little bit down. stop. back up again. is this adequate sunlight for a komodo dragon? -yeah. -sure, i want that discount on car insurance just for owning a home, but i'm not compromising. -you're taking a shower? -water pressure's crucial, scott! it's like they say -- location, location, koi pond. -they don't say that.
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dissenter. ruth bader ginsburg has many accolades in her ground-breaking career. and now, rbg is going to take a look at the personal and the professional life of justice ginsburg who has developed an impressive legal legacy while becoming the unexpected pop culture icon. >> just the thought they might catch a glimpse of her is overwhelming. i have a mug of hers in the room that says herstory in the making. >> i just ordered tons of merch. >> the notorious rbg. >> it is easy to take for granted the position that young women can have in today's society, and that's a lot in thanks to justice ginsburg's work. >> who is more disdained or told to go away than an older woman? this is an older woman who
everybody wants to hear everything that she has to say. >> and joining me now is a senior editor at slate and host of the podcast amicus, and it is fascinating to the hear the young ladies to speak for admiration for justice ginsburg and at the same time listening and looking for the women to await for her to arrive at any college campus, and the way that the justice seems like she is shy and reserved, but then you listen to her, and you are thinking that she is a force. >> it is true. she is an improbable hero, because she is controlled and so careful. every word she chooses is so careful, and the whole arc of the career has been ins cemen l -- incrementalist, and she is not a ninja warrior, but she is now a rock star.
she is the anti-trump. so careful and so intellectual and so careful for institutions that women have just flocked to her. >> and this is not like an epiphany for her, and when you say she is opposite of trump, but she has been this wa way, and she is consistent, but what about now that if it is a now thing that suddenly, you know, there is a moniker of not notorious b.i.g., but know or the or theous r.b.g. and a following that has galvanized people and they have t-shirts and mugs, and what about now? she is so funny about this, and she says, i'm 85 years old and now everybody wants a picture with me. and it is because when she was a child, her mother said, be lady like and never show ainnger, an so she devoted her career to using the law. she didn't march in the '60s,
but used the law. she was so spectacularly careful never to offend or insult, and something started to happen before trump where she was writing the scorching dissents and the blistering opinions, and she torqued in the late 70s and became a warrior after a whole career of being incredibly controlled. people love it, and it speaks to us somehow. >> and the qualities that you are describing, they are real consistencies from the real start and the nucleus of her coming to be and then among the consis ten sis, i can't help to notice or be superficial, but i love that the whole ponytail thing has been going on the whole time and it is speaking to the the pulled together controlled thing, but it is love areally, because, you see that there is something about her that has remained the same throughout. >> and there is an amazing line in a new biography of her about to come out and one of the lines
is that she has changed. judge harry edwards who sat with her on the d.c. circuit said that she is exactly the person that we have always been, and we have come to appreciate her, and her ponytail is so emblematic. >> and we are all certainly waiting for bated breath, and thank you so much. don't miss the new cnn film "rbg" tomorrow on labor day at 9:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. pacific. to the junior prom with.
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criticizing education secretary betsy devos' new reported rules of how the colleges handle sexual assault and harassment on colleges. and it is to bolster the rights of those accused and narrow the definition of sexual harassment, and the survivors are fearing that this could result in a lesser reporting of attacks. and this are response, we are in the midst of a deliberative are process and any into r nation "the new york times" claims to have is premature and speculative and therefore we have no comment. so joining me is the executive drirector of a rain campus organization jess davidson, and, so let's talk about the definition that is being reported, and we will comment on what is reported despite the d. d.o.e. says that, you know, what is out there is not complete. so it says that, quote, unwelcomed conduct of sexual nature to a higher standard, and
that is the old definition. and the new draft defines it as unwelcomed conduct on the basis of sex that is so severe, pervasive and objectively offensive that it denies access to an educational program. so by your view, who is severe, and pervasive and objective ly offensive. >> thank you so much for having me on, fredricka. that definition of sexual har s harassment is extremely concerning, concerning, and that makes survivors believe that it is not worthy of the institution. yale put on interesting report that they had the all-time highest reports of sexual violence this past semester, and looking at the notes here. from the reports of january 1st through june 30th, 65 of them were is sexual assaults, and 63 were sexual harassment under the
previous definition and the fir first one that you gave. so we know that from the anecdotes like this, many who come forward for the title ix remedy, they are coming forward for both sexual assault and sexual harassm, because it is e preventing them for the equal access to education that title ix is granting them. and that other is so high that they are already losing access to education in order for them to come forward, and this is go going to push some survivors out of the best education they can get, and might push them out of school altogether. >> and while the department of education is saying that we are still working on it, and the "new york times" has reported is not necessarily accurate, and we are, you know, full, but incomplete. is there a need for a change in policy that would offer greater
specificity if that what the d.o.e. might be arguing, and what has been on the books is too vague is, and there needs to be morelanguage, and does it make matters better or worse in your view? >> what we have here is that the department rescinded old guidance from 2014 and 2015 and put in interim guidance that left questions unanswered and going through a long process to provide guidance that has not been done in thoroughly engaging the stakeholders. i was in a meeting with secretary devos where she spent 90 minutes with survivors and advocates and 90 minutes with the accused and the college universities, and those 90 minutes are i'm fairly certain are the only 90 minutes with survivors. she has had no other meetings with survivors of sexual assault, and this is a complicated issue and difficult to understand. i have been doing this work for
year, and i am still learning sob i don't believe that she could have made an informed decision, and what that tell ms. is that this department does not care about engaging the survivor s of sexual assault and ignoring repeated requests for meetings. this is about making campuses a safer place to get away with sexual assault and easier for universities. >> what do you want to see before there is a comprehensive new definition, you know, or structure in which campuses should be respecting -- how do you want to see this process go about at this point? i know that you have mentioned meetings that you have proposed and others have proposed and it has not happened, but this is perhaps another plea in which you can make to tri y to be engaged or involved? >> absolutely. the great thing about the policy is that once it comes out as a final rule, the department of education must invite the public to attend and listen to the
public, and so everybody has an opportunity to participate and speak out and stop this polle si if they would like to. there are a kocouple of element that need to go and the first is that it would -- >> well, quickly. >> and very quickly. >> well, we have to leave it there, and you did propose three things there that you are hoping could help move the ball forward on that with the department of education. jess davidson, thank you so much. >> thank you for your time. >> all right. we will be right back.
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r all right. when this week's cnn hero first earned his pilot's license on a whim, he had no idea what to do with it. twice a month, paul spends his own money to fly dogs from kill shelters to the nonkill shelter, and watch this image of love. >> i try to greet every passenger before we load them on the aircraft to spend a few moments with them. you ready to go? they can see me and smell me. load them up, and they are quite certain that things are about to change. so calm right now. and they know that things are going to be better and they
won't end up on the pound. >> and to see more how paul gives his paw-sengers special attention, go to cnn.com. that is all for me, and i hand it off to ana cabrera. >> thank you, fred. it is 5:00 out east and 3:00 out west. today is the day that john mccain was laid to rest in the beloved annapolis, and in all of the private and the public events, we have seen a bump in bipartisansh bipartisanship. many people on allsides putting the differences aside to monitor the