The National Rifle Association's national convention drew a counter-demonstration in Indianapolis this weekend, as advocates for gun control press their own agenda near the convention center hosting the event. An NRA official says the group has plenty of support.
Senator Bob Dole is doing a lot of appreciating these days. He just wrapped up the first leg of a thank you tour around his home state of Kansas, meeting with longtime friends and supporters who've helped him with throughout his career. And they did turn out to see the native Kansas son, who served as the Republican Majority Leader in the Senate and ran for president in 1996. It is clear Dole still loves working a room. He loves weighing in on the big issues, and he cannot resist a good one-liner.
Rep. Michael Grimm's lawyer says he expects the New York Republican will be indicted on criminal charges. The exact charges haven't been announced. The Staten Island lawmaker and former FBI agent, who was first elected to Congress in 2010, has been under investigation for campaign finance and fraud.
Grimm's attorney says his client is innocent and is the target of a vendetta on the part of federal authorities that has included "malicious leaks, violations of grand jury secrecy, and strong-arm tactics."
While the Supreme Court this month took another step in freeing up big political donors, another set of federal restrictions on political money is celebrating its 20th anniversary. The so-called pay-to-play rules — enforced by the Securities and Exchange Commission — are a narrow but powerful way to control political cash.
Think "pay to play" and you might think of video games or high school sports. But in politics, "pay to play" refers to something totally different — a particular kind of political corruption.
Joining us now, political columnists David Brooks of the New York Times and E.J. Dionne of The Washington Post and the Brookings Institution. Hello to both of you.
DAVID BROOKS: Hello.
E.J. DIONNE: Good to be with you.
SIEGEL: And first, briefly since you both talked about Ukraine here just last Friday, does some kind of soft landing seem possible to you there and does President Obama's leadership strike you as effective in leading the Western response to Russia? David, you first.