Photo: US Pacific Command has deployed the first elements of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) to South Korea, implementing the US-South Korean alliance’s July 2016 decision to bring the defensive capability to the Korean Peninsula. (Department of Defense)
FROM THIS EPISODE
Since his candidacy began, President Trump has challenged accepted authority in politics and government. His latest target is the Congressional Budget Office. Some Republicans want to delay voting until the CBO has estimated what it will cost in money and lost health insurance policies. White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer says, "If you're looking to the CBO for accuracy you're looking in the wrong place... Their record is what I'm calling into question, when you look at the number of people and the cost they scored the last Obamacare bill on they were way off. That's a fact." Sam Stein, senior politics editor for the Huffington Post, calls the criticism ironic.
Barack Obama warned Donald Trump about trouble from North Korea, and his prediction is coming true. With North Korea's missile tests and America's missile defenses, China says they're like trains accelerating toward one another. China itself feels threatened, and South Korea, where the defenses are being installed, has just kicked its president out of office. Meantime, North Korea's Kim Jung Un appears to have orchestrated the public assassination of his half-brother. Is all this building up to a regional crisis?
Shihoko Goto, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars (@GotoEastAsia)
James Acton, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (@james_acton32)
Sung Won Sohn, California State University Channel Islands
David Sanger, National Security Correspondent for the New York Times (@SangerNYT)
Goto on President Trump and whether Asia is on the brink of a (trade) war
Acton on whether Trump can enforce his red line on North Korea
Sanger on North Korea tensions posing an early, and Perilous, test for Trump
Sanger on Trump inheriting a secret cyberwar against North Korean missiles
Is the President draining the swamp… or taking the plunge?
Photo by the Alves Family
Earlier this week, we reported on how few vacancies President Trump has filled in the government’s many massive bureaucracies. But those are the top jobs going unfilled. Pro-Publica, the non-profit, independent news service, reports that hundreds of people have been quietly installed all across the government in mid-level jobs. Justin Elliott co-wrote the story.
More From To the Point
Imprisoning our mentally ill? American jails and prisons have become hospitals for the mentally ill. A murderer doing 20 years at New York’s Sing Sing prison works with schizophrenics serving 24 months for misdemeanors. He tells Warren that sick people should be treated outside. The Sheriff in Chicago says it’s not just inhumane but a waste of taxpayers’ money. How did we get here? What can be done?
Did Trump get conned by Kim? Six months after threatening nuclear warfare, “little rocket man” and the “dotard” were talking peace in Singapore. Beyond the hype, did President Trump and Kim Jong Un really mean it? A seasoned diplomat, a UN nuclear weapons inspector and veteran journalists provide contrasting assessments.
Post primary wrap, what’s the takeaway? California’s billed as the heart of “resistance” to President Trump. But in this month’s Golden State primary, young and Latino voters stayed home. That’s produced a clash of voices between Progressive Democrats and Clinton-era Centrists. What will that mean come November with control of the Congress at stake?
The politics of prison reform Prison reform is moving in Red States, Blue States and (maybe) on Capitol Hill. But America still incarcerates more people than any other country-- including China. Meantime, the Trump White House is divided. Jared Kushner is pushing sentence reform, while Attorney General Jeff Sessions wants to stay “tough on crime.” What are the prospects for much needed change?
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