Vladimir Putin calls it "right and brave." John McCain says it is "seriously misguided." President Obama's decision not to locate a missile shield in Eastern Europe. What are the military consequences? What about Iran? Is it time for a "new beginning" for relations with Russia? Also, The soft sell of First Lady Michelle Obama, and Congress has de-funded ACORN. Are the videotapes all that they seem?
FROM THIS EPISODE
One of America's most popular women gave her public support to healthcare reform today. First Lady Michelle Obama spoke about gender discrimination, offering a low-key, soft-spoken message in marked contrast to her husband's full-throated appeals. Nia-Malika Henderson covers the First Lady for Politico.
Nia-Malika Henderson, Washington Post
NATO, the US and Russia should abandon "mistrust" and coordinate their efforts against international ballistic missiles. That's from NATO's new secretary general, just one day after President Obama pulled the plug on George Bush's plan for missile defense in Eastern Europe. Based on the latest intelligence about Iran's ballistic missile technology, the US will rely on missiles already deployed by the Navy on ships at sea. Defense Secretary Robert Gates and the Joint Chiefs of Staff are unanimously in support. Russia's Vladimir Putin called that "a right and brave decision," but it's produced heated controversy in the Czech Republic and Poland, not to mention Washington, DC. We hear about technology, national security and international politics.
Edward Lucas, The Economist (@edwardlucas)
Robert Gard, Jr, Chairman, Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation
Jamie Fly, Foreign Policy Initiative (@jamiemfly)
Stephen F. Cohen, New York University
Conservative Republicans scored a political victory this week when Congress voted to defund ACORN, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now. Last year, the activist group that works with poor blacks and Hispanics was accused of voter fraud. Now it's been hit with a sting operation, for attempting to buy homes to run as houses of prostitution. On videotapes running on Fox News, YouTube and other Internet sites, ACORN workers appear to be counseling them in a helpful way. Carol Leonnig reports for the Washington Post.
More From To the Point
Trump’s war on the FBI Donald Trump claims rogue FBI agents are part of a Deep State he accuses of “spying” on his presidential campaign. A former agent tells Warren the “the FBI doesn’t spy… it catches spies.” Shades of Watergate? Richard Nixon’s former White House lawyer, John Dean, says, “no way.”
Touching down in fly-over country Dodge City, Kansas and Erie, Pennsylvania may have something in common. That’s just one surprise in “Our Towns,” a new book by James and Deborah Fallows. The veteran Atlantic magazine correspondent and his scholarly wife spent two weeks in each of 25 different cities. Their search for America’s character provides anecdotes, comparisons and distinctions after a journey of 100,000 miles.
Teachers are battling back Teachers are mad as hell in several red states. They’re walking out over cuts in pay and reductions in classroom support. It’s a grass-roots rebellion from West Virginia to Kentucky and Arizona. Will it renew support for the value of public education in a changing economy?
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