FROM THIS EPISODE
The Washington Post reports that the Pentagon buried an internal study documenting no less than $12 billion in wasteful spending. The Post says bureaucrats were trying to protect the military from new cuts in the Defense Budget. Mandy Smithberger is director of the Straus Military Reform Project on the nonpartisan Project on Government Oversight.
In the aftermath of the Cold War, the consensus of Western politics was that more countries would evolve into liberal democracies and stay that way. The European Union was seen as the model but, this week, Italy's centrist Prime Minister was driven from office -- hard on the heels of Brexit. Matteo Renzi announced his resignation after losing a referendum to restructure a famously chaotic government. There's right-wing nationalism in France and Germany -- and Donald Trump won by directly assaulting America's political establishment. We look at evidence that liberal democracies aren't as stable as they were previously cracked up to be.
Sylvia Poggioli, National Public Radio (@spoggioli1)
Matteo Garavoglia, Brookings Institution (@brookingsinst)
Mark Blyth, Brown University (@MkBlyth)
Yascha Mounk, Harvard University / Slate (@Yascha_Mounk)
"Pizzagate" and a top aide to Donald Trump.
Retired Army Lieutenant General Michael Flynn arrives at Trump Tower in
New York to meet with President-elect Donald Trump, November 29, 2016.
A Washington pizza restaurant called Comet Ping Pong first received abusive messages, then death threats and, finally, a visit by an armed man who said he was there to protect children from sex-abuse and trafficking. He fired shots, but hit no one and submitted to arrest when it turned out the reports he’d seen were untrue. But the source of those rumors has been traced to reports on social media circulated by the son of a powerful advisor to Donald Trump, as Cecilia Kang reports in the New York Times.
More From To the Point
Political dueling and the future of the ACA Uncertainty about the fate of Obamacare grows by the day, with key factors including bipartisanship in the Senate, opposition deeper than ever in Congress -- and a president who veers from one side to the other. We talk with Maryland's attorney general and others about what's at stake from the state house to the doctor's office.
Will the NFL find common ground on national anthem protests? National Football League team owners are meeting today to craft a unified message about political protest. Men and women athletes in other sports are protesting too. We hear how one man's refusal to stand for the flag has demonstrated the inseparable relationship between sports and politics.
Author Masha Gessen on the appeal of Putin and Trump Masha Gessen was born in Russia but emigrated with her parents to the United States. She returned in the early 1990s when political change was afoot. And since then, she’s become a leading observer - and critic - of Russian president Vladamir Putin. She fled Russia again in 2013. In this special podcast, Warren Olney talks with Gessen about her new book, The Future Is History: How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russia .
A month later, Puerto Ricans still stranded by Hurricane Maria Most people in Puerto Rico are still without electricity, and some are drinking from a well contaminated by a superfund site. President Trump's accused of a "shocking lack of compassion" compared to speedy assistance after hurricanes hit Texas and Florida.
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