Photo by US Army Staff Sergeant Aaron Allmon
FROM THIS EPISODE
A shrapnel-filled explosive device blew a hole in a commuter train this afternoon in St. Petersburg, Russia’s second largest city. At least 11 people were killed, and a second device was discovered on another train — unexploded. David Filipov, Moscow Bureau Chief for the Washington Post, has an update on what investigators have described as a possible terrorist attack.
President Trump wants the Pentagon to "fight to win," and battlefield commanders now make decisions that used to come from the Obama White House. There's been increased action in Yemen, Syria and Iraq, and a dramatic rise in civilian casualties — providing fodder for Islamic State propaganda. What's missing is diplomacy and political planning for what to do when the wars are over. But even Trump's critics say Obama didn't have any "endgames" either. We hear about America's increased involvement in murky wars where victory might be possible… but not sustainable.
Ben Hubbard, New York Times (@NYTBen)
Peter Mansoor, Ohio State University (@osuhistorydept)
Richard Schmierer, Middle East Policy Council
Katherine Zimmerman, American Enterprise Institute (@KatieZimmerman)
Hassan Hassan, Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy (@hxhassan)
Hassan Hassan and Michael Weiss
Photo by Master Steve Rapport
Several Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee made clear today why they won't vote to confirm the President's nomination of Appellate Judge Neil Gorsuch to the US Supreme Court. Al Franken of Minnesota voiced concern that confirming Gorsuch "would guarantee 40 more years of 5-4 decisions favoring corporations over workers and consumers, preventing Americans from getting access to the courts, favoring dark money in our elections and giving states a permission slip to target people with almost surgical precision." But, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Republican Majority Leader, says Gorsuch will be confirmed, "one way or another." Thomas Mann, senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and a resident scholar at UC Berkeley, discusses possible changes in the US Supreme Court… and in the US Senate.
More From To the Point
Immigration enforcement and family breakups Seven hundred children have been separated from adults applying for asylum at the Mexican border. Attorney General Jeff Sessions says that’s what it takes to prevent immigration fraud--even if it means breaking up families. A federal court is deciding whether to end the practice.
Scott Pruitt and James Comey: In and out of the Trump Administration EPA Director Scott Pruitt is undergoing an ethics investigation, but his Obama-Era predecessor, Gina McCarthy, says the real scandal is that he “doesn’t know what he’s doing.” We’ll also tackle the backlash against fired FBI Director James Comey. Can his credibility survive angry public exchanges with President Trump?
The internet, privacy and data protection Mark Zuckerberg survived this week’s Congressional grilling. But Facebook still profits on free information: yours and mine. Three experts on big data explain how it works and lay out the risks as well as the benefits. Also, a veteran of Washington’s war games says President Trump is right to want U.S. troops out of Syria
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