FROM THIS EPISODE
German Chancellor Angela Merkel arrived at the White House today at a moment of unusual tension between Washington and both her country and the United Kingdom.
We hear more about the meeting from President Obama's special assistant for European Affairs. Charles Kupchan, currently with the Council on Foreign Relations, says the two leaders are far apart on several issues, including jobs and NATO.
America's deal-maker-in-chief has proposed a budget so draconian it's already called "dead on arrival" in Congress. Massive cuts in domestic programs would fund the biggest jump in military spending since Ronald Reagan faced down the Soviet Union. But many Republicans are disturbed that the biggest losers would be in rural areas where Trump himself won the most votes. Democrats are predictably outraged over threats to environmental protection and help for the working poor. The give-and-take is just beginning.
Shane Goldmacher, Politico (@ShaneGoldmacher)
David Goldston, National Resources Defense Council (@NRDC)
Rebecca Vallas, Center for American Progress (@rebeccavallas)
Dee Davis, Center for Rural Strategies (@dailyyonder)
Diana Furchtgott-Roth, Manhattan Institute (@FurchtgottRoth)
Goldmacher on Trump's budget, ripped from Bannon's nationalistic playbook
NRDC on Trump's misguided budget
Center for American Progress on how Trump's budget will harm his rural, small town supporters
Daily Yonder on Trump budget's deep cuts to rural programs
Furchtgott-Roth on need for even deeper cuts in Washington's bloated budget
On his trip to Asia, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson cut short his visit with South Korean officials due to "fatigue." That's according to the Korea Herald. Tillerson has not allowed American reporters to travel with him, but in a rare public appearance, he said called on North Korea to "abandon its nuclear and ballistic missile programs and refrain from any further provocations. The US commitment to the defense of Japan and its other treaty allies through the full range of our military capabilities is unwavering. "
That's been widely interpreted as a threat of "pre-emptive action," although Tillerson did not use those words. Nicholas Burns was ambassador to NATO and undersecretary of state for political affairs during the George W. Bush Administration. Bow a professor at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, Burns says Tillerson's may have addressed North Korea but he's talking tough to get the full attention of the Chinese government.
More From To the Point
Ronen Bergman on Israel’s targeted assassinations Israeli intelligence agents now admit Palestinian leaders have been officially targeted for assassination--2700 times. Author Ronen Bergman talks about the unusual assassination tactics and how he recently challenged the Prime Minister of Poland over the country’s role in the Holocaust.
Restoring public confidence in our institutions Are President Trump and allies in Congress eroding public trust in democratic government? Even a former Republican governor warns that attacks on Special Counsel Robert Mueller have gone too far. A constitutional scholar and a former FBI agent see real threats to both federal law enforcement and national security.
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