FROM Alan Blinder
Time for a Woman Fed Chairman or Is Banking Still a Man's World? Ben Bernanke's term as Chair of the Federal Reserve won't end until January, but the campaign over who should replace him is already hot and heavy. Larry Summers and Janet Yellen are the leading candidates to replace Bernanke. It's a highly technical job of global importance, but the campaign between their supporters has raised issues of a different kind. New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd has written that Summers "is being pushed by the boys' club around President Obama." Is Yellen as well qualified as Summers? Is it time for a woman, or is big-time banking still a man's world? Is the gender issue relevant to a technical job of global importance?
The longest US war: Will Trump send more troops to Afghanistan? The Trump White House is divided over the Pentagon's request for more troops in Afghanistan—where the US has been fighting for the past 16 years. Is there a formula -- either for "victory" or a political settlement? Is there an end in sight for America's longest war?
What is Trump's plan for Middle East peace? On his first foreign tour, President Trump has promised "peace" between Israel and the Palestinians. Are there any details for re-starting talks that have been stalled for the past three years?
Is the threat from Russia missing from the Russia meddling probe? There's much being made about the Trump administration's possible ties with Russia. But the bottom line is Russia's effort to influence American democracy. Do the President and his aides care enough to take action before voters go back to the polls?
Will the Senate write a healthcare bill in secret? While Democrats and Republicans argue White House relations with Russia, another question is being decided behind closed doors: who gets help buying health insurance and who doesn't? We hear how the pros and cons are being shrouded in secrecy.