FROM Alexander Bolton
Cutting, squeezing, trimming -- and spending President Trump wants to cut government — except for Social Security and Medicare. At the same time, he wants to put people to work. So, a new infrastructure program might appeal to the Democrats, but Republicans say the money's not there without cutting those sacred entitlements. As Trump begins work on a so-called "skinny" budget, he finds himself bound by vague campaign promises that may turn out to be contradictory. Don't forget major cuts for wealthy taxpayers. We look at early efforts at assembling a financial puzzle — even when the pieces don't fit.
Suing Saudi Arabia: What could go wrong? Fifteen years after the attacks of September 11, the families of victims still want authorization to sue Saudi Arabia -- even though there's no "smoking gun." In this election year, they got what they wanted when bipartisan majorities of Congress yesterday overrode a veto by President Obama. But almost before the voting was over, Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan was among those openly voicing second thoughts. Was the President right after all, warning of unintended consequences for Americans overseas? Can the new law be changed — once the election is over?
Presidential Politics and the US Supreme Court President Obama today named a distinguished judge to fill the vacancy on the US Supreme Court. The nominee is a veteran, Merrick Garland , Chief Judge of the US Court of Appeals in Washington, DC, who is well regarded by Senators of both parties. Nevertheless, Republicans were ready to Just Say "No" — not to the judge himself but to his nomination by an outgoing president. They accuse Obama of politicizing the court — the same charge Democrats have leveled against Republicans under similar circumstances. That's intensifying this year's race for the White House just one day after another round of primary elections.
White House flip flops: NATO, Syria and China In less than 100 days, President Trump has contradicted himself on a host of foreign policy issues — Syria, NATO, China and Vladimir Putin’s Russia. Is it a strength — or a weakness — for the United States when the world of power politics never knows what to expect?
Mixed Messages from US diplomats on the new hard line on Syria Since President Trump's surprise retaliation against Syria's use of chemical weapons, Bashar al-Assad has used the same airport to launch conventional attacks on his own people. It's not clear what the US, its allies — or Vladimir Putin's Russia -- plan to do now.