FROM Brett Schaefer
'America first' on the world stage As other world leaders took their turns today, President Trump made his first address to the UN General Assembly. He threatened what he called, "small regimes than violate UN principles. Trump threatened to "totally destroy" North Korea, calling Kim Jung Un "Rocket Man" on a "suicide mission." He told an audience of world leaders that Iran is a "murderous regime," and that the nuclear deal is "an embarrassment" to the United States. While saying that some countries around the world are "going to hell," he also called for "standing together" — with the US and every other nation putting its own interests first. All this with cutbacks curtailing State Department diplomacy. Is the Trump Administration giving up leadership of the Western World?
Should the US drop out of the UN Human Rights Council? President Trump’s UN Ambassador, Nikki Haley, said today the US might pull out of the United Nations’ Human Rights Council. Even Council supporters agree it spends too much time attacking Israel’s occupation of the West Bank—while ignoring violent repression by countries like Venezuela. Serious violators of human rights are members of the Council itself-- and a US resignation could make things worse. But tough talk is a hallmark of Ambassador Haley, who’s shown signs of independence from Secretary of State Tillerson and the Trump White House.
Terrorism and tweets, hate speech and murder Just days before an election, Britain is coping with a rash of deadly terrorism, and Prime Minister Theresa May is on the defensive. And again today, President Trump has tweeted criticism of the Mayor of London. Later, a double murder in Portland, Oregon has revealed the ugly past of a supposedly “progressive” city. One immediate question: is “hate speech” protected by the First Amendment?
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?
Replacing Obamacare: Now you see it… now you don’t As the Senate deliberates replacing Obmacare, health coverage for millions of people is at stake. There've been no public hearings, and a draft measure won't be made public. Is the House version so unpopular that that Senate is hiding a version that looks much the same?