FROM Brooks Barnes
Is a Culture Captivated by Guns Ready for Change The National Rifle Association today broke the silence it's maintained since last week's elementary-school massacre in Connecticut. The NRA's top spokesman said, "The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun," demanding that Congress pay for armed guards in every schoolyard. Much of Wayne LaPierre's lengthy statement today played on the fear that mass killers are planning more attacks on American children. He was defensive about attacks on his organization and what he characterized as the media's predisposition to be against guns. Earlier this morning, President Obama released a videotape urging public support for renewing the assault-weapons ban and other new regulations. Can a culture captivated by guns ready for change?
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?
The Trump agenda: where's the beef? President Trump says big things are happening. After celebrating a House bill on health care, he doesn’t yet have Senate agreement. With James Comey’s public testimony scheduled tomorrow, the President today tweeted his selection of a new FBI Director. Is the Chief Executive all style and no substance? Later, terror attacks in Iran and conflicting claims about who’s behind them.
Venezuela spirals into economic and political chaos Venezuela, a country whose potential for prosperity is unmatched, finds itself on the verge of civil war. What sustains the repressive government? With time running out, guest host León Krauze looks at what the international community can do to pull the country from the edge of collapse.