FROM Carol Scudere
'Ridiculous, Ostentatious Wealth' in America A conservative columnist reports that we're in " the second great Gilded Age ." A liberal author warns that "a bloated over-class can drag down society." But a New York Times Magazine article is headlined " Don't Hate Them Because They're Rich : The Trickle-down Effect of Ridiculous, Ostentatious Wealth." America's median income is $48,000, but the starting salary for some butlers is $60,000. Those numbers can be used to show that the massive wealth of the Super Rich "trickles down" to the rest of Americans, but not everybody sees it that way. In 20 years, the number of billionaires has gone from 13 to several 1000. Some see a permanent aristocracy in the making, while the middle class struggles to pay the bills. How did the super rich get that way? Are they good or bad for the economy?
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.
Trump plays scolder-in-chief with NATO allies At the opening of NATO’s dramatic new headquarters in Brussels today, President Trump acknowledged that Article 5 — promising that “an attack on one nation is an attack on all” -- has only been invoked one time: in the aftermath of September 11. But the President failed to provide what 27 other Alliance members have been waiting for: a re-commitment by America’s new leader to Article 5. Instead, they got a scolding.
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.