FROM David M Edelstein
Cuts in the Pentagon: Too Much or Not Enough? Ground wars like those in Iraq and Afghanistan, at 13 years the longest in American history, are things of the past. Defense against Chinese cyber-warriors or terrorists in Africa won't require tanks, warplanes or massive armies. That's the theory behind Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel's proposed cuts in the Pentagon budget. But weapons and manpower mean jobs and corporate profits. Every program Hagel wants on the chopping block has a constituency. Is he really proposing to cut to the core or just scratching the surface of a military bigger than all the rest in the world combined?
Who's to blame for the opioid crisis? Some of the lawyers who took on Big Tobacco are now going after Big Pharma. It’s all about the deadly epidemic of opioid use. Are the drug companies to blame? What about the users? Later, on today’s Talking Point: making sense of Britain’s upset election.
Human Rights in the era of Donald Trump President Trump’s UN Ambassador, Nikki Haley, said today the US might pull out of the United Nations’ Human Rights Council. Serious violators of human rights are members of the Council itself–and a US resignation could make things worse. Later on today’s show, now that he’s into his second term, comedian turned US Senator Al Franken is telling jokes again.
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.