FROM David French
Guns: prayer or politics… or both? America's mass shootings are getting deadlier, and Sunday's atrocity in Las Vegas was the deadliest yet; it involved automatic weapons. The numbers are now 59 dead and more than 500 injured by a killer who stockpiled 42 weapons. But despite the initial shock, the aftermath is all too familiar: demand for gun control versus the claim that "control" means limiting access. There's real passion on both sides. Is there anything about the attack on a Country Music event that might alter politics as usual? Are mass shootings the inevitable "price of freedom," or can we find ways to limit gun violence without limiting the right to own guns?
President Trump and the alt-right: a test of leadership After two days of demands for "moral clarity" — from black leaders to conservative Republican Senators — President Trump delivered a new statement on racism – but only after he listed a few of his economic achievements.
Chaos and rivalries in the White House and the cabinet Washington veterans agree that no president has ever attacked his own Attorney General the way Donald Trump has gone after Jeff Sessions. One former Senate colleague predicts "holy hell to pay" if Trump fires the nation's top law enforcement officer. Meantime, the new communications director says he and the chief of staff are "brothers"… like Cain and Abel, suggesting one won't survive. Early in the President's term, is he heading for a "constitutional crisis?"
Independence Day in a divided country The Pledge of Allegiance calls the US "indivisible," but that’s beginning to sound like wishful thinking. A century and a half since the Civil War, divisions remain between North and South, between cities and countryside. Democrats and Republicans are enemies. The fracturing of the media allows for different entertainment and news coverage-- reflecting different cultural values. And Donald Trump is the first American President to openly divide, rather than unify. What are the prospects for a Happy Fourth of July?
In this political climate, are Americans headed for a divorce? The polarization of America is so well established that, "The only real debate is over the nature of our cultural, political and religious conflict." Some commentators are calling it a "cold civil war." But David French says it's something different. He's a columnist for the conservative National Review .
Is America retreating from the world? During the Obama administration, numerous Republicans criticized Obama for "leading from behind." But as President, Donald Trump has made withdrawing the country from international commitments his calling card. Observers of the Trump White House notice two opposing groups of advisors surrounding the President. Globalists promote conservative values while advocating for America's continued presence and influence on world affairs while nationalists appear to encourage the President to withdraw the country from the global stage on a series of issues, from trade to global warming, following Trump's "America first" campaign pledge. Is this dangerous isolationism, a domestic political play or a sensible path forward? What will the global stage look like with a diminished United States? Who will fill the void: Europe, China…or Russia? Shortly after our discussion, President Trump made an announcement from the White House Rose Garden, officially withdrawing United States from the Paris climate agreement.
Does the "American Dream" still have a future? Dr. Martin Luther King famously had a "Dream" — and it's related to the "American Dream," a phrase first used back in 1931. It's when children make better pay, own more property and enjoy life's comforts more than their parents. Now, the "American Dream" can actually be measured. The numbers are not encouraging. The odds for children exceeding their parents' standard of living have dropped like a stone for the poor and the Middle Class. And the concentration of wealth has increased by orders of magnitude. On this MLK Day we hear what that means for the "American Dream."
The 'American Dream:' Does it have a future? The "American Dream" has been defined as an increased standard of living from generation to generation. It's when children make better pay, own more property and enjoy life's comforts more than their parents. Now, the American Dream can actually be measured. The numbers are not encouraging. The odds for children exceeding their parents' standard of living have dropped like a stone for the poor and middle class, and the concentration of wealth in the economic stratosphere has increased by orders of magnitude. We hear what that means for the "American Dream."
Should we move away from identity politics or double down? Bernie Sanders urged his supporters Sunday to move away from identity politics, and that progressives need to band together and fight for the working class. However, others say that’s a call to ignore racism, sexism and other forms of bigotry. The question of how much to embrace -- or not -- identity politics will be key to the future of the Democratic party.
Is Clinton's Absolution Republican Ammunition? The FBI investigation into Hillary Clinton’s handling of classified emails while Secretary of State officially ended Tuesday, but the aftershocks for the presumptive Democratic candidate continue. FBI Director James Comey cleared Clinton of criminal wrongdoing, but he also handed the Trump campaign a ready-made attack ad by scolding Clinton and her staff for handling sensitive information with “extreme carelessness.” Today Comey went before lawmakers on Capitol Hill.
Supreme Court Hears Arguments on Town of Greece v. Galloway Thirty years ago, the US Supreme Court ruled that prayers before public meetings do not violate the Constitutional prohibition against the "establishment of religion." Today, it revisited the issue in a case involving the city council of Greece, New York, a town near Rochester. A Jew and an atheist protested references to Jesus Christ, and a federal appellate court agreed that their rights had been violated. Today's US Supreme Court session began after the standard invocation, "God save the United States and this honorable court."
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.
The longest US war: Will Trump send more troops to Afghanistan? The Trump White House is divided over the Pentagon's request for more troops in Afghanistan—where the US has been fighting for the past 16 years. Is there a formula -- either for "victory" or a political settlement? Is there an end in sight for America's longest war?
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?
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?