FROM Elizabeth Drew
Debt Showdown: Playing Politics with the US Economy E-mail and phone lines are jammed on Capitol Hill, and there's a nasty Twitter campaign against all of Washington. But despite the impending deadline, Democrats and Republicans are still far apart on the debt ceiling. House Republicans and Senate Democrats are each working on plans unacceptable to the other, and President Obama is still talking about compromising on a Big Deal, including new revenue. He says the "hard deadline" is next Tuesday, August 2 when the government will run out of borrowing authority. But it's now reported that there will still be enough money to pay the bills until August 10. One of our gests calls it "The Politics of Calamity."
Deadlock on Capitol Hill The US is advancing toward the once-unthinkable prospect of default by next Tuesday, August 2, unless it turns out to be August 10 instead. While President Obama talks about "compromising" on a Big Deal, including new revenue, he's threatened to veto the Republicans' plan and Republicans won't vote for a Democratic alternative. Sarah Palin is the latest Republican to accuse the President of "fear mongering," but the head of the IMF says US default would be "very, very, very serious." In the midst of all the uncertainty, are both parties playing with economic disaster? Is it really all about next year's elections?
Will the Senate write a healthcare bill in secret? While Democrats and Republicans argue White House relations with Russia, another question is being decided behind closed doors: who gets help buying health insurance and who doesn't? We hear how the pros and cons are being shrouded in secrecy.
Trump's new look at civil rights and global warming President Trump is reportedly ready to pull the US out of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. We look at the possible consequences. On the second half of the program, we hear about cuts in Obama-Era civil rights programs called for by the Trump Administration's first budget plan.
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.