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?
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.
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 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?