FROM Hedrick Smith
Where Should Democracy Draw the Line? The Constitution requires that the boundaries of congressional districts be re-drawn every 10 years, according to the latest census. In 2010, Republicans won control of legislatures all over the country—and those GOP lawmakers then collectively increased their Party’s power in Congress. When President Obama re-visited the Illinois Capitol in Springfield this week, he said it’s time for a change. The President’s talking about what’s called Gerrymandering, a practice as old as the nation itself.
The Mythology of the Middle Class The convention halls in both Tampa and Charlotte echoed with outreach to the Middle Class, starting with the wives of both candidates for the White House. Both Democrats and Republicans are campaigning with traditional appeals to "the Middle Class." Is that a phrase that's losing its meaning? Do the party platforms offer credible promises about helping Americans fulfill "the American Dream?" Graphis: EN2008/flickr
Republicans, Democrats and 'the Middle Class' In both Tampa and Charlotte, speaker after speaker tried to identify with "the Middle Class" and echoed the theme of upward mobility and fulfillment of "the American Dream." That's been a staple of presidential campaigns since the end of World War II. But in recent decades, "the Middle Class" has been shrinking. Do Democrats and Republicans even agree any more on what "Middle Class" really means? Do potential voters still share "the American Dream?" We hear about traditional slogans, contemporary realities and this year's promises from both political parties.
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?
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.
Trump's 'America First' goes missing abroad In the Middle East, President Trump is changing some policies of the Obama Administration—and reversing his own campaign attacks on Islam as a religion that "hates us." We hear about his visit to Saudi Arabia and what's at stake for the rest of his foreign excursion.
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.