FROM Henry Aaron
Is Washington Full of 'Grownups'… or Not? In the aftermath of last week's atrocity in Connecticut, some serious pundits said Washington politicians might respond by acting like "grownups." The implication was that House Republicans and the White House would compromise to avoid the consequences of the so-called "fiscal cliff." That hasn't happened yet. Congress is ready to vote on a plan with no chance of Senate concurrence in hopes of shifting the blame for gridlock to the Democrats. The President, strengthened by re-election, is unlikely to back down. We look at what's at stake for taxpayers, homeowners, the elderly and the poor.
Congress Lurches toward Healthcare Reform As Congress grapples with five different proposals for healthcare reform, the nonpartisan Commonwealth Fund reports that Americans are dying too soon . Despite spending vastly more than other industrialized countries, the United States is near the bottom and falling further behind when it comes to so-called "preventable deaths" from diabetes, epilepsy, stroke, influenza, ulcers and pneumonia.
Congress Lurches toward Healthcare Reform President Obama says healthcare reform is "closer than ever," conceding what everybody knows, that there's still "a long way to go." There remain five different versions of the biggest government undertaking in 44 years, three in the House and two in the Senate. Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi must reconcile their respective committee reports to produce massive bills, hundreds of pages long, for debate and amendment. What's common to all five proposals and what are the major differences? What about coverage, cost, affordability and the "public option?"
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.
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?
What happens when America retreats from the world? Is President Trump taking his "America First" agenda to extremes, withdrawing the country from the international stage on trade and climate change, distancing America from its traditional allies across the Atlantic and even threatening to physically isolate the country through the building of a wall along its southern border? León Krauze guest hosts.
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?