FROM Jeffrey Birnbaum
Record-Breaking Expenditure on Election Members of Congress have been investigated, prosecuted and sent to prison this year for converting special interest contributions into public policy. Nevertheless, there's more money in this year's mid-term election campaigns – perhaps as high as $3.1 billion -- than there was in the presidential races two years ago. New records are being set at the state level, too. Where does the money come from, where does it go, and what's the return on investment? Corporate America contributes to both parties, but it's difficult to establish a quid pro quo even when votes go their way. Can the corrupting influence of money be stamped out, or is it the cost of democracy, American style?
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?
Replacing Obamacare: Now you see it… now you don’t As the Senate deliberates replacing Obmacare, health coverage for millions of people is at stake. There've been no public hearings, and a draft measure won't be made public. Is the House version so unpopular that that Senate is hiding a version that looks much the same?
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?