FROM Joe Bageant
Are 'Tea Parties' Real Politics? In the first year of the Obama Administration, the "tea party" movement made almost as much news as the federal stimulus, Wall Street, healthcare and the President himself. Who organizes tea parties? Who goes to them? Do they believe in "principles" or the slogans they chant for TV news cameras? Could they become a coherent "movement" that could be seized by a charismatic candidate, like Sarah Palin?
Are 'Tea Parties' Real Politics? Can They Make a Difference? In the first year of the Obama Administration, the “tea party” movement made almost as much news as the federal stimulus, Wall Street, healthcare and the President himself. But tea-party participants often insist they are “principled conservatives,” not scornful Republicans, even as some Republican leaders try to soak up their energy. Who organizes tea parties? Who goes to them? Do they believe in “principles” or the slogans they chant for TV news cameras? Could they become a coherent “movement” that could be seized by a charismatic candidate, like Sarah Palin?
Will 'Values Voters' Turn to the Economy? To upset Barack Obama next Tuesday, John McCain is counting on a conservative base in small towns, energized by running-mate Sarah Palin . It's the so-called "values vote," focused on social issues -- abortion, gay marriage and gun rights -- as well as cutting the size of government. Four years ago, Thomas Frank published What's the Matter with Kansas? , raising a question about the so-called "values voters" who were crucial to the election and re-election of George W. Bush. This year, big parts of America's "Heartland" have become battlegrounds between McCain and Obama. Is that a temporary phenomenon or will there be lasting political consequences? Is the economy trumping the culture wars? Has the population changed in the past eight years?
The Trump agenda: where's the beef? President Trump says big things are happening. After celebrating a House bill on health care, he doesn’t yet have Senate agreement. With James Comey’s public testimony scheduled tomorrow, the President today tweeted his selection of a new FBI Director. Is the Chief Executive all style and no substance? Later, terror attacks in Iran and conflicting claims about who’s behind them.
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 '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.
Who's to blame for the opioid crisis? Some of the lawyers who took on Big Tobacco are now going after Big Pharma. It’s all about the deadly epidemic of opioid use. Are the drug companies to blame? What about the users? Later, on today’s Talking Point: making sense of Britain’s upset election.