FROM John "Rick" MacArthur
President Obama and the Search for Common Ground There was bloody violence on the streets of Tehran today as police clubbed, gassed and possibly even shot at some 200 demonstrators. Yesterday, President Obama hardened his tone toward Iran, using language that’s already become familiar.
President Obama and the Effort to Find Common Ground Yesterday, President Obama toughened his language against political repression by the government of Iran. Today, more bloody violence is being reported. The President has tried to keep open the prospect of dialogue about nuclear development and other issues, but critics now call that policy "dead." Was it a mistake to try to find common ground? Is there any hope that the US can protect demonstrators or persuade Iran to change its ways? What do these events reveal about the President's overall strategy, for domestic issues as well as foreign affairs?
Will Last Night's Debate Make a Difference? In Cleveland, Ohio Democrats Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton zeroed in on each other and the economy, with special focus on the North American Free Trade Agreement , but differences over healthcare got more time than anything else. Did Clinton do what she needed to stop Obama’s momentum? Does either one really want to re-negotiate NAFTA? One Houston paper says Obama has already won in Texas, with a week still to go. But a new, national poll says, that either one will have a tough time against John McCain in November, showing their Republican rival with an edge in experience and the war on terror, even on the economy. Although a majority said the war in Iraq was not worth waging, half said McCain was best equipped to deal with it.
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.
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.