FROM Jonathan Last
Fiscal Cliff Forever; Saucy Scalia; and Double Pope Sequester madness begins today, the Supreme Court takes on the Voting Rights Act and gay marriage, a tough-sentence for Bradley Manning, and coming soon: a new Pope.
Should Americans Be Having More Babies? In the late 1960's, Paul Ehrlich warned that a Population Bomb was creating so many people they wouldn't be able to feed themselves within 20 years. The new book, What to Expect When No One's Expecting , is claiming the opposite: the root of America's problems is that the birthrate's declining. That means too few workers to care for the elderly, innovate and keep the economy growing. Is raising children just too expensive? Are liberated women working instead of staying home? What about abortion and contraception? Debate about population raises a host of hot-button issues, including immigration reform. If we're not producing enough people, why not import them?
Taking Stock of the First Debate In last night's debate , Mitt Romney was an aggressive challenger, not afraid to accuse a sitting President of not telling the truth. The consensus is that an aggressive Romney won the debate against Barack Obama , a President who was defensive and lacking in energy. We sample early reaction and ask how it might influence the remaining month of a close and hard-fought campaign.
Will Last Night's Debate Change the Momentum? In Colorado this morning, President Obama gave an energetic stump speech, but even Democrats agree he was uninspired in last night's debate compared to Mitt Romney . Republicans are cheering Romney's aggressive performance, and both sides are wondering why the President failed to seize several obvious opportunities. Was he out of practice? Was it part of his campaign strategy? Will a different Obama turn up the next time around? In the meantime, can Romney use positive news coverage to establish a lead among potential American voters?
Can Barack Obama Top Bill Clinton? For almost an hour, former President Bill Clinton had the delegates on their feet last night, mixing details about policy with warnings about a potential Republican victory. It was vintage Clinton — blistering Mitt Romney 's Republicans at the same time he was advocating cooperation. Even when he got wonkish, it was clear that both the audience and Clinton were having fun. Reporters, commentators and delegates all agree that he'll be a tough act to follow. We hear excerpts, informed analysis and predictions of what to expect tonight when the nominee for re-election finally takes the stage. We also ask delegates from several states to describe the convention experience. To the Point is broadcasting live from the Democratic convention all week. You can find extended interviews, pictures and more at KCRW.org/election2012 .
Venezuela spirals into economic and political chaos Venezuela, a country whose potential for prosperity is unmatched, finds itself on the verge of civil war. What sustains the repressive government? With time running out, guest host León Krauze looks at what the international community can do to pull the country from the edge of collapse.
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.
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.
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?