FROM Leo Shane, III
The attack on Syria: Risky, illegal... or about time? At dinner last night at Mar-a-Lago, President Trump told China's Xi Jinping that he'd ordered a Tomahawk missile strike against Syria. A bit later, Mr. Trump made a public statement , explaining that he'd retaliated against Bashar al-Assad for Monday's chemical attack that killed at least 80 fellow Syrians, including women and children. Last night's surprise missile attack on a Syrian airbase was President Trump's reaction to the reported use of chemical weapons by Bashar al-Assad. Is it a limited message about a new Red Line, or an overnight policy change that reverses Trump's long time promise of "America First?" Both parties in Congress are mostly supportive, while demanding clarification — and a role in future decisions. Russia says it's a "significant blow" to relations. Despite past isolationist rhetoric, the President himself says his views have changed toward his presidency and his role in the world.
Defense secretary halts collection of California guard bonuses Veterans of the California National Guard have been required to pay back enlistment bonuses and student loans given them 10 years ago during the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. The Los Angeles Times broke the story that many served multiple combat tours and didn't realize they were not entitled to payments of $15,000 or more. Today, after expressions of outrage from Congress, Secretary Ash Carter ordered that repayment demands be suspended. Leo Shane, Capitol Hill Bureau Chief for Military Times , says California may not be the only state affected.
Poll Shows Strong Support for Trump among Military Members With the 2016 presidential campaigns heating up, pollsters are looking to the general election, but one voter constituency that doesn't get much attention is military service members. So, how is the campaign rhetoric playing with troops? The Military Times recently conducted a survey to find out. Barbara Bogaev gets details from the Times' Capitol Hill Bureau Chief, Leo Shane.
Virginia to Announce It Has Ended Veteran Homelessness At the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier today at Arlington National Cemetery, President Obama addressed the issue of homelessness among veterans. "We've now slashed the disability claims backlog by nearly 90 percent. We're reducing the outrage of veterans' homelessness, and have helped tens of thousands of our veterans get off the streets. Still, the unacceptable problems that we've seen — like long wait times, and some veterans not getting the timely care that they need — is a challenge for all of us if we are to match our words with deeds." Leo Shane, Congressional reporter for the Military Times , has more on Virginia's efforts to end veteran homelessness.
President Obama Speaks before the VFW President Obama addressed the Veterans of Foreign Wars in Pittsburgh today and made a case for the nuclear deal with Iran. "In the debate over this deal, we're hearing the echoes of some of the same policies and mindset that failed us in the past. Some of the same politicians and pundits that are so quick to reject the possibility of a diplomatic solution to Iran's nuclear program are the same folks who were so quick to go to war in Iraq, and said it would take a few months. And we know the consequences of that choice and what it cost us in blood and treasure." Leo Shane reports on Congress for the Military Times .
GOP 'Nukes' the Senate filibuster on SCOTUS nominees Senate Democrats today blocked Judge Neil Gorsuch's appointment to the US Supreme Court… but just for the moment. The Republican majority has changed the rules to force a likely confirmation as soon as tomorrow.
Why Don't Facts Matter? "Fake News" may have a long history, but social media and 21st Century politics have brought it front and center. One reason for its appeal and its power is the tendency of so many people to cling to their beliefs — even when confronted with contradictory evidence. Today, another look at the Emotional States of America.
Trump's ethical conflicts pile up as transparency diminishes President Trump's refusal to reveal his income tax returns is just one example of a lack of transparency that could be hiding conflicts of interest. Other conflicts are already obvious from his appointments. And he's being sued for using his job to increase his profits.
White House flip flops: NATO, Syria and China In less than 100 days, President Trump has contradicted himself on a host of foreign policy issues — Syria, NATO, China and Vladimir Putin’s Russia. Is it a strength — or a weakness — for the United States when the world of power politics never knows what to expect?