FROM Mark Blyth
Is populism a threat to democracy? In the aftermath of the Cold War, the consensus of Western politics was that more countries would evolve into liberal democracies and stay that way. The European Union was seen as the model but, this week, Italy's centrist Prime Minister was driven from office -- hard on the heels of Brexit. Matteo Renzi announced his resignation after losing a referendum to restructure a famously chaotic government. There's right-wing nationalism in France and Germany -- and Donald Trump won by directly assaulting America's political establishment. We look at evidence that liberal democracies aren't as stable as they were previously cracked up to be.
Brexit Fallout Continues: Its Implications for the World It’s been 4 days since British voters decided to withdraw from the European Union. The fallout continues, in the form of scared global markets, and jockeying for power among British politicians. And that’s led to intensifying discussion about whether the “Brexit” could be altered or avoided. But Prime Minister David Cameron, who’s already said he’ll resign, doesn’t think that’s an option. Image
The Backlash Against Austerity International May Day rallies are supposed to celebrate the dignity of human labor, but with 26 million Europeans out of work and unemployment at 27 percent in Greece and Spain, today's rallies were protests against the consequences of massive spending cuts and increased taxes. Unemployment is setting records in Eurozone countries, and the focus is shifting from reducing debt to growing troubled economies. Some economists are saying "we told you so," bolstered, believe it or not, by discovery of an Excel spread-sheet error in an influential research paper. What will the "austerity" backlash mean for the "sequester" in this country? Are politicians catching up with new ideas of what works and what doesn't?
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?
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.