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?
Janesville and the American Dream Janesville, Wisconsin is the hometown of Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan. But he couldn’t prevent the closing of the General Motors factory after 100 years. On this Memorial Day rebroadcast of To the Point, we hear what’s happened to what once was a model of American middle-class unity.
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.
Is the threat from Russia missing from the Russia meddling probe? There's much being made about the Trump administration's possible ties with Russia. But the bottom line is Russia's effort to influence American democracy. Do the President and his aides care enough to take action before voters go back to the polls?
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?