FROM Martha Joynt Kumar
Obama and Public Accountability After yesterday’s withdrawal of Tom Daschle as point man on healthcare reform, this was damage-control day at the Obama White House. But the big question was what went wrong. It wasn’t just Daschle who withdrew his nomination from the cabinet but also Nancy Killifer, who would have been the first chief compliance officer. Both failed to pay federal taxes, he a much larger amount than she. On this rebroadcast of today’s To the Point, we get an unusual perspective from a college professor who has a desk in the White House basement.
Obama and Public Accountability With top-level appointees admitting they didn't pay federal taxes, President Obama told TV interviewers last night, “ I screwed up .” The promise of tough standards to “change the culture” of Washington has created expectations that are hard to meet. The New York Times called it his “ rockiest day .” The Los Angeles Times said he was “ punching the restart button on his presidency .” Did the vetting process go wrong? Was there poor political judgment? Has the President's major asset, his popularity with the public, been put at risk? Will his personal efforts at damage control get his health reform and economic rescue programs back on track?
White House budget proposal slashes and burns President Trump's first budget request is considered dead on arrival in Congress — a familiar development in Capitol Hill. We hear what it reveals about the priorities of the new administration. What's likely to die… and what might survive?
What is Trump's plan for Middle East peace? On his first foreign tour, President Trump has promised "peace" between Israel and the Palestinians. Are there any details for re-starting talks that have been stalled for the past three years?
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.
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.