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?
The longest US war: Will Trump send more troops to Afghanistan? The Trump White House is divided over the Pentagon's request for more troops in Afghanistan—where the US has been fighting for the past 16 years. Is there a formula -- either for "victory" or a political settlement? Is there an end in sight for America's longest war?
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.
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?
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.