FROM Martin Cohen
Political Party Conventions: What Are They For? Party conventions used to nominate presidential candidates. Now that's all done in advance. Next week's Republican Party convention plans to break with tradition. Instead of waiting until Wednesday, they'll nominate Mitt Romne y on Monday, the first day of their convention in Tampa. Does that mean conventions don't matter? Recent history suggests that they do. Remember Barack Obama's keynote speech in 2004? Remember Sarah Palin in 2008? We hear about conventions past — with the voices of Franklin Roosevelt, Hubert Humphrey, John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan. How have the raucous gatherings of political insiders evolved into carefully scripted TV productions? Will the Republicans finally unite behind Mitt Romney next week in Tampa? Can they survive the Florida weather?
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?
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?
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.
Trump plays scolder-in-chief with NATO allies At the opening of NATO’s dramatic new headquarters in Brussels today, President Trump acknowledged that Article 5 — promising that “an attack on one nation is an attack on all” -- has only been invoked one time: in the aftermath of September 11. But the President failed to provide what 27 other Alliance members have been waiting for: a re-commitment by America’s new leader to Article 5. Instead, they got a scolding.