FROM Michael White
Barack Obama and the Perils of Populism Tony Hayward spent this weekend watching his yacht race off the Isle of Wight, another black eye for the CEO of what used to be called British Petroleum. But while BP is British owned, it employs 20,000 Americans, twice its payroll in England. Some 40% of its shares are held in the United States. As President Obama and the Democrats bash BP — along with Toyota, health insurers and Wall Street, do many Americans see a threat to pensions and jobs? Do they distrust government as much as they do corporations? While Obama's populism might have short-term political value, what about the long-term? Is it time for him to cool his rhetoric or turn up the heat?
Gordon Brown Takes Over as British Prime Minister Tony Blair is now Middle East Envoy for the Quartet of the US, Russia, the UN and the European Union. Britain's new prime minister is his long-time understudy. During the ten years of Blair's Labour Party government, Gordon Brown has been Chancellor of the United Kingdom, but he's never disguised his ambition to become the top dog. Today, he got the job without an election--the first time that's happened in 17 years. Michael White is associate editor of the Guardian newspaper and a commentator on the BBC .
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.
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?
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.