FROM Philip Rucker
America's moral authority: Is it credible? Promoting human rights and democratic values is part of America's "brand" — a crucial part of its "leadership of the free world." There's always been an element of hypocrisy, but President Trump isn't just working behind the scenes with right-wing dictators. He's publicly praised Duterte, Erdogan, Sisi, Putin — even Kim Jung Un -- and other leaders notorious for brutal repression. Is Trump failing to at least set a good example…at a time when much of the world is retreating from adherence to liberal ideals and institutions?
Open Society and the Threat of Guerilla Warfare After well-coordinated terror attacks in two major cities in just four months, Europe is bracing for more. The death toll is now at least 34 and the number of injured more than 200 after yesterday's two bombing attacks on the Brussels airport and another downtown. Yesterday's strikes came despite the best efforts of multiple intelligence agencies since Paris was hit in November. Clearly, they weren't enough. Supposedly "unified" countries have opened their borders but failed to coordinate and share information. We look at the challenges to come and how terrorism in Europe is playing a role in America's presidential campaign.
Political Outsiders: How Long Will They Last? Republican Donald Trump says, “The beauty of me is that I am very rich.” Democratic-Socialist Bernie Sanders rails against the power of the “billionaire class.” They’re about as different as it’s possible for candidates to be… but they’re similar in one very important way: each is “separating himself from the political and economic system that many everyday Americans view as rigged against them.” That’s according to Philip Rucker, national political correspondent for the Washington Post.
Romney Drops Out, GOP White House Field Still Full It’s been less than a month since Mitt Romney told a group of Republicans donors he was thinking about another run for the presidential nomination. Today, in conference calls to advisors and others he essentially said, "never mind." Philip Rucker is National Political Correspondent for the Washington Post.
Obama Unveils Gun Control Proposals President Obama today signed 23 executive orders and asked Congress to pass legislation he said will help to reduce gun violence. The parents of some children killed in the Connecticut school massacre were part of his audience; four grade-school children who’d written him letters were on the stage. He told them that action now is a “moral obligation…”
Abortion and the Federal Budget Talks In Washington this morning, Democrats and Republicans prepared to blame each other if there's a government shutdown at midnight tonight. Democratic Senate leader Harry Reid said it's all about cutting off money to Planned Parenthood. House Speaker John Boehner had a very different account of the stalemate. Philip Rucker is national political reporter for the Washington Post .
Republicans in the House: A New Era on Capitol Hill Republicans will be taking over the Congress tomorrow loaded for bear. Their goals include dismantling healthcare and finance reform and cutting $100 billion in federal spending. Their symbols include a reading of the Constitution on the House floor, an action that's never been taken before.
Republicans in the House: A New Era on Capitol Hill House Republicans are snorting political fire, on a mission to dismantle the Obama agenda. Their goals include dismantling healthcare and finance reform and cutting $100 billion in federal spending. Their symbols include a reading of the Constitution on the House floor, an action that's never been taken before. With the biggest GOP majority since the era of Harry Truman, they plan to change the rules in hopes of changing the way Congress does business. If the Senate Democrats stymie their efforts, will they be blamed for gridlock in 2012, or will the new Congress, inspired by the Tea Party, over-reach? Will they meet the fate of previous reformers and be absorbed by an institution devoted to business as usual?
RNC Chairman Michael Steele under Fire Under Michael Steele 's leadership, it hasn't exactly been business as usual at the Republican National Committee . The RNC's first black chairman has hoped to foster a "hip-hop renaissance" for the GOP and Republicans have been winning during his tenure. But Steele's been criticized for lavish spending, and made national headlines when staffers approved a $2000 bill at a Hollywood night club featuring topless dancers mimicking lesbian sex acts while wearing bondage gear. Philip Rucker is a staff writer for the Washington Post .
Obama Discusses Stimulus Money with the Governors President Obama told the nation's governors today that $15 billion in stimulus money will reach the states on Wednesday to help with Medicaid payments to the poor. Some Republican Governors are saying they won't accept another part of the package, expansion of unemployment benefits for part-time workers and others who have not been eligible before. Philip Rucker is national political reporter for the Washington Post .
Will the Senate write a healthcare bill in secret? While Democrats and Republicans argue White House relations with Russia, another question is being decided behind closed doors: who gets help buying health insurance and who doesn't? We hear how the pros and cons are being shrouded in secrecy.
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?
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.
Who's to blame for the opioid crisis? Some of the lawyers who took on Big Tobacco are now going after Big Pharma. It’s all about the deadly epidemic of opioid use. Are the drug companies to blame? What about the users? Later, on today’s Talking Point: making sense of Britain’s upset election.