FROM Richard Bulliet
Is the Great Satan a Big Blunderer? Polls show that vast numbers of Middle Easterners believe the US wants to divide their region, take over their oil and replace Islam with Christianity. Al Jazeera TV, newspapers and magazines promote the idea of a grand conspiracy by an invincible Superpower. Conspiracy theories about western imperialism have a rich history in the Middle East. While recently, it's the United States that gets the blame—or the credit—for events that might otherwise be inexplicable, the chaos of the Iraq occupation appears to be changing public opinion. Is America incompetent after all? Can it be defeated? With public opinion changing, where does that leave the governments supported by the US? What will it mean for American interests in a volatile region?
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?
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.
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.