FROM Sam Gardiner
President Bush's Middle East Trip The President's trip to the Middle East was billed as fairly routine, a speech celebrating Israel's 60th anniversary and talks with Arab leaders on oil and peace talks with the Palestinians. His "appeasement" speech has focused more attention than expected. One Washington rumor explains yesterday's "appeasement" denunciation as preparation for attacks on military encampments inside Iran. Barack Obama today called the President's insinuation "appalling," adding that he has not advocated talks with Hamas in Gaza, but that John McCain has. Meantime, the President has left Israel for Saudi Arabia and Egypt, where he'll meet with several Middle East allies. We hear what Obama had to say and get several views of what the President has in mind.
Truth and Lies in Trumpland Donald Trump is using mis-information like no President has before him. It's an unprecedented challenge to the news media, and a potential threat to democracy. We hear how the "leader of all the people" is dividing Americans and confusing the rest of the world.
Why Don't Facts Matter? "Fake News" may have a long history, but social media and 21st Century politics have brought it front and center. One reason for its appeal and its power is the tendency of so many people to cling to their beliefs — even when confronted with contradictory evidence. Today, another look at the Emotional States of America.
Mixed Messages from US diplomats on the new hard line on Syria Since President Trump's surprise retaliation against Syria's use of chemical weapons, Bashar al-Assad has used the same airport to launch conventional attacks on his own people. It's not clear what the US, its allies — or Vladimir Putin's Russia -- plan to do now.
"Tough on crime" rhetoric sees a revival at Sessions' DOJ The pendulum swings between treatment-focused approaches to drug abuse and tough law enforcement. Now, after years of Obama-era "reforms," President Trump’s Attorney General, Jeff Sessions wants local police freed from federal restrictions to fight another "war on drugs."