FROM Scott Wong
Paul Ryan Defends the GOP against Trump's "Racist Comment" House Speaker Paul Ryan said today he still supports Donald Trump, despite "racist" comments by the Republican nominee. When asked about Trump's continued claim that Judge Gonzalo Curiel is biased because he's of Mexican descent, the House Speaker rejected Trump's assertion as "sort of the textbook definition of a racist comment. I think that should be absolutely disavowed, it's absolutely unacceptable." But he maintained his endorsement of Trump over Clinton, saying "I believe we have more common ground on policy issues and a higher likelihood of policies enacted with him, not her."
Friday's Sequester: Economic Disaster or Political Theater? Ohio will lose $25 million for primary and secondary education; Georgia may not get the money to vaccinate against childhood disease; Pennsylvania will loose help for victims of domestic violence; Texas will see 52,000 defense workers furloughed, and Virginia will get less federal support for its transportation program. With the White House spinning out state-by-state damage because of Friday's scheduled budget cuts, Republican Governors are increasingly uneasy. Meantime, Tea Partiers call "sequester" the best thing since they were elected, so Republican House leaders are getting hit from both directions. With no talks visible or behind closed doors, Washington is braced for the blame game. What's at stake for education, transportation, law enforcement, Pentagon contractors and economic recovery?
Trump's 'America First' goes missing abroad In the Middle East, President Trump is changing some policies of the Obama Administration—and reversing his own campaign attacks on Islam as a religion that "hates us." We hear about his visit to Saudi Arabia and what's at stake for the rest of his foreign excursion.
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.
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.