FROM William Hartung
The F-35 Striker Jet and Pork Barrel Politics More than 15 years in the making, the F-35 striker jet still has trouble landing on wet runways. The most expensive weapons system in history was grounded again this week, missing several airshows in England. They were much-needed marketing opportunities to help sell the F-35 fighter-bomber to foreign countries, amortizing increasing costs. We’ll hear about continued Congressional support despite a history of failure.
The New Congress, the Deficit and the Pentagon In his farewell speech warning about the "military-industrial" complex, President (and former Army General) Dwight Eisenhower said that defense spending has to be weighed in the balance along with every other national program. The new House majority wants to cut $100 billion from next year's budget, but the Pentagon won't be subject to major reductions.
The New Congress, the Deficit and the Pentagon In his farewell speech warning about the "military-industrial" complex, President (and former Army General) Dwight Eisenhower said that defense spending has to be weighed in the balance along with every other national program. The new House majority, led by newly sworn in speaker, Republican John Boehner , wants to cut $100 billion from next year's budget. The Pentagon makes up more than half the spending that could be reduced, but cuts in the Defense Department are off the table. Even the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff says the deficit is a threat to national security, and the Pentagon is a paradigm of government waste. Why is it immune from the cost-cutting voters have asked for? Will the Tea Party make a difference? We look at the prospects.
Splitting the Difference on Nuclear Weapons What threats justify maintaining a nuclear arsenal? When, if ever, could such weapons be used? Those and other questions get some new answers in the Obama Administration's Nuclear Posture Review , reviving arguments that go back to World War II. Now that the Soviet Union is ancient history, the focus is on North Korea, Iran, proliferation and terror. What's the best way to deal with those challenges, reduce the chance of a confrontation and keep America as safe as possible? We hear from journalists, nuclear experts, military analysts and former Pentagon officials.
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?
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.