If Congress does nothing else between now and election day, it will pass another record defense spending bill--even though the Pentagon says it can't keep track of the money. Will more than $500 billion make America safer? Do the House and the Senate care more about oversight or pet projects? Also, an update on today's suicide bombing in Kabul and a conversation about ABC's The Path to 9/11. Is it a docudrama or political propaganda?
FROM THIS EPISODE
In Kabul, Afghanistan, today, a suicide bomber killed at least 18 Afghans and two American Soldiers. Many more were wounded. The attack, which struck downtown near the several diplomatic missions, comes as NATO commanders are asking for 2000 more troops to fight the resurgent Taliban.
After hours of impassioned debate about terrorism, Secretary Rumsfeld and the war in Iraq, the Senate passed the defense-spending bill yesterday by a vote of 98-to-nothing. Congress is about to do the same. The legislation's $500 billion provides for more military spending than the rest of the world combined. In a post-9/11 election year--with wars going on in Iraq and Afghanistan--no politician in either party wants to be labeled "anti-defense." The Pentagon has admitted it can't keep track of all of that money. So who knows if bigger spending really means greater protection? Are threats to America changing faster than the military can get ready to meet them? Does Congress focus on oversight or pet projects?
Democrats, including former President Clinton, are up in arms over The Path to 9/11, scheduled to run Sunday and Monday nights on ABC. The network calls criticism "premature and irresponsible," because final editing is incomplete. Republican Thomas Kean, co-chair of the 9/11 Commission and a co-executive producer of the 6-hour docudrama, says changes are being made, at his suggestion, and that the miniseries is being made by "people of integrity." Two Democrats who were on the Commission say some scenes contradict its findings.
Scott Collins, Television Reporter, Los Angeles Times
More From To the Point
Special: ‘Trump Baby’ flies over Big Ben… President Trump flies to Europe this week for meetings with NATO, the Queen and Russia’s President Putin. But the president won’t be the only Trump flying when he lands in the UK. An enormous, orange “Trump baby” balloon, complete with a diaper and cell phone is set to float just above the streets of London, for all to see. What else do British protestors have in store?
On the road to SCOTUS: Politics trumps the law Conservative Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s Senate confirmation looks highly likely, but crucial issues won’t go away. The Supreme Court may see cases involving abortion, health care and the limits of presidential power. Can Democrats use upcoming hearings to dramatize what’s at stake--before November’s elections?
Politics and ‘incivility’ One Democrat wants Trump aides confronted in public over separating immigrant families. But her party’s leaders call that “incivility.” The question is: does moderation accomplish real change -- or is it a smokescreen for the status quo? When it comes to achieving racial equality, what’s worked and what hasn’t?
LATEST BLOG POSTS
Curious Coast: One listener wanted to know more about LA’s indigenous communities, here’s why Araceli Argueta is a lifelong resident of the Los Angeles area, but she still doesn’t consider herself an L.A. native. At least, not in the traditional sense of the word.… Read More
LA’s Tongva descendants: ‘We originated here’ KCRW listener Araceli Argueta wanted to know more about the history of Los Angeles’ indigenous people and submitted this question to Curious Coast. “What Native Tribes’ lands are we on?… Read More