FROM Alexander Bolton
Cutting, squeezing, trimming -- and spending President Trump wants to cut government — except for Social Security and Medicare. At the same time, he wants to put people to work. So, a new infrastructure program might appeal to the Democrats, but Republicans say the money's not there without cutting those sacred entitlements. As Trump begins work on a so-called "skinny" budget, he finds himself bound by vague campaign promises that may turn out to be contradictory. Don't forget major cuts for wealthy taxpayers. We look at early efforts at assembling a financial puzzle — even when the pieces don't fit.
Suing Saudi Arabia: What could go wrong? Fifteen years after the attacks of September 11, the families of victims still want authorization to sue Saudi Arabia -- even though there's no "smoking gun." In this election year, they got what they wanted when bipartisan majorities of Congress yesterday overrode a veto by President Obama. But almost before the voting was over, Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan was among those openly voicing second thoughts. Was the President right after all, warning of unintended consequences for Americans overseas? Can the new law be changed — once the election is over?
Presidential Politics and the US Supreme Court President Obama today named a distinguished judge to fill the vacancy on the US Supreme Court. The nominee is a veteran, Merrick Garland , Chief Judge of the US Court of Appeals in Washington, DC, who is well regarded by Senators of both parties. Nevertheless, Republicans were ready to Just Say "No" — not to the judge himself but to his nomination by an outgoing president. They accuse Obama of politicizing the court — the same charge Democrats have leveled against Republicans under similar circumstances. That's intensifying this year's race for the White House just one day after another round of primary elections.
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.
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.
Is the threat from Russia missing from the Russia meddling probe? There's much being made about the Trump administration's possible ties with Russia. But the bottom line is Russia's effort to influence American democracy. Do the President and his aides care enough to take action before voters go back to the polls?
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.