FROM Anna Greenberg
Healthcare: Policy and Partisan Politics Some 40 Democrats and Republicans joined the televised healthcare summit today, with President Obama asking not where they differed but where they agreed. The President began today’s summit claiming that politics has trumped common sense. The Republicans responded that restructuring 17% of the economy is too ambitious for a single 2400-page bill. Will a rare chance for voters to see elected officials tackle the details of substantive issues make any difference on Capitol Hill or in this year’s elections?
Will 'Values Voters' Turn to the Economy? To upset Barack Obama next Tuesday, John McCain is counting on a conservative base in small towns, energized by running-mate Sarah Palin . It's the so-called "values vote," focused on social issues -- abortion, gay marriage and gun rights -- as well as cutting the size of government. Four years ago, Thomas Frank published What's the Matter with Kansas? , raising a question about the so-called "values voters" who were crucial to the election and re-election of George W. Bush. This year, big parts of America's "Heartland" have become battlegrounds between McCain and Obama. Is that a temporary phenomenon or will there be lasting political consequences? Is the economy trumping the culture wars? Has the population changed in the past eight years?
Iraq and the War on Terror: Politics and Reality This year's elections are crucial to President Bush, and he wants fellow Republicans to focus on the war in Iraq as part of the war on terror. He says Democrats who want a timetable for pulling out of Iraq are wrong not to recognize the connection. But a poll released today by CBS and the New York Times says 51% of Americans don't see the connection, either. Democrats hope that means national security will be their issue for the first time in decades. We look at the political consequences of the President's determination to "stay the course" in Iraq. We'll also look at the reality on the ground. Will the current strategy accomplish the mission? Is the war in Iraq making it harder to fight the war on terror?
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?
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.
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.