FROM Becky Hale
Church and State in 21st Century America America's founders wrote a Constitution to intentionally exclude God, and their first amendment forbids the government to establish any religion. Thomas Jefferson even called for a "wall of separation between church and state." But, during the Red Scare of the 1950's, "In God We Trust" not only appeared on American money, but replaced E Pluribus Unum —"Out of Many, One" — as the national motto. Even though there was no substantive challenge in sight, Congress reaffirmed that last year—by a vote of 396 to 9. Americans have the right to practice any religion they want to, but are these official references threatening the commitment to a secular government? Do they imply that this is a Christian nation or recognize that one God is as good as another in a country of many different faiths?
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.
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.
The Trump agenda: where's the beef? President Trump says big things are happening. After celebrating a House bill on health care, he doesn’t yet have Senate agreement. With James Comey’s public testimony scheduled tomorrow, the President today tweeted his selection of a new FBI Director. Is the Chief Executive all style and no substance? Later, terror attacks in Iran and conflicting claims about who’s behind them.
The longest US war: Will Trump send more troops to Afghanistan? The Trump White House is divided over the Pentagon's request for more troops in Afghanistan—where the US has been fighting for the past 16 years. Is there a formula -- either for "victory" or a political settlement? Is there an end in sight for America's longest war?