FROM David Harsanyi
Divided Republicans and the Politics of Abortion There won't be a government shutdown this week, but there may only have been a postponement — as the fight continues over Planned Parenthood . At a hearing today, the group's president said, " Deceptively edited videos " are being used to support "outrageous accusations" about abortion and fetal tissue. Republicans insisted the organization does "bad things" with federal money, while Democrats renewed their charge of a "war against women." With GOP leaders under siege in both houses, the business of government could again become hostage to politics — possibly before the end of this year.
How Likely Is Another Government Shutdown? Congress has roughly 10 working days until the deadline to pass a budget — with time out for Jewish holidays and a speech by the Pope. The Iran nuclear deal, the Export-Import bank, the Highway Trust Fund, the debt limit and military spending are all waiting for action. But a single issue may get in the way, with tea party Republicans defying their own leaders unless Planned Parenthood is de-funded. If betting on politics was legal, the Washington Post says it would tell readers to, "Put some money on the government shutting down on October 1."
Mixed Messages from US diplomats on the new hard line on Syria Since President Trump's surprise retaliation against Syria's use of chemical weapons, Bashar al-Assad has used the same airport to launch conventional attacks on his own people. It's not clear what the US, its allies — or Vladimir Putin's Russia -- plan to do now.
After Syria strike a new Trump doctrine emerges The President who promised an end to entanglements in the Middle East and snuggled up to Vladimir Putin has now outraged Russia with surprise missile attacks on Syria. That's raised questions about who's running the White House? We hear a variety of answers.
Trump's ethical conflicts pile up as transparency diminishes President Trump's refusal to reveal his income tax returns is just one example of a lack of transparency that could be hiding conflicts of interest. Other conflicts are already obvious from his appointments. And he's being sued for using his job to increase his profits.
White House flip flops: NATO, Syria and China In less than 100 days, President Trump has contradicted himself on a host of foreign policy issues — Syria, NATO, China and Vladimir Putin’s Russia. Is it a strength — or a weakness — for the United States when the world of power politics never knows what to expect?