FROM Gerald Prante
'Socialism' and Political Rhetoric, Past and Present Barack Obama wants to raise taxes on incomes over $250,000 and use part of the money for tax credits on all workers, even those who don't earn enough to pay income tax. John McCain says that borders on "socialism" and crowds cheer. In 2001, McCain voted against the Bush tax cuts he now wants to extend, saying the benefits went the "the most fortunate among us at the expense of middle-class Americans." But the progressive income tax has been redistributing income for almost 100 years. The Bush Administration, proudly conservative, is nationalizing banks; the auto and nuclear industries want guaranteed government loans. Meantime, Communist Russia and China are looking like free-marketeers. Does the word "socialism" still have the political force it did during the Cold War? Are McCain's charges likely to stick?
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.
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?
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?