FROM Gregory T. Angelo
Gay Rights, Religion and Republican Politics Late last month, Indiana's Republican-dominated legislature passed a Religious Freedom Restoration Act. It was much like a federal law signed by Bill Clinton 20 years ago—but there was such an outcry from supporters of gay rights that Republican Governor Mike Pence called for it to be changed . When Arkansas Republicans passed a Religious Freedom Restoration Act, GOP Governor Asa Hutchinson refused to sign it . Disputes over RFRA laws have revealed a great divide in the Republican Party. Traditionalists want to protect religious teachings against homosexuality, but others see a path to discrimination in an increasingly tolerant nation. Next year's presidential contenders are caught in the middle -- with religious conservatives more powerful in early primary states than they are later on. Will appeals to younger Republicans help remove opposition to same-sex marriage from next year's GOP platform?
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?
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.
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.