FROM Gregory Wawro
Are Congress' Extreme Politics Eroding Our Democracy? After the 2010 midterm elections, magazine writer Robert Draper saw big change was in the wind as Republicans prepared to use their new majority in Congress as the "point of the spear" against President Barak Obama. He embedded himself on Capitol Hill and interviewed 300 people, including 50 members of Congress, some as many as 15 times. The result is the new book, Do Not Ask What Good We Do , a title taken from a discouraged Congressman in 1796. With public approval at 14 percent, is this Congress more dysfunctional than those of the past? We speak with Draper and others.
Are Congress' Extreme Politics Eroding Our Democracy? Even some long-time Republicans are calling the current Congress the most dysfunctional since the Civil War. Public approval is 14 percent -- up from nine. What do Tea Party members have to do with it? Are they idealistic Mr. Smiths lost in Washington or another group of obedient servants to special interests? Are both parties helping plutocrats hijack the government, despite the priorities of most voters? How does this Congress compare to those of the past when it comes to addressing the urgent problems that face the American people?
Trump plays scolder-in-chief with NATO allies At the opening of NATO’s dramatic new headquarters in Brussels today, President Trump acknowledged that Article 5 — promising that “an attack on one nation is an attack on all” -- has only been invoked one time: in the aftermath of September 11. But the President failed to provide what 27 other Alliance members have been waiting for: a re-commitment by America’s new leader to Article 5. Instead, they got a scolding.
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?
Ex-FBI Director Comey tells his side of the story Today, former FBI Director James Comey came close to calling the President who fired him a liar. The White House denied the claim and called it insulting, but Republican Senators did not challenge Comey’s truthfulness. Many questions remain: did the President try to obstruct a federal investigation? Later, we’ll go behind the “velvet rope” for a look at 5-Star health care for the richest Americans.
Terrorism and tweets, hate speech and murder Just days before an election, Britain is coping with a rash of deadly terrorism, and Prime Minister Theresa May is on the defensive. And again today, President Trump has tweeted criticism of the Mayor of London. Later, a double murder in Portland, Oregon has revealed the ugly past of a supposedly “progressive” city. One immediate question: is “hate speech” protected by the First Amendment?