FROM Heidi Przybyla
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?
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 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?
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.