FROM Martha Joynt Kumar
Obama and Public Accountability After yesterday’s withdrawal of Tom Daschle as point man on healthcare reform, this was damage-control day at the Obama White House. But the big question was what went wrong. It wasn’t just Daschle who withdrew his nomination from the cabinet but also Nancy Killifer, who would have been the first chief compliance officer. Both failed to pay federal taxes, he a much larger amount than she. On this rebroadcast of today’s To the Point, we get an unusual perspective from a college professor who has a desk in the White House basement.
Obama and Public Accountability With top-level appointees admitting they didn't pay federal taxes, President Obama told TV interviewers last night, “ I screwed up .” The promise of tough standards to “change the culture” of Washington has created expectations that are hard to meet. The New York Times called it his “ rockiest day .” The Los Angeles Times said he was “ punching the restart button on his presidency .” Did the vetting process go wrong? Was there poor political judgment? Has the President's major asset, his popularity with the public, been put at risk? Will his personal efforts at damage control get his health reform and economic rescue programs back on track?
Trump's 'America First' goes missing abroad In the Middle East, President Trump is changing some policies of the Obama Administration—and reversing his own campaign attacks on Islam as a religion that "hates us." We hear about his visit to Saudi Arabia and what's at stake for the rest of his foreign excursion.
White House budget proposal slashes and burns President Trump's first budget request is considered dead on arrival in Congress — a familiar development in Capitol Hill. We hear what it reveals about the priorities of the new administration. What's likely to die… and what might survive?
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.
Replacing Obamacare: Now you see it… now you don’t As the Senate deliberates replacing Obmacare, health coverage for millions of people is at stake. There've been no public hearings, and a draft measure won't be made public. Is the House version so unpopular that that Senate is hiding a version that looks much the same?