FROM Matt Viser
The Fiscal Cliff, Susan Rice and Political Gamesmanship As promised, President Obama had lunch with Mitt Romney today — no press coverage, no details of their discussion. But just weeks after the election, partisanship is still the word in Washington. After days of optimism about avoiding the fiscal cliffs, hard lines are now being drawn. The President and House Speaker John Boehner spoke by telephone last night, and it appears the President is still insisting that priority number one is the bill to maintain tax breaks for the Middle Class while raising rates on the wealthy. At a news conference this morning, Boehner threw cold water on the President's much advertised return to the campaign trail to win public support.
Supreme Court Justices Weigh Future of Healthcare Law Whatever its ultimate ruling in June may be, the US Supreme Court made history this week. It's taken two years for the Affordable Care Act to reach the Court, which is lightening speed by normal standards. After three days of arguments , the fate of President Obama's most important legislative achievement is very much up in the air. Will the Supreme Court throw out the "mandate" to buy insurance? What about requirements already in effect, like insurance despite pre-existing conditions? What's the potential impact on this year's presidential election?
What happens when America retreats from the world? Is President Trump taking his "America First" agenda to extremes, withdrawing the country from the international stage on trade and climate change, distancing America from its traditional allies across the Atlantic and even threatening to physically isolate the country through the building of a wall along its southern border? León Krauze guest hosts.
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.
Venezuela spirals into economic and political chaos Venezuela, a country whose potential for prosperity is unmatched, finds itself on the verge of civil war. What sustains the repressive government? With time running out, guest host León Krauze looks at what the international community can do to pull the country from the edge of collapse.
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.