FROM Ryan Lizza
President Trump and the 'business' of government Donald Trump may be in the White House because he promised to "shake up Washington." But did that mean capsizing basic institutions? In just two weeks, he's consolidated decision making, ignored avenues of communication and flouted traditional protocols. He's run roughshod not just over professional civil servants but secretaries of Defense and Homeland Security he's just appointed. Some conservative veterans of the George W. Bush Administration are even predicting impeachment before he can finish his term. We compare Trump's uninhibited use of executive power to what's happened in other countries where "checks and balances" were not as strong as expected.
Who is Kellyanne Conway? Trump campaign manager Kellyann Conway was already in the unenviable position of defending her boss on TV after the infamous Access Hollywood tape came out last Friday. It has since been revealed that Trump told Howard Stern years ago that it was okay to call his daughter a nice piece of you-know-what, putting Conway back on the defensive. She’s the first woman to run a Republican presidential campaign, and the subject of a new profile in the New Yorker. Madeleine speaks to the writer.
How Likely Is Another Government Shutdown? Congress has roughly 10 working days until the deadline to pass a budget — with time out for Jewish holidays and a speech by the Pope. The Iran nuclear deal, the Export-Import bank, the Highway Trust Fund, the debt limit and military spending are all waiting for action. But a single issue may get in the way, with tea party Republicans defying their own leaders unless Planned Parenthood is de-funded. If betting on politics was legal, the Washington Post says it would tell readers to, "Put some money on the government shutting down on October 1."
The Virtual Candidacy of Elizabeth Warren Today US Senator Bernie Sanders , a self-described socialist from Vermont became the first official democratic rival to Hillary Clinton . But he may be overshadowed by another liberal powerhouse, Senator Elizabeth Warren . She says she isn't running but you wouldn't know it from listening to Clinton adopting her rhetoric. That's according to Ryan Lizza of the New Yorker . His latest piece on the 2016 presidential contenders is " The Virtual Candidate ."
President Obama Opens a Door to Cuba More than 50 years after the US ended diplomatic relations with Cuba, President Obama made history today — renewing ties that were ended before he was born. There have been 18 months of secret negotiations, ended by a phone call with Raoul Castro, the President of Cuba. The Administration will open an embassy in Havana, ask Congress to end the trade embargo and use other means to improve Cuba's human rights record. We hear how the deal came about, the role of Pope Francis, and sample political reaction.
Jeb Bush Explores Running in 2016 Political pundits have been taking another look at the "inevitability" of Hillary Clinton as the next Democratic presidential nominee. She has still not given a signal, despite urging from supporters and contributors. Now Jeb Bush, the former Governor of Florida and the brother and son of former presidents, has become the first major player to indicate he’ll "actively explore" a run for the White House. We handicap the likely candidates from both parties.
Crunch Time for Reforming the NSA Since Edward Snowden revealed that the National Security Agency tracks every American phone call, President Obama has been under pressure. In a speech Friday, he'll try to balance demands for privacy against the rule that, when it comes to acts of terror, intelligence agencies can't be wrong — even once. But, while the NSA claims its massive collection of "metadata" has made America safer, both a White House panel and independent research are suggesting otherwise. We look at the President's options, including increased oversight by the courts and Congress and limits on the who, when and why of NSA spying.
Who's in Control on Capitol Hill? In Washington today, a reported deal to reopen the government and raise the debt limit by Thursday was on-again, off again. Deal or no deal, there’s no guarantee that another, similar crisis won’t arise a few weeks from now. Tea Party Republicans want an end to business as usual, and new sources of funding allow them to thumb their noses at the traditional GOP. Today’s plan by the House was rejected by the Obama White House—although it was similar to the Senate plan with some amendments. Who’s in control on Capitol Hill? What about next year’s elections? Is real compromise possible in Washington’s 24-hour goldfish bowl?
Did Super Tuesday Make Any Difference? In six out of 10 states on Super Tuesday, Mitt Romney was the ultimate winner. But in Virginia — where Santorum and Gingrich weren't on the ballot — Ron Paul got 41 percent of the vote. In the big Midwest showdown in Ohio, Romney only defeated Santorum by one point. Super Tuesday is over, but the Republicans still don't have an "inevitable" nominee. We look at yesterday's numbers and the issues that might or might not unite the party against the Democratic incumbent come November.
Did Super Tuesday Make Any Difference? On Monday, former First Lady Barbara Bush told a conference that this year's Republicans are running " the worst campaign I've ever seen in my life ." Yesterday, in ten states around the country, Republican voters told exit pollsters they were frustrated by their own candidates' attacks on each other. In six out of 10 states on Super Tuesday, Mitt Romney was the ultimate winner. But in Virginia — where Santorum and Gingrich weren't on the ballot — Ron Paul got 41 percent of the vote, and in the big Midwest showdown in Ohio, Romney only defeated Santorum by one point. Romney still leads, but his staff is telling reporters he might not be able to sew it up before the primaries are over in June. What are yesterday's lessons for the GOP nomination and the chances against Obama in November?
Cain Blames Perry, Romney for Sexual Harassment Allegations Herman Cain says old charges of sexual harassment were dredged up by Rick Perry 's campaign, which suggests that maybe they came from agents of Mitt Romney . The Cain blame-game has been going on for a week, and that's viewed as unprecedented by some hardy veterans of political circuses in the past. How much will it matter in the Republican presidential campaign? Ryan Lizza is Washington correspondent for the New Yorker magazine. Watch the latest video at &amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;a href="http://video.foxnews.com"&amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;video.foxnews.com&amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/a&amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;
Romney Makes It Official, but Will Palin Steal the Spotlight? At the Bittersweet Farm in Strathum, New Hampshire today, Mitt Romney made official what everyone's known for years: he's running for the Republican nomination for President. His ultimate target, of course, is the incumbent Democrat, Barack Obama . We hear what he said and why he said it in New Hampshire, with Sarah Palin just down the road, and look at the rest of a sprawling Republican presidential field.
Can the Republicans Find a Road to the White House? Mitt Romney 's second campaign for President is old news, so today's "official" announcement at Bittersweet Farm in Strathum, New Hampshire was supposed to show the media it's time to get serious. But Sarah Palin gets massive news coverage just by riding a Harley or eating pizza with Donald Trump on a trip she insists is not really political. In Iowa, Tim Pawlenty does it the old fashioned way — meeting with small groups of voters — while candidates who aren't even running get the attention. Can Romney maintain his Republican front-runner status? Can the GOP agree on a message against incumbent Democrat, Barack Obama ?
The 'Arab Spring' Runs into Heavy Weather Syria's deadly crackdown on political protesters has provoked outrage at the UN, the European Union and from some Arab countries as well. International sanctions are not expected to make any difference to the regime of Bashar Assad, who's already killed some 400 of his own people. But, even if he remains in charge, instability in Syria could have consequences for the balance of power in the Middle East and for alliances with western countries. We update the unrest and the implications for Iran, Israel and Saudi Arabia. Does President Obama have a coherent strategy, or is he playing it by ear?
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?
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.
Who's to blame for the opioid crisis? Some of the lawyers who took on Big Tobacco are now going after Big Pharma. It’s all about the deadly epidemic of opioid use. Are the drug companies to blame? What about the users? Later, on today’s Talking Point: making sense of Britain’s upset election.