FROM Stephen Spruiell
A Subdued Republican Convention Kicks Off Opening day is a shadow of what the Republicans planned for their National Convention in St. Paul, Minnesota. George Bush and Dick Cheney won't be coming as scheduled. Hurricane Gustav has forced them to make other plans. John McCain has suspended political hoopla, at least for today, and the convention will conduct the minimum of official business. We get the latest from Louisiana and try to assess what it will mean for the legacy of President Bush and McCain's political future. We also hear Republicans debate the choice of Sarah Palin and a conservative platform that fails to mention McCain.
The State of the Presidential Race after the Philly Debate Polls show the top issues for voters are the economy, including free trade and $4-a-gallon gas and the war in Iraq. But less than a week before the Pennsylvania primary , the first 50 minutes of last night's debate between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama , – the twenty-second in this presidential campaign -- were focused on personal gaffes, past associations and who could withstand a Republican onslaught before the November elections. Eventually, each candidate was forced to concede that the other could beat John McCain . ABC;s moderators are getting as much post-mortem attention as the candidates. Did anything happen to change the momentum in Pennsylvania? Are voters around the country better informed? What about the super-delegates who are likely to make the final decision?
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?
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?