FROM Willy Raymond
The Commercialization of Christmas With Christmas less than a week away, a lot of people are thinking about the hype, the commercialization and the consequent loss of Christian meaning. There are campaigns afoot to discourage Christmas shopping altogether. In this week's New Yorker magazine, James Surowiecki suggests a kind of compromise: "We might actually be happier--and we'd certainly be wealthier--if we exchanged small, well-considered gifts rather than haunting the malls." Is it more about material expectations and competition than good fellowship or Christian love? If we bought nothing at Christmas would spirituality be restored? Is Christmas too commercial or not commercial enough? We hear several shades of a familiar argument.
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.
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?
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.
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.