Wednesday, August 16, 2017

DOCUMENTING HATE - What Charlottesville Exposes



"A New Generation of White Supremacists Emerges in Charlottesville" by A.C. Thompson and Karim Hajj, ProPublica 8/13/2017

The white supremacist forces arrayed in Charlottesville, Virginia, over the weekend — the largest gathering of its sort in at least a generation — represented a new incarnation of the white supremacy movement.  Old-guard groups like the Ku Klux Klan, the Aryan Nations and the Nazi skinheads, which had long stood at the center of racist politics in America, were largely absent.

Instead, the ranks of the young men who drove to Charlottesville with clubs, shields, pepper spray and guns, included many college-educated people who have left the political mainstream in favor of extremist ideologies over the past few years.  A large number have adopted a very clean cut, frat-boyish look designed to appeal to the average white guy in a way that KKK robes or skinhead regalia never could.  Interviews show that at least some of these leaders have spent time in the U.S. armed forces.

Many belong to new organizations like Vanguard America, Identity Evropa, the Traditionalist Workers Party and True Cascadia, which have seen their numbers expand dramatically in the past year.  Most of these groups view themselves as part of a broader “alt-right” movement that represents the extreme edge of right-wing politics in the U.S.

These organizations exhibited unprecedented organization and tactical savvy.  Hundreds of racist activists converged on a park on Friday night, striding through the darkness in groups of five to 20 people.  A handful of leaders with headsets and handheld radios gave orders as a pickup truck full of torches pulled up nearby.  Within minutes, their numbers had swelled well into the hundreds.  They quickly and efficiently formed a lengthy procession and begun marching, torches alight, through the campus of the University of Virginia.

Despite intense interest from the media, police and local anti-racists, the white supremacists kept the location of their intimidating nighttime march secret until the last moment.

The next day, the far-right forces — likely numbering between 1,000 and 1,500 — marched to Emancipation Park.  Once again, they arrived in small blocs under military-style command.  The racist groups were at least as organized and disciplined as the police, who appeared to have no clear plan for what to do when the violence escalated.  The racist groups stood their ground at the park and were not dislodged for many hours.

For many of them, this will be seen as victory.  “Every rally we're going to be more organized, we're going to have more people, and it's going to be harder and harder for them to shut us down,” said a spokesman for Vanguard America, a fascist group, who gave his name as “Thomas.”  “White people are pretty good at getting organized.”

And though police arrested James Fields Jr., a 20-year-old Ohio man, for allegedly driving a Dodge Charger into a crowd of anti-racist protesters, killing 32-year-old Heather Heyer and wounding many others, the white supremacists generally avoided arrests.

They also outmaneuvered their anti-racist opponents.  On Saturday, a multifaith group met at the historic First Baptist Church for a sunrise prayer ceremony featuring academic Cornel West and pastor Traci Blackmon.  The anti-racists, many of them clergy members, walked quietly to Emancipation Park, where they were vastly outnumbered by the white supremacists.

Later, a band of more aggressive counter-protesters showed up at the park, chanting “Appalachia coming at ya.  Nazi punks we're gonna smash ya!”  These militant “antifa,” or antifascists, were also repelled by the white supremacists.

Given the scale of the protests, the far-right groups suffered few injuries.  That was particularly notable given the fact that multiple people near the protests were armed.  Throughout the weekend, right-wing and left-wing militias equipped with assault rifles, pistols, and body armor patrolled the streets of Charlottesville.  (Virginia is an “open carry” state, so gun owners are legally allowed to tote around firearms.)

Many of the armed men viewed their role as maintaining a modicum of order.  A “Three Percenter” militia out of New York state posted itself near Emancipation Park with the intention of keeping anti-racists from disrupting the rally.  The group says it disapproves of racism but is dedicated to defending the free speech rights of all.

Blocks away, Redneck Revolt, a leftist militia from North Carolina, watched over the perimeter of a park where anti-racists had gathered, committed to preventing violent attacks by the white supremacist groups.

The presence of heavily armed citizens may have played a role in the decision of authorities to largely stay out of the violent skirmishes between the white supremacists and their opponents.

Those who actually marched included many new to the right-wing cause.  The victory of Donald Trump in last year's presidential election has energized a whole wave of young people who were previously apathetic or apolitical, rally organizer Eli Mosley told ProPublicaThe President has served as “megaphone” for far-right ideas, he said.

Mosley and his comrades are seeking to draw in as many of these newly politicized young people as possible.  “We're winning,” he said.  “We're targeting the youth and making a movement that appeals to the youth.”

Some of those who've gravitated to the extreme right milieu are former liberals — like Mosley's fellow rally organizer Jason Kessler — and supporters of Bernie Sanders.  Many are ex-Libertarians.

“I was a libertarian,” said Mosley, as white supremacists chanted “Whose streets?  Our streets!” in the background.  “I looked around and noticed that most Libertarians were white men.  I decided that the left was winning with identity politics, so I wanted to play identity politics too.  I'm fascinated by leftist tactics, I read Saul Alinsky, Martin Luther King …  This is our '60s movement.”

Monday, August 14, 2017

DOMESTIC TERRORISM - Charlottesville

White Nationalists and Supremacists are terrorists and should never be tolerated.

"White nationalist rally brings clashes in Charlottesville" PBS NewsHour 8/12/2017

Excerpt

SUMMARY:  Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe declared a state of emergency in Charlottesville on Saturday as hundreds of white nationalists and alt-right activists clashed with police and counter-protesters.  It was the second rally to protest the city’s plan to remove a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee from Emancipation Park.  The NewsHour's P.J. Tobia joins Hari Sreenivasan from Charlottesville.




"Charlottesville mayor blames Trump for violent weekend" PBS NewsHour 8/13/2017

Excerpt

SUMMARY:  As locals grappled with the aftermath of a white nationalist rally that left three people dead on Saturday, Mayor Michael Signer wasted no words on denouncing President Donald Trump for what he says is his culpability in the violence.  But a white nationalist leader told The NewsHour's P.J. Tobia that the radical left is at fault.




"Local gives history of civil rights in Charlottesville" PBS NewsHour 8/13/2017

Excerpt

SUMMARY:  Rallies on Friday and Saturday in Charlottesville, Virginia that were reminiscent of Ku Klux Klan gatherings shook people who have for generations fought for civil rights in Virginia and across the country.  Activist, writer and educator Leontyne Peck with the University of Virginia’s President’s Commission on Slavery unpacks the weekend’s events with Hari Sreenivasan.




"U.S. sees 300 violent attacks inspired by far right every year" PBS NewsHour 8/13/2017

Excerpt

SUMMARY:  Despite the nation’s focus on Islamic terrorism since 9/11, homegrown, right-wing extremists have also killed dozens of Americans.  Peter Bergen, the director of the National Security Studies program for New America, joins Hari Sreenivasan to discuss the toll of homegrown terrorism in light of the Charlottesville white nationalist rally car attack.

OPINION - Brooks and Marcus 8/11/2017

"Brooks and Marcus on Trump's threats for North Korea, thanks for Putin" PBS NewsHour 8/11/2017

Excerpt

SUMMARY:  New York Times columnist David Brooks and Washington Post columnist Ruth Marcus join Judy Woodruff to discuss the week's news, including President Trump's tough words for North Korea over its nuclear threat, as well as his thanking Russian President Vladimir Putin for expelling hundreds of U.S. diplomats, plus his attacking Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

JUDY WOODRUFF (NewsHour):  And to the analysis of Brooks and Marcus.  That's New York Times columnist David Brooks and Washington Post deputy editorial page editor Ruth Marcus.  Mark Shields is away.

And we welcome both of you.

So, you just heard two very different views from our earlier expert guests on North Korea.

You heard the President again commenting, David, and now Senator Risch.  How do you assess the President's management of this North Korea situation?

DAVID BROOKS, The New York Times:  Unusual, I guess.

(LAUGHTER)

DAVID BROOKS:  It will come after the war in Venezuela, apparently, we just learned.  I don't know what that was all about.

Listen, there's been a consensus of how to deal with this extremely knotty problem.  And that is, at least on the rhetorical level, the North Korean regime is extremely fiery, extremely insecure, sometimes hysterical.

And when you're around somebody who's screaming and unstable, the last thing you want to do is add to the instability with your own unstable, hysterical rhetoric.

And so most administrations, Republican and Democrats, when the North Koreans say they're going to Seoul into a lake of fire, whatever their rhetoric is, have just ignored it and relied on some underlying sense that the North Koreans don't want to commit national suicide.

Donald Trump has gone the other way.  Now, I think that is still — that sense that neither party wants to go into a war is still there.  But the psychological probabilities that you're going to enter into some August 1914 miscalculation certainly go up when both people are screaming at the top of their lungs.

JUDY WOODRUFF:  But, Ruth, you Justice Department heard Senator Risch, who says he talks to the White House.  And he said: I have talked to the President, and we think being very clear with North Korea is the best way to go.

RUTH MARCUS, The Washington Post:  Yes.

Well, David used the term unusual.  I think it's just absolutely scary.  And I didn't feel calmed down listening to Senator Risch, I have to say.

But there's a couple of positive things to say about President Trump here, just to surprise people for a second.  One is that this situation with North Korea is not his fault.  In other words, we were going to get to this.  Some President was going to end up in the terrible situation we have with the progress that North Korea has made with nuclear weapons.  He [Trump] just happens to be the President.

Number two, they were doing a very good job, until this latest eruptions of kind of bullying testosterone this week, in terms of pursuing what needs to be done, which is the diplomatic sanctions.  Senator Risch is right about the achievement in the Security Council.

But, all of a sudden, we saw this week these statements, and you would have thought Tuesday that maybe it was an eruption and they'd tamp it down.  And, instead, day after day after day, he's coming out saying more scary and dangerous things.

And I do not understand how that is anything but destabilizing, and with a very already unstable ally [enemy?].

DAVID BROOKS:  Yes.

Well, it could be that he thinks the North Koreans are undeterrable, and that this is not a usual regime, maybe because they have this new leader, and that you actually do have to take action.  He could be — he believes that.

It could be he just likes to blunder.  It’s always dangerous to overinterpret what Donald Trump says at any one moment.  And it could be he thinks the 'madman theory' is right theory here.  And the madman…

JUDY WOODRUFF:  Remind everybody what the madman — because it sounds scary.

(LAUGHTER)

DAVID BROOKS:  The 'madman theory' is that you can be a successful deterrer if you — if they think you could be crazy.

And so I think it can be very effective, so long as you’re not actually crazy.  And so we have a North Korean, we’re not really sure.  We have a President who has his moments.

And so the 'madman theory,' when both people could actually be crazy, is actually a very dangerous situation.
[ 😲 ]

BALTIMORE - Documentary "Step"

"This Baltimore school helps girls step up for college" PBS NewsHour 8/11/2017

Excerpt

SUMMARY:  "Step," a new documentary, follows students from the Baltimore Leadership School for Girls, an institution with the primary goal of 100 percent college acceptance.  But that's not their only success.  Girls at the school channel their strengths into practicing step, an artform that combines movement, percussion and more.  Members of the school explain what the program has meant to them.

TRUMP TALK - The Clown's Conference

"Trump has kinder words for Putin than McConnell at news conference" PBS NewsHour 8/10/2017

Excerpt

SUMMARY:  President Trump offered a number of newsworthy exchanges from his New Jersey Golf club on Thursday, on topics ranging from Russian retaliation for new sanctions to his disappointment in Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.  John Yang joins Judy Woodruff to take a closer look.

SUPERBUGS - Industrial Farming

"How industrial farming techniques can breed superbugs" PBS NewsHour 8/9/2017

Excerpt

SUMMARY:  As high-density, industrial-scale livestock farms have become fertile breeding grounds for disease, they've also become a major source of drug-resistant superbugs.  Science correspondent Miles O'Brien and economics correspondent Paul Solman team up to report on how scientists are studying how superbugs can get into the food supply.




"The economic reason this chicken producer gave up antibiotics" PBS NewsHour 8/10/2017

Excerpt

SUMMARY:  For decades, almost all factory-farmed chickens were raised on antibiotics.  But low doses of “maintenance” antibiotics can spur bacteria to build resistance, creating superbugs.  Economics correspondent Paul Solman and science correspondent Miles O'Brien report team up to examine why one major chicken producer went antibiotic-free while most still continue the practice.

NORTH KOREA - Escalation

Fat-Man vs Little-Boy


"Latest North Korea clash draws sharply different responses from Trump, top national security aides" PBS NewsHour 8/9/2017

Excerpt

SUMMARY:  As a war of words escalated between the North Korea and the U.S., Secretary of State Rex Tillerson urged calm, saying Americans should have no concerns about the rhetoric of the last few days.  The volley of tough talk follows reports that Pyongyang can now make nuclear weapons small enough to fit inside a long-range missile.  John Yang reports.




"How will North Korea react to mixed signals from U.S.?" PBS NewsHour 8/9/2017

Excerpt

SUMMARY:  Judy Woodruff talks to former Pentagon official Abraham Denmark and Mike Chinoy of the University of Southern California about the latest threats and counter-threats between Pyongyang and Washington and what options the U.S. has to defuse the situation.




"Trump fires back in war of words with North Korea" PBS NewsHour 8/10/2017

Excerpt

SUMMARY:  President Trump doubled down on his threats against North Korea on Thursday, and disparaged a quarter century of U.S. policy for the country.  Meanwhile, North Korea announced its plans to launch four intermediate-range missiles at the U.S. territory of Guam and state TV declared the U.S. President reckless.  Special correspondent Nick Schifrin reports.




"Cardin: Trump's warning for North Korea isn't a game plan" PBS NewsHour 8/10/2017

Excerpt

SUMMARY:  The August recess hasn't stopped members of Congress from weighing in on President Trump's latest warnings to North Korea.  Judy Woodruff speaks with Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md) about the president's fiery comments and whether the administration has a well-thought-out strategy, plus how the U.S. should approach diplomacy while turning up the pressure on the nation.




"How likely is a military conflict with North Korea?" PBS NewsHour 8/11/2017

Excerpt

SUMMARY:  President Trump said the U.S. and its military is ready to deal with any provocation by the Pyongyang regime.  How do the president's words impact the Trump administration's options?  Judy Woodruff speaks with retired Adm. Dennis Blair, a former U.S. Pacific Forces commander, and former CIA analyst Sue Mi Terry to get some insight into the reclusive regime and how the U.S. should proceed.




"What's the view of U.S. tensions from Pyongyang?" PBS NewsHour 8/11/2017

Excerpt

SUMMARY:  President Trump denounced North Korea yet again Friday, affirming the U.S. and its military are ready to deal with any further provocation from Pyongyang.  Despite the tensions, it was revealed that U.S. and North Korean diplomats have had back channel discussions recently.  Nick Schifrin looks at the internal response and gets the North Korean perspective from Rafael Wober of Associated Press.

TRUMP AGENDA - Sexual Assault Enabling

aka "The DeVos anti-women, anti-protection, anti-Obama stance"

"Will rules on investigating college sexual assault be dialed back?" PBS NewsHour 8/8/2017

Excerpt

SUMMARY:  Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos is considering dialing down federal guidance for how colleges and universities should handle sexual misconduct investigations.  The Obama administration issued new requirements in 2011 changing how schools should handle investigations on their campuses, drawing both praise and criticism.  William Brangham learns more from Anya Kamenetz of NPR.

CLIMATE CHANGE - The Government Report Not Officially Released?

Part of Trump's anti-science agenda to block what his 5th grade mind cannot understand.

"Why some scientists are concerned a government climate change report won't be released" PBS NewsHour 8/8/2017

Excerpt

SUMMARY:  A draft climate change report is making headlines as scientists reportedly express concerns about how the Trump administration will respond.  The New York Times reported on key findings in the preliminary document, including that "evidence for a changing climate abounds" and that human activities are primarily responsible for the changes.  Lisa Friedman of The New York Times joins Judy Woodruff.

SOCIAL MEDIA - The iGen

"Are smartphones making a generation unhappy?" PBS NewsHour 8/7/2017

REMINDER:  Don't blame the smartphone, the problem is how people use it.

Excerpt

SUMMARY:  The promise of social media is instant human connection.  But for many teens, greater use of social media mans a far greater sense of isolation, according to an increasing body of evidence.  William Brangham speaks with Jean Twenge, author of "iGen" and a new article in The Atlantic, about the ways smartphones are affecting an entire generation's mental health.

CUBA - Trump Agenda

Trump is an asshole.

"Changing tides of U.S. policy may sink Cuban tourism hopes" PBS NewsHour 8/7/2017

Excerpt

SUMMARY:  Since President Obama loosened U.S. travel restrictions, Cubans have been waiting and making room for an American invasion they have long yearned for: tourists.  In June, President Trump announced he would undo some key aspects of the diplomatic thaw, including enforcing the ban on tourism, with some exceptions.  Miles O'Brien reports on the effect on both Cubans and Americans.

WAR ON ISIS - The Shrinking of ISIS

"ISIS 'radically shrinking' amid U.S.-supported campaigns.  Here's why" PBS NewsHour 8/7/2017

Excerpt

SUMMARY:  At the end of a brutal campaign to retake Mosul in Iraq, and as the fight for Raqqa continues, where does the battle against the Islamic State stand?  Judy Woodruff speaks with Special Presidential Envoy Brett McGurk, who says the Islamic State is “radically shrinking” and that President Trump's decision to delegate rapid decision-making has greatly assisted their efforts.

Monday, August 07, 2017

OPINION - Shields and Brooks 8/4/2017

"Shields and Brooks on Trump's GOP pushback, Russia probe grand jury" PBS NewsHour 8/4/2017

Excerpt

SUMMARY:  Syndicated columnist Mark Shields and New York Times columnist David Brooks join Judy Woodruff to discuss the week's news, including strong new economic numbers, White House chief-of-staff John Kelly's first week, congressional Republicans starting to push back on the President, special counsel Robert Mueller convening a new grand jury for the Russia probe and more.

JUDY WOODRUFF (NewsHour):  Today marks the close of week one on the job for President Trump's new Chief of Staff, a week that kicked off with the firing of a outspoken Communications Director, and ends with word of a new grand jury in the Russia investigation.

It's a perfect time for the analysis of Shields and Brooks.  That's syndicated columnist Mark Shields and New York Timescolumnist David Brooks.

Welcome to you both.

MARK SHIELDS, Syndicated Columnist:  Thank you, Judy.

JUDY WOODRUFF:  So, Mark, some good numbers on the economy out today, jobs numbers impressive.  President Trump is saying it's all due to him.

Does he deserve this much credit?

MARK SHIELDS:  Of course he does — but because we learned from candidate Trump that these numbers are totally bogus, that we live in this big ugly bubble, that unemployment is actually 42 percent at the time of President Obama.

No, Judy, I mean, the economic news is phenomenal.  It isn't just good, setting new records in the stock market to 22000.  You have got the lowest unemployment rate in 16 years.  You have got economic confidence.

Today, Mazda and Toyota announced they're building a $1.3 billion plant in the United States, Amazon 50,000 jobs hiring.  And if Donald Trump would get out of the way, if he was silent Cal Coolidge and just let the good news take over, they would say, wow, isn't that something?

But motormouth Don just has to keep changing the subject, intruding, and making unhelpful news himself.  So — but, at the same time, I mean, does the President — does a President get credit?  David has a very strongly, well-developed thesis that Presidents really don't shape the economy, and except over longer periods than their administrations.

JUDY WOODRUFF:  Is that right?

DAVID BROOKS:  I agree with Mark's version of …

(CROSSTALK)

(LAUGHTER)

DAVID BROOKS:  Yes.

No, I do think that.  They can have a very negative effect if they do something terrible, and maybe over the long run, the investments they make in one decade can lead to the gains next.  But on a quarter-by-quarter basis, let alone month to month, no, no effect at all.

What puzzles me is, as Mark said, the economy is doing great.  This is such a long recovery.  And timing wise, we should be like dipping down again, and yet the public spirit is so bad.  People have some faith in the economy.  They do not think the country is headed in the right direction.  You're not getting any spillover in the rest oft way people view the country, the way they view politics.

And I do think the cynicism has just gotten self-perpetuating.  And so, no matter what happens in the country, people still somehow are cynical and distrustful about the country.

And so my message to America is cheer up a little.

NEWSHOUR'S IMHO - Google Truth Serum

"Why Google is like truth serum for our most personal thoughts" PBS NewsHour 8/4/2017

Excerpt

SUMMARY:  Seth Stephens-Davidowitz spent five years studying Google search data that revealed people's darkest and weirdest thoughts.  It actually made him feel better.  It also changed what he thought he knew about how the world works.  Stephens-Davidowitz offers his humble opinion on the difference between our hidden digital lives and the lives we project on social media.

ECONOMY - America Boasts Solid Gains

"After years of slow recovery, U.S. economy boasts solid gains" PBS NewsHour 8/4/2017

Excerpt

SUMMARY:  July was the second straight month of solid gains for U.S. employers, who added 209,000 jobs, according to the Labor Department.  Mark Vitner of Wells Fargo joins Judy Woodruff to discuss what it means for the job market, the stock market and millions of Americans.

TRUMP AGENDA - Afghanistan War

"Trump administration weighs best path forward on Afghanistan war" PBS NewsHour 8/3/2017

An old question left unanswered, define 'winning.'

Excerpt

SUMMARY:  Under President Trump, a new strategy for the almost 16-year war in Afghanistan has been the subject of divisive debate among him and his national security team for months, with the President apparently growing frustrated with the slow progress.  P.J. Tobia reports and Judy Woodruff talks to retired Army Gen. John Keane about how to handle America's longest war.

NAACP - Missouri Travel Warning

In the wake of Missouri State Senate Bill 43

"The NAACP issued its first statewide travel warning for Missouri.  Here's why" PBS NewsHour 8/3/2017

Excerpt

SUMMARY:  The NAACP issued a travel advisory about the state of Missouri for women, minorities and LGBT people, asking those travelers to use “extreme caution.”  The NAACP's first statewide alert comes after Missouri passed a law that the organization says permits legal discrimination.  President Rod Chapel Jr. of the Missouri NAACP joins Hari Sreenivasan to discuss how and why the advisory came about.

REPUBLICAN AGENDA - Tax Reform

aka "How Do We Give Even More to the Rich"

"Tax reform is the next big GOP push.  Here's what to expect" PBS NewsHour 8/3/2017

Excerpt

SUMMARY:  Republican leaders are starting to make decisions on how they will approach tax reform, an issue that's equally important as health care to Republicans, and one that's arguably even tougher to solve.  Lisa Desjardins sits down with Judy Woodruff to walk through where efforts stand.

LISA DESJARDINS:  First point, Judy.  This is a process very different than health reform, than health care.

First of all, let’s look at who Republicans are using right now, who is determining this.  It is the big six leaders.  That means two leaders from the White House, the treasury secretary and also the president’s national economic adviser, then Leader McConnell in the Senate, as well as the chair of the Senate Finance Committee, and then Speaker Ryan himself and his tax-writing chairman. [note no Democrats]

RELATED:  "A (quick) guide to the upcoming battle over tax reform" by Lisa Desjardins, PBS NewsHour 8/1/2017

TRUMP AGENDA - Truth Suppression

They started with Voter Suppression and now move on to Truth Suppression.  They simply call anything anti-Trump classified.

"The difference between illegal leaks and inconvenient leaks" PBS NewsHour 8/4/2017

Excerpt

SUMMARY:  The Justice Department promised on Friday a crackdown on leaks of classified government information to the press, with Attorney General Jeff Sessions vowing to triple the number of probes into leaks.  Hari Sreenivasan speaks with Jeffrey Smith former general counsel for the CIA, and The New York Times' James Risen, about what constitutes a problematic leak and why they occur.

ANTIBIOTICS - Why the Shortage

"We are running out of effective antibiotics fast" PBS NewsHour 8/2/2017

Excerpt

SUMMARY:  Each year, superbugs -- viral bacterial infections resistant to common antibiotics -- infect more than two million Americans, killing at least 38,000.  As the list of antibiotic-resistant bacteria grows, so have the extraordinary efforts to prevent the spread of infection from patient to patient.  Science correspondent Miles O'Brien and economics correspondent Paul Solman team up for a report.





"The financial barrier to developing antibiotics?  No big payday for drug companies" PBS NewsHour 8/3/2017

Excerpt

SUMMARY:  As current antibiotics begin to lose their punch, there's an economic reality putting a damper on development.  Since every use of an antibiotic drives resistance, and doctors are reluctant to use a drug until there's no alternative, why would a drug company spend a fortune?  Economics correspondent Paul Solman and science correspondent Miles O'Brien continue their look at the hunt for new drugs.




"Drug companies aren't making new antibiotics.  Is there an economic cure?" PBS NewsHour 8/4/2017

Excerpt

SUMMARY:  As drug-resistant infections proliferate, financial barriers are preventing the pharmaceutical industry from investing in new drugs to fight off superbugs.  Economics correspondent Paul Solman, in a series of reports with science correspondent Miles O'Brien, explores how researchers could be incentivized to develop new antibiotics.

TRUMP AGENDA - American Farmers Don't Need Low Skill Crop Pickers

"How a Trump-endorsed overhaul would dramatically change U.S. immigration" PBS NewsHour 8/2/2017

Excerpt

SUMMARY:  A bill proposed by Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark) and Sen. David Perdue (R-Ga), and endorsed by President Trump, would cut in half the number of people legally allowed into the United States, and mark a profound shift in American policy in place for a half century.  Alan Gomez of USA Today joins Judy Woodruff to discuss what the change could mean for future job growth.

TRUMP ADMINISTRATION - Their Worst Fear, Whisleblowers

They don't want their wrong doings exposed, so they slap 'secret' on everything they don't want the American people to know.  So anything Climate Change is verboten.

"Interior official turns whistle-blower, claiming retaliation for climate change work" PBS NewsHour 8/2/2017

Excerpt

SUMMARY:  A government scientist who studied dangerous climate change in the Arctic got an ironic reassignment at the Interior Department from the Trump administration, collecting checks from oil and gas companies.  Joel Clement, the former director of the Interior Department Office of Policy Analysis, believes he was reassigned because he worked on climate change.  Clement joins William Brangham to explain.

THE LEADING EDGE - The Double-Edged Sword of Science

"This gene editing milestone raises big ethical questions" PBS NewsHour 8/2/2017

Excerpt

SUMMARY:  For the first time in the U.S., a human embryo has been successfully edited to correct an inherited condition.  By snipping out the gene that causes a specific heart disease, scientists also ensured the disease could not be passed down.  But the milestone raises significant scientific and ethical questions.  Hari Sreenivasan speaks with Jessica Berg of Case Western Reserve University Law School.

VENEZUELA - Final Steps to Full Dictatorship

"Opposition leaders arrested in Venezuela, deepening the country's political crisis" PBS NewsHour 8/1/2017

Excerpt

SUMMARY:  Venezuelan security agents descended in the dead of night, seizing opposition leaders from their homes.  Their arrests came after Sunday's deeply divisive election to fill a new assembly tasked with rewriting the country's constitution.  Chief foreign affairs correspondent Margaret Warner reports on the unrest in Venezuela and the American response.

TRUMP ADMINISTRATION - Opinion: “Conscience of a Conservative”

"Sen. Flake: It's not conservative to stay silent about the chaos of the Trump administration" PBS NewsHour 8/1/2017

IMHO:  'Conscience?'  They don't have any.  They are mean spirited and money worshipers who do not believe they have a moral obligation to people.

Excerpt

SUMMARY:  In his new book “Conscience of a Conservative,” Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz) examines where his own party has gone wrong, calls for a return to conservatism and criticizes the man at the top of the ticket.  Sitting down with Judy Woodruff for a conversation, the Republican senator speaks out about President Trump but says he has “done nothing” that would force lawmakers to kick him out of office.

TRUMP ADMINISTRATION - Another 'Saturday Night Massacre' Waiting in the Wings?

"What we can learn from Nixon's 'Saturday Night Massacre'" PBS NewsHour 7/31/2017

Excerpt

SUMMARY:  Dubbed the "Saturday Night Massacre," the political drama that unfolded on October 20, 1973, pitted a President against the Justice Department and has drawn parallels to today.  William Ruckelshaus is one of the officials who refused to carry out an order from President Nixon to fire a special prosecutor investigating Watergate.  Ruckelshaus joins Judy Woodruff to look back at what happened.

TRUMP WHITE HOUSE - Circus Center Ring

aka "The Fake Administration"

"Another top Trump official is gone.  Here's how we got here" PBS NewsHour 7/31/2017

Excerpt

SUMMARY:  Anthony Scaramucci, the newly installed White House communications director, was removed after 10 days on the job.  The move comes as John Kelly began his first day as President Trump's chief of staff.  Lisa Desjardins joins William Brangham to discuss the latest exit in a series of shakeups in the Trump administration.

IN MEMORIAM - Sam Shepard 1943-2017

"Remembering Sam Shepard, playwright who gave voice to drama of the heartland" PBS NewsHour 7/31/2017

Excerpt

SUMMARY:  Sam Shepard, long considered one of America's great playwrights of the modern era, offered a powerfully American voice in works that portrayed the darker side of American family life.  He was also a renowned actor, earning an Oscar nomination.  Jeffrey Brown looks back at his life and work with playwright and actor Tracy Letts after Shepard's death at age 73.

Monday, July 31, 2017

OPINION - Shields and Brooks 7/28/2017

"Shields and Brooks on Reince Priebus' exit, GOP health bill's defeat" PBS NewsHour 7/28/2017

Excerpt

SUMMARY:  Syndicated columnist Mark Shields and New York Times columnist David Brooks join Judy Woodruff to discuss the week's news, including President Trump's firing of White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus and what it means for relations with the Republican Party, the Senate's rejection of a “skinny repeal” of the Affordable Care Act and Anthony Scaramucci's obscene tirade.

JUDY WOODRUFF (NewsHour):  It's been another head-turning week in Washington, from the Republican failure on health care, to the President's surprising statement on transgender military members, and a flurry of profanity from the new White House communications director and then, to cap it off, today's announcement from Mr. Trump that he is changing his chief of staff.

Here to help make sense of it all, Shields and Brooks.  That is syndicated columnist Mark Shields and New York Times columnist David Brooks.

So, I thought we had a lot of things to talk about, David, before about an hour ago, when we learned that the President was changing his chief of staff.

Is this — I guess we knew that this might happen.  Reince Priebus has been in trouble with this President, we think, for a while, but what do you think?

DAVID BROOKS, The New York Times:  Well, he was never given the chance to do the job.

Every other chief of staff we have ever seen sort of controls the schedule.  They control the tempo in the White House.  They're the alter ego of the President.  They are given some clear sign of respect that they speak for the President.

And Priebus never had that.  And so he was wounded and stabbed before Scaramucci came along.  He was stabbed like a piñata.  And so he was sort of a pathetic figure hanging out there.  And so this doesn't come as a total surprise, except for maybe the timing.

As for General Kelly taking the job, I sort of question his sanity there.  He's been a loyalist, but I really — with all due respect to the Marine Corps, I don't see how someone who's been trained in pretty orderly chain of command is going to survive this mess.

If he can control the schedule, it will be one thing.  I just don't think that's going to happen, given all the independent power figures all around him.

JUDY WOODRUFF:  What do you make of it, Priebus out and Kelly in?

MARK SHIELDS, Syndicated Columnist:  Judy, I am continually amazed that it's not simply a matter of human decency or empathy when your boss is firing anybody to make sure that person leaves and has a soft landing, that they can leave with their self-respect, that they can leave with someplace to go to, with a plausible explanation to their family and friends that they weren't humiliated, abused and derided.

This President treats staff and others like a used sickness bag on a bad airplane flight.  There's just absolutely no sense of respect or decency shown, so you humiliate somebody.

And for those who are left, there is just a sense of, could I be next?  It certainly doesn't inspire loyalty.

As far as Kelly is concerned, General Kelly is a four-star general.  But I think David put his finger on it.  He had a very distinguished and honorable military career.  But he grew up in a military structure.  He thrived up in a military structure.

As a chief of staff at the White House, this is a freelancing operation.  There's no chain of command.  There are all sorts of people who go in and see the President any time, who are not accountable to you or responsible.

And least of all, you have a President who will even — won't abide by any sense of a chain of command or structure.  And I don't know that General Kelly has any particular political gifts or knowledge of the legislative process or dealings with the press.

So I'm not — I know that the President admires him and the job he's done at Homeland Security and his career, but I don't see the fit.

JUDY WOODRUFF:  Well, we should say that Reince Priebus, just in the last few minutes, David, put out a statement saying it's been one of the greatest honors of his life to serve this President.

I guess that's what one expects, maybe.

DAVID BROOKS:  Gracious.  I'm not sure he would pass a lie-detector test.

(LAUGHTER)

DAVID BROOKS:  But one of the things that's happening here is that the President is moving away from the Republican Party.

Priebus was a link to the Republican Party.  The congressional Republicans were — had some sort of relationship.  Jeff Sessions was a key to the link between congressional Republicans and Donald Trump, and he's been under assault in the most humiliating way imaginable.

And so you're beginning to see an administration — I don't know what party they're joining, maybe the Bannon party, but it's not the Republican Party.  And if you want to pass legislation, you probably need your allies on Capitol Hill.  If you want to survive investigative committees, you probably want some friends in your party.  And this administration seems to be moving the other direction.
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JUDY WOODRUFF:  Well, which leads us to another — I mean, David, you said they have had a struggle anything passed, getting legislation passed.  This was a flame-out for them.

DAVID BROOKS:  Yes, this was a bigger thing than Donald Trump, though.

It was only one bill that lost.  It was four bills that lost.  And it wasn’t only a six-months effort.  It was a seven-year effort.

MARK SHIELDS:  I agree.

DAVID BROOKS:  And you could say you could go back to Newt Gingrich.

Think of all the ways the Republicans have tried to trim entitlements like Medicaid or cut government.  Name a signal victory.  There’s not a victory.  They haven’t been able to trim one agency, cut back one entitlement.  They failed every single time.

And that suggests isn’t an electoral failure.  It’s not a failure of whether Mitch McConnell had the right strategy or not, though that was lamentable.  It’s a failure of trying to take things away from people.

People are under assault from technology.  They’re under assault from a breakdown in social fabric, breakdown in families.  They have got wage stagnations.  They just don’t want a party to come in and say, we’re going to take more away from you.

And so Republicans have to wrap their minds around the fact that the American people basically decided that health care is a right, and they figure, we should get health care.  And our fellow countrymen should get health care.

It doesn’t mean you have to do it the way the Democrats want to do it with single-payer or whatever.  You can do it with market mechanisms.  But you have basically got to wrap your mind around universal coverage.

JUDY WOODRUFF:  How do you see what happened here, Mark?  And where do you see it going on health care?

MARK SHIELDS:  Judy, the yapping dog, which was the Republican Party, after chasing the bus for seven years, caught it and had no idea what to do with the bus.

All you needed is that final vote that Lisa described so well, and that is the final argument, after seven years, after winning three national elections where that is your organizing issue, we’re going to repeal Obamacare, came down to a single promise and pledge to your fellow Republicans from the leadership, and that is, what you are voting for, we promise will not become law.

I mean, if you can imagine anything, I mean, that just said it all.  I mean, it was a terrible performance.  The House voted on something without even a congressional budget scoring of it.  The Senate voted on something.  They didn’t even have a bill when they brought it to the floor.  There was no legislation.

So, I mean, it was horrendous.  It was disappointing.  There were no ideas.  There was no will.  There was no imagination.  And there was certainly no courage.

I don’t blame Donald Trump, but what was Donald Trump saying?  Donald Trump was saying he’s disappointed in the attorney general because he wasn’t loyal to him.  That was his contribution to the debate on health care as it came to a vote in the Senate.

NEWSHOUR SHARES - Mom Leads Nature Walks

"This mom leads young people on walks in the woods to prevent and heal from tragedy" PBS NewsHour 7/28/2017

Excerpt

SUMMARY:  In our NewsHour Shares moment of the day, Boston's inner city often sees a spike in violence during the summer, when many students are out of school and on the streets.  But as special correspondent Tina Martin from PBS station WGBH reports, one mother is trying to change that leading young people into nature.

TRUMP AGENDA - Side Effects of Immigration Policy

"Why your summer getaway is staffed by foreign workers" PBS NewsHour 7/27/2017

Humm.... Remember that tourist town in the 'shark' movie?

Excerpt

SUMMARY:  At the tip of Cape Cod, the iconic summer getaway Provincetown has a small year-round population that swells when the weather gets nice, welcoming an estimated 4 to 5 million tourists every year.  Businesses there depend on foreign workers willing to work just a few months of the year.  But this year, the number of available visas is way down.  Economics correspondent Paul Solman reports.

HEALTH CARE - Trumpcare 3.2s Dies on the Operating Table

Are Republicans ever going to go rehab to detox from their anti-Obama addiction.

"Key senators resist Republicans' 'skinny' Obamacare repeal" PBS NewsHour 7/27/2017

Excerpt

SUMMARY:  A long day of Senate debate set up a longer night of voting, when Republicans plan to propose the one health care idea they think could pass; a stripped-down repeal that would abolish the individual and employer mandates, as well as one tax on medical devices, while leaving Medicaid and much of the Affordable Care Act unchanged.  Lisa Desjardins and Sarah Kliff of Vox join Judy Woodruff for more.






TRUMP WHITE HOUSE - Paranoia and Panic

Trump knows deep down he IS hiding something.  And just like Trump, his minions are in it for themselves.

"Why are leaks and infighting plaguing Trump's presidency?" PBS NewsHour 7/27/2017

Excerpt

SUMMARY:  Why are there so many leaks coming out of the White House?  Matt Schlapp of the American Conservative Union and Karine Jean-Pierre of MoveOn.org, join Judy Woodruff to discuss various tensions bubbling on Capitol Hill, from President Trump's public criticism of Attorney General Jeff Sessions to the President's call to bar transgender service members from the military.

NEWSHOUR BOOKSHELF - "Love, Africa"

"American war correspondent details his own love and life in Africa" PBS NewsHour 7/27/2017

Excerpt

SUMMARY:  As a college student, Jeffrey Gettleman traveled to East Africa and fell in love.  He also fell in love that year with a woman back home.  Their time and work apart, and his life and work covering a continent as a Pulitzer prize-winning correspondent for The New York Times, make up the story told in "Love, Africa: A Memoir of War, Romance, and Survival."  Jeffrey Brown sits down with Gettleman.

DIVIDED AMERICA - Trump Supporters

The poor misguided fools.

"What it's like to be a Trump supporter in an ultra-liberal city" PBS NewsHour 7/26/2017

Excerpt

SUMMARY:  What is it like to be a conservative woman trying to find your voice in a city known for its progressive politics?  The NewsHour's Elizabeth Flock wrote an in-depth profile of Trump supporters living in Portland, Oregon, the second half of our series on political divisions in unlikely places.  Flock joins Judy Woodruff to take a closer look.

TRUMP AGENDA - Broken Promises and Backstabbing

"What does Trump's transgender ban mean for active-duty military members?" PBS NewsHour 7/26/2017

Excerpt

SUMMARY:  Word of a significant policy reversal came not from the Pentagon, but from President Trump's Twitter feed, where he announced that transgender people would be banned from the U.S. military.  Socially conservative groups welcomed the decision, but it drew quick condemnation from Democrats and some leading Republicans.  Judy Woodruff learns more from William Brangham.




"Trump signals he might pull out of the Iran nuclear deal.  What's at stake?" PBS NewsHour 7/26/2017

Excerpt

SUMMARY:  Two years since the Iran nuclear agreement was signed, President Trump may be on the way to pulling the U.S. out of the deal.  The President indicated in an interview he's willing to overrule the State Department and not certify Iran's compliance.  John Yang talks to Robert Malley, a former White House negotiator for the Iran nuclear talks, and Mark Dubowitz of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

TRUMP ADMINISTRATION - Jeff Sessions & Russia Investigation

Reminder:  In Trump World he does not have to follow laws or rules, and all must bow-down and be loyal (aka never criticize, never disagree).

Also, Trump and Republicans are still living in 2016 and fixated on Hillary Clinton.  As if they didn't win. 😒

"Under attack from the President, Attorney General Sessions still advancing conservative agenda" PBS NewsHour 7/25/2017

Excerpt

SUMMARY:  President Trump's escalating criticism of Jeff Sessions over his rescual from the Russia investigation has exposed a rare public rift between a President and his attorney general, leading some to believe that Sessions may be forced out.  How did we get here, and how are fellow Republicans responding?  John Yang and Sari Horwitz of The Washington Post join Jeffery Brown to discuss.




"Schiff: Trump 'wants to appoint a more malleable attorney general' for Russia investigation" PBS NewsHour 7/25/2017

Excerpt

SUMMARY:  Jared Kushner faced another round of questions about his contacts with Russian officials during and after the Trump campaign.  William Brangham speaks with Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif) one of the lawmakers who questioned Kushner in the closed session, about whether Kushner's answers were satisfactory and the possibility of Attorney General Jeff Sessions being forced to resign.



"Rep. Stewart: Kushner testimony 'didn't have much to add' to Russia story" PBS NewsHour 7/25/2017

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SUMMARY:  President Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner met privately with the House Intelligence Committee on Tuesday, answering more questions on Capitol Hill about his interactions with Russian officials during the campaign and beyond.  William Brangham speaks with Rep. Chris Stewart (R-Utah) a member of the committee, about what questions he had going into the meeting with Kushner.

NEWSHOUR SHARES - Seattle's Seawall

"Seattle's new seawall built to make life easier for fish" PBS NewsHour 7/25/2017

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SUMMARY:  In our NewsHour Shares moment of the day, Seattle's seawall was like most others for 80 years, a flat, concrete slab that held back the sea.  But a $400 million infrastructure project has turned Seattle's new seawall into a really big science experiment to see whether cities can better coexist with fish.

HUMAN SMUGGLING - Death on Our Highways

The really sad thing about this incident is Trump's Wall will not stop this.

"Death of migrants in Texas shows dangers of human smuggling" PBS NewsHour 7/24/2017

Excerpt

SUMMARY:  Dozens of people were found packed into a sweltering tractor trailer in San Antonio, Texas, on Sunday, an attempt at human smuggling that left at least 10 dead and nearly 20 others hospitalized.  Survivors said there was no air conditioning and described taking turns to breath through a hole.  John Yang learns more about this case and immigration politics from Jason Buch of San Antonio Express News.

MUSLIMS - Persecution Elsewhere

"Myanmar's Rohingya stuck in limbo between persecution and relocation" PBS NewsHour 7/24/2017

Excerpt

SUMMARY:  The Rohingya people, an ethnic Muslim minority group, have fled murder and persecution by the army of Myanmar to seek refuge in camps in
Southern Bangladesh, but their arrival has been less than welcome.  Special correspondent Tania Rashid reports.

Friday, July 28, 2017

HUMOR TIMES - Snapshot 7/28/2017


Trump Views the World





Trumpcare Prospects




Trump Administration






The True Native American View


Monday, July 24, 2017

OPINION - Shields and Brooks 7/21/2017

"Shields and Brooks on Spicer stepping down, GOP health care bill fumble" PBS NewsHour 7/21/2017

Excerpt

SUMMARY:  Syndicated columnist Mark Shields and New York Times columnist David Brooks join Hari Sreenivasan to discuss the week's news, including Republicans' failure to pass a health care reform bill, President Trump expressing his anger at Jeff Sessions to The New York Times, the abrupt resignation of former White Press Secretary Sean Spicer, and a cancer diagnosis for Sen. John McCain.

HARI SREENIVASAN (NewsHour):  But, first, the analysis of Shields and Brooks.  That's syndicated columnist Mark Shields and New York Times columnist David Brooks.

It's good.  It looks like you're paying attention.

(LAUGHTER)

MARK SHIELDS, Syndicated Columnist:  Yes, Hari.

HARI SREENIVASAN:  All right.

So, let's start with health care.  This week, we started with repeal and replace.  And then it went to repeal now, replace later.  Neither of those seem to be going anywhere.

MARK SHIELDS:  The Republicans' health care plan had three problems.  It wasn't healthy, it wasn't caring, and there was no plan.

(LAUGHTER)

MARK SHIELDS:  It was just that simple.

I mean, you can't get people to vote for something when they don't know.   (A) what it is, there's no public case for it, but, beyond that, it just — the conservatives, led by Rand Paul, objected that it didn't root out and repeal Obamacare.  That was correct.

And the moderates, embodied by Susan Collins, who we just saw in the previous piece, objected that it was going to hurt, unnecessarily and gratuitously, millions of Americans who are needy and depend on Medicaid.  True.

So, the two were almost irreconcilable.  And I think they can't figure out now how to leave the field without embarrassment.  Ideally, if you're a Republican, you do not want to vote on this.  You do not want to vote Tuesday, because it's going to be used against you.

It is incredibly unpopular.  It's got 16 percent support in the country.  There is not one person of the 213 in Republican — in the House of Representatives voted against it who regrets having voted against it.

And there are scores of House members in the 217 who voted for it who are nervous that they voted for it.  So, that's where it is.

DAVID BROOKS, The New York Times:  Yes, I don't think it's dead.

I think, from what I hear, they're leaning on Mike Lee, the senator who has been a no vote who is the decisive no vote, to change his mind, to buy him out with something and offer him something.  And then they figure, once they get him on board, there are probably another Republican 15 senators who would like to vote no, but they don't want to be the one person who kills it.

And so the feeling, if you can get Mike Lee, you can get some of the others.  And they might pass it.  I wouldn't say it's likely, but I think — I just think it's too early to say it's dead now.

The second thing to say is, Mitch McConnell has two parts of his job.  The one is to create a process where reasonable legislation gets promoted.  And the second is to whip for that legislation.

I think he did an abysmal job on one job and a pretty good job on job two.  As Mark said, you have got a plan with 16 percent approval.  Nobody in the Senate likes it, including the Republicans.  They all hate having to vote for it.  And he still got 48 votes.  That's kind of impressive.

But the underlying problem is, you have a chance to change, to reform health care.  There are a lot of conservative ideas to reform health care.  And it would solve some problems.  You could pick some things that a lot of people would like.  You could have catastrophic coverage for the 20-odd million people that are still uninsured after Obamacare.

You could do a lot of — offer a lot of things to a lot of people and do it in a conservative way.  But that's not what this Republican Party does.  They just say, we want to cut Medicaid.

And they're unwilling to talk about anything positive, though there are some things in the bill.  It's just, what can we take away from you?  And what can we take away from the poor and the needy and the children?

And it's a publicity and a substantive disaster area that they're just trying to live with.

HARI SREENIVASAN:  What about the President's role in this?

MARK SHIELDS:  The President's role in it is mercurial.

He said let Obama founder and burn.  Then the next day, he says no, within 24 hours to the Republican senators, you have got to come up with a plan.  He knows nothing about the specifics.  He knows nothing about the substance.  He's made no public case for it.

I don't — I think David makes a very compelling point.  I would just say this, that Mitch McConnell had a reputation as this master strategist.  And what Mitch McConnell's greatest accomplishment as leader has been is that he denied a hearing to one of the sixth most qualified nominees to the Supreme Court in the last century.  That's it.

There's a big difference between obstruction and construction and putting together a coalition.  And it's a lot easier to get people to vote against something than it is to vote for something and to take a chance.

And when you're denied the individual mandate, that is you let healthy young people not pay anything, you leave as a pool of people for insurance who are older and sicker.  Therefore, it's going to be more expensive.

I mean, you know, this isn't rocket scientists, in spite of the President saying it's a lot more complicated than it is.

DAVID BROOKS:  I thought something important happened with the Republican views with the president.

They were having all these meetings in the White House.  And, apparently, they'd have these substantive meetings with Mike Pence or with somebody else, with staff.  And they would talk through things.  They would try to make some progress.

And then the President would dip in and do something, say something extremely stupid, extremely ill-informed.  And then they would all groan and live through it and wish he would leave.  And then he would go.

And so that could be a change in psychology.  Everybody in the Senate has problems with the President.  But if you begin to have, oh, he's just the 'crazy uncle,' like an attitude of contempt, then relationships between the Republicans on the Hill and the White House really do begin to change.

It's not some guy, oh, he has some political magic.  It's some guy who really just is annoying and gets in the way.

NEWSHOUR'S IMHO - Talking to Your Kids About Mary Jane

"What a scientist suggests you tell your kids about legal marijuana" PBS NewsHour 7/21/2017

Excerpt

SUMMARY:  With marijuana legal in some form in 26 states and the District of Columbia, the old script for talking to your children about pot is changing.  Behavioral scientist Elizabeth D'Amico, who has researched drug and alcohol use among teens for more than 20 years, giver her humble opinion about what kids need to know.

POLITICS - Our Broken Congress

"The great struggle of getting anything done when partisanship reigns" PBS NewsHour 7/21/2017

SUGGESTION:  The leadership of each party, in each branch of Congress (Senate and House), walk out the National Mall and and play Russian Roulette with a revolver with 2 bullets.  The survivors win and get to have their agenda. 😉

Excerpt

SUMMARY:  Congress these days has an obvious theme, more blame than legislation.  Congressional Republicans have taken a sharply partisan route in their health care reform efforts, with multiple failed and contentious attempts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.  How did we end up with such an extreme partisan divide?  Lisa Desjardins looks back.

TRUMP ADMINISTRATION - Rats Abandon 'King Rat'

"Resignations add to turmoil as Trump legal team weighs options" PBS NewsHour 7/21/2017

Excerpt

SUMMARY:  It was a tumultuous day at the White House, with major personnel shakeups involving the public faces of the Trump presidency.  The resignations of Press Secretary Sean Spicer, and the spokesman for the president's legal team, came amid reports that Trump lawyers are hunting possible conflicts of interest by Robert Mueller.  Hari Sreenivasan talks to Rosalind Helderman of The Washington Post.

POLICING IN AMERICA - 5 Days, Summer of 1967

"How the 1967 riots reshaped Detroit, and the rebuilding that still needs to be done" PBS NewsHour 7/21/2017

Excerpt

SUMMARY:  In the summer of 1967, the simmering unrest in cities across America exploded.  In Detroit [riot], tensions between the police and the African-American community reached their limit, unleashing five days of full-out violence -- riots or a rebellion, depending on whom you ask.  Fifty years later, special correspondent Soledad O'Brien reports on what sparked it all and the scars that remain today.

BRIEF BUT SPECTACULAR - Looking at an American Traitor and an International Spy

"What it's like to turn the camera on Snowden and Assange" PBS NewsHour 7/20/2017

Excerpt

SUMMARY:  Who people tell you they are is often different from how they act, says award-winning filmmaker Laura Poitras, whose latest film, "Risk," looks at WikiLeaks and Julian Assange.  By observing subjects like Edward Snowden make decisions in real time, she gets to experience the immediate drama of her story and change her opinion.  Poitras gives her Brief but Spectacular take on making documentaries.