Monday, July 30, 2018

OPINION - Shields and Brooks 7/27/2018

"Shields and Brooks on Trump’s role in the economy, Michael Cohen, and the Russia probe" PBS NewsHour 7/27/2018

Excerpt

SUMMARY:  Syndicated columnist Mark Shields and New York Times columnist David Brooks join Judy Woodruff to discuss the week’s news, including a blockbuster new report on U.S. economic growth, the fallout from President Trump’s trade wars, plus the latest developments in the Russia investigation, including whether the President knew about a 2016 Trump Tower meeting ahead of time.

Judy Woodruff (NewsHour):  So, from the Russia investigation to the economy, and other things, it’s been a busy week for this President.

We turn now to the analysis of Shields and Brooks.  That is syndicated columnist Mark Shields and New York Times columnist David Brooks.

It is so good to see both of you together.

Mark Shields, syndicated columnist:  Thank you.

Judy Woodruff:  Sometimes, in the summer…

Mark Shields:  I have been here, Judy.

(LAUGHTER)

Mark Shields:  I haven’t been missing.

Judy Woodruff:  So, let’s start — David, we’re going to start with you, because you have been away — with the economy, our lead story tonight.

Blockbuster numbers for the past second quarter of the year, growth off the charts.  The President said today several times that he deserves the credit for this, his policies have led to a turnaround in the American economy.

Does he deserve the credit?  What’s the significance for him?

David Brooks, New York Times:  Totally.  We would be back in medieval economy if not for Donald Trump. [sarcasm]

No, it’s just a truism that Presidents get the blame when it’s going down and they get the credit when it’s going up.  But their effect on the economy is generally over the long term.  It’s not a short-term thing and not a quarter-by-quarter thing.

I think, if you look at the economic data, there is a lot of consumer spending.  And that probably, as David Wessel said earlier in the program, because of the tax cuts.

I think the business investment is not as high as you would think it would be.  The whole idea of corporate rate cuts is, you’re handing a lot of money back to corporations, and they’re going to blow out the ceiling.

And it’s fine, but it’s not what you would expect.  And, earlier, I thought the tax cut really was having an effect in inducing corporations to invest.  That seems not to be the case.  It’s not bad, but it’s not fantastic.

And so I would say the tax cut gets some credit, but not a lot.

Judy Woodruff:  Mark, how do you look at these numbers and the President’s role in all this?

Mark Shields:  I look at it, Judy, that Donald Trump is capable of convincing people of just about anything.

I mean, recall, if you will, November 2016, when he got elected, he convinced enough voters that the country was at the brink of desolation and destruction.  We, at that point, had — were in a point of 89 consecutive months of economic growth, of 80 months (an historic high in the country) of job growth, consecutively.

Judy Woodruff:  When he was elected.

Mark Shields:  When he was elected in November 2016.

He somehow was able, at a time when longevity was an all-time high, graduation rates were at an all-time high, pollution, other than greenhouse gases, were at an all-time low — I mean, it was — it was really a good era.  And yet he was able to say, this is the worst time in America, it’s the darkest moment.

Now, David’s right.  He does — the President does either get credit or blame.  And I would just point out to him, as a cautionary note, the last time the economy grew at a faster rate was third quarter of 2014, when it grew — Barack Obama was President.  It grew at 5.2 percent, David Wessel mentioned.

And that election of 2014, the Democrats’ numbers in the House of Representatives lost to the point where they had their lowest number since 1928, they held fewer state legislatures than they had at any time prior to the Civil War.

And so, when the economy is bad, the economy is the only issue.  When the economy is good, the elections are oftentimes about other issues.

MUSEUM EXHIBIT - Hip-Hop

"The wisdom of hip-hop gets respect in a new museum exhibit" PBS NewsHour 7/27/2018

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SUMMARY:  At the Oakland Museum of California, a new exhibit traces decades of history of hip-hop, an industry and culture that's both mainstream and underground, global but rooted in the local.  Jeffrey Brown reports.

WILDFIRES - The New Normal

"High temperatures and dry conditions are helping wildfires spread" PBS NewsHour 7/27/2018

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SUMMARY:  Firefighters are battling rapidly expanding wildfires across California, facing high winds and triple digit temperatures, while mass evacuations are underway in some areas.  Other states like Oregon and Alaska are facing even more severe situations.  Science correspondent Miles O'Brien reports on why fire officials say this is “the new normal.”

Miles O’Brien (NewsHour):  There are 89 large fires burning more than 870,000 acres across 13 states, mostly in the American West.  Oregon and Alaska are each dealing with 15 fires.

MAKING SEN$E - Home Care (Part 1)

"Why does one of the most needed jobs pay so poorly?" PBS NewsHour 7/26/2018

ANSWER:  Republicans don't think old people are worth spending money on.

Excerpt

SUMMARY:  With about 10,000 baby boomers retiring every single day, home care is one of the fastest growing, most needed occupations in America.  But there's a problem: The current median pay is just $10.49 per hour.  Economics correspondent Paul Solman reports on why these vital workers get paid so little.

ONE ON ONE - Offensive Speech and Gurbir Grewal

"In exclusive interview, N.J. Attorney General reacts to ‘hateful’ ridicule by radio hosts" PBS NewsHour 7/26/2018

NOTE:  Gurbir Grewal is a Sikh-American (not an Arab, aka not everyone who wares a turban is Muslim)

Excerpt

SUMMARY:  A pair of longtime New Jersey radio hosts, Dennis Malloy and Judi Franco, were kicked off the [talk radio] air Thursday after repeatedly referring to Gurbir Grewal, the country's first Sikh attorney general, as "turban man."  In an exclusive interview, Grewal joins Amna Nawaz to speak out against discrimination and stand up for those who can’t.

FACEBOOK - The Ghost of 2016

"The 2016 election is coming back to haunt Facebook’s profits" PBS NewsHour 7/26/2018

Excerpt

SUMMARY:  Facebook took its biggest financial hit to date as its stock plummeted by about 19%, one of the largest single-day drops ever for a company.  Investors reacted to a quarterly report announcing profits won't be as high as hoped going forward because the company is making moves to shore up privacy and filter out misinformation and hate speech.  Jeffrey Brown learns more from Casey Newton of The Verge.

TRUMP - King of Liers

"What’s happened to the truth under President Trump?" PBS NewsHour 7/25/2018

Excerpt

SUMMARY:  In just the last few weeks, President Trump has made a number of misleading or inaccurate statements on subjects ranging from Russian interference, to farmers and trade, to NATO defense.  Judy Woodruff takes a closer look with Peter Wehner who served in the last three Republican administrations, Lara Brown of George Washington University, and Domenico Montanaro of NPR.

President Donald Trump:  Just remember, what you’re seeing and what you’re reading is not what’s happening.

SO:  Don't believe your own eyes?!  Really?

TRUMP - On Tape

"What does Trump on tape reveal about the plan to pay off a former Playboy model?" PBS NewsHour 7/25/2018

Excerpt

SUMMARY:  The President’s former personal lawyer Michael Cohen released a recording of then-candidate Trump in which they seem to discuss a possible payment to the chief of a media company that reportedly agreed to pay a former Playboy model for her story alleging an affair with Trump.  Yamiche Alcindor reports, then Judy Woodruff gets analysis from former federal prosecutor Renato Mariotti.

TRUMP DIPLOMACY - Disaster in the Making?

"‘Fear not,’ Pompeo reassures as senators raise foreign policy concerns" PBS NewsHour 7/25/2018

Excerpt

SUMMARY:  Two months, two summits, two mysteries: What did President Trump promise in his meetings with Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un?  Secretary of State Mike Pompeo faced the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to defend the administration and reassure lawmakers, while both Republicans and Democrats repeatedly expressed concerns.  Nick Schifrin reports.




"Risch: Give Trump credit on North Korea and ‘be a little patient’" PBS NewsHour 7/25/2018

Excerpt

SUMMARY:  Did Secretary of State Mike Pompeo successfully address the Senate’s concerns about President Trump's approach to dealing with Russia and North Korea?  Sen. James Risch (R-Idaho) tells Nick Schifrin that Pompeo did an excellent job putting those worries to rest, making an excellent case for the ways the administration has been tough on Russia.




"Merkley: We need a tough President, not weak repetition of Russian talking points" PBS NewsHour 7/25/2018

Excerpt

SUMMARY:  Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told senators that the Trump administration has been tougher on Russia than its predecessor, and that the President has the prerogative to have private conversations with his Cabinet and with other leaders.  Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore) tells Nick Schifrin that Trump has actually been very slow to act, and has had to be “dragged, screaming” into taking any firm stand.

MAKING THE GRADE - Year-Round Schools?

"The pros and cons of schools ditching a long summer break" PBS NewsHour 7/24/2018

Excerpt

SUMMARY:  Though it's an American tradition, not every school takes a long summer break.  About 4 percent in the U.S. use a "balanced" calendar that operates year-round, sometimes to manage overcrowding but also to boost student achievement with more consistent education.  Special correspondent Lisa Stark of Education Week reports on the pros and cons for students, families, and schools.

TRUMP AGENDA - His Trade War

"Sen. Sasse: U.S. needs more trade, not ‘bellicose threatening’" PBS NewsHour 7/24/2018

Excerpt

SUMMARY:  The Trump administration moved on Tuesday to mitigate for U.S. farmers the economic damage of the President's escalating trade war with allies and China, announcing $12 billion in emergency relief.  Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb) says that whenever you’re having a trade war, something is going wrong.  “When there’s more trade in the world, Americans win.”  Sasse joins Judy Woodruff for more.

TRUMP - Act Of a Dictator, His Enemies List

aka "Abuse of Presidential power."

"Trump’s threat to revoke security clearances could create an ‘atmosphere of fear’" PBS NewsHour 7/24/2018

Excerpt

SUMMARY:  The threat from the White House to possibly revoke security clearances of six former national security and intelligence officials -- all of whom have been critical of President Trump -- has set off bipartisan criticism.  Former CIA general counsel Jeffrey Smith tells Nick Schifrin that the element of fear could cause current national security officials to hesitate to tell the truth.

TRUMP - The Investigations

"Schiff: ‘Disturbing number’ of Trump campaign members met with Russians and lied about it" PBS NewsHour 7/23/2018

Excerpt

SUMMARY:  The release of previously classified FISA warrants by the Justice Department set off a new round of political fighting over the FBI's monitoring of the Trump campaign's former adviser Carter Page.  Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif) says President Trump is counting on people not to read the documents.  Schiff joins Judy Woodruff to discuss Page, a White House threat over security clearances, and more.

IRAN - Trump's War of Words

"How will Iran respond to U.S. pressure and ramped up rhetoric?" PBS NewsHour 7/23/2018

Excerpt

SUMMARY:  For months, the Trump administration has targeted Iran with a campaign of pressure.  Then overnight, President Trump took it a step further, threatening war, in response to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani threatening the U.S. in an address.  Nick Schifrin reports on what could happen next.

Monday, July 23, 2018

OPINION - Shields and Salam 7/20/2018

"Shields and Salam on Trump-Putin summit aftershocks" PBS NewsHour 7/20/2018

Excerpt

SUMMARY:  Syndicated columnist Mark Shields and National Review Executive Editor Reihan Salam join Judy Woodruff to discuss the week’s news, including the fallout from President Trump’s summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin in U.S. politics and the NATO alliance, plus news that the President has raised almost $90 million toward his re-election.

Judy Woodruff (NewsHour):  We return now to the turbulent aftermath of President Trump’s meeting with Vladimir Putin.

For more, we have the analysis of Shields and Salam.  That’s syndicated columnist Mark Shields and “National Review” executive editor Reihan Salam.  David Brooks is away.

Welcome to both of you.

Mark, it has been a turbulent, turmoilish week, from NATO to Great Britain, to the meeting with Vladimir Putin, back to Washington.

What are we left with?

Mark Shields, syndicated columnist:  We’re left with, Judy, a week of — I think a blow to the United States of America.

I don’t think there’s any question about it, to our leadership, the fraying of the relations with our longtime allies, a dismissal, almost a disparagement by the American President of democratically elected leaders, and the messy problems that democracy requires, an adulation, a flattery, a giant sucking sound in the company of the Russian dictator by the President’s part.

And Dan Balz, perhaps as respected writer as there is on politics in America, wrote:  “When the setting called for a show of strength and resolve, Trump instead offered deference, defensiveness, equivocation and weakness.”

And I think that’s fair.

Judy Woodruff:  Do you have as dark an assessment, Reihan?

Reihan Salam, National Review:  Well, I think it’s helpful to take some perspective.

Consider President Trump’s meeting with Kim Jong-un of North Korea.  Kim Jong-un is an absolutely brutal, awful dictator.  Donald Trump had very warm words for him.

Some weeks later, Mike Pompeo, the secretary of state, then met with the North Korean regime.  And then the North Korean regime responded by saying, they’re making gangster-like demands, they’re taking this much more hard-line position.

Donald Trump, when it comes to offering warm words for authoritarian leaders, does a lot, goes a long way in ways that other Republicans feel makes them very uncomfortable.  But he is a minority of one in his own administration when it comes to those warm words.  And when it comes to actual substance, you see a much tougher line.

If you look at Pompeo, if you look at Jim Mattis, if you look at John Bolton, these are all people who have taken a consistently hawkish line.

And the President himself, he reversed himself.  Again, that’s quite unusual, for him to have reversed himself so quickly, because Republicans were foursquare behind this idea that, no, in fact, they also — Republicans in Congress passed legislation, bipartisan legislation, keep in mind, that says that they can impose sanctions that the President of the United States can’t reverse.

That is legislation that Donald Trump signed in 2017.  So that’s important background to keep in mind.

Judy Woodruff:  So, Mark Shields, are we making too much of the — too much of the words of President Trump?

Mark Shields:  No.

I mean, he is the policy-maker.  He is the face and the voice of the United States of America.  Every President has been.  Ronald Reagan was when he said, tear down that wall and called the Soviet Union an evil empire.  Donald Trump is when he stands there and contradicts the unanimous judgment of all the men and women who are professionals in the United States intelligence services, who have concluded unanimously that Russia, Russia was behind the meddling, cyber-attacks, and continues to be at this time, and stands there and says — pays the ultimate compliment.

You can talk about his words.  We know his words.  In his lexicon, the lexicon of Donald Trump, there are no greater compliments than to say strong and powerful.  And what did he — whom did he call?  To call anybody weak is the ultimate insult.

And he paid the ultimate compliment to Mr. Putin, as he stood there, in refusing to endorse and support the work of the American intelligence professionals in public.

We have never seen a situation like that before.  No American President has ever done it.

Reihan Salam:  There was a fascinating moment during that press conference, where President Putin had to say, President Trump continues to say that the annexation of Crimea was illegal.

President Putin actually reminded the global public of this.  Why did he do that?  That’s a really puzzling question.  Right?  You would think that would be President Trump who would be saying that, who would be taking that kind of stern step of reminding the wider global audience of the differences between them.

Judy Woodruff:  I think that got overlooked.

Reihan Salam:  And one of the reasons why President Putin did that is because he recognizes that Donald Trump alone doesn’t represent the American government in its entirety.

What has happened is that Republicans are more unified against Vladimir Putin.  Democrats are far more inclined to take a hard line against Russia than they had been before Donald Trump came into office.

Vladimir Putin knows that, for his purposes, this wasn’t a victory.  It was in fact a defeat, because Donald Trump, his style of negotiating is, regrettably, one in which he says a lot at one point, but then his administration takes very sharply different action.

If anything, we’re going to get a more hawkish line on Russia in the months to come.

Judy Woodruff:  So, Mark, I mean, I will ask it again.

(CROSSTALK)

Judy Woodruff:  Go ahead.

Mark Shields:  Where was the defeat?  Where was the — it was a defeat for Putin?

Reihan Salam:  Absolutely.  Absolutely, because what Vladimir Putin wants is to get some component of the bipartisan establishment reconciled to the idea of a warmer relation with Russia.

In fact, we got the exact opposite.  Donald Trump himself on the flight on Air Force One back home from Helsinki realized that this didn’t play especially well with the people he depends on to shield him from investigations and much else.

He understood the tremendous vulnerability.  He understands that there are people in his own administration who may well leave that administration and leave him in a more vulnerable position if he moves in that direction.

And, again, look to North Korea.

Judy Woodruff:  That says — but what you’re saying is that — is that there was a mass created that required a lot of cleaning up.

Reihan Salam:  And, also, remember the North Korea precedent.

Remember the fact that these — we’re talking about this as though it’s unprecedented.  Donald Trump praised the North Korean dictator.  And then North Korea suddenly realized, wait a second, that doesn’t amount to us getting everything we want.

Mark Shields:  Donald Trump has told us that nuclear arms are gone from the Korean Peninsula.

Reihan Salam:  Which is nonsensical.

Mark Shields:  Nonsensical, nonsensical.

Reihan Salam:  But, of course, that’s not what he said, right?  He didn’t say the weapons are gone.

What he says, I’m committed to denuclearization.  Now, that doesn’t mean what the North Koreans believe it means, right?  There’s room for interpretation.  And what we have seen is actually a more hawkish posture in the weeks since then.

So it’s very important to keep these precedents in mind before we claim that this is going to be some grand breakthrough.

Mark Shields:  At what point do we get this seismograph or this magic detector that — with two box tops and a coupon, that allows us to tell when he’s telling the truth?

When he stands there and says Kim Jong-un loves his people, loves his people, this is a man who has killed thousands of Koreans, who has starved…

(CROSSTALK)

Reihan Salam:  It’s absolutely appalling.

And it’s also the case that the U.S. government and the Trump administration didn’t, in fact, give away the store.

This is absolutely rattling.  It is wrong for the President of the United States to appear to the be kowtowing to the Russian president.  It’s also important to recognize, however, that Donald Trump styles himself as an unconventional figure, someone who is actually seeking diplomatic break breakthroughs, diplomatic breakthroughs that I do not believe are going to materialize.

Judy Woodruff:  But, Reihan, you’re saying, for all the fuss we’re making over the behavior, the words of President Trump, in the end, the policy is going to turn out all right?  Is that what you’re saying?

Reihan Salam:  What I’m saying is that the words are dangerous.  It is wrong.  It is disorienting.  And it’s something that is actually sapping some of the trust that people have in him.

I think that that’s not a good thing.  But the policy is moving in a different direction.

Mark Shields:  There’s no question that he was overmatched with Putin.  I mean, there’s no question who was the supplicant in that relationship.

There’s no question who was the big dog and who was the puppy seeking the approval.  And the reality, when you come back — and I don’t know when this epiphany occurred, that he realized things hadn’t worked out, because it didn’t occur — they had to sit down with him.  They had to confront him in his own administration before he would even acknowledge, begrudgingly, two letters.

That didn’t change that the United States was at fault, that he blamed his own country, that he blamed America first.  No American President has ever done that before.

But when you get verbs like revise, revamp, contradict, change, modify, those are not the words of a thoughtful leader or a strong leader, or a principled leader.

Those are the words of somebody who really is overmatched in a public situation.

Reihan Salam:  What they might also be, however, are the words of someone who has promised diplomatic breakthroughs and change.

Now, this something that is very rattling for those of us, myself very much included, who believe that the architecture of our existing alliances is enormously valuable.  But, again, Donald Trump believes that, by shaking things up, he is going to bring us to a better place.

Now, it happens that members of his own administration are deeply skeptical about that posture.  And that is actually the substance of what we’re getting.

President Trump doesn’t have the power to reverse sanctions.  That is exactly what Putin wants.  And he’s not going to get it.  And he’s less likely to get it now than two weeks ago.

Mark Shields:  Let me just ask one question.

Reihan Salam:  Please.

Mark Shields:  Do you think that, after 9/11, when Dan Coats was the United States Ambassador to Germany, and he stood with Gerhard Schroeder, the chancellor of Germany, at the Brandenburg Gate, and thanked 200,000 Germans for their supporting the United States in its hour of need after the 9/11 attack, and invoked — in voting to invoke Article 5 of NATO to support United States and its attack, do you think Donald Trump has any idea that happened?

Reihan Salam:  I think…

Mark Shields:  Do you think he any idea that Dan Coats even was there?

I mean, this is a man who…

Reihan Salam:  I believe it’s worth mentioning that Gerhard Schroeder ran an explicitly anti-American political campaign that, during that time, members of the NATO alliance, including Turkey, said that we will not allow the United States to enter Iraq via our territory.

That was a period of enormous fractiousness within the NATO alliance.  And NATO survived and proved resilient.  That is also important to remember.

Dan Coats is a loyal public servant who deserves a great deal of credit, but let’s not forget history.

Mark Shields:  Do you think Donald Trump is aware of any of this?

Reihan Salam:  I can’t say, Mark.

(CROSSTALK)

Mark Shields:  You’re an informed person, Reihan.

Reihan Salam:  What I can say is that the NATO alliance has survived much worse than that.

Judy Woodruff:  I think — I think temperatures are rising all around this week.

Mark Shields:  OK.  All right.

AMERICAN VETS - Struggling to Breath, Constrictive Bronchiolitis

"Iraq and Afghan war vets exposed to toxic air struggle for breath — and a diagnosis" PBS NewsHour 7/20/2018

Excerpt

SUMMARY:  Among the more than 2.5 million men and women who have served in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, there are many veterans -- exposed to sandstorms, burn pits and other hazards -- who suffer from a mysterious pulmonary illness, as well as the confusion and doubt that surrounds their condition.  The NewsHour's Dan Sagalyn reports, with narration from Nick Schifrin.

HEALTH - Cash For Kidneys?

"Iran pays kidney donors.  Should the U.S. follow?" PBS NewsHour 7/19/2018

Excerpt

SUMMARY:  In the U.S., Medicare spending on dialysis accounts for nearly 1 percent of the entire federal budget, and the cost is growing.  On the other hand, kidney transplants are actually less expensive and offer the possibility of getting back to work and off disability, but there are not enough [kidneys] for every patient in need.  Economics correspondent Paul Solman looks at one idea for spurring donations.

ISRAEL - A Controversial Law

"‘This is our country.  This is our language’: Controversial law deems Israel homeland of the Jewish people" PBS NewsHour 7/19/2018

Excerpt

SUMMARY:  A controversial new law enacted overnight by Israel's parliament has again stirred deep emotions about the identity of the nation.  Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised the new law for enshrining the basic principle of Israel's existence -- that it is the national state of the Jewish people.  But critics called it cruel, fearing what it means for the Arab minority.  Nick Schifrin reports.

EUROPEAN UNION - Taking on a Giant

"Will EU penalty make a difference in Google’s smartphone dominance?" PBS NewsHour 7/18/2018

Excerpt

SUMMARY:  The European Union announced its most aggressive fine yet against Google for antitrust concerns, and gave the American tech giant 90 days to make changes.  European officials say Google has abused the dominance of its Android operating system to entrench its apps and services on smartphones.  John Yang talks with European Commissioner for Competition Margrethe Vestager.

NELSON MANDELA - The Prison Letters

"Nelson Mandela’s prison letters reveal his unwavering vision" PBS NewsHour 7/18/2018

Excerpt

SUMMARY:  This week marks 100 years since the birth of Nelson Mandela, who led a struggle against apartheid and brought his country to a new democratic future, while setting a political and moral example recognized around the globe.  Now a new book that offers insight into Mandela's remarkable story through his own words.  Jeffrey Brown takes a closer look with special correspondent Charlayne Hunter-Gault.




TRUMP ADMINISTRATION - Secretary of Commerce

aka "Trump Filling the Swamp"  Trump didn't really divest, so why should Wilbur?

"Ethics questions swirl around Wilbur Ross’ calendar and financial interests" PBS NewsHour 7/18/2018

Excerpt

SUMMARY:  The U.S. Office of Government Ethics sent a letter to Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross last week criticizing his failure to fully divest stocks by Jan. 15, 2017 -- 18 months after Ross agreed to do so.  Amna Nawaz talks with Dan Alexander of Forbes about questions surrounding Ross’ actions as secretary in relation to his personal wealth.

CATHOLICISM - Cardinal Sin

"U.S. Catholic Church’s former public face on sex abuse crisis faces decades of misconduct allegations" PBS NewsHour 7/17/2018

Excerpt

SUMMARY:  One of the most recognized faces of the American Catholic Church was removed from the public ministry last month, making Cardinal Theodore McCarrick the highest ranking Catholic official in the nation to be removed for sexual abuse of a minor.  Now the New York Times reports that McCarrick touched young adult seminarians.  John Yang learns more Rev. James Martin of America magazine.

TRUMP AGENDA - Bad-Mouthing Allies

"Can Trump’s reversal soften damage of Helsinki comments?" PBS NewsHour 7/17/2018

ANSWER:  No.

Excerpt

SUMMARY:  Home from Helsinki, President Trump is backtracking on his comments from a joint news conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin after facing blistering, bipartisan critiques.  In damage-control mode, he read from a prepared statement and insisted he has "great" confidence in the intelligence community.  Judy Woodruff talks with the Washington Post’s Carol Leonnig.




"Putin driving a wedge between U.S. and allies, Hurd says" PBS NewsHour 7/17/2018

Excerpt

SUMMARY:  Texas (R) Rep. Will Hurd says he is convinced that the events in Helsinki were part of a disinformation campaign by Russian President Vladimir Putin.  Hurd, a CIA veteran and one of the Republicans quick to distance themselves from President Trump amid fallout over the controversial meeting, tells Judy Woodruff that Congress needs to make sure it’s supporting the work of U.S. intelligence and allies.

DOCUMENTARY - Robin Williams: Come Inside My Mind

"Inside Robin Williams’ lightning mind and creative soul" PBS NewsHour 7/16/2018

Excerpt

SUMMARY:  Madcap, frenetic, lightning fast: On stage, Robin Williams was seemingly impossible to contain.  But a new documentary, "Robin Williams: Come Inside My Mind," tries to pin down the man whose public persona was often quite different from the private life.  Jeffrey Brown reports.

TRUMP - Betraying America, Putin Summit

"Trump’s siding with Russia draws condemnation and concern from both parties" PBS NewsHour 7/16/2018

Excerpt

SUMMARY:  In a stunning moment in Helsinki, the president of the United States again dismissed American intelligence findings that Vladimir Putin ordered Russian meddling in the 2016 election, while Putin acknowledged he wanted President Trump to win.  Fallout from the news conference came swiftly, as Washington reacted to the historic summit.  Yamiche Alcindor and Ryan Chilcote join Judy Woodruff.




"Paul: Trump has ‘healthy dose of skepticism’ for U.S. intelligence on Russian interference" PBS NewsHour 7/16/2018

Excerpt

SUMMARY:  As President Trump returns from a Helsinki summit with Vladimir Putin, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky) says the U.S. and Russia “won't have any progress if we don't have any conversations.”  While acknowledging that it’s likely that Russia meddled in the 2016 election, the senator says the U.S. also intervenes in foreign politics.  Paul joins Judy Woodruff to share his reaction.




"Menendez: Putin must be thinking his 2016 investment paid off" PBS NewsHour 7/16/2018

Excerpt

SUMMARY:  Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) says President Trump acted more like “a supplicant than the leader of the free world” at a news conference with Vladimir Putin in Helsinki.  Menendez joins Judy Woodruff to share his reaction to what might transpire after the summit.




"The consequences of Trump turning against his intelligence community" PBS NewsHour 7/16/2018

Excerpt

SUMMARY:  When President Trump dismisses U.S. intelligence and says he takes Vladimir Putin at his word that Russia did not meddle in the 2016 election, what’s the long-lasting effect?  Judy Woodruff gets analysis from former CIA officer John Sipher, who says Trump’s comments about Putin were “very troubling.”




"Trump playing into Putin’s plan ‘either on purpose or by accident,’ Albright says" PBS NewsHour 7/17/2018

Excerpt

SUMMARY:  Russian President Vladimir Putin has a plan to divide the U.S. from its allies, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright said Tuesday, and President Donald Trump is “playing into that plan either on purpose or by accident.”

In an interview with PBS NewsHour anchor and managing editor Judy Woodruff, Albright said that “President Putin is a KGB agent and he’s very smart and he has played a weak hand well.”

“There are a number of things that were said that I think really make us wonder what [Trump’s] role is with the Russians and frankly what the Russians expect out of him,” Albright said.  To Putin, she added, “Trump is the gift that keeps on giving.”




"How Russia is trying to disrupt the 2018 election" PBS NewsHour 7/18/2018

Excerpt

SUMMARY:  U.S. intelligence agencies are unanimous in their assessment that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election, and senior officials warn of ongoing efforts to do it again in 2018.  Judy Woodruff talks with former Department of Homeland Security official Juliette Kayyem and Laura Rosenberger of the German Marshall Fund of the United States, to examine the threat.




"Trump says Russia summit was ‘great success,’ leaving U.S. officials in the dark" PBS NewsHour 7/19/2018

aka Trump, "Didn't I look great at the press conference.  Yuge success." (it's all about ME)

Excerpt

SUMMARY:  President Vladimir Putin received a warm reception from Russian lawmakers as he celebrated the results of the Helsinki summit.  What exactly are the results?  There's been no formal announcement, and the U.S. Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats says he's not sure.  Yamiche Alcindor and Nick Schifrin discuss the day’s developments with Judy Woodruff.




"Michael McFaul: Calling Putin ‘sincere’ suggests White House equating Americans with criminals" PBS NewsHour 7/19/2018

Excerpt

SUMMARY:  President Trump called it an "incredible offer" from Vladimir Putin: The U.S. could question 12 Russians indicted for 2016 election interference in exchange for specific Americans being interrogated by Moscow.  Now White House officials say they reject the idea.  Judy Woodruff talks with former Ambassador Michael McFaul, one of Russia’s targets, and former Acting Director of the CIA John McLaughlin.




"How will the Trump-Putin summit affect U.S.-Russian relations?" PBS NewsHour 7/20/2018

Excerpt

SUMMARY:  Beyond the uproar over President Trump's comments about Russian election meddling, what are the global policy implications of his Helsinki summit with Vladimir Putin?  Nick Schifrin examines what's at stake, from Eastern Ukraine to NATO to Syria, and Judy Woodruff talks with Dimitri Simes of the Center for the National Interest, and Andrew Weiss of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.




"What did Russians think of the Trump-Putin summit?" PBS NewsHour 7/21/2018

Excerpt

SUMMARY:  New threats from U.S. politicians to hit Russia with sanctions for meddling in U.S. elections has Russians unsure whether President Donald Trump’s summit with Russian President Vladmir Putin was really a success.  As reality sets in, Kimberly Marten, the director of a program on U.S.-Russia relations at Columbia University, says now, Russians are concerned.  Marten joins Hari Sreenivasan.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

TRUMP AGENDA - Fascism




NOTE:  "1984" is a reference to Orwell's book

"Nineteen Eighty-Four," often published as "1984," is a dystopian novel published in 1949 by English author George Orwell. The novel is set in the year 1984 when most of the world population have become victims of perpetual war, omnipresent government surveillance, and public manipulation. - Wikipedia

NELSON MANDELA - 100th Birthday


Why he is a Legend (starting at 6:28)
The Daily Show 7/18/2018
with Trevor Noah

Monday, July 16, 2018

OPINION - Shields and Salam 7/13/2018

"Shields and Salam on new Russian election meddling charges, Trump’s Putin meeting" PBS NewsHour 7/13/2018

Excerpt

SUMMARY:  Syndicated columnist Mark Shields and the National Review’s Reihan Salam join Judy Woodruff the discuss the week’s news, including the Justice Department indictment of 12 Russian military officers for conspiring to hack the Democratic Party and state election officials, President Trump’s posture toward Russia President Vladimir Putin, tensions with NATO allies and criticism of Theresa May.

JUDY WOODRUFF (NewsHour):  It has been a busy week in politics, here at home and abroad.

For more on that, we turn to the analysis of Shields and Salam.  That is syndicated columnist Mark Shields and National Review Executive Editor Reihan Salam.  And David Brooks is away.

We welcome both of you.

What a week, Mark.

Let’s start with the special counsel returning these indictments today, sweeping indictment, saying that the Russians were behind a conspiracy to not only tap into — hack into the computers of Hillary Clinton’s campaign, the Democratic National Committee, but to go into state voting systems.

How significant is this?

MARK SHIELDS, syndicated columnist:  It’s quite significant, Judy, and traces it right back to the Russian government.

I know we’re talking about 12 intelligence agents from — on Russian espionage associated with the military, with GRU, their official agency.  And I think it’s — any talk about a witch-hunt or anything of the sort, it turns out that Monday in Helsinki will be a campaign reunion of sorts for Donald Trump and his favorite absentee voter [Putin].

I don’t think there is any question that Russian involvement has grown as a real likelihood, just not a possibility.

JUDY WOODRUFF:  Reihan, how seriously should the American people take all this?

REIHAN SALAM, National Review:  I think the American people should it very seriously.

One problem, however, is that what we really need to get to the bottom of this is an independent commission.  After the 9/11 terror attacks, after you had a spate of urban rioting in this country, we had serious independent commissions that had bipartisan credibility that tried to get to the bottom of our vulnerabilities, what went wrong, which systems were vulnerable, and then tried to find solutions for those problems.

The problem now is that we are not treating this as a national emergency.  We’re treating this as a partisan investigation.  And I think that’s been a problem from the start.  We really need an independent commission to understand our vulnerabilities.

JUDY WOODRUFF:  Mark, is this investigation credible and partisan?

(CROSSTALK)

MARK SHIELDS:  The partisan angle on this is solely on the part of the administration and Republicans in Congress.

There is not a partisan corpuscle in Bob Mueller’s system.  There really isn’t.  This is a man who has been a Republican, appointed by a Republican President, whose appointment was widely lauded from Republicans, including Newt Gingrich, across the board.

Any lack of credibility or erosion of confidence is solely as a part of the concentrated effort from the administration.

JUDY WOODRUFF:  By, Reihan, you’re saying you see it differently?

REIHAN SALAM:  I do, because part of the issue is, there aren’t necessarily prosecutable crimes at work.

What we’re dealing with is a larger systemic failure.  And when that is the case, when you’re seeing this solely through the lens of who can and cannot be prosecuted, you might actually wind up missing some of those vulnerabilities.

And if you treat it purely as a matter of criminal prosecution, you are actually not seeing that this is an attack on our democratic system that necessitates potentially new legislation, new tools that go well beyond a prosecutor’s case.

JUDY WOODRUFF:  Well, that may grow from this, but, in the beginning, Robert Mueller, the people he was appointed by, as Mark just said, they’re saying this is somebody who’s independent.  He’s…

(CROSSTALK)

REIHAN SALAM:  Oh, I think that Robert Mueller deserves a great deal of respect.  I think that’s absolutely true.

But that doesn’t change the fact that he’s working in a process that itself may well be a broken process.  I do not question his integrity.  I question whether this was the right approach to dealing with an attack on our national democracy.

MARK SHIELDS:  Just one quick point.

Those independent commissions that Reihan mentioned, the great urban investigations that occurred after national riots, after — 9/11 was after a national catastrophe, when our country was attacked.  And there wasn’t a consensus, there was unanimity in the country, and it was led by the administration in both cases, the Democrats in the first and the Republicans under George W. Bush in the second.

So, the idea that a President who has denied anything, has refuted the conclusions of the intelligence agencies and the Senate Intelligence Committee, chaired by Republican Richard Burr of North Carolina…

JUDY WOODRUFF:  Right.

MARK SHIELDS:  … is not going to be plausible as someone who would lead such a commission or appoint such a commission.

REIHAN SALAM:  Well, I really do think that the perception that this is about basically hunting down potential perpetrators within the Trump campaign and what have you, that has taken us away from thinking of this as a general attack on our democracy, on our institutions.  And I think that, had we taken a different approach, had we seen it that way from the get-go, then you might have gotten more buy-in from people who are supporters of the President who don’t necessarily think that this is fair and square.

JUDY WOODRUFF:  Well, right…

MARK SHIELDS:  Nobody knows what Bob Mueller is doing.  He has been the soul of fastidiousness and secrecy.

REIHAN SALAM:  He deserves a great deal of credit.

MARK SHIELDS:  He does.

JUDY WOODRUFF:  But in terms of what’s going on now right now, this comes just a couple of days before the President is due to be in Helsinki meeting one on one with President Putin, Mark.  What should the President say to Vladimir Putin in this meeting, and is this something — should this meeting go ahead?  Some Democrats are saying it should be canceled now.

MARK SHIELDS:  I think it should go ahead.  I think there should be no one-on-one private meetings with the two off the record.

I think what we have right now is a President who needs to confront the Soviet leader, adversary, and say to him, 12 of your own agents in a government that you control, that you lead have been indicted.  I want them extradited to the United States to stand trial.

JUDY WOODRUFF:  Are you — what do you think the President should say, and are you comfortable with the President meeting with President Putin one on one?

REIHAN SALAM:  Look, I’m not comfortable with the fact that we’re having this summit meeting without the months and sometimes years of preparation that you typically have before such a meeting.

But what we do know is that Donald Trump promised diplomatic breakthroughs.  He promised to be a different kind of President.  And that’s why he’s pursuing this very different path.

I’m, frankly, a bit concerned about one thing in particular.  Vladimir Putin is going to want to offer a big diplomatic breakthrough to Donald Trump.  The question is, is it going to be something that is going to be consummate with the long-term interests of the United States, particularly if you look at Syria?

President Trump and President Putin did actually manage to broker deals in Syria that looked promising.  Let’s de-escalate the conflict.  The Russians have not delivered on their end of the bargain.

So if the Russians now make big promises, the President needs to be sure that the Russians are verifiably going to deliver.  He shouldn’t make promises that the Russians are not going to be willing to take up their end of the bargain on.

JUDY WOODRUFF:  And, Mark, are you confident he is going to handle this?

(CROSSTALK)

MARK SHIELDS:  No, I’m not.

We did get, of course, nuclear disarmament of North Korea.  The President told us that had happened, and I guess it just hasn’t been verified yet [sarcasm].

But, no, he does.  He likes the big moment.  He likes the spotlight.  This is a man, I think, Donald Trump, it’s fair to say that, if you remove the first-person singular from his vocabulary (I, me, mine) would be Calvin Coolidge.

It’s all about Donald Trump.  We saw that, Judy, in the NATO meeting, when he goes in and cuts the knees at — off of Prime Minister Theresa May, who’s under assault and siege at home, and lauds her principal competitor, Boris Johnson, and recommends him for Prime Minister by saying what?  He likes me.  He says good things about me.  And that’s the recommendation.

REIHAN SALAM:  Forgive me for just turning to Russia for one moment.

MARK SHIELDS:  Sure.  OK.

REIHAN SALAM:  One thing that we shouldn’t forget is that, for the last 18 months, the United States government and the Trump administration has actually put in place sanctions against Russian oligarchs, has actually hardened NATO’s eastern flank, has taken many steps that are, in fact, very tough on the Russians, when you look at the substance of his agenda.

So we can’t lose sight of the fact that, when it comes to actual policies, the Trump administration has actually been very tough on Russia.

JUDY WOODRUFF:  So you think that is more important than the words which are often praising Vladimir Putin coming from the President?

REIHAN SALAM:  What I think is going on is that Donald Trump believes that you need to be tough with one hand, and, on the other hand, you need to create some opening, some possibility for a diplomatic breakthrough.

What I’m suggesting is that, with President Putin, he needs to be a lot more cautious.  But I think the substance of what he’s done over the last 18 months has, in fact, been pretty hawkish.

MARK SHIELDS:  That substance includes saying Crimea is primarily Russian ethnic country, which is exactly the talking points made by Putin and the Russian government after the invasion and occupation of Crimea.

He’s been…

(CROSSTALK)

REIHAN SALAM:  He’s also provided Ukraine with anti-tank weapons.  That’s a very serious deal.

MARK SHIELDS:  But the reality is that Russia is still very much in Eastern Ukraine.  Let’s be very blunt about that.

And the fact is that the bulwark against Russian Soviet imperialism, interventionism has been NATO.  And he has weakened NATO.  He [Trump] has sabotaged his own partners.

TRUMP DIPLOMACY - Putin, 'Got Him'




"How Trump’s turbulent Europe trip affects his Putin meeting" PBS NewsHour 7/13/2018

Excerpt

SUMMARY:  What does President Trump's visit to the United Kingdom mean for the transatlantic relationship and his meeting with Russia's President Vladimir Putin?  Former ambassador to NATO Nick Burns tells John Yang that if the president is going to retain political support, the respect of our allies, and even the respect of Putin, Trump will have to be tougher on the Russian leader.

TRUMP DIPLOMACY - Undermining Prime Minister May


Picture worth 1000 words


"How will Trump’s undermining of May play out in British politics?" PBS NewsHour 7/13/2018

Excerpt

SUMMARY:  President Trump lobbed a volley of verbal grenades at British Prime Minister Theresa May in a tabloid interview before he arrived in the UK, saying May had botched Brexit and praising the former foreign secretary as a potential Prime Minister.  Special correspondent Ryan Chilcote joins Judy Woodruff from London to discuss the fallout from the visit.

RUSSIA INVESTIGATION - Latest Indictments

As Trump shakes in fear, rants and raves......

"What the latest Russia probe indictments show for the first time" PBS NewsHour 7/13/2018

Excerpt

SUMMARY:  While President Trump condemned the Russia probe as a "rigged witch hunt," Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein announced the indictment of 12 Russian military officers for conspiring to interfere with the 2016 Presidential election.  The charges come three days before Trump is set to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin.  Judy Woodruff talks with former FBI agent Asha Rangappa.

BRIEF BUT SPECTACULAR - Alan Alda

"Why Alan Alda pays close attention to people’s faces" PBS NewsHour 7/12/2018

Excerpt

SUMMARY:  Alan Alda had an unusual childhood, but it helped him hone his identity as a communicator.  As his mother suffered from mental illness, he became a close observer of people, their faces and body language, which led him toward becoming an award-winning actor, writer, director, and now podcaster.  Alda gives his Brief but Spectacular take on being connected.

BEING ONLINE - $Streaming

"The highs and lows of being a professional online streamer" PBS NewsHour 7/12/2018

Excerpt

SUMMARY:  As more people consume video online, "streaming" is the internet's version of live TV, but with instant feedback from fans.  How have star streamers turned activities like taping themselves playing video games into profitable careers?  Economics correspondent Paul Solman reports from DreamHack, a gaming convention in Austin, Texas.

Editor's Note:  In this report on streaming, we point out police are sometimes called to a streamer’s house after a hoax call.  In some cases, SWAT teams arrive in response.  A previous version of this story mistakenly identified a man killed by police in one such case as a streamer.  In fact, the victim was not a streamer.  We regret the error.

RACE IN AMERICA - Emmet Till Murder

"The brutal Emmett Till murder case is being reopened.  Here’s what we know" PBS NewsHour 7/12/2018

Excerpt

SUMMARY:  Based on new information, the Justice Department is reopening the investigation into the 1955 murder of Emmett Till, the African-American boy whose brutal killing by two white men in Mississippi became a galvanizing event that helped spark the civil rights movement in America.  William Brangham gets reaction from Sen. Doug Jones (D-Ala).

PUERTO RICO - Maria Still Taking Toll

REMINDER:  Puerto Rico is an American Territory and Puerto Ricans are citizens of the United States.  The Puerto Rican flag is the equivalent of a state flag.

"Amid new hurricane season, Maria still taking a toll on Puerto Rico’s elderly" PBS NewsHour 7/11/2018

Excerpt

SUMMARY:  As Puerto Rico enters another hurricane season, the island’s elderly residents find themselves especially vulnerable.  A recent study found some 4,600 Puerto Ricans perished in the months following Hurricane Maria--including many who died because of delayed medical care.  Special correspondent Sarah Varney reveals just how precarious daily life has become for the island's elderly.

REPUBLICAN AGENDA - Still Trying to Kill 'Obamacare'

aka Republican unethically putting importance money before the health of American citizens.

"Funding cuts, premium increases and the future of Obamacare" PBS NewsHour 7/11/2018

Excerpt

SUMMARY:  President Trump’s effort to eliminate the Affordable Care Act was stymied by the Senate last year, but he hasn't stopped trying to undermine it.  William Brangham asks New York Times health care correspondent Margot Sanger-Katz about recent funding reductions for enrollment navigators, whether coverage for preexisting conditions is in jeopardy, and the future of the ACA.

CLIMATE CHANGE - Tracking Methane Leaks

"NASA scientists track climate-changing methane leaks from the air" PBS NewsHour 7/11/2018

Excerpt

SUMMARY:  Science correspondent Miles O’Brien joins us from the atmosphere above Southern California, where NASA engineers leverage state-of-the-art technology to measure methane.  Released through oil and gas production, livestock emissions, and organic waste, methane is about 85 times more potent at trapping heat than carbon dioxide.  California wants to identify specific methane leaks so it can plug them.

TRUMP AGENDA - Disrespect American Allies and Kiss Our Enemies




"Trump sets combative tone at NATO with attacks on allies" PBS NewsHour 7/11/2018

Excerpt

SUMMARY:  It's supposed to be a gathering of friends, but at certain moments, today's NATO summit sounded anything but friendly.  President Trump's rhetoric on German energy sources and allied military spending set a combative tone.  Still, NATO officials insist Trump's criticisms won't impact NATO's day-to-day operations.  Judy Woodruff talks with Yamiche Alcindor and special correspondent Ryan Chilcote.




"How Trump’s ‘bullying’ approach might affect NATO" PBS NewsHour 7/11/2018

Excerpt

SUMMARY:  President Trump kicked off the NATO summit with fierce criticism of Germany and other top American allies.  Will his aggressive approach yield his policy objectives, including increased spending on defense?  Judy Woodruff talks with former State Department official Victoria Nuland and John Mearsheimer of the University of Chicago for analysis of Trump's tactics and the state of the NATO alliance.





"Kasich: Trump’s ‘wrecking ball diplomacy’ causing deep resentment among vital allies" PBS NewsHour 7/12/2018

Excerpt

SUMMARY:  Republican Gov. John Kasich of Ohio criticized President Donald Trump on Thursday for engaging in “wrecking ball diplomacy” at the NATO Summit in Brussels.  “We go in, we stir everything up,” said Kasich.

Trump set a combative tone at the summit, slamming United States ally Germany as being “totally controlled” by Russia and admonishing world leaders to increase their military spending.

In an interview with the PBS NewsHour’s anchor and managing editor Judy Woodruff, Kasich — who ran against Trump in the 2016 Republican presidential primaries — slammed the President’s performance at the summit, joining a chorus of critics who raised questions about Trump’s commitment to U.S. allies and NATO overall.

Trump is “not using the diplomacy that I think strengthens us,” Kasich said, adding: “The resentment is growing, and there is a question of trust.  And that is a problem.”

SCHOOLS - Rethinking Sex Ed

"Some schools are rethinking sex ed with lessons on consent" PBS NewsHour 7/10/2018

IMHO:  What is needed is teaching boys that girls are NOT for putting 'notches on their gun,' and teaching girls that popularity should NOT being a 'notch on a boy's gun.'

Excerpt

SUMMARY:  The changing culture around sexual harassment and the #MeToo movement has some states and school districts rethinking their sex ed curriculum to include healthy relationships, preventing violence and ensuring consent.  Special correspondent Lisa Stark of Education Week visits a Washington, D.C., school that is committed to comprehensive sexuality education.

STORY OF THE YEAR - Thai Soccer Team Rescue

"How divers rescued the Thai boys soccer team from the ‘most hazardous place imaginable’" PBS NewsHour 7/10/2018

Excerpt

SUMMARY:  The daunting and incredible rescue of a dozen boys trapped with their coach, in a flooded cave complex in Thailand completed against very difficult odds today, 18 days after the group was first trapped.  John Irvine of Independent Television News reports, then William Brangham talks with The New York Times’ John Ismay.

FBI - Tracking Predators

"How the FBI tracks down child pornography predators" PBS NewsHour 7/9/2018

COMMENT:  My gut-response is that the perpetrators of this type of crime should be slow-roasted, necked, over hot coals for hours.

Excerpt

SUMMARY:  Millions of images of sexually abused children are traded with like-minded predators all over the U.S. and beyond.  Special correspondent John Ferrugia of Rocky Mountain PBS tells the story of one family who was victimized, and one FBI team that tracks down abusers.

SUPREME COURT - Brett Kavanaugh

Lets start with some definitions:

Conservative
1:  Having the power or tendency to preserve in a safe and entire state

3:  One who adheres to traditional, time-tested, long-standing methods, procedures, or views :  a moderate, cautious, or discreet person

Conserve
1:  To keep in a safe or sound state (as by deliberate, planned, or intelligent care) :  preserve from change or destruction

Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary

The upshot is conservatives do NOT like change.  Change frightens them even when change is needed or if there is a better way to do anything.  This is an irrational view of the world (in fact the Universe).

"How the next justice could reshape the Supreme Court" PBS NewsHour 7/9/2018

Excerpt

SUMMARY:  President Trump has a second opportunity to leave a lasting mark on the high court.  Judy Woodruff gets context and analysis on the possible nominees from Marcia Coyle of The National Law Journal and former Acting Solicitor General Neal Katyal and Christopher Landau, a former clerk to Justices Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia.




"Congress ready for battle on Trump’s second high court pick" PBS NewsHour 7/9/2018

Excerpt

SUMMARY:  President Trump will announce his Supreme Court nominee during a primetime address on Monday evening.  And already, the political storms are brewing as Washington braces for a contentious confirmation battle.  Judy Woodruff previews the announcement from both sides of the aisle from John Yang and Lisa Desjardins.




"Kavanaugh’s long paper trail could decide confirmation fight" PBS NewsHour 7/10/2018

Excerpt

SUMMARY:  The fight over President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee began today.  Brett Kavanaugh started his climb toward confirmation by meeting with the Senate's top Republican and the chairman of the Judiciary Committee.  Democrats are mostly united in opposition, fearing he would overturn key precedents and insulate Trump against the Russia probe.  Lisa Desjardins reports.




"What do senators need to consider in Kavanaugh’s confirmation?" PBS NewsHour 7/10/2018

Excerpt

SUMMARY:  How would Judge Brett Kavanaugh change the Supreme Court if confirmed, and what does the Senate need to consider in their confirmation hearings?  Judy Woodruff gets reaction from Travis Lenkner, an attorney who clerked for both Justice Kennedy and the new nominee, and Kristen Clarke, president of the National Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.




Let the Republican lies and spin doctoring begin:

"Hatch:  Roe v. Wade being overturned is ‘false concern’ for Democrats" PBS NewsHour 7/10/2018

Excerpt

SUMMARY:  Will Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh have an easy time being confirmed by the Senate?  Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) says he hopes Democrats will be open to voting for him.  Hatch joins Judy Woodruff to discuss whether the court with a Justice Kavanaugh would overturn Roe v. Wade, weaken the Affordable Care Act and the issue of whether Presidents should be subject to indictment.




"Harris:  Kavanaugh has ‘proven track record’ of not supporting fundamental rights" PBS NewsHour 7/10/2018

Excerpt

SUMMARY:  Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif) says she is opposed to the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh, and that his appointment could essentially lead to the end of a woman’s ability to have an abortion even if Roe v. Wade isn’t overturned.  Harris joins Judy Woodruff to discuss her concerns for issues of reproductive rights, same-sex marriage and other forms of discrimination.