Opinion: Weighing the Costs of War and Diplomacy

John F. Kelly is getting a lot of criticism these days, and that’s understandable. As leader of the Department of Homeland Security, the retired Marine general now has to be more sensitive to the politics of any given situation.

So when he publicly said critics of his agency’s policies — whether they come from Congress, civil rights groups or the public — should “shut up,” he came off as what he once was, a military man giving orders. When the administration, Kelly’s department in particular, is challenged on its travel bans and inconsistent immigration enforcement, Kelly could do more listening and learning

But as America’s foreign policy and national security efforts become increasingly muscular and aggressive, there is some comfort in his presence among the rest of the men — and they are mostly men — advising President Trump and the members of Congress with power to approve or restrict military action and to balance the money spent on military and diplomatic efforts. Kelly is a member of that club no one wants to belong to — he lost his son in action — and he has another child in service.

Jeff Sessions-Style Policing Makes Everyone Less Safe

The Trump administration is most comfortable with power and the powerful.

On the world stage, this attitude has taken the form of a relationship with Russia’s Vladimir Putin that is cozier than ones with traditional allies such as Germany’s Angela Merkel. That sentiment trickles down within America’s borders, as well, to Trump’s words on policing, where for the self-proclaimed “law and order” president, force wins out over conciliatory tactics every time — including in his own “get ’em out of here” rally cries that have resulted in his own legal headaches.

It’s no surprise, then, that Attorney General Jeff Sessions is following the Trump lead.

 

Opinion: Not So Fast, Democrats. You Had a Good Day, but Now What?

As the Republican Party has learned, it’s much easier to be the party of “no” than to actually have a plan to lead. So while Democrats are celebrating a GOP in disarray, the party out of power needs a message and a plan.

Understandably, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosicelebrated as the GOP’s new-and-improved health care plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act failed. But long term, she must truly want to experience a return to the speaker’s post. Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer knows just how to rile Donald Trump, his fellow New Yorker. But he still has to call Trump Mr. President.

So what happens the morning after the party, when all that remains are empty champagne bottles and a headache? f

The Heat: Previewing Donald Trump’s First 100 days

New legislation is a crucial part of any president’s first 100 days. It’s not been easy for Donald Trump.

A divided Republican party is trying to recover from a failed healthcare bill; Democrats have delayed a vote on Trump’s Supreme Court Justice nominee and leaders are vowing to block a $12 billion request to fund a Mexican border wall.

The administration is now turning its  attention to the energy sector  and providing middle class tax relief. Trump’s popularity is taking a hit, and the question is  “Can any legislation be passed to salvage the president’s image during the crucial first 100 days?”

Opinion: Art as Soul Food – A Tough Yet Essential Case to Make

… when most people think arts and humanities, it usually conjures something a little snooty, out of reach and not at all essential. Cue video of the Broadway “Hamilton” cast, with the approval of audience members who have paid hundreds of dollars for a ticket, lecturing Vice President Mike Pence, and it certainly confirms a stereotype.

Truly, though, as someone who has sat in those orchestra seats — and that’s a show that needs no help surviving — the road there was paved with more than a few federal dollars.

 

Rex Tillerson’s Plan to Skip NATO, Visit Russia Puts Allies on Edge

WASHINGTON (CNN) — The State Department scrambled Tuesday to suggest new dates for Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to attend a meeting of NATO foreign ministers after his plan to skip the annual gathering, but travel to Russia came to light. Tillerson’s decision to miss his first NATO meeting but visit Russia a week later plunged his department into damage control, frustrated allies and left analysts scratching their heads at an administration that once again is rubbing Europe the wrong way and raising questions about its commitment to its Western allies. WCCB’s Political Contributor Mary Curtis weighs in.

The GOP and White Evangelicals: A Forever Match?

Will a health care proposal that could toss “the least of these” off its rolls cause divisions between evangelicals uncomfortable with a close relationship with the Republican Party and those who feel just fine with the political association?

A shared anti-abortion stance, with the promise to appoint like-minded judges, has so far helped to keep the link between evangelicals and the GOP strong. But strains — along policy, generational, and racial lines — are showing within conservative faith groups, despite agreement on core beliefs.

 

President Trump’s Revised Travel Ban to Take Effect

President Donald Trump’s revised travel ban is scheduled to take effect tomorrow. Today, his executive action will be scrutinized in federal courtrooms across the country. In Maryland, a federal judge will hear arguments from the ACLU and others who want to stop the new directive. Hawaii’s lawsuit is heading to a U.S. court in Honolulu, while Washington state wants its own hearing before a federal judge in Seattle. Questions remain… What’s next? Why are states still suing? WCCB’s Political Contributor Mary C. Curtis weighs in.

 

The Heat: Journalist round table talks Wikileaks, THAAD, travel ban

China’s Two Sessions continue as the U.S. begins to install the controversial THAAD missile defense system in South Korea. Meanwhile, international outcry as WikiLeaks reveals CIA secrets and Trump’s travel ban makes its second appearance.

All these stories and more on The Heat’s weekly roundtable with a panel of journalists:

    • Qinduo Xu, political analyst for China Radio International
    • Nathan King, CGTN correspondent
    • Eduardo Cue, an international freelance journalist
    • Mary C. Curtis, a columnist for Roll Call

We Need Robert Osborne to Tell Us This Is Only a Movie

Robert Osborne, why did you leave us when we need you most? The death this week of the Turner Classic Movies host only highlights, as political developments spiral from the unexpected to the unbelievable, that film may be the best outlet for explanation and escape.