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Week In The News: Afghan Deals, Senate Goes Nuclear, Midwest Storms

Midwest destruction, Afghan troop talks, a big fine for J.P. Morgan and gay marriage and the Cheney sisters. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai speaks during the first day of the Loya Jirga in Kabul, Afghanistan, Thursday, Nov. 21, 2013. Karzai has told a gathering of elders that he supports signing a security deal with the United States if safety and security conditions are met. Karzai spoke as the 2,500-member national consultative council of Afghan elders known as the Loya Jirga started in Kabul on Thursday. (AP)

Afghan President Hamid Karzai speaks during the first day of the Loya Jirga in Kabul, Afghanistan, Thursday, Nov. 21, 2013. Karzai has told a gathering of elders that he supports signing a security deal with the United States if safety and security conditions are met. Karzai spoke as the 2,500-member national consultative council of Afghan elders known as the Loya Jirga started in Kabul on Thursday. (AP)

Nuclear option, taken this week by Democrats  in the US Senate.  Republicans say, just you wait.  In Afghanistan, maybe a deal on US troops there for years more.  Maybe not.  The loya jirga meets.  In the Cheney family, a messy public spat over gay marriage as would-be Senator Liz suggests her lesbian sister Mary’s marriage is wrong. A big fine for JP Morgan. A massive line of tornadoes and destruction in the Midwest.  And a nation pauses to remember of the 50th anniversary of the assassination of John F. Kennedy. This hour On Point:  Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

— Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Trudy Rubin, Worldview columnist for The Philadelphia Inquirer. (@TrudyRubin)

Bill McKenzie, editorial columnist for The Dallas Morning News. (@Bill_McKenzie)

Jack BeattyOn Point news analyst.

From Tom’s Reading List

The Philadelphia Inquirer: Bluster from Congress on Iran, but to what end? — “I can understand Netanyahu’s thinking: He distrusts Tehran and wants President Obama to back an Israeli military strike on its nuclear sites. But I can’t grasp the ‘thinking’ in Congress. Are the sanctions hawks really ready to push America into another unnecessary Mideast war? The hawks argue that if strong economic curbs pushed the Iranians into talks, then harsher punishment will make them give up their nuclear program. But when it comes to Iran, that kind of strategy has failed badly in the past.

The Dallas Morning News:  A second president’s profile in courage — “Johnson’s reaction went beyond an ability to handle emergencies; I think another factor was in play. He was absolutely comfortable using his authority to achieve his goals. That trait separates political leaders from those who follow in their wake. Johnson’s indomitable will certainly helped him prepare to lead from the moment he arrived at Andrews. The late George Plimpton described some leaders as having an X factor that defines them and puts them in a special category. For some, that could be charisma, which Kennedy had in large doses. But Johnson’s ability to tower over others was his X factor. He used it often as Senate majority leader in the 1950s to move legislation. And, of course, he put it to use in carrying out JFK’s domestic legacy.”

Politico: Liz Cheney tries to repair hostile relations with Wyoming press — “The question is whether she can undo the initial damage in a state with such a strong newspaper tradition. The primary contest is nine months away, but political pros say Cheney faces a steep uphill climb against the incumbent, Sen. Mike Enzi. Cheney was widely seen as a carpetbagger from the moment she entered the race — she moved her family to the state last year — and the attacks on the state’s newspapers, which have a loyal readership, have left a sour taste.”

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