Common Ground with
Bob Beckel & Cal Thomas

imageCal Thomas is a conservative columnist. Bob Beckel is a liberal Democratic strategist. But as longtime friends, they can often find common ground on issues that lawmakers in Washington cannot.

Tonight's Debate

Cal Thomas & Bob Beckel handicap the Thursday debate lineup.

Today: GOP Field

Donald Trump
CAL: He has tapped into growing voter anger about the failure of government to do anything well. Trump must offer specifics on domestic and foreign policy. I’d also like to know how and why he converted from pro-choice to pro-life in 2011. He has changed positions on other issues. Expediency or “conversion”? Question: You talk tough about world leaders you say you would confront, but why should any of them, including Russian President Vladimir Putin and the Chinese, respect you?

Confronting Iran

Is nuclear weapons deal a diplomatic triumph or huge mistake?

Today: Iran

CAL: President Obama asked for and received United Nations Security Council approval to lift sanctions against the Iranian regime. He should have first gone to Congress. Even if there is bipartisan congressional rejection of the nuclear agreement, the president is unlikely to yield to Congress because he regards the deal as part of his legacy.

Medicare/Medicaid at 50

Aging expensively in the USA: 50-year-old Medicare and Medicaid programs cry out for reform.

Today: Medicare/Medicaid


The scourge is real, though our solutions could be more thoughtful.

Today: Racism in America 

BOB: President Obama used the N-word during a podcast taped in Los Angeles last week. It was not a slip of the tongue, but part of a powerful statement on race relations. The president said: "And it's not just a matter of it not being polite to say 'n----r' in public. That's not the measure of whether racism still exists or not. ... Societies don't overnight completely erase everything that happened 200 to 300 years prior." He is right.

As Nevada Goes

America's melting pot of an education system still has a lot to learn.

Today: School Choice

BOB: Starting in the next school year, Nevada will become the first state to allow education tax dollars to be used by all students and their families for access to private, public and charter schools. On the face of it, this seems a cutting-edge law to deal with one of the country's most vexing problems — the failure of many public schools, especially in inner cities. The question is: Will it be the first step in eliminating public education as we know it?

VE Plus 70 and Vietnam Plus 40

Our troops need to be war-ready, even as our allies carry more weight.

Today: Lessons from wars

CAL: In recent weeks we observed two anniversaries: the 70th anniversary of Victory in Europe Day and the 40th anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War. The first is still celebrated and those service members honored; the second remains controversial, the "lessons" from which we seem to still be learning.

"Religious Right" In transition

The Religious Right is learning morality and politics can be separated.

Today: Religious voters

CAL: In what could be the last gasp of what secularists in the 1980s labeled the "religious right," hundreds of evangelical Christians gathered last weekend in an Iowa church to hear from nine declared or possible Republican presidential candidates.

BOB: Why do you say last gasp?

Handling Police Shootings

North Charleston shows the right way to handle police shootings

BOB: Cal, although I still think that justice was not done in the shooting of Michael Brown by a Ferguson, Mo. police officer, in the case of the North Charleston, S.C., shooting of Walter Scott, the authorities acted quickly and correctly, thus avoiding the unrest Ferguson experienced. The white police officer, Michael Slager, shot Scott as he was running away. A video shows he posed no threat to the officer. Mayor Keith Summey fired Slager, who was arrested and charged with murder.

Hill's Email Problem

Today: Politics plays rough; Can Clinton's presidential ambitions survive the latest scandal?

BOB: Hillary Clinton is in political trouble and perhaps even legal trouble over her use of private e-mail accounts and bypassing government-issued accounts containing substantial amounts of information that belongs to the federal government. But ultimately, I don't think this latest controversy will hurt her presidential ambitions.

The Clinton's Cookie Jar

Today: Clinton Foundation; Receipt of millions from foreign governments makes many uneasy.

BOB: After The Wall Street Journal reported that the Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation has accepted donations from foreign governments, Republicans seized on the issue hoping to inflict damage on Hillary Clinton's potential 2016 presidential campaign. The Republican opposition research group, America Rising, demanded the Clinton Foundation stop accepting donations from governments abroad and return donations already received.


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