FROM Andy Roth
Will Washington Flirt with Disaster or Punt until Next Year? The lame duck Congress has until next week to prevent a government shutdown. At the moment, that sounds unlikely. But tea-partiers outraged about the President's immigration action could upset the best laid plans of Republican leaders. Meantime, the President's threatened veto of a tax break extension has Democrats who still run the Senate at odds with the White House. That could delay next year's taxpayer refunds. We look at the options, including short-term fixes for long-term problems.
Brinksmanship and the Blame Game Before anyone knew for sure there would be a government shutdown at midnight tonight, Democrats and Republicans were blaming each other. At least in public, there was more talk about political fallout than there was about making a deal, with polls showing Republicans faring the worst. Meantime, the crisis atmosphere has given ideological groups and potential candidates a great chance to raise money from ardent supporters. With a few hours remaining, we look at the options for a possible settlement and at the likely consequences of halting many federal services.
Stalemate over the Debt Ceiling Continues Last week, President Obama and Speaker John Boehner agreed that the debt-limit deadline had created an opportunity for something "big:" tax loophole-closings and spending cuts, including adjustments to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. But yesterday, Boehner backed off and called for a smaller package or even a stopgap. This morning, the President called any extension " unacceptable ." As Washington's debt-limit brinkmanship continues with inconclusive meetings and political positioning, will Washington let the money run out? Will Medicare and Social Security be part of a final deal?
Stalemate over the Debt Ceiling Continues " If not now… when? " President Obama asked today as leaders of both parties in Congress prepared for yet another White House negotiating session. He challenged both parties to compromise, so that raising the debt ceiling can become an opportunity for spending cuts and closing tax loopholes long term, insisting that a short-term deal would be unacceptable. What happened to the so-called "big deal" he and Speaker John Boehner talked about just last week? With both parties divided, are next year's elections making it harder to avoid the first default in American history?
Trump plays scolder-in-chief with NATO allies At the opening of NATO’s dramatic new headquarters in Brussels today, President Trump acknowledged that Article 5 — promising that “an attack on one nation is an attack on all” -- has only been invoked one time: in the aftermath of September 11. But the President failed to provide what 27 other Alliance members have been waiting for: a re-commitment by America’s new leader to Article 5. Instead, they got a scolding.
Terrorism and tweets, hate speech and murder Just days before an election, Britain is coping with a rash of deadly terrorism, and Prime Minister Theresa May is on the defensive. And again today, President Trump has tweeted criticism of the Mayor of London. Later, a double murder in Portland, Oregon has revealed the ugly past of a supposedly “progressive” city. One immediate question: is “hate speech” protected by the First Amendment?
The longest US war: Will Trump send more troops to Afghanistan? The Trump White House is divided over the Pentagon's request for more troops in Afghanistan—where the US has been fighting for the past 16 years. Is there a formula -- either for "victory" or a political settlement? Is there an end in sight for America's longest war?
Who's to blame for the opioid crisis? Some of the lawyers who took on Big Tobacco are now going after Big Pharma. It’s all about the deadly epidemic of opioid use. Are the drug companies to blame? What about the users? Later, on today’s Talking Point: making sense of Britain’s upset election.